The best way to begin is by reminding everyone, as mentioned before, that ALL OF OUR STATS ARE GOOD. In fact, having more of all of the stats makes them scale better yet. This is why, in Discord, you see the Ancestors, Ascendants and other regular users recommend a balance of secondary stats. If our stats are spread better, we are granted access to larger multipliers, and thus higher potential HPS numbers.

Stats scale multiplicatively with each other following this formula:

Direct Heals:

Intellect * Artifact Weapon Multipliers * Spell coefficient * Effective-Mastery% * Crit% * Versatility%

Healing over Time:

Intellect * Artifact Weapon Multipliers * Spell coefficient * Effective-Mastery% * Crit% * Versatility% * Haste%

The biggest thing to note is that it is likely that you will never possess absolute equality regarding stats. Titan-forging and item level increases play a strong role in stat distribution. With item level increases being so strong for us, you are going to use the upgrade regardless of it messing up your beautiful secondary distribution that you worked so hard for.

Another consideration is how stat weights may vary by encounter and by spell selection. Stat balance is important, but if you are truly wanting to get the most out of your stats, adjustments should be made based on what you’re seeing and what you need. So you understand the concept, I will use Mythic Maiden of Vigilance as an example.

The Maiden encounter has constant ticking damage on a fairly stacked raid followed by periods of high raid-wide AoE damage. This means that you will get more out of Healing Rain and HoTs than you would in other encounters and it also allows for useful Chain Heal casts during the short damage burst windows. All of this leads to the conclusion that Haste is going to be a stronger stat for this encounter than it would be for something like Goroth.

The next step is to try out your thoughts and place the log into Afyia’s Resto shaman analyzer tool. This tool shows you which stats are performing the best for you, based on both you and the encounter.

Lastly, it’s important for you to understand that stat percentages and even optimizing based on an encounter, as described above, means very little in the grand scheme of things. While caring about your stats and building your character is worth doing, the most important thing about performing as a Resto Shaman is you. What you cast, when you cast it, and why you did that. There is a reason why you see the same players performing well, and it isn’t because they have a certain amount of each stat or some pawn string to evaluate their gear. Players who consistently perform well have airtight class mechanics, excellent spell selection, and great encounter knowledge and timing.

Stats are effectively smaller moving pieces in the HPS machine powered by the player. Keep this in mind as I move forward in explaining the purpose, strengths, and weaknesses of each stat.

Critical Strike

In what has proven to be the strongest stat for the majority of encounters, Critical Strike provides a chance for your spell casts to do double the healing, procs Queens Ascendant, and returns some of the mana spent with Resurgence. Crit is certainly powerful, but there are considerations as we begin to acquire more of it. The first is that the amount of mana you gain from Resurgence as Crit increases is not significant by any means. Especially when you consider that we have baseline 5% Crit and an additional 16% to Chain Heal from Floodwaters. To explain further, possessing so much baseline Crit on Chain Heal means that without stacking Crit, you’re almost to the point of a guaranteed Queens Ascendant proc when casting Chain Heal because each of the five bounces has a chance to Crit. For example: at 25% Crit your Chain Heal only has a 23.7 percent chance not to Crit (0.75^5) and including Floodwaters that’s only 7% (0.59^5)

The bottom line is that Crit is a great THROUGHPUT stat which also returns mana, and at current levels guarantees you a cast reduction from your main spell. That is the heart of why you are taking it, you will not be going out of mana because you don’t have enough or magically gain a huge amount of Queens Ascendant procs because you have excessive Crit.

Haste

Haste is currently a hot topic. Some misconceptions about Haste in the community include that “it makes you run out of mana faster” or “Queens Ascendant takes care of your Haste.”

Haste making you go out of mana faster is a misconception because of carelessness and poor spell selection. Haste itself increases the number of ticks gained from all HoT-based spells such as Healing Rain, Riptide, Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem. This does not mean that there are any specific breakpoints that you need to reach, just that as you gain Haste you will gain an additional partial tick of any of these spells. Additionally Haste reduces the cast time of all your spells, the amount for each spell being different based upon the base cast time for the spell, and how low the cast time already is. Keeping that in mind, it’s pretty easy to see how Haste can actually be our highest HPS stat, and it works WITH Queens Ascendant to make our casts even better as the formula is

cast time = cast time * (1 – QA reduction) / (haste percentage).

As illustrated with Maiden above, Haste excels in encounters with constant ticking damage and short burst damage windows. The caveat here is that after you start to get too much Haste, it becomes less effective.

The important thing with Haste is knowing where its value comes from and being able to control yourself while utilizing higher amounts of it.

Mastery

What was previously the progression goldenboy, Mastery has dropped its usefulness considerably compared to the other secondary stats. There are so many cooldowns that exist now, coupled with the damage patterns in both Tomb and Antorus, that Mastery’s usefulness is less frequent.

Mastery shines with Cataclysm-esque damage patterns, ones that are frequent and hard-hitting and that are not going to be covered by raid cooldowns. As I mentioned above, that isn’t the encounter style we have anymore. Over the last two tiers, there have not been many fights where Mastery was very effective. Additionally, there have been fights like Sisters of the Moon where Mastery was even worse because when the shields and major damage instances occurred, the raid was already at full health. At that time, when you were preparing to get all of that juicy effective absorb healing, you struggled because the people being healed weren’t at low health.

Having some Mastery is still advantageous on progression because as people are learning mechanics, and as such, you can capitalize on Mastery’s strengths. However, given that about 30% Mastery effectiveness was seen as very high last tier, the amount that you keep on you should be lower than what the community seems to lead people to believe. DO NOT give into the “feelycraft” nonsense that you need 100% Mastery, as this is not something you should worry about when gearing your character.

Versatility

The stat that everyone seems to avoid for no reason. Versatility tends to be boring because it is quite literally a flat throughput increase and damage reduction. It’s basically Mastery’s cousin that works all the time instead of only when players are at low health. The only major drawback of this stat is that it takes more rating for a percentage. As I’ve stated before, you aren’t stacking any one stat, so this isn’t a large concern. Since Versatility gets stronger the more Intellect you have, it is quite desirable for the final tier of this expansion.

So, that’s that! Hopefully you have a better understanding of stats, when to use them, how to evaluate them, and that at the end of the day they exist to slightly augment the underlying motor that is YOUR play.
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