Haste Breakpoints for Shadow and Their Effect on Stat Weights

I’ve spent a good chunk of this past weekend playing around with the best in slot list supplied with SimulationCraft for Shadow Priests, mostly trying to improve upon it based on what has been determined to be our current stat weights as of the last beta build. For anyone curious what this ‘Best in Slot profile’ looks like, have a gander below:

Professions – Blacksmithing and Engineering

Race – Troll

HeadXarils Hood of Intoxicating Vapors + Burning Primal Diamond + Brilliant Primordial Ruby, Reforge: Mastery-to-Spirit

NeckKroven’s Ambersealed Beetle, Reforge: Spirit-to-Haste

ShouldersGuardian Serpent Shoulderguards + Purified Imperial Amethyst, Enchant: Greater Crane Wing Inscription, Reforge: Mastery-to-Haste

BackCloak of Overwhelming Corruption, Enchant: Superior Intellect, Reforge: Mastery-to-Spirit

ChestGuardian Serpent Raiment + Reckless Vermilion Onyx + Reckless Vermilion Onyx, Enchant: Glorious Stats

WristsCuffs of the Corrupted Waters + Brilliant Primordial Ruby, Enchant: Super Intellect, Reforge: Mastery-to-Haste

HandsGuardian Serpent Gloves + Brilliant Primordial Ruby, Enchant: Greater Haste, Tinker: Synapse Springs (Mark II), Reforge: Spirit-to-Crit

BeltBelt of Malleable Amber + Reckless Vermilion Onyx + Purified Imperial Amethyst + Brilliant Primordial Ruby

LegsGuardian Serpent Leggings + Brilliant Primordial Ruby, Enchant: Greater Cerulean Spellthread, Reforge: Mastery-to-Spirit

FeetBoots of the Blowing Wind + Reckless Vermilion Onyx, Enchant: Pandaren’s Step, Reforge: Spirit-to-Crit

Ring 1Watersoul Signet

Ring 2Fragment of Fear Made Flesh, Reforge: Hit-to-Haste

Trinket 1Essence of Terror

Trinket 2Jade Magistrate Figurine

Main HandRegail’s Crackling Dagger + Purified Imperial Amethyst, Enchant: Jade Spirit, Reforge: Mastery-to-Haste

Off HandFan of Fiery Winds, Enchant: Major Intellect

Total Stats (Raid Buffed)
Intellect: 21425
Spell Power: 36125
Hit Chance: 15.01%
Haste Rating: 8317
Crit Rating: 3482
Mastery: 2625

As you can see, this profile stacks Haste heavily. What is interesting, however, is that Haste is considered our worst stat when computing stat weights (overall):

Int = 1.0000
Spirit = 0.6586
Spell Power = 0.8240
Hit = 0.6586
Crit = 0.4189
Haste = 0.3993
Mastery = 0.4192

Why is this? In two words: Haste Breakpoints.

MoP Shadow Haste Breakpoints

The BiS profile that SimulationCraft uses puts Haste just above two very important Haste Breakpoints, DP-2 (8064) and SWP-2 (8085). Once these breakpoints have been reached, the value of Haste drops significantly, enough to be slightly worse than Mastery or Crit. To see this in action, I have simulated the current highest DPS talent combination (From Darkness, Comes Light and Twist of Fate) for a Patchwerk-style fight two times: once above our Haste Breakpoints for DP-2 and SWP-2 (8317 Haste) using Reckless Vermilion Onyx for yellow sockets, and a second time below our Haste Breakpoints for DP-2 and SWP-2 (7677 Haste) using Artful Vermilion Onyx for yellow sockets. Here are the results (in normalized PP values):

  Above Breakpoints Below Breakpoints
Total DPS 107216 106103
Int 1.0000 1.0000
Spell Power 0.8030 0.8085
Hit/Spirit 0.6232 0.6194
Haste 0.3867 0.6965
Crit 0.4236 0.4303
Mastery 0.4163 0.4204
DPS 0.2463 0.2488

The value of haste is 80% higher before these two Haste Breakpoints than it is once you have passed it! Additionally, the total DPS above the Haste Breakpoints is roughly 1100 DPS higher. From this we can (roughly) extrapolate that the value of surpassing both breakpoints is right around 1000 DPS.

This leaves us with 2 questions:

  1. Where does this leave us with stat weight priorities?
    Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be as cut and dry as it has in the paste where Haste rules the roost. I ran many simulations over the last few days where I created profiles (always above the SWP-2 breakpoint and hitcapped) that stacked Haste, Mastery, or Crit. The results? All nearly identical in damage. It is because of this I can say with good certainty that Shadow’s stat priorities for T14 are as follows:

    Below SWP-2 Haste Breakpoint (8085)
    Int > Spell Power > Haste > Hit=Spirit > Crit=Mastery

    Above SWP-2 Haste Breakpoint (8085)
    Int > Spell Power > Hit=Spirit > Crit=Mastery=Haste

  2. What about the Best in Slot list?
    I’m preparing a T14 Normal BiS list that will be below the DP-2 and SWP-2 Haste Breakpoints that I will be using to sim against in order to determine stat weights. This may take me a bit of time since the Beta version of CharDev is not allowing the saving of profiles right now.

34 Responses to Haste Breakpoints for Shadow and Their Effect on Stat Weights

  1. I’m curious, why did you list blacksmithing as best profession? Engineering for obvious reasons, but what’s special about blacksmithing?

    • A point of clarification: this is what SimulationCraft is currently using for their BiS profile, not my creation.

      My best guess, however, would be that because most professions offer roughly the same +PP value, Blacksmithing is the easiest to go with programatically since it is just adding sockets (and +160int gems) to two pieces, whereas other professions would require the profile to have enchants/gems replaced by their profession-perk specific counterparts.

    • A lot of answering that question has to do with play style and encounter type. If you’re looking at the two races from a pure ‘average haste rating gain’, then Troll has an average of 1.111…% Haste (in a bursty fashion) while Goblin has 1.00% Haste (in a flat fashion).

      Troll’s Berserking can be very powerful if used properly (with other CDs, on use trinkets, burst phases in a fight, etc.), but if you, as a player, forget to use it on or as close to on CD as possible, it quickly loses its edge. Goblin is better in a lot of cases since it reduces the complexity / skill cap players need to have in order to maximize their damage.

      For what it is worth, I’ve been a Goblin every time I’ve played Shadow on Horde side (since Cata was released, at least).

      • Ahh, kk thnx for clearing that up a little bit. I’m goblin right now but I figured maybe it wouldn’t be as beneficial as the cd if 8085 is attainable and after wards any reforged secondary stats weren’t that big deal since thet are so close together. Btw I’m not certain if you often get praise, but I highly appreciate all the hard work and indepth information you have provided regarding mop.

        • The Goblin/Troll debate relies a lot on play style and extreme min/maxing. My opinion: if you’re not pushing for world/server firsts, go with whatever you’re more comfortable with and enjoy the most.

          And you’re quite welcome. I’m here to help the community. :)

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  3. Pingback: Analysis of Talent Choices, DPS, and Stat Weights (MoP Beta Build 16004) – T14 Normal and Haste Breakpoints Edition | Shadow Orbs and Mind Spikes

  4. So while gearing up, if we don’t have immediate access to hard mode gear, would you recommend us going full haste in our yellow gem slots and haste/int in our red gem slots if we are below the 8085 haste barrier?

    • My recommendation would be until you start getting normal-mode T14 gear (ilvl 489+), stick with +Int and +Int/+Haste and +Int/+Spirit gems. If you have enough Haste at some point to where you can push yourself over the 8085 threshold by gemming for more Haste, then start gemming +Haste in yellow sockets and +Int/+Haste in red sockets.

      • Figured I’d ask you a somewhat unrelated question since you seem very knowledgeable when to comes to shadow priests. I know before cata we were supposed to refresh our dots after they wore off, but I could have sworn I read somewhere that for cata, they made it so if you refresh your dots at anytime during the cast, it extends the duration of the dot but doesn’t interrupt the timers for when the next dot tick goes off. Because of this, I thought we were supposed to be refreshing our dots at the very last millisecond of the dot’s duration for optimal dps. Plus, I thought the only thing haste did to a dot was cause the dot to tick faster, but for the same number of ticks.

        With what you are saying about a barrier for when you get an extra tick, it sounds like we are supposed to be refreshing the dots right after they roll off the target. Otherwise, the 8085 haste barrier would not exist.

        Can you please clarify my statements and correct anything that is wrong? I was a hardcore raider in WotLK in an extremely good guild, but went casual for Cata. I have not felt the need to theorycraft anything because I’m already beating everyone in damage. With all the changes coming today, this clarification could save me a bunch of time on a target dummy.

        • Back in Wrath, if you refreshed a DoT (or Mind Flay for that matter) before it expired on your target, you would clip the last tick and reset the duration (and tick timer). This is why, again in Wrath, you would want to refresh your DoTs as close as possible to when they fell off your target. In 3.3 (IIRC), Blizzard made a change to DoTs to allow DoT ticks to scale with Haste, decreasing the period of ticks, I.E.: if you have 0% haste and a 3sec tick, it takes 3 seconds; 50% haste would mean 2sec ticks.

          With 4.0, Blizzard changed DoT mechanics in two ways. The first is that rather than DoTs just having their tick rate sped up by Haste, you could also get more DoT ticks out of a DoT in the same period of time. This is where the concept of Haste Breakpoints come in. When you reach a certain Haste%, your DoTs are ticking so much faster that another entire tick can fit in to the original duration.

          Example: SWP has an original duration of 18sec with 6 ticks occurring, one every 3 seconds. When your SWP ticks are sped up by Haste and occur once every 2.58sec, the duration of SWP is 15.48sec. Once you get enough haste to speed up ticks enough to occur once every ~2.57sec, 6 ticks takes 15.42 seconds; 7 ticks takes 18 seconds, so you gain an extra tick. This is the SWP+1 Haste Breakpoint.

          The second change was that if you refreshed a DoT early, rather than having your total duration go back to whatever it would have normally been, the game computes how much time is left before the next DoT tick is supposed to occur and adds it on to the duration, meaning you don’t clip that DoT tick but rather it becomes the ’0th tick’ of your new DoT.

          Example: You have VT on a target with 0% haste (5 ticks total, 15sec duration, one tick every 3 seconds). If you recast VT on your target when you have 1 second left on your original VT, your new VT has a duration of 16sec but has 6 ticks, the first occurring at 15sec and the rest at their normal intervals.

          Example 2: You have VT on a target with 0% haste (5 ticks total, 15sec duration, one tick every 3 seconds). If you recast VT on your target when you have 4 seconds left on your original VT, your new VT has a duration of 16sec but has 6 ticks, the first occurring at 15sec and the rest at their normal intervals.

          In the second example you actually lose 1 tick of damage, meaning your Damage Per Execute Time (DPET) drops…this is why you normally don’t want to refresh your DoTs on a target unless the refresh happens during the last DoT tick’s period (for this example: VT finishes casting somewhere between 0.01 and 2.99 sec left). The only exception to this was in Cataclysm when DP would do more on-hit damage than its DoT ticks would do, so you could refresh it earlier and end up with a DPS increase.

          Hope that all makes sense. I’m not 100% sure about when Haste Scaling and refreshing DoTs got changed (like I said, I think 3.3 and 4.0 respectively, but could be off), but that’s how *all* DoTs/HoTs function now. Mind Sear and Mind Flay are considered DoTs (as is Soul Drain IIRC) by WoW’s system, but they don’t gain extra ticks; you CAN, however, refresh them before the last tick occurs and chain multiple ones together without losing ticks.

          • Most of that makes perfect sense and clears most of this up, but regarding the haste breakpoints… I fail to see why the value of haste would suddenly decrease when you hit a breakpoint. I understand that when you get 8085 haste, you’ll get two extra ticks on two of your dots in the original cast duration, but I fail to see why the original cast duration matters.

            Lets say you have 8084 haste and we’ll use sw:p for the example… You can recast sw:p right before the last tick and instead of getting your 8th dot tick at 18 seconds, it’d happen at 18.01 seconds. It’s not like you are losing out on a tick from being sightly below the breakpoint.

            Now, if haste did not decrease the duration of the dot and instead added more ticks into the original 18 second debuff, then yes, you would have dramatic breakpoints like you describe.


          • Randomly ran into this again. The reason I wasn’t fully understanding this post is that I didn’t know hitting the haste breakpoint adds extra time onto the dots. Not sure why this didnt click for me. Once I got enough gear to test out the breakpoints it became very clear.

  5. WordPress won’t let me comment any deeper…

    Let me answer your second question first:

    If you have SWP+0 and it is ticking at 2.58sec per tick, you end up with a duration of 15.42. If you recast right before the last tick hits, you don’t end up at 18.01, you end up at 15.42+{Time left, up to 2.58sec}, or anywhere between 15.43 and 18.01sec (depending on when you recast). The issue comes that if you get 6 ticks every 15.42 seconds vs 7 ticks every 18.00sec as a base, your execute time is 1 GCD either way, BUT, it is 1 GCD for 6 ticks of damage vs. 1 GCD for 7 ticks of damage — more ticks = higher DPET. Additionally, if you have to recast SWP every 15.5sec (for simplicity) vs. every 18.0sec, over a 5 minute boss fight that is 20 casts (for 15.5sec), AKA GCDs, vs. 17 casts (for 18.0sec). 3 GCDs lost to reapplying DoTs are all GCDs that you could have been doing something else, even if it was just Mind Flay. When you include a second DoT in to this…well, you see where I’m going: it adds up. Haste Breakpoints = DPS increase because you can get more actions done in the same timeframe.

    The value of haste rises as you near a breakpoint because of the way SimulationCraft determines statweights. SimC adds (and/or subtracts) to your stat level and reruns calculations to see how much more/less damage you would have done if you had different stats. The more DPS gained from adding stat X vs. stat Y all normalized to Z gives you the relative weights.

    What happens when you reach a breakpoint is there is a sudden DPS boost of damage during a fight (as noted above), so Haste is considered to be very valuable right before the breakpoint because with every point you add you get closer to the threshold of having those extra ticks. Once you reach it, you’re faaaaaar away from the next breakpoint and its value drops back to a more ‘normal’ level.

    • I’d also like to note that the 8085 Haste Breakpoint is actually the second breakpoint in close succession (the other being 8064 for DP+2). Because of these two being close together, the value of Haste right before a these breakpoints skyrockets because you don’t just get the extra tick from 1 DoT but rather from 2 DoTs. When we reach VT+2 (which is where we’re at now with 3051 haste @ 85 in 5.0.4), the value of Haste will rise leading up to it but not by as much as it does with DP+2 & SWP+2.

    • Just for clarification, shouldn’t it be more beneficial to stack crit and mastery over haste prior being able to reach 8085? I understand that the values are quite close but if we’re talking about getting the most out of your stats for progression, shouldn’t you consider the other secondary stats while you lack the gear to get to 8085? Thanks!

  6. thx for the great job
    have you ever try to reach VT+2 atleast fo goblin? (9603)
    is it possible or not, will we have any profit there if possible?

    sorry for my English, but I guess it’s better than your Russian ))

    • Hi Xelas, your English is perfectly fine. :)

      We’re able to reach VT+2 as non-Goblin right now in T13/DS content (3051 haste @ 85, 2894 haste for Goblins @ 85). We’ll probably be able to cross this threshold around the end of T15 content (if you stack +Haste gems) or definitely when T16 content comes around.

      We should see a few hundred DPS increase by getting VT+2 as it will give us a few more GCDs per fight to cast other spells.

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  8. Is haste still more valuable than crit and mastery when you cannot yet reach the next major DoT breakpoint? As you explained, proportionately more global cooldown time is spent refreshing DoTs the shorter the DoT duration is. That should act to lower the value of haste as we near a breakpoint. On the other hand, the DoTs are doing the same amount of damage in a shorter amount of time which is good.

    Does the greater proportion of time spent refreshing DoTs as we approach a breakpoint a negligible factor?

    • Yes, when averaged between different fight/encounter types Haste always wins out. If it is just 1 target in a Patchwerk/Tank’n’Spank encounter, then there is the possibility that Crit could be better than Haste.

      HOWEVER, any time you have more than one target or introduce *any* movement, Haste is best.

      Additionally, Dyre has been working on some interesting tests comparing Crit and Mastery for the second-best stat (to be posted at HowToPriest). Some of the results are as to be expected, but some are a more interesting (in extreme cases). Stay tuned for him to post that!

  9. Great job breaking it down have faced confusing questions and done well also answered the question I came here to have answered…so TY for good guide! JUST ONE thing…. a few ppl asked this and it wasnt answered YET from what I have seen…. ……

    Once you rech whatever Haste Breakpoint ur closest to anything new from then on or ne thing u can without going under ur haste BP will then go back to straight intel or intel/haste rather than straight haste… UNTIL ur within reach of ur next Breakpoint, then u go back to haste until u hit ur BP rinse and repeat until satisfied…. while in the middle of haste bps DONT focus so much on straight haste and take less intel for haste the intel is proven to help u more in those times (of course test for urself) until u get closer to ur next BP….. If u dont agree with this or feel I over stepped a boundary PLEASE feel free to remove! Thanks again for great guide

    • You are correct. Some more detailed math has been done over at HowToPriest about when to start gemming straight Haste to get over a breakpoint. Rule of thumb: if you’re going to lose more than ~400-450 Intellect, it will be a net DPS LOSS. Any less than that and you can come out ahead. Personally, I wouldn’t go for it unless you were within ~640 (4 red/yellow sockets) Haste (losing ~320 Intellect).

      EDIT: fix’d a brain fart.

  10. what about 4 p. bonus?
    with adittional 3s what happens with haste breakpoints
    I guess it should be lower, i’m still only with 2p but it could be good thing for selecting gear, especially trinkets, especially for goblins, who, probably be able to reach the next breakpoint

      • Pulled from a post I made at H2P a while ago:

        The extra 3sec from T14 4P will change the breakpoints, sort of. Haste breakpoints are determined by: a) duration, and b) tick speed. If VT goes from 15sec duration and 3sec base tick speed to 18sec duration and 3sec base tick speed when you have the T14 4P bonus, then its Haste Breakpoints will be the same as SWP without T14 4P (because it is, by default, 18sec/3sec), or, 8085 haste for VT+2.

        SWP will change to 6652 (6165 goblin) for SWP+2, and SWP+3 will become 12433 (11889 goblin), which is well out of reach for T14 gear.

        So in short, no, you’ll still aim for 8085 haste, the reasoning is just slightly different.

        • I’m goblin, so 7584 is my target ))
          today we have Elegon25n and I’m 1st by dkp, cross fingers for me, LotC should make me possible to reach the breakpoint ))

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