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Priest Stat Priorities in Cataclysm

December 20, 2010

So, I’ve done A LOT of research into this topic, and it is rather conflicted.

I’ll start with Shadow because it is essentially the simplest.

  • As ever Hit is top priority. 17% is the cap, however at about 15% it becomes less useful. It is BEST to get the cap, but it’s not worth reforging other stats if you get to th 14/15% mark.
  • Following this is Intellect/Spellpower – the more you have the more damage you do, and the more spells you can cast without mana cooldowns.
  • Haste is top priority green stat (after hit) so you get faster ticks and flays.
  • Crit is slightly better than Mastery, though on heavy movement fights it can go the other way. Keep them even and only reforge them to hit/spirit or haste – don’t bother changing one to the other.

This is essentially as it was endgame Wrath. The only variation I’ve seen is some PvP sp’s (BG oriented not arena) going virtually pure mastery for huge mobility/dot kiting. It’s pretty deadly.


Discipline gets a little more personal.

  • Intellect is your number one stat, no surprises there. With the recent Rapture buff and the Enlightenment Tree bonus Discipline essentially sees the highest Intellect scaling of all.
  • Spirit is second to Intellect for Discipline mana regen – however it is still a very important stat.
  • As for crit, haste, and mastery they all scale better the more of them you have. It’s good to keep them balanced for discipline right now because you cannot realistically reach any sort of ‘cap’ without massively gimping the other two stats. Crit gives you more DA procs. Mastery bigger shields (though scales with DA poorly). Haste gives you faster GCDs, Renews and Casts. Haste makes Strength of Soul better, which means more PW:Ss which means Mastery scales better, and you’re casting more spells, so crits occur more often. There is a lot of variation on the prioritization for discipline – it’s highly dependent on role, however balancing them is the strongest overall in my opinion.


Holy is where you start to see a real split in thinking.

  • Intellect and Spirit are top. They both need to be high (Intellect will be higher naturally – but relatively they will both be high). I gem red and blue slots with Int/Spirit gems. More int and spirit means bigger spells, and more longevity – evermore important in Cataclysm.
  • Beyond this you want to avoid crit. It’s not that strong because we can get +35% crit when we need it. It’s nice to have some, but it’s not something to stack. I mention what to avoid because I’m scared to mention haste and mastery.
  • Haste vs Mastery is the subject of many Holy Priest debates. Haste is strong because you can cast faster and more often – getting off more spells. However, with enough spirit it becomes more and more unnecessary as you can afford to cast Flash Heal when you NEED speed. Mastery is the opposite – to have high mastery your going to have less haste. You will cast slower and less often – but your spells will be HUGE. I get 2-3k Echo ticks on the tank from GHeal which makes tank healing much less mundane and Heal spammy. It also makes you efficient – haste makes you less efficient as you burn mana faster. Mastery means your HPM increases dramatically on all spells (Renew to a much lesser extent) and means expensive spells like Prayer of Healing become efficient AoE Heal-Nukes. I favor mastery, some favor haste. I raid heal so Mastery is hands down win IN MY OPINION. It’s a style thing. It’s personal, so do what you feel best and don’t yell at me for liking Echo!

I hope that’s helped, feel free to ask for any further clarification.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2010 1:41 am

    It’s like you read my mind. Just today, a day after Lirwyn (my priest) finally hit 85, I was pondering stat priorities and thinking, “Need to hit up some blogs”. I looked at one of my go to priest blogs, Disciplinary Action, but not in depth and left with some idea of priority but still murky about where mastery, haste and crit all fit in. I have, by accident, kept my haste and crit almost in a dead heat at 8.5 and 9% respectively. Mastery has been the stat I’ve got a crap ton of somehow, well…more than the other 2. It’s at 12.5%. I’m unsure of what ‘kind’ of disc priest I want to be. I’m used to tank healing from my holy pally, so if I could do that and be good at mitigating shite tons of damage, that’d rock. I like bubbles, I do. I still haven’t enchanted all of the gear I’m wearing, because I hate enchanting gear I’ll soon replace. I have precious few gems sockets in my gear right now, so I don’t have to worry about that. But if I had gem sockets, I’d probably load up on int, spirit and haste with maybe some crit thrown in.

    • December 21, 2010 2:15 am

      int and spirit are your go to stats. They both rock my socks. Hmmm tank healing, I’d say haste and mastery. You get some crit from talents and inherently high intellect so i wouldn’t worry about it too much for tank healing. Haste means you can cast Heal faster, proccing Strength of Soul and healing (ofc!) and so more PW:S’s on the tank which means mastery become quite huge. Plus the haste means renew will tick faster, making it quite awesome for tanks!

      • December 21, 2010 2:39 am

        Sound thinking. I’ve always thought completely stacking one stat (say haste) and leaving another in the dust was not the right way to go. I usually go for the ‘everything in moderation’ approach, and try to not TOTALLY neglect one stat in favor of stacking another, and it’s generally worked well for me. Not to say I try and keep my stats all the same, mind you. Something told me Mastery would be a coolio stat to keep up on, so I did. But having just turned 85, my gear is all in flux atm, so I’m sure it’ll be awhile before it’s where I want it and of course, things are subject to change once we start raiding.

        Spirit does rock my socks, I do agree. I fought tooth and nail to keep as much spirit as I could (which was hard while leveling), sometimes keeping ICC-era gear over a new thing that was *mostly* an upgrade because it has little or no spirit on it. Made me a sad panda.

  2. December 21, 2010 3:24 am

    I completely agree unless you’re a holy priest with a penchance for Mastery ;)! Yeahhh spirit can be hard to come by on the grind, but you will find a lot at 85. Get atlas loot if you haven’t got it and make a wishlist so you know where to farm! I did 17 runs of HoO normal but it was worth it for my trinket :D

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