Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we forge ahead. No, literally. Go reforge.
Welcome back to Shifting Perspectives! I've been dealing with some serious family issues, so I haven't written for a while. Happily, things are settling down, I'm raiding successfully, and it's time to get back to the keyboard. I've got quite a backlog of topics to cover, so let's get right to it by talking about the most commonly requested topic: what, exactly, am I supposed to do with all this new stuff I've been getting? The addition of Rune of Re-Origination and the Capacitive Diamond have changed gearing priorities significantly, so if you've been sticking with the pure mastery build, you may be missing out.
Mastery or haste, a question of RPPM
Ever since it was introduced, mastery has generally been our most favored secondary stat. (Yes, even over hit and expertise, from a simulation's point of view. That said, hit/expertise capping is the best idea for most folks, because we can't instantly recognize that an ability has missed and change strategy like the simulators can.) The rationale is simple. Most of our damage comes from bleeds; mastery increases our bleed damage ... obvious strategy is obvious. Well, the changes in 5.2 have adjusted that calculus a little bit.
With this patch, Blizzard has brought us the "real procs-per-minute" (RPPM) system, and tied several proc effects to it. The Capacitive Primal Diamond legendary metagem is the most important of these, but several of the trinkets that drop in Throne of Thunder, such as Renataki's Soul Charm, Bad Juju, and the Talisman of Bloodlust, are also RPPM. (Rune of Reiorigination is also RPPM, but it's a complete game-changer, so I'll address that one separately.) While I don't want to get into the complexities of the RPPM system here, the important point to note is that the only thing that affects RPPM proc rates is haste.
Now, the Capacitive Primal Diamond is pretty powerful, as you'd expect from a legendary item. When switching to it from our previous standby, the Agile Primal Diamond, you should see a 5-6% DPS increase on fights where you have 100% uptime on a target. Given the power of the legendary metagem, it is very likely that ferals using the new legendary metagem and an RPPM trinket or two will see a DPS increase by shifting to a haste-first reforging strategy, instead of mastery. Of course, it's difficult to say this definitively for every gear set that's out there, so my advice is to calculate your own character in Simulationcraft once you receive the legendary metagem. Do it once with haste, once with mastery, and compare the results.
However, you may not want to put all that work in, because there's another curveball coming...
Rolling with the Rune of Re-Origination
This trinket has a polarizing history. In it's original incarnation, it was an agility trinket with a proc that simply converted your second and third-highest secondary stats into your highest secondary stat. That wasn't really all that good in terms of increasing damage, since it didn't add any stats; most initial trinket lists had RoRo (as it's commonly known) way down at the bottom. Well, that wasn't intended for a Lei Shen trinket, so the devs went back and buffed it considerably, causing the amount added to your secondary stats to be doubled. Yep, say you had 5k of mastery, crit and haste each; instead of 15k/0/0, it's now 25k/0/0. Those are some sick bleeds. Overnight, RoRo went from WiS to BiS. That's for any version, also; the ilvl 502 RoRo from Lei Shen in Raid Finder is a 1-2% DPS gain over heroic Throne trinkets, and should be a priority for your Mogu coins.
Getting the best possible gain from RoRo, however, requires completely altering your reforging strategy. Instead of maximizing one secondary stat, you're attempting to maximize the doubling effect by balancing your statistics as evenly as possible. As you can imagine, this is an absolute pain to reforge for, as most calculators don't support it. You can attempt to do it by hand and get pretty close, or take a look at this post of mine where I explain a tool that can do it for you. Either way, the final goal is to get to something close to x/x of haste/crit, and x + 1 of mastery. This ensures mastery is your proc stat. Make sure you don't have Windsong on your weapon if you do this, however, or bad things will happen.
So, now that we've reforged for big mastery procs, what do we do when it happens? Well, hopefully it happens at a good time; prepare yourself now for anguish when your Rune procs on the final hit of one of Megaera's heads. Assuming you have 10 seconds to work with, your goal is to get a Rip up before the proc fades. Switch to Rake to build cp's during those 10 seconds, and if you have the energy to spare, drop a Thrash. For AoE situations, Thrash spam for massive DPS; just be careful of threat.
One caveat, however: If you're a fan of using Heart of the Wild, then you'll want to gem your second weapon appropriately to push either crit or haste above mastery when equipped. (If you're not using a second weapon, start! Popping HOTW, swapping in a caster staff, and hitting Tranq is an amazing raid healing CD.) Crit is best for those rare occasions where you go Bear, as well as for Tranquility. Haste is best for hurricane DPS, as well as the rare situations where you use Rejuv or Wrath.
That's it for now -- next week, I plan to go slot-by-slot with an item discussion, now that upgrades are coming back. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!
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