Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ask Coriel: Spell Crit versus MP5

George writes:
I am a holy Paladin whose guild is progressing through SSC and The Eye. I have always strongly valued MP5 but I am starting to see that my recent and upcoming gear upgrades (T5) are itemized to include a lot more +spell crit rating and less MP5 than the gear that got me to this point. Would you care to share your thoughts and experiences on how valuable +spell crit rating is at my stage of the game and beyond?

Spell crit and mp5 basically do the same thing: make your spells cheaper. A paladin is usually always casting, so is always getting the benefit of spell crit. Mp5 has the added benefit of working all the time, and spell crit makes your spells slightly more powerful (on average).

Now which is better is a complex question. It depends a lot on the mix of spells you cast. The more expensive the spell, the more mana spell crit will return. I'm finding that as I move up in content, I'm casting more and more Holy Light(Rank 7). It us less efficient, but I need the extra healing. So the extra spell crit on the gear helps support that playstyle.

However, mp5 still helps, especially on fights where you aren't constantly casting. So in the end, you have to maintain a balance of +healing, mp5, and spell crit. My general philosophy is upgrade whenever possible, just go with what stats you get, and if you think you are getting too low in one stat, use gems to boost that stat up a bit. I use green +heal/+int (mana + spell crit) or purple +heal/+mp5 gems usually.

Also, when you start looking at spell haste gear, spell crit will work better with spell haste than mp5 will. This is because spell crit's effect depends on the number of spells you cast, while mp5 depends on straight time. With spell haste you cast more spells in a given time, so the amount of mana returned by spell crit increases, but the amount of mana returned by mp5 stays constant. So if you're planning on picking up any spell haste Badge, ZA, or crafted gear, I would start leaning towards spell crit more heavily.


  1. Nice post,helpful for my healing set.
    Thing is,MP5,is that valuable?I mean,Ok,mana regen through fight is cool,but is it that much to support you through the fight?
    You also said you need Mp5 when you aren't casting,but as a healer,you are casting almost always,aren't you?

  2. There's always spots in the fight when you aren't casting. Silences, times you have to move around, threat wipes, etc. Mp5 also works when you Cleanse.

    Also, it's important to recognize when you don't have to heal. Not casting a heal saves you mana. So don't step on other healers' toes. If a druid/priest has a HoT on a DPS, let it tick. Let the raid-healing shaman take care of her assignment. You save mana, and she doesn't waste hers.

  3. MP5 is extremely valuable over long fights (like Vashj and Al'ar). Spell crit is great, but balance it with MP5 so that raid buffed with consumables you're over 100 MP5.

  4. I've always viewed Crit vs. MP5 as the difference between Avoidence versus Mitigation for tanking. Sure, crit will refund mana in big chunks just like parry or dodge will avoid 100% of an attack. However you cannot count on it. MP5 like Stamina or Armor is always on, dependable regen.

    Of course I'm in Kara in a mix of five man/BoE Purples/Heroic gear so I'm talking WAY above my station.

  5. well, the avoidance stam comparison is close there are differences. first ... three casts w/o crit wont kill you (three non avoidance shots may down a pure avoidance tank) so the bursts aren't as deadly. the one question i have is what is the spell crit max for holy pallys? and can we even reach it in plate

  6. I've been doing my own research into this very topic. My guild is 5/6 SSC & 3/4 The Eye so I'm trying to make smart gear/stat choices today that will benefit me the most down the road when we venture into MH/BT.

    I've been talking with a few endgame healadins that I know and trust. In their words, "spell crit scales better than MP5" One said that the endgame goal is to achieve a 40% crit rate with Holy Light. He went on to say that ~40% HL crit rated coupled with proper HL downranking provides a level of sustainable HPS not achievable by loading up on MP5.

  7. Try to use Recount to see with which spell you heal most. For me, it's almost always FoL by a large margin (80%+). A good rule is to optimize for the common case. For me that means that I value mp5 above spell crit (items with both are preferable ofc).

    There are a few exceptions such as RoS phase 3 RoS and Bloodboil phase 2 where HL > FoL. For those fights I put on more spell crit and/or use Divine Illumination to improve HPS/HPM.

  8. I've always leaned more towards spellcrit than MP5.

    Of course, the chances of me healing in any fight longer than Nightbane / Magtheridon are very, very slim.

  9. My guild has full cleared MH and BT. When looking at spell crit versus mp5s, you need to get both. I agree that having your holy light spell crit above 40% is necessary. But you also need a large mp5s for many fights in BT and MH. 40% spell crit is easy to get from Holy Light 5% from 2 piece T6, which you should get quickly, and 6% from talents.

    I do Holy Light spamming. HL6, HL9, HL11 are the ones I use in my line up along with FL7. In order to have the mana to withstand HL spamming, I stack intel to excessive amounts (currently at 14.5K mana). This works well with Blessing of Kings and your 10% intel buff through talents (21% total). It also provides spell crit and damage and healing.
    But if you don’t have a large amount of mp5s, you will not be able to spam HL very long. Spell crit is not enough. Here are my recommendations:
    Gem and enchant for intel and mp5s.
    Use mp5s and intel trinkets.
    Use a Libram that gives mana back or mp5s for HL.

    Other things to consider is pushing to get a Shadow Priest in your group for mana regen, and using Alchemy stones for 40% mana bonus to pots (you’ll should chug constantly).

  10. I am atm in a guild that did 3/5 mh and 2 bosses in curent gear is (with kings)2137+healing 21.5 holy crit 112/195 mp5 i mostly use FL rank7 and HL rank 11 only when tank low..i have no haste rating u think my gear is smart built or do u think is should get some stats buffed? and with my current gear do u think i am using right ranks or should i use other ranks at this gear?

  11. to guy above're gemming with too much +healing. in 25 man raids paladins only need about 1700-1800 bonus to healing. so get spellsurge on your weapon, gem into crit/mp5, and pick up the 12 int/ chance to restore mana meta gem.

    mp5 is by far better, and easier to achieve as a pally. pallies will recieve crit on their gear either way and through int. getting as much mp5 as possible is what you want to shoot for. raid buffed, with consumables, i have about 210-220 mp5. this comes with a 20% holy crit. i never run out of mana EVer and have yet to use a mana pot in SSC/TK/Hyjal/BT except for Kaz in hyjal.