Hunter 101: Reforging and You
The subtitle of this post could very easily be “The Importance of Having Haste”, as I go in to great depth about the value of Haste to us.
First, what the heck IS reforging?
Reforging, as explained by the Arcane Reforger NPC:
For example, if an item afforded you a bonus to strike your enemies but you’d rather it made you attack more quickly, an Arcane Reforger could, for a price, reforge the item to have less Hit Rating but increase your Haste Rating.
So basically, you have the option to forge a less desirable stat into something that you actually want!
What does this mean? Well, long story short, “Best in Slot” lists are essentially a thing of the past. Most gear is mostly good most of the time, depending on how you reforge it. Obviously, there is still a “best” combo of gear, but having the second or third best item is not as big of a problem as it used to be.
How does it work?
Visit the Arcane Reforger in a major city, they are located near the Enchanting Trainer, so ask a guard if you’re not sure where that is. Talk to the NPC and they will give you the option to “Reforge an item.” Select which stat you want to reduce and then which stat you want to add, then click “Reforge”. Please note that it’s very expensive to do this [it costs 75g to reforge my belt!], so don’t reforge without planning ahead! You don’t need to spend gold just to try out stat combinations!
What are my stat priorities?
In my Gear and Stats post, I talked about which stats are most important for hunters. For more in-depth information, read that post. A quick and dirty review of hunter stat priority is as follows:
RDPS >> [Hit to 8%] > Agi >> Crit ≥ Haste >> Mastery
What this priority system means is you should always prioritize the stats towards the left of the list over the ones to the right. Crit and haste are a tricky pair. Critical strike is ALWAYS a hunter’s #1 most important secondary stat. The only time Haste would be viewed as equally or maybe even more important is when you’re on the verge of crossing over to the next Haste Plateau and forging in to Haste instead of Crit would give you a larger DPS increase than the standard practice of forging in to Crit.
What’s the deal with Haste? Is it bad? Do I need Haste?
Haste is a very, very tricky stat and people tend to over-complicate it. I ranked haste as equal or lesser value than Crit, but that does not mean haste is a bad stat. Critical Strike is simply a much, much better stat for hunters and therefore should be top priority. Haste Plateaus often intimidate people and I often see people get hung up on obtaining a certain haste rating, but they don’t know why they “NEED” it.
Haste affects not only the casting speed of your focus shot, but it also affects Focus regeneration… therefore it’s never BAD to have a lot of haste. It simply becomes less good for you than other stats beyond certain points. These points are Haste Plateaus. Depending on your gear, raid makeup/buffs, spec, and trinkets, the amount of haste you need on your gear can vary wildly from person to person. This is why I do not give a specific value when asked “How much haste do I need?”
So what does the Haste Plateau mean for me if it doesn’t matter for my gear? Good question, imaginary Hunter I am talking to in my head! Haste Plateaus tell you when to change your rotation. The more haste you have, the more shots you are able to fire during a single “cycle” of your rotation… be it from one Kill Command to another, Explosive Shot, or Chimera Shot. Your Haste rating determines how many other shots you can fit between your spec’s “signature” shot.
Frostheim has Haste Plateaus for every spec, I suggest bookmarking these pages to refer to when working with your rotation:
Keep in mind, these values are from a simulation and do not take in to account things like latency, server lag, reaction time, fight mechanics, etc etc etc. Frostheim’s values are a guide for knowing when to switch up your rotation… refer to them, but then go sit on a target dummy for 20 minutes and check your rotation yourself. Can you really fit that extra shot in? Are you juuuust short of being able to finish a fifth Steady Shot? Is your Kill Command being delayed by only a fraction of a second?
When raiding T11, I found that I wanted to aim for ~150 haste over what Frostheim’s numbers indicated to have the “correct” haste for the rotation I was going for. I prefer to calculate my haste values based on how long it takes my focus shot to cast rather than trying to have a specific number. I try to aim for a ~1.4 second Steady Shot without the ISS buff. That’s the cast time that works best for me with my rotation.
T12 is very tricky because our two best trinkets proc haste, so during a single boss fight, my SS cast times can be anywhere from .9 to 1.6 seconds depending on buffs/debuffs/procs.
ALWAYS CHECK YOUR WORK! TARGET DUMMIES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR ROTATION AND YOUR GEAR.
What should I reforge first?
Mastery is always our first stat to go. Reforge all mastery to crit, then any mastery that can’t be crit, reforge to haste. Once you have gotten rid of all your mastery, start to fiddle with stats to get your hit to 8% or as close as humanly possible.
Never, ever, ever reforge Crit to anything unless you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO. Crit is our best secondary stat. We want as much of it as we can get.
Tools to help you
* * * * * * * WARNING! USE REFORGING TOOLS WITH CAUTION!! * * * * * * *
Just like any other calculator, if you input garbage, you will get garbage out. If your gear cannot be properly optimized because it’s impossible to get lower than 9.5% hit with the combination of gear you are wearing, the results you get from a reforging tool may confuse you and give you incorrect advice. Mr. Robot cannot point this out to you and it is your job as a player to not take anything a calculator tells you as gospel. Use your knowledge of your class to check the work of the calculator to make sure what you are being told to do is really what you OUGHT to do.
If you can, always keep an “off set” of gear in your bank to have gear options to swap to see if a different combination of gear will give you better results. I have all five tier pieces, but I also have five pieces of non-tier gear to rotate in as needed. I also have a second pair of boots in the bank, just in case. Having a third trinket option is a good idea as well.
Mr. Robot is a good tool to get you started. If you have NO idea what to do, it will point you in the right direction. I use it for quick reforging, but I *always* check my work on Female Dwarf. Once Mr. Robot has given me suggestions, I plug them in to Zehera’s spreadsheet and go through to see if I can find a better solution by manually changing stats. Sometimes I find a better combination myself, sometimes Mr. Robot’s suggestions truly are correct.
ReforgeLite is an addon I use, but it took some getting used to in order to use it properly. You really need to understand how to properly reforge without the use of any addons before being able to fully utilize this addon to the best of its potential.