Holy Word: Sanctuary has been a spell that has been in flux since its introduction at the start of Cataclysm… and that continues to happen even on the Beta–  HW: Sanc has undergone a few changes in preparation for Mists of Pandaria, one of which Ghostcrawler commented on from a question I posted in the Beta Class Feedback Forum.

 ”Sanctuary should scale with haste like Efflorescence. It just adds more ticks.” 

Well, I must say I was pretty darn excited! It didn’t make sense that it didn’t scale from haste previously.  I quickly logged into the beta to test out the breakpoints I had previously calculated and to see these additional ticks at work…

But wait… they added Haste scaling, but took away mastery’s scaling from HW: Sanctuary. Noooooo!  I then broke out our handy-dandy spreadsheet and started to crunch the numbers trying to answer the questiosn: What does this change mean? Is it a net buff or a net nerf? How does this impact our gearing choices? 

First I looked at 3 breakpoints assuming NO raid haste buff:  and that worked out to a net healing loss of ~25.58% at the first gained tick. It wasn’t until the second additional tick of Sanctuary where having Haste Only scaling work out about neutral to Mastery Only scaling, and it wasn’t until the third tick where haste started to creep ahead. (note: Haste breakpoints are available under Resources Menu: here)

Now, since most of us here are raiders, we can probably assume we’ll be running with a raidwide Haste Buff (provided by Shadow Priests, Moonkin,  and Elemental Shaman), which tilts the numbers slightly making haste better than mastery, but only specifically at certain breakpoints, before or after a break you fall behind what we .

Below is a chart illustrating the scaling of Haste Only and Mastery Only for HW: Sanctuary. I used a 2,000/tick healing point, but because these numbers scale linearly, the scaling is the same regardless if you used 1,000/tick or 50,000/tick. Each tick is capable of critically healing, but for purposes of analysis, and the fact that Holy will not be stacking crit analyzing crit’s RNG impact will not be done.

Now, of course if we look at JUST HW: Sanctuary, Haste seems devalued between breakpoints. The argument is moot, however, since Haste (and crit)  is  the combat stat that scales HW: Sanctuary. The biggest thing to look at is the trend line in these charts. It scales pretty similarly, and works out about the same…  So overall its a nerf at the interim points. However, interim haste ratings, will increase the HPS of Sanctuary by increasing the speed in which it ticks, but not adding additional ticks and thusly not affecting HPM.

At the end of the day, the change really won’t be a huge change to the HPM of the spell, and works out pretty close to nuetral. (ie. At the 4,717 haste breakpoint, the difference is under 2%) It does mean we will be looking at Haste a bit differently since we’ve now “lost” a spell that is affected by Mastery and gained one now affected by Haste….  Breakpoints are important to know, particularly if it means that a simple gem swap or reforging into haste to hit that breakpoint. (Of course, providing you are using the spell that is reaching that breakpoint).

All this analysis is done with the point of showing the change, not that Mastery is better— why? Well because Mastery does not affect HW: Sanctuary any longer… haste does. We have no choice, this is the stat that scales the spell and this is how the stat interacts with it.

From my raid testing, Mastery is still a potent stat for us, and will be the go-to stat for Healers in between attainable Haste Breakpoints.

Commentary and Concerns About HW: Sanctuary’s Scalability –

If you compare HW: Sanctuary to the current Live version, it has scaled the least of our spells from 85 to 90, has regained its 6 Target+ DR, and has lost its CD reduction from Tome of Light– I would much rather see its mana cost increase, and output increase as well… since right now there is little incentive to use Sanctuary unless you have surplus mana to burn.


This chart and post has been updated as of Beta Build 16004, and includes the changes to HW: Sanctuary extending to 30 second duration. You’ll notice that this affects and makes early haste breakpoints easier to hit.