This is why Protection Paladins can’t have nice things.
Once it was announced from the Mists of Pandaria beta that Protection was getting access to a previously Retribution-only passive called Sanctity of Battle, many top protadins including Theck were postulating that gearing for haste would forever change how our tanking spec played. With haste rating impacting cooldown reductions for our holy power generators, not only would we be gaining significant dps but also improved mitigation via higher uptime on our Shield of the Righteous buff. This was a good, needed change in a post-Cataclysm tanking paradigm where mitigation changed from something passive you had from stacking stats (dodge, parry, mastery) to actually hitting buttons (SotR, Death Strike, Savage Defense, Elusive Brew/Shuffle/Guard, Shield Block/Barrier) to make yourself a bit more impervious to those really hard hits.
Combine that with other benefits haste stacking gave us, such as massive self-healing potential (via Seal of Insight procs and Word of Glory/Eternal Flame) and high DPS, there was no question that from 5.0 all the way to the end of Mists as a protadin haste was king until that magical 50% unbuffed haste rating (21250, in case you were wondering). Sure, Blizzard tried to make other stats slightly more appealing by nerfing Grand Crusader procs to be triggered on dodges and parries only, or nerfing Battle Healer, or eventually nerfing Eternal Flame’s benefit from mastery/bastion of glory stacks, but haste was good. Too good.
Yet, with the stat squish of 2014, Blizzard saw fit to give protadins a haste attunement, aptly named Sacred Duty. The only problem? They squished haste too hard, and not just for paladins. 5% increased haste from all sources doesn’t amount to much really when haste in general was scaling so poorly, with a conversion rate of 100 haste rating to 1%. With Mastery having numerous benefits for tanking specs in general, it proved beneficial to protadins to ignore their ‘favored’, beloved stat haste for Mastery and other stats such as crit rating. Players in the Warlords beta mentioned this to developers, but it fell on deaf ears–even with both simulations AND sites such as Warcraftlogs proving them right even a month after Highmaul’s release.
Perhaps the holidays gave the devs the clarity they needed, as they gave haste rating an 11.1% buff for everyone, and also gave protection paladin’s stat attunement a MASSIVE buff (5% to 30%). Ironically, Theck had mentioned before the Thanksgiving holidays that in order for haste to be of value to prot, the attunement would need a buff to the 30-40% range. These haste changes combined catapulted haste from the bottom of our stat priority to the top, with mastery (for general/Holy Shield builds) and crit (Seraphim) coming behind it depending on what level 100 talent you took.
Most mythic protadins were already taking Seraphim for progression. As much I personally didn’t like the talent, despite using it for endless 30 attempts at level 100, even I had to admit the benefits you gained from it. Even with the 5 holy power cost, as long as you spec’d into UBS to have Divine Protection up during your holy power pooling every 30 seconds, Seraphim was literally an “I WIN” button due to the increased crit strike, mastery, and bonus armor ratings. The haste changes on January 12th virtually made Seraphim required for everyone due both to how fast you were able to generate holy power and the haste rating change. As witnessed by some of the protadin rankings I screencapped from WCL, you can see how and why Blizzard immediately nerfed Seraphim from 1000 to 750 rating within 24 hours. Even with the “nerf”, the talent is still almost mandatory.
Unfortunately, the haste buff also made tanking in Seal of Truth viable once again, and Blizzard nerfed that to the ground in the same manner they did back in 5.0–with damage reduced by 80%. According to Rygarius: “Protection Paladins should primarily use Seal of Insight for defensive value.” Lord forbid Protadin be allowed to do some meaningful damage with a DoT, yet they just buffed the hell out of Deep Wounds for protection/gladiator stance warriors.
So TL;DR for those who have been living under a rock lately as far as Protadin goes: haste is love, haste is life, haste is king.