The other thing to consider with mastery is that if you're running a pressure comp and rolling bleeds, you'll probably be running lunar inspiration as well; which mastery does not affect. So you're probably better off investing that in crit and vers anyways.
The only advantage of crit is additional CPs every now and then. Otherwise versatility shits on crit in PvP both for damage and for survivability simply because additional damage on crits is halved and cats already have decent baseline crit.
Yes and no. Back in Cata and wotlk, ferals would sit around 36% crit in pvp gear and mangle would generally provide a slightly faster combo. Even stacking crit right now, you're probably sitting around 32-34%, and if you're stacking vers, you're probably going sub 30%. It seems negligible, but I've always found that 35% was right around the sweet spot for rolling dots and keeping pressure; any less and dangling on 3-4 point combos too often and losing rip uptime.
Certainly, once there's more gear, I'd recommend hitting that 35% and then putting as much as you can into vers. The question right now is: is the damage reduction (currently like 2-4% depending on how much you stack) worth the combo gen? Damage-wise, it probably breaks about even. I think we're just desperate for any amount of damage mitigation we can get.
Of course, your playstyle is also important: if your comp is lining up kills with inc and zerk up, then pressure and combo points are pretty meaningless and that crit isn't as important.
I think as we see arenas slow down and long-game pressure comps make a comeback, you'll still see vers, and by then our passive crit (without stacking it) will probably be high enough that it's a non-issue.
That's the optimal setup if you're trying to stack crit. Offpiece head with as much cruelty as you can get.
Looks like a lot of the top ferals are stacking vers through victory boots, belt, and enchants though. Not sure what to make of that yet, if they're just trying their best to account for our weaknesses or what. I'm thinking of giving it a go, though.
Yeah. Rshams are always dependent on pacing and excel at long games once we learn to control burst and the gear ups survivability. The big caveat is that you need partners that are simply more urgent targets than the shammy.
I'd be curious to try feral/lock/sham, even with clone/fear DRing. Swap who's peeling depending on who they're training and pray for blade's edge so you can abuse typhoon when they train your sham.
But yeah, I'm thinking feral/hunter/rsham or feral/spriest/rsham will be downright filthy once shammys aren't borked.