More ilvl and epic compared to blue means more item budget. Only if an item with higher budget uses that budget on stats that are of no use or less use to you will a lower level item be better.
Mastery is great. Dodge is great, what's not to love about the crafted belt? If you subscribe to the no hit/expertise idea, the blue belt will always be worse. In the same way, look at the stats provided by the bunch of 346 rings you have - some have threat stats, some don't. Pick according to your need.
Unless you are preventing a guild mate from getting his first bit of gear on the level, there is no reason not have alternative kit in the bank or bag and swap depending on how your stats change when you upgrade other pieces.