A rule of thumb that I go by that may be 100% true or it may be off (it is disputed) is this:
The Chinese cards have speeds as a letter and a number. The number is the 'sprite speed', ie, how fast it attacks in a quest environment (quests and boss fights primarily).
So Monica with .40 sprite speed will attack a LOT faster than Abel with a .80 sprite speed, even though they are both D. So for the purposes of quest style fights, sprite speed is extremely important, and mages tend to have great sprite speeds.
For colosseum (if it still exists), guild war, raising event battles, gifting battles, etc.... this may not be 100% accurate but I have no evidence to disprove it, ie, it seems right to me:
Melee unit speed = sprite speed
Missile unit speed = sprite speed + .30
C speed Mage unit speed = sprite speed + .40
D speed mage unit speed = sprite speed + .50
In some light testing by me this seems to hold up, but others believe it not to be true. In any case, it is a decent rule of thumb to go by.