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5-02-2011 @ 9:50AM
Interesting take on atonement, Dawn. I'm a shade behind you in progression (7/13) and I find that basically every fight has some healing downtime where you can HF/smite rotate, and some give you HUGE bonuses for doing so (V+T - double dips on engulfing, so you can throw 110k crit heals + 40k DAs via smite, trivializing most damage for ~20s in the melee). Even fights where I don't use it a bunch (atramedes, for instance), I still generally get 2 AA's off, which provides a pretty big throughput burst when needed. And the new holy fire hits like GH for 1/4th the cost. Just a counter point 2c for those interested.
5-02-2011 @ 10:45AM
I'm with you on this one. The Atonement heals from Smite and especially HF are icing, but the real reason for doing it is building Archangel stacks for the "ocrap!" moments. The CD is really short and is usually back up before I have time to rebuild the stacks. Again, the Atonement heals Are nice, but I honestly use it more like combo points for major AA healing (except on trash and slow phases where the extra DPS and splash healing is just plain fun.)
5-02-2011 @ 12:55PM
There are also several fights where the talent is exceedingly useful, like Maloriak and Halfus. Any boss that gets a damage taken debuff means higher Smite damage, and thus higher heals. (Which, you'll note, are smart heals.) On heroic Halfus, you'll be throwing around 80-100k heals by the end. Our 25-man runs two Disc on that fight, simply because the two of us alone can output more healing than the entire team otherwise, by the time the last dragon goes down.Maloriak is a similar situation - during green phase, when everyone is taking more damage, Smite-healing puts out as much as Flash Heal for a third of the cost.While its value can be questionable on some fights, I've found the best strategy to be preparing 5 stacks just before an Intellect cooldown (such as Hymn of Hope or Synapse Springs, or both) and the mana return makes up for the cost.
5-02-2011 @ 1:41PM
I have been testing the AA build quite a bit since the patch. While it's use in a 25 man setting may be questionable as it is essentially a "Win More" spec, I have found it's use in 10 man content to be a great boon. I am not greatly geared and I haven't spent too much time reforging and gemming to take advantage of AA, but I can usually pull upwards of 6.7k DPS on ALL raiding bosses. On trick fights, I will pull upwards of 9k dps. While I understand that I am not on the bleeding edge of WoW progression, nor are the vast majority of players, these dps gains (while still healing), have been great in advancing content.For those you that assert that my healing must suffer to be spending so much time DPSing, I agree with you. Where I once was first on the heal meters (like that matters), I am now 3-5% behind our paladin healer. It is a trade off I will have to live with. In short: AA can smooth out and maintain tank/melee healing in a raid setting while at the same time matching or exceeding tank dps.
5-02-2011 @ 5:14PM
I have been looking forward to HF's inclusion to atonement and it's damage buff ever since I heard about in on the PTR. I have to say, it's completely lived up to my expectations.My guild is only 2/13 at the moment, but I find atonement healing to be basically overpowered on some fights. In our downing of Nefarian this week, i kept the raid up in the last phase almost exclusively with bubbles on the tank and atonement healing between crackles. Remember, the heals are smart, so as long as are you aren't healing yourself with it (and getting 50% less healing), it's extremely efficient. Any boss fight or phase that has the raid stack up near the boss means that you can HF/Smite to your hearts content. It annoys me that Al'akir's hit box is so big that nobody is close enough to actually receive any healing from it, but outside of fights like this it really is incredible.
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