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Raid Rx: Recap of recent healing changes

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Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

There's been some large changes to healing for some of the classes in recent builds. This week, we'll recap and go through the classes to see what's new. You might be interested to know that at level 89, my priest has 250k mana. Who wants to wager that 300k mana is the maximum cap at level 90? Remember with the new intellect and mana system coming in with the expansion, intellect stats no longer raise the mana pool anymore. Your mana regeneration is governed strictly by your spirit levels.

Priest

Lightwell receives a few tweaks to the healing numbers. More importantly, it now has a glyph that completely changes the functionality of the spell. Glyph of Lightspring turns Lightwell into an automatic healing ability with a catch. Lightwell will only heal players with health lower than 50%. It will only perform the check once every 5 seconds. That is a fair compromise to me. I've never been truly satisfied with Lightwell since my experience has shown me that most players never click on it when it really matters. At least this glyph helps remove control from them and I gain the knowledge of my Lightwell kicking in when it'll be needed.

Spirit Shell has changed significantly. It's not a single target cast time shield anymore. Instead, what it does is it converts your healing spells into absorb amounts. So if you normally Flash Heal for 10000, that Flash Heal now places a 10000 point shield on the player instead. Spirit Shell's on a 1 minute cooldown and it only grants the absorb effects for 15 seconds. That doesn't feel good enough to me. Either give us a few seconds longer on Spirit Shell itself or knock off some time from the cooldown.

Power Word: Shield scales to 187.1% of your spellpower instead of 87%.

Actually, since the essence of discipline has always been shields and mitigation, what if Spirit Shell was used as a stance or a toggle ability? While the stance is active, healing spells gain pure absorb properties and don't restore any health at all. At first glance, that sounds completely imbalanced but maybe there's a way to blend it from the coefficients and the costs.

What about holy? Is there anything new going on with holy? Are we getting another pass? Is this where we're going to be at for the expansion?

Yeah, the core skills and such are going to remain the same. Holy has worked and been effective in previous expansions and we don't need a new gimmick like a holy form or anything. I admit, having a holy form would be cool, but maybe that'll come along when we hit version 8.0 or something.

Monks

Enveloping Mists gets a huge numbers buff. In order to maximize the benefits, use Enveloping Mist in tandem with Soothing Mist.

Stance of the Wise Serpent converts your spell power directly to attack power. In previous builds, you could use offensive stats to help increase the healing done by this stance but that will no longer be an option. Access to Eminence lets your offensive abilities heal nearby low health targets for 50% of the damage you deal which ties in with the Jade Serpent Statue (and this excludes auto attacks).

Shaman

Glyph changes are the major announcements here.

It appears that the old Chain Heal glyph has been replaced with a glyph that modifies Earthquake instead. In addition, the old Glyph of Earth Shield has been axed and replaced with Glyph of Deluge. Glyph of Telluric Currents now restores a flat 10% (correction: 2%) of your mana no matter how much damage your Lightning Bolt dishes out. That right there is your regen mechanic. 10% is a large amount and isn't one you can just blithely ignore. Combine that with Mana Tide Totem and shaman can virtually heal indefinitely.

By the way, have you seen Glyph of Deluge yet? Looks amazing! Other than that, no significant healing changes for resto lately. Many of the abilities are in the right spot conceptually. It's all about the tuning numbers.

Druids

Despite the fact that level 90 talents continue to remain inaccessible due to the level 89 cap that's in place, the end talents continue to see modifications. Dream of Cenarius is going to buff your healing spells big time and warrants a closer look. The fact that it buffs healing from 30% to 70% is no joke. Granted, Tranquility isn't affected by it. Still, you can't argue with the numbers. Might be worth finding a way to work that Wrath or Starfire in there for when the big spells are needed.

Paladins

No love for paladins recently. Actually, they've been pretty stable on the holy side of things. Some cooldowns were adjusted with respect to Devotion Aura. Holy Shock's numbers have been scaled down slightly several beta builds ago. There's been some discussion regarding the mana consumption of paladins:

Ghostcrawler

In our most recent tests and instance runs, Holy paladin longevity was much longer than other healers, even without Judgements of the Pure. We need to get Holy to the same level as the other healers. It may be at that point that all healer mana income is too low or that damage in dungeons is too high and well have to adjust accordingly.


They weren't kidding about tuning paladin costs.

Divine Light
, Holy Light, Holy Radiance, and Holy Shock all saw their mana costs increase.

The beta is capped at level 89. Some of the five man instances are accessible. With what you have seen and read about the beta so far, are you satisfied with the direction your class is going right now as we draw closer to the release date?


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing), Mists of Pandaria

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