Devaluing Spirit   13 comments

When Cataclysm released, the word on the street was that healing was going to change and that mana was going to be at a premium.  Which, of course, meant that mana regen was going to be something that was seriously considered when we were looking at gearing options.  The general consensus was that our stat priorities should be Int -> Spirit (until comfortable) -> Haste (to cap) -> Mastery -> Crit -> Haste (past cap).

However, with the release of 4.2 and the ever growing amount of intellect and spirit available to us, there has been some interesting discussion about the ongoing value of spirit.  While it is still true that you want to stack spirit until comfortable, the question to ask is what is comfortable?

There has been some interesting discussion happening lately over in the Resto Gear Discussion Thread on EJ that has started to explore the value of spirit.  And there has been some interesting thoughts with regards to the matter.  Now, I’m not entirely sure which side of this fence that I fall on, but I thought I might share the conversation to see what other people are thinking on the matter.  (I will add some of my thoughts at the end).

The conversation started with an observation and question regarding some trends he was noticing in the community and trying to work out what they mean.

I have noticed some restoration druids are gemming +40 intellect (ignoring the bonuses) then I look at other guilds and I see druids gemming to get the bonus using a +20 int +20 SPIRIT gem. This befuddles me because Hamlet said spirit generally gives around as much MP5 as Int, but gives no mana pool increase and no throughput gain at all, so is rather useless. You are usually only supposed to gem for the bonus if the bonus gives you +20 or more intellect. I have also been on the edge of the spirit – > mastery/haste thing. I see most top druids are reforging out of it – but they also have woe/domo trinket. Fights like Heroic Beth are still really healing intensive and require alot of mana, so I don’t want to run out of mana. I don’t know if I want to reforge out of spirit.

In response to his questions, there have been two posters who have offered some thoughts.  One who devalued spirit, and one who did not.  Both of which were quite interesting to see.  The first commenter was Affinity, who is a 25 man raider working on Heroic Ragnaros.

I was extremely hesitant to reforge spirit—>mastery/haste at first due to fights like beth, but after doing so and being slightly more careful with mana I was able to pull it off. Mostly I am doing this for Heroic Rag, but overall it has worked well for other fights such as Beth when you take a more conservative mana approach to the encounter. The best suggestion is to do what you feel comfortable with, and tweak it as you go. You can slowly reforge spirit off, or you can do it all in one chunk and pull some spirit back in if you feel you absolutely need the regen.

I’m to the point where if I could get the Alyzrazor trinket I’d be dropping jaws on most of the encounters as I am finding I have too much regen now, but this also comes with the fact that dps is getting better so the fights die a lot faster.

You can definitely reforge out of spirit even without a Shard of Woe, you just have to be a lot more careful when doing so. Use your healing style and your better judgement to figure out what a good number is :)

A little bit later in the thread, he comments on how his mana has been working through the T12 content after his changes:

Mana gets a tad tight but I have made it to p4 with full mana, an innervate off CD, and a free conc pot. You can do it without negatively affecting your healing, but it requires fairly tight mana management to pull off. Basically requires shard as well, but if you have access to shard and aren’t using it you are doing it wrong so.

Now, on the flip side of the coin, Gamon, a 10 man raider working on Heroic Ragnaros, takes the opposite view of spirit, where he states he found continuing to stack spirit, even at the higher levels netted more favorable results for him – even losing a decent bit of mastery.

6/7 10 man here and 2 healing p4 rag (I know, 25 is harder, but 2 healing rag has actually been quite challenging). I dropped 8.5% mastery for 1000 spirit (~2700 total) around baleroc, and I cannot emphasize enough how important this was. 

P2 beth for example, the week after that reforge I shot up at least 2000 HPS, my best is around 27500 but that’s alongside 2 other amazing healers. Being able to afford 3-4 rejuvs between every WG/SM is incredible. Pre-hotting is a must for rag 10 man, and it sure helps on domo. I’m not sure how it could be done without at least 2500 spirit. Getting extra stacks on bal regrowth-spamming is a viable strategy too – I’m usually ending that fight 140+ now with more regen.

Tonight I was lucky to get enough to get a H-[Jaws of Defeat]… low and behold the “on use” stacks with SoW (!), I expect to reforge some of that spirit back to mastery, and go 3/3 genesis.

It’s really nice not having to be so frugal with rejuv anymore, if you haven’t tried a high spirit set, you might want to give it a whirl. If you’re ending fights with mana, just rejuv more, you’ll come out on top of your mastery set  ;)

My Initial Thoughts

As I stated earlier, I’m not really sure how I feel about this argument.  I did start reforging spirit to reach my haste breakpoints once I hit about 2800 spirit, but I was also very conservative in doing so.  I found I was very nervous to let go of something that seemed so important to maintaining my precious blue bar.  However, this past week when I picked up my 4 T12 to play around with, I lost almost 200 spirit on my gloves.  A couple of weeks ago, I picked up the cloak from Sinestra – which also lacks spirit.  And before that I had opted to reforge the spirit on my helm into haste and hold onto the mastery.

When all was said and done I ended up being down over 400 spirit.

I went into last night’s raid at 2286 spirit.  Now, it’s not quite the ~1700 that Affinity dropped to, but it’s a fair bit less than I had the last time I saw these encounters.  And you know what?  I found that I could heal about the same way as I did before.  I wasn’t completely bottoming out my mana bar, and I was ending fights with some measure of mana left.  Which of course, has me now wondering if I might be able to drop more spirit.

Which ultimately leads to the question “what is my comfort level”?

I’m not entirely sure that I have an answer to that yet.  And after tonight’s H Beth, I may well change my mind on being “ok” with the spirit that I dropped.  But so far, I’m not entirely certain that I will miss it.  In fact, I’m toying around with the thought of tinkering around a little more with my reforging and dropping a touch more spirit.  Of course, I can also definitely see Gamon’s point on not completely devaluing spirit.

In the end, I think it’s probably going to be one of those things that is player driven.  The amount of spirit you need to feel comfortable will likely depend on your healing style and the other members of your healing team.  And even to an extent, the level on content that you are working.  I’m not really sure that there is a “right” or a “wrong” here, as much as there is a “this works for me”.  I, personally, intend to toy around with it some from both angles and see what yields the best results for me.  But I am curious what other people think about the possibility of dropping spirit in favor of other throughput stats.

What do you think?  Where do you place the value of spirit?  Would you be comfortable removing spirit from your gear?

Posted August 11, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing

13 responses to “Devaluing Spirit

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  1. Perhaps I have a sloppy healing style, or perhaps my comfort level is less daring than some, but I’m not quite ready to drop spirit just yet. I’m sitting at roughly 2500, and while I find I make it through fights all right, thanks to Innervate, potions (if necessary) and the totems from our friendly Restoration Shamans (we have up to 3), there are some in which it can still get a little hairy.

    I do not yet have my 2pc T12 (I have a family and so have less time than many), so the bonus there may tip me over the edge to the point where I am willing to start adjusting spirit. I’ll have to see how it all works out once I hit that point. (And, of course, we haven’t even started Heroic-level Firelands bosses yet . . . so . . . who knows . . .)

  2. I’ve been pondering the whole spirit/haste/mastery balance as well. My spirit is currently sitting at about 2500 and I think I am willing to experiment with holding at that level, maintaining my 2005 haste breakpoint and trying to raise the mastery. But it’s going to take time and cooperation from FL bosses that has thus far been quite absent… ::chuckle:: If things are good at that level, maybe I’ll drop to your level, Beru, but I’m going be cautious with moving in that direction.

  3. I’m at 2000 spirit, but we’re currently working on 2/7 HM. I’m actually having a haste breakdown at the moment, because I really like hitting my WG break point and can only carry it off right now with the help of the warlock’s DI. I would be more than happy leaving my spirit where it is to improve my haste! I did receive Jaw of Defeat early on, and have found it to be a great trinket for keeping my spirit numbers down.

  4. It’s interesting looking at the specs of those two people you referenced. Affinity has devalued spirit, but has taken all the mana talents (3 Moonglow/2 Furor), whereas Gamon has high spirit but has taken 2 points in Genesis instead of Furor.

    I haven’t been a big fan of spirit for this whole expansion. Near the end of Tier 11 I was sitting around 2000. I never reforged away from spirit, but I’d often pick up gear with no spirit on it. In T12 my spirit got pretty high, just based on the gear I was getting. I think I maxed out around 2400. As soon as I got my 2T12 I reforged a lot of spirit to mastery and I am now at 1743 spirit. It’s treating me okay so far. At first I had a bit of trouble with mana, but it was because I immensely overvalued the mana gain from 2T12 and healed like an idiot. Now that I’ve stopped doing that, I don’t miss the spirit at all.

  5. Well, I just spent some time reconfiguring my gear… :) I gained mastery and managed to arrange to hit the 2005 haste breakpoint without my alch trinket. My spirit has dropped down to 2060, but I get another 400 from my tsunami trinket once the heals get going. This makes me nervous, but we’ll see how it goes on Sunday, our next raid night.

  6. My spirit is rather low too at 2142- mainly because I have spirit based trinkets (Mandala of Stirring Patterns and Jar of ancient remedies) and I’m a touch higher than 2005 for the haste breakpoint (unbuffed and I don’t have a lock/boomkin in my raid team). I get a ton from those trinkets and my 2 t12 set bonus. I’m starting to reforge spirit for haste>mastery since I find myself with a measure of mana left at the end of the fights. I gem for Int whenever possible- I don’t value spirit that much for all the reasons I’ve given so far. I’m at the point where I don’t need more spirit if I still have mana at the end of the fights, that it would be more beneficial for me to go for mastery instead. That might change as I move into hardmodes for FL though, so far, I’m on Affinity’s side as long as I can manage my mana well.

    At the end of the day, it boils down to what is required of you to see your raid team through the raids, and your healing style, in conjunction with your own mana management should you then decide just how valuable spirit is to you as a healer. (Run on sentence, I know, sorry!)

    Great article!

  7. When I played my priest, losing spirit wasn’t something I had too much of a say in. I could choose to remain in my 4 pieces of T11 and wait to replace each of those pieces with a piece of T12, leading me to gear up more slowly than other people. Or I could choose to pursue other forms of regen and come to grips with the reduced emphasis on spirit.

    One thing I learned when I wrote my Heartsong v. Power Torrent post was that it really was close, regarding how much mana regen you could get from each enchant. You were also getting a bit more throughput with Power Torrent. My initial reaction to losing as much spirit as I did was to hurry up and get more. But I realized that even if I gemmed for it, enchanted for it, and placed Heartsong on another weapon that it would still be a drop in the bucket to all that spirit I had just lost. I could just as easily do without my socket bonuses, use 2 intellect trinkets, place Power Torrent on my weapon and go forward that way. I would still have regen, but I would more throughput and the difference in regen would still be quite small.

    After doing all of that, I was still having to use a potion, use my Shadowfiend, and use Hymn of Hope – but I never had to do that before. I had reached a point where I thought it made me better to not use those things and I realized it’s OK if you have to. Once I got over that mindset, I realized that heading towards intellect was a good move and I wasn’t sorry that I did it. Don’t get me wrong, I kicked and screamed all the way there (you saw the PT rants on Twitter). It’s the changing times. It had to be done!

    My point is that I think we’re all in a place where intellect and spirit are so close together, in terms of value that we can do without the spirit that we needed to have, in order to get by in the past.

  8. Well, that was a surprise! We did Beth and worked on Alys tonight, and it didn’t feel all that different, so I am pretty pleased overall. :) I talked to a couple of druids in the top two guilds on my server and they agreed I’d be fine with the new configuration, and both you and they were right… :)

  9. I’m undecided on how I feel about dropping spirit. I have the T12 gloves and with them on I drop down to ~2520 spirit. Given that a lot of people who are discussing gear have Shard of Woe (I’m trying to convince my raid leader to have us spend time going back to get her) it makes it a lot more difficult for those who do not have it. I haven’t crafted out exactly what the benefit Shard of Woe is on ones mana as I don’t have a casts per minute but approximating it by 4 Swiftmends, 7.5 Wild Growths, 15 Rejuvenations (purely conjecture), 3 Regrowth, and 4 Lifebloom (33 spells per minute average) your savings is 13,567 mana per minute or 1130.6 mp/5 assuming that aggressive cast rate (I know it scales down in moments of inactivity). Something like Darkmoon Card Tsunami at my gear level provides a total (including starting mana) of roughly 520 mp/5 though at a constant rate. That’s a pretty significant difference. At 7000 intellect that difference is the equivalent of 833 spirit or so! Now I’m sure that you are not spending an entire fight at 33 casts per minute. Let’s say that between inactivity and full bore you average 25 or 26 casts per minute. That puts you at 860 mp/5 or a bonus of 458 spirit. This means that at 1700 spirit with Shard of Woe you’re running with the same amount of mana as someone with 2158 spirit and Tsunami. Similarly 2200 spirit with SoW is equivalent to 2658 spirit with Tsunami.

    That right there seems to be a huge part of it for those of us without Shard.

  10. I do have the tsunami card, but not the SoW, so I do get an extra 400 spirit once heals start rolling. on having a couple more days of raiding, I have noticed I am slightly shorter on mana than I was previously, but I think that can be solved by adjust my management.

    The most interesting feedback I heard is a friend of mine who’s guild is working on the Ragnaros fight, who had like 3k combat regen tried reducing, but told me later she’d oomed badly in phase 3 and so shifted it all back.

  11. Pingback: Around the Campfire: Spirit « Jaded Alt

  12. I run with 1700~ spirit and i like it, but that means i can not spam hot like i used to do.

  13. Pingback: | Blog | Restoration Druid information

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