Monday, January 5, 2009

Restoration Shaman: Mana Regen

Most of you may be wondering... why am I reading about a restoration shaman on a blog that's titled 'More Dots' and has a picture of a firey woman (presumably a warlock) as it's avatar?

Yeah, I don't know why either. But here you are!

So moment of 'Eeee!' here. I put up my email address and haven't had anyone email me... until now!

Eeeee!

Could it be a spoof? Possssibly. But I will put my faith in the anonymity of the internet!

The question ... is more of a rambling question! It's about mana regeneration for restoration shamans in a fight that involves a lot of movement.

Without our Mana Spring Totem, we're as dependent on spirit for our mana regeneration as any other class, right? Well... sort of.

(Yeah, go ahead. Go there. Look at it. LOOK AT IT! And then go crosseyed and stop looking... stop looking. Really, quit it. Come back here now. Numbers make you go insane, don't you know that?)

While spirit is still a mana regeneration stat for us, and indeed, a certain level of mp5 is very advisable for any raid or heroic... we do have other options.

First: Water Shield
Improved Water Shield - This ability is in our third tier on the restoration tree, requiring 10 points to get. Our Water Shield at max rank gives back 400 mana per 'globe' and a passive 100 mp5.

Water Shield costs NO MANA to cast. Water Shield should be up ALL THE TIME. As soon as it drops off, pop it back on.

If you're worried about GCD, get Glyph of Water Shield and Glyph of Water Mastery for an additional 'globe' and to boost the passive mana regen effect of the water shield.

Second: Totems
Mana Tide Totem has a 5 minute cooldown, which sucks, but returns 24% of your mana in 12 seconds. Additionally, Glyph of Mana Tide Totem will increase that return an additional 4% of mana.

Now, I hear you say, "But you already said this was for a moving fight!" ... yes. And so you may not get the full benefit of this totem if you have to move more than 30yards away from it.

Whatever fight you're fighting, try to pick a place to slap down ALL of your totems that will hopefully allow you to be within 30 yards of them no matter where you are.

Typically, when I'm in a fight where I'm going to have to be dodging around, I try to pick the 'center' of the fighting area and slap down all my totems, even if it means for a few seconds I'm standing on top of the tank and the boss.

My rule of thumb? Know your fight. If you know you'll have a chance to sit still for 12 seconds while the boss does something, and you're even close to 24% mana down? Pop your Mana Tide Totem. Pop it early so that if it's a long fight, you may be able to use it a second time. (This is also my rule of thumb for Shadowfiend for priests. Use it early so you can use it a second time if the fight is lingering.)

Know your ground. Find a place you can set down your totems. It seems to me that most totems are not affected by AoE abilities and have to be deliberately targetted to be destroyed, despite their low hit points. So even if you have a boss that has an AoE ability, they should still survive and hopefully provide good benefits to everyone in the party.

Thirdly: Talents and Glyphs
Make sure you have all the healing boosting abilities you can get. Things that boost the amount you heal either directly (Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave, Tidal Waves and Purification) or indirectly (Glyph of Earthliving Weapon, Ancestral Awakening), things that increase your crit chance (Tidal Force and Blessing of the Eternals) so you get more bang for your buck (and possibly use up a water charge).

The less time you spend casting, the more passive mana regen you will gain from spirit and mp5. Earth Shield can be boosted with Improved Earth Shield and Riptide will decrease the amount of time you spend actively healing, as well as boost the effects of your lesser healing wave (if glyphed for it) and chain healing if required.

Don't be afraid to use things that have cooldowns. Early and often.

And last but not least... water shield, water shield, water shield.

I have a hard time sometimes remembernig to put it back on myself, especially when I'm casting a lot.

But your tank will die if you run out of mana, but will live long enough (hopefully!) for you to slap a water shield on yourself.

Like any healing class, it's about pacing yourself and your mana. Watch your overhealing. If you have multiple healers, make sure you communicate with them on who you're healing to avoid overhealing.

If you're running low on mana, but some other healer has a metric ton of it, ask them to take over to let some passive mp5 tick away.

If it's an issue where you're overhealing a lot because the other healer is getting to them faster... was it a required 'faster'? Or are they stepping on your healing toes/assignments?

There's more to evaluating who is the best healer than who heals for more.

I hope that helps my questioner!

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