So we knew it was coming. We talked about specs, about regearing, about what it would mean.
And then it came. And it didn’t pull any punches.
3.2 is here, and the Paladin regen nerfs are live, and they’re… kinda nasty. Some of the changes are nice – though I /still/ don’t find Beacon of Light to be a good “group healing” spell. I do, however, find the 60 yard radius to be the best change on it BY FAR, since it allows me to ping off both tanks as needed, especially since I run with another Holy Paladin (Hi Pry!) in our 25 man, so we can each beacon a tank and then support each other.
The Sacred Shield/FoL heal over time is… well… a clusterfuck of stupid. But that’s another post, since I’d like to address the mana changes specifically here today – not just what they are, but what you can do about it.
“The Ol’ Mana Pool She’ Ain’t What She Used To Be”
(you can all sing along now, and you’re welcome for getting that stuck in your head)
- Replenishment is diminished
- Your overall mana pool is diminished by 5% due to Divine Intellect talent changes
- Your regen from Illumination is diminished by half (60% return to 30% return)
- Your mp/5 totals are up 25% from “small” to “not quite as small as they were”. This “buff” is an itemization change, not a change to your regen.
In short, you have less mana, you have less regen, and replenishment (though diminished) is even more important. Intellect is still your primary stat, since that’s still where Replenishment and Divine Plea derive their regen from, but the days of stacking gobs of crit are likely gone, since 30% return is, quite honestly, piddly and ridiculous.
Over the last week of raiding, I’ve received the majority of my regen from Divine Plea and Replenishment – Illumination is less than half the regen of EITHER of those, and mp/5 is half of what Illumination returns.
This means any healing done without replenishment is… verging on not being feasible, and that 10 man healing (in general) is even more rough on your longevity than it used to be. 25 man healing was less scary, but fights that require lots of burst healing were particularly bad (XT Heartbreaker, Hodir, Mimiron, Northrend Beasts)
What you can do about it:
- Lay off the Holy Lights. Changing my cast frequency on Holy Light vs. Flash of Light from 1:1 to 1:2 helped a lot. The beacon change (which allows total healing and not just effective healing) helps with this as well. However, be aware that you can NOT cast Flash of Light constantly and expect either to keep your tank up or to not run out of mana. Things are so reduced that even FoL spam will put you OOM now – with the added bonus of tank death to go with it.
- If you’re using a 51/17 +3 spec rather than a 51/5/15 or 51/0/20 spec, only use Holy Shock when you absolutely have to. The crits won’t return as much mana, it won’t crit as often anyway, and it will be hugely more expensive than you’re used to. With the bubble spec, this spell is for emergencies, not for regular healing rotations anymore.
- Divine Illumination is your friend. Use it often. I’ve got Power Auras to tell me when it’s off cooldown now, just so that I remember to use it as frequently as I can. (Divine Illumination – 40 points in Holy Tree)
- Remember Divine Plea. Use it often. I’m using it on almost every cooldown, with an attempt to coordinate it with Greatness procs (Darkmoon Card: Greatness is still That Good. Really. You should get one) and Avenging Wrath. If things are looking bad and you still need the Divine Plea, and Avenging Wrath is on cooldown, remember you can use Hand of Sacrifice to reduce incoming damage while your healing is decreased (though you may want to bubble yourself, or Beacon the tank and heal yourself through it).
- Try Potions of Nightmares instead of the usual Mana Potions. Many of the worst fights are designed with breaks between phases, bosses, or sections where you can take 6 seconds out of the fight to drink a Nightmare Potion. They return more mana, though they still do consume your potion cooldown for the fight. Using one in coordination with Divine Plea is even better. (Potion of Nightmares)
- Flasks of Pure Mojo are not going to kill your throughput. I’ve been swapping back and forth between these and Frostwyrm Flasks (Aely is an Alchemist, so I can do this). Give it a try, it can help.
- Glyph of Divinity is your friend. Use it often – and treat it as much like a free mana potion (that you can use once per fight most of the time) as you would like a tank-saving maneuver. I coordinate my Lay on Hands with other healers, to the point where if one of them is really at low mana, I’ll have them stand in fire for a tick to let LoH hit, and enjoy both of us getting a little extra mana. It’s not ideal, but it works.
- Innervates are now on a 3 minute cooldown and are not Spirit based. This requires a Druid that’s paying attention and doesn’t have to use the Innervates themself all the time (moonkins), but when the boss still has 20% health left, you’ve blown every other cooldown you have, and you’re breathing fumes at the bottom of your mana pool, this is definitely a good option.
None of this will bring your mana back to what we were used to – and in a lot of cases, these are last ditch measures. There are fights now where my tank is living Divine Plea to Divine Plea, with a bit of luck and judicious uses of Hand of Sacrifice to make up for my lack of healing while using it.
Is it fun? Well, not really. Sometimes it’s nice to be forced into this kind of creativity, but a lot of the really rough fights aren’t forgiving enough for me to WANT to be creative. I just want to heal my tank and be done with it, thanks.
But unless things get changed back again (which I doubt, since the majority of this is PVP related, and (historically) complaints /against/ paladins tend to get a lot more attention than complaints /by/ paladins), this is what we all have to get used to.
So bust out the creative braincells – whether we have the mana or not, the tanks are still getting pounded, so we’ve gotta manage it somehow!
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