Welcome to the Mistweaver Ability Spotlight, a series where we go in-depth and talk about using specific abilities that are very unique to Mistweavers. Today’s topic will be Soothing Mist and we’ll be covering use in both Mythic+ and Raids. Let’s get into it.
Soothing Mist Mechanics
Soothing Mist is a channeled, 8 second long healing over time spell that is unique in that it only consumes mana whenever it ticks for healing and allows casting specifically 2 other spells while also casting this one. In general, it fills the niche of the efficient single-target heal like spells such as Heal, Holy Light, and Healing Wave, but functions very differently. The tooltip itself is a bit of a mess and some of the actual mechanics of how it works can be hard to see at first, so let’s break them down.
Global Cooldown (GCD)
The GCD is the small 1.5 second cooldown (lowered by haste) that is normally triggered whenever you cast any spell. Soothing Mist is a rather special spell in that the initial activation only triggers a 1.0 second GCD, or 2/3s of a normal GCD. This lower GCD allows more fluid transitioning from one target to another as Soothing does not actually do anything the moment it begins, but only ticks and enables other spells once its short GCD is over (1 second after the cast). The importance of keeping this small time cost in mind shows itself not only when considering when to use Soothing or who to use it on, but also when casting Vivify or Enveloping Mist (EnM) during it.
Before we get into Vivify and EnM use, do keep in mind that each of those spells do trigger their own full 1.5 second GCD. Being instant does mean that they happen immediately, but in the grand scheme of timing and skilled play it is good to remember that they still take time to execute and do not happen for free.
Instant Casts – EnM
In Enveloping Mist’s case, the base cast time is 2.0 seconds. Using a 1.0s Soothing GCD followed by a 1.5s EnM instant GCD leaves the total time to Soothing into EnM at 2.5 seconds, or only 0.5s longer than casting the EnM alone, but also comes with at least 2 Soothing ticks by time your EnM GCD is over and you can do something else. Altogether, the instant benefit of Enveloping Mist actually leads to more Healing Per Second (HPS) than casting Enveloping Mist alone, even if you immediately cancel the Soothing by casting on someone else as soon as you can.
Instant Casts – Vivify
However, in Vivify’s case, the base cast time is already only 1.5 seconds, which is the same as a normal GCD. This means there is no actual time savings at all. In the diagram on the side you can see that using Soothing into Vivify and then breaking the channel is only 2 Soothing ticks and 1 Vivify, but simply casting 2 Vivifies is only 0.5s longer. We won’t go into the math here, but let’s just say that 2 Vivifies is a lot more healing than two ticks of Soothing, well worth the price of 0.5s.
To sum up, Soothing costs 1.0s to start. Because Enveloping Mist has a 2.0s cast time normally but the GCD from being instant is only 1.5s, it is almost always worth using Soothing if you want to cast EnM even if you don’t plan on continuing the channel after that. Vivify, on the other hand, has a base cast time of 1.5s and it is generally a healing loss to Soothing Mist and then Vivify if you don’t plan on continuing to keep channeling Soothing on the same person. You should never use Soothing Mist purely to get an “instant” Vivify because you will generally cost yourself more time in the long run than just casting the Vivify itself.
Gust of Mist Procs
Soothing Mist has a chance to cause Gust of Mist to happen on each tick, but the chance does not work like most normal procs do. Soothing’s Gust procs function on the deck system. The article is quite long but a short summary is that Soothing Mist will do one Gust heal out of every 8 ticks. This does not mean that it will be every eighth tick, but that at some point in each set of 8 ticks one of those will cause Gust and the other 7 will not. At the end of the 8, the set resets and another 8 ticks of Soothing Mist form a new set of 1 hit and 7 misses on the Gust proc.
One important note is that while it does line up that the full channel is 8 ticks in total, the deck does not care about casts or channel of Soothing Mist. If you channel for 4 ticks, stop, then channel for 4 ticks at a different time, that will still be one set of 8 and you will be guaranteed to get a Gust proc somewhere in there. It is not necessary to track this in combat as it is still random and Soothing does still cost both time and mana, but it is good to know that 1/8th of your mastery value does apply on average to each Soothing tick.
Last, but not least, beginning any Soothing Mist channel (pushing the button) will trigger the JSS to do the same on the same target. Note that the Statue only has a 40 yard range so keep up on your Statue positioning to ensure it actually does start its own Soothing. Once the Statue begins, it will keep channeling its own Soothing on the target for up to 30 seconds (reduced by haste), or until the target moves out of range of the Statue or the Statue itself is despawned (either by moving it or it dying). You do not have to keep channeling Soothing as the Statue will keep going even after you stop, but it will switch targets if you Soothing somebody else. Make sure you get good value out of your Statue by ensuring that it is always Soothing on a target likely to be constantly injured like someone with a Damage Over Time (DoT) debuff or a tank.
In any type of dungeon (normal, heroics, M+), Soothing Mist is primarily used to heal the tank or people with heavy DoTs on them. Due to the ability to drink between any pull, we care less about the mana cost than the time. As described in the Instant section, Soothing only saves time with EnM, not Vivify. We want both the Soothing heal and EnM heals when people are still taking a lot of damage e.g. tanks and DoTs. Normal topping of people who are low can be done by just using a Vivify or two, no Soothing required. When most of the group is hurt, definitely do not waste time Soothing but instead Vivify your heart out.
Keep in mind that you will have to re-position the Statue very frequently in dungeons. Don’t forget to Soothing after each time you place it to make sure it gets going on the tank.
Finally, Soothing can save mana on Tyrannical boss fights in M+. When only one person needs healing at all, it is efficient to just let Soothing tick away on them. However, using Vivify and then DPSing may be better in the long run, so use good judgement.
Starting in 8.0, Mistweavers in raids generally have two opposing playstyles. The build that focuses on Rising Mist and Spirit of the Crane between Essence Font casts rarely, if ever uses Soothing Mist. It can be used in an emergency to throw a quick EnM on someone, but usually is less effective than putting effort into Tiger Palm.
The more dungeon-esque build uses Soothing in most of the same ways as you would in a dungeon, with a few caveats. First, mana is now a concern so make sure Soothing isn’t just blatantly overhealing. Worst case, you can Crackling Jade Lightning for some free DPS instead of channeling Soothing Mist for no reason. Secondly, tank swaps happen frequently so make sure to point the Statue (if talented) at the right tank at the right time. Finally, be mindful of your time. Plan Essence Font and Renewing Mist casts well in advance so you know when it is worth sinking time into starting a Soothing channel or when you might only have time to fit in a Vivify during heavy healing.
I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into Soothing Mist. Always keep in mind that everything comes at a cost, even if it is just time. Good planning and use of your time will lead to fluid Soothing Mist gameplay, but mismanagement can land you in trouble. See you next time!