With patch 9.0.5 officially announced for next week (March 9/10), it’s time to look at what this patch has in store for us. Many of you will probably agree with me when I say how much this balancing patch is needed at this point. And so does Blizzard, given that this is the first time in history we get a x.0.5 patch after the expansion releases. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
Blizzard’s official patch notes
- Vivify now costs 3.8% mana (was 4.1%).
- Renewing Mist now costs 1.8% mana (was 2.2%).
- Clouded Focus healing increased by 20% (was 15%) and mana cost reduced by 20% (was 15%).
What this means for us
Clouded Focus buff
We can be short about the change to Clouded Focus: this still doesn’t make the legendary desirable for general use. In most situations, you will not have to channel so much healing into a single target that you can make full use of this buff. In niche uses (spot healing people with the Heart Hemorrhage debuff on Stone Legion Generals) you will see some value from it, though.
The only fight where this legendary will actually shine more and be desirable is Sun King’s Salvation. As we progress further into the tier and gear levels shoot up, Kael’thas will be healed up quicker and quicker, which means that you might not get full value out of a second Yu’lon cast and thus Invoker’s Delight could drop a bit in value, with Clouded Focus possibly taking its place. Keep in mind this does still heavily depend on how quickly you push Kael’thas. If you can get full value out of your second Yu’lon, you may still want to keep using Invoker’s Delight.
Renewing Mist mana buff
This is a really welcome change to one of our rotational spells. For every Renewing Mist we cast we now save 200 mana (from 1100 down to 900) every 9 seconds, or 1333 a minute on average. On longer fights that can last up to 10 minutes (Council of Blood, Stone Legion Generals and Sire Denathrius) this amounts to 13330 mana saved per fight if Renewing Mist is hit on cooldown (which you should). In perspective: this amounts to 7 Vivifiess, 7.6 Refreshing Jade Windss or 3.7 Essence Fonts.
Vivify mana buff
The effect of the change to Vivify’s mana cost is a bit harder to determine. Even though it’s a reduction of 150 mana (from 2150 to 1900, or 7.3%), the amount of Vivifiess you cast, and thus how much you profit from this change, can vary greatly from fight to fight. Therefore we’ll look at data taken from 3 players’ public logs who have killed all ten Castle Nathria bosses on Mythic difficulty. For every fight, I selected 3 kills per player at random (or 1-2 if they don’t have 3 kills) and looked at the amount of Vivify casts per minute. Then, I averaged them out per player. The results are in the table below. For comparison reasons, I added the amount of mana saved on Renewing Mist if cast every 9 seconds and the lower and upper bounds of Vivify casts per kill.
As you can see, there are wild differences in how often Vivify is cast. The only true outlier is the Sun King encounter due to our ability to quickly heal Kael’thas back up. Coincidentally, that is also the fight where we are spoon fed Innervates and Power Infusion to increase our output even further. If we ignore Sun King for that reason, the next highest mana saving on Vivify is found on player 1’s Stone Legion Generals log with 484 mana saved per minute. This is partly explained by the spot healing required on this fight to deal with the Heart Hemorrhage debuff. On the low end, we can look at player 1’s Council and player 2’s Sludgefist log, where both would save 55 mana a minute with Vivify casts.
So, does this mean the change to Vivify’s mana cost is negligible? Not necessarily. As these logs are from players in the top segment, all having cleared the entirety of Castle Nathria on Mythic difficulty, they will try to maximize their healing per mana. If they raid with classes suited better for spot healing, such as Shamans and Paladins, they will likely let them take care of spot healing more often while casting more efficient spells themselves. To truly comprehend the value of this change, we need to compare how efficient Vivify is now and how efficient it is come these changes with 9.0.5, in relation to the rest of our healing spells. We can do this by taking a look at the efficiency of our spells, which is exactly what we’re going to do now.
In order to put out as much healing as possible, we need to prioritise casting our most efficient spells. We can determine a spell’s efficiency by offsetting its healing in a percentage of spell power (SP%) to its mana cost. The results for most of our base spells, excluding Vivify, Revival and Soothing Mist, can be found in the table below. These do not account for secondary stats.
The larger the number in the last column is, the more efficient the spell is. We can see that Enveloping Mist with Yu’lon out and Mist Wrap talented is our most efficient heal and we can see that Renewing Mist is about 25% more efficient than it was in 9.0.2. Now let’s look at what this means for Vivify.
Considering the mana nerf was 7.3%, these new values do not come out of the blue. The most interesting things to look at here are the bottom 2 rows. Whereas in 9.0.2 Vivify with 5 Renewing Mists out was equal to Essence Font in terms of efficiency, it now has a higher efficiency, making it generally more desirable to cast! Furthermore, in situations where your 5th Renewing Mist is about to drop off, you don’t have to worry if you can still get your cast off in time as a Vivify with 4 Renewing Mists (when following another 5 ReM Vivify cast) is just as efficient on average. Plus, seeing as the efficiency gap between a 4 ReM Vivify cast and Essence Font is now smaller, it’s now a bit more attractive to resort to casting a Vivify for more targeted healing than casting yet another Essence Font and hoping someone else deals with the single target damage.
When we look at Vivify’s efficiency when the Tear of Morning legendary is equipped, we see something even more interesting.
A Vivify with 4 Renewing Mists active is now more efficient than Essence Font, making it a very desirable cast to use! This increases Tear of Morning’s potential (perhaps even knocking Invoker’s Delight off of the second spot!) as you will be casting more Vivifiess than before, which is some good news for all you casting MW lovers out there! Downside: you will still need to use Rising Mist to consistently have 4 Renewing Mists out. Otherwise your 4 ReM windows will be scarce and require you to use Thunder Focus Tea on Renewing Mist so you can have a 9 second window with 4 Renewing Mists active (see for more info: Mistweaver Ability Spotlight – Renewing Mist | Peak of Serenity). If you play Rising Mist, however, you can work up to those juicy 5 active Renewing Mists to Vivify for even more efficiency, putting it almost exactly in between Essence Font and Refreshing Jade Wind in terms of efficiency.
Predictions regarding performance
Now, the part you’ve all been waiting for: how much extra healing are these changes going to bring you? In terms of performance, do not expect these changes to be a miracle. Even on a 6 minute fight (which seems to be average for progression this tier apart for Council/Generals/Sire), if you cast 5 Vivifiess a minute (which is on the high end) and hit Renewing Mist on cooldown, you will save 12500 mana (compared to 9.0.2) which amounts to ~6.5 Vivifiess, ~3.5 Essence Fonts or ~7.1 Refreshing Jade Wind casts. To visualize how much extra healing this amounts to, I’ll use my own character stats (shown on the right) to run the math. In this image I’m using Critical Strike food and a flask. For the effect of Mage buff you can add 5% more to it.
Vivify (4 ReMs): 6.5 * 5.57 (SP%) * 1636 (Spell Power) * 1.2891 (Critical Strike) * 1.161 (Versatility) + 6.5 * 922 (Mastery proc) = ~94641 raw healing or 263 HPS
Vivify (4 ReMs, Tear of Morning): 6.5 * 6.402 * 1636 * 1.2891 * 1.161 + 6.5 * 922 = ~107883 raw healing or 300 HPS
Essence Font: 3.5 * 11.52 * 1636 * 1.2891 * 1.161 = ~98724 raw healing or 274 HPS (excluding HoT extensions or Haste scaling on HoT, which is a very small effect)
Refreshing Jade Wind: 7.1 * 9.048 * 1636 * 1.2891 * 1.161 = ~157294 raw healing or 437 HPS
For good measure, the other end of the spectrum: if you do not cast any Vivifies (apart from the ‘free’ ones you’re going to get with saved mana), you will save 8000 mana from casting Renewing Mist on cooldown. This amounts to ~4.2 Vivifiess, ~2.2 Essence Fonts or ~4.6 Refreshing Jade Wind casts.
Vivify (4 ReMs): 4.2 * 5.57 * 1636 * 1.2891 * 1.161 + 6.5 * 922 = ~63273 raw healing or 176 HPS
Vivify (4 ReMs, Tear of Morning): 4.2 * 6.402 * 1636 * 1.2891 * 1.161 + 6.5 * 922 = ~71830 raw healing or 200 HPS
Essence Font: 3.5 * 11.52 * 1636 * 1.2891 * 1.161 = ~62055 raw healing or 172 HPS (excluding HoT extensions or Haste scaling on HoT, which is a very small effect)
Refreshing Jade Wind: 7.1 * 9.048 * 1636 * 1.2891 * 1.161 = ~101909 raw healing or 283 HPS
So, overall, depending on what spell you pick, your playstyle, proper spell usage and gear, you will probably see around a 150-250 HPS increase. More often than not, Vivify and Essence Font are better picks for the situation than Refreshing Jade Wind.
Overall, I’m happy with these changes as a first start. We are a very, very mana hungry healer and it’s good to see that Blizzard acknowledges that. Personally I wouldn’t even mind seeing a small reduction in spell power coefficients if that means they’d further reduce mana costs, as there’s no worse feeling than not being able to cast a spell due to mana problems.
Regarding the Clouded Focus change, I’m not exactly sure what they wanted to achieve. It is still not a desirable legendary to use, apart from niche uses in the form of prolonged single target healing (Sun King’s Salvation).
For the Mythic+ enthusiasts, this change will slightly relieve the need of having to drink as much between pulls. However, as long as Enveloping Mist costs this much mana, that need will stay right where it is, at least to some extent.
For an x.0.5 patch, this is definitely about as much as I’d expect to kick us up a notch until the next major patch, 9.1, which hopefully sees a bit more class balancing and allows the more caster-focused Mistweaver playstyle to be closer to the fistweaving style in terms of throughput. Because even though the mana changes help the caster playstyle, it’s still not enough to be at the same level as the fistweaving style.
Glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks EM’s mana cost is way too high. I really don’t get why Blizzard decided that MW should be the only healer to have crippling mana issues.
They’re not. Flash heal is 1800 mana and requires you to spam x5 +1 every 20s. Even according to this post, 5 vivifys a minute would be on the high end — and priest has to do at least 3/minute, while using a 1200 mana heal constantly in between. It’s also 2500/2000 mana for Holy Words, which while not as spammable as Env Mist are still expensive.
However, Paladins are ridiculous and a failure of a class design (since the entire reason mana is so friggen restrictive on healers is completely ignored for them and ONLY them); a shaman could go HAM on healing surges, but its still a 2400 mana (yeah, its 2400 mana a healing surge) spell that gets reduced to 2100 on a crit. The difference with Shaman though that makes them not worry about mana is 1. an additional 2000 mp5 every 3m and 2. the fact that Riptide is busted this expansion, making them not even worry about casting a Healing Surge and healing rain is efficiency out the wazoo (2160 mana).
Disc also has problems during their ramp if theyre still using Spirit Shell, but outside of that yeah its pretty cheap for them to heal.
Rejuv is still 1100 mana a cast, regrowth 1700, 800 for lifebloom that gives procs for free Regrowths, and efflo is 1700 mana, while WG is extremely efficient at 2200 only – but sunfire and moonfire cost 1800 mana between the two of them.
Anyways, they can keep chipping away at vivify – and they probably should, since so much of the “control” of healing requires it, but the cost is so prohibitive that you can’t use it like that.
The REAL issue with Monk is that E V E R Y T H I N G costs mana. Wanna use Invoke? 2500 mana. Life cocoon? 1200 mana. Expel harm? 1500 mana. Rising sun kick? 750 mana. Spinning crane kick? 500 mana. Weapons of order? TWENTY FIVE HUNDRED MANA?? and of course, Enveloping Mist — 3000 mana; Essence font — 3600 mana.
Why things like WOO aren’t 1000 mana abilities (or FREE GOSH DANGIT; even Primordial Wave is only 300 mana for shaman, LOL) i dont know. While DPS can look for pure efficiency, at times you just can’t as a healer (Good luck using efficiency to heal up your tank at 15% hp to full in an m+); which means, you need your OTHER NON-LIFESAVING things to not drain the tank. And for a monk, they all do. And quickly.
But yeah, a lot of healers have mana problems. There are just 2 that stand out as ridiculous (with paladin being WAYyYY above everyone else to the point of WTF, since they S P E C I F I C A L L Y target mana problems for healers as a balancing tool — AGAIN, how do you exclude an entire class from that?? and shaman having 3(4) such overpowered abilities that they dont have to dip into their mana-cost stuff nearly as much as the classes without them.)
What can they actually do??
I mean heck, renewing mist is already a must-push button. Lowering the mana cost on it to some ridiculously low number, like 300, wouldn’t do anything EXCEPT give more mana back to use on other spells — in fact, you can see that analysis here (where they take the mana cost reduction for how many OTHER spells you can cast). This does not change the rotation, it does not change the healing output OF RENEWING MISTS, but enables you to do more casts overall — reducing it to like 300 mana would be 4690 mana saved in a minute, or 46,900 mana saved in a 10 minute fight – an entire mana bar saved.
Or, since monks have an entire friggen row of talents devoted to Mana cost reduction, just make them better. Maybe start by making Mana Tea baseline, and then adding a talent that makes it go from 50% to 100% reduced cost.
I know that while these changes sound ridiculous and “op,” you really have to look at them in the lens of a mistweaver. Mana saved in other abilities results in more mana for things like vivify — which means they can (especially for Renewing mists) balance around the fact that while you are not getting more vivifys out of your 50,000 mana to 0, you are getting more sustained mana throughout a fight and less of a drain on your overall mana bar.
900 mana every 9 seconds is 100mp/1, or 500 mp5. You just cut your natural regen by 25% just by doing the bare minimum you need to do. Reduce that, chop the cost off some other things (LIKE WOO). etc. You dont have to make vivify cost 1300 mana. OH. but you do have to make enveloping mists cost less than 3000. jeez — this should be 2000 AT THE MOST.