I recently read an excellent post by @Derevka on the scaling of mana regen in Mists of Pandaria for Priests, and I wanted to comment on it and see how we can extend this to Shaman mechanics. Firstly, a little summary (partly thanks to Derevka’s post – I assume that most of what applies for Priests applies for Shaman too):
- You will have a fixed mana pool at level 90 – every healer will have the same mana pool. This will be 300k mana.
- You will have a baseline 2% mana regen (MP5) without any gear. That equates to 6000 mana every five seconds
- Spirit is equivalent to 1 Spi = 0.56435 MP5 in combat
- The formula for combat regen is Combat Regen = Total Mana *0.02 +(1.1287*SPI*Meditation%) in units of MP5 (as Derevka put it)
- An equivalent way of stating this is Combat Regen = 6000 + 0.56435*Spirit in units of MP5 for Shaman.
- Your abilities now cost a fixed percentage of your manapool. (Shaman heals will be based on the base manapool of 60k, and your total manapool will be another 400% added on = 300k total.)
- Greater Healing Wave at level 90 will cost 21600 mana and Healing Wave will cost 5400 mana. Healing Rain will be 31800, or about 11% of your total manapool.
- Other healer’s “% of manapool” regen cooldowns will NOT scale with their Intellect because Intellect no longer affects manapools.
Nextly, Shaman’s regen cooldown will still rely on Spirit. What that means is your regen cooldown will be the only one to scale with gear. That means that Shaman may well become a mana-battery in large raid groups. Pay attention to Mana Tide over the coming months; it could determine how much you’re wanted in raids. To put it another way; Mana Tide will triple the regen of every healer in the raid while it is active. Triple. Oh, and Discipline Priests will love it even more, since Rapture now goes off Spirit as well.
Finally, you will want to find a definition of a good tradeoff between regen (Spirit, Crit) and throughput (Intellect, Mastery, Haste, Crit). Since Crit provides both throughput and regen, I expect that its value will go up somewhat since the combination is still likely to be better than a combination of Spirit and Haste (Cata info here – I’d love to see MoP numbers if anyone has them).
The likely stat priorities will change with the level of content that you’re working on. Here are my educated guesses*;
Heroic 5-mans – Intellect > Crit > Spirit > Mastery=Haste. This is because Crit will get you the best bang for your itembudget buck (a nice all-rounder), which will likely be crucial early on. Intellect will certainly give you the highest throughput, and you won’t be reforging into it.
LFR – Intellect > Spirit > Crit=Haste > Mastery. Mastery is the lowest here because sniping will still be the go-to tactic in LFR. Spirit will be needed due to the higher damage and the aforementioned Mana Tide thing. Crit is also good due to its regen component and its superiority to Mastery at higher health levels.
“Normal” Raids – Intellect > Spirit > Mastery=Crit > Haste. Expect Haste to have no value here due to mana constraints (perhaps you will want the new Earthliving threshold in 25′s, whatever that will be). Regen will still be paramount, but raiding is where Mastery will start to come into its own as a throughput stat. Crit is still there because of the regen/throughput balance mentioned earlier.
Heroic Raids - Intellect > Mastery > Spirit=Crit > Haste. I expect this to be a controversial topic! Hardmodes will almost certainly require a hella lot more healing done so you will really want more mana-neutral abilities where it matters – Mastery will be king here, but the field will be open especially in 25-mans, once again thanks to Mana Tide. Spirit will likely be better in 25′s (Tide) but less so in 10′s, where your contribution to the total available manapool will be smaller. Crit is going to be more attractive than Haste for certain, since you will want that extra regen. Remember, also, that Blizzard have stated that they intend for regen to be “less punishing” in MoP than it was early Cata, so expect that you can spend more of your item budget on Mastery than you were used to back in T11.
Farm Content – Intellect > Haste > Crit > Spirit > Mastery. Farm content is the point where you overgear and overpractice the content to the point that you no longer really need the regen. Sniping will rule the roost here, and Crit will be a viable runner up due to the regen effects and its supremacy over Mastery in farm content. Mastery will be a waste of your item budget – nobody will be on low enough health for it to be useful.
To conclude, the start of MoP is likely to be confusing in terms of which stats you want, and there are sure to be several different approaches which are viable on different bosses. My advice will be to experiment and see what is working best for you.
If you were paying attention in Derevka’s post, you’ll notice he referred to something he called “Pseudo-throughput”, which is an interesting idea. For certain, we will need to take into account the throughput that an increase in our regen can bring about. This isn’t something that is trivial to math though, so I call this one of the “intangible” things about healing stats. These are significant challenges for theorycrafters, because without some good knowledge of the effect on healing throughput of the “intangibles”, we cannot hope to have good models of healing in Mists of Pandaria.
Other examples of Intangibles are; the effect of procs and active regen (eg Telluric Currents) on healing throughput, Mana Tide’s effectiveness on healing done by the raid, the interplay between Crit’s regen mechanic for Shaman and Spirit’s “pseudo throughput”, fight structure, and so on.
This is an exciting time to be into Theorycraft! All these questions need answers if we’re to make sense of the brave new world we will find ourselves in, and I for one want to do more! I’ve already decided that answering some of these questions is possible, and as soon as I’ve finished the theory I started on Wednesday, I’ll give you Part 2 of this series. Stay tuned, folks!
Finally, if you disagree with anything I’ve written here, or want to give me feedback or more information so that I can update or correct my commentary, please make sure to post in the comments, or find me on Twitter (@Stooveth).
* – these are general priorities. There will almost certainly be bosses in Normal/Hardmode raiding where you want a different stat distribution due to some mechanic. That’s virtually guaranteed. These also don’t take account of Haste thresholds, which you likely won’t want in anything except 25man or 10heroic raiding (it will be a large chunk of your itembudget in the first tier!)