Jov sez: Priests: Regen and You

December 2, 2008

Stats: Joveta, lv 75 Holy Priest, currently specced 14/47/5 for questing, STILL getting shunted to DPSing instances (wtf healer shortage??  Where?!) and occasional heal-pwning.  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday with the in-laws, almost no time was spent this week on leveling.  The only major accomplishment was finally finishing up Tars’ Netherwing Rep, enabling him to have a shiny dragon, too.  Go Tars!

I’m not continuing my “everything” posts this week, as I’m fully aware that I’m now approaching the minority to have not at least crested the Cold-Weather Flying benchmark, and raiding is regularly happening.  I’m posting this now to try and get information together and out there.  None of this originated with me, and I am providing links to all of my sources.  It’s pretty safe to say that most of it comes from EJ, however.

Please note: when I say Discipline Spec, I’m assuming a talent spec containing at least 51 points in Discipline; likewise for Holy.

spiritIn Which Jov Eats Crow

Regen ain’t what it used to be, and straight mp5 isn’t necessarily the devil.  There comes a time in a priest’s life where they may find themselves taking mp5 over spirit.  This is not a bad thing.  Especially since deep-Discipline is raid-viable, mp5 can seriously outweigh the benefits of Spirit.  Quoting from the WotLK Healing Compendium on EJ,

For holy, 9 spirit = 4 Mp5, ignoring spellpower gains entirely. Given spellpower gains, a 2:1 ratio is acceptable.
For disc, 5 spirit = 2 Mp5, with no spellpower gains. Convert cleanly, and make your decision.

What does that mean to you, Mr. Non-Mathcrafting Healing Priest?  Essentially, Spirit is twice as important to a Holy-specced priest than it is to one who is specced Discipline, and most of that is due to the bonus Holy gets to spellpower. If you’re weighing the regen between an item with 20 spirit or 12 mp5, Discipline will do better with the straight mp5.  Use the weights above, and take the item that nets you more regen.

I feel so dirty typing that.

Also, spirit has been nerfed.  The old spirit based regen figures were

5 * 0.0093271 * Spirit * Square_root ( Intellect )

But now we’re looking at

5 * 0.005575 * Spirit * Square_root ( Intellect )

Which means that generally speaking, we’re getting less regen in general.  Ghostcrawler has earned the enmity of the spirit-based healers at large with the following response:

As a few players have referenced, we thought mana regen got to a point at the end of BC where players could just generally ignore it and assumed that mana was just a system you eventually graduate out of (kind of like experience).

We don’t want you to be out of mana constantly, but we do want the risk of that to exist. We balance some spells based on their mana cost for example and when you can always use your most expensive, least efficient spell without consequence, then your cheap and efficient spells don’t compete.

Mana is a resource to be managed, much like health or cooldowns.

Basically, we’re not supposed to be never-ending founts of infinite mana and never were.  The removal of downranking and the nerf to spirit-based regen was done to reflect that.  To Ghostcrawler (on this and other things) I say thbbbt.

replenIntellect is a Regen Stat

Um, it is now.  Thanks to Replenishment and our new reliance on crit, Priests want Int.  Yay Int!

Thus: (ignoring gains in mana pool size)
Discipline: 132 intellect = 1% crit, 31.3 Mp5
Holy: 150 intellect = 1% crit, 30.9 Mp5

Discipline: 132 spirit = 40 Mp5
Holy: 150 spirit = 46 Mp5 + 43 spellpower

Replenishment is a nifty tool.  Living in the days of “Base Mana” everywhere, it’s really nice to face something that’s based on maximum mana.  Essentially, if you’ve got a Ret Pally, a Survival Hunter, or a Shadow Priest, you’re getting the Replenishment buff.  It’s a 15 second buff which gives you 0.25% of your maximum mana back per second.  How much is that?  Well, it depends entirely on how much mana you can get for yourself.  You get more regen the more mana you have, so buff up!  (And yes, Discipline Priests have an advantage here with Mental Strength.)

Crit is also interesting.  Current theory holds that 20-25% is the “magic number” to aim for when getting crit rating.  It’s not a direct regen stat, but it snags you time Oo5SR through Surge of Light and Holy Concentration procs.  Why 20-25%?  That’s 1 cast in 4-5. Put simply, with that much crit, you’re looking at potentially one Surge of Light proc per tap of CoH.  Needless to say, that’s pretty snacky.

intIntellect vs Spirit

So with the addition of Replenishment, and the fact that Spirit isn’t so OP, you may be thinking to start stacking Int for all your regen needs.  If you are, stop right there! Zusterke from PlusHeal (all my healing readers also read Plus Heal, right?  Right?!) made an awesome post outlining exactly why you should not be focusing on one stat and ignoring all the others.  For the healcraft-averse, the TL;DR can be summed up as:  Don’t stack!  You want a 1:1 ratio between Int and Spirit! That applies to any spirit-based healing class: Trees, Discipline, or Holy.

EDIT 12/3 : Zusterke has published a tool to let you calculate exactly how much regen an upgrade/consumeable/anything else will net you.  Available at Zusterke’s Corner: where undead test their brains…

So to sum up:

  • Spirit isn’t what it used to be.  Dependent on spec, you may find mp5 is better.
  • Smart Priests choose Int!
  • But not too much, you’re aiming at a 1:1 ratio between Intellect and Spirit for best regen.


  1. To me, this shift in stats seems like puts a lot of priests in a similar position to warriors in that (at least as far as raiding goes) you take what upgrades you can and utilize enchantments, gems, and other tricks to try and stay in the black on a balance sheet. For warriors this generally involved slotting for defense to keep yourself at the defense cap (or later on, slotting for hit to keep yourself hit capped for maximized threat)

    I’m sure whether or not this is true will become more apparent as the raiding in Wrath continues.

    Also, I like Onyxen. She doesn’t seem to mind the burden of carrying Cow-Tank as much as the poor Wyvern.

  2. @ Tars – I’m having the same problem in rogue-land, trying to upgrade gear while keeping hit rating in the black. Soooo much stuff doesn’t have hit on it now, you’d think it just wasn’t as important. But it is. 😛

  3. There’s not a lot of raiding stats on the levelling gear, but that really shouldn’t be surprising. You don’t really need to worry too much about it; you’ll be replacing gear pretty quickly at 80 at any rate.

    Mostly for levelling I just try to keep my AP/Spellpower stats going upwards and don’t really pay too much mind to balancing my ratings; they decay so rapidly that they’re really not worth the effort.

    Also, warriors don’t get to complain about how hard the defense cap is. Try hitting it without weapon, shield, or ranged and THEN tell me how tough it is : P

  4. @Seri – After you get hit capped it will probably be something else. Haste or expertise maybe.

    @Yuki – I’m not anticipating it being overly hard to hit the defense cap, just hard-ER than it was in Burning Crusade where it was trivial to do it without stepping foot in a Heroic.
    As for Death Knights specifically, Ghostcrawler has already identified itemization as a shortfall for the class, so I expect there should probably be some response for that soon. Not that there is a real shortage of tanks anymore…

  5. […] Vote Jov sez: Priests: Regen and You […]

  6. Nice read! I have been putting a lot of thinking towards what stats I want now so this was great. I am currently planning to try to keep int and spirit fairly even. I’m not super excited about haste, but madly in love with crit. As for Mp5…I refuse to start stacking it again. I’ll take it if the piece it is on is good, but I’m not going to try for Mp5. I may change my mind later, but for now I wanna be stubborn. No really I love spirit. I hated stacking Mp5 and do not want to do it again only to later change it all back to Spirit.

    Really I have no idea what the future will bring, but for now I feel like hissing at Mp5. 😉

  7. I’d been wondering about the numbers behind the changes. This was a great post, thank you!

  8. I’d been wondering about the numbers behind the changes. This was a great post, thank you!

    Oh – and realizing that I was out of mana in my first Wrath heroic was like a slap in the face. 🙂

  9. Good Stuff ™! (Thanks to Breana @ Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick for the link.)

    Vonya, over at Egotistical Priest, made the point the other day that “sidegrades” as you level up should be taken (yes, replace that epic with a green!) to get the benefit of the stat increases that are now more important than they were before we caught the boat to Northrend.

    Your article helps to put it even more in perspective, and you can bet I’ll be relooking at my gear and stats to try to get a better Int/Spi balance (and maybe not cry quite so much about the loss of MP5 stats).

  10. Going out of mana in the first few heroics I did was very depressing. But after a couple of weeks of gearing up it’s not such a big deal.

    I still hate warlocks who take gear with both spirit and Mp5 from me, though. It’s itemized for ME, not you. Damn locks.

  11. […] flask.  38mp5 for 2 hours persistant through death is nothing to sneeze at.  In light of the Regen changes, a very solid flask for any healer, especially one just starting […]

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