Tea with Zusterke part 3: Conclusions

June 4, 2009

A few weeks ago, we ran the idea of having Zusterke (of PlusHeal fame) do a post outlining the actual math part of regen to answer all of your priesty questions. Thankfully, since the Snark Mavens do very little in the way of hardcore mathcraft, he said yes. This is the final part of his results.

Some Considerations for Holy Spirits


We’ve seen that the optimal ratio turns around 600 spirit for 1300 intellect. But we have also seen that we can easily take 200 spirit or intellect more and keep a fairly balanced score. This gives us some room to tailor our regen stats to our likings, without risking a severe penalty in our regen. So let us examine the factors that impact our balance:

  • Lowered FSR: Some fights have phases and breaks in the healing. This can increase the value of spirit notably (say, 800 spi v 1400 int).
  • Higher FSR: hard fights can be very demanding and rip away that chance on a regen break, decreasing the value of spirit and changing the ratio a few points in favor of intellect. But such fights also diminish your chance on a hymn of hope or it can make relying on Replenishment, shadowfiend etc more risky. In short: our balance favors more intellect but a healthy spirit basis becomes ever more important.
  • Higher Crit: if you like a lot of crit, then you may score higher uptimes for holy concentration. This can easily up your HC time by 20% and really give spirit a push.
  • Single target spam: if you spam a lot more single target heals, you will have more chance to proc holy concentration and up your spirit regen notably.
  • Raid synergy: some raiding guilds really try to min max their raid groups. This means you really rely on some of your manabar based regen effects!
  • Hymn of Hope + Shadowfiend: if you have the chance to use both together, do it! The 20% increase of your max mana effectively increases the performance of your shadowfiend by 20%. This tips the balance a bit in favor of intellect. But a fight that can allows such a break is likely to have a lowered FSR time.
  • Shadowfiend + Bloodlust/Heroism: Bloodlust increases the haste of your fiend, giving more hits and thus more mana. This is a superb way to make your intellect count!
  • Hymn of Hope + Replenishment: the increase of yout max mana increases the effect of your Replenishment. This favors stacking a bit more intellect.
  • Spirit as backbone: when problems come your way, spirit will be your savior. When your group is sub optimal, your cooldowns got burned too early (or messed up!), or the guy providing replenishment bubble hearthstone’s out of Patchwerk, your intellect based regen drops like a stone. Intellect gives great synergy with the group, but that makes the group its lifelink. Having a healthy base of spirit can back you up under those odd circumstances.

There are probably a dozen more considerations that could manipulate the balance between intellect and spirit but I think I summed most of them here. Feel free to comment on more ideas!


It’s been a long post but I think we’ve reached some interesting conclusions for both the holy and discipline priest.

Discipline priests still gain the most out of intellect. In fact, it is unlikely that spirit will ever catch up with intellect as regen stat. Still, spirit beats mp5 for discipline priests with more than 1.1K intellect, which is definitely an eye opener for some!

Holy priests can still stack spirit and intellect with to a 6:13 or 8:13 ratio in favor of intellect and do just fine. Having more spirit will provide a great backbone in your regen model (and SP bonus!), but having more intellect will do great in min maxed raids. In fact, the optimal ratio has a couple of hundred points of leeway. With the current itemization in 3.1, I recommend going for intellect+spirit gear and gemming for intellect whenever you need more regen! I’m still a big fan of a healthy spirit basis, but intellect is definitely our biggest regen stat for now.

Whew! Y’all still there?  Thank you all for your patience in this really awesome discussion.  And again, huge thanks to Zusterke for putting it together for us.  I hope this was helpful to all of you (I know I learned a lot!)  And remember: if you’d like to continue discussion on this, consider heading to PlusHeal and opening it up to the community at large!


  1. I don’t see a clear path from your calculations to your conclusions. Where did you get the ratio?

  2. The ratio comes from the table in part 2, in section ‘int vs spi, holy priest’. Where the table gives 100%, we have an optimal ratio for the circumstances we assumed at the start:
    – 90% FSR
    – 20% HC uptime
    – Fiend + 85% Replenishment
    The table also shows that adding 100 more or less intellect (or spirit) does not impact the regen value too greatl: it is still relatively close to optimal.

    However, as the value of int and spi depend on the circumstances, it is only logical to debate a bit how this value can be impacted.

  3. How does this compare across gear levels? Does lower gear level need a different ratio?

    I’m fairly new to raiding altogether. Still in a mix of purples and blues.

    I currently have 1915 sp, 885 int, 746 spi, 11% crit, 8.5% haste, and 417/231 regen.

    I’ve socketed mostly for SP.

    According to your ratios, I can start dropping sta/int/spi items for sta/int items and not worry too much for a bit.

    If you like, I can email an armory link.

    Thanks for all the great work! We really appreciate it, even if we grumble a bit about headaches. 🙂

    • Holy, btw. Sorry, forgot that part. 🙂

  4. Lower gear levels will really only reduce your crit chance and therefore your HC uptime. The rough ratio still should hold true.

    However, I found that at lower gear levels it’s very easy to get a boatload of spirit, and rather difficult to get stam/int/sp/haste/crit items. So you’re more likely to have a higher spirit:int ratio, and there isn’t that much you can do about it. If I was just gearing up, I’d gem for Int if I needed regen, which is basically what Zust concludes at all gear levels, so *shrug*.

    At least, this is how I understand the post. If I’m wrong, someone should correct me.

  5. @Nerdly
    That is an interesting question. The article doesn’t explain it well, sorry 🙂

    I’ll answer for both Disc and Holy, starting with Disc as it’s easier. Disc priests can order their stats as follows:
    1. Intellect
    2. Spirit if you have more than 1.1-1.2K Intellect (unbuffed)
    3. Mp5
    4. Spirit if you have less than 1.1-1.2K Intellect (unbuffed)

    All 3 stats are valuable to the disc priest, but their value can be ranked in that order.

    Holy priests have a more difficult position. The first choice they have to make is “spirit vs mp5”. Generally, I recommend going for spirit instead of mp5 unless you just dinged 80 and still wear greens 🙂
    But the discussion of intellect vs spirit is more difficult. You have to balance these stats, augmenting the stat you lack the most according to that table (red means more spirit, blue means more intellect).

    In your case, the table tells you that intellect is worth about 136%-142% that of spirit:
    – 3 spirit beats 2 intellect
    – 3 intellect beats 4 spirit
    If you find a upgrade that adds 3 intellect (or more) and drops 4 spirit (or less), then it is an upgrade for your regen. If you drop more than 4 spirit, then you need more intellect to compensate or it becomes a downgrade in regen terms. But be careful: this balance changes with your stats. If you managed to trade out 100 spirit for 100 intellect, check the table again because their relative values have changed.

    Complicated huh? Well.. to be honest, it’s hard to consult these numbers when you’re raiding so here’s a rule of thumb:
    – Go for items with both spirit and intellect.
    – If you can find a up or sidegrade with more intellect and only a little less spirit, go for the intellect version.

    A concrete example… if you ignore the crit/stam/haste, then these 2 staves look like sidegrades:

    If your number on the table is red, the first staff will give the best regen. If your number on the table is blue, the latter is best.
    In reality there’s still the issue of the crit/haste etc but that’s a whole other discussion 🙂

  6. Ty for this great read Zus! I even got through all the math with my brain mostly intact! 🙂

  7. Hey zus,

    just dropped in to give a shout. I think that you succeeded in the second part of your mission (the translating it into understandable guidelines) exceedingly well and I’m sure most people would absolutely agree with this. It’s good to see your fame spreading around the priest community. Keep up the fun work! 😀

    • Nice tongue in the cheek Zorko. Remind me to repay the gratitude tomorrow 😀

  8. Nice set of articles, Now that i’m throughly confused i’ll need to re read all three again this weekend.

  9. Very awesome writeups here! Definitely recommending these to friends and guildies, as i know a few priesties who just hit 80. Of course only 1 of them will truely appreciate the math formulas 😉

    Thanks so much for your research though, should add these links to supplement your PlusHeal post if you havent already!
    Much ❤

  10. […] June, we debuted the best series of posts we never wrote: Tea with Zusterke Parts 1, 2 & 3. I’m told that Zusterke has been working on a new series for us but.. I’ll believe it […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: