So after reading that stacking mastery was somewhat excessive unless you could point at your healing and see that you were putting out more than 60% healing as spirit shell (and other miscellaneous absorbs), I decided to see if I was being wrongheaded and I went out and regemmed and reforged for spirit. (While continuing to eat and flask for int I admit.) So yeah this is the story of how I gave up my evil ways and conformed… and how eventually it was wonderful but I always felt lack-luster anyway.
It was a strange experience; for so long I had gotten used to eking out the end of a fight on minimal mana – now I never seemed to run dry and wowsers I was able to simply walk between trash packs without doing my habitual squat & seriously fast nom on mage cookies then scoot along with a speed bubble to catch-up “refill mana bar” dance.
Still my healing dropped… you see I had been in the habit of “preventing damage” according to my knowledge of the boss fights. This meant that the first attempt or two on progression my heals would be dismal but as I understood the flow of the fight better they would steadily improve. And I did not do much more than shell and use prayer of healing to get some more absorption on groups in damage phases. I would also maintain my bubbles and hots and POMs on the tanks, and penance them as needed.
However now that my shields were less hefty my healing started to suffer. As I didn’t often do more regular (non-absorb healing) than the penance and cascade on cooldown… my regular healing just wasn’t making up for the absorb power I had specced out of. So I had all this juice but no matter how I tried to heal by throwing in more flash heal and the other big slow casting heals I couldn’t catch up with the other healers… and I was certainly no longer top dog in the guild heal team.
And this is the period where I learnt about the awesomeness of smite/atonement healing. It really should have come more naturally to me as I had been a resto shammy all through DS and lightning bolt was our mana generator. It’s horrible to admit, but until I converted to spirit and desperately needed to find a way to obtain faster heals that didn’t just create over healing to spend all the new juice on, I wasn’t the most adept user of atonement and archangel.
Stacking spirit taught me how seriously excellent this way of healing can be – it helped our raid team nail the Ta’yak fight as with atonement and spiritshell I could do most the heavy lifting as heals and contribute some minimal dps for phase 1 while the other healers did the movement healing on phase 2. Atonement (smite healing) saved my bacon in my excessive spirit stacking phase.
Honestly though this still did feel a bit like “too much spirit” even though I had to blow my mana regens on cooldown as per usual… my heals just did not feel like they were hitting as hard as I would like.
Thus when the patch 5.2 first came out I literally threw myself headfirst into stacking haste… this was a mistake… but read more on the following post (when I get it up).
NEXT STAGE THREE: Being Lead Astray – That awful and short affair with haste in early patch 5.2
From the post series:
- One Disc Priest’s Stat Choices for PVE Raiding – Pandaria in review
- STAGE ONE: Cataclysm Hangover – Not stacking spirit (int>mastery>crit)
- STAGE TWO: Conforming – Stacking spirit heavily
- STAGE THREE: Being Lead Astray – That awful and short affair with haste in early patch 5.2
- STAGE FOUR: Following the Bible – Crit > Mastery >haste (with a sensible amount of spirit)