This page is written for patch 6.2
An update for patch 7.0 will be here soon™
In this guide you will find more in-depth Mistweaving strategies for different situations. Before reading this guide you should already have grasped the basics of Mistweaving to fully assimilate the content in this guide. If you haven’t yet read up on the basics, head over to my Basic Mistweaving Strategy guide.
Serpent stance is a Mistweaver’s main stance for traditional healing. You may know the basics of Serpent healing, but here I’ll guide you through more adaptable strategies. How will your spell selection be affected by a changing damage pattern or raid spread? What spells are the strongest? These are questions I will try to answer here.
I have split the strategies into a few main categories. Here I note when they are best used and how. The strategies are based on the assumption that you do encounters in higher difficulty, for example, raid progression or CMs. Easier difficulties like Raid Finder or normal dungeons are doable by only knowing basic mistweaving.
Damage Pattern: High damage on a single person
Main Chi Builder: Surging Mist, Chi Brew
Secondary Chi Builder: Expel Harm
Chi Finisher: Enveloping Mist
Pure single-target healing is often reserved for times when tanks are taking high damage, or when a DPS is handling a specific mechanic that do a lot of damage. It’s also viable to use when a person (sometimes yourself) botch a mechanic or stand in the fire and suddenly the person is in danger of dying.
While Soothing Mist can be used alone if the damage isn’t too high, you’ll be more likely to need to burst more than that. For example, the Butcher does high damage on the tanks. What sort of spells do you use to counter the high damage input?
The spells we have available is Soothing Mist layered with Surging Mist and Enveloping Mist. Soothing Mist does 918% of your spell power, which can be increased with Serpent’s Accord (though it isn’t reliable enough to include in the calculations on single target). Surging Mist is at 297% of your spell power while Enveloping Mist do 165% per tick, which has 6 base ticks (before haste) and will always do at least 990% of spell power.
As you can see, Enveloping Mist is the biggest heal, but while it’s active Soothing Mist do 30% more healing. That means that 6 of the 8 ticks of Soothing Mist is increased from 114.75% to 149%, resulting in about 1124% of spell power (up from 918%). Both spells are very powerful together and you can add more healing with Surging Mist that do 297% of spell power (594% if you boost it with Thunder Focus Tea).
Surging Mist’s mana cost can stack up a bit if you spam it though. If you have the opportunity to use a GCD on Expel Harm for Chi, you should do so. But if your target is in danger of dying, you should never stop channelling Soothing Mist, even it’s only for a GCD. You can still generate Chi for Enveloping Mist with Surging Mist, and if you have the talent; Chi Brew (which I strongly recommend). Thunder Focus Tea is also usable while channelling Soothing Mist, without breaking the channel.
Life Cocoon is our single-target cooldown that do an absorb of 3116,4% of our spell power. It is very strong and it also applies a buff that increases periodic healing taken by 50% while the Cocoon is active. The cooldown can be used in two ways. Either by using it on a player that is in danger of dying, then heal the player up with Enveloping Mist (periodic healing). Or, you can use the spell in a predictive fashion and apply it when you know that the player will take high incoming damage. It can be enough of a breather for you to channel Mana Tea while your Cocoon is holding. During very heavy tank damage it will break fast though, so don’t rely on it to do all the work.
Damage Pattern: High damage on two or three players
Main Chi Builder: Surging Mist, Chi Brew
Secondary Chi Builder: Expel Harm, Renewing Mist
Chi Finisher: Enveloping Mist or Chi Explosion
This is probably any healer’s worst scenario. Two or three players are taking high damage and need your healing love. There is no spell that can directly heal the two or three damaged players at the same time, but there are ways to circumvent that.
Since your AoE spells will not do much healing unless you hit 6 targets, you can only work with direct single target heals. But if you can only directly heal one target at a time, you need to heal the other target in other ways such as Hots or shields. Mistweavers can do that with Enveloping Mist (which is the strongest HoT on 990% of SP) and Life Cocoon. Since Life Cocoon is a cooldown, you’ll mostly work with Enveloping Mist.
In other words, if two or three players are injured, cast Enveloping Mist on the players that are in least danger of dying and heal one the dying one with Soothing Mist (and of course layer it with Surging Mist and such). You’ll most likely have to quickly switch between the targets and always leave an Enveloping Mist on the target you’re currently not healing. There will be a lot of target-swapping, but it’s the most effective way.
If the same injured targets are stacked, you could use the talent Chi Explosion as well. Chi Explosion does 1875% of your spell power when you spend 4 Chi on it, splitting it between allies close to the original target. Of the 1875%, about 1250% comes from the direct heal and HoT parts of the spell, equalling in ≈417% heal on three targets. The remaining 600% of SP come from the 8 healing spheres (75% of SP each). You can either let these detonate naturally after 15 sec, or detonate them prematurely for a quick burst with Detonate Chi (though it costs 3% of your base mana, so only use it if you really need the burst).
The difference is either use 3 Chi for a 990% spell on one target, or use 4 Chi for a 1875% spell that can split to three targets. Both are viable options, while Enveloping Mist requires more target switching and Chi Explosion requires that the injured targets are stacked.
Note: The Chi Explosion discussion only apply when you spend 4 Chi on Chi Explosion (there’s a large gap between 3 and 4 chi, you should never use it unless you can spend 4 chi).
Damage Pattern: Light AoE damage on a large group
Main Chi Builder: Chi Brew, Expel Harm
Secondary Chi Builder: Renewing Mist
Chi Finisher: Uplift
Light AoE damage on a raid often occurs at the start of an encounter, or possibly in transition between phases. These are times when you want to conserve mana but still keep the Chi cycle (of generating and consuming) ongoing to generate Mana Tea stacks for later use.
The point is that you generate stacks of Mana Tea for as little mana cost as possible, while you lightly heal the raid with Uplift. For this purpose you want to use your cheapest Chi builders: Chi Brew and Expel Harm. Renewing Mist should also be cast but only to have a few affected targets that are eligible for subsequent Uplift (your main Chi consumer in this strategy).
Since these have cooldown you will have downtime while you wait for them to come back up. During this time you can spot-heal with Soothing Mist (without layering it with any other spell). Soothing Mist will still do 918% on a full cast (or 114,75% per tick) while only costing 0.7% of your base mana per tick. Also cast your free tier 3 talent spell of choice as often as possible (which is most likely Chi Burst in a raid scenario).
This strategy will make sure you do some light healing at low mana cost while you stack some Mana Tea. You can of course do this even more effectively in Crane stance, but you might not always have the opportunity.
Damage Pattern: Heavy AoE damage with spikey damage on a few players
Main Chi Builder: Surging Mist, Renewing Mist, Chi Brew
Secondary Chi Builder: Expel Harm
Chi Finisher: Uplift
This is the strategy I find myself using most often when progressing difficult raid content. Basically, the whole raid is taking quite heavy damage while a few people are taking even higher spike damage. The spikey damage on a few players could be due to tanking, handling mechanics or just plainly standing in fire.
The best way to tackle this damage pattern is to spot heal with Soothing Mist and Surging Mist, then use the generated Chi on Uplift to heal the raid. This way, you’ll save people that are in danger of dying while you try to keep up the general health on the raid. Since you’ll be needing all the Chi you can get, use Chi Brew on cooldown and if you’re not in a big hurry you should also use Expel Harm.
You will probably target-switch like a madman, always trying to find the people that are in most need of your spot-heals. As long as you use the Chi on Uplift, you will do much healing on the raid while saving people from left to right. It is a very solid rotation. The only problem is that it can be very mana expensive if you cast too many Surging Mists. If you see that you’re quickly running out of mana and don’t have any backup Mana Tea stacks, you should probably lower the use of Surging Mist.
Damage Pattern: Heavy AoE damage (requires stacked raid)
Main Chi Builder: Spinning Crane Kick / Rushing Jade Wind, Renewing Mist, Chi Brew
Secondary Chi Builder: Expel Harm
Chi Finisher: Uplift
This strategy can only be used when many of the injured targets are stacked. In raids, these points of high damage are predictable (often associated with a particularly damaging spell, like Pulverize or Quake on the Twin Ogron), which means that the raid have most likely already decided to stack on these points in time to increase the healing on the raid.
During this time you have an opportunity to do some burst healing, but at a higher mana cost. I’m of course talking about Spinning Crane Kick or its stronger talent version Rushing Jade Wind. While Uplift will do a maximum of 990% healing on 6 targets, Spinning Crane Kick is up at 1186% and Rushing Jade Wind is at 2134% of spell power. When the raid is stacked, you can use these spell to do some burst healing. You should also cast Renewing Mist in-between and then use the Chi from ReM and SCK/RJW on Uplift.
The drawback is of course the mana cost. Spinning Crane Kick cost 8,8% of your base mana and Rushing Jade Wind cost 12,5%. You will in other words not be able to hold this rotation up for long before you run out of mana (unless you have a lot of spirit). But often, this tactic is used in very particular points in a fight. If you know when these points are, you can plan ahead so that you have enough stacks of Mana Tea until the time you switch to this tactic. If you have enough Mana Tea stacks you can easily recuperate the mana you lost. If you really need to squeeze out more healing, it’s possible to channel Mana Tea while Rushing Jade Wind is active.
If you run out of both mana and Mana Tea, switch to a more mana efficient rotation.
Now that you’ve learned some different rotations depending on raid and damage pattern, it time to bring it all together. In any hard progression encounter, you’ll most likely use all of these strategies at some point in the fight. A skilled Mistweaver can analyse the damage pattern and change rotation accordingly. You might be locked to a specific healing assignment, like tank healing. If that’s the case you should of course focus on healing the tank, but you might cram some Uplifts in-between when the tank is safely at high HP.
Be quick in changing strategies, be even quicker to cast out the spells (especially with the Core AoE Healing strategy). You should now all your spells and keybinds by heart and change to the appropriate rotation fast as lightning.
Do also note that while I have nailed down the most common strategies for different damage and raid patterns, it doesn’t mean you should never stray from them. Have these in mind as a typical reaction to changing patterns, but don’t let that keep you from mixing it up a bit. You might find that you can heal more efficiently in other ways that suit your healing style even better.
Here I will go through different techniques and strategies for Crane stance healing. Crane stance is a new stance since WoD and is still novel for the community. The main purpose of Crane stance is to either trade away half you healing for some extra damage or use it as a Mana Tea stacker. It is not used when you need really heavy healing, but it should be used while there is downtime (most notably at the start of fights). It is of course possible to heal every fight completely without Crane stance, but you will miss out on a few perks and fun healing!
When you do damage in Crane stance, 100% of that damage will be converted to healing. It’s an easy concept, but you need to learn some of the details regarding this ability. The first rule of Eminence is that the healing will not necessarily take place where the damage is. If you use ranged damaging spells (for example Chi Explosion or Xuen), the healing will not emanate where the damage takes place. Eminence jets out from the Mistweaver and from the Jade Statue, 50% each. Therefore, when it comes to Crane healing, the location of yourself and your statue is everything. If neither you nor your healing statue is within range of any players, you will have a very high healing loss (See my post about the Jade Statue for more details).
The second things about Eminence is that it won’t activate on all damaging abilities. Here’s a list of the spells:
Damaging spells that proc eminence healing:
Rising Sun Kick
Crackling Jade Lightning
Spinning Crane Kick
Rushing Jade Wind
Damaging spells that do not proc eminence healing;
The spells that do not proc Eminence healing will do “normal” healing however. The exception is Chi Explosion in Crane stance, which does both Eminence healing and “normal healing” (one of the reasons why it’s such a powerful spell to have for Crane stance).
This is just a friendly reminder on what spells work in single target vs many targets. These are:
Spells that damage only one enemy:
Rising Sun Kick
Crackling Jade Lightning
Spells that damage several enemies:
Spinning Crane Kick
Rushing Jade Wind
Xuen (he cleaves three targets)
But do note that the Rising Sun Kick debuff applies to all enemies nearby, though the damage will not cleave. Keep all of these spells in mind so that you can properly adjust to different types of enemy setups.
Main Chi Builder: Jab, Surging Mist, Chi Brew
Secondary Chi Builder: Expel Harm
Main Chi Finisher: Chi Explosion or Rising Sun Kick (if PoM is your level 100 talent)
Secondary Chi Finisher: Blackout Kick, Tiger Palm
If you want to maximize healing in Crane stance, you need to be aware of three things. First, you Eminence healing will equal your damage, so you want to do as much damage as possible. Secondly, you should cram in as much “normal” (a.k.a. not eminence) healing in between. And thirdly, your level 100 talents have a very high impact on your gameplay when in Crane stance. The best is Chi Explosion, the second best is Pool of Mists and Breath of the Serpent is the least best.
To address the first point, on a single target Rising Sun Kick (with PoM) will do most damage with Chi Explosion (4 Chi spent) close behind. However, Chi Explosion do more healing than Rising Sun Kick since it has additional healing apart from the pure Eminence healing. So, if you have chosen Chi Explosion, then that is your main filler. On Pool of Mists, Rising Sun Kick will be your filler instead.
If you have talented Breath of the Serpent, the normal Rising Sun Kick (without the 50% buff) will still be the spell that does most damage, but Blackout Kick does higher eminence healing. Blackout Kick will then be the replacing filler (though cast Rising Sun Kick on cooldown, of course).
If you have several targets, Spinning Crane Kick or Rushing Jade wind will do more damage than Chi Explosion or the buffed Rising Sun Kick. The cap on damaging AoE spells is different from healing AoE spells (10 targets instead of 6 targets), which means it is can potentially be very strong. The mana cost can still be a problem though.
And it goes without saying that you should keep 100% uptime on the Rising Sun Kick debuff, Crane’s Zeal and Tiger Power.
To address the second point, the “normal” healing spells you have available are:
Non-eminence healing spells in Crane stance:
- Surging Mist
- Expel Harm
- Chi Wave (Talent) / Chi Burst (Talent) / Zen Sphere (Talent)
- Chi Torpedo (Talent)
- Chi Explosion (Talent) / Breath of the Serpent (Talent)
Surging Mist will be your prime “normal” or traditional healing spell which you should always cast when you have 5 stacks of Vital Mists and a little more on the side. Expel Harm also counts, though the healing is minimal and the spell is mostly used for the cheap Chi.
As stated earlier, Chi Explosion do both Eminence healing and very strong traditional healing. This ties into my third point about the level 100 talents for Crane stance. Chi Explosion is the strongest level 100 talent for Crane stance, followed by Pool of Mists and last Breath of the Serpent.
As for the others, I would recommend using them for increased healing as well. Chi Torpedo is a bit less optimal though, since it takes time from the core rotation to zip around. That would be better to use if your target is moving and you can do some healing while you follow it with Chi Torpedo.
The main purpose of Burst Healing is to rotate as much Chi on appropriate Chi finishers as quickly as possible, and then cram in more healing in-between.
Main Chi Builder: Surging Mist, Expel Harm, Chi Brew
Secondary Chi Builder: Jab
Main Chi Finisher: Rising Sun Kick or Chi Explosion
Secondary Chi Finisher: Blackout Kick, Tiger Palm
This tactic is most commonly used at the start of a fight or in downtimes in an encounter. The main difference between this tactic and the one above is the Chi builders. You want to rotate as much Chi as possible while you spend as little mana as possible. That means you should use Jab as little as possible, while you generate Chi with Expel Harm, Chi Brew and Surging Mist only when you have 5 stacks of Vital Mists (Surging Mist can be expensive in the long run without Vital Mists).
Your main priority is to get Crane’s Zeal up (from BoK/CE) which gives you a 20% crit buff. This crit buff will allow you to get an increased chance in Mana Tea stacks. Then you want to cycle as much Chi as possible without resorting to expensive Chi builders. I’m not saying that you should completely exclude Jab, but use it to a minimum and focus on the other Chi builders first. Sometimes you even might want to wait for the CD on Chi Brew or Expel Harm, if you really want to be mana conservative (though you’ll get less Mana Tea stacks this way).
And of course, don’t forget Rising Sun Kick debuff and Tiger Power.
If you want to use the Mana Tea stacker as an opener (which I recommend), you should read my post on Perfecting Your Opener.
Main Chi Builder: Surging Mist, Expel Harm, Chi Brew
Secondary Chi Builder: Crackling Jade Lightning
Main Chi Finisher: Chi Explosion
Secondary Chi Finisher: –
It is possible to deal damage at a longer range when in Crane stance, but only if you have Chi Explosion as a talent. This is not exactly a common strategy and it has a very niched place, but it can be good to know.
If you want to deal damage to a target that is beyond melee range, you can use Chi Explosion which has a 30yd range in Crane stance. You can still use Chi Brew, Expel Harm and Surging Mist as Chi builders. If you have huge stack of Mana Tea stacks waiting, you can even spend some of your mana on a Crackling Jade Lightning which awards you 4 Chi. Though beware, CJL costs 21% of your base mana. Casting four Surging Mist for Chi would cost 18.8% of your mana (without Vital Mists), so that would be cheaper but it would take longer.
It’s also important to note that while Chi Explosion does less healing in Crane stance than in Serpent stance, you can partly bridge that by detonating the 8 Healing Spheres in Serpent stance (which will then benefit from the 20% increase in healing) with Detonate Chi, or just letting them detonate naturally. If you want to efficiently use the healing from Chi Explosion you should also be aware of that most healing will emanate from your location, not where you do the damage. 50% of the Eminence will however jet out from your statue, and the remaining 50% Eminence AND the traditional healing will spring from around you. This differs from the Serpent version of the spell, where the all the healing happens around the target.
In other words; when using Chi Explosion in Crane stance, you should always stand within 8 yards of the people you want to heal. If you have the opportunity, let the Healing spheres detonate while in Serpent stance for increased healing.
You can also be on the defense with offensive spells. This is most usable while in Dungeons, but it works in any type of encounter that require a lot of add control. The idea is that you disable any adds before the damage has happened. For this, Mistweavers have a lot of tools to work with.
- Ring of Peace, Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave
- Spear Hand Strike
- Touch of Death
The tier 5 talents provide extremely useful CC. Both Leg Sweep and Charging Ox Wave are very helpful in all kinds of encounters. Ring of Peace is a bit of an underdog since an incapacitate can be broken by AoE splash damage. Paralysis is also a good CC which can also work as an interrupt in some situations. Together with Spear Hand Strike, our stun with only 15 sec cooldown, a Mistweaver have many tools to manipulate enemies.
When in Crane stance, it is essential that the Mistweaver use these abilities to prevent enemies from damaging your party. Since the healing is a bit lacking this is a good way to compensate for that. Sure, you won’t top any healing meters this way but you will be extremely useful to your party.
Last, but definitely not least; Touch of Death. This ability will do damage equal to your health pool either to a target below 10% health, or a target that has less health than your health. It has a 2 min cooldown, and should be used as often as possible! Touch of Death create a very strong Eminence heal and you should never pass up the opportunity to use it.
Thunder Focus Tea is the backbone of all your healing strategies and it should be used as often as you can. The tea will either boost your Surging Mist to twice the healing size, or boost your Renewing Mist and let it jump two extra times on the next cast.
I often find myself using it on Surging Mist. Mistweavers have little burst overall (since we’re not characterized as a bursty healer), and this adds something we desperately need. It is more often that you find a single player spike down in health than the whole raid goes down evenly. This means that you’ll use Thunder Focus Tea for Surging Mist more often and save the buggers who threaten to die. But there are times I use it on Renewing Mist, even though not as often (especially if you have Pool of Mists). When the whole raid take high AoE damage, this is the time to boost ReM, and get some extra HoTs out there.
Don’t shy away from using this cooldown. It is beneficial to use even in non-life-threatening situations. Rather use it too much than too little.
Life Coocoon is our single-target cooldown which creates a strong absorption shield. It also increases periodic healing taken by 50% (read: Renewing Mist and Enveloping Mist) while the shield is active.
You’ll mostly use this cooldown on the tank that takes high damage. As stated before, either use it before the damage happens to mitigate it or use it as a life-saver if someone is dropping low. I mostly use it on the tank, but saving a vital healer or DPS is also feasible if you know the tank will not take high damage at that point.
Life Cocoon has 1min40sek cooldown, so you can use it quite often. If there are no predictable points where the tank take high damage, use this freely to save other raid or party members.
Our biggest and baddest raid healing cooldown. Revival have had a history of being very weak compared to other raid cooldowns, but in WoD it has been buffed to 895% of spell power per target healed (and that’s without adding 20% heal from Serpent stance and all the healing spheres it produce). It does not do as much healing as Tranquility does, but it’s still stronger than Healing Tide Totem, Divine Hymn and Power Word: Barrier. Add to the fact that it’s instant instead of channelled, it also removes all Poisons and Diseases and last but not least; it has a 100 yd range! It is a very powerful save button and for WoD it has earned its place amongst the strong raid cooldowns you should rotate.
In organized raids, healers should decide on beforehand when and where to use the raid cooldowns. It is usually during high damage events or other mechanics that require large heals (Expel Magic: Shadow on Ko’ragh for example). Coordinate this with your other healers for maximum efficiency.
If you haven’t got any designated time to use Revival, you should use it on cooldown as soon as the raid drops low. Just notify the other healers before you do it, so you don’t stack raid cooldowns.
This is a very special cooldown that you can find in your talent tree. Most people know the basics of this cooldown; cast a cat on a target and all will be well, more or less. There is more to it however, which I will explain to you here.
The first thing you should know about Xuen is that he is active for 45 seconds and will strike his target each second. He has two damaging abilities; auto-attacks and Crackling Tiger Lightning. The auto-attacks will only strike his primary target, and it scales with haste and has reduced damage when striking a target with high armor. Crackling Tiger Lightning is a cleave on three targets (not affected by either haste or enemy armor). Both types of attacks generate Eminence healing, which jets out from you and your statue’s location. When Xuen is active, it’s really important that you and your statue is located close to the targets you want to heal.
Xuen will do Eminence healing no matter what stance you’re in. It is the only time you can generate Eminence while being in Serpent stance, and you should note that it means the Eminence will be boosted by Serpent stance’s 20% increase in healing. In Crane stance, Xuen does less healing.
Xuen is also most effectively used when adds are up since that gives him the opportunity to cleave. There are many boss fights who either has several bosses, or spawn several adds at some point. Cast Xuen during high raid damage on adds, or when you need to move around a lot and won’t have the opportunity to heal actively.
This cooldown will bump up your max HP with 20% and cause you to take 20% less damage for 15 seconds. This ability should be used every encounter, because there will always be times when you need to mitigate some damage on yourself. I mostly use it when there’s high damage on me but I’m busy healing others in need, or when I know I’ll be hit by a particular hurtful ability. If you get locked in somewhere by environment effects (like Blaze on Twin Ogron or Crystalline Barrage by Tectus), it’s possible to pop this cooldown then run through the environment effect and hope to Yu’lon you will not die by it.
Diffused Magic work in the same way, but only against magical damage. Be careful what sort of environment effect you have to deal with, some counts as physical damage, such as Tectus’s Crystalline Barrage. If there’s a lot of Physical Damage going out, talent Dampen Harm instead.
This is probably one of the most important topics for a healer; mana management. I have covered mana problems in a Mistweaver discussion post but here I’ll focus on different aspect.
Mistweavers manage mana in a very different way than any other healer. In a typical fight we go through our whole mana pool twice or maybe even three times. We refund the mana with Mana Tea which we get stacks of each time we spent 4 Chi. The refunding system is a compensation for the high cost of our spells (if you compare to any other healer). This way, our primary resource is also stored in a secondary system through the refund, which complicates the way we look at mana.
In a fight our mana and healing pattern often looks like this: we start by using efficient healing until we get enough stacks of Mana Tea (which is why a Mistweaver never is high on the healing meters until later in the encounters). Once we have a high amount of Mana Tea stacks, we are allowed to burst heal with really expensive heals. The burst should typically be synchronized with high damage output on the raid, though not always. But if so, our mana pool will be more or less drained by that point. Then we use Mana Tea to refund the majority of the lost mana (but not all, we’re still mana negative in the sense that we will never get a full refund). Then there’s a long process with efficient healing to regain the spent Mana Tea stacks until we get to the point where we can burst again.
If this cycle is somehow disrupted, let’s say by using expensive spells such as Rushing Jade Wind without having Mana Tea stacks, Mistweavers will be punished. The cycling of Chi is very slow if you don’t have any mana (but possible with Chi Brew or cheap Chi builders like Expel Harm). It’s even hard in Crane stance. It’s important that Mistweavers try to synch with the encounter’s damage pattern and the amount of Mana stacks you have available.
If you use tactics such as the “Core AoE Healing” tactic I have described above, you’ll most likely waver somewhere in-between efficient and costly mana management. You’ll spam Surging Mist and Renewing Mist a lot, which aren’t that expensive but at the rate of which you use them can be very costly. However, since you’ll be cycling a lot of Chi at the same time, you’ll generate a high amount of Mana Tea as well. Using tactics like this means that you’ll have a much more stable Mana pattern, where the outgoing mana matches the incoming mana from the Mana Tea.
Mana Tea is a Mistweaver’s way to refund mana. The best way to use it is to constantly channel it whenever you get the chance. Using it as a panic button once you run out of mana is not ideal. Once you go OoM, there’s little chance you’ll get ten seconds to channel it without people dying. Try instead to tap it every once in a while when you’re not on full mana.
Don’t ever sit on 20 stacks of Mana Tea either, unless you are in a situation where a break in heals would mean someone’s death. Having 20 stacks of Mana Tea also gives you more leeway to burst heal more, though you should probably not use all stacks in one go because then you’re pretty much back to square one.
If you are a player that is very keen on progress there are some pointers I can give you to advance. But first I want to have a short discussion of the characteristics of a good healer. The following list is based on my own experience and observations and I’ll follow it up with a discussion on how to improve each point.
- Class Competence
- Encounter Knowledge
- Environment Awareness
A good healer has class competence, encounter knowledge, environment awareness and has the ability to cooperate with other players. Class competence means that the healer have studied up on her own class and know the ins and outs of her spells and resource management. The healer knows what spells to use when and where depending on their healing output versus resource cost. She also knows which stats to go for, what gems and enchants work best. This is the type of knowledge I write about in this guide and more.
Encounter knowledge means that the healer is aware of all the mechanics in the upcoming fight and how the damage pattern looks like. When does high damage occur, when are the downtimes? This way the healer can prepare and adapt spell selection accordingly. Many healers know little of the encounter they’re healing, especially mechanics that doesn’t directly affect them. But knowing all the different tank and DPS mechanics means that you can tell on beforehand if they’re executed properly. If you see a player fail on a certain mechanic, you’ll have much better reaction time and a higher chance of saving the situation. You can find this type of knowledge in my Encounter Guides.
Environment Awareness means that you can dodge fire and execute different mechanics while you heal at the same time. This is incredibly important and a trademark for a good player. Environment awareness also go hand in hand with encounter knowledge since it is endlessly easier to dodge mechanics you know are coming.
Cooperation is a trait that is often overlooked in the WoW community in general. I believe it to be one of the most important traits there is. You are a healer, not a one-man show; you are part of a team and you progress as a team. It doesn’t matter if you can top the healing meters if you can’t cooperate with the other healers and players in your raid. A good healer cooperate and communicate with her team members and try to be as useful for the group as possible. This can sometimes mean that the healer have to sacrifice some HPS to execute a certain mechanic that is very vital for the raid. For example; you interrupt adds instead of just healing through it to get a higher HPS value. Whatever you can do to be of maximum use.
There are different ways to improve as a healer. As for Class Competence you should look up guides or see what the theorycrafters say. Study your class and try to analyse how to best use your spells. I like to analyse my gameplay with Warcraftlogs, which is like a combatlog on steroids. It logs information and present it in colourful graphs full of different information. On their webpage you can also see the highest ranked healers and look on their spell rotation and output in different fights. You can compare your logs and see what you do differently.
If you get stuck or can’t figure out how to maximise your healing gameplay, log the encounters you’re in and link it on a forum. There, other players can give you tips and pointers on how to improve (though be critical when reviewing comments; not everyone knows what they’re talking about).
Regarding encounter knowledge, you can only improve it by studying and practicing. I really recommend reading a guide before you try your hand at a new encounter, then practice and try to deepen your knowledge of the details of the fight. Once you know the ins and outs of a fight you can time your spells in an efficient manner. The best way to get to perfect execution is a solid foundation of theory knowledge which you can build your experience upon.
Environment awareness is slightly trickier. Bad awareness is often a result of tunnelling or poor encounter knowledge. The best way to minimize tunnelling is to be so accustomed to your spells and keybinds that you heal on reflex. Once you heal automatically you can focus more on the environment effects around you. Try to always look up and take in your surroundings. Have your UI frames somewhere close to the middle so can see in the periphery when someone is taking damage. Then practice, practice, practice.
Cooperation is entirely about working as a team towards a common goal. Sometimes you have to work with people you don’t like and find it difficult to work with. The most important thing is to have your eyes on the target; killing this boss or clearing this dungeon. If you run afoul with the people you don’t like, try not to blow it up to a big drama. When you are there, in the encounter, it only matters that you all do your job and try to help out as much as possible. All social issues can be solved afterwards. Be respectful and goal oriented, that is the best way to handle the situation.
If someone is underperforming, try to help that person in any way you can. The worst thing you can do is to be an elitist jerk. I have seen first-hand elitists who brag that they’re so much better than anyone else but never give a helping hand to those who underperform. How does that help the team?
Elitism is a very narcissistic way of handling the situation, which is very counterproductive if you are supposed to work together. If someone is not pulling their weight, don’t press them down further by being condescending. Help them, and if they still can’t perform you might have to cut them from the team, at least for the time being until they’ve figured out what they’re doing wrong. Have a minimum standard of performance, but be respectful even when you have to cut people from your team.
Remember, we play this game to have fun, even on a competitive level. If you help each other out, you’ll go farther than those who step on each other. Be as cooperative as you can, respectful and polite. Your raid will improve and progress much faster then.
You have now read quite a deal about Mistweaving. Your next challenge is to gain experience and find a style of healing that suits you. Experiment and try new things. Keep your curiosity fresh and never stop trying to improve!