The past weeks I have had a try at PvPing as a Mistweaver. It has been an adventure and I have lots to tell. But first I want to give you some background: I have always been a bad pvper. Or at least the few times I have tried it. My first time was back in vanilla, when I played as a Rogue. Though I wasn’t good, I had fun at least. But mind you, this was the time when some people said that Rogues should have spirit on their gear so they could regen faster when stealthed. Different times, different times.
My second attempt at PvP was back in Cataclysm. I progressed PvE as a Protection Paladin, then tried my hand at PvP as a Retribution Paladin. Experienced PvPers from the time know that Paladins weren’t great, and I agree. Retradins only hurt when they popped their cooldowns, and everyone knew that. So once I popped my cooldowns, I was either purged or stunned till no tomorrow. My attempts at arena were dismal, and a little worse than that.
After my failed attempts as Retri, my only experience of PvP have been World PvP, which often isn’t fun for the PvE player since we have zero gear in that department. Timeless Isle was notorious, and often PvE players couldn’t even be there because they got one-shotted by arena-geared players. That was the time when I seriously thought about transferring to a PvE realm. But it would have meant leaving my guild and all my friends, so I rejected the idea.
Back to present day. One of my guildies asked me if I wanted to do battlegrounds with them, and all I could think was “oh god, no”. My experience with PvP has not been the best (to say the least) and I knew I had never performed well when fighting other players. I hadn’t heard much about Mistweavers in PvP either, other than that people complained on the forums about Life cocoon being purged and MWs having no strong instant heals. So I told my guildie that I didn’t feel good enough for PvP; it would only end in disaster.
But the thought of PvP stuck with me and it persisted until one day I told my pvping friends that “ok, I’ll give it a try”. I checked the internet for good talents and glyphs to use. After some adjustments to my build (Healing Elixirs, really?) and an apprehensive look at my raid gear, we queued up for battlegrounds.
I can give you one word to summarize the experience: awesome. It was so much fun and surprising, since I actually did not die twenty times over as I usually had done in previous PvP experiences. Playing as a healer in PvP is so much more straightforward, and since I knew my Mistweaver spec from top to bottom, I had an idea of what spells would be useful. But random BGs is really a baby step into the PvP world. So we tried doing 3v3 arena as well, which surprisingly gave the same result. Fun, in a weird way, and I was kind of good actually (in relation to how I had previously been that is).
I quickly learned the cardinal rules of healing:
Save as many players as you can
Try to survive for as long as you can
Be as annoying as you can
The first rule is a given: this is your purpose that you should pursue, which means that instead of doing normal things in Battlegrounds, like capping flags and sort those kinds of mechanics, you should relentlessly follow the people who take care of those mechanics and save them over, and over again. Sure you can try your hand at doing the mechanics as well, but you are much more useful if you spend your time healing up all the players who are in the middle of the fray. Sometimes you’ll have to defend bases, but if you have a DPS with you that can kill all enemy players, you can do a lot of good!
Try to survive for as long as you can. A.k.a. you are the living bait, and you’ll most likely be targeted by a bunch of people. If you have Elvui nameplates, there’s a BIG PLUS sign on all enemy healers’ plates that more or less screams “Healer here, come and get me!”. In other words, people are after you and you’re most likely very visible. But if you survive for some time, it means that the opposite faction will be occupied with killing you instead of doing what they’re supposed to do. Try to survive the attacks; Fortifying Brew and Life Cocoon are spells you’ll be using on cooldown.
The third rule; “be as annoying as you can” is closely tied to the second rule of surviving. When enemy players target you, kite them around and be as irritating as you can. That means never be in ranged of the melees and never in line of sight of the ranged. Mistweavers have a lot of tools to be annoying. Transcendence has probably become the best kiting spell or way of escape there is. Just drop your spirit somewhere, preferably in a high place your attackers can’t reach you. Then Transfer as soon as you have a CD-popping melee up your face. People always seem so confused when their target is not where it’s supposed to be.
You should also have a trinket, or Every Man For Himself spell if you’re human, to escape any CCs. However, be careful when to use it. You might get Cycloned five times in a row (and stunned in-between), then you should only trinket if there is any emergency healing to do. Otherwise, save it. Mistweavers also have Nimble Brew to dispel all root, stun, fear and horror effects, which is very useful. It also buffs you so that the next CC of the same kind within 6 sec will have a 60% decrease in duration. Use. It.
Other ways to be annoying is to roll, roll, roll your way from your attackers. Just kite them around and don’t let them hit you. If they are ranged, you should find places to get out of their line of sight. Also, try to hide behind hills and slopes and then heal through the ground, you’ll be less likely to be targeted. But if you do become targeted, let’s say by a Rogue, you’ll have to trick them. They will want to interrupt your casting to lock you out of your spell school. The easiest way to trick them is to channel Mana Tea (which you should do as soon as you’re not on full mana anyway). The Rogue will see the castbar and think “aha, a spell to interrupt!” and cast his Kick to no avail. You see, Mana Tea can’t be interrupted. Let them waste their interrupts on that!
Now, let’s talk talents and glyphs. So far, I have found these talents to be the best choice:
- Tiger’s Lust
- Chi Wave
- Chi Brew
- Leg Sweep (Charging Ox Wave for BG)
- Healing Elixirs
- Pool of Mist
And the Glyphs;
- Glyph of Life Cocoon (castable while stunned)
- Glyph of Paralysis (removes DoTs)
- Glyph of Zen Focus (immune to interrupts and CC for 5 sec after popping TFT)
Though I also like Glyph of Soothing Mist and Glyph of Transcendence for mobility. It depends on if I’m doing BG or Arena etc.
The only real contested talents are Xuen vs Chi Torpedo. But in my mind I can’t understand why Chi Torpedo would be better, even though it’s healing while moving essentially. Xuen is healing despite being stunned, which I think is way more valuable. Especially if Xuen is allowed to cleave, he does immense healing over a long period of time. You can also relocate the healing, since Xuen healing is in the form of Eminence healing which is 50% from your location and 50% from your statue’s location. This way you can split the healing to different location by moving your statue around (and yourself of course).
Healing Elixirs is also strong defensive talent, especially since it usually pops with Fortifying Brew (which I have macroed with my +health pvp trinket). Having Life Cocoon glyphed can also be a life-saver since the most dangerous part of a fight is when you are stunned. Many players will stun the healer then pop cooldowns to burst down their current target. If you can heal with Xuen and use Life Cocoon while stunned, you can really save the situation.
Speaking of the Jade Statue, it has many useful areas in PvP. For example, one could heal around a corner or just put the statue in the middle of the fray, while you stand in safety and just channel Soothing Mist on yourself. This is very useful if you get low on health. You can just find a safe spot and heal yourself back up again, while your statue copies your Soothing Mist and dish out 918% of your spell power as healing on allies in need. But it only works if you place your statue in a strategic position (even more so for Eminence which only has 20yd range)!
But that is a sample of some of the things I’ve learnt the past weeks, which I wanted to share with you. I still only have begun my journey in PvP-land, and I expect there is so much more to learn and I will probably re-evaluate some of my talent and glyph-choices. On top of my things to learn is to better use the environment to my advantage and the second thing is to become better at spotting when players pop cooldowns. That can easily be rectified with learning about cooldowns for each class… and each spec I suppose. That’s 34 specs, which means a lot of studying. Anyway, it’ll come in time.
I’m also a bit iffy about stat weights. I would suppose that haste has a slightly higher priority since bursty healing is promoted to match the bursty damage from players popping cooldowns. But it’s spirit I’m a little uncertain about though. Some arena/bgs can be really long where mana is an issue, making spirit very valuable. Other fights are really short which makes spirit rather useless since you can use Mana Tea to cover up the mana cost. I’m going to have to think about that.
Anyway, one long post later. I hope you found it interesting and maybe even learnt something about MWs in PvP. I might discuss more about PvP later if /when I learn new things. We shall see!