There are still many aspects of the Legion Mistweaver I haven’t touched yet that I’d like to dig into. Having discussed the basic toolkit and the talents, let’s have a look at our damage rotation. Though not as proximal as other aspects of the new Mistweaver, we will still need to level as Mistweavers since we are initially locked to a single artifact. In raids we will spend downtime dealing damage which, however briefly, impacts the overall feel of the Legion Mistweaver.
In Legion, Mistweavers’ damage spells remain melee oriented, though the spec counts as a ranged spec. To safeguard us from killing the raid when we stand in melee, mechanics that would instantly wipe the raid if a ranged player stand in melee will not hit Mistweavers or Holy Paladins (who also have a few melee-based spells).
For example, a Chain Lightning or Void Zone targeted at a random player with no warning will wipe or seriously disrupt the group if ever targeted at a person in a melee clump. If you can get targeted by it, there is no option but to avoid being in melee at any time during the encounter. Mistweavers and Holy Paladins should not be targeted by these sorts of abilities.
Having said that, the damaging spells we have in our baseline kit are:
Jab has been baked into Tiger Palm, and since we no longer have Chi, we have instead the passive Teachings of the Monastery to incentivise to use Tiger Palm. The rotation is Tiger Palm (30% extra damage on RSK and BoK) > Rising Sun Kick, then Tiger Palm > Blackout Kick until Rising Sun Kick is off cooldown. Spinning Crane Kick can be used independently for AoE damage.
Now, you might ask: is that it? Short answer, yes. There are talents that can add an extra damaging spell that works best when several adds are nearby (Zen Pulse or Chi Burst), and there are also a few talents that work in tandem with the damage rotation but does not add damage (Spirit of the Crane, Rising Thunder). But other than that, our damage rotation is that simple. Now the real question comes; is it good or bad?
Let’s start with the obvious: we are healers and as such, the damage rotation is peripheral in a raid situation (unless one goes for the Fistweaving 2.0 rotation, but that’s a topic for another post). Doing damage during downtimes is still important for any progressing healer, but we do not want to have a gigantic button bloat to accommodate something we do so sporadically.
Personally, I don’t think the number of abilities is really the issue here. But there’s definitely something left to be desired. After leveling for a while, my overall impression of the damage rotation is: frustratingly weak and very, very boring. But as always, being the happy ray of sunshine that I am, it’s a pleasure to dig deeper on the why, and discuss how it can potentially be solved.
The smallest problem is the damage since that can be easily balanced when necessary. But when it takes several minutes to take down a rare mob, let’s just say it’s a glaring problem that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Otherwise, Mistweavers will still be leveling when the expansion after Legion releases. But it’ll probably more likely result in Mistweavers switching to Windwalkers whenever the opportunity arises (I think the latest iteration is that the other artfiact quests will be unlocked by a class hall mission, but don’t quote me on that).
But here’s the thing, even if the damage would be significantly increased, leveling in Legion would still be a chore that would make even the most resolute of players to flip the table. Why? Because the whole damage rotation is based on waiting for RSK to drop off cooldown. There’s no procs to be alert of (unless you count when BoK clips RSK’s 8 sec cooldown by a small amount), no cooldowns to use in a strategic way, nothing that makes you actually having to use your brain. Leveling is incredibly boring and monotone. This is a shame, since I think it’s fairly easy to implement strategic gameplay with only a few small additions.
The most popular request is to have Thunder Focus Tea add a damage boost of some kind. I completely agree; there are times when you don’t need the extra healing or mana from TFT, but would rather spend it to boost damage. Besides, we would get a damage cooldown without adding an extra button on our action bars. It would play well with the other damage-oriented talents as well. Secondly, I wouldn’t mind some kind of proc either, since it forces players to react rather than just do the basic rotation on auto-pilot. Preferably a proc that boosts damage when used correctly.
Adding these two small changes would give you the opportunity to 1) use a cooldown strategically and 2) be alert of procs that changes the gameplay. Small changes but with great significance to the overall feel. And that’s without adding extra abilities to boot. I hope the developers are mindful of this, because if Mistweavers’ damage rotation is left as it is, I’ll have to hire DPS to kill stuff for me as I level, and that’s just tragic.