WoD Mistweaver Changes; Part 1 – Abilities

Warming up for the upcoming pre-patch to one of the most long-awaited (and long overdue!) expansion, I will be discussing the changes the Mistweaver spec will be undergoing.

Like every expansion, there are a whole set of revamps and roller-coaster-rides of tuning and changes. The following segment of WoD-know-how is entirely subject to change and I will not profess any sort of certainty. We know Blizzard, they are queen of decision anxiety. And so we smile and nod every patch only to expect another revamp the next month. But maybe that is what keeps the game interesting?

First off, and rather excitingly, I present to you a whole new stance for Mistweavers; the Crane Stance of the Spirited CraneStance! This is our brand new stance, wholly dedicated to fistweaving (for those who like this rotation, it’s like Christmas, right?). Stance of the Spirited Crane replaces our old and unused Stance of the Fierce Tiger. MWs have a total of 2 stances then, and to actually make the stance-changing a worthwhile and tactical decision, some spells are restricted to either stance. The following spells have stance restrictions;

Stance of Wise Serpent
Renewing MistRenewing Mist
Soothing MistSoothing Mist
Enveloping MistEnveloping Mist

Stance of the Spirited Crane
Blackout KickBlackout Kick
Tiger PalmTiger Palm
Rising Sun KickRising Sun Kick

Serpent Stance and Crane Stance, respectively
Serpent Stance and Crane Stance, respectively

Serpent Stance is our traditional healing stance (and most likely, the one we’ll use for progression raids where heavy healing is called upon). Crane Stance is our hybrid, hybrid stance where we gain Eminence, or healing through DPS. Eminence is entirely restricted to Crane Stance, accompanied by our set of DPS abilities. As far as Beta has gone, Crane Stance does inferior healing compared to Serpent Stance. But most likely, as with all fistweaving, it is intended to be used during the downtimes of healing. Strategic choices, remember?

To change stance it costs one GCD and you lose all chi. This is to hinder willy-nilly stance changing and preserve it as a strategic and tactical decision. But it does suit our slightly uh, frenetic style of healing. Downtime means DPS time. Furthermore, fistweaving seems to more mana efficient this time around, so it is definitely a suitable option.

The 100-talents

We have a new tier of talents, where some spells are completely Mistweaver exclusive. The new talents are the following;

Breath of the SerpentBreath of the Serpent (exclusive)

Chi ExplosionChi Explosion

Pool of MistsPool of Mists (exclusive)

Breath of the Serpent – Sparkly mist

Breath of the Serpent is a talent with an amazing animation. Your Serpent Statue will release a misty breath aiming at your location (yes, it moves), healing all allies in your path. This is primarily a stack healing spell, reserved for fights with appropriate raid spread.

Chi Explosion is a complicated beast. Not only does it change depending on monk spec and which mistweaver stance you’re in, it also does different thing depending on how much chi you spend on it! So let’s break it down.

Chi Explosion
Chi Explosion

Serpent Stance
1 chi; Heals an ally for 121,5% of spell power, plus another 121,5% spell power per chi consumed.
2 chi; Causes another 50% healing over 6 sec.
3 chi; This healing is divided among all allies within 8 yds of the target.
4 chi; Also summons 8 healing spheres in an 8 yd radius ring around the target that lasts 15 sec.

Crane Stance
1 chi; Deals nature damage to an enemy equal to 58,5% of spell power, plus another 58,5% of spell power per chi consumed.
2 chi; Heals yourself for 75% of spell power, plus another 75% per chi consumed.
3 chi; This healing also heals all allies within 8 yds of you.
4 chi; Also summons 8 healing spheres in an 8 yd radius ring around you that lasts 15 sec.

8 Healing Spheres
8 Healing Spheres

While I’m not a big fan of how the 3-chi section of the spell works, it is too early to evaluate at this point. It seems pretty solid though. Just remember that this spell replaces Blackout Kick if you are in Crane Stance.

Pools of Mists is a passive that makes your Renewing Mist/Rising Sun Kick have 3 charges and increases 15% healing/50% damage, respectively. Now if you remember the MoP version, ReM is somewhere between 6-8 targets if applied on CD and it takes about 36+ sec to get there. In WoD, ReM will have a 20 sec duration instead of 18 sec like in MoP, and with PoM you’ll get to a 9 target spread in about 3 seconds (the charges are spammable and off GCD) up to 15 targets in roughly 20 sec. Then it pends between 6-9 targets, since the improved ReM is extended (due to a Draenor perk). Complicated? Let me put up a graph to illustrate.

ReM Spread comparison

This is a graph over Renewing Mist spread (without the Jade Mist proc). The blue line represent how ReM spread in Mists, with an 18 sec duration. The green line represent how ReM spread in Warlords, with a 20 sec duration. The spike at the beginning is due to the Pool of Mists talents. It only spikes when it has 3 charges, after these are spent and ReM is used on cooldown it behaves pretty much like the MoP version. The perk with PoM is of course the fast spread at the beginning and if you are somehow unable to use it on cooldown, you’re fast back in the game.

It is quite useful for fights where you need ReM on as many targets as possible for max spread Uplift. Though it’s a little underwhelming with the Uplift AoE cap at 6 targets, it remains to be seen how this talent performs.

Ability Changes

We are far from done. Blizzard has been nit-picking in our spellbook and it is essential to be up to date. First off, they have been streamlining many abilities. Some passives has been incorporated into our stances and some are simply gone. This is a list over the changes for Mistweavers;

Removed abilities

  • Healing SphereHealing Sphere
  • Grapple WeaponGrapple Weapon
  • DisableDisable
  • Zen MeditationZen Meditation

New abilities

  • Healing SphereDetonate Chi
  • Rising Sun KickRising Sun Kick

Changed abilities

  • Crackling Jade LightningCrackling Jade Lightning no longer generates chi and is free in Serpent Stance. Costs 21,5% of base mana and grants chi every time it ticks, while in Crane Stance.
  • Soothing MistSoothing Mist no longer generates chi.
  • Surging Mist is now our baseline heal. It costs 4-5% of base mana and is our primary chi generator.
  • Chi Brew (Talent)Chi Brew only gives 1 stack of mana tea.
  • Spinning Crane KickSpinning Crane Kick only heals in Serpent Stance and does damage in Crane Stance.
  • Thunder Focus TeaThunder Focus Tea no longer costs chi, and instead of refreshing ReM, it makes the next ReM jump 2 additional times.
  • Healing SphereHealing Spheres (from mastery) now heals any ally within 12 yds (up from 6yds) for 100% (up from 50%) if expired.

These are only some of the changes. Most of our old passives are gone and we have a few new instead. Jade MistsJade Mists gives us 5% multistrike (which is our priority secondary stat), and ReM and RSK have an equal chance of our MS chance to not go on cooldown when used. Focus and HarmonyFocus and Harmony is a new passive that make Haste lower our GCD (which is up at 1.5 sec now) and other spell abilites. Our attack power is also 100% equal to our spell power.

There are tons of more detailed changes to discuss, but I will do it in another post. Mistweavers have become a very complicated spec since depending on your stance, your abilities do different things. Let’s instead deal with the major changes.

Healing Spheres

Our spell “Healing sphere” is gone, so our only income of spheres are from our mastery procs. However, our mastery have been greatly buffed. As mentioned before, healing spheres always heals for 100% even when it expires. It also heals an ally within 12yds up from 6yds. To increase their utility, we’ve also been given the spell Healing SphereDetonate Chi, which makes all our healing spheres explode.

Most of our healing spheres went unused in Mists but now it seems it actually might come in handy.

Thunder Focus Tea

Thunder Focus TeaThunder Focus Tea no longer costs chi and instead of refreshing ReM, it makes the next cast of ReM jump an additional 2 times. It still has a 45 seconds cooldown. This is a graph illustrating the comparison of using TFT and not using it in WoD:

WoD ReM Spread

You’ll get to roughly a 10-11 max spread, which is less than MoP version of TFT. However, it has slightly longer duration on max spread which gives you more room to use Uplift. Therefore it is much easier to use. Besides, on a 90 sec time lapse, MoP TFT has an average 7,92 active ReM, while WoD TFT has 7,79 ReM active. There isn’t that much difference, TFT has only become easier to use.

Draenor Perks

Blizzard has come to the realization that maybe adding more spells each expansion might be a bit excessive. We don’t have any room on our action bars anymore. But thanks to some ability pruning, it is slightly better now. What’s more is that instead of gaining new abilities as we level in Draenor, we get perks instead. A perk is a passive that improves one of our abilities. There are four perks per spec, and we gain one random perk every other level in WoD. For Mistweavers, the perks are;

RollEnhanced Roll – Your Roll now travels the same distance in 25% less time.
Renewing MistImproved Renewing Mist – Increases the duration of Renewing Mist by 2 sec.
Life CocoonImproved Life Cocoon – Reduces the cooldown of your Life Cocoon by 20 sec.
TranscendenceEnhanced Transcendence – The cooldown of Transcendence is reduced by 35 sec, and Transcendence: Transfer is now instant cast.

I love all of them and I think perks are an elegant solution to the problem. It is fun to get a new perk but we don’t need to fill out our action bars because of it!

I will continue to discuss more changes in the next post! Stay tuned~

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