Ask Miss Medicina: Holy Priest & Mana Regen
I'm so excited! My first email request for aid! It was like a little christmas gift in my inbox, and I giddily unwrapped it, squealing the whole time.

Yes, yes, I'm a dork, shut it.

So! My first emailed question was from a holy priest who was looking for help with some problems she found herself having with mana regen. As someone a bit new to the whole raid healing thing, she sent me an email with the following request.

"I don't do much raiding, I'm mostly healing five-mans, but I decided to really go for it and respec for raid healing. I followed your suggested build but I have one huge problem: my MP5 is only 348 during a fight. I don't think my gear is terrible, but I enter ToC-10 and I find myself popping my mana pet before the impaler is down. Heck, even in a heroic I see my bar get hit hard (albeit I mostly see this with under-DPSing pugs). "

(For privacy reasons, I'm not revealing her name, but she reads this blog, so if she wants to step up and say hi in the comments, she's welcome to do so /wave!)

I took a look at her gear and her stats, and the 348 number seemed to come from in "while casting" mana regen, unbuffed. I let her know that there was some tweaking she could do with her gems and replace some items with a bit more crit and less haste, but aside from that, it didn't look like gear was the real problem here. 348 while casting is similar to what I have, unbuffed.

I wanted to pass along the following considerations I emailed to her, because I think a lot of Holy Priests struggle with mana regen in the beginning of their raiding career. People can look at your gear and stats and spec, and tell you to pile on more spirit or intellect, but that's not always the problem. So if you're having mana regen problems as a Holy Priest, and you can't find anything really wrong with your gear, consider the following:

  • What sort of buffs are you running with? In a ten man scenario, it can be a lot trickier to get the right raid balance that will give you all the mana regen buffs you would ideally like to have. Because of this, I usually have far more mana problems in a 10 man than in a 25 man. In 10 mans, i have the flask of pure mojo and spicy fried herring for personal mana regen, but I also depend quite a bit on getting a blessing of wisdom or mana spring totem in there somewhere, and always, ALWAYS Replenishment (frost mage, shadow priest, ret pally, destro lock, or survival hunter). The raid makeup may be something that you have absolutely no control over, but take a look at what you've got in your raid mix. If you're running with a pretty steady group, and your buffs will likely always be the same, then you can make adjustments to your gems, enchants, and talents accordingly.
  • What are the other healers doing? What is the healing makeup? are you running 2 healers or 3? If you're running with just 2, then you probably will run into more mana problems. If you are running with a pally, are you wasting your mana having to help on the tank too much? If there's a druid, are you spending a lot of mana trying to heal up targets that are hotted when you don't need to? I'm not fond of pointing fingers at other healers when there's a problem, but healing should be a team - if one person is running out of mana, then it's a good idea to talk about it with the other healers to see what changes can be made.
  • What is your casting style? I can throw in a couple of pointers on mistakes I've made in the past that left me mana starved, and you can check to see if you are doing any of the following things.
  1. Overusing Serendipity stacks - Everytime I see 3x Serendipity, i desperately want to use it properly. But the truth is, if you do this in a ten man you are going to go OOM pretty quick. Dont feel like you have to use it just because it's there. Use a Circle of Healing if you can, because it's cheaper and pretty powerful. You shouldn't need to use Greater Heal at all if you're on raid heals (except for Incinerate Flesh), especially if there's a third healer.

  2. Are you catching all your surge of light procs? Unlike Serendipity, the proc for SoL is much shorter, so you have to be sure to use it faster - and you definitely want to use it since it's free! If you find that you're missing a lot of the procs, pick up an add-on like SurgeTrack.

  3. Are you bubbling too much? For disc, you can never bubble too much, but for holy, our bubbles arent that great, and theyre kinda expensive too. In a 10 man, the only person I ever "pre-bubble" is the tank when he's pulling, and a feisty mage here and there - if you try to bubble too much, you will end up OOM.

  4. How are your overheals? If you run with a druid, check their overheals as well with recount, because often the overheals credited to a druid are actually due to another healer healing over their hots. This is inevitable, and to a certain extent completely acceptable - but if someone has a HoT on them, and they are unlikely to be in any immediate damage, let the HoT do its job. Make sure if you are running with a tree that you have an addon that tracks who has HoTs on them. If you aren't running with druids, are you and another healer often going for the same target? There are addons that will let you know who the other healers are healing (Healbot will do this if multiple people use it), but sometimes you just need to watch them, or have better assignments, or communicate more, that sort of thing.

She responded to my email to give me a little update about how things are going, and she mentioned something that I wanted to address as well... but this post has already gone on long enough, so I'll save it for another day ;)
5 Responses
  1. Tiis Says:

    Slowing down on healing in a raid can help.

    Or I am always casting, but not always letting the cast go off. Staying outside the 5 second rule when I can helps alot. Use your shadowfiend

    When healing an undergeared tank you
    are going to go OOM as well.

  2. Fricassee Says:

    As a representative of arcane mages everywhere, I'd like to say:

    "Thank you for bubbling us. Next time we see an add trying to eat your face in 10 man, we'll kite them away from you."

  3. @Tiis

    Good tips! I wish being outside of the 5sr was still as beneficial as it used to be.


    I think bubbles were invented specifically for mages! Not that I'm complaining... it's worth it for your nomnoms and intellect buffs ;)

  4. Mongrr Says:

    Another thing you can do to increase your mana longevity is utilize your cooldowns proactively rather than reactively.

    If you know a fight is going to last longer than 5 minutes... use your Fiend early for the extra mana regen and full mana bar again off the bat and then you know the CD will be up again toward the end of the fight when you may need another pick-me-up.

    Another example of a spell you may want to make sure to use early rather than later is Hymn of Hope.

    If you run with a lot of classes that use mana in a raid, it can happen where if you wait to use this spell until late in the fight that you may not even get the spell to tick on *you* due to the mechanics of the spell. Since the spell hits the players with the lowset percentage of mana, using it later rather than sooner can mean your caster dps can ninja all the ticks, making it pretty disappointing if you needed the mana.

    A lot of fights need a lot of burst healing at the start (Mimi, and Yogg are some good examples) making it less of a gamble that you'll be higher mana than the other casters, and making HoH much more reliable when it comes down to personal regen.

  5. Shintar Says:

    Just wanted to say that this is very sound advice!

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