Resurrecting the Downrank
I removed my post on Archangel/Evangelism and put it back in the drafts section until I can iron out the numbers. I apologize to those of you who left comments that helped me out a lot, but I don't like spreading misinformation, so until I can get everything fixed, I don't want it to be a hot "Search" item, if you will.

I'm going to step away from Cataclysm today and talk about our favorite Lich. The King.

For the first time in a very long time, I'm having mana problems during this fight. I know exactly what's happening, of course. For the first time in a long time, I'm not the tank healer... I'm a shield spammer. It's incredibly boring, incredibly valuable, and when your bubbles are not completely consumed? Very mana starving.

As usual, whenever I have a question about something very important in my life (Why is my head exploding? Where did my leg go? Do I have cancer?), I went to twitter. And twitter responded with suggestions for mana starved Disc priests - mainly along the lines of using lower ranked bubbles.

I was very skeptical about this suggestion, and, I confess, I even refused to use it until the tail end of our Lich King struggles last night. We had finally started to make some progress into Phase 2, and it occurred to me that by the time we got to Phase 2, I was out of mana, with all my cooldowns blown, mana pot already used, and therefore, I was useless. Swapping a few trinkets might stretch my time out a little bit longer, but that was not going to get me to the end of this looong fight.

So I bit the bullet and dropped one of my precious Clique key bindings, and added a Rank 11 Power Word: Shield to try out next week. I always hated using downranking, but if I'm going to be shield spamming in this scenario, I'm going to need to.

If you aren't sure why, here's the reasoning. Power Word: Shield costs somewhere between 800-900 mana, no matter what rank you use at level 80. However, if the shield is not fully consumed by damage, you don't get the proc from Rapture. Therefore, if your shields are so large that they are not being fully consumed, you are expending a lot of mana, and not getting much back. If you use a smaller shield, even though it costs the same amount of mana, it is more likely to be completely absorbed and give you a Rapture proc.
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11 Responses
  1. Sevo314 Says:

    My perspective is a little different because I am a holy priest, but I remember first starting on this fight I was in hyper healing mode, healing as fast as I could, and overhealing a ton. As I became more familiar with the amount of damage going out, and the timing of everything it felt as if the fight slowed down. I didn't feel as strained, and the mana problems went away.

    I'm sure that downranking will help while you're getting more familiar with the fight, but I think that you'll find that as you and your raid get in more attempts, you'll probably be able to save the bubble spams until before an Infest, and in turn not have to use the downranked PW:S.

    Good luck to yah, LK is definitely the coolest fight that I've seen. :)

  2. Mitchell Says:

    I have to admit that I too resisted downranking PW:S on this fight for a long time. But last night I got asked to help with a run from my old guild and I decided to use the time to experiment.

    My experiment was to try different ranks of PW:S consistently in the "infest" phases to see if it made a difference in my mana level. First attempt I cast full-strength PW:S and went into the second transition having already spent my shadowfiend and had about 30% mana.

    Second attempt I downranked to rank 12 during "infest" phases but continued with rank 14 on raging spirits. On each successive attempt I chose lower and lower ranks looking for the level where my shields were just consumed by the initial infest hit.

    At rank 9, I was getting about 75% of my shields completely consumed which is where I leveled out as I didn't want to drop too far below the threshold. On these runs, I was hitting the first transition at 100% mana, and was getting to the second transition with more than 50% mana without using pots or my shadowfiend.

    I am a believer now.

  3. @Crusader Sev

    Well, I only shield during phase 1 for the infest, but with how the timing works out, thats pretty much most of the time. Thing is, Infest doesn't completely consume my shields, and few people take enough damage to do it without infest.


    I was going to try rank 11 for phase 1, and full rank for the raging spirits. What is your spellpower?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Just to give some terms of comparison, I'm using Rank 12 for the Heroic encounter. Like you, Jess, I resisted downranking as long as I could, but I had to give up because the mana requirements for the Heroic encounter are just too steep. Tsark has 3618 spellpower on the Armory.

    I would think rank 9 or 10 would probably be appropriate for the normal version of the encounter.

  5. Codi Says:

    I logged out in my PvP gear (doh!), but if I remember rightly I have about 3800 spellpower fully raid buffed on my priest. When I got brought in on her for LK, I was using rank 9 for every Infest phase and max rank for all others. Worked like a charm!

  6. @Codi @mediocrepriest

    We're a 10 man strict guild, so my spellpower is only at around 3100. I'm thinking Rank 11 would probably do the trick. Agree/disagree?

  7. nehunter Says:

    I'm a Disc Priest, I admit I didn't thought of the downrank idea before I saw on forums, but I immediately liked it.

    Why ? Because infest hits for 7-8k or so (it's not the same for all) and the 12k shield is really not needed.

    Timing this correctly you get so much mana from the glitch on Rapture it's unfair. One important thing : do not shield the tank or anyone that has aggro, you'll get only 1 proc instead of the reliable multi-proc on infest

    (25man example - 90k mana back per fight)

    Be sure to spend the full mana you get for transitions and p3 , and full rank there.

    On Topic : rank 11 seems about right, just watch 1 time if you get the rapture procs.

  8. nehunter Says:

    if it's 10man , rank 10 i guess.

    Just watch your mana after an infest, if 8 shields break you're gonna notice a difference

  9. Codi Says:

    I'd still go rank 9. Your spellpower will be lower in 10-man, but Infest will also hit for less. We're talking 3k less on average, so the difference in spellpower shouldn't be a big deal.

    When I got to do it, I had to keep telling myself not to bubble the tanks. I can imagine that the fight is a lot more relaxing on 10-man. Keeping 8 people bubbled seems like far more fun than keeping 23 people bubbled. LOL

  10. Daffnae Says:

    We had our first night fighting the Lich King on Monday night (10 man), so the timing of this topic is perfect for me. I am generally a holy priest, but I like to use my discipline spec when it makes certain fights much easier, like Saurfang.

    Before going into the fight, I had read a lot about it and it seemed like Discipline was definitely the way to go. I did not attempt to down rank my shields. I thought I'd see how it went first.

    I was definitely not getting a lot of benefit from rapture because the infest wasn't breaking the shields typically. However, I didn't feel like I was running too low on mana either.

    Phase I was feeling pretty easy, but I felt like I was behind in healing after the transition and start of phase II, I decided to give Holy a try. I actually found it more comfortable for me. I could keep 3 people shielded for Infest (in the same raid group as the tanks) and then easily POH the other group right after infest to keep everyone easily healed up (of course with help from the other healers).

    I think the next time I will start out Discipline again and try down-ranking my shield as well. If I can focus on continuing my bubble-spamming instead of trying to heal up the raid after the transition, then I think it might be really successful.

    Please keep posting your thoughts as you progress through the fight. I was very excited to find your logs on world of logs to use as a comparison for us. Too many of the logs I look at for other guilds are doing 25 man or heroics so I can't get very good data. It's also nice that you also use a Priest, Shaman, Druid combo.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I haven't done much downranking on LK normal since we usually run three healers, but the one time I did I went down to rank 10, but that's with the 4pc tier10 bonus so if you don't have it you may want to rank up. That is with mainly icc10 normal/hc gear and a few sanctified pieces, can't remember what weapon I was using but suspect Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff.

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