mp5 - Mana per 5 seconds - This will read on an item as "Restores X mana per 5 sec."
5SR - "Five second rule"
I5SR - Inside the 5 second mp5 penalty timer
Q: What is the "five second rule"?
A: The five second rule is a reference to the "mp5" mechanic. When you cast a spell, your mana regeneration is reduced for 5 seconds. After 5 seconds, your mana begins regenerating at its full potential again. Keep in mind that the 5-second rule is not applied until you finish a cast. You can cast spells and cancel the cast before it finishes and you will not have the 5-second rule applied to you!
Along with the casting of spells comes the importance of the "5 second rule". Stop casting spells for 5 seconds to allow your mana to begin regenerating at its full capacity. Use this knowledge to boost your mana efficiency.
Shadowfiend - Your main mana regen CD. You should use it when you reach 50-60% mana or lower. From that point on, use it when you reach the 50-60% mana threshold again, or just use it on CD if you are continuously below that threshold. Make sure you try to avoid dropping your Shadowfiend in fire.
Inner Focus - This CD is particularly good when you use it to get a free cast of Prayer of Healing or Greater Heal. Can also be used in OOM emergencies.
Abolish Disease - While it is obvious that this dispels disease debuffs, note that it continues to dispel diseases over the course of 20 seconds. Use this to curb your efficiency.
Mass Dispel - This ability is pretty straight-forward. It's important to remember that you have it. None of the other healer classes have anything that can compare to this ability, and it is extremely useful.
Flash Heal - This heal should only be used when you need to heal someone very quickly. You may be tempted to use this spell most of the time, but if you improve upon your reaction times and proper usage of your healing spells, you will find you don't really need this too often.
Prayer of Healing - Useful when you need to do some big group healing. This spell, while very powerful, it is also limited to the group you are in. You cannot cast it on groups you are not currently in.
Renew - It's OP. Use it liberally. It's wonderful at helping to keep people stable.
Prayer of Mending - This is a very nice spell when your group is consistently taking damage. Only use it when you expect your group to take damage, though. It's not very efficient for single-target healing. Use this on CD at any time you won't be healing just a single target.
Binding Heal - This is a good spell for obvious reasons; that it heals both you and your targets. However, it is worth noting that this spell also causes reduced threat!
Fade - This is one of the strongest healer defensive utilities in the PvE part of the game. It has a low CD. If you get threat, use it immediately.
Circle of Healing - If you're specced into this, and you have the gear to support the spec, then you should be using this most of the time over your other spells. Use your other healing spells as the situation demands. Keep in mind that this spell does not heal players that are not in the same group as your target.
Intellect - Increases your spell crit rating, allowing you to crit with spells more often. Intellect also gives you more maximum mana.
Spirit - Increases your mana regeneration per 5 seconds by an amount that is a percent of your maximum mana. This means that with more Intellect, your Spirit also becomes stronger. This stat also interacts with the Improved Divine Spirit talent to give you increased healing.
Stamina - Stamina increases your maximum health. This is a stat you can sometimes afford to lose. Not all items have stamina on them. Stamina still is a very important stat, though. One of which you will need a lot of for a variety of boss encounters.
Bonus healing, mp5, crit rating and haste rating are your secondary stats.
Bonus Healing - This stat determines how much extra healing your spells do. Unlike all of the expansions that come after TBC, bonus healing and spell damage are two different stats. You will want to keep an eye on this on items that drop, so you don't accidentally roll on a Caster DPS item.
Mp5 - This stat reflects how much mana you regenerate every 5 seconds. For 5 seconds after you cast, your mana regeneration is reduced by 60%. This penalty can be reduced by a variety of items, set bonuses and talents. An example is the Meditation talent in your Discipline tree.
Crit Rating - Criticals cause your heals to heal for 50% more. Your Renew spell cannot crit. Most of your healing criticals (except Prayer of Mending) work with the Inspiration talent, which gives the target 25% more armor. This makes crit an effective tank-healing stat. At about 14% spell crit, you can expect to have almost a full up-time of Inspiration on your target - most of the time, it will refresh before it wears off.
Haste Rating - This stat makes you cast your spells faster. Faster casts means you can save people more quickly, and you can put more heals on a target over time. But it also means you burn your mana faster. Double-edged sword stat.
In patch 2.4, Spirit will never lose to Mp5 on a comparatively similar item level. If you have to choose between the two, it is usually better to go for the spirit item. The exception to this rule is only when you gain a massive amount of bonus healing and the item comes with sockets that allow you to gem for some spirit.
- There are two very important parts to this. First, is that your mana will regenerate at full capacity if you do not cast for 5 seconds or more. This means if you are able to put out heals and healing over time effects (Renew for example) that can keep your friends alive for a few seconds, you can use that time to get your mana to regenerate at full capacity.
- Second, and most definitely not least, is that any effect that would cause your heals not to cost any mana will cause the healing spell to not trigger the 5-second-rule penalty. This means, talents such as Inner Focus and Holy Concentration can allow you to cast a very strong heal at no mana cost, and thus allowing you to continue to regenerate your mana at full capacity. When casting with either of these buffs active, it is important that you use the strongest heal you have that benefits from the buff, this way you get the most healing you can for FREE!
When using these, it is advisable to wait a few seconds after your previous cast before you start casting again with either of these buffs. You can generally expect to get about as much mana back from this as you would from a Super Mana Potion, or more.
- Keep in mind that the 5-second rule is not applied until you finish a cast. You can cast spells and cancel the cast before it finishes and you will not have the 5-second rule applied to you!
- It is also important to note that there are some items and talents that further help you deal with the 5-second-rule penalty. The talent "Meditation" is one of these. Others include the Primal Mooncloth set bonus and trinkets like Bangle of Endless Blessings.
Prayer of Mending threat generation
It is very important to note that Prayer of Mending's healing threat generation is granted to whoever it heals. If you put Prayer of Mending on your tank before they pull, and follow up with another Prayer of Mending on them, you can give them some burst threat like this! This is very strong in any situation! Take advantage of it!
The threat you lose when you use Fade, you will get all of that threat back when Fade ends. Also be aware that you continue to build threat while Fade is active. Lastly, be aware that Fade only drops your threat by a flat value. This flat value can be overcome if you are not careful about your healing output and your tank's threat generation. This flat reduction also means you can be put at a negative threat value, which can allow you to get very close to mobs and cast things like Shackle Undead without having to worry about them turning and smacking you, so long as they are chasing after someone else.
It is usually best to send your Shadowfiend after a boss target. Boss movements are usually predictable or they are just static. This should allow you to get the most regeneration out of your Shadowfiend, and you not have to worry about it chasing some poor mob and not getting any hits in. If it doesn't land hits, you don't get mana. It's also possible to macro in a command into your Shadowfiend to make it attack your current target, or any target of preference, so that you can guarantee it hits something. Remember that your Shadowfiend is very fragile. Try to avoid placing it in fire.
Q: What is down-ranking spells?
A: This refers to using a lower rank of a spell than the maximum rank you have access to.
Q: Why would I down-rank a spell?
A: While down-ranked spells are less powerful, they also cost less mana, and sometimes have shorter cast times.
Q: How should I use down-ranked spells?
A: The answer to this is simple, but not necessarily straightforward. You should use down-ranked healing spells when your weaker ranked healing spells can keep up with the needed healing, and thus allowing you to be more mana efficienct by spending less mana. Which ranks you should use and for which spells, I can only make recommendations. You are more than welcome to experiment and see what down-ranked spells work for you.
Q: What down-ranked spells do you recommend for use?
A: For healing, don't bother down-ranking Lesser Heal at all. Down-ranking Heal can be very effective while leveling though. For max level, dungeons and raiding; Greater Heal R1 is recommended for lesser geared Priests. You can advance to Greater Heal R2 as your spam heal once you get better gear (T5+ usually). Down-ranking Flash Heal is generally not recommended, as it is an inefficient heal to begin with - it is meant to be a quick "oh shieeet" heal. I don't down-rank Prayer of Healing since I generally use it as an group-wide nuke anyway, and I also see little point in down-ranking Renew as it is very efficient and you don't spam it.
Flash Heal & Binding Heal
You'll notice these two spells weren't touched upon by the guide much, if at all. The reason for this is that they are very inefficient heals, which means they have niche uses. Flash Heal is usually only useful in situations where you need to cast fast and your mana efficiency isn't too much of a concern. This usually limits Flash Heal to healing trash packs. However, be aware that does not mean you can never use Flash Heal for anything else. Flash Heal can be useful if you absolutely need that -fast- heal in order to keep someone alive, especially if your Power Word: Shield is on cooldown or just won't get the job done.
Binding Heal is different from Flash Heal in the way that it causes reduced threat and it also heals yourself in addition to your target. This means that Binding Heal applies to situations where you need to be extra careful with your healing threat, and when you're taking a ton of damage also, in addition to the situations where Flash Heal is useful.
Power Word: Shield
In addition to preventing damage, this ability also prevents spell push-back when taking damage. You can use this on others to help prevent spell push-back, but most importantly, you can use it on yourself to prevent it as well. If you are taking damage, or expect to be taking damage, and you absolutely need to get a heal out - shield yourself!