Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to: Mana Regen

Mana: It's what's for breakfast As we all know, healing requires mana. If you run out, someone you're supposed to be healing might very well die. Clearly then, every healer should find a way to not run out of mana. Today I will be explaining how to gear for mana regen, primarily for Holy priests, however I hope to make my explanations broad enough to apply to other healing specs as well.

In general, there are two ways to ensure that you don't run out of mana. The first is to get your mana regen so high that it exceeds your mana consumption. This is reasonable for 5man Heroics, Naxx and parts of Ulduar (IE trash). However, it is more difficult to attain for the more difficult raids or hard modes. Thus, the second option is to have a large enough mana pool that, although you're depleting it throughout the fight, it won't run out before the end. This strategy is viable at all levels of play, and depends on a balance of max mana and mana regen.

Now that we have some goals in mind, let's examine mana stats.

MP5 - The most basic and easily predictable mana stat. MP5 does exactly what it says; you will regen the listed amount of mana over five seconds, every five seconds, for until the effect ends or you unequip the item. MP5 is typically used by any healing spec that wouldn't use Spirit. (see below)

Maximum Mana - Boosted by Intellect and (rarely) +Mana enchants, the size of your mana pool not only allows you to last longer before going OOM during intense healing, but also increases the mana you regen from effects like Replenishment, Shadowfiend or Arcane Torrent. Every class can benefit from the boost to Replenishment, and similarly, there are class spells/talents and racials that also scale to max mana.

Spell Critical - Boosted by Crit rating or Intellect, some classes regen mana based on crit heals, and this will also be useful when you go to look at your HPS. As an example, the Holy Priest talent Holy Concentration scales mana regen to Spell Crit, Int and Spirit. Look for similar talents in your class' healing tree to see if crit is right for you.

Intellect - Increases maximum mana, the effect of Spirit and (slightly) spell critical chance. This is a core mana stat for all healing classes, due to the max mana component, and the boost to spirit and crit add even more benefit for classes that use those. Good for +15 Mana per point.

Spirit - Grants MP5 that is subject to the "five second rule". The amount of MP5 you gain from spirit is proportional to to the square root of your Int times your Spirit. Typically Spirit is a bad choice as a mana stat unless your class has talents like Spiritual Guidance and Meditation.

So, what does this all mean? Gear to match your talents. While MP5 is useful for any healer, Spirit is usually better for Holy Priests, simply due to the talents we have available. When in doubt, go for Int.

If you no longer run OOM on the content you intend to run, then you should stop gearing for mana and start gearing for HPS. Next post I'll examine HPS stats on gear.

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