Monday, October 29, 2012

What you should know about Mistweaver monk healing.

So, I rolled a monk. As I'm the optional 3rd healer in my raid, and because Disc has some problems, I leveled a Mistweaver. Unlike some well-prepared people, I leveled it all the way from level 1, without any instant recruit-a-friend levels. But that's not what this post is about; the actual healing at level 90 is. First, I'll start with things important to non-Mistweavers.

Healing Spheres

The little green balls everywhere? Those are healing spheres. They can be manually cast, or proc off of any heal. They heal 25-35k or so if an injured player touches them. There's no cooldown on touching your monk's balls, so if there's a bunch of them, you can heal tons of health all at once by walking through them. Think of them as a second Healthstone. Tanks, particularly, can make use of these to great effect by tanking near a few, and sidestepping into them if things get rough. (Everyone can do that, it's just most awesome when tanks do it.) When most of my Healing Spheres get used, they're about 20% of my total healing, so if you're grouped with a Mistweaver, do pay attention to them, particularly if you're moving anyway, or the healer is struggling.

Paralysis is usually used on something
more dangerous than a bunny.

All monks have a CC ability called Paralysis. It looks like a whole bunch of little needles poking into the target, and the target is frozen in place. Like most CC, it breaks immediately on any damage. Unlike most CC, it has a short range and a cooldown. So if you break it, it'll probably be hard for the monk to reapply it. If CC is in use, pay attention for spiky frozen guys along with all the other familiar CC.

HoT Healing

Even more so than Restoration druids, traditional Mistweavers are about powerful HoTs. The primary filler-spell is an 8-second channeled HoT. The primary Chi-dump is a 6-second casted HoT. The Chi HoT is astoundingly powerful - mine heals 160k - but because it's a HoT, tanks taking very heavy damage tend to hover at a middling amount of health, rather than repeatedly spiking between full and dying. If you're a tank being healed by a Mistweaver, don't panic if you see your HP hovering at some point short of full; you're probably being healed pretty heavily! It can actually be helpful, as your self-heals stand a much lower chance of being overhealing than they would if a direct-healing class were healing you.


Because even the "powerful" Mistweaver heals are HoTs, in a multi-healer environment like raids, Mistweavers are particularly susceptible to HoT sniping. Also, Renewing Mists, a 4-target AoE HoT, is efficient enough to use on only a single target, and should generally be kept on cooldown. Because it hits 4 targets though, it tends to produce a lot of overhealing when only one person needs it. If you're trying to diagnose a healing team, be aware that much of Mistweaver overhealing isn't under their control, and some of it isn't even relevant. Talk to your other healers about HoT sniping if Enveloping Mist is high on the overhealing meter.

Free healing here.


No, that's not a typo. Eminence is a Mistweaver passive that heals someone within 20 yards of the monk, and someone within 20 yards of the monk's serpent statue for 60% of most of the damage they deal. Using Eminence as a major source of healing is nicknamed "Fistweaving". While I think it's generally less mana efficient than "traditional" healing, it does have three obvious benefits. One, the Chi generation is much faster and less random, resulting in healing far less susceptible to bad RNG. Two, the healing scales with damage dealt, and so on gimmick fights like Elegon, it can easily surpass regular healing. And, lastly, the damage dealt in the process may have some value in helping with burst or overall DPS requirements (or just speeding up the run). While it is possible for a Mistweaver to move their serpent statue, it's also very costly. Tanks should take care to remain within 20 yards of the serpent statue when possible, if you have a Fistweaver in the party.

That's all for the things I think non-Mistweavers should know about Mistweaving. Now for some tricks Mistweavers might not know about themselves.

Soothing Mist Spam

Obviously, you're familiar with Soothing Mist. What you may not know is that it has an initial tick, and so repeatedly casting it on the same target (assuming you have nothing better to do with your globals) causes it to tick about twice as fast. Note that the mana cost of the spell is per-tick; it's still just as mana efficient as ever, just with +100% haste. (Sort of; your Jade Statue's Soothing Mist doesn't follow the same rules and won't produce as many free ticks. Still, it's close.) This can be a great way to remain mana-efficient during periods of heavy damage. When spamming it on a target under the effects of Enveloping Mist, I get about 60-70k HPS, all using only the mana-efficient heal and the chi that it generates.

Healing Sphere Burst

Some of you may only use Healing Sphere to set up three before combat for "free". Some of you may use Surging Mist when you need even more throughput than Soothing Mist spam provides. I'm here to offer you a medium option, in between "efficient" and "fast". Healing Sphere heals about 30k for 6k mana. Even accounting for the Chi from Soothing Mist + Surging Mist, Healing Sphere is still a bit more mana-efficient than that combo (about 20% more so). Also, because Healing Sphere isn't on the usual global cooldown (it only has about a 0.5 sec cooldown) you can spam it extremely quickly, resulting in ~70-80k HPS. On a non-moving tank, it's easy to simply repeatedly drop them at his or her location to handle burst healing requirements. The best part? If you accidentally cast more than you need, up to three will sit there until more damage arrives, allowing you some protection from overhealing.

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