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Raid Rx: Reforging tools and concepts for healers

Matt Low
Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Today we will dive into the wild realm of reforging. One of the DPS players in my guild moans about the players he sees in different pickup raids ("That guy has 900 hit rating -- wait, that's 900 hit rating over the cap!").

That's why this week I wanted to shine the spotlight on one of the reforging calculators that you may not have heard about. The place is called WoW Reforge! It does have a set of defaults for the different classes (including healing specs). As always with all calculators, you have the capability to adjust the weights and stuff on your own.

Thankfully, the reforging we need to do as healers ends up being a little simpler. Typically, healers will rearrange their reforging for haste, mastery or spirit. It seems that despite the additional buffs to critical rating and the effect it had, it isn't enough to boost critical strike rating to the top of the most wanted list. As healers, there usually aren't any major benchmarks that are required for us. DPS classes need to get their hit rating levels up to a certain percentage; otherwise, parts of their attacks will miss. Normally, healers don't need to do that. There's no such concept as a healing rating. If the fictitious healing rating weren't high enough, our heals would miss and hit a player next to them. As amusing as such an idea would be, we're not bound to those.

Hitting the benchmarks

However, that's not to say that there aren't certain benchmarks where it becomes really beneficial for us healers to reach a certain rating level. For example, shaman have hard numbers for their caps. 916 haste is a must-have, and 2,200 spirit is a requirement for them. It is a great way to figure out if your character can reach the haste caps for current content.

Typically, you'll have a standard reforging setup that you'll use for most encounters. Depending on your class, you prefer a little more haste or a little more mastery. If your character is behind on gear, that character will need some additional spirit to compensate and get the additional regeneration. Your actual reforging setup will vary based on your gear, your raid size, raid composition and encounter. As a discipline priest, I prefer a little more mastery. Some other discipline priests swear by haste.

If you plan on making specific reforging changes, you might want to alert the other healers (or at least, other healers of the same class). There have been times when another priest and I would reforge into the setup that the other player was using. It was absolutely unintentional. I just find it humorous when I'm reforging out of mastery into haste and my friend reforges from haste into mastery, thereby not netting us a significant advantage in the encounter!

WoW Reforge showing default stat weights for Priests
Uh, just ignore that shadow spec in the top left. I was just experimenting something. I'm not moonlighting as a DPS player or anything, don't worry. I was just bored!

Suggestion box

Anyway, this is what the main screen of WoW Reforge looks like once you plug in your character. The two columns on the right show possible reforges. The left reforging column is what your character is currently using. The right column indicates what changes WoW Reforge is suggesting. Notice how it also shows you the items that your character is wearing, the enchants that are currently applied to an item and the gems that are currently in place. Naturally, if you're missing a gem or an enchant, WoW Reforge will highlight it here. It shows that I have two gem sockets available, but that is not the case, as those are only obtained from being a blacksmith (which I'm not).

Right below that, you'll see the overall weights in the different fields. There's a nice edit link there, just in case you want to do things your own way. It'll show you the numbers that you'll gain from other augments, like gems and enchants. It'll also show default values before reforging and then the differences after reforging changes are made.
Fields where you can specify minimum stat weights to reach
Now what if you want to reach a minimum level? You can configure WoW Reforge with a value and a stat that needs to be reached. If the stat is reached, then it'll stop adding points in there and look at other stats that points can be invested into. For example, I like to ballpark spirit at 2,400 (I just pulled that number out of thin air, mind you). I would change the drop-down to spirit and then enter the value of 2,400 before hitting the optimize button. That'll refresh the page and list exactly what changes I need to make and what the projected modified stats will be.

Squeeze out maximum throughput

Even though there are an abundance of reforging calculators out there, take a look at WoW Reforge and see if it can help you in the tweaks you need to make to squeeze out that additional throughput or mana regen you need. I understand that for some of the newer raiders, this is new. Even though you've heard of reforging and may have messed with it a little bit, you don't need to try to eyeball your stats and reforge based on what you're feeling is correct. At the very least, you can use the preset values that are available to give yourself a foundation to work off of.

As healers, do you make any special adjustments on certain fights? If so, what changes do you make to your character that is different from the usual configuration?

Need advice on working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered. Send your questions about raid healing to For less healer-centric raiding advice, visit Ready Check for advanced tactics and advice for the endgame raider.

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