Raid Rx: Mists of Pandaria healing changes

Matt Low
M. Low|03.26.12

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Raid Rx: Mists of Pandaria healing changes
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.

You'll notice that there are a ton of new glyphs that have been added for all the classes. That list is by no means exhaustive. I also noticed some slight changes in the way certain spells work. I can assure you it won't be anything too drastic, but these changes are enough to keep you interested and wondering. This week, I'll be rounding up what we know healers will be getting, as well as any other notable modifications.

New for druids

Cenarion Ward appears to be a Prayer of Mending-like spell without the subsequent charges. Good spell to open with before an engagement. Won't have to pre-HoT as much. Just remember to pre-Ward.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom! Hope you love 'shrooms, since you'll be gaining the use of these in addition to your Balance friends. Anticipate a moment where big AoE healing is needed, and plant 'shrooms. Detonate after raid group takes a hit, and relish in the healing spores that explode.

Regrowth can be glyphed to remove the HoT component. Benefit? 40% increased chance of a critical heal. I guess you can configure a HoT-based class to switch to a non-HoT direction.

New for paladins

Improved Judgment

Paladins received a plethora of new glyphs.

Glyph of Flash of Light increases the next heal done on that target by 30%. Does this mean the return of Flash of Light-spamming paladins? I'm not sure if that benefit is going to stack. Sounds to me like the best way to capitalize would be to alternate between Flash of Light and Divine Light.

The Glyph of Beacon of Light has the global cooldown removed off of the spell. This feels like a PvP change, and I'd also like to say it has an effect on any PvE activities. Hard for me to say, though. I struggle hard as it is right now on my paladin juggling the thing.

Divine Plea can be changed with the glyph to have a cast time with the benefit of no healing reduction while the spell is active and you receive 12% mana instantly. Sounds good to me!

Priest additions and changes

Some interesting additions and changes to priest glyphs have kicked in on the beta.

Glyph of Prayer of Mending retains the additional 60% front-loaded heal on the first charge, but it loses a charge at the end (leaving you a total of four charges). My initial thoughts are the glyph will be used where there isn't as much AoE damage action going on. Prayer of Mending still ends up fairly efficient, either way. Having the glyph equipped means that you'll want to make sure the spell gets used often on the tanks. Unglyph it if you're expecting damage auras or large AoE attacks (or anything where you can get that spell bouncing around).

The updated Power Word: Shield glyph has been nerfed slightly. Instead of applying an additional 20% heal to the initial absorb amount, 20% of the absorb amount gets turned into a heal.

Spectral Guise
(level 87 ability) What is this, like a decoy or something? Let's fool our opponents in PvP? Having some difficulty coming up with PvE applications. For PvP, it seems like a fun little ability, though.

Lightwell now has 15 charges (up from 10). The new glyph adds an additional two charges to it, making the glyph not as important as it would be for present Lightwell users.

Discipline AoE healing changes have been reverted. In case you missed out, Kaivax wrote a post not too long ago that Prayer of Healing is now available to both healing specs. Holy Nova as an effective AoE healing tool ran into several issues. Blizzard's been saying this for a while, but I want to bold it, and I want you priests to heavily emphasize this the next time your leaders question you about your spec and abilities: Both Holy and Discipline should be effective at group healing or single-target healing.

That's Blizzard's goal. My dream is that one day we'll be recognized and not dismissed into a single spec or told that one spec is superior for one aspect of the game compared to the other.

Monk abilities

Here's a list of some of the new Monk abilities for the healing spec. Of course, the monk is still a class in infancy. Mistweaver (the healing spec) will be using mana; disregard anything you hear about it being an energy-based healer. Healers with energy as a resource are going to be extremely difficult to balance against their mana-using counterparts. The chi system has been altered to favor Light Chi (Dark Chi has been removed).

Transcendence is the monk level 87 ability that allows players to split themselves. Activating it means they leave a "spiritual" copy of themselves behind at their current location. You can move your body to some other location and then activate it to warp back to where your spirit copy was. Not sure if you can repeatedly activate it to switch between your spirit location and your body location. The 3-minute cooldown means that it can only be used a few times during an encounter, though.

New for shaman

Ascendance is your level 87 ability. Going into Ascendance form duplicates and distributes your healing done to friendly players near you. Pretty cool!

Lots of new shaman glyphs, but here are several that really jumped out at me.

You can increase the range on Chain Heal if you grab the Glyph of Chain Heal. The catch is that the healing done by the spell won't be as potent as the unglyphed counterpart. These are the trade-offs you have to contend with, and I suspect that you'll want to use this glyph on encounters where players are doing some serious spreading out.

Glyph of Earth Shield has changed. It now requires a little additional maintainence. The new glyph won't have any charges lost but the duration now lasts 45 seconds. Remember to refresh it!

Shaman will now gain a HoT spell (well, sort of). Glyph of Riptide removes the initial heal, but it also removes the cooldown. You guys can now Riptide all the players as much as you like. Don't expect to play it like your druid counterparts, though.

The Glyph of Water Shield has been modified so that the passive regeneration increases by 10%, but the shield doesn't activate if you take damage. I surmise that if you're really good at dodging stuff, you'll want to grab the glyph. If you plan on taking unavoidable damage, then maybe the mana return on shield activations are better.

Trade skill updates

In addition, I've got a pretty good idea of what your main-hand enchant is going to be. It's called Jade Spirit. The enchant acts as the Mists version of Power Torrent but has the ability to trigger a spirit increase if your mana falls below 25%.

For additional coverage of the new expansion, remember to visit our Mists of Pandaria page with new information and topics as we get it!

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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