|Healer Throughput CDs|
|Non-Healer Throughput CDs|
|Damage Reduction CDs|
Back in 5.3 I made a blog post about raid cooldowns and their comparative strengths, which you can find here. I went into a lot of detail about the different types of raid CDs and when they are most useful, wrote a freakin’ dissertation on Spirit Link Totem that still applies, and compared the survivability each of the damage-reduction CDs would bring to a raid taking constant heavy damage.
However, the numbers in that post are now outdated – because they were generated using Throne of Thunder gearing, compared to Throne of Thunder mechanics, and because a few cooldowns and class mechanics have been changed. Here I hope to provide a more relevant set of numbers and graphs, and I’ll try to keep the amount of words I throw at you to a minimum. If you think I’ve missed some nuance, check the previous Raid CD post, because I probably covered it there
Below is a table showing the maximum raw throughput of each healing class’s cooldowns. Remember, these numbers are generated with absolutely no overhealing taken into consideration; the amount of overhealing dealt by each cooldown is dependent not only on raid composition but also on timing, strategy, and the amount of damage you’re taking at the time. You’re rather unlikely to see this amount of effective healing from these cooldowns, but when used at appropriate times the relative strengths of these cooldowns ought to be the same.
If you care at all about the gear profiles I used to generate these numbers, see the Methodology section at the end of this post.
|Healers’ Throughput CD Comparisons|
|Tranquility (10-player)||3.5M||+12% w/NV, +15% w/ToL, +28.8% w/both|
|Tranquility (25-player)||8.4M||+12% w/NV, +15% w/ToL, +28.8% w/both|
|Revival (10-player)||1.8M||Also removes Disease, Magic, Poison debuffs|
|Revival (25-player)||4.6M||Also removes Disease, Magic, Poison debuffs|
|Spirit Shell: PoH||3.4M||Assumes Archangel & BT|
|Spirit Shell: PoH, 4p t16||5.1M||Assumes Archangel & BT|
|Divine Hymn (10-player)||3.9M||Worst-case scenario of 50% of ticks self-buffed|
|Divine Hymn (25-player)||9.5M||Worst-case scenario of 48% of ticks self-buffed|
|Lightspring||2.8M||Glyphed for 2 extra “charges”|
|Healing Tide Totem (10-player)||4.2M||Average raid health of 40%|
|Healing Tide Totem (25-player)||10.1M||Average raid health of 40%|
|Ancestral Guidance||8.2M||Average raid health of 40%: UE-HR, 5x CH(4)-RT|
|Ascendance||5.7M||Average raid health of 40%: pre-cast UE-HR, 5x CH(4)-RT, HR, CH(4)-RT|
There’s not a lot to talk about here that hasn’t already been said at length, but I won’t let that stop me! I have a few things I’d like to say about those shocking Shaman numbers. First of all, the “40%” number. Keep in mind I’m suggesting this as an average raid HP only during the time that you’re using the cooldown. The basic assumption here is that you use raid CDs to respond to periods of low raid health, not when the raid is on high health, and that most CDs are used during periods of pulsing AoE damage so that raid health is still fluctuating while your CD is active. Since this information is aimed at people who are pushing progression, I don’t think it’s an unfair number to choose, but of course you can use this information to reverse-engineer numbers for your own raid if your raid’s health is not dropping that low.
This time, I have included only the healing that would be directly attributed as “Ancestral Guidance” or “Restorative Mists” for those cooldowns, not the total healing you’d generate while the cooldown is active. Counting that in pushes your healing-done-while-AG-is-active up to around 13M and your healing-done-while-Ascendance-is-active up to 11.4M.
Specifically regarding AG (although true for Ascendance as well): In patch 5.3 when I wrote my previous post I was asked about the relative strength of AG with Chain Heal compared to AG with Healing Surge. Back then, my answer was that the AG/HS rotation did only about 100k less healing than the optimal AG/CH(4)-RT rotation, so Shaman in 10-player formats, who couldn’t get every bounce out of Chain Heal, would definitely gain throughput by switching to an AG/HS rotation.
The answer has changed in 5.4, though, with Chain Heal’s buffs meaning that a CH that hits only two targets, so long as the first target was Riptided, will deal more healing than a single HS will. So here’s the run-down:
- AG with HS spam: 5.9M healing
- AG with CH(2)-RT spam: 5.8M healing
- AG with CH(3)-RT spam: 6.9M healing
What this indicates is that if even one of your Chain Heals bounces to 3 targets, even if the rest only bounced to 2 targets, you’re better off using Chain Heal than Healing Surge even in 10-player formats. I can’t think of many fights where this is actually impossible; but if it is, on say Heroic 10 Iron Juggernaut for example, you’re probably better off glyphing the Glyph of Chaining and alternating CH and HSx2 spam than just going with HS alone. You’d be even more better off convincing your raid to stay clumped up enough that you could get unglyphed Chain Heals to bounce at least 3 times, though
Here’s a look at the raw healing delivered by hybrid tanks/DPS using their healing cooldown abilities:
|Non-Healers’ Throughput CD Comparisons|
|Feral||Tranq (10)||3.9M||HotW, no weapon swap|
|Tranq (25)||9.4M||HotW, no weapon swap|
|Guardian||Tranq (10)||2.8M||HotW, no weapon swap|
|Tranq (25)||6.6M||HotW, no weapon swap|
|Shadow||Symbiosis Tranq||493k||10-player raid|
|Vamp. Embrace (10)||2.6M||Unglyphed|
|Vamp. Embrace (25)||6.5M||Unglyphed|
|Ele||Healing Tide Totem||1.2M||10-player raid|
|Ancestral Guidance||3.2M||Just damage-to-healing conversion|
|Enh||Healing Tide Totem||1.2M||10-player raid|
|Ancestral Guidance||3.7M||Just damage-to-healing conversion|
|Warrior||Rallying Cry (10)||1.4M||2 tanks @1Mk HP, 8 others @650k HP|
|Rallying Cry (25)||3.4M||2 tanks @1M HP, 23 others @650k HP|
There’s not a lot that’s changed here. Shamans now have Healing Tide Totem baseline, so you can expect your raid’s Shamans to have both HTT and Ancestral Guidance. Note, however, that the DPS Shamans’ version of HTT is pretty lackluster, and as expected Ancestral Guidance well outperforms it. While it is still a healing gain to pre-cast a Healing Rain before activating Ancestral Guidance, there are fewer cases in SoO where this is possible for an Elemental Shaman without giving up some DPS, and since Glyph of Healing Storm no longer affects an Enhancement Shaman’s Healing Rain, it doesn’t really make a huge difference.
I don’t believe many Druids take Heart of the Wild these days, so you could certainly reduce those numbers a fair bit if you wanted to discount that Talent choice. For Balance Druids, HotW provides a 50% boost, so divide the numbers above by 1.5; for Feral/Guardian Druids, HotW is a 100% boost, so halve the numbers above. I would do this myself, but I don’t want to make a chart so long I could lay it across the ocean and walk to LA
These cooldowns mitigate damage based upon the amount of damage being dealt to the raid, and therefore you have to know what abilities you are mitigating in order to determine how much damage will be prevented. If you’ll recall, I’m using three mechanics from Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar encounters: Iron Juggernaut’s Seismic Activity, a heavy magical damage DoT; Spoils of Pandaria’s Mogu Elders, a one-off, strong magical attack; and Thok’s Deafening Screech, a frequently-occurring physical damage attack.
To display the relative power of each cooldown vs. each mechanic, I’ve done up a little bar chart. Since some of these mechanics are more powerful in 25-player than in 10-player, I’ve also separated the two raid formats into their own graphs:
While I won’t spend too much time going into detail about this, I do want to note that although Devotion Aura does not mitigate any of the damage dealt by Thok’s Deafening Screech, remember that it is still by far the most important raid cooldown your raid can use. In this particular case it acts as a healing throughput CD, allowing healers to continue their usual chain of spellcasts without fear of interruption.
Similarly, Spirit Link is stronger than it appears in the Thok situation as well, because the health redistribution makes it less likely that the players who are struck by Shock Blast or other random spike damage will die. This is handy when you are trying to keep two separate groups so that you can go as low in health as possible without pushing the boss into Frenzy for Blood! early, or for when you are stacked up trying to push into that phase, and need to heal less to fall beneath the 50% health threshold, but don’t want to die.
Oh – and I left Zen Meditation off because it’s better used as a personal CD than a raid one, especially with the vast number of mechanics that it doesn’t really do much for.
This time around I was a little lazy. Rather than attempting to build BiS lists on Ask Mr. Robot and either trust their stat weights or tweak them myself, I simply used the gear that the healers and DPS in my guild were wearing as of last week. This resulted in a set of gear profiles around the 566-570 ilvl mark.
I am going to trust that my guildies know what they are doing with their own stat weights, and have optimised their gear far better than I could with the AMR tool. However, I’ll note that their choices may be biased toward 25-player raiding rather than 10-player, so healers who do 10-player raiding may find these stat allocations a little unsatisfactory. Feel free to leave feedback!
I’ve also included all relevant raid buffs, including Intellect flasks and food.
|Healer Stats in 566-570 iLvl gearing|
|Resto Druid||Mistweaver Monk||Holy Paladin||Disc Priest||Holy Priest||Resto Shaman|
The disparity in Intellect/Spellpower values comes around because some classes are valuing secondary stats way more highly than primary (particularly Mistweavers and Disc Priests, but also Resto Druids just reaching the high Haste breakpoint). You’ll note I’m using a pretty Mastery-heavy build for the Shaman stats; that’s mostly because I was most recently progressing on H Thok when I grabbed this information. Mastery is really nice there, but I also tend to value it more highly than most other Heroic-progressing Shaman since I place more significance on clutch healing/cooldowns over maintenance healing.
For the DPS spec cooldowns that rely on damage done to generate healing, I used the SimC DPS value on the WoW-Progress page for each character. Again, yes, it’s quick-and-dirty, but I think it’s close enough for this sort of work.
|Non-Healer Stats in iLvl 566-570 Gear|
|Balance Druid||Feral Druid||Guardian Druid||Shadow Priest||Ele Shaman||Enh Shaman|
Finally, I chose the following boss abilities to use as mechanics to be countered by damage reduction cooldowns:
Pulsing Physical Damage: Thok’s Heroic Deafening Screech. I chose a 2.4-second interval between Screeches as that’s the interval of the final 15 or so Screeches my raid experienced on Heroic Thok; each screech dealing 580k Physical damage per player in 10-player formats, and 630k Physical damage per player in 25-player formats. Cooldowns were evaluated by how many Screeches they could fit within their uptime if timed well. Shock Blast and other prisoner-related debuffs and abilities were not included.
Pulsing Magical Damage: Iron Juggernaut’s Heroic Seismic Activity. This pulses every second for 60 seconds, dealing approximately 78,200 Nature damage per player in 10-player formats, and 86,000 Nature damage per player in 25-player formats. Since it is possible to stack early in this phase or between the second and third Shock Pulses, I have assumed the entire raid fits within an Anti-Magic Zone, Power Word: Barrier, Smoke Bomb, or Spirit Link Totem.
Large Single Attack: Spoils of Pandaria’s Heroic Mogu Elders (the guys in the Massive Crates) deal a large magical-damage AoE every 12 seconds that strikes every player in the quadrant. It is 20% larger per Stone Statue active, and since sometimes you can’t have every Stone Statue dead in time, I calculated its damage with 2 Stone Statues alive. This deals 486k damage per player in 10-player formats and 535k damage per player in 25-player formats. I calculated it assuming there were 5 players in the quadrant for 10-player raids, and 13 players in the quadrant for 25-player raids. Note that one cooldown, Demoralizing Banner, lasts long enough to cover two successive AoE attacks; this was factored in to its calculation.