Let’s take a good look at it.
Hmmm 3% for 4 ticks? 12%? That sure doesn’t seem like very much, does it? The 20% boost is nice, but it goes away after 8 seconds. Sure isn’t sounding very good, is it ? The thing to remember is HoH (Hymn of Hope) works on your maximum mana level – not base. So assuming a base mana level of 30,000 & ignoring any exterior factors such as replensihments, totems, meditation, haste levels ect, & making it very simple, it actually works like this:
1) Cast HoH
2) First tick nets you 900 mana (30,000 mana x 3%)
3) Here’s where it gets interesting – Now your 20% maximum mana level is registered. Your second tick nets you 1,080 mana [ 30,000 x 20% x 3% tick, or 30,000 (1.2)(.03) = 1,080].
Hmmm. Roughly 4100 mana for an 8 second channel? Still not sounding very good, is it? Well, let’s make it good.
I’m sure you all know our little friend, Mr. Shadowfiend ? He’s not as stupid as he used to be. He now returns 5% of your MAXIMUM mana with his attacks. See where this is going? Launching your fiend, and the popping HoH now nets you 5% of 36,000 [ 30,000 x 20%] for the 8 second HoH maximum mana duration, on top of HoH’s own mana return. That alone should net you a good hunk of your mana return. Want to get REALLY crazy? Pop you Shadowfiend/HoH combo during a heroism.
Haste also plays a part in this. Using myself as an example, in disc spec/gear, I sit around 484 haste. Between that and Enlightenment, my actual channeling time on this spell looks like this:
Throwing Borrow Time into the mix, and casting a shield on myself before I channel HoH looks like this:
The interesting thing to note is that even though Haste reduces the channeling time, it does NOT reduce the applied time on the 20% mana increase. With BT, that’s almost 2.5 seconds of casting with maximum mana buff under solo conditions.
Which brings me to my next point: Something to remember is that Hymn of Hope works along the same lines Divine Hymn does, so while the shadow fiend trick comes in handy for personal use, where this spell really shines is a raid.
Why? Because of two little words that every raider loves to hear: It. Stacks.
Oh yes – these stack. HoH is a trainable spell, so every shadow, holy and disc priest in your raid has it. So if Holy Priest Larry, Disc Priest Moe, and Shadow Priest Curly pop this at the same time, the mana return goes from 3% per tick to 9% per tick, and the maximum mana boost goes from 20% to 60%! So, following our VERY SIMPLE model with no external factors, if Larry, Moe & Curly all have 30,000 mana, they now have 48,000 mana and will return 4320 mana per tick.
Another thing to note that I’ve discovered during some very scientific and controlled experiments awhile back (I grabbed a bunch of priests from the guild and we stood by the Dalaran fountain) is the extension of time relative to your haste on the channel time of the 20% “fake mana” also stacks. For example, with haste, Larry’s Channel time on HoH is 5.0 seconds, Moe’s is 5.26 & Curly’s is 5.4 – leaving them 3, 2.74 & 2.6 seconds of “fake mana casting time”, respectively. This ALSO stacks, giving all three of them about 8 seconds of extra time, and almost 16 seconds of “fake mana time” for the raid. Keep in mind the spells you cast during this time come out of your “fake mana” pool.
One question people ask is “When do I use this?”. Well, that’s not really an easy question to answer. With a 6 minute cooldown, like Divine Hymn, you have to choose wisely. Identify fights when you’re running tight on mana, and coordinate with the priests on when to use this – a good example would be way back last summer when Ulduar 25 was still progression. Firefighter (Mimiron hard mode) was some intense healing, and we would channel our Hymns in the transition between Phase 2 & 3. I love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning (General Vezax) was another good time – even a single priest channeling at the end provided enough mana for that last boost to knock him over (remember, Vezax is the fight that negates all mana regen mechanics). A more recent example would be on the Lich King 25 – we like to pop ours between phase 1 & 2 as we get into position, as phase one can be an intense drain, especially on disc priests. There is no magic answer that I can give, no “at X minutes in fight Y, use HoH ” – your guild strategies and raid makeups can be very different than someone else’s, and that can and will affect when and where you need it. The key to using this is to review a fight as you experience it and determine if there’s a use for it, and if so, when would be the best time to use it. Coordinate & discuss with your other priests as well.
My goal here was to show, in a VERY simplified way, how Hymn of Hope works so priests can understand how to apply it ( I can almost hear Zusterke having a stroke at how simplified this is). There are so many ways and so many fights to apply these techniques in – you simply have to determine WHEN to use them. And don’t be selfish with it! Remember, this can help with raidwide mana issues. If you see DPS struggling at a certain point, determine if it’s feasible to use this for them, even if you don’t need it. And hey – even if you don’t need it, it looks REALLY cool. And I’m all about looking cool.
(PS We’re recruiting an exceptional holy pally and warlock for ICC25 Hard Modes. Know any?)