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The ICC Buff and You – Throughput vs. Spellpower

Bigger is better right? Bigger heals means it is better— just like Gearscore, brah!!

Not necessarily.

The key with bigger heals is to be using them effectively… just because you CAN cast a GHeal that will crit for 30K doesn’t mean you should. The same goes for Flash Heal, Renew, COH, POM, Penance, etc.

Wait, what?

Overheal, at its core, isn’t going to wipe your raid, but if you aren’t overhealing it can be indicative that you are healing more effectively. Bigger isn’t always better!

Blizzard has introduced Strength of Wrynn (SoW) and Hellscream’s Warsong (HW). This mechanic is something moderately new. We haven’t seen much similar to this before: a scaling buff over time. What does this mean? Does it mean that when it gets increased that you are now 5% more awesome than you were the previous week? Maybe… but in reality, as healers, you need to figure out what this actually means for YOU.

DPS is different than healing. DPS getting a pure DPS buff from SoW and HW means they are peeling away the bosses health faster. For healing, this means your heals are hitting for more; but nothing else. SoW and HW does not increase your Haste, Crit, or Mana Regen. Do you even need these heals to be hitting for a larger amount? Ask yourself questions!

Take a look at your gems in your gear; I bet many of your are gemming for pure spellpower in your red sockets. I bet many of you are breaking socket bonuses for pure red gems. Stop. Think. Evaluate. Take a look at your logs. Do you need that extra spellpower from that Cardinal Ruby? Weigh in the 20% buff (keeping in mind its going up to 25% and then 30%). If you don’t need this added spellpower, you might have the ability to regem and increase your throughput via your other stats. Get your haste up higher! Increase your intellect if you are having mana issues! Improve stats that you think might be a little too low when under the ICC buff! (Remember Strength of Wrynn and Hellscream’s Warsong are ICC only buffs, so if your guild is running a lot of stuff outside of ICC you might be reducing your spellpower lower than you’d like).

Additionally, you might not want to wear your 4-piece T10 gear after weighing in the ICC buff. For holy, the added 10% to COH that your 4-piece provides, might be pure overheal and you can get more stats and more throughput by equipping offset items. I know I do this; I trade that 10% buff for better stats on offset gear when I am in my Holy Spec. When I play Holy I tend to run Haste heavy– I like being faster.

For Disc, this can be tricky, as your Shields are preventative… putting my “issues” with pure Bubble Spam aside… are you not proccing Rapture b/c your shields aren’t being eaten? (Remember Rapture isn’t just for you! Your other Raiders get benefit from it as well!) You could be able to increase your Haste for more Tank healing and DAs. Figure out where YOUR tipping point is- generally Disc is all about MOAR SP!!! But, with the increased buff you might have more flexibility to gear/gem. When are you giving up too much in your throughput stats for just more Spellpower? Are you going to be gaining more from more haste or are you overscaling on spellpower? A bit easier to determine if you are Holy; more difficult as Disc.

It is important to remember that shifting your focus from spellpower to throughput is up to you and is impacted greatly by your gear. If you are new to ICC and are in dungeon heroic gear and some 232 badge gear, perhaps spellpower will be the way to go for you. However, if you have the extra gems, badges, or if you are a Jewelcrafter and have extra Dragon’s Eyes laying around: I encourage you to test it out. Swap out some spellpower for more haste- kick it up a notch. See how it works for you. I know I have regemmed and have noticed an increase in my output – not from spellpower gains provided the ICC Buff, but from my thoughput gains via Haste.

Written By: on June 8, 2010
  1. The only concern that I’d state with the idea of gemming around Strength of Chin and Whinescream’s Warsong is that it isn’t present in Ruby Sanctum. And from what I’ve seen and heard, Halion 25H is pretty wild.

    But yeah, great post on the whole. :)

    1. You make a good point, though at this point if your guild is working on 25m Heroic Modes, and your gear is up to par with your guilds, depending on how you gear/gem you should be swarming in spell power, most priests I’ve seen at 264-277 ilvl gear are around 3200-3700 spell power, and at that point, other stats may increase your throughput more then spell power. even without the buff. It all depends on your raid make up and play style though.

      But on a second note, I for one am looking forward to Halion 25H :D

      And Derevka, very good post :)

  2. @Rilgon Yep… I touched on that in a line stating to remember that its just in ICC. I’ll likely revisit my stats for RS. But we’ll see even when that comes out!!

    @Abere yeah, in mostly 277 gear I probably would benefit more form Haste>SP. All the more reason to change! :)

  3. The thing to remember is Ruby Sanctum is not current progression. You need to focus on gearing/gemming for the current fights, which in our case is H LK25.

    The problem with disc in ICC HEROIC is 11/12 of the fights get easier and easier with each buff- then you have LK tuned for buffs. My set for that fight (4pc pure SP) actually becomes a hindrance as I almost get zero benefit from rapture using that set on other fights

    I find myself using my offtier single target/tank heal set – lots of haste. I always say if you are a 100% bubble monkey, you’re doing it wrong, and a higher haste makes it much easier to weave your shields and healing and will actually increase your ZOMGMETER whoring :P

  4. This was something I have tried to talk to my members about, but I posted a link to this topic for our priests.

    The biggest thing as some pointed out, is that this buff won’t be present in RS, so because of this buff some people may be slacking a bit instead of pushing their abilities, which could wind up hurting them later because they won’t have the crutch anymore

    1. Just regem for RS if needed – thats what I plan to do. Money is so easy to get these days it shouldn’t be a problem.

  5. I am glad you brought this up as I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I am a full time bubble-bot so I doubt that I would loose the 4-piece, but I am having so much more problems with mana at this point. My rapture just isn’t returning much mana at all. I am constantly having to drop my throughput trinkets for mana ones.

    I am seriously considering regemming all together.

  6. I’m really happy you went into this in more detail than the Rawrcast I was listening to!

    I’ve been trying to make more of an impact for my raid’s healing, but I seem to come out more as backup on World of Logs unless there’s a huge burst in damage in my holy spec. I’ve been comparing myself but I’ve had a rough time figuring out how much spellpower is okay to stick around. I think I can trim a couple hundred of that to work on my haste. I’m concerned about my spirit at the same time (~1400 int/~1000 spirit) so I’m curious what your opinion of the Intricate gem is – the green haste/spirit – combination in replace of some of the purified – swapping spellpower for haste.
    This might be a little more specific because it’s the summer and my guild has had a “dry spell” of replenishment classes.

    1. It’s very hard to give a decent answer for that without knowing a specific makeup, fights you do on a regular basis, and current/available gearing. It’s really the same answer we usually give – you have to evaluate your set up as a whole.

      The haste/spirit gem is definitely an option, but keep in mind that spirit is not a sole factor in our regen models -for raiding holy, if I had to say it REALLY simple, a decent ratio of raid buffed int/spirit provides the best output.

      But rather than go into it, Zusterke already laid out a PHENOMINAL regen model – he has a knack for laying things out great. check it out

  7. Nice point,this remind that with the new zone buff, there will be more option than gemming red for disc.

    so, 2 healing 10H, Haste or Crit?

    1. Haste. You’ll be doing way more than just bubbling.

  8. I have noticed the exact same thing about rapture procs and have been moving from pure SP to sp/int gems. I even put a pure int gem in a slot last night.

    I noticed I dropped a little on the meters but it’s nice to know I can cast constantly on HMs and still have gas in the tank if we start closing in on enrage timers. It’s also nice to regen quicker after a Brez especially for progression content.

  9. Sowwy:( I had to link this post on the us priest forums, dont hate me.

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