Let’s Talk About Spirit
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about spirit lately. Which took me by surprise at first (while I love getting pally questions, I don’t get them often!), but it makes sense: we’ve gone a long, long time without having to worry about Mana Regen. Suddenly we’re bombarded with the notion that our infinite mana pools are a thing of the past and that spirit, spirit the stat we snubbed throughout our whole healing careers, is finally useful to us.
It’s ok, learning something new can be a good thing. Hey, I learned something new! I learned that intellect directly affects our MP5 or mana regen. Apparently it’s done that all along but because mana regen has always been something that took care of itself, I never paid attention. And no one ever thought to pull me aside one day and tell me “hey, you don’t care about this now, but one day you’ll be happy to know that intellect increases mana regen“. Anyway, as I was double checking my facts for this post by playing dress up with my paladin, I realized that “AAAMG MY SPIRITLESS BRACERS ARE UPPING MY MP5”.
No, I’m not embarrassed. I’m not embarrassed because, according to the replies I got when I asked on Twitter, many of you didn’t know either.
So what about ’em Spirit.
Do I need to start stacking Spirit?
I can sense the panic radiating from that question. Cataclysm drops in 2 weeks. Most of us aren’t raiding anymore, those of who are raiding, aren’t raiding too seriously. So close your eyes and take a deep breath. You don’t have to spend tons of gold regemming gear you’re going to vendor in two weeks after you respec to retribution to zerg your way to 85.
Besides, even if you’re still raiding, if you’re managing your spells right, you shouldn’t be having trouble with mana. Remember, Holy Light and Holy Shock are cheap spells, Divine Light and Flash of Light are expensive spells.
From my experimenting last night in ICC, I could get away with a lot of Divine Light and Flash of Light casting on every fight but Lich King (where I did run out of mana very fast, but in my defense, I think we lost Replenishment when our ret pallies left). I have 334 Spirit.
If you are struggling with mana due to gear level or a stubborn need to spam Divine Light, then feel free to add some Spirit gems or do some reforging, but don’t panic. Don’t panic.
What about Spirit and Cataclysm? What about that?
I’m unfortunately not the right person to ask about Cataclysm gossip. I like to discover things on my own and because I wasn’t in the beta, I shy away from the spoilers.
That said, rumor has it that our mana won’t be flowing as freely as it did during Wrath, but with intelligent spell choosing, it shouldn’t be a disaster. The Thinkers over at Elitist Jerks seem to be suggesting that our custom of gemming for intellect will survive the expansion, or at least, the beginning of it.
How does Intellect help me get mana back?
Intellect helps with mana in a few ways:
– It increases your mana pool
– It helps you get more mana back from Divine Plea
– It helps you get more mana back from Replenishment (Replenishment is a raid buff that certain classes/specs can trigger passively- Ret pallies, Resto Druids, Frost Mages and Destro Locks are the ones I’m aware of.)
– If you’re a Blood Elf, it boosts the mana you get back from Arcane Torrent
It also works with Spirit to increase the mana that regens happily on its own while you’re not worrying about it.
How does Spirit work?
You’ve stacked all the Intellect in the world, you’re cautious about your spell casting and you’re still running low on mana. Maybe you need more Spirit.
Spirit and Intellect work together to boost your mana regen. When you open your character panel, you’ve got three types of mana regen.
a) Combat Mana is the speed you’re regaining mana whenever you’re in combat, including when you’re casting.
b) Mana Regen is the speed you get your mana back while you’re out of combat
c)The MP5 when you mouse over the your Spirit tab is how much faster you’ll regain mana 5 seconds after you’ve stopped casting. It adds on to your Combat Mana while you’re in combat and it adds your Mana Regen while you’re not in combat.
The formula by which Spirit and Intellect affect these numbers is complicated and I’m not sure if the exact formula has been figured out for Cataclysm so lets just settle with both numbers increase mana regen and Spirit increases it more than Intellect.
For the visuals, I made a graph! (Don’t be scared, I’ll explained it below.)
Ignore the equations. This graph shows the story of me playing dress up with my pally.
The bottom (blue) line shows my mana regen (the MP5 from the Spirit tab) with different amounts of Intellect while my Spirit was at the human pally base of 108 (EDIT: the graph says 106, it’s just a transcription error and doesn’t affect the results at all). The next (pink) line up is the same thing, but with 215 Spirit. Next (green) line is with 384 Spirit and the top (purple) line is with 431 Spirit.
If graphs aren’t your thing and you’re still lost, the bottom line is this:
The more Spirit you have, the more bang for your buck you get from Intellect. If you need more regen, you don’t have to swap all your Intellect for Spirit. Just adding 100 or so Spirit (probably a bit more at level 85) can make a huge difference in how much Intellect is contributing to your Regen. And the more Intellect you have, the less Spirit you have to add to see that difference.
And that’s my lecture about Spirit. May your Cataclysm experience be rich in lavish mana pools.