Priests - Mana regeneration model


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This is the first in a series of discussions that I plan on writting for the new to priest class, or maybe you've been playing priest for awhile and just would like to know some mechanics or pick up some tricks.

The priest mana regen model is a need to know item but it isn't one of those things you need to have at the forefront of your mind to excel at the class but having a basic understanding will help you decide what gear, weapons, items are better for you over others.

Priests get there mana regen from two sources: Spirit and mana per 5. Which is better: The short answer is a good mix of both.

Mana from Spirit: How you get mana from spirit is this simple equation: Take the value of your spirit, divide by 4 and add 13. That is how much mana you regen, out of combat, every game cycle. A game cycle is equivalent to two seconds. But the mana regen figures on your character sheet is based on every 5 seconds. So take the answer from the equation above and multiply by 2.5 to get the equivalent in mana per 5, which is used for comparison purposes. For example, if you have 150 spirit, your mana regen out of combat, every 5 seconds is ((150 / 4) + 13) x 2.5 = 126.25. To determine how much mana regen you get from a single piece of gear with spirit, take the spirit value of the item and divide by 4.

The opposite of out of combat (OOC) mana regen is in combat mana regen. The general rule for in combat mana regen is, it is ZERO, regardless of how much spirit you have. This is what gives rise to the FSR, or Five Second Rule. Maybe some of you have heard me say it, or have seen it tossed around but did not know what it means or how it applies. The FSR basically, as I stated above and restate now: 5 seconds after the landing, or finishing of any casted spell, you leave combat regen models and enter OOC mana regen (100%). The three exceptios to the rule is the meditation talent in the discipline tree (at the 11 point spot) which will give you 10%/20%/30% of your OOC rate while in combat. Second is spirit tap at the first talent position of the shadow tree which can give you 50% of the OOC mana regen rate after killing a mob and at 51 points in the shadow tree, there is Vamperic Touch which will return 5% of the shadow damage you deal back as mana. And these exceptions all work together. For example, after killing a mob that yeilds experience, your in combat mana regen rate with spirit tap and meditation will be (126.25 * 0.3) + (126.25 / 2) = 38 + 63 = 101 Mp5 (mana per 5 seconds). So if you went straight on to killing another mob, instead of having 0 Mp5, you'd have 101 Mp5 from your spirit.

Mana from Mana per 5 gear: Mana from Mp5 gear is not affected by the FSR. What ever the value is on the gear, is the mana regen you receive in and out of combat. So if a weapon has a stat of 5 mana per 5, then every 5 seconds, 5 mana will be returned to you regardless if you are casting or sitting and doing nothing. While it may seem like a single stat of 5 mana per 5 makes very little difference in the grand scheme of things, think about this: My own mana per 5 in combat is about 230. Which means every 10 seconds, I regen enough mana to cast nearly any of my spells. So every 10 seonds of battle, I get a free cast from my mana regen. One piece may not make a difference but the cummulative effect of them all will.

The great debate: Spirit or Mp5: This is a good question. Spirit gives you more regen outside the FSR but less in combat then Mp5. But you spend more time in combat so spirit OOC regen is almost pointless (but not entirely) and the required raidings mana per 5 will be (although not set yet as of this writting) based on in combat rates. On the surface straight up Mp5 gear would seem better. But not always. Look in the discipline tree at Divine Spirit and Improved Divine Spirit and then look in the Holy Tree and review Spiritual Guidance and Improved Death, er I mean Spirit of Redemption. You can't ignore the dependance of priests on the spirit stat.

In the end it becomes a balancing act. You want maintain a balance between spirit and mana per 5. Over indulging on one will hurt the benefits derived by the other. There are calculators out there that will tell you what is better when, but I feel in the end, it will boil down to how it feels to you.

If you get a new piece of gear and are unsure which to use because everything is so close, do what I do. Keep them both, go to a quiet room in SW or IF and cast flash heal on yourself until you run out of mana, 5 times with each piece. Count the number of casts, add up the total amount healed. Generally, the piece that gets you more healed and more casts is the better piece. Some times you will get more healed in less casts on one piece and less healed and more cast on another piece. Ask yourself this, after a 10 minute boss fight, which is more imporant, the healing battery that keeps on going (energizer bunny) or a bunch of big heals at the beginning of a fight but nothing at the end?

Ok, actually its more complicated then that because you can down rank heals to combat the "big heals up front and nothing at the end" syndrom alot of healers face, but that is another discussion altogether.

Here ends my first discussion. If you have any questions about the priest mana regen model, go ahead and ask them here or in game. Here is better because everybody gets to see the Q&A. Please don't ask about down ranking or anything off topic. If you do, I'll just make note of it and try and answer it when I write about that topic.
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alright so question... my priest sits at 475ish mana per 5 out of combat (raid buffed) and 350ish mp5 during combat (raid buffed). These numbers seem bigish to me, but I don't raid outside kara and they work fine for me in there... Since you guys do a lot more raiding than I do, do these number work also with your mana pool? Like if I have a bigger mana pool I should have more spirit mana then straight mp5... I guess what I'm asking is if my mana pool is 10k should I sac spirit for mp5 to make up for the low mana pool, or does the pool not make a difference here, or is it a "do what works best for you?"
You are right in that the smaller your mana pool is, the more important mana per 5 is for regen over spirit. I find Karas first 3 bosses are easily accomplished with 8 to 9k mana pool and 80 to 100 mana per 5 in combat regen. The deeper you get, the longer and more involved the fights become the more dependant you become on needing mana and regen.

For myself, 280 mana regen in combat, +2000 healing and a 11k buffed mana pool sees me through Gruul, VR, all our Lurker and Mag attempts without much risk of going OOM. If you find you are going OOM:

  • Use mana potions as soon as your mana pool is down the amount a mana potion will replenish you
  • Dark runes are good if you wish to farm them, they are on a seperate timer from mana potions
  • If you get a clearcasting proc, use Inner Focus for the following cast to get two mana free casts while maintaining 100% OOC mana regen. Sometimes you can get two or three clearcastings in a row, so watch for that.
  • Make sure you are using +mana per 5 consumable buffs
  • Try getting OOC mana regen as often as you can without risking your heal assignments life.
  • Effective cancelling of unneeded heals