The Utility of Utility

IDSvCOH2

I consider myself to be an okay tank healer, but an excellent raid healer.  I love Circle of Healing, and when you catch me off-guard enough to admit it, I’ll say my favorite spells are the ones I can cast while pounding my spacebar and hopping around.  Yes, I am “that type” of raider.   I also seem to be in a rather unusual raid group where, up until recently, we had a surplus of single-target healers (paladins coming out our ears,  our only resto druid is a Dreamstate-wants-to-be-a-doomchicken Healing Touch spammer) and raid healing came from one Shaman and a few CoH.  We had no priests with Divine Spirit on our roster because we simply couldn’t afford them.

Unfortunately for me, I’m also a spirit junkie.  I would LOVE to go into every raid with an extra +50 spirit, not to mention the +10% dmg/heal the buff gives as well.  Even though my group’s makeup needs raid healing, not to slot a priest in a tank heal, IDS utility spot, I decided to turn the question around (for purely selfish purposes, of course).  Circle of Healing is an awesome spell in T6 raiding, but if IDS is considered mandatory, what exactly will it bring to the raid?

Spellpower

One of the largest arguments against IDS is the fact that it’s only a significant buff to holy priests and tree druids.  None of the other healers or DPS have a spirit focus, so the damage or healing they gain is minimal.  I decided to check and see how minimal the gain actually is.  I used my guild as an example, and spent some time with the Armory and a calculator.  Unsurprisingly, our Holy Priests had the highest spirit out there.  We ranged from ~550-650 unbuffed spirit, and the gain from IDS gave each holy priest somewhere between 60 and 70 +heal.  What did surprise me was the fact our mages tied our DS druid for second place in the spirit race.  They ran from 250-350 unbuffed, which left them getting 30-40 more damage or healing.  This is roughly equivalent to nearly two Teardrop Crimson Spinels for the druid, and three Runed Crimson Spinels for the mages.  Paladins, Warlocks, and Shaman tied for third, each in the 100-200 spirit range, got 15-25 damage or healing.  If your raid group is heavy on priests, druids, and mages, IDS’s utility increases.

Talents

If the results of IDS on mages is so surprising because they are not a class that gains much from spirit, what about the classes which have a spirit focus, or talents specifically relating to spirit?  That’s right, I’m talking priests and Trees. 

For priests, those talents are Spiritual Guidance and Spirit of Redemption.  Spiritual Guidance increases dmg/heal based on 5%/10%/15%/20%/25% of the priest’s total spirit.  Spirit of Redemption, in addition to that whole “heal while dead” thing, gives a flat 5% increase to total Spirit.  Those two spells work beautifully together, and are a must for every healy-priest regardless of spec.  Both of these talents are also multiplicative, meaning the more spirit you have, the more you’ll get as a result.  We get the 60-70 +heal IDS grants at base, plus another 13 (25% of the 50 spirit of the buff for Spiritual Guidance) and 3 (5% of the 50 spirit of the buff for Spirit of Redemption) added on. In T6 gear, the average increase in +heal a priest gains from having IDS is 75-85. The healing Priests get from IDS is equivalent to the +heal to weapon enchant.

For tree druids, there are also two talents which deal directly with spirit: Tree of Life and Living Spirit.  Much like with priests, these talents were designed to go together.  Tree of Life also increases healing based on 25% of the Tree’s spirit, but instead of the healing done by the tree, it’s healing done to anyone in the tree’s group.  Living Spirit increases spirit by 5%/10%/15%.  As we don’t have any trees in our guild, I can’t use guildie figures for this, but poking around other guilds at our level of progression, their trees seem to have spirit numbers on par with our holy priests.  That gives the same 60-70 +heal from IDS at base, in addition to another 7 (15% of the 50 spirit boost) to everyone in the tree’s party.  In T6 gear, the average +heal gained by the tree’s party is increased by 65-80.  Tanks in a tree group healed by holy priests with IDS using max-coefficient spells will see an increase in healing received by 140-165 per hit.

Regen

In addition to the healing gained based on spirit for both holy priests and tree druids, regen must be taken into account as well.  Both have equivalent spells.  Meditation for priests and Intensity for druids each give 10%/20%/30% regen while casting.  The formula for determining regen is the same regardless of class as well:  Mana Regen = 5 * sqrt(Int) * Spirit * Base_Regen

regen

All names slightly tweaked as I didn’t speak to them before posting.  Jadey is a tree, whereas the bottom four are myself and 3 other priests in my guild.  Both Int and Spirit numbers are unbuffed and pulled directly from armory.  OOC and IC refer to out of combat and in combat regen numbers.  OOC IDS and IC IDS show how the numbers change if we’ve got IDS up, and the final columns show the differences between buffed and unbuffed stats.

Buffs

Moving back to the general raid utility, because the gain in spellpower due to IDS is based on a percentage, the amount can also be increased by use of buff food and elixirs.  Blackened Basilisk, that favorite of DPS casters everywhere, gives 23 damage and 20 Spirit.  With IDS, suddenly it’s giving 25 damage.  If you use Bloodberry Elixir in Sunwell, in addition to buffing your stats, you’re picking up 6 extra spell damage.  Priests that use Draenic Wisdom will see an increase of 11 healing (versus the 7 they get from it without).  The buffs you give yourself anyway become more powerful with the addition of IDS.

Is IDS awesome enough to be considered “mandatory” in today’s raid environment?  It’s really going to depend a lot on the group composition you have available.  If you have more healing priests and druids than you have paladins and shaman, or more mages than warlocks, you need IDS in your raid.  Find the raid healers, put a priest on tank healing so they can have the buff.  But… not me.  I’m going to be over here, hopping around and spamming my CoH button.

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