I used Mistweaver during the MoP Beta, and I did great with it, I had no trouble keeping up with any of the content I was testing out. I haven't played WoW since early 5.0 (left around November-December 2012). Fast-forward to the 5.4 PTR. I made a premade Monk to try out in Proving Grounds / SoO and I'm finding it ... impossible. I feel like I can't get anything done, at all.
I think something is wrong, when I can't even comfortably clear the healer Proving Grounds with Mistweaver. I have gotten Gold with Paladin, Priest, Shaman, and Druid. But I can't even get past Silver with Mistweaver, and it's usually dumb luck if I manage to scrape through Bronze. The contrast is shocking, and confusing.
Random junk 463 Int Leather dungeon blues that premades come with. Gear scales down, so it doesn't matter. I had no problem wearing the same starter junk on the other classes. :|
Celerity, Chi Brew, Chi Burst, Chi Torpedo. (5.4 RJW does good healing, but it OOMs me, overheals a lot, and doesn't provide enough Chi)
Unglyphed Mana Tea, because the pauses between pulls are ideal for chugging tea the old-fashioned way and maintaining high mana supply
My rotation checklist
Serpent statue down at the midpoint between rDPS and melee
Stand in melee range and autoattack with Serpent's Zeal, using mouseover macros so I don't lose target/stop attacking
Switch to Soothing Mist + Enveloping chi-dump when tank damage becomes too much for Eminence to handle
Renewing Mist on cooldown on anyone who doesn't have it ticking (or is close to expiring)
Expel Harm on cooldown (5.4 Targeted Expulsion glyph means it's always "useful" healing)
Line up a Chi Burst as soon as AoE damage goes out (easy with the way the NPCs position themselves)
Fire off a Chi Torpedo series for next AoE damage (again, can hit everyone in a line due to their positioning)
Soothing Mist for Chi + Uplift spam if AoE damage continues (NPCs are too spread out for SCK and I can't spare the mana)
Basically, after a few throwaway easy pulls, the tank NPC starts getting completely hammered faster than I can keep up. Even constant Soothing + maintain Enveloping isn't enough, and if I start throwing in Surging I OOM faster than virgin sex.
Then the Hive Singer mobs start spamming heavy AoE damage on the party, and I can't maintain both the tank and the party without one or the other dying off.
If I stop channeling Soothing on the tank to spread Renews and spot-Soothe for Chi to Uplift, the tank simply explodes so fast I can't get him back up, even with Surging spam (which is a lost cause anyway, because if I Surge spam even once my mana supply is over).
If I don't stop Soothing the tank, the rest of the group gets steadily worn down and eventually someone dies, ending the trial.
I have plenty of mana (if I don't touch Surging), but the mana is useless because I can't divide my time/GCDs fast enough to keep everyone alive no matter what I do.
If I burn Life Cocoon, Revival, and take Xuen, I can get through it. But I know something has got to be wrong here, because I shouldn't need to burn all the CDs I have (and spec Xuen) just to get through a Bronze healing trial. And, once the CDs are used up, I'm doomed. I absolutely cannot keep this Proving Grounds tank alive without going completely OOM.
That is my biggest issue: no matter what I do, I cannot keep the tank alive under heavy pressure. He just... explodes. I either add in Surging (and OOM and fail) or I refuse to Surge (and he dies despite constant Soothing + Enveloping). Stopping a Soothe channel to heal the rest of the group is, likewise, a death sentence for the tank.
The most frustrating thing is, with every other healing class, I can sail through Bronze without touching a single CD and usually get through most or all of Silver without bothering with cooldowns, either. I usually just forget to use CDs because I don't even need them.
Does anyone know what I am doing wrong? Why am I suddenly so terrible at Mistweaver healing? This class made total sense to me back in Beta.
I, too, enjoyed the early-MoP iteration of the class significantly more than I do the current one. I haven't attempted the Proving Grounds on the PTR, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but here are a couple of things: First, I would take Chi Wave over Chi Burst for 5man content. It's significantly better at spot-healing, and you should have less of an issue keeping a tank up with it. Second, you didn't mention what lvl 45 talent you went with, but I would definitely go with Chi Brew. MWers' greatest weakness has always been the quality of our CDs, and the buffs to Chi Brew in 5.4 pretty much make it a no-brainer in any situation. You get a free Uplift every 45 seconds, which should compensate you for the lost AoE healing from going Chi Wave. Finally, since 5.2, Eminence healing has been really pretty shitty. It can do decently well if you have multiple targets for Blackout Kick to cleave off of, but for the most part it's not going to keep anyone up in a scaled-ilvl environment like Proving Grounds. You may have more luck playing a more traditional healing style, Soothing Mist on the tank, spending Chi on Uplift or Enveloping Mists exclusively. 5.0 MWer is dead, and I definitely mourn its loss.
Welcome back to the class, single target healing on Mistweaver is dogshit and only ever gets bearable with haste levels you won't see in 463 ilvl. First things first, you want:
Chi Brew/Chi Wave/Ring of Peace/Diffuse Magic/Xuen
Stick to casters like a fly does shit - don't let them get casts through at all by combining Ring of Peace + Spear Hand Strike.
Remember Diffuse Magic will dispel the debuff on yourself for free, on any waves with two debuff adds I believe you can time Zen Meditation to redirect them both on yourself for a double whammy.
Save Xuen for waves where he can cleave, this means you can keep SZ up and let Xuen do the heavy lifting and use the 45 seconds he's up to recover. Keep the statue in melee so the tank gets the brunt of all your healing.
Ring of Peace can AoE silence, makes it amazing for the flamecasters.
Save Life Cocoon for the huge tank smashing wankers.
On top of that, healing sphere can now hit NPCs and since it's usually easy to see the tank, it doesn't take much effort to top him in an emergency. You can completely forego Soothing Mist & Enveloping, as usually any tank damage can be covered through Chi Wave/Eminence/Uplifts - and the tank damage you can't is easily cooldowned/healing sphere'd through.
We don need RM on CD. RM on CD is for LFR, normal and heroic raid.
Interrupt caster spell, can use weakauras to track spell which is interruptible.
Always stick to caster, fistweave caster, down it ASAP.
Make fully use of chi wave.
RM only wen u know there will be big AOE damage happen mean all 5 members health drop < 50%.
Make use of revival CD and xuen, need to time for it.
Healing sphere >>> soothing mist.
Keep soothing mist and RM sure OOM.
Thank you guys, that helped me make some good progress. It's actually sort of shocking what a difference it made. With most healing classes, stylistic changes result in fairly minor differences in output. Here, though, it made the difference between absolute failure and just scraping through.
For posterity, this is what feels like it made the biggest difference (in order):
Absolute #1 improvement, dump Soothing Mist + Enveloping. This is really confusing and weird, but ... yeah... spamming Heal Spheres under the tank allowed him to actually survive burst damage. Soothing Mist just runs me OOM and gets the tank killed.
#1b, Using Healing Spheres instead of Soothing to spot other party members that got smacked by big stuff (like Pyroblasts)
#2, ignoring ReM (outside specific very-heavy AoE waves).
#3, dumping Chi Burst for Chi Wave and prioritizing Chi Wave over any other button for tank healing. Huge difference.
#4, No Fistweaving under any circumstances, unless the damage is so low that I could just stand there doing nothing and achieve about the same effect (in other words, Fistweaving only for relieving boredom)
#5, dumping Torpedo for Xuen & dumping Leg Sweep for Ring of Peace, and frantically spamming interrupts as much as possible. These were nice, but didn't make as much of a huge difference as the top 4.
I did choose to use Dampen Harm instead of Diffuse, because sometimes the tank was getting hammered too hard to switch to the Flamecallers and stop their Pyroblasts. In these situations Dampen Harm let me soak a few Pyros, which was more valuable to me than saving a dispel GCD. Dampen also has very generous timing, you can just toss it up and then focus on other things rather than trying to get the Diffuse window just right.
I also broke the anti-Fist rule and threw in a rare BOK here and there when a ton of stuff was clumped up and it could megacleave, because it was very effective in those rare situations. There's a few waves where you have 4-5 mobs piled up on top of the party, and even without Xuen, just spamming BOK kept everyone full.
I'm not sure I'm really feeling this "new" Mistweaver iteration, but it was fun to challenge myself and figure out how to use it, and I appreciate your time answering my questions.