January 5, 2013
Fistweaving is the most unique style of healing available to Mistweavers and is quite different from any other method of healing in the game. It is similar to Attonement in the aspect of doing damage to heal, but the playstyle is a lot different and much more viable in varying degrees depending on the fight. The purpose of this guide is to flesh out some of the more confusing aspects of Fistweaving so that Mistweavers can understand when, why, and how it works. This guide will assume a working knowledge of Mistweaver abilities and names.
MW = Mistweaver
FW or FWing = Fistweaving
TP = Tiger Palm
BoK = Blackout Kick
SZ = Serpant's Zeal
AA = Auto-Attack (white hits)
SCK = Spinning Crane Kick
When you should Fistweave:
To being, let me make something clear.There is no such thing as a "Fistweaver." What I mean by that is that Fistweaving is a Mistweaver tool. Anyone that attempts to Fistweave in place of normal healing all the time is going to be in for a rude awakening when they get to any kind of difficult content. There are times and places to use it, and there are times and places to not use it. You can't be a Monk that only Fistweaves any more than a Paladin that only uses Divine Light. That is why a portion of the is focused on why and when you should Fistweave; it is not always appropriate.
On that note, gearing specifically around Fistweaving would not make sense because the differences between 1h and 2h weapons as well as stats aren't big enough to alter how you would gear for normal healing. Focus your gear on traditional healing because that is where Mistweavers need the most help from their gear.
To figure out when best to Fistweave, we must first clarify that "Fistweaving" is not limited to a single rotation. I hold the notion that there are three different paradigms of "punching the boss" as my guildies like to call it that may or may not involve full Fistweaving.
1) Using Jab to generate Chi. (Not Fistweaving)
For the purposes of this guide, using Jab alone for Chi does not constitute Fistweaving. It is a core part of MW healing and really doesn't share the "heal via damage" paradigm of actual FWing and is effective regardless of damage done. I will let other guides go over healing normally with Jabs thrown in.
2) Maintaining 2 stacks of Serpant's Zeal, Tiger Power, and spending all extra Chi on Tiger Palm or Blackout Kick (DPSweaving)
As stated, this type of FWing which I like to call "DPSweaving" involves taking on a full DPS rotation (with other things mixed in, more on that later) with the object of translating as much damage as possible into healing while attempting to be mana efficient.
3) Maintaining SZ and TP, relying on auto-attacks for healing and spending all extra Chi on healing abilities (Zealweaving)
While using DPS abilities to keep up buffs to maximize auto-attack Eminence, this style revolves around the mana-efficiency of AA healing and keeping up the buffs to do so, while also using other heals while smacking away at the boss. I call it Zealweaving for the object of keeping up Serpent's Zeal.
When to use Jab for Chi:
All the time. If Soothing Mist isn't appropriate and neither is SCK for building Chi, you Jab. No special circumstances are required for Jab to be a useful skill, not a single boss should pass by where you don't end up using Jab at all. It is a core part of Mistweaver healing. This will be the last mention of it as it does not particularly pertain to this subject.
When to "DPSweave":
This one is pretty simple as we have Priests and their Attonement to look back on over the years. You DPSweave when there is a damage buff. It does require a sizable DPS buff to fully DPSweave, but generally anything in the magnitude of 50% increased damage or more will make DPSweaving the most efficient option.
When to Zealweave:
Generally, any time you have Chi to burn that you do not need at that moment is a good time to throw up some DPS buffs and right click on the boss for a bit. Most healing can be done while still attacking the boss (Renewing Mist w/ mouseover macro, Healing Sphere, Uplift) which ensures maximum healing from the Chi spent on SZ, with the only actual heals that stop it being Soothing Mist channels, SCK, casting Chi Burst, and targeting something other than the boss for whatever reason.
Why you should:
Simply put, it is blatantly overpowered in some circumstances. Elegon, Wind Lord (especially Heroic), some parts of Amber-Shaper, and Heroic Stone Guards all provide massive damage buffs that shoot DPSweaving far ahead of not only conventional MW healing but ahead of all other healers depending on the magnitude of the damage increase (150k auto-attack crits on Heroic Wind Lord, practically solo heal during Recklessness Rain of Blades). It's an easy way to heal that gives ridiculous returns in some situations, a very good reason to use it.
If you can ensure full AA uptime on a boss after using BoK and TP and will use the Eminence healing over the next 20 seconds, it's actually surprisingly mana efficient. 3 Chi buys you 20 seconds of Zealweaving time (if SZ is already up, 5 Chi if not, prolonged usage runs 7 Chi per minute), and its total healing can be double that of a 12-target Uplift if you do it at the right time. It's arguably the trickiest technique for a healer to pull off, but it is oh so rewarding when you do.
Covering this first because it is very simplistic. Provided you have the Mana Tea Glyph (as channeling stops AAs), you can Zealweave to your heart's content whenever you like. It requires no setup and no special circumstances, but it very tricky to use at the right time.
1) BoK twice for 2 stacks of SZ
2) TP for Tiger Power buff
3) Refresh those buffs (refreshing SZ is more important as it has more impact and cost to get back up)
4) Heal normally while AAing boss without de-targeting or moving out of range
5) Try to keep Statue within 20 yards of groups of players. Not always possible, but it is half of the healing.
This is something you should decide you need to do on a fight before it starts as it is dictated by fight-specific mechanics. The setup is as follows:
Anything else, I prefer Renewing Mist myself
Not really relevant except Chi Torpedo unless damage buff is over 100% in which case take Xuen
1) Heal normally until such time comes when there is a damage increase (don't DPSweave until the time is right).
Upon damage increase:
2) Get SZ and TP up immediately
3) Keep Statue within 20 yards of groups of players if possible.
4) Assume a rotation as divided into Building Chi and Spending Chi:
A) Expel Harm (lower mana cost than Jab, healing from Jab is negligible, may heal self if damaged, SKIP THIS if damage buff is 100% or more)
B) Renewing Mist on target without HoT (SKIP THIS if damage buff is at 100% or higher, Jab is better then)
D) Surging Mist with 5-stack buff
I) TP/BoK for appropriate buffs
II) Spam TP for more buffs and extra hits to spread out Eminence healing and reduce overhealing
III) Use extra BoKs if and only if damage buff is BELOW 100% (otherwise TP would cover it anyways) and you have a lot of extra mana to burn
It is my hope that people will learn more about Fistweaving and its intricacies, specifically its strengths and weaknesses and how valuable it can be when done right. If there are any questions, concerns, or disagreements please voice them in the replies and have fun punching things.