Hi everyone. I'm still learning how to not be bad at MW and I'd like some general tips and tricks from the community on some talent choices for Heroic Empress (25 man).
We've only had a handful of scratch pulls on her and were 7 healing (2 Discs, 2 Pallys, RShaman, RDruid, MW) with the intention to drop a DPS and pick up another healer. We are also 3 tanking.
My spirit is at 11k and after the first phase, I'm sitting at 140-180k mana remaining so I feel comfortable with that. I was sitting around 60-65k HPS as well (ReM and Uplift with 1 Revival making up the bulk of my healing). We have about 6 or so melee and I stay on top of them during p1. I find that I'm jabbing and uplifting the range but not really using my last tier skill (currently Chi Torpedo) at all because the melee don't really take too much damage and ranged is spread out 5 yards apart so going out of melee to try to use my 3 torpedos and run back into melee seems like a lot of downtime. Also, I have Chi Burst because I'm expecting P3 to get a little crazy and having everyone stacked up nicely with Chi Burst will be very beneficial.
So I'm not using Chi Burst or Chi Torpedo during P1 and P2 but I feel I'm not quite doing it right.
Also, I use Dampen Harm during the first groups Corrupted Dissonance Field and also the first second field so my damage in take is smoothed out. Zen Med on the second Corrupted Dissonance Field as well.
Not sure if this needs to be said but I'm not tank healing.
As you already mentioned, the damage for melees isn't crucial in P1 and neither is it for you. So i skipped Dampen Harm later on for Diffuse Magic to stay safe during phase transition into P3 at the end. We have no healing rains or other things in the melee camp. Some AMZs but that's it. Just fistweave during P1 was best for me. Zen Meditate if necessary for a explosion. Place your statue in the middle of the rangecamp, where Shek'zeer will be tanked in P3, so that your eminence hits as many ranges as possible and usually the debuffed people will be in range for smarthealing.
In P2 is the debuff/buff handling important. make sure all damage dealer get the armor, that the adds fall quicker and also the required HPS will drop and it is time to recover some mana. Place Mana Tide, when everybody is in range and use a potion of focus if required. It is enough time for it after traps got activated. Fistweaving is possible at the large adds but for us the tankdmg was more the problem, so i stayed at ranged and channeled soothing mist.
rinse and repeat
You also mentioned, that you can't use Chi Torpedo properly. Then skip it. Use Xuen, you can pop him before an explosion and he helps to top some people quicker before the 2nd one follows. P2 takes about 3 minutes, so he is ready for the next P1. Our damage wasn't high enough to skip the 2nd P2, so i could use him in the 2nd P1 and he was ready for the phase transition into P3 again.
As a side note, try to time your revivals, so that is ready in P3 to get rid of the debuff if shamans lack a cooldown for tremor.
P3 is good for Chi Burst. In my opinion the hitbox is a bit to small, but it works. If you have manaproblems (i don't think so, if you have 11k spirit) you can also fistweave. That's it. Again a pretty lame fight for Mist(fist)weaver.
Empress is probably one of my favorite fights as a MW, the damage patterns are virtually perfect for our healing style. MW burst healing is by far the strongest of any healer, the only healer which can remotely compete is disc priests because absorbs snipe healing before its even possible to heal it.
Damage on melee might not be "essential" but it still has to be healed before other things explode. Chi Torpedo is off the global, and thus can be weaved in between every other kind of cast. As well, there is meaningful AoE damage in every phase, Chi Torpedo is free, which means there is no healer which is better suited to healing this raid damage than MW. This also makes chi torpedo by FAR the strongest level 90 talent for this fight, because of the raw throughput and mana it can save other healers (and yourself.)
P1: Can weave in between uplifts, healing the ranged and melee and meaning the rest of the healers can focus ranged while you take a minimal HPS loss in raid-healing while topping melee off.
P2: Torpedo on the stacked range group after the random AoE damage from the 2 big adds. (Obviously tanks are priority here, but you'll have empty globals at some point or another and theres no point making other people waste mana -.-')
P3: Massive raid damage, and chi torpedo is one of the strongest stack heals in the game (something like 30k/target with absolutely no diminishing returns, 3 chi torpedos provides more blanket raid healing than a revival, which happens to be perfect for p3 when many healers are running dry on mana.)
Expel harm and not taking any damage from explosions means I'm not worried about the p2->p3 transition at all, and making sure I >NEVER< die to dissonance fields makes dampen harm my favorite talent on that tier by far. (Also allows use of zen medi to soak heart of fear if needed, etc.)
In P1 I do "fistweave" ala jab for chi, keep up 2x SZ, ReM/uplift and TFT before explosions for burst healing, during explosion: time a backwards jump as they explode so that you can uplift/chi torpedo/uplift at other end/chi torpedo backwards if needed. (Jump is so you dont go into BFE). Use chi brew early and you can use it twice per p1 [In the log I'll link, I didn't get close to doing that, I had far from perfect play, but it's still an example of how I play.] My RL leaves my revival to be used at my disgression, while most other healing CD's are assigned to explosions. (It's our "Oh we're still dying" CD, basically.)
P2: Tank heal, whenever I want to win meters I healing sphere, if I'm lazy then I use EnvM on whoever seems to need it and otherwise use Chi Torpedo timed with the raid damage from the 2 big adds. One use should top the raid, two if you need, and the 15s CD of CT seems to align well with the damage.
P3: Pretty much normal healing. My healing is something like: ReM on CD, SZx2 kept up, Expel harm on CD, TFT on CD basically (try to time to get most raid damage ticks off during your TFT but it doesn't make a huge difference either way), dump chi with uplift, jab for chi. I don't SCK because even whenever I used it during spirit link I got 30% overhealing (wtf? only explanation is SCK is healing pets, which is what I've thought all along.) I don't chi burst because to my knowledge it splits on pets, and because it often has far more overhealing than my uplifts. (From past logs, 50% vs 35%~, and 7-8 target uplift vs. chi burst in those overhealing ranges makes uplift significantly better for my raid at the least.)
Also to note, I often end P1/P2 with near 100% mana and almost always enter p3 with near max mana + some mana tea stacks, so my method of healing is definitely sustainable and I normally run with 8500~ spirit (currently stacking more for 5.2 when jab is fixed.) Though I have H Spirits/Chi'ji so that puts my average around 11500 I believe. Either way, it's definitely a strong fight for a MW and, yes I do run with 2 rshams, it's extremely easy on my mana as well. It's also one of my favorite fights because its near perfect for MW. Large burst damage (ReM/tft/uplift/chi brew godly), heavy sustained tank damage (Healing spheres gogo), then P3 where chi torpedo/any other raid heal we have is just amazing. As well, most of the damage is burst, which makes our insane personal survivability really shine from dampen harm/zen medi/fort brew/expel harm/etc.
Edit2: As dumbfoundead mentioned, a lot of healing this fight comes from experience and knowing when to TFT so that you can get high burst healing for the corrupted fields. This is actually really hard, mostly because it can be very random. (Varied time on corrupted spawning, how many people go in, whether it spawns on high or low field). Could be my raid, but in general: soon after corrupted spawns is a good time to TFT. [My log had bad TFT's for p1 I think, but I'm not sure.] Be sure to watch the dissonance field's "health" so you can pool chi.
Only thing I'd mention that gnorrior hasn't added is to really get a feel for how quickly your dissonance fields are going down. Usually if I time TFT 3 seconds after Sha corrupts a field I can have > 7 ReM for both explosions which is incredibly sexy for raid healing. Make sure you have Life Cocoon on clutch as well, you'll need it for tanks, dissonance soakers and maybe the occasional melee who doesn't get one shot by add fixates.