Now that 5.2 is finalized and on some servers, here's something I've been typing up in spare time the past week to help with the transition;
-Have we had any significant changes?
Here's a list of major changes;
- Tier 30 talents no longer cost Chi.
- We have a new talent, Ring of Peace. Ring of Peace is an incredibly strong 8 second AoE effect which stops player auto attacks, disarms enemies, and silences casters who use offensive casts within an 8 yard radius of any specified friendly target. Obviously effective for PvP, it may see some use in PvE as an AE disarm/silence.
- Mastery: Gift of the Serpent orbs now last a meagre 30 seconds, however on expiration they explode and heal an injured player within a 6 yard radius for 50% of the initial effect.
- Jab now costs 8% of our base mana, this has the effect of making the line between Fistweaving and Mistweaving more distinct. You will no longer be able to achieve "full" healing potential as you would in 5.1 from Jab without going out of mana.
- A new passive effect has been added, Muscle Memory. Muscle Memory increases the damage of your next Tiger Palm or Blackout Kick by 150% and restores 4% of your Maximum Mana. This is to offset the cost of Jab as a generator and is not a mana regeneration tool.
- Discipline priests had their Spirit Shells nerfed, this is an indirect buff to our healing done.
-Have our stat priorities changed?
Yes, the changes have made haste a much more desirable stat. Since we will be spending Chi less and more of our effective healing is made up of passive heals such as Renewing Mist it now makes sense to prioritize haste over Critical Strike rating. You can find a gear list at the bottom of the post which shows one
possible configuration to aspire towards which hits the 50% haste point fully buffed and 95% during Blood Lust.
Int = Spirit Until Comfortable >> Haste [Regular damage/Single Target] = Critical Strike [Spike damage] >>>>>> Mastery (garbage)
Haste is going to be better for fights with a regular damage intake or where you need a single target boost (tsulong). Critical strike will be better for fights where spike damage is prevalent and you can make heavy use of Chi Brew/TFT (empress). I still suggest gearing full haste and then reforging/gemming to crit when the situation arises as you cannot go full haste by gearing crit and reforging away.
I cannot reinforce how bad mastery is as a stat, any gains from it result in a minute increase in healing that's barely worth mentioning. The initial change to mastery would have remedied this (orbs slowly creep towards raid members), the finalized one nerfs mastery for organized raids and movement fights and gives a tiny tiny buff to unorganized, static raids.
Some things to consider while gearing however is that haste significantly increases your mana consumption, but you will also generate more Chi and as a result mana tea. Haste will give you roughly 60% as much mana tea
than if you had allocated those points into Critical Strike HOWEVER it will be guaranteed and not based on RNG. The more haste you have, the more spirit you will need to be comfortable.
Haste will be less harmful to your mana with the healer legendary primal, you will get ~ 50% more procs with a full haste build for the clearcast than otherwise.
-How do I fistweave now?
You don't as you do in 5.1, fistweaving is now a very simple priority list;
- Renewing Mist
- Chi Wave/Zen Sphere
- Expel Harm
- Blackout Kick [2+ Chi, MM active]
- Tiger Palm [1 Chi, MM active]
The reason we keep Renewing Mist up is because it is one global for a considerable amount of passive healing which you don't need to worry about, it is also a good idea because it lets you fistweave without worrying about AE ramp up.
-How do I heal now?
Any period where eminence isn't ideal you should be using Soothing as a single target filler, SCK as an AoE filler, and the T30 talents for free healing and mana conservation. It's understandable a lot of you will feel the need to conserve chi for long periods of time because access to rapid/reliable generation is scarce, fact is the new Soothing mechanic has given a reasonable reliability so you should still be dumping chi as you get it as to not risk losing both output and mana tea stacks. Healing Sphere is cool too if you can put up with that shit, I can't so I don't bother much.
That information should put you in the position to heal through Throne of Thunder. Can't think of anything I've not covered except maybe the fact there's a few fights in ToT that you cannot use Revival so being at your max will be extremely important. Please feel free to chip in or correct anything!