Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
A resto shaman perspective on raiding


August 18, 2012

Resurgence Scaling and Rotational Regen in MoP


By now, you’ve heard the murmurs in the shadows and seen the patch notes circulating—changes are in store (again) for healers in the coming expansion. With the disconnection of Intellect from the regen formula and healers’ mana pools, healers of all classes can expect a greater emphasis to be placed on regen, or more specifically, on Spirit. And when I say “greater emphasis” you can take that to mean: we’re going to start seeing and wanting more Spirit gear, more spirit reforging, more Spirit gems, and even Spirit flasks. Spirit will be your key to your throughput; the linchpin of your longevity. Eschewing it for more Intellect won’t be an option as it was in Cataclysm (at least at expansion launch).

When it comes to the wide world of regen, things won’t be changing all that significantly for Resto Shaman in MoP. While other healers will see their formerly max-mana returns scaled back, (because of the cap on healers’ mana pools), Resto Shamans’ regen will maintain the same dual-pronged approach that it has for all of Cataclysm–on one hand we’ll have our passive combat regen (drawing from all that Spirit) and on the other hand we’ll have Water Shield. Unglyphed, as of the last Beta build, WS does the following:

  • Provides a static, passive regen amount – 2138 mp5
  • Provides a static return on proc – 8,849 for HW/GHW; 5,309 from HS, RT, UL; and 2946 from CH (per hit)
  • Provides mana back on incoming attacks – 2,928 mana (on an ICD)

Now, in the past, WS’s static values put shaman at a disadvantage when it came to regen–as others healers’ regen scaled strongly with the common practice of Intellect stacking, Shamans’ regen saw comparatively less increase to Resurgence regen due to the conversion factor of Intellect into Crit and the fact that most shaman did not itemize for the secondary stat.

The Analysis

But, that doesn’t mean that Resto Shaman won’t be affected by the changes coming in MoP, because there are some in store for us too. In order to illustrate this (and because I’m a huge WoW nerd), I took a look at the WS-based regen scaling we saw in Cataclysm, and for 12 different “base” rotation types. Those were:

  • RT + 2xCH
  • RT + 2x HW
  • HR + RT/2xHW filler
  • HR + RT filler
  • HR + CH filler
  • HR + RT/CH filler
  • RT + 2xHS
  • RT + 2xHS/2xHW
  • RT + 2xGHW/2xHW
  • RT + 2xGHW
  • CH + 2xHW
  • 2xCH + 2xHW

For each, I calculated the consumption for a 24-25 cast rotation (the total casts depend on completion of a full “rotation” cycle), and then looked at the average expected Resurgence gains over that set (since you can calculate an average mana return for a spell by taking mana return x Crit chance). For CH, I assumed an average of 3.5 hits per CH cast, in order to account for the fact that sometimes your CH will dead end into targets because of a lack of options or the target being in BFE. I also assumed that Tidal Waves would be present on every cast of HS, GHW, and HW. Then, I iterated the mana return for the rotation at various levels of Crit, from 15% (which is likely where you’ll start in MoP) to 40%, (which is likely highly than you’ll be able to reach in the expansion). At which point, I was left with something that looked like this:

I then aggregated those individual calculations into one nice summary table, which shows you for each rotation type:

  1. The mana consumption of the rotation, per 5 seconds
  2. The Resurgence of the rotation, per 5 seconds
  3. The differential between the consumption and the returns, expressed as a %.

Which resulted in these:

Cataclysm – Resurgence Scaling and Rotational Regen Gains, by % Crit


MoP – Resurgence Scaling and Rotational Regen Gains, by % Crit

Which, in turn, enabled me to create the following graphs which show, for Cataclysm and for MoP the regen scaling of each rotation by Crit %:

Cataclysm – Resurgence Scaling and Rotational Regen Gains, by % Crit (in pretty graph form)


MoP – Resurgence Scaling and Rotational Regen Gains, by % Crit (in pretty graph form)



So, there are a couple things that I think you can take away from this analysis.

First, that the differential between rotational Resurgence gains that existed in Cataclysm has been improved upon and the gaps have been narrowed. If you look at something like HR+CH filler, you see that in Cata, its regen potential barely moved at all from 15% to 35% crit. But in MoP, we’re looking at regen that increased by a factor of 11.5 but cost that only increased by a factor of 2.9. And this is necessary because we can no longer make up regen differentials by simply increasing the pool we have to work with.

Second, the recent change to the mana cost for HS and GHW means that a RT+GHWx2 rotation will actually surpass an RT+HSx2 rotation’s sustainability as we gain crit. This is notable because prior to the most recent Beta patch, GHW never caught up, nonetheless exceeded, HS’s sustainability. This change makes sense with both the fact that GHW is Resto-only, so we should be inclined to use it, and that we should also tend to use it more, the farther into the expansion we get.

Lastly, what the above graphs underscore for me is how much our Resurgence gains are tied to our rotation. More so, they emphasize that when shaman regen (via Resurgence) is not a static contributor, like, for example, Paladins’ Divine Plea, which returns a set amount no matter what. This means that when Paladins ramp up into a more mana intensive rotation their differential is between their baseline and the new mana cost. But for shaman, when we switch into a more mana intensive rotation, our baseline actually falls off, while costs increase, creating a wider variance between our regen and our consumption.

I bring this last point up because that gap (the variance between increased consumption and decreased regen) was exactly the hole that TC filled in Cata. Remember, at the start of the expac, we had the situation where Resto Shaman in 25s found that they could rely heavily on TC regen to support rotations that were phenomenally unaffordable. And we didn’t see that same sort of TC dependence in 10′s raiders because, as the charts above demonstrate even for Cata, those rotations were comparatively more affordable. (This isn’t to say that 10s Shamans didn’t use TC, but rather they weren’t forced into it by the necessity of AOE healing on a larger raid team). We won’t have that same crutch when we walk into Pandaria, and as I’ve experienced on beta, that makes for a noticeably different playstyle.

Obviously, the next stop is figuring out how these Resurgence gains compare to Spirit’s scaling, but I’ll leave that for another day!



  1. Xephyr

    I would love to see a comparison of these rotations’ hps compared to their regen capabilites, especially in areas that shaman have not been able to delve into before (i.e. glyphed riptide filler). It’s also going to be fun to differentiate how our secondary stats play out in terms of hps and hpm given certain rotational styles. Great post as usual and looking forward to more in the near future.

  2. This is certainly an interesting topic. I think that the most important thing, practically, to Shaman coming into MoP will be the playoff between regen and throughput (as Xephyr pointed out). For instance – is Crit better overall than Spirit? What about Intellect? Do you get more stacking Spi+Int or Int+Crit or… what?

    This ties into what Derevka refers to as “pseudo-throughput”, which is some undefined measure of the ‘extra’ throughput your regen affords you – a measure of sustainability against throughput if you will. If one can derive an (even somewhat contrived) measure of this and use it to demonstrate which stats are better given certain conditions, we’ll be able to know a hell of a lot more about what to do with our reforging in those first few weeks.

  3. Voltigeuse

    Thank you for doing the math on shaman healing especially so because you seem to be the last blogger out there.

  4. wylhelmina

    the resurgence proc seem bug to only the initial it crit to give you resurgence. I think on live you get 4 resurgence proc if all four jump crit. but apparently in beta it’s bug or maybe intentional not sure!

  5. Harpoa

    I kind of doubt that they would want to make resurgence proc off of more than just the initial heal of CH. It would make it back to the days of T10 when the crits would absorb a watershield charge and CH was abused and almost mana nuetral.

    Thanks for the analysis. Leaves a lot to think of in regards to secondary stats. For a few weeks as a test i stacked crit up to 22% unbuffed and was pretty successful much to my surprise. Will be fun going forward.

  6. What a great post. Soooo much information here.

    I am a little nervous that we are going to end up the oom bunnies we were at the start Cata. I certainly felt like that on beta. I have a funny feeling that it will be as always; the rshaman starts out weak but ends up the expansion as a power house of watery goodness. Looking forward to the patch going live now so I can relearn the way of the shaman.

    Cheers again for a great post :)
    Rhianna´s last post ..Fennel and Leek Pasta

  7. Your ability to nerd out like this is why we are destined to be the good friends we are! <3
    Derevka´s last post ..Holy Word: Sanctuary – Scaling in Mists of Pandaria

  8. ZubrDP

    Great post, as usual.
    Nitpick: Could you make the last two plots have the same Y-axis? (0-40%) It would be much easier to see the effect the changes have.

  9. Shockeye

    Thanks for this analysis, it will definitely be of significant use going into MoP.

    Now I’m not a math nerd like you Vix or chart-obsessed, so some of what you posted which seems obvious to theorycrafters needs a bit of clarification for the likes of me.

    What it looks like, is that when we start in MoP, we will be relying more on Healing Surge than GHW, but when we hit about 25% Crit, GHW will become the go-to, replacing Healing Surge as our standard single target heal. Is that more or less correct? At least insofar as mana regen is considered. Which leads me to my next reading that Crit will become more important as it feeds both regen and throughput?

    I think my questions are linked to what Stoove asked and observed above, mainly about priorities, both of stats and “rotations” (and the new Riptide glyph’s role). My worry is that we’re going to be very slow healers, as it looks like Haste is really going to become far less important, probably the least important stat throughput- and regen-wise.

    Lots to consider for sure.

  10. [...] Contact Me « Resurgence Scaling and Rotational Regen in MoP [...]

  11. Resurgence looks really interesting, especially by varying the regen based on spell selection. I’ve been on about the Paladin Glyph of Illumination which looks like a crude attempt at a similar mechanic. The problem with the glyph is it heavily nerfs our base regen from Spirit and then provides regen via Crit which can only compete at low levels of Spirit, when we’re also likely to have low levels of Crit.

    I really enjoyed your analysis and it’s given me some ideas on how to approach and present my own math.
    Joe Ego´s last post ..On Mana and the Glyph of Illumination at Level 85

  12. [...] there is damage going out (like Hagara Heroic). Try not to spam Riptide too much, since it will burn mana fast if you’re not careful. Another benefit of the glyph is that you can theoretically achieve [...]

  13. Thorenn

    for the RT+2xHS rotation are these values with the 30% critbuff or without
    e.g. 15%+30% = 15% column ?

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