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


February 11, 2010

Resto T10: When a Set Bonus is that Good

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Written by: Vixsin
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Shaman Tier 10 Set Models

There are times where something looks amazing in theory but falls absolutely flat in application (Bizuri’s Totem of Shattered Ice, I’m looking at you here). And there are other times when something seems okay on paper but turns out to be hugely beneficial (t8 4piece towards the end of Ulduar, I miss you). And then there are times where despite the hype, doubt and hoopla, an underdog emerges triumphant—such is the case for Resto Shamans’ t10 4pc bonus. While t10 2pc was largely touted as a great buy, 4pc was met with grumbles from the community, likened to a wasted hot, and frequently asterisked when ICC gear lists were being assembled. And I’m here today to tell you—all those pessimistic predictions were right, but so very wrong at the same time.

Just as a refresher, the t10 bonuses as they currently stand, are:

Drug already posted an excellent review of the benefits of the 2-piece, which mirrors my own sentiment almost entirely. So instead of essentially repeating his own well-voiced praise, I’m going to restrict my own review to the much-scoffed 4pc. But before I launch into the numbers and data, let’s take a look about how the bonus actually works.

Understanding the 4pc Bonus

While the 2pc bonus is, frankly speaking, a no-brainer, when it comes to the 4pc bonus, testing has actually revealed that the seemingly bland description hides a surprisingly more complex application. First and foremost, like Shamans’ AA, the CH hot includes overhealing into the value calculation. So even if your CH crit is pure overheal with not one bit of effective healing, you’ll still have the hot applied. Thereafter, the hot will tick at 6, 3 and 0 seconds remaining (after an initial application lag) and it is additive with other active CH hots on the target. This means that if you have a crit heal for 15,000 followed by another 1.5sec later for 18,000, you’ll have [(3750 + 4500) / 3 ] = a hot that ticks for 2,750 every 3 seconds for 9 seconds (starting after the second crit heal).

Further encouraging is that hot durations can be refreshed with another crit of CH on the target. Ultimately, this means that upward bound of this effect is limited by the likelihood of consecutive CH crits on the target, within the 9second application window. However, it bears noting that, based on combat log evidence, if your cast after initial crit is a crit as well, then the hot will be forestalled from ticking for another 3 seconds. So hypothetically, if you were to chain crits on that same target, the hot would be forestalled until the point where 3seconds elapsed without a crit CH heal being applied. An example of this can be seen from a recent Blood Queen kill where I crit the main tank 5 times in a row, starting at the underlined row, resulting in a 12sec delay between the first crit and the final roll of the hot (an intermediary tick occurs at 21:57:46.609):

[21:57:34.906] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +*0* (O: 13799)
[21:57:35.690] Duces gains Chain Heal from Vixsin
[21:57:38.662] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +0 (O: 1150)
[21:57:41.015] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +*2540* (O: 11988)
[21:57:41.584] Duces’s Chain Heal is refreshed by Vixsin
[21:57:42.913] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +*718* (O: 12939)
[21:57:43.594] Duces’s Chain Heal is refreshed by Vixsin
[21:57:46.502] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +*0* (O: 14513)
[21:57:46.609] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +0 (O: 3115)
[21:57:47.190] Duces’s Chain Heal is refreshed by Vixsin
[21:57:48.110] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +*13311* (O: 1191)
[21:57:48.875] Duces’s Chain Heal is refreshed by Vixsin
[21:57:50.072] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +*0* (O: 14643)
[21:57:50.813] Duces’s Chain Heal is refreshed by Vixsin
[21:57:53.834] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +0 (O: 5715)
[21:57:56.906] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +0 (O: 5715)
[21:57:58.593] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +0 (O: 9402)
[21:57:59.845] Vixsin Chain Heal Duces +0 (O: 5715)

Additionally, it is worth noting how the rolling hots are calculated on the target. In the above example, you can see that the first tick of the hot (which occurs at 21:57:38.662), is calculated by:

  1. Crit 1 = (13,799 x 0.25) / 3 = 1150 hot

    This hot does, in fact, hit shortly after the first crit occurs. However, the hot effect is refreshed in the following line with another crit heal on the tank. In accordance with our understanding of the CH hot, (the next hot application doesn’t occur until a 3sec window has elapsed without another crit CH heal), the next occurrence of the hot (at 21:57:46.609) is ~3 sec after the second crit heal. This time, the hot is calculated as:

    • Crit 1 = ((13,799 x 0.25) – 1150 ) / 3 = 766.6 hot
    • Crit 2 = (14,528 x 0.25) / 3 = 1210.6 hot
    • Crit 3 = (13,657 x 0.25) / 3 = 1138.1 hot
    • Total Hot Effect = 3115.3 (which is rounded down in the log)

    As you can see, the crit *does not* refresh the first hot, it only refreshes the timer. At the point of refresh, the total remaining value of the hot is calculated, hence the deduction of the first hot tick, and then that remaining value is redistributed over a new 9 second duration. So, in following the combat log’s progression, you can see that after 5 critical CH hits on the MT, and one intermediary tick, my CH-based hot ticks 3 times for 5715 apiece.

    eHPS Values

    Now let’s talk practical application, because when it comes down to it, you need to know what sort of contribution you can count on from the t10 4pc. As you might have noted in the preceding section’s combat log excerpt, that fabulous 5.7k hot that I stacked on the tank, was 100% complete overheal. So, even I will admit, the picture looks a bit discouraging.

    But, when I assembled data for the last 2 weeks of ICC, I found a reason to be happy after all. After selecting encounters in which I’ve been using 4pc t10, removing those ones where conditions were sub-optimal (like a scrambled pickup, strat adjustment mid-fight, nub death, or special assignment) or where I was utilizing 2 pc t9/t10, I collected information for 5 encounters on my effective hps per spell, distribution of total healing, and overheal percentage. (The Google Doc of the data I assembled can be found here.) The average HPS contributions while using my t10 4piece were as follows:

    • Chain Heal – 3,242 ehps
    • Tier10 4pc CH hot – 393 ehps
    • Earth Living Weapon – 304 ehps
    • Healing Stream Totem – 566 ehps (BQ skews this number heavily)
    • Lesser Healing Wave – 254 ehps (versus 788.8 in 2pc t9/t10)
    • Earthshield – 463 ehps
    • Riptide – 250 ehps (versus 654.3 in 2pc t9/t10)
    • Ancestral Awakening – 150 ehps (versus 650 in 2pc t9/t10)

    As you might expect, the highest values for Chain Heal and the 4piece bonus occurred during the Blood Queen encounter, where CH reached 4457.6 hps and the CH Hot reached 604.3 hps. And while the average overhealing amount of the 4pc hot was 57.5%, it also factored out to be 7.6% of my total effective healing. That looks pretty damn good to me.

    HEP Values

    Hopefully, I’ve managed to at least demonstrate thus far that the contribution from 4pc isn’t trivial. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on a variety of factors, but overall you should have enough reason to purchase those last two pieces. But the t10 4pc actually poses an interesting quandary—if the set bonus is based on crit, how does that impact my stat selection once I’ve achieved my set bonus?

    Arguably, if you are wearing 4pc t10 and have been following generally accepted forum/theorycrafting logic, then you are either fast approaching or have already surpassed the LHW soft haste cap. So the question as to what stat weights govern really becomes a question about the value of continuing to stack haste past that point. Looking at Shaman HEP for past two weeks, for the fights in question, nets me the following:

    • Spellpower = 1
    • Haste = 2.0 – 2.2
    • Crit = 0.64 – 0.82
    • Int = 0.65 – 0.85
    • Mp5 = 0.8 – 1.3

    So, while it has been observed that the set bonus actually scales marginally better with crit than it does with haste,  wouldn’t go regemming your gear just yet. Haste still seems to be going strong, albeit with less oomph than in the previous tier. However, the fact that the bonus does rely more on crit values, might be enough reason to shy away from picking up those pure haste pieces and instead going for crit/haste or crit/mp5 pieces instead.

    The Final Verdict

    So in the end, it seems that the doubters were correct about Resto’s 4pc bonus. It is a hot very similar to Earthliving and hots do generate crazy amounts of overheal in targeted-damage encounters, especially when you can’t finely control their application (druids on Deathwhisper, can I get an amen here?) And the tier pieces that you need to pick up to make that 4pc bonus are laden with crit instead of our precious haste (though their itemization isn’t so terribly allocated given general levels of haste on supplemental pieces.) However, based on the data that I’ve seen thus far, I see no reason to pass on what amounts to a significant portion of additional healing, and which comes at the price of a couple hundredths of a second off of my CH or HW. In fact, I think I can safely declare, with no reservation, my undying adoration for our last tier of the xpac.


    1. I wonder if anybody has any information on if this HoT affects the use of the Val’anyr’s Blessing of Ancient Kings?

      Since the shield is supposedly built up including overheal (after the initial effective healing needed to pop the proc), would this then reliably keep increasing the shield? As well as helping to pick up the proc from the hots themselves.

      Wondering if this is just going to solidy the hammer’s place as a continuing BiS contender for Resto Shamans.

    2. Maccae

      <3 you for all those data; all the shaman in my guild have been speculating on the value of 4set t10 and none of us wanted to take the plunge and try it.

    3. It’s really that good, yup. I posted some numbers from our runs last week and it was actually Putricide that had the highest total for CH ticks (>12%). After the haste soft cap, I’m still considering going for some more crit over SP, assuming that the majority of fights in heroic mode will consist of the same, or more, raid wide damage. Running at an unbuffed 36% crit, it does between 6% and 12% of my healing in most fights, which is a little over the top for a set bonus.
      .-= Jaede´s last blog ..Enhancement dual-spec? =-.

    4. Thanks for the info! I have been pushed away from healing, since my guild has an abundance of good healers and been doing ele for main spec in ICC. But eventually I will get my resto set, so great post. BTW, am I the only person who thinks the T9 set bonus is way cuter than T10? Isn’t that important!?

    5. […] added benefit of spam is highlighted in this article over in Life in Group 5 blog. Our tier 10, 4 piece bonus, casts a nice HoT on any player that receives a crit jump of Chain […]

    6. I’ve seen a few parses that speculate that the HEP of the 4 piece set bonus is worth betwen 600 and 1000 (!) HEP. Stassart is still looking at the tool, but it is definitely seeming worth it.

      Here’s a parse someone posted to EJ that puts the hot for chain heal (it’s in the log under “Warning: “”Chain Heal”_hot” (70809_hot) is not a known spell”) at about 9% of his overall healing.

      I’m definitely going for it. The question is do I spend precious emblems on it, or do I wait to win a piece in the Toravon lottery?
      .-= Zigi´s last blog ..Back to the Chain of Healing Bloggers =-.

    7. Re: Val’anyr’s interaction with the 4pc bonus, it doesn’t seem that CH hots can proc the Ancient Kings buff (making the hot very similar to Earthliving, in application.) So, I think the Lich King mace is likely to edge out the Ulduar legendary in the end; though a late contender might be found in Heroic-mode Trauma, if the removal of the party-only application actually results in a significant buff.

      As far as buying 4pc versus waiting for the drop–for the whole of the xpac, on 4 different raiding toons, I have yet to acquire any set piece for any of them through VOA. As I pointed out to a friend, it seems as if all my RNG goes into consecutive CH crits instead of loot rolls. >.<

    8. Praxus

      That’s my mace your eyeballing there troll.

      Anyways, I now challenge you to produce 5 crit chain heals in a row on the Dreamwalker encounter and see what that hot looks like!

    9. Chain Heal on Dreamwalker isn’t so great :/ She’s not in our raid so they don’t jump.
      .-= Zigi´s last blog ..Back to the Chain of Healing Bloggers =-.

    10. Maccae

      @zigi: are you sure it’s not because you didn’t have someone inside 10 yards? i have to check next time but i think she has the same mechanic as a pet I.E. chain will not jump to her, but if you CH her and there is someone hurt in range it will jump.

    11. Bleuchz

      Looking at these numbers, do you suggest moving away from TW’d LHW rotations relying on AA procs and concentrating mainly on CH spam? I’ve been enjoying the flexibility of our heals throughout Wrath, but kind of feel that these numbers are too supportive of CH spam. Man, I hate CH spamming shamans but it looks like we all may have to go there :\.

    12. Ignoring mana cost and in terms of healing versus cast time, CH v. TW-HW, the Tidal Wave’d HW will always win out on Dreamwalker. Not only do you have a shorter cast time, but your top-end heal is greater than with CH. (You have to think single-target values here, as the likelihood of CH hitting other players is low, not to mention the fact that you should really be looking to maximize your healing on Dreamwalker–not Dreamwalker plus the raid.) Then, factor in AA, which has a very high probability of landing on her since she *should* be the lowest HP target in raid, and TW-HW becomes the highest hps rotation that you can use.

      As to whether the 4pc will push more shaman back into the CH-spam mindset; I hope not. I think the design of fights in ICC go a long way to encouraging a more varied selection of spells; in fact on fights like Deathwhisper and Rotface I use LHW/RT almost exclusively and forgo 4pc for 2pc t9/t10. Somewhat unexpectedly, I’ve found that the t10 2pc/4pc encourages more interweaving of CH in tank-healing environments, because with the RT haste, you won’t be as penalized as you were before for opting for a 1.8sec CH. For example, tank damage on Arthas is very similar to Algalon–when a well-geared tank gets hit, he gets hit HARD. On Alg, I learned very quickly that CH was too slow to use if I was one of two or three tank heals. But now, maintaining an RT + CH + LHWx2 rotation is a very dependable way to keep up throughput and optimize TW.

    13. Maker

      I’ve been a fairly regular lurker on your blog. Thank you for your contributions.

      In your opinion, would you advise someone to get their resto offspec, or is the gear along the way more than good enough to get the job done? My healing duties are fairly limited. A good chuck of my set is T8.5 with elemental (non-hit) gear filling out the rest. I will usually only heal on Valithria and easier farm bosses so that other healers can do a bit of dps for a change.

      Thanks in advance!

    14. As an offpsec, I would definitely advocate pursuing the 2pc resto t10 bonus. In my opinion, the 4pc really only becomes vital when you get into ICC25 hardmodes. So, if you predominantly heal 10s or swap in on normal 25s, then I would think you could get by nicely on offset pieces (there are a number of haste/mp5 and haste/crit items out there) and your existing elemental gear. Ultimately, the stat increases on tier will make it worth while, but it’s not worth tapping out your Frost Emblem supply unless you have plenty to spare.

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