Patch Triple 3 (3.3.3), while not a sweeping content release, ushered in with it a number of changes, most notably to PVP and to class auras and effects. And because of the subsequent release of Blizzard’s character previews, players have been more focused on the horizon and talking of things to come. But sliding subtly into play with this most recent patch was a fix to a relatively minor but long outstanding Resto Shaman issue—Glyph of Earthliving Weapon (GoELW). Like most shaman, I’ve been appropriately ignoring this glyph since the days of Naxx, when it was shown to perform at sub-par levels compared to other available resto glyphs. But with 3.3.3 came a minor change in math that could spell a shift in our glyphing options.
Like most Resto Shaman out there, Glyph of ELW hasn’t been on my radar as a viable raiding glyph since the onset of Wrath. While unchanged in terms of description, today’s Glyph of ELW is a much different animal. To reiterate:
Glyph of Earthliving Weapon
Requires Level 30
Use: Increases the chance for your Earthliving weapon to trigger by 5%.
Why is Glyph of ELW viable now?
So, let’s talk basics about this glyph. First and foremost, contrary to what new Resto Shaman often think, Glyph of ELW does not enhance your Earthliving Weapon imbue; you do not gain any additional spellpower or base crit percentage from using this glyph. Secondly, while the glyph has maintained the same description since incorporation into the Live, the math on the calculation used to be:
Increased chance to proc = base proc + (base proc x increase)
Increased chance to proc = 0.25 + (0.25 x 0.05) = 0.2625
This meant that previously, Glyph of ELW netted you 1.25% increase on the mere chance to proc. Given the past performance of ELW on non-hardmode fights, where it contributes about <5% of your overall healing with 60-80% overhealing done, the healing increase was so minor that it barely bore mentioning.
However, several key changes have occurred which, when combined with the correction to the ELW glyph, have enabled it to once more be considered by raiding resto shaman:
- ICC has a number of fights where AOE damage on the entire raid is consistent and significant. (EG: Festergut, Putricide, Blood Princes, Blood Queen, Sindragosa, and to some extent, Marrowgar Whirlwinds and Lich King). In these encounters, small hot ticks can contribute considerably to overall healing, and thus ELW HPS values are much higher than in previous instances with limited raid damage.
- Considerably lower cast times on CH mean that Restos have more contributions per second of any supplemental CH effects.
- T10 4pc has pushed many 25-man raiding Resto Shaman into integrating more CH in their rotations, thus supplemental CH effects have a larger potential contribution to HPS.
- Although RT is seeing more usage with 2pc T10, the frequency of use—typically on CD for tank healers and when convenient for CH spammers—and the absence of the T9 2pc mean that the Glyph of RT has in decreased in value as a raiding glyph.
These factors combined (along with some that I’m sure I’ve overlooked) have created a sort of perfect storm effect to shift glyph values in a slightly different direction. With the Glyph of ELW now changed to contributing the straight 5% increase to Earthliving Weapon procs (making the total proc chance 30% as opposed to 26.25%), the change should be enough for Resto Shaman to take notice.
How does this effect Glyph HEP values?
All things considered, whether you should go out right now and get Glyph of ELW depends on what content you’re currently raiding and what type of healing (tank versus raid) you typically do. As you might have noticed from the list above, most of the bosses that incorporate raid-wide AOE damage are those found in later ICC wings, so your mileage on this shift might vary.
Stassart recently updated the Resto Shaman Think Tank on EJ with the following table:
|Glyph||HEP Range||HEP Average|
|Glyph of Chain Heal||64-715||281|
|Glyph of Earth Shield||59-278||139|
|Glyph of Riptide (T9 2-piece)||40-222||129|
|Glyph of Earthliving Weapon||50-132||79|
|Glyph of Riptide (T10 4-piece)||10-91||60|
|Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave||0-57||29|
|Glyph of Healing Wave||0-51||20|
|Glyph of Water Shield (minor)||6-59||23|
But there are some very important things to notice about the above information:
- First and foremost is that the relative value of any glyph will depend largely on what type of healer you are and what your spell selection is. This is why the second column is important, because if you use for example, Glyph of LHW and then spend an entire fight without casting it, your HEP for that glyph will be 0 instead of the “projected HEP average” value.
- Second, the value of Glyph of Riptide in dependant on two things: first, whether or not you’re using T9 or T10 as your set bonus, and secondly, if you are casting RT on every CD. The latter is particularly important as it will truncate the contribution you gain from RT ticks over the 15sec duration. RT ticks, unlike Chained Heal, do not stack so a new RT will overwrite the previous.
- Third, do note that Glyph of Healing Stream Totem has incredible situational application and can contribute upwards of 1.2k HPS. It unfortunately is not included on the above list for the simple fact that Stassart hasn’t collected enough data on it.
So what does this all mean? For tank healers and those Restos who stick to 5-mans, this change is a non-issue, since Earthliving shouldn’t be contributing any significant portion of your overall healing anyways. 10-man raiders might want to consider a switch, but in my opinion, the gain won’t be substantial enough. However, 25-man raiders, those using CH heavily in their rotations, and especially those working their way through hard modes in ICC, should seriously consider ELW as an alternative 3rd Glyph. Just make sure not to mention this to your inscription buddies, who will be happy to overcharge you for a glyph that hasn’t made them any gold in over a year and a half!