Yesterday night the new ICDs for 5.2patch healing trinkets were finally revealed. It was also revealed that they would follow the new smarter proc system previously used for weapon enchants AKA RealPPM proc based system. For more information on this you can check here for the official announcement and explanationand here for an excellent analysis by Hamlet. If you have already read the content of the links above you are already aware of how this new system works. If you haven’t I suggest you do however I will explain also in short. The new RealPPM system was introduced in an effort to control the way procs work and improve their performance in a manner that is most useful for all classes regardless of their spec. This new tech not only allows for equality and better control but also seems to be paving the road for more interesting procs. When it comes to 5.2 trinkets we can see immediately how this affects them. Lightning-Imbued Chalice for example is based on the accumulation of 6 buff stacks in order to deliver its on equip proc. The new tech not only makes it easier to calculate the proc and its frequency but also it normalizes its chances of being triggered by every single spell regardless of the spells nature or whether it is active on the target or not. Any direct heal or existing HoT will have a chance to trigger the proc. The formula for figuring out the proc chance is the following :
Proc chance = PPM x ( 1+ H) x T/60
Where PPM is the buff’s build in constant, H is our current haste rating and T is the time since the last attack that gave a chance to proc or duration of the buff.
What is most interesting to notice is how our haste rating affects the proc frequency of our trinket. What does that mean in practice however? Lets take a look at the tables below. The first table represents the first soft haste breakpoint at 12.51%, the second table the second soft haste breakpoint at 20.01% and the third table the third soft haste breakpoint at 24.97%. These values are representative of our choices for 5.2patch. The first 4 trinkets will drop from different bosses in the new raid while the 5th one can be purchased for Valor points upon reaching Friendly with the new faction Shado-Pan Assault.
Before we analyze how haste affects the new trinkets there is much to be discussed about their potency. First thing to notice is how their primary stats are exactly the same whether the passive bonus is intellect or spirit. For every trinket of any item level the values remain the same. Whether this is something Blizzard intended we cannot know since 5.2 hasn’t officially been released and as always there might be changes when it goes live. Onto the trinkets themselves.
The Soothing Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault is the only trinket in 5.2 with an on use faction on CD. While it’s a great upgrade for the Relic of Chi Ji and even some very high versions of the Spirits of the Sun, its long CD is somewhat discouraging and for shorter fights its MP5 will be practically considerably shortened. Choose wisely on the start of the tier depending on the duration of the fight.
From the 4 remainining trinkets 2 have passive spirit with a shield proc and 2 have passive intellect with a strong throughput proc and MP5 gain each.
We arrive in certain conclusions while comparing them in pairs and then cross comparing them to each other.
The passive spirit based trinkets share the same MP5 and a shield proc which is applied quite differently. Stolen Relic of Zuldazars proc is based on accumulating a stacking buff of 6charges which can be released at any given time onto a target shielding them from damage. While it doesn’t have an ICD it does have an internal cooldown of 20seconds that prohibits you from unleashing it at 1 or 2 stacks. The least amount of stacks that can be released is from 3 and beyond for a 31629 / 42172 / 52715 / 63258 shield. Its RPPM is set on 3 and from the table above we can see that the maximum average amount of accumulating 6 charges for the maximum effect is 107sec at 12.51% haste ( 871 haste rating while raid buffed). The advantage of this trinket is that its on use ability gives us direct control on the applied shield. We can choose when to apply it and to whom. Onto the Inscribed Bag of Hydra-Spawn. Its difference from the trinket above is that the shield proc is random and it occurs roughly every 47sec at 12.51% haste. In direct comparison to its contender we can see that its theoretical ICD is shorter ( for a shield of 31629K the difference is 6seconds making theInscribed Bag of Hydra-Spawn roughly 11.50% faster on its application) however its random proc nature makes it less attractive. At this point it should be noted also that a shield works differently from a direct heal, meaning it has lower chances of being an overheal and therefore wasted HPS. If the damage profile of the fight is constant damage the Inscribed Bag of Hydra-Spawn will prove more useful but if the damage of the fight comes in waves then Stolen Relic of Zuldazars controlled shield will provide with better HPS.
The passive intellect based trinkets share the same throughput but have completely different procs. Lightning-Imbued Chalices proc is again based on accumulating a stacking buff of 6charges which this time will be instantly released onto a target healing them for a certain amount (for more info check the table). Its theoretical release time is around 107seconds at 12.51% haste. Again this is another trinket with an non controllable proc which is however quite strong and will get stronger as your item level rises. Horridon’s Last Gasp is a direct upgrade of the VP purchasable trinket. It’s worth to be noted that while at comparable ilvls of 522 with the same intellect Horridon’s Last Gasp has a theoretical ICD of around 53seconds at 12.51% haste while the Soothing Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault has a 180sec CD. Although it appears that Horridon’s Last Gasp is falling behind in MP5,in a 5min fight Horridon’s Last Gasp will land you with a 41400mana gain whileSoothing Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assaultwill only provide with 29805mana making the former a clear winner. At this point I need to make a correction, I was assuming only one late use for STA which meant that on a 5min fight we would only use it once. However as pointed out on the comments below and Hamlet, it is ofc better to use this even if you are only missing very little mana with no way to regain it back very soon which leads to using this twice in a fight. However while you outgrow 522ilvl for trinkets Horridon’s Last Gasp will progressively always be better than Soothing Talisman. Again my many thanks for pointing this out 🙂
Which trinkets are BiS for this tier? At this point it is really hard to tell which 2 of the 4 presented trinkets are the clear winners. While myself I tend to choose passive intellect based trinkets I have to admit that the shield procs are very attractive. I will ultimately choose depending on the fight ( if there is the luxury of having all the trinkets) and its damage profile.
Last but not least I will leave you with extra tables depicting how haste influences the potency of RPPM based trinkets. Higher haste rating will shave off quite a lot of the time between procs making haste a more desirable stat for 5.2 than 5.1. While you might be allocating some points to haste however bare in mind that crit and mastery haven’t lost their effectiveness although if you are aiming for numbers the faster you are ( if your regen can sustain you) the higher you will go. Ironically both shielding trinkets come with a passive regen boost making a case for potentially hoarding some haste rating while equipping them.
My big thanks to Binkenstein for confirming the proc numbers for the RPPM trinkets.
Glyphs in Mists of Pandaria saw a complete revamp not just in their interface panel but also in their utility. Prime glyphs were completely removed and most of Major glyphs got a significant nerf in terms of the advantages they offer. While some still offer a straight off bonus (sometimes not even significant enough to justify occupying a Major glyph slot), most of them introduce a trade-off faction which most of the times is hard to calculate. Glyph of Water shield has already caused a lot of controversy between shamans.
Water Shield gives you a passive 2138 Mp5, but every time a hit will trigger it you will also gain 2928 mana. If triggered every time on ICD, it would give you an average of 4880 mp5. This is unrealistically high, however. Water shield comes with a glyph that reduces its passive mana regen by 15% reducing it to 1817 mp5. On the same note it will increase its on hit regen by 50% making it 4392 per hit amounting to 7320 mp5. In any fight where water shield reliably triggers more than 2.63 times every 1 minute, this glyph will give you a significant boost in mana regen.
Here comes the interesting part and what causes the controversy among Restos desperately seeking for some extra mana. You would think that Water shield glyph would be mandatory since it only needs to be activated 2.63 per min in order to provide better mana regen. It does right? Right?? Wrong answer. This has been a question I have been asking myself since beta came out. The times WS needs to be activated seem very few, however the number of attacks that actually do that was significantly lowered for Mists. And while still supposedly no AoE will proc it, some still does. And while also supposedly direct damage will proc it,some doesn’t. Blizzard is being very liberal with its boss abilities and the categories they fit. The only way to reliably calculate Water Shield gains ( glyphed or not glyphed ) is by analyzing logs. and therefore putting down once and for all the conundrum of whether Water Shield glyph is useful or not.
For my analysis I used World of Logsand an array of what is mostly my kills and top ranked resto shaman kills. While the number of times that WS activates will vary from fight to fight expect that in the table below the numbers show what is mostly the most efficient way to deal with any boss fight , meaning avoiding all the bad. Some we can’t avoid but for those we can consider for the most part they were avoided for calculating purposes. I want to make the table as fair as possible in respect of boss fights and incoming damage. If you have been hit twice as much in a specific fight shown below, you just tanked the floor for more than you should have. It’s by no means an excuse that Water Shield glyph is better in that specific fight or in general. Getting hit just to activate your WS will get you some mana back but you will most likely be spending it in order to get your HP back up.
There are 2 columns, one for Normal Mode encounters and on the far right one for Heroic Mode encounters (I will update the post once I have data for the last 3 bosses). Results for MP5 and Spirit columns are tailored for each fight according to its duration. From left to right:
1. Number of times shield was activated
2. Duration of the fight
3. Total mana gains while WS is not glyphed (ticks and passive)
4. Total mana gains while WS is glyphed (ticks and passive)
5. Mana difference (always subtracting Unglyphed WS from Glyphed WS. This means that when the number is positive Glyphed WS is favorited and when it’s negative Unglyphed WS is favorited)
6. MP5 (based on the difference)
7. Spirit (based on the difference)
The results of the table are very surprising and prove that Water Shield glyph not only is not a necessary glyph but in fact in most of the fights it will result to mana loss rather than mana gain. What is most interesting is fights were the difference is very little and using either will result in almost similar results. For readers that might be wondering “Well a gain is always a gain why not just use it for the fights where using the glyph is marginally better? ” I have one answer. Just don’t. Plainly and directly. Don’t. Assign another glyph in its place instead. Anything will be more useful than gaining or loosing 30 or 5 points of spirit or even 150. Remember for the fights where it seems that we are gaining 200spirit (which someone might argue is a useful gain ) ,it only takes a little bit more awareness and either getting hit 2 or 3 times less or the fight to last 15 seconds less to reduce the difference to a point that is again completely irrelevant. There is no point whatsoever in using this glyph other than The Stone Guard and Amber Shaper and even for those fights consider that using the Glyph of Totemic Recall will reward you full mana upon retracting your HST. HST costs 14100 mana and spending 2GCDs throughout the whole fight will award you more theoretical mp5 and spirit than Glyph of Water Shield would ever reward even in its highest mana back.
We can plainly see that in every single occasion it’s better to run without Glyph of Water Shield. Not all glyphs in Mists of Pandaria are supposed to give you an advantage however I have to admit this is one glyph that most of the times puts you in disadvantage. You can safely disregard it and forget of using it as results and continuous testings in all bosses of this tier prove that it’s almost obsolete. I would be willing to say that unless it’s buffed in some way for the next patch we will probably reach the same conclusion also. Personally I am just happy that we don’t have to refresh it anymore. I have already forgotten we can Glyph it.