8.2 Preview: Healer Essence Breakdown II

8.2 adds eleven new Azerite Essences to the game that you can slot into a new path in the Heart of Azeroth itself. We covered four prominent healer essences last week and we’ll cover another three here including Vision of Perfection and Conflict and Strife. These are the spec specific Essences and I’ll try to provide a little depth when it’s a notable choice. Some Essences require season 3 specific content and so won’t be available at all in the first few weeks of the patch. We’ll also be stuck with only one Essence slot until we hit neck level 55. That might force us to pick a weaker major in order to lock in a strong minor. Numbers are all general non-fight specific estimates but should be within ~5% in most cases. QE Live will have full Essence support on patch launch. All numbers might change when the patch goes live. We will have spec-specific recommendations for Resto Druid, Mistweaver and Holy Paladin in part 3 next week.

Update: Vision of Perfection has been nerfed for Holy Paladins. The proc no longer scales with Lights Decree and Sanctified Wrath. The numbers below have been updated.

Update 2: There were a number of Essence changes on the 20th of June. Everything has been updated except for Essence tooltips.


Vision of Perfection

The Versatility has been nerfed from the numbers above. The table below is accurate.

How to get it

Uncommon: Defeat King Mechagon in Operation: Mechagon.
Rare: Obtain a blueprint from King Mechagon in Operation: Mechagon and then craft it with Mechagon crafting materials.
Epic: Combine six Progression Sprockets. These appear to also drop from King Mechagon.
Legendary: Complete the Mechagon dungeon on hard mode. We have only scarce details about how this will work so far but it appears to need to complete the dungeon without dying.


  • Druids get a small Tranquility proc that also adds a 4 second, 1 stack HoT to the raid. There is no channel involved.
  • Monks get a tiny Revival proc. It’s about as lackluster as you expect.
  • Disc Priests get 35% of a Shadowfiend / Mindbender use. It previously gave you Rapture but this is no longer the case.
  • Holy Paladins get 7 seconds of Avenging Wrath. It’s strong.
  • Holy Priests get a small Divine Hymn proc that includes the raid-wide healing bonus. There is no channel involved.
  • Resto Shamans get a brief Healing Tide Totem proc.


HPS Gained

Paladin Data: 2.1 vers weight, 2.4 haste weight, 5.2 expected Glimmers live during proc, 1.5 holy shocks gained from SW interaction, 60% overheal on self-heal, 1 extra AW per fight from CDR.
Druid Data: 60% overhealing on random proc, 1 extra Tranq per fight from CDR, 1.4 vers weight, 1.6 haste weight, 0.85% total bonus mastery healing.


Updated with the 19th June SW / LD nerf and an estimate of the 20th July Holy Paladin proc rate nerf – final values in tomorrow when the client updates.


This one is a mess. It isn’t weak, but it defies a core value of the Essence system and is entirely passive. Its value also varies wildly between specs with Paladins the happiest recipients as seen above. The minor and general design seem to suggest we take this when we want a higher uptime on our base cooldowns. However, the major is a huge, infrequent, random proc. I want the major power when damage is constant and heavy but the minor when I can use it to better align my cooldowns with the damage patterns of the fight. It also has random stat and heal components thrown in to add some power and to further dilute the design.

There are some bigger benefits if you are a Paladin. You get a free Holy Shock crit every time it procs and you aren’t as afraid of procs at bad times in the fight because you can either turn it into boss damage or use it to get more Glimmers out and improve your ramp. This has unfortunately been nerfed so many times that it’s no longer likely to be a viable choice. There’s still a lot of raw power inside but it’s way too random to be of any real value. You can’t be relying on a proc every 90-120 seconds to get through a fight.

The minor on the other hand can help you align your Avenging Wrath and Holy Avenger cooldowns and you’re likely to take it whenever it gives you a big advantage in cooldown timing, or when you are able to get an extra AW cast from it.

The news is worse for the other healing specs. The Revival and Healing Tide Totem procs just don’t provide anywhere near enough throughput to justify the complete lack of control you have over them. Tranq and Divine Hymn perform a little better due to the free mastery stack or AoE healing taken increase but given how difficult it’ll be to align a rare proc with proper damage it still isn’t going to be among your top three choices. The raw throughput is excellent but it’s likely to be poor in live play.


Conflict and Strife

The Versatility has been nerfed from the numbers above. The table below is accurate.

How to get it

Uncommon: Earn 500 conquest and open a weekly PVP chest. This is 4-5 hours of standard battlegrounds. 
Rare: Earn 1000 rating in Rated PVP and claim your weekly PVP chest. You don’t lose rating when you’re low rated so this is achievable for everyone but will take some effort.
Epic: Collect Burgeoning Battlefield Furor from your weekly PVP chest. It’s unknown if you need a specific rating to have these included in your war chest but it is likely.
Legendary: Reach Elite rank and claim your weekly PVP chest.


  • Resto Druids get Overgrowth. This isn’t particularly mana efficient and other Essences do “big healing on a single target” much better than this. Weak choice.
  • Holy Priests get Holy Ward. This is unlikely to be useful in any fight.
  • Disc Priests get a nerfed version of Premonition. This is limited to four targets which strips a lot of its value.
  • Holy Paladins get Divine Favor. It has some small value but the Paladin alternatives are about 100 times better.
  • Resto Shamans get Ancestral Gift which has no real PVE value.
  • Mistweavers get Way of the Crane. This one is much more interesting and we’ll cover it in depth below.


HPS Gained

Data: 4.95 (uncommon) / 7.95 (rare / epic) average stacks, 1.1 vers weight.


This is another Essence that’s ultra spec-dependent with Mistweavers the sole benefactors. Let’s address the power of the minor first, since it’s rather straightforward. On the PTR it procs so frequently that you can expect a 100% uptime on the Versatility buff. That’s worth about ~390 flat Versatility at rank 3. Very decent and middle of the pack overall for Essences.

I won’t be covering numbers here for any spec except Mistweaver because the others are not competitive in any kind of PVE environment. Feel free to skip ahead to the next Essence. Fistweavers come in close. You’re going to like this.

Way of the Crane

Way of the Crane gives you a 25% damage increase while active and causes your damage spells to heal three nearby targets for 150% of any damage dealt for 15 seconds. It has a one minute cooldown and costs an expensive 25,000 mana. This is a complete playstyle change and increases the depth and skill ceiling of the spec considerably. Let’s look at some numbers, with 15% expected overhealing:

This is a strong result. A lot of Mistweaver power comes from Essence Font and outside of it your casts are reasonably inefficient. Way of the Crane greatly improves your healing out of Essence Font windows, adds DPS comparable to a Holy Paladin and gives you a potent healing cooldown that rivals some of the best. All on a tidy one minute cooldown. The mana efficiency of the spell will be even higher than advertised since you’ll have Mana Tea for a portion of them and you can combine it with the Secret Infusion azerite trait. You also become a strong candidate for Innervate. This all sounds rather amazing so let’s look at some drawbacks:

  • You must be able to sit in melee during the 15 second period of high damage. If that isn’t feasible then you’re better off with another Essence. This is going to be fine most of the time.
  • The healing is untargeted, random and not smart. Time spent spot healing is incredibly expensive.
  • You pay the mana cost up front so healing windows shorter than 15 seconds are taxed.

This is going to need field tests to see if the numerous strengths are tempered by its weaknesses. Blizzard may also just flat out nerf or break it in the coming weeks. If it goes live as-is we’ll start answering some more advanced questions like how Rising Mists compares to Upwelling and if this changes our Azerite choices at all. The competition from Ever Rising Tide is also fierce.



The Crucible of Flame

How to get it

Uncommon: Complete the quest “Mother knows best” and unlock the Heart Forge. This is the first Essence you’ll earn.
Rare: Level your heart of Azeroth to 54 and complete a quest. You’ll likely have better by the time your neck is this high.
Epic: Level your heart of Azeroth to 60 and complete a quest. 
Legendary: Level your heart of Azeroth to 70 and complete a quest. Ow.


HPS Gained

Data: 20% crit, 5% vers, 10% haste.


After Visions of Perfection and Conflict and Strife you’re probably exhausted. Fortunately Crucible of Flame is as straightforward as an Essence can be. The minor adds small HoTs around the raid and the major is a small direct heal / HoT combo that scales up with every use and then resets. There aren’t really any special uses or fights this is particularly good or bad on. It lives and dies on its throughput because it isn’t bringing anything more. It is the first Essence you receive and so given its status as the “Starter Essence” this isn’t completely awful. You use it until you have something better, which probably won’t take long. It’s also one of the few Essences we have that can contribute damage since the DPS-specific Essences are locked away from us.


When I first wrote this article I said that Vision of Perfection needed another look because it was much too strong for Paladins. They’ve nerfed it twice since then and it’s no longer really in contention. Nerfing the proc rate was a poor choice because it makes it less reliable as well as weaker. I don’t think they had to go in that direction.

Ever Rising Tide remains an advanced but powerful option and it’s covered in detail in part 3 which is now available to patrons. It will go public at the end of the weekend assuming Blizzard don’t make too many more changes. More to come.

You can read part 3 of the article here. If you like what you’ve read I do have a patreon where you can get advanced access to all articles posted.

2 responses to “8.2 Preview: Healer Essence Breakdown II”

  1. Lost says:

    Hey Voulk, thanks for this!

    I was just wondering, in regards to Vision of Perfection, if we’re using Avenging Crusader instead, doe the essence change to Avenging Crusader proc or still Avenging Wrath procs?

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