Resto Deep Dive: Mana – Shadowlands
This article has been completely updated for Shadowlands, and was originally written in Battle for Azeroth.
One of the biggest problems both new and experienced players face is running out of mana. Worse still, the reasons why aren’t always evident which means it can be hard to correct. Improving your mana management is one of the number one ways to improve as a healer and you’ll notice your numbers skyrocket if you manage it correctly. We’re going to look at how efficient each of our spells are so we know which ones to cast more and which to cast less (because none of the tooltips make it at all obvious) and we’ll also check out some ways to get mana back. By the end of the article you’ll have a direct list of work-ons that you can apply to your next raid. We’re going into detail but every section will have a quick version too for those skimming.
Step one: Use your most efficient spells
- Cast Wild Growth on cooldown whenever there is damage.
- Keep Efflorescence down, and Lifebloom up. Efflorescence is particularly important.
- Cast Regrowth after a ramp with heavy Abundance stacks, or when you have a clearcasting proc. Avoid random casts throughout the fight where possible.
We judge the efficiency of a spell by how much healing you get for the mana you spent. Spells like Wild Growth and Efflorescence are quite expensive per cast but they give you so much healing that they’re worth every mana that you spend on them. Lone rejuvenations or regrowths outside of a ramp window on the other hand heal for comparatively little. Our only resources are mana and global cooldowns and we generally have more flexibility in the latter than the former. Let’s compare the HPM (Healing per mana) of our different spells.
Mana Efficiency: Core Spells
Mana Efficiency: Short Cooldowns
Swiftmend here is included without consideration for the HoT it consumes which will decrease it’s value from slightly to heavily depending on your target.
Your individual stat lines will change these a little but take the same core points from it regardless. Wild Growth and Efflo are our most mana efficient spells. Cenarion Ward is also very good when talented. We want to cast them as often as we can and they’re so far ahead that we don’t care if they overheal a little, or if there aren’t always three people standing in Efflorescence. Let fantastic tools like this Weak Aura remind you as they come off cooldown. Make sure you’re spending your Omen of Clarity procs.
Check you’re doing it right by running a log through wowanalyzer.com. It’ll tell you how many you missed and make a point of improving that number pull-to-pull, raid night to raid night.
Step Two: Use your big cooldowns
- Flourish, Tranquility, Convoke the Spirits and Tree of Life are all ultra high throughput, low mana healing that you need to be casting as often as possible. Plan out your usages before the fight even begins.
- Make the most of Flourish by ramping into it with rejuvs and Wild Growth. Make the most of Tree of Life by filling it with Rejuv and Wild Growth casts instead of wasting it with Regrowth. Regrowth in Tree of Life is a very bad cast unless it is literally saving a life.
- Maximize your innervate value by fitting an Efflo and Wild Growth cast into the duration.
A significant portion of your healing in almost every raid fight will come from smart usage of your cooldowns. You would have to cast 15-20 Regrowths to cover the healing a single Tranquility can do (and it’ll cost you 10 times as much mana). Rejuvenations in Tree of Life are twice as good as Rejuvs outside. We can talk about how to get maximum value from each of them but the key here is first to get as many of them into every fight as possible. Write down a list of times at the beginning of each fight. Talk them through with your healing officer.
Maximizing Tree of Life
Tree of Life is a fantastic mana saving cooldown. Your spell priority in Tree of Life is Efflorescence > Wild Growth > Rejuvenation. Rejuv gets a huge efficiency boost from Tree and you absolutely shouldn’t spend any global cooldowns on Regrowth. You’ll probably want to keep Lifebloom active for the tank healing but it’s a much lower priority than normal.
Spell Efficiencies in Tree
This doesn’t quite tell the full story because Wild Growth auto-targets low health allies and applies several times as many Mastery stacks as Rejuv but the table should illustrate how strong Tree of Life is while also showcasing why Regrowth is a terrible idea. Remember to keep Efflorescence down because as high as these numbers are it still dwarfs them. Remember that Regrowths cast time is equal to the global cooldown, which means it becoming an “instant cast” doesn’t actually change how many of them you can fit into any given window.
Step Three: Trinkets, Potions and Enchants
- There are no strong mana trinkets in the game right now outside of one ultra rare timewalking trinket but Blizzard tend to add them as we go through patches so check back here later in the expansion cycle.
- Potion of Spiritual Clarity is much better than a Spiritual Mana Potion and you should aim to pop at least one every fight. They have a five minute cooldown in Shadowlands, so if you pop one earlier in most fights you can use a second later. This is particularly useful on the longer fights like Stone Legion Generals, Council of Blood and Sire Denathrius.
- The chest mana enchant is not good enough to beat the extra intellect of the alternative. They aren’t particularly far apart though.
Here’s a breakdown of how each source of mana compares. It’s quite bare right now since our options are slim but expect it to fill out as the expansion goes on.
Spiritual Clarity is divided by it’s 5 minute cooldown. Eternal Bounds assumes a 7 minute fight.
Step Four: Don’t waste casts in between cooldowns
Ok ok this one doesn’t need a short and long version but it’s very important. It’s quite common to cast Rejuv as your “nothing is happening but I feel like I should be doing something” button. Perhaps a quarter of the raid is at about 80% so you’ll slap a rejuv on them all while you wait for the next mechanic to hit. Two seconds later a Holy Paladin hits them with a Holy Shock and your rejuv goes straight to overheal. It’s understandable to feel like you should be doing something with every second and you should – but it doesn’t have to be rejuv, or a healing spell at all. Start including Solar Wrath in your rotation during downtime. The damage is valuable, it’ll fill gaps in your rotation and it’s completely free.
You aren’t throwing rejuvs out to spot heal the raid, you’re doing it because you know a big mechanic is coming up and you’re about to give them a giant green buffer. Every time you cast rejuv try and assign it to a specific mechanic in your head. “I’m casting this in preparation for the Pillar Crash in six seconds”.
- Cast more Wild Growth. Keep Efflo down, and Lifebloom up.
- Try and fit as many of your incredibly mana efficient cooldowns into each fight as you can.
- Use a Potion of Spiritual Clarity at least once every fight. Aim for two on longer fights.
- Don’t overwrite your rejuvs. Cast them before big damage is due, not just to fill button presses. Use Solar Wrath during downtime.
- Try and match your mana to the bosses health.
The little details
The article was written with a stat line of 1450 intellect, 23% Haste, 16% Crit, 11% Mastery and 4% Versatility. Your own stats would change the numbers however never by enough to change your spell priorities. Legendaries aren’t included, but again don’t change the numbers by enough to alter spell priority.