Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Initiate of Mistweaving

The young Mistweaver is not so young anymore. Though he is far from the end of his journey to Mistweaving Mastery, he is now officially halfway to 90 (that's 45 if anyone's counting)!

So with a new toolkit of spells such as:

Teachings of the Monastary
Surging Mist
Enveloping Mist
Renewing Mist

The young Monk ventured into the mid-tier Old World dungeon of Dire Maul... And was fortunate to find a great group (Paladin Tank, Elemental Shaman, Frost Mage, Retribution Paladin, and the Mistweaving Monk).

My current insights on mid-tier Mistweaver healing after the jump.

After entering Dire Maul and getting the quests at the entrance, we ran in and immediately got to work. I tried to use "Fistweaving" (healing the group through DPS, using a combination of  the [Serpent's Zeal] and [Stance of the Wise Serpent] abilities) to do the majority of my healing, but quickly found that it wasn't quite adequate to keep the tank topped off. Fistweaving does a fair amount of AoE healing, and I haven't discounted it completely, but I quickly discovered that the best way for me to heal at this level was to use a combination of [Jab] and direct heals.

I used [Jab] to ensure that I had enough Chi to spend on heals when I needed them, such as [Renewing Mist] which costs 3 Chi, and [Zen Sphere] which costs 2 Chi to place on a target, and 2 Chi to burst (which is its real strength) sending out fairly good AoE heals on everyone in range.

[Soothing Mist] and its synergy with other spells, is the real strength of the Mistweaver, in my opinion. I found it a little difficult to top up the whole group as quickly as, say, a Holy Priest of comparable level, but there's no denying the strength of the Mistweaver's single-target healing. [Soothing Mist] is usually enough to top up a flagging dps, and a single [Surging Mist] can bring the tank up very quickly, and without too much mana consumption.

After running several dungeons with that wonderful group, we parted  ways. I was able to empty my bags in Ironforge, and quickly re-queued, ready to continue practicing the healing art of Mistweaving.

Let's just say the next group was... Not of the same caliber as my first, lol.

I ended up in Scholomance, which I must say is EXCELLENT with the new MoP renovations, and I can't wait to try it on Heroic! As soon as we entered the first chamber, our hapless Frost Mage manages to pull the entire room of baddies (except the boss) down onto our heads. Our valiant Warrior Tank immediately set to the task of trying to gather aggro on the undead horde swarming the poor clothie.

I smiled, knowing that HERE was a true test of the Mistweaver... Could I keep the whole group alive long enough for us to survive a very unnecessary wipe!?

I immediately began chain-HoTing my group with [Renewing Mist]. This spell is brilliant because it jumps to targets with lower health, and has a longer duration than it has cooldown, so you can have multiple [Renewing Mist] rolling at the same time (this should prove very useful while raid healing). In between [Jab] to gather Chi, I dropped an [Enveloping Mist] on the Tank and started targeted healing of low HP party members with [Soothing Mist] and [Surging Mist].

I ended up at about 20% mana, but we survived, thanks to a quick thinking Tank and rapid triage on my part. Unfortunately we had a Balance Druid who kept Moonfire spamming, the Frost Mage was panicking, and the last member of the group was AFK... We didn't make it past the first boss before I politely /bow'ed and left the group.

Still, I'm appreciative for the two diametrically opposite experiences. On one hand, I got to heal for a cohesive, balanced, experienced group, and got to explore my toolkit (and experiment). On the other, I got a terrible group with less-than-skilled players, and got to see what a Mistweaver can do when things go bad.

Key Lessons:

1) Fistweaving works; but still requires a careful eye on the health meters. I was more comfortable with a [Jab] and channel style.

2) Renewing Mists is awesome, and may very well be my new favorite healing spell (formerly [Chain Heal]).

3) [Enveloping Mists] is a great way to keep the Tank topped up if you have to tend to the DPS, but has a high Chi cost. Keep [Jab]ing!

4) There's a lack of true AoE healing for mid-tier Mistweavers. [Zen Sphere] is fair... but not fast in an emergency. I will continue to work on improving that. [Renewing Mist] is an amazing spell, but over-reliance on it can drain your mana quickly. I'm looking forward to [Spinning Crane Kick] at 46.

The next installment of the Mistweaver's Journal should find us finishing up the Old World and preparing to make the journey into Outland.

And let's not forget Pilgrim's Bounty is upon us!!! Dust off those [Chef Hat] and get ready for a [Food Fight]!

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