Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chakra and Me - A Love Story

The more I play with Chakra the more I like it. Now that I don't automatically crash upon entering a raid I've had a decent chance at testing it out. And I am glad to say my initial impression was somewhat off. Since I had only tried Chakra in instances I got the impression that you'd mostly be in the Renew-stance. This works in an instance where the damage is pretty low. If you want to optimize your healing and mana efficiency in raids however you will have to learn to identify the best stance for each situation and how to time your chakras properly. The same goes with your Holy Words. I can see I'll have loads of fun with this.

Chakra: Heal
I was sceptical about this stance since I've had a hard time finding a good use to casting Heal in our current hc raid content. Also I really dislike it for heroics. But maybe I was wrong. I still don't think Heal is an awesome (or even a particularly good) spell, but after forcing myself to like it and use it some when raiding the other day I actually found that it at least was far from as sucky as I first had believed.

Heal as it is is still pretty sucky, no doubt about that. But used in a Chakra stance it actually become fairly decent. It does require you to "spam" it however, kinda like holydins used FoL pre-patch. Since it is slow and small you can't wait for people to take damage before you use it. Any raid-healer should know this of course, but we have been too pampered lately with all our imba instants and fast casts. Once you're in the stance, just keep on casting it even if you don't really find a target who needs it. You won't oom because it is so cheap anyway and it will proc useful instant/free Flash Heals for you as well (although I noticed 6% turned out to be really low). The Holy Word: Heal is a really good one and I noticed I really have to practice in using it when it's needed. Sometimes I forget it's there since the Holy Word changes with each stance. As soon as I got one into my backbone I have to learn another. Nothing a little practice won't fix. Holy Word: Heal instantly heals for some 15-20k hp, 20 sec cooldown. That can really come in handy. Chakra: Heal is also good to keep renew up on the tanks. When I used it yesterday I tried to alternate between throwing a renew somewhere and a heal somewhere (mostly on the tanks) and it worked really well. Eventhough Istill felt like Heal was way too slow, by combining it with CoH, Renews, PoM and Holy Word: Heal I got high on healing done (which you know is all that matters *cough*). I think this is the point with Chakra, don't let the stance fool you into just using one skill to keep the stance up. The cooldown isn't that long, and it's really cheap to recast. The stance is just to emphasize our priorities, not to cut every other skill from the rotation.

Chakra: Renew
The easiest stance is without a doubt Chakra: Renew. But in a raid it's not so easy as it seems. Keeping this stance up for the entire duration of the fight will probably have you mega-oomed in the end. When doing Putricide hc I was completely oom just about when the boss died, after having used both Shadowfiend and Pot. Admittedly, I am gemmed completely towards discipline which makes my mana regen horribly low (around 600 combat regen fully raid buffed).We can't get too comfortable here, it is probably best to start out with this stance and then once Chakra gets off cooldown, switch to Chakra: Heal to ease up on our mana consumption. Holy Word: Renew is a good hot to keep on the tanks, but I didn't feel like it seemed to make a big difference when used on anyone else. Using a 15 sec cd hot on someone who doesn't take damage continuously seems like a waste. In a way I am glad this stance didnt't turn out to be overpowered compared to the other stances, since renew-spam wasn't the one thing I really loved about holy-healing. UPDATE 9/11: Chakra: Renew is probably going away and being consolidated into Chakra PoH, you can read my thoughts on the matter here.

Chakra: Prayer of Healing
The black sheep of the Chakra-stances. Using this the right way is probably among the trickiest since there rarely is a reason for us to spam PoH. On the other hand you don't have to spam it to keep it up, only cast it every 15 seconds or so (which might feel rather spammy for this kind of spell however). But if you read what I wrote at Chakra: Heal, I think Chakra: PoH best examplifies that we shouldn't be fooled into unecessarily trying to prolong our stance. The best reason to use Chakra: PoH is to increase your aoe-healing for a short period of time, so don't stare yourself blind on your chakra timer. It is ok if it drops off, as long as you keep it up while you really need it. When doing ICC I tried using it during Blood Queen. I popped a new Chakra just before the fear so I was ready to engage it with a PoH as soon as fear wore off (actually we had a tremor totem, so I didn't have to wait long). During the air phase you've only got a few seconds to keep people alive. Start out with a PoH just to get into the stance, then place a Holy word: Sanctuary anywhere. People are supposed to be spread out during this phase, so I think this might work even better during phase 2 of LK where people are to huddle for the Valkyrs and are being affected by Infest. The beauty of Holy word: Sanctuary is that it doesn't seem to have a limit on healing done. It heals anyone in it for a certain amount of 18 seconds, no matter how many people are in it. There is potential for awesome amounts of hps here, especially if you combine it with CoH and PoH at the same time. I marvel at the possibilities.

Once the air phase was over I dropped Chakra: PoH and reassumed Chakra: Heal instead. If you mana allows it you can jump into Chakra: Renew for a while. Your choice of stance also depends on what other healers are with you of course. If you have few tank healers you could become a decent tank healer through Chakra: Heal, if you have few druids you might need to be in Chakra: Renew for more of the time.

The awesomeness about Chakra is that there is no absolute way to use it. It all depends. And your skills in deciding the proper chakra for the proper situation will definitely make alot of difference. I love it.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree that Chakra is very potentfull. Key it to get the clue when and how to use, still working on it. C-Renew is piss easy to maintain but mana intensive. C-Heal is mana efficient but harder to maintain in situations you've to move a lot. C-PoH is still a black sheep to me unfortunally, haven't found situations where it excels over the other 2 and/or normal ways.
    You're post is quite helpfull to get some more clues though.