SotR: The UR Summer Party

SotR - UR Summer Party - IreeniaThe irony is profound, and most certainly has not escaped me…

So yesterday morning, I posted about how I finally feel like a Monk healer.  I finally feel I am growing comfortable with Ireenia and am starting to consider her my main.  I finally feel I am succeeding.

Last night was Undying Resolution’s summer party.  Amongst promotions and awards for attendance and a grand ol’ game of lawn darts (which OMG, I won!), I was surprised with the most wonderful gift possible from all of my guildies – an award for Most Improved Raider.  (Which I tied for and shared with Otoka!  Grats, O!)

That's me, under the pile of chopped meat (which happens to be Ranico), to the left of Mindy.

That’s me, under the pile of chopped meat (which happens to be Ranico), to the left of Mindy.  You can just barely see my hooves!

I am not sure if anyone else realizes how much this – something that might seem small – means to me.

I came back to WoW in October, after a hiatus of about six months.  At the time, there was no question in my mind that I would come back on Effy, even if that meant I would likely be DPS’ing instead of healing.  Effy has always been my main and my raiding toon.  The Shaman was the one and only class I really wanted to raid on.  Heck, Effy has been my persona since I started playing WoW, and especially since I started blogging.

DPS’ing did not last (thankfully) – I am horrible at managing myself in a raid as a DPS – and I started healing on Effy again soon after returning.

I was ridiculously happy to be raiding again, and more importantly, to back with my guild, all of whom I adore to no end.  ❤

I raided on Effy through the first tier of MoP, and then made the very difficult decision to switch to a Mistweaver Monk, because we were growing heavy on Shaman and completely lacking in a reliable Monk healer.

It was a trying switch for me, having only raided on my Shaman up to that point.  It was awkward.  I missed my totems.  I missed my Shaman utilities.  I missed the buttons I knew where and how and when to press at precise times in nearly any situation.  I looked to the internet, and came back with little to help me, the Monk class being very new still.  Unlike my Shaman, there were not heaps of reliable sources from gamers who had been through trial and error and multiple tiers and expansions and changes with the class.

I felt very much on my own when I started out.

But I looked at other Monks I ran across in dungeons and LFR.  I obsessively monitored Skada.  I used the Armory.  I searched out every shred of information there was to be found, even if most of it just seemed to be more wordy tooltips of my skills and glyphs and talents.  I am even trying to get more comfortable with World of Logs and Raidbot/Epeenbot, and compare myself more there to other Mistweavers.  I wrote my best in slot lists and guides (of which I plan to write more, as well).

Through all of it, I have come to understand my Monk better.  I have learned to perform with my Monk better.  I have even started to field questions from guildies and friends about how to play a Mistweaver.  And believe me, as someone who has only played one for about five months now, and has had to kind of rebuild myself around the class, that too is awkward for me.  Who am I to tell someone else how to play this class?  Even if it is just simple guidance.  Usually a skill A or skill B and why sort of thing.

Momma Effy making an appearance and showing Iree her support.

Momma Effy making an appearance and showing Iree her support.

Last night felt like a justification of my progress.  I felt like my improvement was noticed.

Now, I know I should not need justification.  I know I should not need people’s approval or commendations.  But I do.

I talked about Shaman, because I could rehash the findings of others, and add my own small two cents about what worked best for me within those general parameters.  I did not rock the boat on anything anyone else had already tried and tested.

Everything about my Monk has felt like me giving my own two cents.

My Monk has felt like a project.  A project that many times over the last several months I felt I was failing at. I cannot begin to explain how many times I wanted to run back to my Shaman.

But I kept pushing.  I kept tweaking.  I kept adjusting what did and did not work for me.  What managed my mana best?  How much Spirit?  What put out the most heals in crunch times of heavy damage?  When were the best times to use my cooldowns?  What rotation would keep me healing from start to finish, instead of scraping the bottom of my mana pool halfway through a boss fight?  What stats were most important for my Monk healing style?  What talents did or did not work for me?

And I have noticed a remarkable improvement in my performance.  I have noticed I can manage my mana through most situations, and even when I do hit bottom, I have the means to keep going.  Because if I don’t run myself out of mana sometimes, how else am I going to learn?  I have become comfortable enough to vary my rotation depending on the situation, even to the point of Fistweaving my way through most normal mode fights.

I still have much more to do, but last night, I came to the realization that I am not the only one who has seen an improvement.

Thank you, Undying Resolution.  🙂

~ Iree?

SotR: Where Do Baby Dinos Come From?

SotR - Where Do Baby Dinos Come From - Dire Call

I promise there is nothing R rated in this post!

Funny story: While working on Heroic Horridon, one of the issues to come up was from where the pink dinosaurs from Dire Call spawn.  Well, they spawn right from Horridon of course.  (So apparently Horridon is a she?  Sweet.  Add her to the list of leet female raid bosses, right up there with Blood Queen and Lady Vashj.)  This trail of thought could lead to nothing but trouble, and something along the lines of the title of this post.  ❤ my guild.

I had another major epiphany during last night’s raid.  I am finally feeling like a Monk healer.  As opposed to a Shaman healer playing a Monk.

Ireenia is finally starting to feel like my main.

SotR - Where Do Baby Dinos Come From - Walking Eugene

This is a pretty big deal for me.  Cuz honestly, I have been fighting it for – what? – 5 months now?  Ever since patch 5.2 went live, anyway.  I kept telling myself Ireenia was a temporary raid toon, bore of a need in my guild’s healing roster.  And eventually I would go back to Effy, who would always be my main.

Maybe it’s better gear.  Maybe it’s the guides I have been working on.  Maybe it’s finally creating a BiS gear list of my own.  Maybe it’s just purely a matter of time.

My Monk is feeling comfortable.  I am getting more confident.  I finally feel like I know what I am doing.  And admittedly, I am having fun.

Certainly, I miss my Shaman terribly.  I miss her utility.  I miss her totems and managing them.  I miss her healing style.  I miss my Effy.

But Ireenia is finally coming into her own.  She and I are making good progress with Heroics, and I imagine there is still plenty of room for me to improve.  So it is all upwards from here.  🙂

I will aim to post another State of the Raider, with some more actual content to it, soon.

~ Effy (Ireenia)

I also realize I have been horribly slacking on kill updates!  I never even posted our Lei Shen kill!

25man Lei Shen Down!

25man Lei Shen Down!

On to Heroics!

On to Heroics!

25man Heroic Jin'Rokh down!

25man Heroic Jin’Rokh down!

We have been alternately working on Horridon and Ji-Kun in Heroic, while killing Heroic Jin’Rokh weekly.  Summer always complicates the roster, and so we have been slowly making progress in both, but without a kill yet.  But I have high hopes we will finish off Horridon tonight!

The Better Mistweaver BiS List 5.3

Better BiS

Eugene approves of this message.

I have been playing with some different combinations of stats on my Monk throughout the tier.  Mistweaver Mastery is sill meh and although I was letting my Crit climb in lieu of Mastery and to keep my Haste at 3145 for the longest time, I saw no real benefit to Crit.  I have come to realize I am most impressed with just beefing up my Haste.

So I have been reforging every piece to Haste, and looking at pieces carrying a large amount of Haste natively.  This is somewhat contrary to my original BiS List, which focused on pure amount of stats, simply because I really had no idea what was best for my Monk.  (Even now I am still kind of guessing, since there is so little on Mistweavers still.  If only I could Theorycraft!)

If reforging everything to Haste is good, then dumping all my other stats for pure Haste is better, right?  😀  Well, that is the plan, anyway!

My logic?  More ticks for Renewing Mist.  Also, faster casting of Soothing Mist, which I use quite often to “fill in” while waiting for Renewing Mist to come off cooldown and to build Chi for Uplift.  Quicker casting of Crackling Jade Lightning is another nice bonus, as I have noticed it to be good damage and healing.  A kind commenter on my original BiS list mentioned a higher Renewing Mist tick at 6145, making it 12 ticks, which I am currently past and loving.

The biggest hurdle will be keeping my Spirit up to speed with my Haste.  I have several pieces without Haste currently.  Replacing those pieces with Haste/Spirit pieces this should logically continue to balance out my casting speed and mana regen.  So far, my mana regen is very manageable, but I fear tipping the scale too much in either direction will cause me some problems as we push further through Heroics.

At this point, though, my gear is good enough that I am only focusing on pieces with more Haste and Spirit if they are either Thunderforged or Heroic (or both!).

So here is my “better” BiS list, now with more Haste!  (Except in slots I could not find a piece with Haste, which made me sad.)

BiS Normal

My list includes only 3 Tier pieces, because I cannot bring myself to get excited about the 4-piece bonus.  The 2-piece seems to work nicely, though.

BiS Heroic

After a good hard look at Heroic and Ra-den drops, I really see very little changes in my gear list, except Ra-den’s ring and a possible swap of trinkets, since I cannot get the Shado-Pan trinket in Heroic.  😛  Honestly, I am quite fond of my Shado-Pan trinket, and might not even upgrade that!  I am not yet sold on the proc from the Chalice.  I suppose I would have to see it in action.

Ra-den’s drops appear to be guaranteed Heroic Thunderforged items, which is interesting, but it also means with some luck from other bosses, unnecessary.  I am okie with this since I was not thrilled with the stat distribution of most of Ra-den’s drops upon a second glance.

Definitely

Maybe

With Ra-den’s ring, that would put me with Haste and Spirit in every slot except my helm.  I can deal with that!

I did see a Heroic Thunderforged version of the Deeproot Treads on WoWHead, but I am unsure of where/how they drop, since the normal version drops from trash. Random boss drop maybe?

Closing Thoughts

Next on my list is improving my playstyle more.  I always have more room for improvement.

The Haste has made a notable difference in my performance so far, but I am sure my technique could use some tweaking.  It is really hard to gauge most of the time, since we tend to run heavy on healers and my Monk’s particular healing cooldown, Revival, is more of an “Oh shit!” button for when things get messy.  This means I usually go several attempts, or even several bosses, without using Revival, which is certainly affecting my overall performance.

But I would rather save lives and brez’s than blow Revival just to make my numbers pretty.

~ Effy

Better BiS - Eugene