I meant to post something on this topic yesterday, but a little thing called “work” got in the way. And now a little thing called “Patch 3.1” seems to be elbowing any other considerations aside. But I do want to make some quick observations about Renew and why, for my dual-spec Holy Priesting, I’ll still avoid it.
But before I delve too deeply in why I’ll eschew Renew, let’s turn to the healer renowned for their HoTs: the Resto Druid.
The Druid has four heals-over-time spells: Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, and Wild Growth. (Arguably, Tranquility heals-over-time as well, but as it has a very long cooldown and only heals the party, it’s not really part of the Resto Druid’s “routine.”) Three out of four of these HoTs are instant cast; Regrowth takes 2 seconds to cast un-hasted. And while the mana cost of Lifebloom is doubled in Patch 3.1 (Boooo!), the beauty of this HoT and of Wild Growth is that they tick every second. After all, in a raid — whether or 10- or 25-man — the downside of these spells is that while, by definition, they heal over time, that “time” often results in other healers’ spells getting their first, making the HoTs redundant. Ticking once per second, however, means that these two HoTs heal very quickly and very effectively. Regrowth and Rejuvenation, the other two druid HoTs, heal once every three seconds. But despite the slower “tick,” the druid can Swiftmend these HoTs, converting them to instant heals equivalent to 12 seconds of Rejuvenation or 18 seconds of Regrowth. (Healing druids will glyph Swiftmend so that the spell will provide the instant heal and will not consume the HoT.)
Now back to Renew. It’s no surprise that the priest’s HoT pales in comparison to the druid’s. What’s significant, I’d argue, is that it also under-performs the priest’s other heals.
Renew is appealing, I know, because it’s an instant-cast spell. When healing on-the-run, it’s one of four heals that priests can cast (Prayer of Mending, Holy Nova, and Power Word: Shield are the others). But that’s not a compelling enough reason to rely on this spell.
To make Renew “suck less,” one must devote 6 talent points and a glyph into the spell. That’s quite an investment in order to make the spell outperform Flash Heal. But Flash Heal triggers Holy Concentration, Surge of Light, and the new-and-exciting-and-omfg-heal-pwnage Serendipity. Renew only triggers the first (although the initial heal from Empowered Renew can crit, thereby triggering SOL). While certainly there are scenarios when all you can cast are instant-cast spells, under virtually every other circumstance, Flash Heal will be better. Flash Heal ’til three stacks of Serendipity makes Prayer of Healing arguably the most powerful heal in the game. Renew offers nothing remotely that sexy.
Leave the HoTs to the Trees. They do it better.