Spirit or Int Flask: Elegon and others

100 Night Elf Druid
20825
As a Resto Druid, I often find myself going OOM so I use Spirit flasks.
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90 Tauren Shaman
15790
Spirit food, Spirit flasks. The more mana you are generating the more higher HPS spells you can cast.

The argument for Int is basically, 'Int powers up your heals so you get more out of your cheap spells', but this isn't really valid in my opinion for a couple of reasons.

The argument for Int is based on casts. If you need to heal 50k, and your heal hits for 25k unflasked, you need to cast twice (for the basis of argument, lets say this heal costs 5k mana).
If you flask Spirit, you will be generating mana during the entire fight, offsetting the mana costs of your heals relative to your mana pool. You'll need to cast twice, but the spirit regeneration will offset the mana costs to (again, for arguments sake) 4.5k mana per heal.

Now, if you flask Int, you will notice your heal now hits for 30k, but the requirement is 50k. That 50k needs to be healed, so you have to heal twice for 30k for a total of 60k. Your mana costs aren't offset by the spirit flask so you end up healing the required 50k for a total of 10k mana, while your spirit flasked friend heals the required 50k for an offset mana cost (because of his spirit flask) of 9k.

This is only an example, but it demonstrates the argument. Int flasks/food will only benefit your mana pool when the required number of casts is reduced by the added Int.

If your unflasked heal hits for 40k in the above example, and your int flask makes it 50k, then you've reduced your cast number by 1, and you heal the required 50k for only 5k mana. This is an example of when Int flasks are superior, but this is very generally not the case.
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90 Draenei Paladin
16080
Such argument really need real-world numbers though; you can tweak it to make it favourable to int without using numbers that appear completely implausible. You yourself have clearly decided that some level of throughput is worth losing spirit for, otherwise you wouldn't have gemmed as you do.

I think you're underselling the final point you made: int is preferable is where GCDs are more precious than mana. Sometimes this is due to a gimmick (Spiritbinder is the earliest example this tier), sometimes it's just due to the nature of the fight.
Edited by Tarski on 12/5/2012 4:25 AM PST
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90 Tauren Shaman
15790
int is preferable is where GCDs are more precious than mana. Sometimes this is due to a gimmick (Spiritbinder is the earliest example this tier), sometimes it's just due to the nature of the fight.

Well summarised, thankyou. That was the point is was (unsuccessfully?) making.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
Intellect unless one or any combination of these are true:

1) You're going oom with good spell selection and acceptable overhealing

2) You're undergeared and have low spirit.

3) The encounter itself calls for longevity over power.
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90 Draenei Shaman
16765
12/05/2012 03:46 AMPosted by Convictfish
The more mana you are generating the more higher HPS spells you can cast.


This is unlikely, especially from a Spirit Flask alone. It's a stronger possibility that you will increase the number of efficient filler spells. Essentially, I don't like the argument that Spirit gives me permission to stop healing intelligently. You cast higher HPS spells when they are necessary in order for survival regardless of whether you are soon to OOM or not and that's typically a fixed number.

12/05/2012 03:46 AMPosted by Convictfish
The argument for Int is basically, 'Int powers up your heals so you get more out of your cheap spells'


And it powers up your stronger spells that you are already casting in addition to whatever cheap spells you have in mind.

Many people are confused with the argument because they are trying to equate Int and Spirit directly on every literal metric, specifically targeting longevity. Understand that Int and Spirit both specialize in different purposes.

Imagine two flasks: +50% Healing Flask and +1000 MP5 Flask. Most people would go for the 50% Healing Flask, regardless of longevity. The benefits of the massive healing spike are just that good and you don't care if you go OOM a little sooner.

Now imagine two new flasks: +0.001% Healing Flask and +1000 MP5 Flask. You will probably undeniably choose the 1000 MP5 Flask understanding that the Healing Flask will not provide you much mileage in any terms.

Between these two examples somewhere there is a line that is crossed that swaps the favor from +X% Healing Flask to +Y MP5 Flask. The idea (sometimes) being argued with today's flasks is that 1000 Int is above that line. The point isn't to equate the longevity of Int by forcing ridiculous constraints to produce more heals. Although it is suggested that Int provides the same mileage as Spirit but you have more flexibility as to how you use it and this is probably where the dissonance occurs, but this is just theorycrafting groundwork.

I haven't devoted much thought to the comparison. Obviously Int beats Spirit mathematically but I haven't been able to immediately make it practical nor had really any sense of urgency to care to given the margins under consideration. It's not as simple as observing that spells overheal though.
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90 Troll Shaman
13250
12/05/2012 06:00 AMPosted by Keirisonis
Intellect unless one or any combination of these are true:


You forgot 4

4) You are a 25 man shaman and love your fellow healers and their mana bars.

Selfish answer int, team response spirit.
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100 Tauren Druid
10175
12/04/2012 10:00 AMPosted by Grizzlebeer
At what point do I start prioritizing Int over Spirit?


When you are comfortable with your mana regen. It has a lot to do with how you tend to heal. Smaller heals more often, or bigger heals less often?

I'm more than comfortable at just under 9k.
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100 Night Elf Druid
15240
12/05/2012 04:22 AMPosted by Tarski
int is preferable is where GCDs are more precious than mana.


This is the case for resto druids in many cases. When the crap hits the fan I am GCD capped and mana can only be spent so fast. The 2-3 times a fight that I need to blanket the raid with Rejuv/Wildgrowth I want them hitting like Mack Trucks.

The rest of the fight I will manage mana and let my Disc partner's DA hold the line while people slowly get healed up.

Much of this conversation as always depends on your raid size, healing comp, and the derp factor of your fellow raiders.
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100 Night Elf Druid
15240
12/05/2012 03:08 AMPosted by Xiata
As a Resto Druid, I often find myself going OOM so I use Spirit flasks.


The following is a quote from Hamlet's blog (http://iam.yellingontheinternet.com/2012/10/08/why-more-spirit-is-not-the-answer-to-your-healing-problems/)

"Every class has their “core” spells–the strong, efficient spells, usually with some kind of cooldown so they’re not they only spells you use. For example, for Druids, it’s Wild Growth, Lifebloom, and Swiftmend. Circle of Healing, Riptide, etc. are similar. You want to use these spells a lot and you generally use them regularly through the whole fight. Most importantly, they are very inelastic with respect to mana: you want to use them when you need them. Your mana resources will determine how much is left after all the “core” spells you cast, the amount you can spend on “filler” spells. Filler spells aren’t necessary bad–they’re key parts of your skillset (Rejuvenation, Divine Light, etc.), but it’s important to realize that spamming them heavily tends to result in inefficient healing.

Most importantly this informs how to think about Spirit. What it buys you is more casts of filler spells over the course of the fight. Let’s work an example: as a Druid, let’s say I used a Spirit flask, 1000 Spirit. Over the course of, let’s say, 3 minutes of healing, that 1000 Spirit will get me just over 20000 mana. Or, roughly enough to cast 2 Rejuvenations. So that’s the first step. In my head, I’ve relabeled Flask of Falling Leaves as “Flask of 2 Rejuvs.” Suddenly it does not seem very compelling. Depending on your class, you probably feel the same way about the “Flask of 1 extra Greater Heal” or whatever it may be."

So if over a 6 or 9 minute boss fight you are wiping because you can't cast 4 or 6 more Rejuvs, its not the lack of healing that causing the wipe. I'd rather the Rejuvs I cast hit harder and have my healing partner respect all their ticks.
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90 Pandaren Monk
11210
Our healers swapped to Int flasks after about the first 2-3 weeks, once we started getting into the mid 470's on gear level. The output ended up being superior, overall, to simply more regen.

As for 2-healing fights, the only fights we've had to 2-heal to down were Spiritbinder and Elegon. That said, the last 2 weeks we've 2-healed every fight in there without problem. Anymore, I just sorta look at 3-healing as the "learning phase" of fights. Once we have the mechanics down, we swap to 2.
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90 Tauren Shaman
15790
12/05/2012 06:34 AMPosted by Aurinaux
You cast higher HPS spells when they are necessary in order for survival regardless of whether you are soon to OOM or not and that's typically a fixed number.


Overall, I think your argument is very valid. Especially the point made on the healing intelligently. What I would counter argue (for the sake of argument and learning for those who read this thread, not because I disagree), is that in a majority of hard-mode encounters, and even in some normal modes, often a lot of your spells can be predetermined (high tank damage: Healing Surge, stacked AoE: Healing Rain, etc etc). Sometimes the cheap spells don't cut it, even with the Int flask bonus.

If the predetermination of your spells calls for high HPS spells constantly, wouldn't the spirit flask be more worthwhile due to the fact you know you're going to need these costly spells offset by additional regen?

As with my example above, we know that Int flasks rely on reduction in the number of casts made. If my Int flask Rejuv heals for an equal amount to 2 Spirit flasked Rejuvs, I've saved mana by not requiring the 2nd Rejuv. But if my Int Flasked Rejuv heals for 1.5 Spirit Rejuvs, I still need to cast the 2nd Rejuv and I've used the same amount of mana.

What I'm arguing in favour of Spirit is that the number of times you can 'skip' a heal due to the Int flask/food bonuses is very rare, where as the Spirit flask will offset the cost of your spells over the whole duration.
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90 Draenei Shaman
16765
12/05/2012 07:31 PMPosted by Convictfish
If the predetermination of your spells calls for high HPS spells constantly, wouldn't the spirit flask be more worthwhile due to the fact you know you're going to need these costly spells offset by additional regen?


It would probably depend on the spell. Typically a high HPS spell has low HPM such that increasing available mana doesn't improve your total possible healing done when exhausting all resources with respect to those spells. Exceptions are often the cooldown bound spells.

I'm not sure what you're implying by offsetting spellcosts. The amount of additional mana generated by Spirit is fixed within some given time. And even then, it's distributed evenly over the entire duration.

12/05/2012 07:31 PMPosted by Convictfish
As with my example above, we know that Int flasks rely on reduction in the number of casts made. If my Int flask Rejuv heals for an equal amount to 2 Spirit flasked Rejuvs, I've saved mana by not requiring the 2nd Rejuv. But if my Int Flasked Rejuv heals for 1.5 Spirit Rejuvs, I still need to cast the 2nd Rejuv and I've used the same amount of mana.


I get that healing is nominal but the converse can be equally true. If Spirit allows you to cast 2.1 more Rejuvs, you can only cast 2 more Rejuvs. If it allows you to cast 2.999 more Rejuvs, you'll still only cast 2 more Rejuvs. For this reason, the presently touted perspectives are very difficult ideas to swallow. Between these two overly simplistic approaches to trying to model a relationship between the flasks, both Rejuvs will still be beefier by the Int flask. In fact, with your example, the 2nd Rejuv totals to 3 Spirit Rejuvs. But with the Spirit flask you have "breakpoints" such that any contributions extended between 2 and 3 Rejuvs is wasted.

But my point in the latter half of my post was that the idea that "Int flasks RELY on reduction in the number of casts made" is way too narrow of an approach to the fundamental contribution of Int. We're forcing this argument on the basis of just longevity alone when Int also allows you to provide greater cushions to more grievous damage. This is a metric that goes somewhat (loosely) untouched by Spirit.
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100 Draenei Paladin
14025
(Some of this may not apply to Resto Shamans or Disc Priests, since their mechanics place additional weight on Spirit. I'm not sure - I play neither.)

Intellect if you need the throughput. Spirit if you need the regen.

That being said, you should really look at it this way: If you need more mana, look to OTHER SOURCES FIRST before you sacrifice Intellect for Spirit at a 1:1 ratio. Most of our alternatives either offer us a favorable Spirit:Int tradeoff or, better yet, offer us ways to improve that don't involve any tradeoff besides good ol' fashioned elbow grease and effort.

- Are your gems min/maxed? Ignore those awful socket bonuses, heck even ignore those red +60 int socket bonuses that are an overall stat loss, and use blue spirit gems. Same can go for some enchants - +200 spirit to chest is a bigger chunk of itemization (and better regen) than +80 stats, for instance.

It's okay to gem to some socket bonuses, but I would be extremely choosy about them.

- Look at your gear, make sure that you're doing the best with what you can. Are there haste plateaus that you could easily reach? Do you have too much haste? In general, are your stat priorities/reforging correct?

Most pieces of gear themselves are pretty easy to figure out, but trinkets can be tough sometimes. Make sure you're using good ones - for instance, the VP one (that I sadly have equipped) has a Spirit on-use that is kind of limp and under-budget for its level. On the other hand, the Darkmoon one (that I fortunately also have equipped) is ridiculously overbudget to the point of being blasphemously overpowered.

Not suggesting that you run out and spend 20k on a BiS trinket. Although. It's really good... lol

- Are you using your class's regen mechanics wisely? For example, as a Paladin that can mean both Divine Plea usage (looking for periods in the fight where I can safely use Divine Plea without endangering the raid) and my Holy Power management. Basically, think and try to improve as a healer/player.

- Is your UI set up right? Yes, your UI makes a HUGE difference in your mana control. For example, if you have your raid frames in the bottom of your screen and you use the default unit frame that has your mana bar in the top left... that's going to make it a little difficult to see your mana.

Another example - if you're a Resto Druid and you can't accurately see the duration of your Lifebloom target, you're going to be spamming that target and wasting a lot of mana.

TL;DR - trading Int for Spirit at a 1:1 ratio should be one of your last courses of action, not something you plan around

I always carry Spirit consumables in my bags, and I'm not afraid to bust them out on a spam-heavy fight. In general though, I'm using Intellect, and I find that's more effective.
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100 Draenei Priest
13620
I tried an int flask last night, felt I still needed more spirit, went back to spirit. Stupid blade lord face smashes!
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100 Night Elf Druid
6355
Well, I guess the diversity of viewpoints on this thread explains why Flask of Falling Leaves will still sell despite being a 1:1 trade which is less favorable than other ways of gaining spirit.

I do still wonder why Blizz didn't make spirit consumables scale at 1.5 the way they did stam, though. It seems like they were *trying* to favor the int side of the argument (even though the way feasts work makes it clear they think int consumables are only intended for caster dps).
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
0
I go by encounter.

Stone Guard + Feng: Spirit; the first can last forever and it's always nice to have a security blanket in case someone accidentally breaks a mine or gets chained too far or whatever.

Garajal + Spirit Kings: Int; Gara has infinite mana when you rotate the realms, and Spirit Kings is just really easy and I never go oom.

Haven't downed the last two yet, but in my attempts for both I always use Spirit since I need that safety blanket of mana that let's me heal for just that much longer.
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90 Pandaren Monk
11830
I prefer flasking spirit over int simply because it allows me to get away with using Surging Mist more often, which has a multiplicative effect on my throughput due to giving me more chi as well to power out more uplifts or EMs depending on the encounter.
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90 Draenei Paladin
16080
12/06/2012 05:13 PMPosted by Calonderiel
I do still wonder why Blizz didn't make spirit consumables scale at 1.5 the way they did stam, though. It seems like they were *trying* to favor the int side of the argument (even though the way feasts work makes it clear they think int consumables are only intended for caster dps).

They've said they somewhat regret treating spirit inconsistently.
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100 Blood Elf Priest
13730
12/04/2012 10:00 AMPosted by Grizzlebeer
At what point do I start prioritizing Int over Spirit?

Numerically, you should always (in all reasonable scenarios) prioritize Int over Spirit. The reason you (usually) use Spirit gems in MoP is that you get 2 Spirit for every 1 Int you give up. Flasks and food are 1:1, so Int food/flasks are generally superior numerically.

In practice, there's a fair amount of subjective judgement involved. Use your own - nobody else can tell you what you need with your gear in your raid. Typically, when you're having trouble on a burst phase, Int will help more if people are dying before you run out of mana. Spirit will help more if you're having trouble with keeping your mana up going into the phase. (It won't help much if you're going in with full mana, even if you run out partway through - that's a DPS problem, or possibly your overhealing/spell selection.)

You should be able to go into the final burn phase with full mana on Elegon, so I think I'd generally advise Int and telling the DPS to fix their sh!t.

12/04/2012 10:00 AMPosted by Grizzlebeer
We are 2 healing Elegon, but up to this point this has been the only fight we have tried 2 healing. What other fights should we two heal?

We 2-healed everything after Feng on the first kill. We started 2-healing Feng in the second or third week, and we now usually 2-heal Stone Guard, but there's no particular reason to drop a healer on those other than healer boredom.

12/04/2012 10:00 AMPosted by Grizzlebeer
Back to Elegon, during the burn phase should we just stack and burn him? It seems like resetting stacks has been what has prevented us from killing him on the 1-2% attempts.

Yes. Stack and burn. Resetting stacks is more trouble than it's worth, except for the tanks, and even they are questionable.
Edited by Kaels on 12/9/2012 11:42 PM PST
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