Sunday, January 31, 2010

Self-Titled Post: Reincarnation

As a Restoration Shaman, there is one spell in your arsenal that is both extremely useful and completely useless at the same time. If everything goes as planned, there will be no need for it and you probably won't even remember that you have it. If something goes wrong, this spell could save the raid. This spell, of course, is Reincarnation.

As one of few healers in a raid, it is very important that you stay alive. Nothing is worse than a healer going down when the boss is at 25% and the remaining healers can't pick up the slack. Wipes happen and you hear a resounding BAWWWWWWWWW from everybody in Vent. Then you start over. If it's a Shaman healer that goes down, though, they can eat up an Ankh and keep on truckin'.


There is a very fine line between using this spell effectively and wasting a cooldown. There are many things to consider before hitting the red "Reincarnate" button that rests right next to "Release Spirit". You will never see a bright neon sign that blinks with "ANKH NOW TO SAVE A RAID" on your screen. Alternately, there will never be a "DON'T DO IT!" voice that screams at you when it would be a bad time to resurrect yourself (unless, of course, the voice came from the lips of your raid leader). What you do (should) have that can help you determine whether or not to Ankh is the status of the battle when you died. There are several questions you should always answer before popping that reagent.

Did the raid leader tell you to ankh? Listen to the leader. They usually know what they're doing, even if you feel differently. If you are told to ankh, but don't, everybody will blame you if the raid wipes. If you ankh when told and the raid still wipes, you can CYA by saying the raid lead told you to. Healers get blamed for wiping enough as it is.

Are the tanks still alive? If there is nobody up that can effectively hold aggro against the enemy, there's no point in ankhing. It's a wipe.

How many healers are still up? If, after you ankh, there is one healer alive to heal, consider the cooldown ill-spent.

How many DPS are still alive? There are a lot of DPS in any given raid. One or two dead rogues does not necessarily mean the raid is a wipe. Six or seven dead rogues, however, might.

How is the raid doing against the enemy? How much health does this big baddy have left? Does he have an enrage timer? How close is he to enraging? How many raidmembers are dead?

How will I fare if I ankh right now? Untalented, ankhing will bring you back with 20% health and mana. That is not a lot. If you died in a fire, you will continue to burn if you ankh right away. Do you have a Mana Potion off cooldown? How about your Mana Tide Totem? Is any of your equipment broken?

What is my gut telling me to do? Shit just hit the fan. The offtank is forced to maintank, the only healer that's alive is out of mana and running around with bandages, every single rogue in the raid is dead, and the boss is at 5% health with a minute to go before enraging. What do you do? Sometimes logic doesn't work and you have to go with your gut. Can you heal the OT until the boss goes down? Can the DPS shave off that last 5% from the boss before he enrages? Did you really hang out with Voltaire before his show or was it just a dream? Should you Ankh or not? There's really no way to know how this battle will end, so the best thing you can do is follow your gut and act accordingly.


Improved Reincarnation is an interesting talent to consider investing points in. The reduced cooldown it offers means that, if you're like me and find yourself on a bed of roses more often than you probably should be, you'll be able to resurrect yourself twice as often. The increased life and mana it offers means you'll have more juice once you ankh - potentially very helpful if you wind up deadded early in the battle. Is it worth it, though, to invest two points in a talent for a spell you don't often use? Wouldn't it be better to place those points in a talent that will help more often? Potentially. If you look at my current build, you'll notice that I only put one point into Elemental Weapons, which gave me my two points for Improved Ankh. If I did the math correctly (and I'd be surprised if I did), I opted out of 30 healing power in favor of the benefits of Improved Reincarnation. Personal preference and play style told me that this was the best route to take.

TL;DNR: Reincarnation is awesome when you use it correctly. It's easy to use it wrong. Don't use it wrong. Take Improved Reincarnation if you want to. Nobody will make fun of you. I promise.

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