Spirit Tap

Today I’m going to take a few steps back and talk about Spirit Tap (and along with it, the Five Second Rule and the basics of mana regeneration.)  This is some basic info that all priests should understand.  Just about every priest blog, guide, and forum out there has at least something about this subject matter, but it bears repeating.  If you’re a guru and have this well under your belt, you can skip it, but if you’re a newbie or just want to understand this stuff better I hope I can be of some help (on a side note, I wrote this one from memory since I can’t access most of my WoW resources from work, If I’ve got any #’s wrong please leave me a comment so I can correct it.)

As usual, let’s start at the beginning.  Mana.  The precious nectar of life.  That blue stuff that makes the world go round.  That….  Ok, I’ll stop with the bad metaphors.  Every time you cast a spell you use a specified amount of mana.  If you went on casting forever, you’d run out and have nothing left to do but cry “I beat you wit my steek” as you crumpled to the ground and created an ugly stain on the carpet.  (That quote came from a very dear friend of mine who would yell that at the computer screen when she would run out of mana and start using her staff while playing her mage.)  Ok, so how do you get the mana back?  There’s a couple of ways.  First is your Spirit.  When you are outside the Five Second Rule (I’ll explain what that is in a second) you will regenerate mana based on your Spirit.  If you want the math on how Spirit translates to mana regen, go read the Lux et Umbria guide, I’m not going to go into it here.  Some gear will also give a stat called Mana Per 5.  It will give you the specified amount of mana over five seconds, regardless of whether you are inside or outside the Five Second Rule.  OK, I think it’s time to discuss the Five Second Rule, hereafter known as the FSR.  What this means is that for 5 seconds after you complete casting any spell you will not regen mana.  These 5 seconds are known as being inside the FSR and afterwards is known as being outside the FSR.  Since the 5 second timer doesn’t start until the spell is completed, if you were outside the FSR before you cast, you will still be outside during casting.  If you stopped mid way through your cast, you wouldn’t ever go back inside the FSR.  As I said before, MP5 doesn’t care if you are inside or outside the FSR.  Also, there are talents in the Disc tree that will allow 15% of your mana regeneration, to continue while inside the FSR.

Edit: As of Patch 2.3 this will be 30%

OK, you’ve been force fed the salad, here’s the meat and potatoes of my entry.  Spirit Tap.  This first tier talent in the shadow tree is a great one for all leveling priests and for shadow priests (if you’re a Holy priest and don’t do much besides healing, this talent would never get put to use.)  This talent increases your mana regeneration based on your Spirit by 100 percent for 15 seconds after giving a mob the killing blow (by default if you are soloing this would be every mob.)  If you are inside the FSR when the mob dies, you’ll loose your normal mana regen, but still have the Spirit Tap bonus.  If you want to get the entire 15 seconds of double mana regen, you’ll need to finish off any mob you kill with your wand or melee weapon.  I always used my wand since the melee weapons a priest is going to cary are usually woefully weak.  The wands usually have much higher DPS and are faster anyway (I know some priests like to cary Daggers, use whatever you like.)  Because of this you’ll want to keep your wand up to date; if the mob resists your wand, it’ll never die.  At low levels an enchanter can make one for you, and as you get higher you can get replacements at regular intervals through quest rewards and instance drops.  A good way to look for a new one is to use the Armory’s “Find an Upgrade” feature.  That will give you a good place to start. 

Some might think this is pointless, why take the time to wand a mob to death, you’re your getting bonus mana regen anyway.  The answer to that is simple.  You won’t have to stop and drink as often.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an ankle-biting Mage in my pocket that I can pull out and demand free water from.  As you get higher, those drinks get quite expensive and stopping to drink after every mob would get very time consuming.  If you chain cast until a mob is dead, you’re probably going to use half of your mana bar.  If you can use a little less mana and get extra regen on top of that, sounds like a win-win situation to me. 

The moral of the story is:

1) Understand how your character works so you can avoid the pitfalls and take advantage of the loopholes.

2) Make the most of your resources.

Tune in next week for: 

A discussion of raiding specs for holy priests (can you see the respec coming?)

Explore posts in the same categories: Leveling, Spells

5 Comments on “Spirit Tap”

  1. Kestrel Says:

    “I always used my wand since the melee weapons a priest is going to cary are usually woefully weak.”

    *grin* I don’t think the weapons are so weak–but the wielders sure are! I think my STR at 70 is around 53. That means I can strap my Staff of Divine Inspiration to my back, and that’s about it. I swear, because of that staff, I run slower than anyone I group with.

    BTW, very nice & concise description of the FSR!

  2. Galadria Says:

    lol, that’s a good point. My tank and I joke with eachother about our stats, he tells me how much Str, or Block, or Def he has and I ask how stupid he is…. bad joke I know, but we get a laugh out of it.

  3. […] focused her Holy Light on Spirit Tap (and reviewed the 5-second […]

  4. […] a terribly usefull talent (maybe PvP… not sure) and I LOVE Spirit Tap (see my post here on Spirit Tap). The mana regen is great. Next tier I took 5/5 Shadow Focus. I kill things before SW:P times out […]

  5. Charlotte Says:

    Thanks so much for the post, very helpful! I’m still learning much about my lvl48 shadow priest, still feel like a noob to the game on a mature server where most people’s mains are 70… 🙂 Your guide has helped me understand spirit tap better, and I’m gonna upgrade my wand as soon as I get home!


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