More Thoughts on Ti’tahk for Resto Druids
Given the number of search engine hits I’ve seen in the last few days on this, I’m guessing there are quite a few healing druids out there who are trying to figure out whether it’s worth going toe-to-toe with the pew-pewing DPSers in your raid groups over who should get Ti’tahk, the Steps of Time.
Haste, in concept, is great. It makes our HoTs tick faster, can allow them to gain extra ticks, and means that our direct heals take less time to cast. It reduces our global cooldown, which gives us more opportunities to cast more spells on our raid group. Unfortunately, haste also has a few setbacks. Casting more spells more often means that we use up more mana and often contributes to excessive overhealing. On top of that, mastery gives us significantly more bang for our itemization buck once we hit a few crucial haste breakpoints.
But, hey, you’re resto druids! I’m not telling you anything you don’t know already. Haste and haste breakpoints have been one of our major focuses this entire expansion, particularly since the change to our mastery in 4.2 that made it an especially desirable stat. By now, our gear is such that most of us should be able to easily reach the essential breakpoint of 2005 haste, which gives us a 9th tick on Wild Growth and Efflorescence. Beyond that, we generally choose to reforge our haste away to extra mastery because the breakpoint that would give us a 10th tick is too high to be reasonably attainable.
Ti’tahk is an interesting problem in that it makes some of those formerly unreasonable haste levels attainable for a very brief period of time. Again, the proc reads as follows:
Your spells have a chance to grant you 1928 haste rating for 10 sec and 386 haste rating to up to 3 allies within 20 yards.
Assuming that most resto druids are sitting right around 2005 haste, the proc from Ti’tahk would put us at 3933 haste for 10 seconds. That would be enough to give us a 10th tick of Wild Growth and Efflorescence – but with the buff only lasting 10 seconds, we would only get a single Swiftmend and a single Wild Growth off in that time span. (If you are running without the Wild Growth glyph, you could get 2 casts off in the course of one proc.) Ideally, we would want to be able to use this proc during periods of high raid damage so that our Wild Growth and Efflorescence would get an extra burst of healing. Unfortunately, there’s no way we can guarantee that will be the case. The reports so far tell us the internal cooldown on this weapon is either 45 seconds or 60; either way it’s a relatively long ICD, which isn’t surprising given the potential power of the proc.
Remember what we’d be giving up for this temporary haste buff, though. As I explained in my last post, Ti’tahk has less overall Intellect (and, therefore, spellpower) than a Maw of the Dragonlord and Dragonfire Orb. That means we’re likely to be sacrificing overall throughput if we choose this staff over the mace. On top of this, Maw of the Dragonlord offers us a free healing proc. While the size of the heal and its directional component may be less than ideal, it’s hard to overlook free. Ti’tahk, on the other hand, gives us a haste buff that’s likely to use up a fair amount of mana when it procs, because we’ll be casting much faster than usual.
The moral of the story here is: leave Ti’tahk to your caster DPS friends. They’ll be able to make significantly better use out of it than you will, and you’ll be getting a mace that is much more likely to increase your throughput anyway. Don’t fight to stand next to your raid’s Ti’tahk-weilder, either. An extra 386 haste rating is even more underwhelming, and even less worth fighting over.