This question has popped up a few times on Plus Heal, Twitter, and other places. Players all over, from first timers to multiple ‘Glory of’ achievers, occasionally start second guessing themselves. Their attention is distracted by shiny “Item Level” numbers. They have a question. “Which weapon should I use?”
Maw of the Dragonlord is the answer.
Before LFR this question came from a small niche inhabited by those not just good enough to kill an end boss but also lucky enough to see the right drops (instead of week after week of junk). Now that anyone (and their “hey-I-just-got-to-85-what-do-I-do-now?” friends) can kill Deathwing in Looking for Raid it is important for everyone to understand the awesomeness that is the Maw.
Any Maw. Blue, red, or purple. If you can keep most of your raid in front of you, then you should use a Maw. If you’re a Paladin, Priest, Shaman, or Druid you should use a Maw. If you’re doing Heroic progression or running LFR for the third time you should use a Maw. If you’re a team player and one of your healers does not have a Maw (oh, the agony!) then you should ensure the next one is his. If you’re a 10 man raider and you have to choose only one weapon then it should be a Maw.
“But the Haste!” they cry. Oh, those poor simcraft-addicted fools! He’s a good guy/automaton, but Mr. Robot cannot put a value on the proc! Heroic Vagaries is not significantly better than LFR Maw. Show them the tool tips. The evidence is there for all to see:
- LFR Maw:
- 195 intellect
- 2607 spell power
- Cleansing Flames: “Your healing spells have a chance to trigger Cleansing Fire, healing all nearby friendly targets in front of you for 4677 to 7016.”
- Heroic Vagaries of Time:
- 215 intellect + 50 int gem + 10 int bonus = 275 int (1.23% increase for a character at 6500 int)
- 3412 spell power (8.94% increase for a character at 9000 SP)
- 153 Haste (1.19% at level 85)
- 141 Crit (.79% at level 85)
The worst reports I’ve seen for a Maw are 2% of total healing, used in a 10 man raid on split/spread fights like Heroic Morchok, Hagara, and Blackhorn. That easily offsets the secondary stats found on 410 Vagaries. As a paladin with weeks using the LFR Maw in a 25 man raid, I frequently see 6% to 10% on Normal bosses and Heroic progression. This should offset any drop in output of my own spells from the loss of spell power.*
If you are killing Heroic Morchok then you have access to 390 & 403 Maws in addition to 410 Vagaries. I recommend passing on other weapons if, in your loot system, picking them up will significantly delay your acquisition of a Maw. Do not even consider a 397 ilvl weapon over any version of the Maw. Kill Deathwing in LFR weekly if you do not yet have a Maw and bring friends who can help you win the roll.
In conclusion, I will leave you with two things.
- The answer: Maw.
- A request: the Maw needs a badge or logo to proclaim its awesomeness. Please help. Show us what you’ve got! If it prevents even one deluded soul from ‘upgrading’ their LFR Maw to Heroic Vagaries then you will have done a great service to all healers in Azeroth. Link your creation in the comments.
*Much hand waving ensues. All actual math to be performed by somebody who will bother to calculate actual differences in spell outputs given the variation in stats from each of the weapons in question. The consolation being that is should be the only real math required.