I take everything back about my class being less “active” now. Crane stance is intense and frantic. I’m starting to appreciate that as long as there is an enemy in melee range I’m a 100% mobile healer– free forever from that terrible choice between finishing a cast and avoiding an effect. I feel like I have a response to any pattern of damage now, so the panic attacks are becoming less frequent. Protip: Detonate Chi is absolutely essential– it a major AoE heal. Don’t let your party let themselves die while your balls are right in front of them. Remember Thunder Focus Tea can be used for a double-strength Surging. Also, Revival and Grape Bubble early and often. There is no need to change stance until both of these spells are on CD.
I swapped out my Surging Mist auto-target glyph and changed a few of my mouseover binds for better access to the Crane stance spells, which has kind of messed up my muscle memory for direct healing, but I’ll get used to it because clearly I’m the kind of player who will change playstyle completely if I think it will be more efficient in the long run.
Crane stance feels like a damage spec with healing utility. I keep flashing back to healing dungeons as Enhancement Shaman towards the end of Wrath– I mean Enhancement is where that “buff that stacks to five with each stack reducing the mana cost and cast time of a healing spell by 20%” paradigm first came from. We had Chain Heal back then too… but I guess Blizzard always was pretty hot and cold with what they “allowed” melee healing to get away with.
Speaking of flashbacks, Jade Crackling Lightning mixed in with melee abilities feels like playing a Sith Assassin again, which is pretty cool. I’m not sure whether this phenomenon exists in other classes, but since the level one hundred patch I have never run out of mana while healing. Jade Lightning however drains it fast. In today’s near-infinite mana environment it’s still expensive, so does that mean the mana cost will be even more severe when the class reaches equilibrium again?
Now I want to tell you the most ridiculous thing about Crane Stance. Changing stance back to Serpent, starting a channel hot, and firing a big direct heal: total time 1.9 seconds.