As we move through the Sanctum of Domination you'll see a wide spectrum of usage of both Evangelism or Spirit Shell used. How do we choose which to use and why? This post aims to go over each individually to help you make an informed decision.
It is important to note that your talent decision can alter depending on what your raid needs in each specific situation.
What Are These Talents?
- Evangelism - Extends the duration of all of your active Atonements by 6 seconds (1.5min CD).
- Grants access to Rapture, with our CoM Legendary we gain the effect:
- During Rapture, Power Word: Shield costs 20% less mana and applies 6 seconds longer Atonements.
- Spirit Shell - For 10 seconds, Penance, Power Word: Radiance, and Atonement create absorb shields for 80% of their value, instead of healing (Replaces Rapture) (1.5min CD).
- With our CoM legendary we also gain the effect:
- Spirit Shell increases the duration of active Atonements by 3 seconds, and reduces the mana cost of damage dealing spells by 30%.
- With our conduit Exaltation we gain:
- Spirit Shell's duration is increased by 1 second, and its absorption is increased by X%.
What Makes Them Strong?
Both Evangelism and Spirit Shell, as we very well know, are very strong talents for us. But why? Our healing patterns are all based around building up Atonement counts to a critical point. We then funnel as much damage as we can to subsequently heal through the applied Atonements. As the setup is very timely and the burst window finite, we must time our output meticulously.
As both these talents are able to extend this period one way or another our burst is enhanced. This allows us to cover extended damage intake periods and do a tremendous amount of healing in that window. This is before we even consider how short their CD's are at 1.5mins.
It is very common for raid leaders or raid members to falsely identify why each of these talents is played/strong. This is especially the case concerning Spirit Shell since we just finished a tier with it completely dominating.
Evangelism is currently very popular for progress simply due to having a considerably high HPS ceiling combined with our major CD in Boon of the Ascended. That being said, you must have the available damage intake or you will just overheal a lot.
Many of the fights within the Sanctum of Domination have damage patterns that are bursty and allow time for us to make use of our burst window. Especially with the "every other" GCD type output, we get with Ascended Blast. For example:
- Remnant of Ner'zhul - Has big bursts in both Malevolence and Shatter as well as continuous rot from orbs.
- Soulrender Dormazain - Has chain sets that get broken in a staggered fashion.
- Painsmith Raznal - Has traps that are soaked in a staggered fashion.
- Guardian of the First Ones - Has large bursty AoE damage followed by rot damage.
- Kel'Thuzad - Also has large bursty AoE damage followed by rot damage.
Rapture is also a vital output CD as it allows us to coat members with decent effective health and longer Atonements due to CoM. You can combine this with your main ramps for a bigger burst window or separate to cover more damage events. We go into more detail on that here.
On a more minor note, due to having access to Boon of the Ascended our damage output phase is considerably more mobile allowing for ease of execution without losing GCDs. (Where previously we would rely on Spirit Shell ramps to heal movement/CC related mechanics).
|- Atonement uptime at larger counts is higher||- Requires strict timing|
|- Grants use of Rapture||- Subject to Overhealing|
|- Higher HPS ceiling|
We have just seen Spirit Shell return this expansion and it saw absolute dominance in Castle Nathria. This explains why many may not quite understand why it has fallen out of favour in the current raid progress scene and still actively think it's better.
There are various reasons why Spirit Shell is seeing less use. The biggest factor is it used to be a 1-minute CD in a raid designed around 1-minute damage timers. As Evangelism was/is a 1.5minute CD it would often need to be held and potential output wasted. With them now having the same CD the lowered transfer rate and loss of Rapture play a much bigger part in our overall effectiveness.
We also need to be aware of the Absorb cap. Spirit Shell only applies shields up a specific limit which is dynamically 11x your current intellect. Once you reach this point your output will no longer apply more shielding, unless the shield is somehow depleted below the cap (you can deplete and refill shields).
The above being said Spirit Shell is still a potent talent that we can use when the need arises. It still provides a very large effective health pool that can be filled up after each damage intake occurs. You can time your Ascended Eruption to hit just after burst damage depletes your active shields and instantly giving you additional coverage. This will allow you to survive otherwise lethal hits. For example:
- Remnant of Ner'zhul - Malevolence and Shatter at the same time (unlikely as dispels are controlled).
- Soulrender Dormazain - Breaking multiple chains at once (not advised).
- Kel'Thuzad - Multiple spike bursts at the same time.
As these moments are limited and niche you'll likely opt to use Spirit Shell if the following is true:
- You are running more healers than necessary. (sniping)
- Encounters are dealt with so smoothly there is little to heal.
- You are fighting bosses on difficulties lower than Mythic.
- Struggling with a specific point on a boss that is lacking other DR and causes consistent wipes (worth the hps loss to help the team).
Spirit Shell Summary
|- Grants your raid effective health||- Default lowered healing (80%)|
|- Flexibility in movement||- Shields have a cap|
|- Timing is slightly easier||- Lower HPS ceiling|