Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fel Mana Potions - Negative Spell Damage and You

One of the burning questions I've had on my mind lately has been the trade-off between Fel Mana Potions and Super Mana Potions. I have been operating under the assumption that going into the negative with my spell damage total would not affect my damage adversely, so that the Fel Mana Potion debuff could be ignored as immaterial for a Retribution Paladin. This is despite the fact that Seal of Command, Judgement of Command, Consecration, and Exorcism all have spell damage coefficients. Well, I (and the Ret Paladin community at large) might have overlooked something - operating with a negative spell damage total will decrease your damage output. Dazanna of <Limited Edition> on Draka server, also known as "flyingtoastr" on many WoW-related forums such as Elitist Jerks, duped another Paladin on Draka server into wasting a Fel Mana Potion in the interest of science. His findings follow (source):

A comrade from the Draka boards was kind enough to test this for me on some random boar. He has no spell damage on his gear. He judged Crusader on the boar and cast a Consecration, ticing for 90. He then took a fel mana pot and with the debuff it began to tic for 87. So yes, it does appear that going negative does reduce outgoing damage.

So what does this mean? For Rank IV-VI Consecration you'll lose about 24 total damage, or 3 DPS. For a max rank Exorcism you'll lose 11 damage, or .73 DPS. Seal of Command loses 5 damage and Judgement of Command is reduced by 11 ( .583 DPS and 1.2 DPS respectively). So each Fel Mana Pot reduces your outgoing DPS by roughly 5.5.

The difference is that upranking Consecration from rank II to IV (the maximum I can sustain with Super and Fel chugging respectively) is an increase of 28 DPS. So yes, Fel Mana pots will still be worth more DPS than supers still unless you somehow stack yourself to extreme levels (the debuff is capped at 10 anyway).

So, Fel Mana Potions still represent a boost in damage, just not as big of a boost as I originally thought. It also answers a dubious question - previously, I had thought that using Darkmoon Card: Crusade in conjunction with Fel Mana Potions was counterproductive, as the Fel Mana debuff would cancel out some of the spell damage buff from the card. This was a stark contrast to the no-risk proposition of using Fel Mana Potions and gaining the debuff when going lower than 0 spell damage was assumed to mean nothing, since getting 80 spell damage from the card meant you had something to lose. Now that I know exactly how much damage I will gain/lose from changes in my spell damage, even when going into the negative, I can safely say that the Darkmoon Card: Crusade spell damage buff loses no value when using Fel Mana Potions, even though they have inverse effects on your spell damage total. For any fight where you can ensure the DMC buffs will stay up, use it, no matter what potions you have! I'm going to go back and edit my "consumables" post to reflect this realization.


Suicidal Zebra said...

I wonder if this is a recent change, I seem to remember one of the guys over at EJ doing a test which indicated the exact opposite of this result.

Josh said...

It quite possibly is a recent change. I do remember a few months ago doing a Heroic Mana Tombs, however, in which I got a curse from the patroling voidwalkers that reduced my spell damage by 200something, and it reduced my Consecration r1 ticks from ~20ish to, literally, 1.

As a follow-up - Dazanna did some testing himself, with pretty pictures and everything:
You can clearly see he has 0 spell damage from gear, no buffs aside from Sanctity Aura. He casts Consecration, does X damage, and then takes a Fel Mana Potion and gets Fel Ache (-25 spell damage per application), and does X - 3 or so damage. I think it's safe to say that going negative adversely affects your damage output. Now, to figure out which is better all-around, regardless of potion choice - Berserker's Call or Darkmoon Card: Crusade...