Lightsworn: Legion’s healing trinkets
Deciding which healing trinkets to use is always an interesting minigame. Unlike our DPS comrades, whose trinket choices mostly come down to “highest single-target DPS” or “highest multi-target DPS”, we healers typically get to take our pick from a wide variety of trinkets, all with their own unique benefits, situational uses, and mechanics.
Do we choose a trinket that improves mana efficiency, or one that temporarily buffs our healing throughput like an extra cooldown? Maybe we choose one with a random proc effect, increasing our numbers without requiring any extra attention. Or perhaps we fall back on the tried-and-true stat stick — simple and unexciting, but effective.
With the loot from the next raid, Antorus, The Burning Throne, now available to scope out in the dungeon journal, I figured it would be a good time to see what trinkets we have coming up, and how those measure up to the ones we’ve seen so far in Legion.
Patch 7.0: Emerald Nightmare
Legion’s early days were a strange time for healing trinkets. Dungeons and Emerald Nightmare had some interesting choices, but they were almost all inferior to the generic stat stick. Our secondary stats have so much value in Legion that a basic Intellect/Critical Strike world quest trinket was usually better than an Emerald Nightmare raid trinket of comparable item level. How anticlimactic.
Naturally, this meant world boss trinkets Unstable Arcanocrystal (Withered J’im) and Padawsen’s Unlucky Charm (Humongris) were strong options early on — the Arcanocrystal almost overpoweringly so, much like the Everburning Candle was in Warlords of Draenor. Similarly, our Darkmoon trinket this expansion is essentially a fancy Int/Crit stick, and was a solid choice.
As for regular stat sticks, I begrudgingly did every world quest that rewarded a Nightmare Bloom or Bleached Skull Talisman or any of the other generic Intellect/random secondary stat trinkets, praying they would a) come with Crit, and b) proc Warforged or Titanforged to be high enough item level to actually use. I suppose I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, since I was potentially getting upgrades from kicking over some bird nests, but man did this get old fast.
Even if you ignore the stat stick comparisons, Emerald Nightmare’s trinkets were fairly underwhelming on their own. Heightened Senses (Ursoc) and Vial of Nightmare Fog (Dragons of Nightmare) are typical random-proc trinkets, which can always be a bit annoying, since they love to proc right when you don’t need them. I particularly didn’t enjoy the Vial’s shield proc on random targets that you can’t control, that might not even take any damage before the shields expire.
Emerald Nightmare’s remaining trinkets were just as forgettable: Horn of Cenarius (Cenarius), which didn’t do nearly enough healing to justify its tiny area-of-effect and extremely situational use, and Cocoon of Enforced Solitude (Elerethe Renferal), which was just annoying.
Patch 7.1: Trial of Valor
I thought grinding world quests for a perfect Int/Crit trinket was bad, but oh, how foolish I was! That was nothing compared to the pain of trying for a perfect stat stick proc off the last boss of a raid. Each week I crossed my fingers for a nice Brinewater Slime in a Bottle drop, but each week it was the same story — it didn’t drop, or it dropped but with Versatility, or a caster DPS won it. I hated that trinket, and I’m still mad Blizzard was lazy enough to put a randomly statted stat stick as our big final boss loot. Ugh.
Patch 7.1.5: Velen’s Future Sight
Prior to Patch 7.1.5, I was running with Obsidian Stone Spaulders and Ilterendi, Crown Jewel of Silvermoon as my two legendaries, but when Velen’s Future Sight popped out of an emissary chest, I immediately equipped it instead of the Spaulders.
Whether Velen’s is stronger than the Spaulders on a 1-to-1 basis depends on a number of factors, but for me, the decision was easy: good trinkets were hard to get; good shoulder pieces were not. Also, using the Spaulders meant I couldn’t have a 2-piece bonus from one tier set as well as a 4-piece bonus from another set later down the line.
Velen’s is a great trinket, and remains a top-tier pick. A ton of intellect, great secondary stats, and a mini Avenging Wrath on a short cooldown? What’s not to love? Give Velen an appreciative high-five the next time you see him on the Vindicaar.
Patch 7.2: The Nighthold
With the Nighthold came a bevy of new healing trinkets, including my favorite trinket in the entire game, purely based on its hilarious flavor.
Ah, the Perfectly Preserved Cake (Trilliax). How incredible is it that in the middle of this ancient elven civil war, where a fiendish warlock from an alternate reality/timeline has crossed over and is wreaking havoc in the name of his dread demon lords, our solution is to plop down a delectable, pink frosting cake and have a snack? I mean, the buff is even called Delicious Cake! Amazing. Oh, the trinket was also really good, too.
Ephemeral Paradox (Elisande) was an interesting concept for a mana trinket. Too bad it triggered off Holy Light. Mana regen or not, Holy Light just wasn’t worth casting. This trinket should have been available at launch, when mana was more of an issue due to weaker/less optimized gear.
Aluriel’s Mirror (Spellblade Aluriel) seemed intriguing, but after trying it out, I found it too reliant on elements I couldn’t control. Too many procs, and relying on your target’s position made the mirror unwieldy and ineffective.
Etraeus’ Celestial Map (Star-Auger Etraeus) was just a fancy stat stick. It won’t win any design innovation awards, but it was ok. I preferred the Arcanocrystal or just a plain Int/Crit trinket, though, so I could manually control how close I was to our Crit cap without going over.
Patch 7.2.5: Tomb of Sargeras
Tomb of Sargeras has no less than six healing trinkets, and all of them have interesting design elements. Outstanding.
Let’s start with the crown jewel: Sea Star of the Depthmother (Mistress Sassz’ine). I mentioned this a while back, but nothing has changed — the Sea Star remains the most valuable piece of gear we can get our hands on from Tomb of Sargeras. Blizzard really leaned in hard with Light of Dawn this patch, with our final artifact trait, our Tier 20 2-piece bonus, our Tier 20 4-piece bonus, and the Sea Star all keying off our holy flashlight. Perfect synergy like this doesn’t come around that often.
The Deceiver’s Grand Design (Kil’jaeden) is another strong trinket choice. If the heal-over-time effect isn’t consumed early, the Grand Design will contribute a ridiculous amount of healing over the course of an encounter. Just try not to cry when you toss it on a tank and they immediately take a huge hit, proccing the shield and consuming the whole two minutes of juicy HoT healing.
The Crit on Archive of Faith (Fallen Avatar) is nice, and the huge on-use heal is pretty slick. Of course, as is the case with any cooldown, you only get full benefit if you’re using it as often as possible. On farm bosses or on fights where tanks simply aren’t taking much damage, you may not always have someone to channel that huge heal into. If you can’t actually use the heal to full effect, the Archive loses a lot of value.
Barbaric Mindslaver (Demonic Inquisition). Another nice mechanic with a twist. Not a bad idea, but only useful if your mana is actually low. Excellent for progression or if your raid runs light on healers.
Chalice of Moonlight (Sisters of the Moon) is…creative. I certainly did not expect a trinket reliant on what time of day it is. Weirdly, no one seems to be able to figure out exactly when the two proc effects occur, but frankly, even if it only procced Crit for us, I’d still prefer a generic stat stick.
I’m not a fan of Charm of the Rising Tide (Harjatan), though I admit the design is interesting. With our Mastery and our reliance on Light of Dawn, we should be moving around quite a bit to optimize our positioning.
Patch 7.3: Antorus, the Burning Throne
The upcoming Argus raid has another six healing trinkets to choose from. Obviously, we don’t have math on how these will perform, so these are just estimations and what I think of their designs.
Garothi Feedback Conduit (Garothi Worldbreaker). Fairly routine. Nice flavor that it gets better if you’re healing people low on health. Haste has dropped in value for us though, so I’d let another healer take this one.
Ishkar’s Felshield Emitter (Antoran High Command). The explosion damage is…useful? The shielding is what we care about, though. It’s a decent shield on a short cooldown. It wouldn’t surprise me if other trinkets might result in more raw healing, but I think this will be quite useful as an on-demand tank mitigation cooldown, that we can use quite frequently.
Tarratus Keystone (Portal Keeper Hasabel) basically gives us Holy Efflorescence. I’m not sure how the healing will be split or how often it’ll heal nearby allies, but it seems like it’ll be decent on fights where the raid is clumped up.
Acrid Catalyst Injector (Kin’garoth). Oof, talk about RNG. Still, with this effect keying off Critical spells, we have as good a chance as anyone of maximizing the procs from this trinket. Completely uncontrollable, though, so standard random-proc warnings apply. Note that this trinket is also on caster DPS loot tables, so expect to fight your warlocks and mages for it.
Carafe of Searing Light (Varimathras). Alright, first things first, ignore this mouseover tooltip. There is ZERO CHANCE that a trinket will restore 950,000 mana on a one-minute cooldown, as much as we’d like this to be true. The in-game tooltip for me says it deals 940,856 damage and restores 74,178 mana, which sounds much more reasonable. I’m not sure why Blizzard wants healing trinkets to chip in damage all of a sudden, but alright. The Carafe will give you back a good amount of mana over a fight, but you’ll definitely do less healing by picking the Carafe over other trinkets. Whether that’s a worthwhile trade or not is something you’ll have to determine based on your raid composition and mana habits.
Highfather’s Machination (The Coven of Shivarra). I wonder how often our heals will apply one of these delayed blast healing charges, or if Aura of Mercy or Sea Star heals can proc charges. This almost seems like our old shielding Mastery, where it was beneficial to heal people even when not injured, just to apply shields — or in this case, charges of Aman’Thul’s Presence. Definitely going to have to wait on some math here to see how this trinket pans out.
Legion trinkets have been an interesting ride. Personally, I think it’s a shame that stat sticks (or trinkets that are essentially stat sticks, just with random procs) are so strong, even at this late stage in the expansion. Sure, they’re good, but they’re also boring. Tomb of Sargeras and Antorus, the Burning Throne have introduced some fun, creative trinket designs, and I think it’s sad that we might never even try them simply because we got a lucky Titanforged Relinquished Int/Crit trinket that is mathematically superior.
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