As a Druid, I’ve written a lot about Innervate in the past, including two iterations of How to Get the Most out of Innervate and even an article on sharing your Innervate with an Arcane Mage. In these articles, I’ve detailed the thought process behind performing a weapon swap, either to a high Spirit weapon (in the case where an Innervate doesn’t completely fill your mana bar) or to a high Intellect weapon (so that you get the most mana back). It’s important to note that this logic is the same for anyone who receives an Innervate. If you don’t perform this sort of a weapon swap, you’re doing yourself (and the Druid who gave you the Innervate) a disservice.
I feel this is a topic worth reiterating because of a recent post by another blogger where she advocates not swapping weapons because:
You will get no benefit from switching, so don’t waste the money, the mats, or the bag space on keeping another enchanted weapon with you just for innervates.
The author goes on to give an example of a newly-minted 70 Priest in greens and dungeon blues who has 407 Intellect and 493 Spirit. She assumes this Priest won’t activate her Bangle of Endless Blessings and finds that the Priest gets back 9.3k mana — 800 more than the 8.5k mana she has. Her thought is that, after a certain gear level, Innervate refills your mana pool completely, making a weapon swap irrelevant. Even in this low level test case, the Priest is likely to spend the 800 “excess” of mana during the 20 seconds that she’s under the effects of Innervate. When you take into account the number of spells she’s likely to cast, this character actually won’t see a full mana bar at the end of her Innervate.
This assumes the player doesn’t activate her [Bangle of Endless Blessings], despite having it equipped. Were she to do so, she would get back 12k mana instead of the 9.3k she’s getting. Blowing through 3k mana is more difficult than 800, but even if we assume that she uses 2k of it, there’s still a 1k mana surplus that’s just going to poof into the Nether. But what if she were to consider an Intellect-based weapon swap? This is probably more relevant at a higher gear level than the test case above. The character’s gear is mostly blues and greens, so she likely wouldn’t have access to an alternate, high-Intellect weapon (or she’d need to use it for her main weapon).
To make this example more practical, let’s assume that the character can at least run Heroic Magister’s Terrace (prior to that, I can’t imagine she’d be likely to find herself in a situation where she might receive an Innervate). Let’s further assume that the character has two [Rod of the Blazing Light], a non-unique staff that drops from Vexallus. If she gems and enchants the first as her main weapon and the second to make it an Intellect weapon, she stands to gain 59.4 Intellect from swapping (with Blessing of Kings). If she’s gemmed for pure +Healing, this would be at a loss of 135 +Healing. During an Innervate, this 59.4 additional Intellect would expand her mana pool by 891 mana. This is approximately a 10% increase over the mana pool in the test case, even if we factor in the improved weapon. The 135 +Healing lost equates to the loss of 127 HP on a Rank 7 Greater Heal which, assuming a weapon swap, is free to cast.
Were she to use an addon like Caster Weapon Swapper to set the Intellect weapon as her “High Mana” option, she’d probably only expect to be swapped to that weapon for 5 seconds or so. Thus the comparison is a simple 891 MP5 vs. 135 +Healing. The additional mana afforded becomes more pronounced the better selection of weapons you have access to, though at a 15k mana pool, you’re more likely to see a return more along the lines of 5-7%.
Finally, I’d like to share a quote from well known Priest blogger Matticus from his article, Caster Weapon Swapper: An Essential Addon for Spellsurge Users:
High Mana Set
Weapon you have equipped coming into an encounter of some sort. If you want to seriously push yourself and excel, this is a kind of weapon which has a ton of intellect on it. Higher intellect means larger initial mana pool.
Essentially, if it’s a good idea to start a fight with a high Intellect weapon — for the temporary boost to your mana pool — then it must be true that you would do the same if you’re getting a new mana bar (as you do with Innervate).
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