I'm an 85 Discipline Priest with mana troubles healing heroics. I was wondering how mana regen works exactly.

It used to be like this

  • You regenerated mana at certain a rate (based on Spirit and MP5).
  • If you cast a spell, the rate would drop significantly and stay that way until you had not cast a spell for 5 seconds.
  • The rate drop would be significant but could be made less awful by Talents, for example the Priest had a "Meditation" talent.

Here's what I think I know about mana regen now

  • MP5 is gone.
  • Mana regen is only based on Spirit.
  • You can mouse over Spirit on the character sheet to see pretty numbers.
  • Most (all?) healing specs have a "Meditation" benefit to up mana regen in some ways.

So how does it work?

Does mana regen have anything to do with casting a spell anymore? When will I be regenerating mana at a lower rate? Do I need to stop casting for 5 seconds and then stay that way to regen? Are there any other variables I'm missing?

2 Answers 2


The "five second rule" no longer exists in Cataclysm. You have a fixed rate of mana regeneration while in combat, and another fixed rate of mana regeneration while out of combat.

Out of combat

Your out-of-combat mana regeneration rate is based on your spirit. "Mana per 5 seconds" (MP5) no longer exists on items, and has been replaced by spirit. (You'll still see it on mana oil, though.) Every class that has a mana bar will regenerate mana this way while out of combat.

In combat

All classes start with a baseline regen rate of 5% of your base mana per second. (Base mana is the amount of mana you would have with 0 intellect.) Classes using healing talent specs gain a passive ability called Meditation, which lets half of your out-of-combat regeneration continue while in combat.

For non-healing specs such as mages, warlocks, and shadow priests, spirit does absolutely nothing for your combat regen. Many talents and abilities exist that give you bonus mana in combat, however: Replenishment, Archangel, Hymn of Hope, Shadowfiend, etc. Mages can passively regenerate mana using Mage Armor.

  • From reddit/r/wow: "The top answer on that site has one part incorrect. Out of combat spirit regen applies to all classes with a mana bar, including warlocks and mages. Based on the structure of his answer, he makes it appear as if warlocks and mages do not gain out of combat regen from spirit (they do)."
    – Mana
    Feb 25, 2011 at 19:49
  • Good point. I edited the answer.
    – Brant
    Feb 25, 2011 at 20:26

WoW wiki has a great article:


Little summary:

  • No more 5 seconds rule. Replaced by in and out of combat.
  • In combat regeneration: fix amount (5% of base mana) + talents (like mediation up to 50% of "out-of-combat regen")
  • Out of combat regeneration: scale with spirit and intelligence.
    • To double regeneration, either double your spirit or quadruple your intelligence.

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