Greetings all,

In light of the alacrity revelations a few months ago I've been pondering the optimal use of adrenals. Resources are scarce and if there are adrenals I can share between characters and disciplines that helps. Since I do end game content that is both at-level and level synced, there is a reason to be concerned about adrenals which boosts stats already being capped/nerfed by Level sync. I'm going to focus on the Sage versions of procs and abilities.

The adrenal ostensibly meant for damage dealers, the "Attack" one that boosts Power but reduces healing by 20%, seems like it would be inferior to the crit or alacrity adrenal in level synced areas, but possibly even at end game. Same with the "Triage" one ostensibly meant for healers which boosts Force and Tech power but nerfs damage by 20%. Furthermore, in some content its either helpful or even necessary for healers to do some dps, and it would be nice to have an adrenal that would be efficacious regardless of whether you needed to do damage or heal. Finally, I am often needed to swap disciplines for my guild, and so in order to save on resources, having one adrenal that can function regardless of discipline is helpful. Some of the (outdated) healing guides on Dulfy mention use of the Efficacy adrenal of which the Advanced Polybiotic version boosts alacrity by 870 as BiS for healers. But, in light of the GCD breakpoints, I decided to re-explore this.

TL, DR: It doesn't seem by math like the Alacrity Adrenal buffs alacrity % enough to get your HPS up, so it seems like critical adrenals should be better.

Warning, lots of math below in the spoiler tag:

So, in light of what we know about alacrity and the GCD, I asked the question if there was an Alacrity % at which we could get the activation (cast) time of Deliverance below the GCD. Since the base activation time of Deliverance is 2 seconds, it will never take more than two GCDs to cast, so what alacrity percentage could get us a cast time below the 1.3s GCD (which I usually run on my Sage healer) and get Deliverance off within a single GCD? The math tells us that one would need 55.04% alacrity to get the cast time of Deliverance down to 1.29s, so that's not achievable under current conditions. However, the base activation for Benevolence (our smaller core heal) is 1.5 seconds, and that's easily gotten down to 1.29 seconds under current stat budgets. Hence, there is really no way an Alacrity Adrenal could get our biggest single target zero cooldown heal off in one global cooldown, which makes it seem like the critical adrenal would be superior, especially in light of our 2 piece set bonus.

So, I looked at Healing Trance. Healing trance has a cooldown of 9 seconds at base and channels four ticks over 2.7 seconds at base. Getting off extra ticks of healing trance sooner means you can potentially build up stacks of Resplendence sooner, and getting a healing trance 1 GCD sooner also means more healing ability output as well. At base, HT cools down and is available after 6 GCDs. With the 1.3s GCD I usually run, 6 GCDs last 7.8 seconds, and at 2036 alacrity rating my healing trance cooldown is 7.73 seconds, so still within 6 GCDs. Could I get HT down to 5 GCDs? Well, 5 GCDs would last 6.5 seconds, and a healing trance cooldown of 6.49 seconds requires an alacrity % of 38.67%. That alacrity % is possible, but only by using the 20% buff from Mental Alacrity. But even the buff isn't enough, you need 2513 alacrity rating also, which requires quite a bit of critical chance sacrifice on your gear OR to use the alacrity adrenal. However, 38.67% alacrity ALSO reduces your GCD to 1.1 seconds. Five GCDs at 1.1 second each last 5.5 seconds, which unfortunately is less than what you've lowered the HT cooldown to, 6.49 seconds. So, you can't really get off any more healing trances per minute than you would simply by reducing the GCD. Said another way, the Alacrity adrenal doesn't give you any extra opportunities to use healing trance even under Mental Alacrity.

Does it give any more ticks of healing trance? If you need to cut the HT channel short for some reason, getting in as many ticks as possible would be important. Well, two ticks of healing trance at base only need 1.35 seconds. Current alacrity recommendations fall well within that margin to ensure you have at least two ticks of HT in a 1.3 second GCD. So, is there an alacrity % that could get a third tick of HT within one GCD? Briefly, the answer is no. At base, three ticks of HT require 2.03 seconds, so to get three ticks squeezed into 1.29 seconds requires an alacrity % of 56.98%, which isn't even possible with buffs. So the Alacrity Adrenal does not give me any more ticks or use of healing trance without.

Now, of course, in pvp, having to stand still to get off a Deliverance is a big problem … but you cannot use biochem adrenals in pvp areas anyway! So, any benefit an alacrity adrenal would have for healers would have to be in pve encounters. If I am not getting more ticks in, or getting casts off within a single GCD, I can't see the effect making a difference over the long run. In theory, getting Deliverance casted a few hundredths of a second before my tank dies is important, but in practice, has that really saved anyone? I mean, can you honestly point to a MM operation where your tank would have lived if your deliverance activation was 1.67 seconds instead of 1.72 seconds?

So, it leads me to ask you all: is the alacrity adrenal really BiS for sage healers, in the 5.9.1 era? Is it useful for any class, really? If you are a Seer Sage player that does a mix of level synced and at-level content, and you want an adrenal you could use for dps or heals, isn't the critical adrenal be best in slot?