WHM: Regen v Barspell (or how I upset everyone else)

Doyler’s right, I am pretty vehemently opposed to Regen merits and I really don’t know why they wind me up so much. So I thought I’d try and think it through here. If Group 1 merits allowed you more, I would probably merit Regen or Divine Seal. We don’t have a lot of SCH, I’m currently our only 75 in Seren and one of 2-3 in Nova. So Divine Veil more often would be kinda nice. But as it is I’m 5/5 Cure Cast and 5/5 Barspells.

Why do Regen merits bug me so much? I mean Regens (especially II) are pretty damn efficient. Maybe I’m being unfair. And what’s so good about Barspells anyway? I’m interested to see what others think as well as offering up my own take.

Firstly, I am 5/6 on WHM relic. Which means, I have the pantaloons for Barspells, the Briault for Regen and the Duckbills to improve my enhancing skill, for Barspells. So gear-wise I am already ahead on both, and Bars are winning out slightly.

Barspells are Regens are complementary but right now I’m probably a bit frustrated than usual because barspells have important uses and that I’m the only active WHM in the shell with them maxed out and with Cleric’s pantaloons. We’re missing Ath a lot who is a damn competent WHM with pantaloons (but no bar merits), putting more pressure on Mac and me. Jazzy has pantaloons but is mostly needed on BLM or not around. Dru, Mac and Az having pantaloons would help us a lot.

It means that I can’t for example come to Ouryu as BLM because my 127 Barstonra is significantly more than anyone else’s and helps our tanks hit the next tier for elemental resists. And I really want to nuke Ouryu, because I’ve been building my BLM gear and merits around hitting 320/120 and can do it! I’m better geared (not by much) than some peeps who get to have all the fun!

Hopefully the guys can get some Cleric’s Pantaloons from Jeuno whilst I’m away which whacks another 20 onto the ele resist, so that even without barspell merits, you’re looking at a vastly improved value.

First off, I didn’t just merit Bars because it raises the value, I also merited them because they have an associated MDB when one is up. MDB+10 is a lot.

Elemental resistance seems to work in tiers. So, if you can push the value of your elemental resistance up to the next tier, you have a far higher chance of resisting elemental damage. What this means in practical terms is, you’re more likely to see something like Ouryu’s Stonega III do 67 than 670. Add in the associated MDB and even if you are getting hit for 670, that’s a chunk less that you would have been had you not had the MDB there. Like Shellra it directly reduces the amount of magical damage you’re taking.

Barspells are king in fights where large elemental damage attacks are used.

Right now, people think of this sort of set up for specific fights, but I use my barspells all the time and I feel the impact of them is greater than the impact of a maximum of 5 more points of regen on regen III.


  • When farming for example spiders, my barstonra allows me to often resist spider slow
  • When in dynamis, barstonra + barpetra allowed me and my party to resist Breakga in Bastok
  • In Limbus, barthundra allows me to not be stunned for as long when fighting Behemoths
  • At Ouryu Stonega IIIs were hitting for 60’s… when barstone went down, even with resist gear the numbers jumped to 300
  • Baraera and Barsilencera allow me to resist Imp silence etc

There are a thousand fights where mobs do some form of elemental attack like goblins, or kirins or whatever where higher elemental resistance, markedly increases your chance of taking anything up to 90% less damage or being hit with a status effect.

So what about Regen – why do you hate it so much?

I don’t. I love Regens and Curagas and all those efficient things, I really do. But having levelled WHM to 75, I’m finding that I’m involved in some big fights where Regens help, but don’t payout as well as a barspell. /SCH even helps with the long casting times.

As a 75 WHM with a Cleric’s briault, my highest Regen value is 23. With max regen merits, that would make it 28. That’s a lot, it’s like phalanx. If I could do both, I probably would. But I’ll settle for a 23 per tic Regen III rather than a 28.


Flippant answer: because if 5 hp is going to save you, you’re in the kind of trouble where it’s already too late.

Not always true I’ll admit but it depends on the fights you participate in. If you’re taking smaller amounts of damage over time in a controlled and measured way and you’re not expecting huge AoEs or attacks in general, then Regen is king. Regen is great in Limbus and Salvage. It’s a great MP management tool in merit parties too.

But it can do that as a 75 WHM even at 20 per tic, let alone 23 with a briault and I don’t feel that the xp needed to cap regens pays out as well as it does with Bars.

1) Barspells hit 6 people. So that’s you and 5 others who benefit

2) Barspells give an additional 10 MBD to all 6 people

3) Barspells are fast to cast unlike regens

4) Barspells allow you to vastly improve your chances of surviving really nasty, big damage attacks which regens can’t keep up with

5) Barspells help you resist nasty status effects

The only real competition here is SCH, and they can do most of what a WHM can do but have access to less enhancing gear and most importantly do not have access to Cleric’s pantaloons. They also have to consume charges to AoE everything, which they won’t always have, or sub WHM which restricts them in other ways.

I’d actually argue, Regen is more powerful in the hands of a SCH than a WHM, because of their ability to AoE Regen II. I hope SCH never get Regen III…

1) Regen hits 1 person but can do it a range, unlike a barspell

2) Regen is low enmity curing for targets who are not tanking

3) Regen is a good counter to some DoTs when you don’t want them removed (ie poison) or when you’re low on MP

4) Regen helps a PLD without interfering as much in hate generation

5) Regen helps in all situations, whereas barspells do not

But the point isn’t that you don’t get Regen at all without merits, it’s that your Regen is going to be slightly less than it’s maximum potential. It’s the same for barspells except you don’t get the magical defense bonus without the merits… and higher barspells have potentially a greater effect.

Cleric’s Briault assumed

  • Regen II for me 280 hp restored
  • Regen II for max merits 380 hp restored
  • Regen III for me 460 hp restored
  • Regen III for max merits 560 hp restored

So 150, 000 xp gains me 100 hp restored. In some fights the repetition of regen is going to win out, but what bars do is something unique and they have the potential to save you far more hp over time than you benefit from with regen. I will concede utterly that being able to cast regen from a distance is far better than having to run in and cast a barspell. But I have stoneskin.

Where did I put the xp? Barspells. And if they do release Barlumina and Barnoctra or whatever the light/dark ones will be called, then I’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

It’s not the case that one is good and one is bad. It’s just I get annoyed at people who don’t understand what Barspells offer you and write them off without a thought. Anyone who puts some decent thought into their merits, whichever they decide, probably has a case.

So now Doyler finally knows more about Barspells than he might ever want to know.


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5 Comments on “WHM: Regen v Barspell (or how I upset everyone else)”

  1. Audeas
    March 3, 2009 at 15:48 #

    You are in a pickle, aren’t you? hehe. It actually comes down to what you are fighting. If I am tanking something like Cerberus or Tiamat, I’m definitely wanting that Barfira. If I’m tanking in Dynamis, I’m wanting Regen III. It really just depends on the scenario and what kind of fight you’re facing.

    I honestly don’t know how Cynth has done her merits, but I know she has them balanced to ensure I have my bar-spell or Regen III when I need it. I honestly haven’t done the research to see what she has to sacrifice going the bar-spell regen route, but I’ve never been left in a lurch.

    Anyway, no easy solution here. I guess it all comes down to preference and what type of fight you want to be prepared for.


  2. eldelphia
    March 3, 2009 at 16:00 #

    Doyler was winding me up. I’m looking forward to my holiday. I just hate that people dismiss barspells so readily, when they don’t understand what they do.

    At the end of the day, I probably just need to chill the hell out 😀 and stop venting when Doy gets under my skin.


  3. eldelphia
    March 3, 2009 at 16:02 #

    Oh and in dynamis, yes regen III is nice but the casting time is actually likely to get your tanks killed if not used with care. I did main tank party WHM for 3 years in dynamis, paired with Ulathe and it can get pretty hectic.


  4. Audeas
    March 3, 2009 at 20:59 #

    Venting is good and at the end of that same day, it’s still your character, your playstyle and your choices. Go with what you feel comfortable with. Again, with the things I’ve tanked, both bar-spells and Regen III are valuable. I’ll say that when I duo, say a Prime Avatar, that bar-spell is a definite must. Overall, in endgame and events, I’d lean towards the bar-spells over the Regen, due to your overall return in terms to the party versus an individual. Just my $0.02.


  5. Doyler
    March 25, 2009 at 00:13 #

    how did I miss this lol. Yeah I was winding you up. I know nothing of whm spells expect they keep me alive.


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