Elder Scrolls Online

Magicka Recovery vs. Cost Reduction glyphs – a healer point of view (Dragonhold updated)

Magicka Recovery vs. Cost Reduction glyphs – a healer point of view (Dragonhold updated)

Have you ever wondered if you should go with magicka recovery or with cost reduction glyphs on your jewels on your healer ? We discuss here the benefits of one or the other and compare them for the different healing classes. πŸ™‚

On a quick glance, you could think : well, a magicka recovery enchant brings 169 magicka recovery, and ticks every 2s, while a cost reduction enchant reduces your spell cost by 204, so if you cast a skill every ~1s, you would save 408 magicka in 2s, and hence this will be better. However, this simple analysis forgets two things :

  1. Your magicka recovery glyph will be amplified by a lot of different multipliers.
  2. Your cost reduction glyph will be applied before all the cost reduction multipliers (and therefore be less efficient).

Let’s analyze on this post how things will actually be when all the multipliers are taken into account !

1. Magicka Recovery multipliers

The little math needed  : the thing you need to know concerning magicka recovery is that all your “increase your magicka recovery by x%” bonuses will be additive.

\small effective\ recovery = base\ recovery \times ( 1 + magicka\ recovery\ bonuses ).

What this means is that if you get, say, a 20% magicka recovery increase, you will not get effectively 20% more than what you had before but rather

\frac{20}{1+all\ previous\ magicka\ recovery\ bonuses} \%.

That being said, let’s list all bonuses that increase your magicka recovery.

  • Arcanist (Champion points, in the lover tree) : +14% with 75 points.
  • Recovery (Light armor passive) : +20% with 5 light pieces.
  • Magicka Aid (Alliance war support passive) : +10% with one skill slotted.
  • Supernatural Recovery (Vampire passive) : +10%.
  • Major Intellect (From potions) : +20%.

NB : We could also have Minor Intellect (+10%) or the Flourish passive (+12% if we are a Warden), but let’s not take them into account for this analysis. As you will see in the conclusion, this doesn’t change the results.

Taking into account all the bonuses listed above, one legendary magicka recovery glyph would give you, effectively 308 magicka recovery, whatever your race is.

2. Cost Reduction multipliers

The little math needed : the thing you need to know concerning cost reduction glyphs is that the cost reduction will be applied BEFORE all your “reduce the magicka cost of your ability by x%” bonuses, and these bonuses themselves are multiplicative (since the Scalebreaker update). Therefore, the cost reduction you will get will not be the value 203 given by the glyph, but rather

203 \times *  ( 1 - cost\ reduction_1) * ( 1 - cost\ reduction_2) * ....

These bonuses will therefore make our cost reduction glyph less potent than the tooltip value. As before, let us list the cost reduction bonuses we have :

  • Evocation (Light armor passive) : –10% with 5 light pieces.
  • Worm (If worm is provided in your group) : –4%.
  • If Breton : Magicka Mastery (racial passive) –7%.

NB : Restoring Spirits will also provide -4%, if you are a templar. However, that does not change the conclusion below.

Taking into account all the bonuses listed above, one legendary spell cost glyph would give you, effectively :

If you are a High Elf or an Argonian :

  • 166 cost reduction with worm.
  • 175 cost reduction without worm.

If you are a Breton :

  • 160 cost reduction with worm.
  • 168 cost reduction without worm.

3. Comparison depending on the race

Skills casted per second

With all the values we got before, the only information we are missing is the number of spells casted per second, on average. In order to get this value, I checked a large number of healing parses I had on different trial bosses, and just did the fraction

\frac{number\ spells\ casted}{total\ fight \time}.

Little tip : to get the number of spells casted in a fight, you can check in Combat Metrics, in the “Magicka +/-“, the consumption of magicka that each spell required and the number of time you casted these spells. With esologs, you can actually check on the “Casts” sections your casts per minute. Make sure to remove all light or heavy attacks, blocks, casts of stamina abilities, etc.

The result was that on all these fights, I always got between 0.70 and 0.80 spells casted per second. This number is of course an average and also includes moments where I was heavy attacking or moving because of a mechanic and so on. What’s interesting is that this range is quite low compared to global cooldown (0.9s between each skill, so in theory you could go up to 1.1 spells casted per second).


In order to compare the effect of one magicka recovery glyph vs. one cost reduction glyph, I plotted as a function of the number of spells casted per second the magicka gained (if using a magicka recovery glyph) or saved (if using a cost reduction glyph) in 2s.

For one magicka recovery glyph, we just have a flat line because the recovery will tick every 2s and bring us a flat magicka return.

For one cost reduction glyph, we will have a straight line because the magicka we save in 2s using a cost reduction glyph will be proportional to the number of spells we cast in 2s. I showed on these pictures two vertical dotted lines (at 0.7 and 0.8) to show a realistic range of number of spells casted per second you could expect. I made one plot for each “classic” healing race, given that they have different racial passives, and considered with and without worm.

\alpha) Argonians or high elves

Argonians or high elves have no magicka recovery or cost reduction bonuses coming from their racial passives. The results show that without worm, cost reduction becomes better than magicka recovery when you get close to 0.8 spell casted per second (and after). However, this is pretty much impossible to get in a real fight with mechanics.

\beta) Bretons

Bretons have a –7% cost reduction bonus (Magicka Mastery) but no magicka recovery bonuses coming from their racial passives. From the plot, we can see that a magicka recovery glyph will bring more sustain than a cost reduction glyph, although they get close when you reach ~0.9 spell casted per second.

4. Conclusion

It seems that for all three “classic” races, a magicka recovery glyph will bring you more sustain than a cost reduction glyph, in a typical range of spell casted per second.

This will be even more true if you get minor intellect, or if you play warden with an animal companion skill slotted, or if you have more alliance war abilities slotted. Being a templar, the Restoring Spirits passive will make cost reduction even less interesting. If you are a nightblade or a sorcerer, again, you get more regen modifiers, making, again, regen more interesting. If you are not a vampire or if you don’t have Magicka Aid leveled up fully, the results still hold.

This result is, however, in average over an entire fight. A cost reduction glyph will be more potent in a short period of a fight where you spam spells. However, if you can sustain these short periods with a magicka recovery glyph, you will get overall a better sustain with this magicka recovery glyph.

Note that in this article, I also omitted the potential use of an asylum staff, that provides up to -30% cost reduction for 3s. Using this staff makes cost reduction jewels even less interesting.

I hope this was helpful, as always feel free to ask questions! πŸ™‚

3 thoughts on “Magicka Recovery vs. Cost Reduction glyphs – a healer point of view (Dragonhold updated)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *