Druid healing: Post-raid thoughts

I had my first post-4.0.1 raid on Friday. The healing style did change a bit, but overall everything is feeling really good. The biggest problems I had were due to bugs and broken mods (no GridStatusHot counters, ah!) rather than difficulty with any of the class changes.

Here are my impressions of our new and mostly improved spells:

Spell Use
Rejuvenation is still getting a lot of use. Not 50%+ of our healing like it used to be, now it’s closer to 30%. We have a ton of mana right now so there’s no reason not to use rejuv liberally. The reduction of the duration by 3 seconds is a bit of a bummer, but the instant tick from Gift of the Earthmother does help make up for it.
The changes to Regrowth are great. I was worried about the short duration HoT, but it fills the flash-heal type role Nourish used to have very nicely, with the added benefit of being swiftmendable. Instant Regrowths during ToL are amazing.
Wild Growth
Wild Growth fills the same role as it did before, just with a longer cooldown.
Swiftmend should be used every time it’s available in most cases in order to proc Efflorescence. Make sure you’re using it on tanks, melee or someone else who has lots of people nearby. Swiftmend was woefully underused by a lot of druids before, now it should get a lot more love.
Lifebloom should be kept up on one tank – or someone taking a lot of damage – at all times. It gives mana return for yourself and your raid (not like that is super important right now, but may as well get used to it for Cata). This is the one I’m going to have the most trouble with. With the exception of the Lich King fight lifebloom didn’t get a lot of use. Until Cata comes out I’d suggest refreshing Lifebloom with another application rather than trying to refresh it with Nourish.
Nourish is our cheap heal and it’s going to be largely ignored right now because we have no mana problems. It depends on having HoTs up on the target and is a very small heal without them. Faster, larger Regrowths can be used instead of Nourish.
Healing Touch
Healing Touch also isn’t getting a lot of use. I think it will be used more in Cataclysm, but for now it’s still a big, slow heal with no extra benefits and is best used in combination with Nature’s Swiftness.
Tree of Life
Tree of Life is awesome. Hit it when things get hectic, use Wild Growth on cooldown, which will hit 8 people at a time, then spam the raid with instant Regrowths. So much fun. Since the cooldown is only 3 minutes you should be able to use ToL at least twice a fight. Time it well.
Efflorescence doesn’t provide a huge amount of healing but it’s still a nice addition. It provides a nice healing buffer when people are grouped up.
Living Seed
Living Seed did 3x as much healing as it used to due to the increased use of Regrowth. It now seems much more worthy of three talent points.
Tranquility is now a great spell. We just need to remember that and use it on every fight.

The druid changes are amazing. Once I get my UI back up and running the way I like it, I think druid healing will be not only fun but also extremely dominant.

Yay druids!

4 responses to “Druid healing: Post-raid thoughts

  1. Do you find that people scamper out of your green healing puddle out of habit?

    • It happened some on Deathwhisper since the effect is so similar to D&D, but I didn’t see it happen on the other fights.

      People (myself included) also seemed to be having difficulty seeing spell effects on the ground, they were showing up very faintly. I think a lot of people didn’t even notice the healing puddles.

  2. GridStatusHoTs is in a late stage beta build and works fine for me at the moment. Just google it – you can find it at the development site of Ace3.

    • I don't know what my problem is. I tried deleting all my old Grid files and installing the newest versions from the Ace site, but I still don't get the options I should be getting for GridStatusHots.