Resto Druid Raiding: First Impressions

I had my first raid on my Druid this weekend. We did 25-man Blackwing Descent and killed Magmaw and Omnotron.

I found the Magmaw fight fairly straightforward. The biggest problem I had at first was that Magmaw would pull the tank out of range when he picked him up to Mangle. Once that got sorted he went down quickly (though he really liked to smash the melee after picking up the tank).

Here’s my healing breakdown for the kill:

Druid healing breakdown on Magmaw

On this fight I kept my Lifeblooms up on our single tank and mostly raid healed until the Mangle happened. The positioning in this fight makes it great for Wild Growth and Efflorescence so I saw some nice numbers from those. Since there’s no damage to heal in phase 2, I was able to be quite free with my mana in phase 1.

I wasn’t very happy with my healing on Magmaw. I made some significant omissions – no Tranquility, no Tree of Life, no Barkskin. Bad Druid. I’m going to attribute that to being a little rusty from not raiding for 2 months. Once we got to Omnotron I got much more comfortable and my healing really improved.

Here are my numbers from the Omnotron kill:

Druid healing breakdown for Omnotron

There’s a lot of raid damage (I think that’s going to be a pattern)  so Wild Growth and Rejuvenation are my biggest sources of healing. Lifebloom was up on one tank as close to 100% of the time as I could get it. Nourish was my ‘spam when I have nothing better to cast’ heal and I tried to get out a Regrowth on every clearcasting proc. The amount of healing from Living Seed is pretty disappointing. I had been defending it against naysayers because we’re casting so many more direct heals now, but I see now it’s still quite lackluster.

Omnotron-Druid buffs cast

Overall, I’m happy with how druid healing feels in raids. Both my tank and raid healing feel strong (despite what Paragon says) and the challenge of having to think about what spells to cast and make the most of procs (like Clearcasting and Nature’s Grace) is a much appreciated change. The only thing I feel I’m really missing as a druid is a raid-helping cooldown. It’s probably just because I’ve been playing my Disc Priest (who has a ton of them), but I think it’s something druids are lacking. Whether it’s a raid mana helper, a damage reducer or a temporary buff of some kind, I think resto druids could really use one extra ability.

How are you liking Cataclysm healing?

17 responses to “Resto Druid Raiding: First Impressions

  1. At this stage of the game, I feel fairly competitive although I’m definitely not coming near the paladins on sheer throughput. This is my first raiding cycle as a druid, so things other resto’s find normal (omg, the cooldowns) are inordinately frustrating for me, while other things, like the inability to HoT the raid aren’t bothering me in the least.

    In Paragon’s defense, they are not complaining about entry level ability, but rather, scaling, which won’t become noticeable until gear levels really start to ramp up in heroic modes 🙂

    • I’m not going to generalize since I’ve only done the one raid, but this time I had no problem matching the output of paladins or priests.

      I know that Paragon is referring to raiding at a higher level than I am now, but I get defensive when people say negative things about druids, I can’t help it.

      • I can understand that, but pointing out flaws and potential issues also (hopefully) gets them fixed before you have to deal with the same frustrations.

        It’s not enough HPS to be ground-breaking, but I am noticing the lag. I’m even or above the shaman depending on the fight, and we haven’t had a priest in the raid yet. It’s also hard to generalize between 10 and 25 man environments in some ways because of the different healing vs. raid team ratios, buffs and the like 🙂

        However, I did find it interesting that our spell “spread” is similar for the first three spells, and then I wildly deviate into HT while you maintain a strong Nourish presence (which I use rarely).

        • I use Nourish a lot since it’s so cheap and 90% of the time it’s how I renew Lifebloom. If someone ever needs a big heal, my instinct is usually to Regrowth + Swiftmend rather than take the time to cast HT.

          I think in 10s I would use HT more, but in 25s there are so many other heals bouncing around that I find it’s not often necessary.

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  3. Man, I had such a great time healing Halfus Wyrmbreaker this weekend (we didn’t down him). I did it two-trees-one-shammy and two-shammies-one-tree and both felt good but let me tell you I’ll take my partners being shammies any day – Mana Tide totem was amazing. I found I could go tree at the start, get us through the insane upfront damage, and then keep LB stacks on two tanks pretty well. I was getting about 37% of my heals being LB.

    I almost never used Nourish. It just feels too weak. Even when rolling LB stacks I used HT.
    Analogue recently posted..Raid Expectations

    • Mana Tide is awesome. So is Hymn of Hope from Priests.

      As I said to Windsoar, I think there’s a difference between 10s and 25s when it comes to HT vs. Nourish. For 10 man tank healing I can see using HT much more. For the fights I did in 25, I would use Nourish to stabilize health and use the quicker Regrowth (or Swiftmend) when faster/more heals were needed.

  4. I actually stepped into my first raid this weekend as a Resto Druid (with my alt’s guild) and I must say that I appreciated the change of perspective. Although I didn’t notice it as much in 25s, when we switched over to 10s for Nefarian, I really came to appreciate the powerful tank-healing abilities that druids have–LB+Nourish is a wonderful combo. Whereas in 25s, Rejuv and WG reined supreme (and I tended to refresh LB through another LB cast instead of through Nourish), my breakdown was much different tank-healing in 10s with no pally to back me up. And man, it was an intense but amazing introduction to druid’s healing capacities rolling 3 LB’s on my Nef platform. Nothing like trial by fire, eh? (lol)

    It has me looking forward to next weekend, when I get to try my hand at it again and see how much I can improve.
    Vixsin recently posted..Building Your Normal Mode Tier 11 Gear Set

    • That’s quite an introduction!

      I haven’t tried the multiple Lifeblooms trick yet. I should try it out in raid, even when it’s not needed, to try to get used to it. I’m really liking our increased tank healing abilities. With the Lifebloom stack, plus Rejuv plus 4 direct heals to choose from, I think it’s in a really good place.

  5. what I find very odd is that you rarely use HT instead of me where HT is almost always is at 2th place on my healing list, my Rejuvs are lower tho

    Omni should have less raidwide dmg than magmaw, but tanks take a bit more of a beating on that one

    Next patch I’ll be dropping living seed and effl and I’ll try to get more juice out of my rejuvs
    Moonra recently posted..Where Have You Been Sweety Rejuvenation Returns!

    • I wasn’t really focused on healing the tank, just keeping him stable, so I never felt the need to use HT. Also, with my rather crappy gear I don’t think my mana pool would have supported it.

      WoL doesn’t seem to be working right now, so I can’t check the damage taken, but Omni seemed more raid-healing intensive, at least when the fire or lightning guys were out. On Magmaw everyone was grouped up and with all the area based healing effects going down, the raid never seemed to be in much danger.

      I would like Living Seed and Efflorescence to be de-coupled. I’d love to drop Living Seed for other things, but Efflorescence is really nice on some fights and I like the positional aspect it brings to our healing.

      • I rarely heal the tanks as well unless they could use something extra 🙂 I use healing touch a lot on the raid and I don’t really have mana issues (running with an 8/2/31 build). I think the main difference is that I only do 10man, in 25’s you got more people to spread the heals

        also my LB tops every fight on healing, but thats mainly because I try to use ToL rather sooner than later, most of the times I use it twice 😛

        I think after 4.0.6 my healing break down will be very simular to yours atm, but then in 10’s
        Moonra recently posted..Where Have You Been Sweety Rejuvenation Returns!

  6. I agree with you – I’m not experiencing any issues with throughput and am generally outpacing most of the other healers in 25m. I’ve mostly been assigned to tank healing in 10m raids, and have been on a tank while swinging to help with raid heals in 25m. (And in reference to what you and Windsoar discussed above, I’m also not particularly worried about Paragon’s assessment of druids at end-game. My guild isn’t in the top 1% of progression, and I highly doubt that anyone would ever ask our druids to sit out on boss attempts in favor of another class of healer.)

    My spread of spells is a little different than yours; Healing Touch is almost always #1 for me, followed by Lifebloom, and then Wild Growth. That’s largely a reflection of the time I’m spending tank healing, I would guess. In 25m and when I’m strictly on raid heals, Rejuv usually makes it up there into the top 3.

    I feel like our toolbox is in a decent place in terms of having a spell for most situations. I do wish we had a clear button to spam when someone is dying and we need to save them now (and Swiftmend is on CD), because Regrowth just doesn’t seem strong enough to accomplish that. The only thing that does kind of worry me is that druid healing is a lot less accessible than it used to be. Now that we’re a month or so into Cata and many players will be focusing on leveling alts, some part-time restos are going to be in for a rude awakening when they realize just how much their healing style as changed. :-/
    Tzufit recently posted..The stave is a lie

    • It seems I’m the only one who hasn’t learned to love Healing Touch. I like the synergy and cheap mana cost of Nourish, and I like the speed of Regrowth. Maybe once I’ve tried a 10 man I’ll develop more of an appreciation for it.

      I think Regrowth works okay for an emergency, save someone, spell. Especially when in ToL. Also, if someone is in such danger there will more often then not be other healers throwing heals their way too.

      I think the change in healing style and increase in difficulty applies to most healing classes. No one can spam their favorite spell endlessly anymore. People will get used to it.

  7. I’m glad to hear what you and everyone else are saying. I have my first raid next week (maybe raid leading too, *panic!*) and I was really worried that I’d see a ton of AoE and with 2 trees in the raid (plus a priest for the 3rd), we’d be stuck watching them sloooooowly get healed up by WG. I take it things aren’t so horrible… phew.
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    • No, things certainly aren’t horrible. I haven’t seen too many fights yet, but for the ones I have, you know when big AoE damage is coming. It’s not like all of a sudden everyone’s at 5% health and if they’re not healed instantly they die. I think with our HoT healing we just need to be a little more prepared for when big AoE damage comes compared to some of the other classes.