The other day I was fishing for post ideas on Twitter and my guildie Serrath suggested I write about the best times to use Tree of Life in Dragon Soul. It can sometimes be difficult to know the best times to use it, especially for newer druids. Some people forget to use it at all (the horror!). Before I get into specific uses in Dragon Soul, let’s look at what Tree of Life does and how it can be used.
Tree of Life increases healing done by 15% and armor by 120%. It lasts 31 seconds (with points in Natural Shapeshifter) and has a 3 minute cooldown. When you’re in Tree of Life:
- Regrowth becomes an instant cast
- Lifebloom can be applied to multiple targets
- Wild Growth heals 2 extra targets
- Wrath is faster and does more damage
- Entangling roots becomes an instant cast
Here are some reasons for using Tree of Life and strategies to make it as effective as possible:
To Conserve mana
Tree of Life will allow you to cast Lifebloom on as many targets as you want. Spreading Lifeblooms around the raid will not only put out a lot of healing for very little mana, but it will also greatly increase the number of Clearcasting procs you get, allowing you to cast many free, instant Regrowths during this time. When you use Tree of Life in this way and pair it with the on-use effect from Jaws of Defeat, you can heal a lot for those 31 seconds and barely see your mana dip down at all.
It’s best to use Tree of Life proactively, but it can also be used in emergency oom situations and will let what little mana you have go further.
To increase healing output
15% extra healing on its own is very nice. Add the two extra Wild Growth targets to that and even if you continue to heal as normal while in Tree of Life you’re going to see a considerable increase in your output.
A couple of things to keep in mind to maximize effectiveness:
- Use Tree of Life when Wild Growth is off cooldown so you can use it immediately and fit in 3 casts during ToL’s duration.
- Make sure to get 2 Swiftmend casts off while in ToL for the nice bonus to Efflorescence healing.
- Use Tree of Life while under the effect of Nature’s Grace, or other haste increases like Heroism.
You can use Tranquility while in Tree of Life to boost its healing if the situation is very dire, though I generally prefer to spread my cooldowns out.
To Keep Up multiple targets
There are times on certain fights when a few people are taking very heavy damage at once. For example, phase 2 of Madness of Deathwing when two tanks are tanking Elementium Terrors. If you want to be able to provide large amounts of healing to both tanks at once, use Tree of Life and get a 3-stack of Lifebloom on each of them.
to be more mobile
Druids are pretty good at healing on the run normally, but using Tree of Life makes us even better. If you’re having to move a lot during a certain phase of a fight and are finding that Rejuvs aren’t doing enough, use ToL and get some extra burst from instant Regrowths.
to mitigate damage
This won’t play that big of a role in PVE, but the 120% extra armor does help with any physical raid damage you take (like Blackhorn’s Disrupting Roar or the Mutated Corruption’s Crush on Madness of Deathwing).
This isn’t something you’ll be doing often in raids, but it is a possibility. With faster, harder hitting Wraths, ToL can help you put out extra damage if that’s what’s needed (of course it won’t help with your complete lack of hit rating). The only time in Cata so far where I’d recommend ToL Wrath spam is after the Fiery Tornados on Alysrazor since no healing is needed for a time and you get all your mana back. Otherwise, this isn’t a great use for ToL.
When to use ToL in Dragon Soul
Here are my suggestions for when to use ToL to get the most out of it.
Use ToL during the crystal phase to help put out extra healing from Stomp and Resonating Crystal. I like to split my cooldowns, so I’ll use Tranquility during the first crystal phase and then ToL on the second crystal phase.
Be sure to use Tree of Life fairly early into the phase, with 30 seconds or more left until Black Blood – since there’s no healing to do then. You don’t want to waste it.
Use ToL right at the start of the black phase. Again, alternate your cooldowns, using Tranquility on one, and ToL on the next.
Hagara the Stormbinder
Lightning phase is a good time for ToL. The raid will benefit from the extra healing and the added mobility can be helpful as well.
You want to make sure you can get two ToL uses during this fight. Use your first ToL close to the start of the fight and use the LB-spamming strategy to conserve mana while damage is light. Use ToL for the second time when the damage starts ramping up for the extra healing.
You should be able to use ToL once during first phase and once during the second phase. Use it fairly early in the phase 1, ideally just before a Twilight Onslaught to help deal with the damage. Besides that, ToL will mainly be a way to conserve mana in phase 1. Use ToL again when it’s off cooldown in phase 2, before a Disrupting Roar.
Spine of Deathwing
This is a fairly long fight, so if you use ToL early, and then on cooldown you should be able to use it three times over the course of the fight. It will be a good way to conserve mana on what can be a mana-intensive fight as well as put out extra healing.
If your raid is desperate for dps on the Burning Tendon, you can use ToL and help out with Wrath spam. But hopefully this isn’t necessary.
Madness of Deathwing
This is a looong fight and a mana-instensive one. You should be able to use ToL at least 4 times. I generally use ToL on platform 1, near the start of the fight so I spend as little mana as possible, then again on platform 2 when Blistering Heat starts damaging the raid, then late on platform 3 when Burning Blood is doing damage. I’ll save my last ToL for the last phase of the fight. When the Elementium Terrors spawn I use ToL and roll Lifeblooms on both tanks to keep them stabilized, along with put out extra healing on the raid.