Patch 5.0.4 will be dropping on August 28th and it will bring all of Mist of Pandaria’s new talents, abilities and spells.
Say goodbye to the 160k mana pool that you’ve gotten used to. With 5.0.4, our mana pools will be knocked down to a fixed 100,000. Spell mana costs will come down a little as well, but not by that much. For example, on Beta Rejuv costs 3200 mana and Wild Growth costs 4580 mana. On live a Rejuv costs 3727 and a Wild Growth costs 5031. So we’re looking at about a 10-15% reduction in mana costs and a 30-40% reduction in our mana pools. This could make things tough.
The way we regen mana is also being completely changed. Talents like Revitalize, that regen a portion of our total mana are gone. This means that all of our regen will now come from Spirit. I’m going to guess that the 2007 Spirit I’m currently rolling with isn’t going to cut it. Be prepared to take a trip to the reforger once the patch hits. Say goodbye to all that yummy Mastery that you had reforged out of Spirit, and get your Spirit back. Spells are healing for quite a bit more at level 85 on the Beta, so the loss of Mastery shouldn’t affect your output negatively. You may also want to replace your throughput trinkets with regen trinkets.
Our spell books will look quite a bit different, and we will no longer have access to a number of Balance and Feral spells. This shouldn’t affect raiders too much, but be aware that if you’re used to throwing out some DPS on fights to try to help out, you won’t have as many damaging spells as you used to. Spells and abilities we no longer have include:
- Insect Swarm
- Wild Mushroom: Detonate (we will only have healing shrooms)
We are also losing access to a number of Cat and Bear abilities, but those shouldn’t have too much of an effect on a healer. The only one I’m really going to miss is Skull Bash.
We have two new base abilities:
- Ironbark This is the damage mitigation cooldown we’ve been asking for for so long, so don’t forget to use it! We also still have access to Barkskin.
- Wild Mushroom: Bloom Instead of hurting, these mushrooms heal. You can set up 3 at a time and they will heal everyone in an 8 yard radius for… not a whole lot, really.
A number of abilities have changed:
- Lifebloom now lasts 15 seconds.
- Harmony now lasts 20 seconds.
- Nature’s Cure now has an 8 second cooldown.
- Rebirth now brings people to life with 60% of their health, up from 20%.
- Mark of the Wild no longer gives Stamina or spell resistance, only Strength, Agility and Intellect.
- Dash and Stampeding Roar can be used while in caster form, but will activate Cat/Bear form.
- Faerie Fire now causes 3 applications of Weakened Armor, instead of 1.
In addition to these things, any Resto talents that were removed with the new talent tree overhaul have been baked into our spells. Living Seed, Malfurion’s Gift, Gift of the Earthmother, Swift Rejuvenation, Nature’s Cure, Efflorescence… they’re all baseline now for Restos. However, the talents that were in the Balance tree, like Nature’s Grace, are now gone. One change that I just noticed today is that Nature’s Focus now also increases our chance to hit with Moonfire and Wrath by 15%. That’s nifty.
When the patch hits, we will have 5 talent tiers to choose, the 6th doesn’t open up until level 90.
For Tier 1 Feline Swiftness is the clear winner. Displacer Beast is awful and the uses for Wild Charge are quite limited for a healer in current raid encounters.
For tier 2 I’d go with Nature’s Swiftness. Note that the cooldown is now only 1 minute, down from 3 minutes, which is an excellent improvement. Renewal isn’t something I consider a viable option for healers. Cenarion Ward may be worth playing with, but I think having NS as an extra ‘oh shit’ button is much more valuable than another HoT that’s on a 30 second cooldown.
Tier 3 probably won’t see a whole lot of use in Dragon Soul. You can pretty much pick what you want here. Go with Typhoon if you want to drive your tanks and melee crazy. Typhoon also has the potential to help out with Bloods on heroic Spine, but please check with your kiter/RL as it could also screw things up if it’s not expected.
I think Incarnation is the best talent in tier 4. As an output cooldown, ToL is still great, and with the mana constraints we’ll be facing, I think the ability to spam Lifeblooms (our cheapest spell) and maximize Omen of Clarity procs will be important. Soul of the Forest also looks quite strong in terms of increasing our healing output if you use Wild Growth after every Swiftmend, but it will also cause problems lining up those spells as there is a 5 second difference in their cooldowns. Force of Nature is kind of fun, but pets like these have a tendency to be quite dumb, so I’d skip them.
Tier 5 is another utility tier that won’t get used a whole lot in Dragon Soul. I can think of a few times that Ursol’s Vortex could be useful if it works properly. That is a big if. In my experience on the beta, it’s seemed a little buggy to me. Ursol’s Vortex could potentially help with add control on a few fights – Forgotten Ones on Yor’sahj, Bloods on Spine and Congealing Bloods on Madness. If UV doesn’t work as expected, Mighty Bash is good, safe bet.
Prime Glyphs will be gone in 5.0.4, so we will now have only 6 glyph slots. We have a lot of options to choose from.
My top 3:
Glyph of Lifebloom – This will allow us to transfer all 3 stacks of Lifebloom when we need to switch our Lifebloom target. This is a must have for any fight with tank-swapping.
Glyph of Wild Growth – This hasn’t changed. I would take it for 25-man raiding, but possibly not for 10s.
Glyph of Regrowth – Regrowth now innately has a 60% chance to crit, so use of this glyph will make the spell a guaranteed crit, at the cost of the HoT at the end. I personally like the knowing that Regrowth will crit and will likely use this glyph.
On fights where I don’t swap Lifebloom around at all, I would replace Glyph of Lifebloom with one of these:
Glyph of Rejuvenation – This replaces the second half of the Nature’s Bounty target. With the change to the mana regen model, you may find yourself using Nourish more often than you’re used to, so this glyph is a good choice.
Glyph of Healing Touch – How useful this is depends on how often you use Healing Touch. I would likely use this on Heroic Spine, since I use HT often to handle the debuffs, but would find it less useful on other fights.
Glyphs to skip:
Glyph of Blooming – This is a PVP glyph, skip it for raid content.
Glyph of Rebirth – With the change to Rebirth now bringing people back with 60% health rather than 20%, this glyph is no longer a requirement.
The minor glyphs are mainly fun, vanity things, so I’m not going to go over them here. You can find the full list of glyphs on Wowhead.
The spells we use and how we use them really isn’t going to change much. Lifebloom and Harmony uptimes will be easier to maintain due to their increased durations, but don’t take that as a sign that you should cast less direct spells. With mana constraints you may find the need to cast a few more Nourishes and a few less Rejuvs and Regrowths.
Don’t foget to make a binding for your new Ironbark spell and make the most out of it. You may also want to create a Power Aura to let you know when it’s off cooldown.
Healing Mushrooms will take some getting used to. The healing they do, especially in relation to their setup time is not very good. I would suggest only using them when you can set them up before the pull and during downtimes when little healing is needed. Here are some good times to use Mushrooms on Dragon Soul fights:
Morchok – Place 3 around the place the dps will stand before the pull. On heroic, make sure to put them down on the post-split positions as there really isn’t any damage beforehand. When you run out for Black Blood, you should be able to put more down from range.
Yor’sahj – Place mushrooms before the pull as well as anytime the boss is summoning oozes and the raid isn’t taking any damage. I’m going to assume (haven’t tested yet) that detonating the mushrooms will cause stacks of Deep Corruption, so don’t use them on Purple phases.
Zon’ozz – You should be able to place mushrooms on the spot where the dps/healers stand before the pull, as well as after every dark phase before the Void Ball starts bouncing.
Hagara – Place mushrooms before the pull. If you use the strat where the ranged/healers stack up in the bubble during frost phase, that’s a good time to detonate them.
Ultraxion – In my raid, I find 98% of the Ultraxion fight consists of downtime. I’d probably just ignore mushrooms on this fight, unless you’re still seeing the Timeloop happen. If that’s the case, set them up pre-pull and detonate near the end of the fight when things get tough.
Blackhorn – Between dodging (or chasing) barrages and trying to stay out of deck fire and shockwaves, there’s not a whole lot of times during this fight where mushroom use will be able to be maximized. You could try to get Mushrooms down when an Onslaught it cast and pop them just after it hits.
Spine – Most of the downtime on Spine happens while the Plate is lifted and people are killing the tendons. You should be able to set up some mushrooms around the raid during any plate lift and detonate them as required (preferably when there are lots of healing debuffs out).
Madness – The best place to use mushrooms on most of the platforms will be when the raid is grouped up and killing the Arm/Wing Tentacle and everyone is taking damage from Blistering Heat. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find some downtime to set these up. When you are on the platform where an Elementium Bolt will hit, Mushrooms can also be used just after it hits. In the final phase, I’d get mushrooms set up near the boss before any of the adds spawn and use them when the Corrupting Blood damage starts getting heavy, sub-10%.