A First Look at Resto Raid Healing

Apotheosis officially started raiding last week. We finished the week with 4/6 bosses killed in Mogu-Shan vaults so I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how resto Druids (or more specifically, this resto Druid) are doing in raids.

After the ease of healing all the heroic dungeons, the normal mode raids were a step up in difficulty. Mana was definitely a concern at times. When I fought my first raid boss, when Mogu’Shan Vaults opened I had about 4500 spirit. This was not enough. I’m now sitting around 6000 spirit, which feels much better.

The Stone Guard

Stone Guard on Tuesday was probably my best performance of the week, healing meter-wise.

I assigned myself to heal our Monk tank, who was tanking 1 add. Here’s what my healing breakdown looked like:

49% of my healing went to my assigned tank, 14% went to another tank and the rest of the raid split the rest of my healing.

Lifebloom did some really strong healing, mostly because I was the only healer assigned to my tank, I think, so it had the chance to heal (rather than overheal) a lot. Rejuv also did a lot of healing as it was constantly rolling on my tank and was used to spot heal the raid. Regrowth was my main direct heal. Because I used Regrowth so much, and was focused on tank healing, Living Seed had a good showing (comparatively), doing 4.3% of my healing.

Overall, there’s nothing too surprising here. The HoT portion of Swiftmend did very little healing as the raid is spread out for most of this fight. I also tended to use SM on my tank so he would benefit from it rather than try to place it so it would heal more people. Wild Mushrooms, as expected, are complete shit. I used them once on this fight and this week I will avoid them altogether. I used Healing Touch 7 times – 4 of those were in combination with Nature’s Swiftness, while the rest were out of habit. This week I will work on not hard casting HT at all, as it is inferior to Regrowth.

Sadly, I had an Amethyst Pool spawn under me just as I started channelling my first Tranquility, so that got interrupted after only one pulse.

Here’s what my buffs cast tab looks like:

As expected, it’s really easy to keep Harmony up 100% of the time. Boo. I’m happy that for the most part, I was good about using my new abilities. The fight lasted 5:46 and I used Ironbark on my tank twice. I used Symbiosis on a Monk and I remembered to use Fortifying Brew twice as well. I could up my Nature’s Swiftness uses a little bit. The one big omission I see here is a lack of tier 6 talent use. This tells me that I probably forgot to switch HotW (which I use in dungeons) for Nature’s Vigil before this fight started. Oops.

Besides a few small things regarding spell use that I can improve on this week, I was happy with my healing on Stone Guard. I felt very strong as a tank healer, much better equipped to handle it than I was in Cata.

Feng the Accursed

Feng is the boss that gave my raid the most trouble. It’s also the fight that hurt my mana pool the most. We ended up using 7 healers for this to compensate for all the damage going out in phase 3.

Those darn Monks. Our entire raid was stacked on top of each other for at least half of this fight, so Spinning Crane Kick and Chi Burst kinda destroyed everyone else in terms of healing. Still, I don’t think I did too bad.

I was raid healing on this fight, so my healing breakdown is a little different, a lot less of my healing comes from direct heals. The Swiftmend HoT is performing much better on this fight since we’re stacked up so often. I did use Mushrooms a couple times on this fight, but only because there are parts of phase 1 and 2 where there’s nothing to heal, so I wasn’t losing anything by setting them up. Still though, they hit for an average of 3500 (before overheal), that’s not even a drop in the bucket.

The only reason Harmony isn’t at 100% here is because I died near the end of the fight. Tree of Life and Nature’s Vigil were really useful on this fight, as there are so many times when the raid damage is incredible. I made sure to use them once in phase 1 and then again to help handle phase 3. Nature’s Vigil also did 750,000 damage to the boss, not a huge amount, but every bit helps. My NS and Fortifying Brew use could have been better and I didn’t use Ironbark at all, which is awful. And goddamn it, I need to stop interrupting my Tranquility cast.

This was a tough fight. I had to make sure I was conserving as much mana as possible in phase 2 in order to be able to handle phase 3. Having two big output increasing cooldowns (and Tranq) for phase 3 is really useful.

Gara’jal

Gara’jal was by far the easiest fight for me to heal. I was assigned to one of the groups that goes down into the spirit realm. The spirit realm was simple to deal with. The first time I went down I used Tranquility to heal everyone up. The 2nd time I just tossed out WG and a few Rejuvs then spammed Regrowth.. Tranq was back up for the 3rd. Because of the mana regen buff you get in the spirit realm, mana wasn’t a concern and I could spam my little heart out.

Because of phasing, the overall healing meters are worthless on this fight, but here’s how my healing breakdown looked.

Pretty standard for raid healing.

I felt really good on this fight. Tranquility was excellent for the spirit world. Ironbark (which I used 3 times on this) was very nice to put on a tank who had Voodoo Doll to prevent some incoming raid damage, and I thought that my HoTs dealt with Voodoo Doll on the raid quite nicely.

Spirit Kings

This was another fight that was relatively easy to heal, mostly because my raid did an amazing job at avoiding everything that could be avoided.

Those Monks… This is another fight where the raid is stacked up for 50% of the encounter. The combination of it being a single-tank fight, plus our raid avoiding all the damage meant there wasn’t a whole lot to heal.

The fact that Tranquility is was my highest healing spell is absurd. That, along with the HUGE amount of overheal on Rejuv and Lifebloom tell me 6 healers is too many.

There’s something a little odd about these numbers – pretty sure Living Seed didn’t have 100% uptime. Spirit Kings is a long fight with a 10 minute enrage, so you can use your cooldowns at least 3 times each. Nature’s Vigil did 850k damage to the boss. Hoever, now that I’ve seen how little healing is needed when things are done correctly, I’ll probably try using Heart of the Wild next time to see if I can help even more with dps.

Overall

Overall, I thought druid healing was fun and effective my first week in Mogu’shan Vaults. My new cooldowns were fun to play with and interesting to find the best timing for. Though it was a little disconcerting to see myself anywhere but on top of the healing meters more often than not, I never felt like I wasn’t equipped to handle the incoming damage. There are a few spots where I can improve my spell use and hopefully increase my healing.

Goal for this week: beat those Monks!

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9 Responses to A First Look at Resto Raid Healing

  1. I am wondering what your spirit is resting at? Also I have noticed that Tranq is in my top 3 spells a lot as well which I could not figure out. With 6 healers I’m averaging each week about 50% or more of my healing going to over heal :-(

    With the raid being topped of most* of the time I am finding two issues in my healing:

    1) My wild growth is not being maximized because it’s rarely finding more than 3 people to hit so I’m losing 50% of its efficiency off the top.

    2) With spike heavy damage combined with mostly subtle raid wide damage I’m finding rejuv to be especially frustrating to use because only about 20% of it is going to healing and the rest is ticking off as overheals. Do you think that using nourish is preferential at this point in raiding?

    The other thing is that with only about 20% of my rejuvs going to healing I’m finding myself not even casting it as it’s a mana hog and mana is at a premium. Any thoughts?

    • My spirit is around 6200. The only time Tranq has been in my top spells is that one time on Spirit Kings I’m pretty sure, which was just because we had too many healers.

      If you’re finding that WG isn’t hitting the max amount of targets, I’d wait a few seconds until more people can benefit from it before casting it.

      I do not think Nourish is preferential to Rejuv at all. It’s slow and it doesn’t heal for much. Plus, it’s no longer mana neutral. I actually figured out that a lot of my mana problems in the first week of raids had to do with casting Nourish too much. I now rarely cast it at all. It’s odd that only 20% of your Rejuvs are healing anything. That’s a ton of overheal. My overheal is high, but generally not more than 60%. Areyou using it proacticely or reactively? I’d try being more proactive with Rejuv and casting it on a few targtes when you know damage is coming and being more reactive with WG so it hits the maximum targets.

  2. Hi Jasyla,

    I’m in a guild that has black listed resto druids from raid healing, based upon info similar to the info contained within this post from Falling Leaves and Wings:
    http://fallingleavesandwings.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/same-problems-different-day-evaluating-the-resto-druid-toolkit-by-the-numbers/#more-2779

    For one, I don’t have a slot in the guild raid. But in pugs I’ve been able to average btw 40 – 60k hps. I don’t feel like I’m having a problem, personally.

    I guess what I’m trying to ask is, WTH is up with resto in raid healing atm? Is there any truth to the claim that we are not viable in pve healing atm?

    Thank you very much for reading my post!

    • I think we’re completely viable for raid healing. I think there are problems – like Monks shouldn’t be able to beat us (and every other class) on every single fight, and our new spell (Mushrooms) is useless – but I think black listing resto druids from raiding is silly and short-sighted. My raid generally has 2 resto druids in it, and we do fine. I had to adapt my playstyle to the new mana restrictions and I have to work to optimize my talents and my cooldowns on every fight, but I don’t feel like I’m unable to keep up with raid damage or that some other healer could do my job better than I can.

  3. I love your blog. What are your top 3 heals when it comes to Aoe healing? Keep up the great work.

    K.D.

    • Thanks :)

      We really only have 4 spells that do AoE healing – Wild Growth, Swiftmend, Tranq and Mushrooms. Wild Growth is generally on top. Swiftmend has a good showing if the raid is grouped up and Tranq does a lot too. Mushrooms do very little of my healing.

  4. After getting my Feral spec. ready for potential raiding when we start after the new year, I thought I’d take a run at Resto. as my 2nd spec. I just finished part 1 of MV today and was at the bottom of the list (best HPS was on Gara’jal) a mere 22K. Understanding this was my first time out, I really need some help understanding the HPS process. I spent a good bit of time at 20% mana about 2/4 of the way through the fights and acknowledge that I may be panic spamming expensive heals to keep up. I want to get good at this, but am lacking in any real understanding of the healing classes.

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/galakrond/Bangstick/advanced

    Thanks in advance,

  5. Jasyla,

    Thanks, I will try out your suggestions. I’ve also been loading my logs to WoLogs for review after the fact. It seems that I still have to work on keep LB up close to 100% and Harmony as well. I am also doing less “panic” healing. Your guides have been a huge help.

    Thanks again and Happy Holidays