Tag Archives: healing touch

Button Bloat – Resto Druids

Everybody’s talking about button bloat. Lissanna’s doing it. Vidyala’s doing it. Celestalon was the one who started it.

So I’m going to talk about it too. First, to answer the question – there’s no ability I love that I fear will be cut. I am fearless in that regard. Would I want something like Rejuvenation to go away? Obviously not, but I’m also quite positive it’s not on the chopping block.

Second, I think removing some abilities is an excellent idea. How many abilities is too many? More than I can comfortably bind. On my Druid I use VuhDo bindings and bind all my common heals to a combination of SHIFT, CTRL, ALT (or no modifier) plus one of 4 buttons on my mouse. That gives me 16 possible bindings. Actually, 15, since unmodified left click is used to target.

Currently, my breakdown of resto Druid spells in PVE looks like this:

  • Spells I want the fastest access to that need to be bound: Healing Touch, Lifebloom, Nature’s Cure, Nature’s Swiftness, Regrowth, Rejuvenation, Swiftmend, Wild Growth, Wild Mushroom, WM: Bloom, Innervate, Ironbark, Barkskin (13 spells)
  • Spells which I feel  should be bound, but in reality almost never get used: Nourish, Genesis (2 spells)
  • Spells which are used regularly but have a long enough cooldown that I don’t mind not having them bound: Rebirth, Tranquility, Incarnation, Nature’s Vigil/HotW, whatever I get from Symbiosis (5 spells)
  • Utility spells that I use frequently: Dash, Displacer Beast, Stampeding Roar (3 spells)
  • Situational utility spells: Typhoon, Soothe, Ursol’s Vortex, Cat form, Bear form, Might of Ursoc, Growl (7 spells, give or take)
  • DPS spells that I like to use when I’m bored or the boss is at 1% and is berserking: Moonfire, Wrath (2 spells)

Adding those up, I have a total of 32 abilities which I will want access to at some point or another in raids. If I take away the highly situational spells that I don’t use on most encounters, I’m still left with 23. 

I think 23 abilities is too many to use on a regular basis. So what can we cut? Looking at my breakdown of spells, two things stick out. Nourish and Genesis.

Nourish is a spell I haven’t had bound since about a week into Mists. With all the other healing spells available to us, it just doesn’t pack enough of a punch. It’s cheap mana-wise, but it’s also slow and barely puts a dent in health bars. It seems like an obvious choice for removal.

Genesis is a spell I was excited about when it was first announced, thinking that it would give Druid healing some much-needed extra burst. However, it didn’t really work out that way. Rejuvenation just has too short a duration to make Genesis really work. At most you’re going to have 5 up that you can speed up, and the first couple applied will barely benefit from the Genesis cast. Plus, using Genesis mean you lose all your applied Rejuvs very quickly when most of the time it’s more beneficial to leave them up, ticking slowly. The only real use people have gotten out of Genesis is quickly charging Wild Mushrooms, but I don’t think giving us a faster way to overheal was what the devs had in mind when they made this spell. Cut it.

These two were obvious ones, but now it gets a little murkier. Healing Touch or Regrowth could also be candidates for removal, depending on how/if the healing model changes in Warlords. If we continue down the road of AoE/smartheal/cooldown all the things, we really don’t need 2 cast-time direct heals in our kit. I think that Healing Touch could be removed without too much impact. For most of this expansion I only used it in combination with Nature’s Swiftness (or if there was not enough to heal and I could just chain cast it on a tank to refresh LB/Harmony/give me something to do). The 4T16 bonus means people are using it more now, but unless this effect gets baked in as a passive ability, this will change in Tier 17. I find that Regrowth and Healing Touch are in the same niche, but Regrowth fills it better. If the healing model gets changed so that single target heals are something we actually want to be casting, I think there is room for both of these spells. However, I think they would need to be changed a little to differentiate them. I’d like to see the HoT portion of Regrowth be more substantial, as it once was. Alternatively, Healing Touch could be cheaper and bigger to compensate for the slow cast time.

The last spell that I think could be removed is Innervate. Of course it’s nice to have a mana return, but I think it would be just as easy to balance healers around not having an ability like this instead. Druids’ mana return is a little more interesting than something like Divine Plea or Mana Tea in that we can choose to cast it on someone else but, really, how often does that happen? Generally Innervate just amounts to another 3-minute cooldown to watch and use as soon as it’s available. It’s not really adding anything.

I’m trying to find more candidates for removal, but everything else has a real purpose, even if it doesn’t get used on every fight. I really like having so many utility spells and I can’t think of one I’d want to remove to reduce button bloat.

What do you think? Are there any abilities you wouldn’t miss if they were removed?

Speaking of Resto Druids (since I don’t speak about them all that much any more), if you’re an avid tree lover, you should check out Team Waffle’s most recent Resto Roundtable and Final Boss’s podcast on Restos for some great discussion. I’m kind of sad that not maining a Druid means I don’t get invited to these things anymore 🙁 But they’re both great things to listen to.

Resto Druid Guide: Spells

Druids have a heal for every occasion. Here’s a look at everything healing-related in our spellbook.

Restoration

Lifebloom Lifebloom

Cost: 7% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Master Shapeshifter, Revitalize, Malfurion’s Gift, Gift of the Earthmother, Tree of Life, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Lifebloom has become one of our most important spells again though it can only be stacked on one player (when Tree of Life isn’t active). It stacks up to three times and if it expires, it will bloom and heal the person it was applied to for a large amount. Only let Lifebloom expire if the person it’s on desperately needs a big heal and be sure to stack it up again immediately after. It’s important to ALWAYS keep Lifebloom rolling as it returns mana to ourselves and the rest of our group. Lifebloom ticks every second (faster with haste) so it provides a nice, steady stream of heals.

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

Cost: 26% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Blessing of the Grove, Master Shapeshifter, Improved Rejuvenation, Revitalize, Gift of the Earthmother, Swift Rejuvenation, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Rejuvenation is a strong single-target heal over time. Though we shouldn’t be spamming it like we did in Wrath, it can still get a lot of use. Keep one rolling on the tank, use it as a precursor to Swiftmend on melee and use it to counter damage over time effects.

Regrowth Regrowth

Cost: 35% of base mana
Cast time: 2 seconds
Talents that improve it: Living Seed, Nature’s Bounty, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Tree of Life, Nature’s Grace, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Regrowth is fast but very expensive. It heals for a good amount and leaves a 6 second HoT on the target. Because of the prohibitive cost of Regrowth you should use it when you have a Clearcasting proc or in emergencies only.

Swiftmend Swiftmend

Cost: 10% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Master Shapeshifter, Improved Rejuvenation, Living Seed, Nature’s Bounty, Efflorescence, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Swiftmend is a large instant heal with a 15 second cooldown that requires either Rejuvenation or Regrowth on your target in order to be used. If you are specced into Efflorescence, make sure you are using Swiftmend on targets that are grouped up.

Nourish Nourish

Cost: 10% of base mana
Cast time: 3 seconds
Talents that improve it: Naturalist, Master Shapeshifter, Living Seed, Nature’s Bounty, Empowered Touch, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow
Use: Nourish is a cheap, slow, small heal and is the only spell we are currently capable of spamming without running out of mana. Nourish heals for 20% more if the target already has a HoT on them. Use Nourish to refresh your Lifebloom stacks on the tank if they are not at full health. It is also used a lot for single-target raid healing.

Healing TouchHealing Touch

Cost: 30% of base mana
Cast time: 3 seconds
Talents that improve it: Naturalist, Master Shapeshifter, Living Seed, Empowered TouchNature’s Majesty, Moonglow
Use: Healing Touch is a large heal with a long cast time and expensive mana cost. It should be used sparingly. It’s best used to refresh your Lifebloom stack on a tank (or other player) who is getting dangerously low on health.

Wild Growth Wild Growth (talent)

Cost: 27% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Master Shapeshifter, Tree of Life, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Wild Growth is a talent in the resto tree. It is a smart group heal that heals multiple targets over 7 seconds. Use Wild Growth when many people are taking damage.

Tranquility Tranquility

Cost: 32% of base mana
Cast time: 8 seconds, chanelled
Talents that improve it: Master Shapeshifter, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Tranquility is a huge, channeled, smart group heal that heals the 5 people with the lowest health and leaves a small HoT on them. With an 8 minute cooldown, Tranquility can and should be used once per fight when multiple people are low on health. It provides a LOT of healing for a relative small mana cost.

Nature's Swiftness Nature’s Swiftness (talent)

Cost: 0
Cast time: Instant
Use: This is an optional talent in the resto tree. It is best used in combination with Healing Touch if someone needs a large heal quickly.

Tree of Life Tree of Life (talent)

Cost: 6% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Use: Tree of Life is a talent in the resto tree. It is on a 3 minute cooldown and it increases your healing, armor and modifies some of your other spells. When 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 and does more damage

Tree of Life should be used often, if for nothing else than the 15% healing increase. If you save ToL as an ‘oh shit’ button, you’re missing out on a lot of extra healing output. That said, if you know there is a particularly tough to heal phase on a fight, you can time its use around that.

Remove Corruption Remove Corruption

Cost: 17% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Nature’s Cure
Use: Remove Corruption gets rid of 1 poison, 1 curse and (if specced into Nature’s Cure, which you should be) 1 magic effect all with one button. This spell is not cheap and it will be cast even if your target is not affected by one of these debuffs. Use it judiciously.

Omen of Clarity Omen of Clarity

This is a passive effect. Your spells have a chance to put you into a Clearcasting state, reducing the cost of your next spell with a cast-time by 100%. The talent Malfurion’s Gift increases your chances of this happening. The tooltip on this is misleading. Clearcasting only effects Regrowth, Healing Touch and Swiftmend. Nourish is not effected by it.
Use: Whenever you get a Clearcasting proc, make the most of it. Use Healing Touch if someone needs a large amount of healing or Regrowth they need a smaller amount. Only use the proc for Swiftmend if you will get a decent Efflorescence placement from it.

Mark of the Wild Mark of the Wild

Cost: 24% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Use: This is the buff we offer to raid groups. It provides the same buff as Blessing of Kings, so work out who will use it if you’re in a group with paladins.

Rebirth Rebirth

Cost: 0
Cast time: 2 seconds
Use: Rebirth is our in-combat resurrection spell. Use it wisely as it has a 10 minute cooldown.

Revive Revive

Cost: 72% of base mana
Cast time: 10 seconds
Use: This is our out of combat resurrection.

Balance

There are also a few spells in the Balance spellbook that we should be using regularly.

Barkskin Barkskin

Cost: 0
Cast time: Instant
Use: Barkskin reduces our damage taken by 20% and prevents spellcasting delays. With zero mana cost and a 1 minute cooldown, you should be using Barkskin a lot.  Use it whenever you are taking damage. You should also use Barkskin before channeling Tranquility to ensure you don’t miss any ticks.

Innervate Innervate

Cost: 0
Cast time: Instant
Use: Innervate restores 20% of your maximum mana over 10 seconds. If you raid with another resto druid, use Glyph of Innervate and trade innervates. Use this early and often.

Thorns Thorns

Cost: 36% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Use: Thorns is a good way to help your tank build aggro, especially on multiple targets. Note the cost on Thorns though, only use when necessary.

My full resto druid guide can be found here.