Tag Archives: heart of the wild

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.4

Patch 5.4 drops on Tuesday September 10th, and resto Druids have a whole lot of changes to be prepare for and look forward to. I have also updated my Restoration Druid Healing Guide to reflect the 5.4 changes. If you’re looking for a 5.4 gear guide, you won’t find it here – go visit Juvenate for his 5.4 PVE Gear Guide.

Spell changes

  • Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.

A new spell! Finally! This should help fill the gap in our healing toolkit quite well by making Rejuv a little more bursty. Start playing with the timing on this spell immediately, as I think it’s one of the things that will differentiate the great Druid from the ones who are just okay.

  • Living Seed effects can now stack, up to 50% of the casting Druid’s maximum health, and will no longer be consumed if the target is already at full health.

It is an improvement, but the change that really need to happen to make LS a decent heal is that it needs to trigger from magic damage. Until that happens, LS is unlikely to do more than a couple percent of overall healing.

Not sure why they changed the name in the first place.

And there was much rejoicing. We’ll now actually have a choice to make with our T2 talent.

  • Wild Mushroom for Restoration Druids now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing.
    -A single mushroom now heals for as much as what 3 mushrooms combined healed for previously.
    -Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Bloom now have a shared 3-second cooldown.
    -The spell is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.

HUGE quality of life change here. One mushroom to place is superior to three. We can also choose between spawning the mushroom beneath our target, or placing it manually (see new glyphs below). The best part is that the Mushroom can be moved, so you don’t waste your charge if the raid moves.

  • Innervate now restores mana equal to 50% of the Druid’s spirit.

This means you need at least 12000 spirit to get the same effect from Innervate that you did in 5.3. With better gear, this is a buff.

Talents

  • Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned. It now causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.

This will let us be kind of like Disc Atonement healers, but much less powerful. Another change was also made that will impact this talent – Wrath now deals 10% more damage, but has its mana cost increased by 50%, so healing by doing damage may be a little expensive. This talent should excel on fights where the boss/mobs take extra damage.

  • Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids.

With a 6-minute cooldown, this doesn’t strike me as that big of a deal. I think the HotW on use is still best used for adding some damage.

  • New talent: Ysera’s Gift, which replaces Nature’s Swiftness, and heals the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead.

Passive healing. /yawn. If you don’t want to have to worry about another spell and take Cenarion Ward, this is a good option.

  • Nature’s Vigil when activated now increases all damage and healing done by 12% (up from 10%), and causes single-target healing spells to trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.

This has gotten much stronger with the additional heals. I’d say this will be the go-to level 90 talent for most fights.

  • Soul of the Forest now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste (up from 75%) on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Lifebloom’s effect is now baseline.

Awesome, and opens up a glyph slot for:

  • Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.

This is an amazing glyph. The 20% increase the Swiftmend is good, and the ability to have Efflorescence up all the time is great.

  • Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it’s cast on a target other than the Druid.
  • Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom (minor): Allows the Wild Mushroom spell to be placed on the ground instead of underneath a target.

And a few random, cool things:

  • Teleport: Moonglade now returns the Druid to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in the Moonglade area.
  • Glyph of One With Nature: Grants the Druid the ability to teleport to a random natural location.

Patch 5.4 is giving Druid some great buffs and quality of life changes. We should be in a much better place now than we have been all expansion.

Happy healing!

Healing Tips for Heart of Fear (Part 2)

Here some tips on how to heal the last three encounters in Heart of Fear, including the best time to use cooldowns and which talents and symbiosis targets are optimal for each fight

First, a few general tips:

  • Feline Swiftness is the level 15 talent that I recommend for any fight.
  • Nature’s Swiftness is the level 30 talent I recommend for any fight. Remember the cooldown is only 1 minute. It makes your next heal instant, 50% bigger and mana-free, so use it often.
  • The major glyphs I recommend are Glyph of Wild Growth, Glyph of Lifebloom and Glyph of Regrowth.
  • For the good of the raid, using Symb on a tank is probably the best choice in most cases (a Paladin or Warrior would be my last choice since, really, who wants Cleanse or Intimidating Roar on a boss fight?) If you use this on a DK or a Monk, be sure to use IBF or Fortifying Brew during the encounter.
  • Carry lots of Tome of the Clear Mind. Which talents are strongest can change from fight to fight. It you want to maximize your healing potential, you will be changing talents often.

Wind Lord Mel’jarak

This is a two-phase fight. The first phase involves heavy tank damage (my guild single-tanks this so the damage gets very heavy), with intermittent raid damage. Most of your healing will be focused on the tank for this fight, with spot healing on those raiders who get hit by his Whirling Blades. Rain of Blades is the big raid damage ability which hurts everyone over 6 seconds and does more damage each time it is cast. Healing cooldowns are needed for these. For healing assignments I usually assign a single, smaller cooldown (like Revival from a Monk) for the first two Rains, then get into the longer lasting CDs (Hymn, HTT, Tranq), and start doubling up on CDs by the 4th rain. I get some use of Mushrooms on this fight. I set them up in the melee when raid damage is low and Bloom them during Rain of Blades.

In phase 2, the adds should all be dead, so the tank gets easier to heal, but the raid damage from Rain of Blades and Whirling Blade gets higher. You also need to watch out for Wind Bombs. If someone hits one, it can be recoverable, but two going off will kill most of the raid.

Talents

Level 60 – SotF or Incarnation
It’s a toss-up between Incarnation and Soul of the Forest. The output from SotF can be great during Rain of Blades, though the fight can be very mana intensive, especially as you’re learning, so ToL is a great choice too.

Level 90 – Heart of the Wild
My favourite thing to do on this fight is to HoT up the tank before the pull, pre-pot with an Intellect potion, hit HotW and spam Hurricane on the boss and all his adds for the first 40 seconds of the fight. It’s fun to be at the top of the damage meter for a bit and all the free damage spells you’re casting saves you a lot of mana. Just make sure the rest of your healing team is okay with your doing this, and take the time to refresh HoTs between Hurricane casts.

Symbiosis

I use this on a Mage in this fight for Iceblock. Being able to break the Amber Prison yourself is useful.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – Use this during Rain of Blades, coordinate when it’s used with the other healer cooldowns.

Ironbark – During phase 1 when the tank is taking lots of damage external cooldowns will be needed. I set an order for my healers to use their cooldowns when the tank runs out of her own.

Heart of the Wild – Use right at the beginning of the fight so you can help get all the adds down faster.

Incarnation – If you take this over SoTF, it’s best used just before a Rain of Blades.

Amber Shaper Un’sok

Amber Shaper can be a fun fight or a frustrating one depending on how good your raid is at vehicle fights. Phase 1 is very straightforward. There’s moderate tank damage, and a few people in the raid will take damage when they are attacked by Living Ambers. The only complication to this first phase is the Parasitic Growth. This is a DoT that gets applied to one person every 40 seconds or so. It ticks for minimal damage on them, but does more damage the more healing that person takes. Because of this, the ideal class to look out for the person affected by this is a Disc Priest. The rest of the healers must be very careful to not heal this person, as it will do more harm than good. Don’t use Wild Growth unless you know it won’t hit this person, don’t mindlessly spread Rejuvs. Don’t put Efflo down in the melee if it is a melee who is affected.

In phase 2, the boss will start making other raiders into constructs. The best way to contribute positively to this fight is to be great at being a construct. If you get transformed, you need to be on your interrupts. Immediately target the large construct and get in melee range. When you start casing Amber Explosion press 2 (Struggle for Control) to interrupt it. When the Mutated Construct starts casting Amber Explosion press 1 (Amber Strike) to interrupt it. Amber Strike has a 6 second cooldown, so if you use it early, you’re screwed. Once your raid has brought you down to 20% and another person has been transformed into a construct press 4 to break free.

The raid damage in phase 2 gets a little more intense. The boss does a stomp, Living Ambers will be more numberous and both tanks will be taking damage. The Parasitic Growth will still be happening too, so you still need to be careful with your group heals. If anyone transformed into a construct misses an interrupt the whole raid will take a large amount of damage.

Phase 3 starts when the large construct dies. The raid damage gets higher due to all the dead Ambers on the ground, spitting Burning Amber at the raid. People will be transformed into constructs here as well. If you get transformed, you should use button 1 on the boss whenever possible to stack a debuff on him. Interrupt your cast with 2. When your energy gets low, find an amber puddle and use 3 to eat it. You will not be using button 4 here as the raid will be focused on the boss, not breaking people free.

If you are not in a construct, just focus on putting out as much healing as possible. Everyone should be grouped up, allowing Swiftmend to do a lot of healing. The Parasitic Growth still gets cast during phase 3, but the damage going out on the raid is high, so you can’t really afford to not use your AoE heals.

Talents

I’ve done this fight with both SotF and Incarnation; HotW and Nature’s Vigil. I don’t find one talent significantly outperforms the other.

Symbiosis

Use it on a Mage. Iceblock will remove the Parasitic Growth, which makes the lives of the healers easier. Parasite isn’t a huge deal in phase 1, but if you get it in phase 3, being able to remove it will save your life.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – I try to use this twice during the fight. I generally use it once in phase 2 if someone misses an interrupt (someone always misses an interrupt), then again when it’s available in phase 3.

Ironbark – I tend to use this on a Parasite target who is taking lots of damage rather than the tank.

Nature’s Vigil and/or Incarnation – There’s no real high damage phase besides the last phase. I’d use these near the start of phase 2 then when they’re up again in phase 3.

Grand Empress Shek’zeer

Shek’zeer has both heavy tank damage and heavy raid damage.

During phase 1 keep a steady stream of heals on the active tank. Random raid members will take moderate damage from Dread Screech. The damage you need to worry about is Sonic Discharge. When a Dissonance Field reaches zero health, it will explode and do a large amount of damage to the entire raid. There should be 4 explosions in phase 1. I assign at least one healer cooldown for each. The other thing to worry about is the Cry of Terror debuff. The person sho has this should go into a Dissonance Field so they don’t AoE the rest of the raid. However, when they’re in the field, they don’t take any healing. I put a Rejuv on whoever has this so I can Swiftmend them as soon as I see them step out of the field. It’s really important that they come out before the explosion, or they’ll probably die. The ranged should be spread out in phase 1, so I mostly use WG/RG/RJ on ranged and use Swiftmend and occasionally Mushrooms on melee.

During phase 2 a number of adds will come out who need to be picked up by the tanks. The damage on the tanks can be very heavy here, though the raid damage shouldn’t be too bad. I pick a tank to focus on and spot heal the raid when needed.

Phase 3 is where the damage really ramps up. The boss does a ton of damage to the raid and anyone affected by Visions of Demise who does not get out of the group will also damage everyone else. During this phase I keep HoTs on the active tank and use WG and Swiftmend in the group on cooldown. This phase is really mana intensive so I also use Mushrooms a fair bit since they cost so little mana. Also try to dispel when you can, as you don’t want people being feared to the opposite end of the room. Healing cooldowns should be chained as much as possible.

Talents

Level 60 – I usually go with Incarnation to help out with mana a bit, though SotF would be useful as well.

Level 90 – Either talent is fine.

Symbiosis

I generally use this on a Monk or DK for an extra damage mitigation cooldown that I use for Dissonance and in phase 3.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – Use just before one of the Sonic Discharges in phase 1. Use when available in phase 3.

Ironbark – I find the tanks need this most during phase two when they’re tanking all the adds. Use again in phase 3.

Happy healing!

Healing Tips for Mogu’shan Vaults (Part 2)

Here some tips on how to heal the last 3 encounters in MSV, including the best time to use cooldowns and which talents, glyphs and symbiosis targets are optimal for each fight. Tips for healing the first 3 bosses, along with some general advice can be found in my last post.

Spirit Kings

The Spirit Kings fight is mainly about your raid avoiding damage. The damage on this fight is low – if people are getting caught my the bosses abilities they will likely die immediately, they can’t be healed through things like Annihilate, Flanking Orders or the most damaging Volley. This fight also only requires one tank.

While Qiang the Merciless is active, healing requirements are low. The whole raid will take a bit of damage from Massive Attacks, but it doesn’t happen that often and doesn’t hit that hard. The other damaging attacks during this phase (Annihilate and Flanking Orders) will kill anyone caught in them immediately.

When Subetai the Swift is active, you’ll be doing more spot healing. People caught in the first round or two of Volley will need some quick heals (though if they get caught in the 3rd round they’ll die) and those hit with Pinning Arrow will also need some heals until they are freed.

When Zian of the Endless Shadow is up, damage is low of people are properly spread out. If not, some group healing will be needed.

The healing requirements go up slightly when Meng the Demented is active – Maddening Shout can bring your whole raid fairly low on health and dps seem to like to hurt themselves with Cowardice. 

Talents

Level 60 – SotF or Incarnation

I think both of these talents have their strengths on this fight. Soul of the Forest is nice while Qiang or Meng is up to heal people up more quickly with WG. However this is  a movement heavy fight, so the utility of Incarnation is good too.

Level 90 – Heart of the Wild

The healing requirements on this fight are fairly low but the dps requirements are higher. This is also a long fight, so I love HotW for this. You can use this twice during the fight and put out some respectable damage on the boss.

Symbiosis

There are a few decent choices for this. You could use it on a Shaman so you can cast Spiritwalker’s Grace before you use Tranquility. If you have people who like to stand in Flanking Orders or Volleys, you could use it on a Priest for Leap of Faith. If you have a habit of standing in the bad you could use it on a Mage for Ice Block (or just stop standing in bad).

Cooldowns

Tranquility -This is a long fight so you should be able to use Tranq 3 times. I will generally use it near the start of the fight, after Massive Attacks. When Meng is up it is great after a Maddening Shout, when your raid is low on health.If Ziang or Subetai are up, the damage will really depend on how good your raid is avoiding it, so just use it when a number of people get low.

Heart of the Wild – I like to use this at the beginning of the fight while Qiang is up, then do kitty dps. Use it again when it comes off cooldown, though if Meng is up, you may want to wait.

Ironbark – There’s not really anything in this fight that makes the tank take more damage, so there’s no real best time to use this. I try to use it on the tank when people are going to be moving (Flanking Orders are about to come through the raid, Pillage is about to happen, etc.)

Elegon

Elegon is a really fun, and often challenging fight to heal. First, a tip for any healer or ranged – if you stand just on the outer lip of the Energy Vortex you just have to jump to clear your Overcharged stack. Once you get the positioning down, you can clear your stacks often without any downtime.

Phase 1 has spiky damage on random players throughout (from Arcing Energy), large amounts of damage that hit the whole raid (from Stability Flux and Total Annihilation) and the tank damage can also get dicey as the tanks’ Overcharged stacks build up. There is also a magic effect applied to players that reduces healing taken that should be dispelled. I try to be conservative with my mana during the times when Protectors are not out and doing a ton of raid damage. When the Protectors reach 25% health, then you’re going to want to start casting a lot of raid heals – get Swiftmend down under the ranged or melee group, cast WG on cooldown, spot heal with Rejuvs and Regrowths. You want to make sure that people are at safe levels of health before Total Annihilation goes off. Mushrooms can be set up pre-pull along with during downtimes and Bloomed when the Protectors die.

In phase 2, the raid damage is very predicatable. When Energy Charges die, they blow up and damage the whole raid. This is the only damage going out during this phase. Just make sure people get topped up after each Charge explosion so they can handle the next one. There isn’t a whole lot of healing needed here, so I generally try to throw out a few Moonfires and Wraths in order to help get the later round of Energy Charges down.

The beginning of phase 3 has no raid damage. When the Pillars appear I will switch into cat form and help dps one of the pillars (I use cat instead of casting spells so I don’t spend any mana). The raid will not start taking damage until a pillar is killed. Once that happens, you’ll need to start healing the people on your side, and will need to heal the tank who is picking up Sparks.

The last phase of the fight is basically a dps race, with the entire raid taking increasing amounts of damage. This is when you need to do as much raid healing as possible and chained cooldowns come in handy.

Talents

Level 60 – Soul of the Forest

Initially I used Incarnation for this fight, but I now find that the damage patterns suit Soul of the Forest really well. Whenever a Protector is dying, you’ll want to follow up a Swiftmend with a WG to get people healed up as quickly as possible. If the Protector is not out when your SM is off cooldown, follow it up with a Rejuv or a Lifebloom application on the tank to maximize the healing there. In Phase 2, try to time a SM > WG for after the round of Energy Charges die.

Level 90 – Nature’s Vigil

While the damage from Heart of the Wild can be extremely handy during phase 2, the timing of the fight means that you’ll likely only get to use this once. So I prefer Nature’s Vigil. There are many times when the extra healing is useful and you can likely use this 3 times during the fight.

Symbiosis

I like to use Symbiosis on a Monk or DK for this fight so I have more damage mitigation abilities.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – You should be able to use this 3 times during the fight. You can use it while a Protector is dying during phase 1 (both before 85% and for the next phase 1), and then again during the last phase.

Nature’s Vigil – Like Tranq, you should be able to use this 3 times during the fight. You can follow the same strategy for this spell as for Tranq.

Ironbark – Use this on a tank when they are tanking the boss and their Overcharged stacks are getting high.

Will of the Emperor

This is a long fight. For the most part, the raid doesn’t take too much damage, but the tanks take a major beating so most of the healing should be focused on them. Keep a full stack of Lifebloom and a Rejuv on your tank along with a steady stream of direct heals. Unless the raid’s doing something really wrong, I find I don’t have to do a lot of raid healing aside from tossing out WGs once in a while. I also try to keep a Rejuv up on the other tank and the people on the Strengths. The only exception to this is when Titan Gas is happening. Then the raid will need a lot of healing and the tanks will be taking extra damage as well.

Talents

One thing I really like about being a Druid on this fight is that I feel our talents  let us help out a lot with controlling the Rages.

Level 45 – Typhoon

Typhoon is very handy for knocking back Rages when they get too close to the ranged group. I used this ability 30 times over the course of the fight on my first kill.

Level 60 – Incarnation

Since this fight is so long, I find the utility and mana benefits that come from Incarnation outweigh the benefits of the other talents. Use ToL often (you should be able to get in 4 uses if you use it early).

Level 75 – Ursol’s Vortex

This is also very handy for dealing with Rages. You should be able to use this spell every second time they spawn. Place it between the Rages and the ranged group.

Level 90 – Nature’s Vigil

The extra healing output from this is very helpful for tank healing, and you should be able to use it 4 times over the course of the fight.

Symbiosis

On this fight I’ll generally go with a Monk so I can use Fortifying Brew during the Titan Gas.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – This is best used during Titan Gas. You’ll only be able to use it on every 2nd one.

Incarnation – Not much goes on at the start of the fight, so use this the first time when the bosses come out. Get LB stacks rolling on both tanks and get as many free Regrowths as possible. The 15% increased healing helps too. Use ToL whenever it’s available after that.

Nature’s Vigil – I recommend using this right after Incarnation each time.

Ironbark – The tanks take a beating, so make sure you’re using this as much as possible. I like to put Ironbark on my tank before I start channeling Tranquility during Titan Gas. Outside of that, just time it so you can use it often. The only bad time to use it is when the boss is doing Devastating Combo, as the tank should not be taking damage then.

Happy healing!