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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!

Healing Tips for Mogu’shan Vaults (Part 1)

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a chance to defeat the normal Mogu’shan bosses in a 25-man setting. I have some tips on how to heal each encounter, including the best time to use cooldowns and which talents, glyphs and symbiosis targets are optimal for each fight.

First, a few general tips:

  • Nourish isn’t really worth casting anymore. In Cata I used to spam Nourish on tanks when there wasn’t any healing to be done. It is no longer mana neutral, so this is a habit I had to break. After talking about it with another resto in my raid, I’ve unbound Nourish from my click-bindings.
  • Mushrooms are also generally not worth casting. The only times where I’d consider setting them up pre-pull, when there is no damage going out or it you are completely oom.
  • 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.
  • Unless I state otherwise for a particular fight, the major glyphs I recommend are Wild Growth, Lifebloom and Regrowth.
  • In 5.1 we’re going back to providing useful cooldowns when we use Symbiosis on tanks. So, for the good of the raid, using Symb on a tank is probably the best choice (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.

The Stone Guard

On this fight, the damage is concentrated on the tanks. Raid damage, if things happen as they’re supposed to, is relatively low. I’ve been assigning myself to tank healing on this fight and it’s been going very well for me. I keep LB and Rejuv rolling on my tank, along with a fairly steady stream of direct heals. When the tank is safe I’m usually using Rejuv on the other tanks (if they’re in range), or people who have been hit by Jasper Chains or Amethyst Pools. I also use WG when I see that multiple people not at full health. Since people are usually quite spread out on this fight, I prioritize using Swiftmend on either melee or my tank.

Talents

Level 60 – Incarnation
If things don’t go smoothly, this fight can be a bit of a mana squeeze, so I think Incarnation is the best talent for this fight. Use it early and often. It will let you get up stacks of LB on multiple tanks and the raid if it’s needed, and give you a lots of free, instant RG casts to use.

Level 90 – Nature’s Vigil
Another cooldown to use early and often. The extra 20% healing is nice on both tanks and the raid. The damage component likely won’t do much, but even half a million damage will help out a little.

Symbiosis

If the tanks are covered, I’d recommend using Symbiosis on a Shaman. It seems every time I start casting Tranquility on this fight an Amethyst Pool lands on me or Jasper Chains go out and I have to move. Pre-empting your Tranq with Spiritwalker’s Grace can save you some frustration and wasted cooldowns.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – If the Overloads are properly handled, there’s not  a whole lot of raid-wide damage in this fight. I will generally save my Tranq to use if a bad Overload happens, or I will use it when a combination of Mines, Chains and Pools have started taking a toll on the raid.

Nature’s Vigil – You should be able to use this twice on this fight (of course it will depend on how long it takes to kill them). Since there’s really not a period of higher raid damage, I just pop this ~1min into the fight and then when it’s up again.

Incarnation – Same as NV. You can use them back-to-back so you have 1 minute of increased healing for every 3 minutes of the fight.

Ironbark – Don’t forget to use this on a tank multiple times throughout the fight. If you are assigned to a particular tank a good time for Ironbark is right before you start chanelling Tranquility – the damage mitigation will help compensate for the lack of direct heals from you.

Feng the Accursed

Unlike Stone Guard, Feng does a ton of damage to the raid, wheras the tank damage isn’t too bad (and only one tank is taking damage at a time, rather than 3). There are periods during phase 2 and 3 where raid damage is intense and you may feel like your mana bar has forsaken you. My guild struggled with this fight for a while and the best advice I can give is that if you’re getting to phase 3 and all your healers are running out of juice, go up to 7 healers. It will make a big difference.

In phase 1, the damage isn’t too bad. I keep LB and RJ rolling on the active tank, along with a few direct heals when needed. My raid has everyone stack up in melee range so we take as little Epicentre damage as possible. Every second Epicentre should be interrupted so the raid takes no damage. Nullification Barrier should be put down in melee for the others. The raid will still take a couple ticks when this happens, but it should be easy enough to deal with. Make sure your SM and WG are up so you can pop those on the raid as soon as the damage happens. You could also use Mushrooms during this.

In phase 2, the raid damage gets higher. My raid uses Nullificaiton Barrier on the 1st and 3rd Draw Flame, so we only have to worry about the Wildfire Infusion damage on the 2nd. When the raid damage starts happening, this is a good time for cooldowns. I generally call for 3 during this time – a couple mitigation cooldowns like DA and one output cooldown like Tranq. I try to skimp on the CDs during this phase so we have a lot available for phase 3. Go into heavy raid healing mode while the Wildfire Infusion is happening – SM and WG on cooldown, RJ and RG to spot heal. There’s not much happening at the beginning of this phase so I will often set up Mushrooms then and pop them during Wildfire Infusion.

Phase 3 is where the raid damage gets hectic. Again, using SM and WG on cooldown is a good idea. Those who are afflicted with Arcane Resonance while Arcane Velocity is happening will need the most healing.

Talents

Level 60 – Soul of the Forest
Initially I was using Incarnation on this fight to help out with mana, but when I tried out SotF, I found the extra healing too powerful to ignore. Since this is a fight where the raid damage is predictable and spread fairly evenly over everyone in the raid, SotF provides a lot of extra healing. I make sure that I can follow up a SM with a WG whenever the raid takes damage from Epicenter, Wildfire Infusion or Arcane Velocity.

Level 90 – Nature’s Vigil
The 20% extra output is nice for phase 3.

Symbiosis

Since the raid damage is so high on this, I like using Symbiosis on a Monk for Fortifying Brew so I reduce my damage taken as much as possible. A DK is also a good choice.

Cooldowns

Unfortunately, the damage patterns in this fight don’t play nicely with 3 minute cooldowns, so we need to compromise.

Tranquility – The most important place where I use this is in phase 3 while Arcance Velocity is happening. In phase 1 it isn’t really needed, but I’ll also use it during an Epicentre where a Nullification Barrier is used and the raid takes a few ticks. May as well make the most of it.

Nature’s Vigil – I use the same strat for this as for Tranq. One use early in phase 1, and another when raid damage gets heavy in phase 3.

Ironbark – You should be able to get at least 3 uses out of this, one in each phase. Use on a tank when they are affected by multiple stacks of Lightning Last, Flaming Spear or Arcane Shock.

Gara’jal the Spiritbinder

First, I have to admit that this fight has always been very easy for my raid. Apparently, healing people gives stacks of Spiritual Innervation, which stacks and increases the damage they do to the boss. I (or the other healers, as far as I know) have not gone out of their way to build stack on people in the Spirit World, we just heal them to full then leave.

While you are topside, most of the damage is on the tanks and the other people who are afflicted with voodoo doll. It’s really not at all challenging to heal for most of the fight.

If you go down into the Spirit World, you want to get your group topped up quickly. I will generally use Tranquility the first time I go. After that, spamming Regrowth is the best way to go. You get a huge buff to your mana regen while you’re down there, so don’t worry about being inefficient. Once everyone is healed to full, you can return to the fight.

Talents

Level 60 – SotF or Incarnation
If you’re assigned to go into the Spirit World, I’d take Soul of the Forest. If you’re going to be hanging out upstairs for the majority of the fight I’d probably go with Incarnation, as you won’t be getting the huge mana regen buff.

Level 90 – Nature’s Vigil or Heart of the Wild
This choice depends on how well your raid group is doing dps-wise. Generally, NV is a safe choice, but if you are getting to the end of the fight and your raid is dying before the boss, HotW could help more.

Symbiosis

I’d go with a Monk or DK for the damage mitigation spell. Use it when you are affected by Voodoo Doll.

Cooldowns

Incarnation/Nature’s Vigil – You should be able to use these twice during the fight. I’d use them once around the 2 minute mark, and then have them up again for when the boss Frenzies at 20% health.

Heart of the Wild – If you go with this talent I’d use it at the beginning of the fight when there isn’t much damage going out and all the healers are upstairs. Go kitty and tear things up. Just be sure to let the other healers know you’ll be doing this.

Tranquility – You should be able to use this twice during the fight. If you’re going to the Spirit World, use it the first time you go in. Then use it again after the boss Frenzies at 20%.

Ironbark – When a tank is afflicted by Voodoo Doll, the damage done to them is also done to other members of the raid with Voodoo Doll. Use Ironbark to help relieve this damage. Communicate with your tanks so you can cover when they are running low on their own cooldowns.

If anyone has questions I’d be happy to answer them. I’ve also got tips posted for the last 3 bosses.

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!

Resto Druid Abilities – Mists of Pandaria

I just got a beta invite. Here are my first thoughts on how the resto druid healing toolkit is looking like for Mists.

Mists of Pandaria Restoration Druid abilities

Healing Spells

Here are the healing abilities we get while specced into the restoration tree:

Healing Touch – Same as the current version. Glyph of Healing Touch now reduces the cooldown on Swiftmend by 1 second when HT is used, rather than reducing the cooldown on Nature’s Swiftness.

Lifebloom – The ability for Nourish, Regrowth and Healing Touch to refresh the duration has been built into the spell. The Glyph of Lifebloom has been changed so that when you cast Lifebloom on a new target, it will transfer the amount of stacks the original target had (only when not in tree form).

Nourish – Same as the current version.

Regrowth – This now has a built-in 60% increased critical effect chance and it automatically refreshes the HoT duration if the target is below 50% health. The revamped Glyph of Regrowth increases the critical strike chance of Regrowth by another 40%, making it a guaranteed crit, but removes the HoT component.

Rejuvenation – Same as the current version, with the instant heal from GotEM included, except the instant heal is now a full tick rather than 15% of the total healing effect. Glyph of Rejuvenation has been changed to replace Nature’s Bounty, reducing the cast time of Nourish by 30% when you have 3 active Rejuvs. Swift Rejuvenation is now a passive ability.

Swiftmend – This no longer consumes an existing Rejuv or Regrowth, but one must be present on the target in order to use it. Efflorescence has been built into Swiftmend.

Tranquility – Same as the current version.

Wild Growth – Same as the current version. Glyph of Wild Growth is also unchanged.

Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Bloom – The Wild Mushroom behave just like they currently do. But now restos, rather than having a spell to detonate the mushrooms and do damage, now have an ability to ‘bloom’ the mushrooms and do healing.

Overall, not a whole lot has changed. Most of the changes to the healing spells aren’t adding anything new, they’re just building in the effects of talents that no  longer exist. Based on this, I’m expecting the resto druid healing style is not going to change much from its current form.

The thing I’m most happy about is the change to the Glyph of Lifebloom. This is a huge quality of life improvement. No more wasting 3 GCDs every time a tank swap happens, or being put at a disadvantage when a hard switch happens in PVP.

The change to Regrowth and its glyph is interesting. I love Regrowth as a Flash Heal and a guaranteed crit sounds great, but I feel like the glyph is somewhat wasteful. Regrowth has an innate 60% chance to crit, players will likely sit between 20-30% crit chance, so the 40% crit from the glyph is really only contributing 10-20%.

We have one new healing spell, Wild Mushroom: Bloom. Ugh. The idea of healing mushrooms always struck me as clunky and awful. Having tested them out, I can confirm that they are indeed clunky and awful. They have the potential to do a good amount of burst healing, but they’re a poor design. Three GCDs to get them placed (the idea that you’d ever only want 1 or 2 down strikes me as ridiculous), and having to place them with the targeting reticule makes them too cumbersome to use. Also, a 6 yard range is not a lot, that’ll cover an area almost 50% smaller than Efflorescence.

Our healing spells can also be supplemented by the Tier 2 and Tier 6 talents. I wrote about the new talents a little while ago, I will be adding further thoughts now that I’ve had a chance to try them out soon.

Support Spells

Innervate – The percentages of mana gain have changed a little. This now gives 10% of the caster’s max mana to the target, or 20% if cast on yourself. The Glyph of Innervate seems to ensure that you always get 20% of your mana back, no matter who your target is.

Ironbark – This is a replacement for Barkskin. It reduces damage by 20% for 12 seconds but is now castable on anyone and has a 2 minute cooldown (up from 1).

Mark of the Wild – No longer increases stamina.

Nature’s Cure – Now cures all magic, curse and poison effects.

Symbiosis – A spell you cast on someone of another class which gives you one of their abilities (and they get one of yours).

I’m still upset about losing Barkskin. I like that we have a damage reducing cooldown but I don’t like that it replaces our self-cast spell. Sure, we could still use it on ourselves, but 99% of the time in a raid it’s going to be more of a benefit to someone else. I like the 12 second duration, but I think a 20% damage reduction is too low to be a real life-saver for anyone taking heavy damage.

I am excited about Symbiosis. The abilities we will get from other classes are mainly about survivability and utility. Since utility is something we’ve always been short on, I’m very happy about this. We’ll be able to get things like Hand of Sacrifice to give us a viable tank cooldown, Leap of Faith so we can yank around raiders, or things like Deterrence or Anti-Magic Shell to improve our own survivability.

Passive Effects

Harmony – Our mastery, same as the current version.

Living Seed – Same as the current talent.

Malfurion’s Gift – Reduces the cooldown on Tranquility.

Meditation – Same as the current specialization.

Natural Insight – Increases mana pool so it’s even with other healers.

Omen of Clarity – Periodic healing from Lifebloom has a chance to trigger Clearcasting.

Revitalize – Works the same as it does currently, but it looks like the effect only applies to you, not the whole raid.

Swift Rejuvenation – Same as the current talent.

Nothing too exciting or different here. Again, they’re just incorporating the talents that no longer exist into our base abilities.

I’ve always been a big fan of Living Seed so I’m happy this was included as a passive ability. I just wish they would improve it a little bit. It would be great if the Seed was triggered from any damage taken. It would also be really nice if HoT crits placed a Seed.

Other thoughts

The thing I’m most looking forward to about Druids in Mists of Pandaria (so far) is how adaptable we’ll be. We’ll be able to change our talents from fight to fight to make ourselves as strong as possible. We’ll be able to change our Symbiosis target from fight to fight to receive the ability that will benefit our raid group the best.