Tag Archives: symbiosis

Healing Tips for Terrace of Endless Spring

Here some tips on how to heal the four encounters in Terrace of Endless Spring, 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.

Protectors of the Endless

This fight isn’t too exciting to heal. I’m going to go over the healing for Elite mode (Kaolan last), since it’s really no more difficult than normal.

While all three Protectors are up, most of the damage will be focused on the tanks. Keep Lifeblooms on one, keep Rejuv on both. There’s not a whole lot of raid damage, just some Water Bolts which people should be loosely spread out for. There’s also a Lightning Prison which stuns some random raid members and causes them to do damage to players near them. This should be dispelled asap.

Once Regail has been killed, Protector Kaolan will start dropping void zones on the ground, forcing the tank to slowly kite him around the room. Assuming no one likes to stand in void zones, this shouldn’t impact healing much. Asani will start casting Corrupted Waters. Be sure to get near the orb as it’s about to die so you get the Purified buff (increases haste for 20 seconds).

When Asani dies, Kaolan will gain Expel Corruption. Every 30 seconds or so he will drop a 30-yard wide whirlwind-looking thing that damages anyone standing in it – the closer to the center, the more damage you take. The melee may take a bit of damage from this, but it is completely avoidable. The Expel Corruptions will stay on the ground for the duration of the fight, so the raid needs to keep moving to find a clear spot to stand.

One thing to note is that as Protectors are killed, the remaining ones gain a damage buff, so tank damage will be increasing throughout the fight.

Talents

Level 60 – I’d take Incarnation for this so you can have LB stacks on both tanks for a time. There’s not a whole lot of group healing to do in this fight.

Level 90 – Either

Symbiosis

I give Symbiosis to a tank to give them an extra cooldown (even if it’s a Paladin).

Cooldowns

Tranquility – There’s no real amazing time to use healer cooldowns on this fight. While you’re learning it, it might be good to have it up for the first Expel Corruption you encounter in case people get caught in it. Other than that, I just use it whenever.

Tree of Life – Use this at the beginning of the fight for the multi-LB stacks then again whenever it’s available.

HotW – If you take this, you can probably afford to use it and spend some time doing DPS at the start of the fight since there’s not much to heal.

Tsulong

After Protectors, this is much more exciting to heal. This is a 2 phase fight where you alternate between killing Tsulong and healing him.

During night phase, the tanks take moderate damage and the raid takes constant, low-level damage. There is a constantly stacking debuff, which causes people to take more damage. The only way to clear the debuff if to stand in the Sunbeam which spawns throughout the phase for a couple of seconds. People should be aiming to clear their stacks when they get to around 8-10. There is also an ability called Nightmare on this fight, which makes it a good idea to have the ranged spread out a little bit. Nightmare creates a circle on the ground which you can run out of and Tsulong’s Breath should be pointed away from the raid. Don’t go in the Sunbeam to clear your stacks when Nightmare is about to happen or you risk having it spawn in the Sunbeam. Besides the constantly ticking damage, most damage is avoidable. A couple of tricks I use for this phase are to target WG on Tsulong so it can reach anyone, and to use Swiftmend on someone who is standing in the Sunbeam, so anyone who runs in there will get some heals.

During day phase, Tsulong becomes friendly and he becomes the primary healing target. If you are healing Tsulong, keep LB and Rejuv rolling on him along with a steady stream of Regrowths. Cast WG on him when people in the raid are also taking damage. One of the most important things during this phase is to dispel Tsulong ASAP. When an Embodied Terror spawns he will cast a debuff (Terrorize) on both Tsulong and random raiders which will damage them for 10% of their health every second. Make sure you have at least 1 person, and a backup, assigned to dispel Tsulong. The other healers should be dispelling the raiders who get debuffed. Every 30 seconds Tsulong will do a Sun Breath that will buff anyone standing in it. The buff returns 20% of your mana pool and increases your healing done by 200% for 6 seconds. Make sure you are prepped to do the most healing when you get this buff. Spells to use: NS + HT, apply a fresh RJ, Swiftmend, Wild Growth. You should also be using Tranquility for one of the 4 Breaths. Also assign heal increasing cooldowns like Guardian Spirit and Life Cocoon to happen immediately after a Breath. Of course, since the raid is dealing with adds, someone needs to do the much less glamorous job of keeping them alive – it’s usually me :(  When healing the raid I still keep LB on Tsulong and use him as my WG target, but the tanks and other raiders need to be spot-healed throughout the phase. Even if you’re on the raid, make sure you’re in front of Tsulong before he Breathes.

When Tsulong transitions between phases, have people Purge/Dispel him so buffs/debuffs don’t linger.

Talents

Level 60 – I’d take Incarnation so you can more easily heal both Tsulong and an add tank at once during day phase.

Level 90 – Nature’s Vigil so you can use it during the day phases.

Symbiosis

I’ll generally use it on a tank or a Monk.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – I like to use this early on during first night phase, then again on one of the later Breaths in day phase.

Ironbark – I find that sometimes the tanks don’t get to clear their debuffs before they swap. I use Ironbark when I notice a tank has 15+ stacks while tanking the dragon.

Incarnation / Nature’s Vigil – If you have these, make sure they’re up for day phase while you will be affected by breath.

Lei Shi

This fight is mostly about healing the tanks. They will take significant damage from Lei Shi, and the damage gets heavier as the fight goes on. There is really only one ability that does significant damage to the raid, which is Get Away! In addition to damage, this ability pushes everyone towards the edge of the platform. I assign at least 1 healer cooldown for each one of these.

Heal the active tank. A lot. Especially at the end. When Lei Shi casts Get Away, use your cooldowns and put out as much raid healing as you possibly can (the tanks won’t be taking extra damage here).

Talents

Level 60 – Incarnation for the extra healing and ability keep LB on both tanks when adds are up.

Level 75 – Disorienting Roar
The adds that spawn can easily one-shot people if not picked up by the tank immediately. I like to use this on any adds that spawn near me to buy an extra second.

Level 90 – Either talent is good here, though I generally stick with HotW.

Symbiosis

I use Symbiosis on a Shaman so that I can run and Tranq during Get Away. If you don’t have a Shaman, using it on a tank to give them an extra cooldown is a good idea.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – Use during Get Away. You can use this even without Spiritwalker’s Grace, you’ll just be pushed towards the edge, so make sure you’re as close to the center as possible before channelling.

Ironbark – I find the best time for this is when adds are up. Also use it when the boss is under 20% as the tank damage gets crazy.

Incarnation – This is good for a number of abilities during this fight. You can use it during Get Away for the extra healing and ability to cast while moving. You can also use it during the add phases so you can keep LB on both tanks.

Sha of Fear

This fight is… zzz… Oh! I’m sorry, I fell asleep for a minute there. This fight is 10-15 minutes of the same thing and is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

For the majority of the fight you’ll be on the main platform, standing in a light cone, focusing on keeping the active tank alive and occasionally spot healing the raid. The damage on the tanks can be fairly heavy, especially when Thrash happens. For the first 8-10 minutes or so, the damage on the raid is fairly negligible. Once there are a number of adds up, people will be taking (mostly avoidable) damage from Penetrating Bolt, but that doesn’t get significant until the fight is almost over. The boss will also cast Breath of Terror which does massive damage and fears people. However, as long as people are in the Cone of Light, you will avoid it completely.

The one bit of excitement in this fight is that every minute, 5 people (1 tank, 1 healer, 3 dps) will be ported over to a shrine where they need to kill an add. The add will do moderate damage to the people on the platform. As the add takes damage, orbs will spawn around the shrine. These must be picked up (just run over them) or they will heal the add. These do a little bit of damage to the people who hit them, but they also restore mana, so try to hit them all! Try to keep everyone topped up as much as possible. I don’t find the damage overwhelming, but if you get shot by the boss twice you get feared for a couple of seconds which can set you behind on healing. I try to keep a Swiftmend down in the middle of the platform, WG on cooldown and keep a RJ rolling on everyone. There is one big damage ability called Death Blossom which can kill people quickly, but all your group needs to do is hide behind a pillar to completely avoid it. Once the add dies, you can port back to the main platform.

Talents

Level 60 - Either is fine.

Level 90 – Heart of the Wild
This fight has given me the opportunity to use HotW to tank the boss briefly. If a tank goes to the Shrine and does not come back before the current tank gets ported, someone will have to stand in the light circle to activate the light cone. If a Breath happens and there is no light cone, it’s a wipe. HotW can be a raid saver if there are no tanks on the main platform for a time.

Symbiosis

I use Symbiosis on Monk or DK to get an extra damage mitigation cooldown.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – I tend to use Tranquility when I get ported to a Shrine. Of course, you don’t know when that’s going to happen. I generally just use Tranq early and often, you can get 4-5 uses out of it since it’s such a long fight.

Ironbark – Tanks should have their own CDs available for each Thrash, but hit them with IB if they don’t.

Heart of the Wild – Use this if there are no tanks on the main platform and a Breath is coming soon. Use HotW, pop bear form and stand in the light circle. Make sure to use Barkskin, along with any CD you have from Symbiosis. Also be sure to heal yourself as much as possible with Frenzied Regeneration.

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 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.

Symbiosis – How to Make it Better

As I mentioned in my last post, Symbiosis isn’t shaping up to be that great of a new ability, especially for a resto druid. The spells that we can receive from other classes are of questionable usefulness and the spells we can give to other classes are poorly balanced.

The biggest problem with Symbiosis is that it will be a nightmare to balance. We want to receive abilities that are useful, but they can’t be too useful. While I’d love to say “give me Power Word: Barrier from Priests and Mana Tide Totem from Shaman,” that just isn’t going to work. We also need each of the abilities given to us by other classes to be of relatively equal desirability – though it will change depending on the situation. If we always want to use Symbiosis on a Priest and never use it on a Rogue (for example), I think the ability has failed.

The balance problem gets exponentially worse when you consider the abilities we will be giving other classes. Then it becomes not just an issue of which ability is best for us for a particular situation, but also which of our abilities is of best use to someone else. How do you reconcile this if the answers are different? In its current form, it’s the Druid’s needs that are going to go by the wayside. We offer tanking classes abilities that will assist in their main role (by reducing their damage taken or increasing their health), while most of the abilities we get either improve our survivability or mobility. Survivability and mobility cooldowns for a healer are great (though neither are things we really have problems with), but compared to giving a tank an extra cooldown they seem less important.

So how do we make Symbiosis Better?

There are a few rules I think this ability needs to play by in order to be balanced and make sense.

  1. The abilities gained from other classes need to be baseline abilities – they cannot be associated with a particular spec. It would make no sense to use Symbiosis on a Shadow Priest and receive Lightwell.
  2. Any abilities we gain from other classes that affect our primary role (healing) should be less effective than the original ability. For example, if we got Molten Armor from a Mage, it would only increase our crit by 1% rather than 5%.
  3. Each Druid spec should not have to receive a unique ability. For example, Balance and Resto Druids could both receive Purge from a Shaman (rather than give us something ridiculous like Spiritwalker’s Grace).

    And most importantly…

  4. Symbiosis should only give abilities to the Druid. The person we use Symbiosis on shouldn’t get anything. Having the ability work both ways turns a balancing problem into a balancing nightmare. Based on the current list, Symbiosis will have to balance the trading of 60 different abilities between different classes and specs. Ugh. It also creates a big issue in determining who gains the most benefit from the ability. (This may require a name change for the ability, I can live with that).

My Symbiosis List for Resto Druids

As I mentioned above, I don’t want to get abilities that will make us overpowered (or cause us to be underpowered as a baseline in order to account for the abilities we can gain from Symbiosis), but I do want abilities that I will want to use at least once on every PVE encounter.

Here are the abilities I’d like to see us get:

Death KnightIcebound Fortitude

IBF is what we’re currently getting and I think it’s the best choice. It has a long cooldown but it will at least give us back a self-cast damage mitigation spell (that doesn’t share a cooldown with Ironbark).

HunterFeign Death

I’ve often bemoaned the tremendous aggro generation of resto heals and our lack of aggro drops. Something like Feign could really come in handy on fights with lots of adds.

MageMage Armor

I’d like an ability that could act as a default to gain on fights where extra utility and mobility spells really aren’t necessary. Of course we couldn’t gain the full effect from this, but even if the Mage Armor gave us 1 point of Mastery and reduced magic effects on us by 10% it would give us a little extra output (but wouldn’t make us OP).

MonkExpel Harm

It’s a little difficult to pick a Monk ability as I haven’t seen any of them in action yet (and their list of base abilities seems very short). Giving us Expel Harm on a 1 minute cooldown (as opposed to 15 seconds) would be something useful.

PaladinHand of Sacrifice

This was the initial ability we were supposed to get from Paladins and I want it back. I’d reduce the effectiveness to make it transfer 15% of damage over 6 seconds (rather than 30% over 12 seconds) for balance as well as to make sure we don’t kill ourselves.

PriestLeap of Faith

I’d leave this one as-is. It’s a fun ability and does have situational uses.

RogueCloak of Shadows

This would be much more useful that the current spell, Evasion. This would be very useful in certain situations (say on a fight like Ultraxion if you’re short on soakers).

ShamanWater Shield

The Shaman spells are tough. To me it seems like most of the abilities we could get would either be completely useless, or extremely OP. Water Shield could work and be useful but the effectiveness would need to be scaled way down. I’d remove the passive regen then put a 2-minute cooldown on the spell to limit the amount of mana we could gain from it. A more simple (though less useful in PVE) option would be Purge.

Warlock – ??

I’m having a tough time with Warlocks too. I’d say Unending Resolve but 50% reduction for 12 seconds is a lot of damage reduction, and we would always take that over IBF from a Death Knight, which I think creates a problem. Twilight Ward could be a possibility.

WarriorRallying Cry

I’d change this to give only 10% of maximum health for 10 seconds. It would give us a raid cooldown, but nothing that’s going to make a huge difference.

What do you think? What spells would you like to receive from Symbiosis?

Symbiosis – Boon or Bane?

Today I’ve been taking a closer look at Symbiosis, our new level 87 ability in Mists of Pandaria. Wowhead has posted a very comprehensive look at druid abilities in Mists, including what we gain and give when we use Symbiosis on someone. At first, I was quite excited about the ability because I thought it would give us extra utility and make us more adaptable. However, as I look at the list of abilities resto Druids can gain, I find myself getting less and less excited. Not just less excited, I find myself getting kinda angry.

Here are the abilities we can borrow from other classes (of course, nothing is set in stone and some of the datamining is not 100%):

Death KnightIcebound Fortitude

IBF is almost exactly the same ability as Barkskin/Ironbark. It adds a stun immunity, but has a 3-minute cooldown as opposed to 2. We’re not really getting anything new here, though since it won’t share a cooldown with Ironbark (like Barkskin does) it will give us back a self-cast only damage mitigation spell.

HunterDeterrence

Another mitigation cooldown usable only on ourselves. This one reduces damage by 30% and deflects attacks for 5 seconds. You can’t attack while it’s active, but since we’re healers, that doesn’t mean a whole lot.

MageIce Block

Complete immunity for 10 seconds with a 5-minute cooldown. This is a nice ‘oh shit’ button that will give the other healers a chance to heal you before you die, but I don’t think Ice Block is all that desirable in a raid situation. We should be healing, not sitting around in blocks of ice.

Paladin – ??

We don’t what we’re getting from Paladins at the moment. Possibly Cleanse, which would let us remove diseases. Possibly Divine Shield, another damage reduction ability usable only on ourselves.

PriestLeap of Faith

This is a fun ability. It’s great for griefing, or moving around people who have disconnected (or just aren’t paying attention) so they don’t die in fires.

RogueEvasion

Oh look, more damage mitigation for ourselves. Increases our dodge chance? Really? This will be next to useless in PVE, decent in PVP.

ShamanSpiritwalker’s Grace

The ability to cast spells while moving… Really? I could have sworn we were pretty good at healing on the move already. Of all the healing cooldowns in the game this one is pretty much the least useful for us. I’m hoping this is some kind of bad joke.

WarlockDemonic Circle: Teleport

Read the tooltip carefully. We won’t get to put down our own portal, we’ll be brought to the warlock’s portal when we use this ability. What if we don’t want to be in the same place the warlock wants to be? Tough I guess. The ability to move somewhere instantly sounds good, but if that’s needed on a fight it would make more sense to pick up Wild Charge in our spec rather than use Symbiosis on a Warlock.

WarriorIntimidating Roar

CC abilities are okay, I guess. Even though this lasts only 8 seconds. The only time I can see myself using this in a PVE scenario is when I pull aggro on adds (which happens a lot, actually). However, we have options in our own talent tree if this becomes a problem (Mass Entanglement, Typhoon, Disorienting Roar, Ursol’s Vortex), lots of options. I am unimpressed by this and doubt I would ever use Symbiosis on a Warrior in a raid.

Usually I really hate it when people are overly critical of Blizzard’s design team and do nothing but whine about their class. When I hear someone say “GG Blizz” I generally want to punch them. But after looking at what our “shiny” and “new” ability actually gives us, I have to say… What the fuck? Do any of the designers play a Resto Druid? (or a Balance Druid, their Symbiosis abilities are stupid too). Do any of them even play healers?

Healers are about keeping the raid alive, not just themselves. The main problem Resto Druids have had in the past is our lack of raid utility – no tank CDs, no damage mitigation. Keeping ourselves alive is really not a problem. And what spell options we get from Symbiosis?

  • Four abilities that reduce the damage we take (possibly 5 depending on what we get from Paladins);
  • one ability that is situationally useful in keeping someone other than ourself alive (Leap of Faith);
  • one short-term CC ability that performs a similar function as four of our talent tree options;
  • one ability that will let us move around faster (but looks much less useful than Wild Charge);
  • and one ability that will let us cast while moving – something we’ve never had a problem with.

These abilities are all extremely lackluster and I believe that in 98% of raid situations which one we get will not make any significant difference.

However, the abilities we can give others through Symbiosis could make a difference. (Again, see Wowhead’s list for the abilities other classes get from us, I’m not listing them all here). Using Symbiosis on a tank will give them an extra, though not particularly powerful, cooldown – Warriors get Frenzied Regeneration, Paladins get Barkskin, DKs get Might of Ursoc. Using Symbiosis on a Shadow Priest will give them Tranquility.

This is where team-player Jasyla and selfish Jasyla start to butt heads.

Team-player Jasyla says:

  • By giving someone else in the raid an extra cooldown, whether it’s mitigation for the tanks or a huge heal for a dps, we are bringing extra utility to the raid.

But then selfish Jasyla jumps in and says:

  • Shut up team-player Jas, you’re missing the point. (Wow, that was uncalled for.)
  • Symbiosis is a Druid ability. It should be giving Druids something new – something useful.
  • While the ability to give an extra cooldown to the raid is nice, we should be the ones who actually get to use the cooldown. Casting Symbiosis on a tank at the beginning of a fight is not in any way fun or interesting for us. The extra (potentially) raid-saving ability becomes someone else’s responsibility when it should be ours.
  • Who we use Symbiosis on in a raid will not be based on what ability will benefit us the most. It will be dictated by who we can give the best ability to.

The only possible explanation I can think of for how Symbiosis is shaping up is that it is meant to be a PVP ability. Most of the abilities we can borrow from other classes would be great for PVP. But PVE? Not great at all.

The abilities we get from Symbiosis really need to be rethought. Druids should be the ones receiving the biggest benefit from our own ability, not another class. We need decent choices – abilities that we will actually want to use in a raid.

I’m not asking for us to be able to borrow the best of what every other class has to offer. But we do need solid, and varied options. I’d like to see a couple of options that will reduce our damage taken, one or two that will reduce the damage someone else takes, a couple of options that buff our own output, and a new heal or two. I’d even take a lot of the borrwed spells with reduced effectiveness so we don’t become OP. But having 4 or 5 options that improve our own survivability? Not helpful or interesting. We need some options that make us more effective or more useful, or else what’s the point of this new ability?

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.

Resto Druid Guide: Stats (includes Haste break points for HoTs)

Here are the stats you will find on healing gear and what they do for you.

Stats

Stamina

Each point of Stamina gives you 10 health. Stamina is not a stat you have to look for. It will be present on all your gear. Your health will increase with your item levels.

Intellect

Each point of Intellect gives you:

  • 1 spell power
  • 17.53 mana
  • 0.0015% critical strike chance

Intellect is the strongest stat for resto druids. It increases our mana pool, gives us thoroughput and increases the effects of mana regeneration that are based on mana pool (Innervate, Replenishment). Amount of intellect should be the first stat you look for on gear.

Spirit

Spirit increases mana regeneration, both in and out of combat. Your mp5 depends on both your spirit and intellect.

Haste

128.05 haste rating = 1% haste

Haste reduces the global cooldown (to a minimum of 1 second), reduces the time it takes to cast spells and can increase the number of times your HoTs tick. Haste is very important, especially to get in those extra ticks. See below for the chart of Haste Break Points.

Critical Strike Chance

179.28 crit rating = 1% critical strike chance

All your heals, including HoT ticks, are capable of critting. Critical heals heal for 1.5x the amount of normal heals. This is a lower priority stat for druids.

Mastery

The resto druid mastery is Symbiosis. It increases the potency of your healing spells when your target is already affected by one of your heal over time spells. All of your healing spells benefit from this, even other HoTs. How important Mastery is depends on your style of healing. If you are a tank healer, Mastery can be strong. However, if you are a raid healer, or if you infrequently cast spells on targets that already have a HoT on them, Mastery becomes less useful.

Spell Power

Spell power is only found on weapons. It effects the output of your spells.

Stat Priority

Intellect > Spirit > Haste > Critical Strike Chance = Mastery

Haste Break Points

With certain amounts of haste, you can squeeze in extra ticks of your HoTs. Each table below shows the amount of haste needed to get x extra ticks of each spell. There are two sets of values. First, if you do not have a 5% haste buff and second, if you do.

Lifebloom

Ticks 10 11 12 13 14
Without buff base 640
(5%)
1921
(15%)
3202
(25%)
4482
(35%)
With buff base 0
(5%)
1220
(9.5%)
2440
(19%)
3659
(28.6%)

Wild Growth

Ticks 7 8 9 10
Without buff base 909
(7.1%)
2744
(21.4%)
4574
(35.7%)
With buff base 256
(7.2%)
2004
(15.6%)
3746
(29.2%)

Rejuvenation

Ticks 4 5 6
Without buff base 1601
(12.5%)
4803
(37.5%)
With buff base 915
(7.2%)
3964
(35.7%)

Regrowth

Ticks 4 5 6
Without buff base 2135
(16.6%)
6403
(50%)
With buff base 1423
(11%)
5489
(42.95)

In order to get a 1 second GCD you would require 6403 haste without the 5% buff, or 5489 haste with it. This is not going to be possible with current gear.

So how much haste should you be looking for? First, figure out if you will consistently have a 5% haste buff in your raid group, and plan around that. Next, pick an attainable target. Here are the above tables organized a little differently to help you pick a good target.

Without 5% buff

Haste Extra ticks
640 11th tick of LB
909 8th tick of WG
1601 5th tick of RJ
1921 12th tick of LB
2135 5th tick of RG
2744 9th tick of WG
3202 13th tick of LB

With 5% buff

Haste Extra ticks
0 11th tick of LB
256 8th tick of WG
915 5th tick of RJ
1220 12th tick of LB
1423 5th tick of RG
2004 9th tick of WG
2440 13th tick of LB
3659 14th tick of LB

So, if you have the 5% buff 1423 haste could be an attainable goal that would give you 1 extra tick on Wild Growth, Rejuvenation and Regrowth and 2 extra ticks on Lifebloom. Gear for haste, and reforge others stats (crit or mastery) until you hit this number. Once you reach 1423, additional haste will be less useful to you until you can reach the next break point of 2004.

*Special thanks to Hamlet’s TreeCalcs spreadsheet which provides all the neccessary druid math*

My full resto druid guide can be found here.