Tag Archives: tree of life

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!

Tree of Life and When to Use It

The other day I was fishing for post ideas on Twitter and my guildie Serrath suggested I write about the best times to use Tree of Life in Dragon Soul. It can sometimes be difficult to know the best times to use it, especially for newer druids. Some people forget to use it at all (the horror!). Before I get into specific uses in Dragon Soul, let’s look at what Tree of Life does and how it can be used.

Tree of Life increases healing done by 15% and armor by 120%. It lasts 31 seconds (with points in Natural Shapeshifter) and has a 3 minute cooldown. When you’re in Tree of Life:

  • Regrowth becomes an instant cast
  • Lifebloom can be applied to multiple targets
  • Wild Growth heals 2 extra targets
  • Wrath is faster and does more damage
  • Entangling roots becomes an instant cast

Here are some reasons for using Tree of Life and strategies to make it as effective as possible:

To Conserve mana

Tree of Life will allow you to cast Lifebloom on as many targets as you want. Spreading Lifeblooms around the raid will not only put out a lot of healing for very little mana, but it will also greatly increase the number of Clearcasting procs you get, allowing you to cast many free, instant Regrowths during this time. When you use Tree of Life in this way and pair it with the on-use effect from Jaws of Defeat, you can heal a lot for those 31 seconds and barely see your mana dip down at all.

It’s best to use Tree of Life proactively, but it can also be used in emergency oom situations and will let what little mana you have go further.

To increase healing output

15% extra healing on its own is very nice. Add the two extra Wild Growth targets to that and even if you continue to heal as normal while in Tree of Life you’re going to see a considerable increase in your output.

A couple of things to keep in mind to maximize effectiveness:

  • Use Tree of Life when Wild Growth is off cooldown so you can use it immediately and fit in 3 casts during ToL’s duration.
  • Make sure to get 2 Swiftmend casts off while in ToL for the nice bonus to Efflorescence healing.
  • Use Tree of Life while under the effect of Nature’s Grace, or other haste increases like Heroism.

You can use Tranquility while in Tree of Life to boost its healing if the situation is very dire, though I generally prefer to spread my cooldowns out.

To Keep Up multiple targets

There are times on certain fights when a few people are taking very heavy damage at once. For example, phase 2 of Madness of Deathwing when two tanks are tanking Elementium Terrors. If you want to be able to provide large amounts of healing to both tanks at once, use Tree of Life and get a 3-stack of Lifebloom on each of them.

to be more mobile

Druids are pretty good at healing on the run normally, but using Tree of Life makes us even better. If you’re having to move a lot during a certain phase of a fight and are finding that Rejuvs aren’t doing enough, use ToL and get some extra burst from instant Regrowths.

to mitigate damage

This won’t play that big of a role in PVE, but the 120% extra armor does help with any physical raid damage you take (like Blackhorn’s Disrupting Roar or the Mutated Corruption’s Crush on Madness of Deathwing).

For DPS

This isn’t something you’ll be doing often in raids, but it is a possibility. With faster, harder hitting Wraths, ToL can help you put out extra damage if that’s what’s needed (of course it won’t help with your complete lack of hit rating). The only time in Cata so far where I’d recommend ToL Wrath spam is after the Fiery Tornados on Alysrazor since no healing is needed for a time and you get all your mana back. Otherwise, this isn’t a great use for ToL.

When to use ToL in Dragon Soul

Here are my suggestions for when to use ToL to get the most out of it.

Morchok
Use ToL during the crystal phase to help put out extra healing from Stomp and Resonating Crystal. I like to split my cooldowns, so I’ll use Tranquility during the first crystal phase and then ToL on the second crystal phase.

Be sure to use Tree of Life fairly early into the phase, with 30 seconds or more left until Black Blood – since there’s no healing to do then. You don’t want to waste it.

Yor’sajh
Use ToL when a Green or Yellow ooze hits Yor’sajh, or any time when raid damage seems to get higher. Make sure to use it fairly early so you can use ToL twice during the encounter.

Zon’ozz
Use ToL right at the start of the black phase. Again, alternate your cooldowns, using Tranquility on one, and ToL on the next.

Hagara the Stormbinder
Lightning phase is a good time for ToL. The raid will benefit from the extra healing and the added mobility can be helpful as well.

Ultraxion
You want to make sure you can get two ToL uses during this fight. Use your first ToL close to the start of the fight and use the LB-spamming strategy to conserve mana while damage is light. Use ToL for the second time when the damage starts ramping up for the extra healing.

Warmaster Blackhorn
You should be able to use ToL once during first phase and once during the second phase. Use it fairly early in the phase 1, ideally just before a Twilight Onslaught to help deal with the damage. Besides that, ToL will mainly be a way to conserve mana in phase 1. Use ToL again when it’s off cooldown in phase 2, before a Disrupting Roar.

Spine of Deathwing
This is a fairly long fight, so if you use ToL early, and then on cooldown you should be able to use it three times over the course of the fight. It will be a good way to conserve mana on what can be a mana-intensive fight as well as put out extra healing.

If your raid is desperate for dps on the Burning Tendon, you can use ToL and help out with Wrath spam. But hopefully this isn’t necessary.

Madness of Deathwing
This is a looong fight and a mana-instensive one. You should be able to use ToL at least 4 times.  I generally use ToL on platform 1, near the start of the fight so I spend as little mana as possible, then again on platform 2 when Blistering Heat starts damaging the raid, then late on platform 3 when Burning Blood is doing damage. I’ll save my last ToL for the last phase of the fight. When the Elementium Terrors spawn I use ToL and roll Lifeblooms on both tanks to keep them stabilized, along with put out extra healing on the raid.

Resto Druid Guide: Spells

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

Restoration

Lifebloom Lifebloom

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

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

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

Regrowth Regrowth

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

Swiftmend Swiftmend

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

Nourish Nourish

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

Healing TouchHealing Touch

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

Wild Growth Wild Growth (talent)

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

Tranquility Tranquility

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

Nature's Swiftness Nature’s Swiftness (talent)

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

Tree of Life Tree of Life (talent)

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

  • Regrowth becomes an instant cast
  • Lifebloom can be applied to multiple targets
  • Wild Growth heals 2 extra targets
  • Wrath is faster and does more damage
  • Entangling roots becomes an instant cast and does more damage

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

Remove Corruption Remove Corruption

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

Omen of Clarity Omen of Clarity

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

Mark of the Wild Mark of the Wild

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

Rebirth Rebirth

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

Revive Revive

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

Balance

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

Barkskin Barkskin

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

Innervate Innervate

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

Thorns Thorns

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

My full resto druid guide can be found here.

Patch 4.0.1 – First Impressions

I had an hour or so to play around on my druid last night after downloading the patch.

I haven’t had a chance to do any raid healing yet but I did run around a bit in a heroic dungeon and I have to say…I love it!

Effloresence is amazing. I like that it’s given new purpose to Swiftmend. It’ll be even better in Cata when Swiftmend is less likely to be needed as an emergency heal and you can really focus on placement.

Critting HoTs are great. The small HoT on Regrowth will take some getting used to, but it’s not bad. I was worried that Healing Touch and Nourish would take forever to cast but with my current haste and spec they are both at 2 seconds which  I can handle.

Healing in the heroic felt good and completely natural (even with 0 mods). I was pleasantly surprised. Raid healing will take some adjustments but I think we’ve got a good kit to work with.

Here’s the spec I’m currently using. I’ve skipped the talents that are strictly for mana (Furor and Malfurion’s Gift). With my 43k mana pool, I don’t see mana being an issue. I spammed (over)heals through the whole dungeon and never even put a dent in my mana bar. I may change my tune after I’ve had a chance to raid on the weekend, but I think speccing for throughput will work well at level 80.

The one thing I didn’t try out was Tree of Life. For one thing, it really wasn’t necessary at any point. Also, I just didn’t want to see myself as a tree again so soon after perma-tree was taken away.

Speaking of trees, mmo-champion has posted the new skins for Tree of Life.

New druid tree of life forms

It’s not the best model I’ve ever seen, but I think it’s an improvement. These trees have a healthy amount of leaves and nice colours. They’re a little masculine for my taste (goatee, really?), but I like them.

I also had a chance to sit in front of a target dummy for 10 minutes on my hunter. I really don’t like focus. I don’t like playing rogues or feral druids, I don’t like the switch to the same energy model for hunters. I will be changing my Horde main in the xpac. To what? I have no idea.

How are the class changes treating you?

Tree Form Cooldowns

As far as druid bloggers go, I seem to be in the minority of those who are in favour of  having tree form be a cooldown. I’ve been thinking about what kind of cooldowns we could have and I thought it would be neat if we could turn into different types of trees who would get different abilities. Take the whole shapeshifting aspect of druids to a whole new level. I think if we could have these abilities as cooldowns, more people would see things my way.

Shapeshift: Giant Redwood
The druid turns into a Giant Redwood, lifting all allies in range hundreds of feet into the air and out of danger. Instant.

Druid tree forms - Redwood tree

This would be like the Priest’s new Leap of Faith ability on steroids. Did a Void Zone just spawn on top of you and your friends? Save them with this! Probably best not to use it in fires though.

Shapeshift: Bamboo Palm
The druid turns into a Bamboo Palm, removing poisons from all raid members in range. Removes poisons in range once every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. Instant.

Druid tree forms - Bamboo Palm

Fun fact: The Bamboo Palm is one of the best plants for removing pollutants and chemicals from the air.

Shapeshift: Willow Tree
The druid turns into a Willow Tree. All allies in range are temporarily protected from harm. Lasts 8 seconds.

Druid tree forms - Willow tree

Power Word: Barrier has nothing on the Willow Tree.

Shapeshift: Poppy Field
The druid covers the battlefield in poppies, putting all her enemies to sleep for 10 seconds or until they take damage.

Druid tree forms - Poppy

Wikipedia says that poppies don’t actually put people to sleep. However, since I was a child, The Wizard of Oz has told me otherwise. I know who I’m going to believe.

Shapeshift: Apple Tree
The druid changes into an apple tree, providing fruit for all her allies. The fruit gives a bonus to all base stats. Can only be used out of combat.

Druid tree forms - Apple tree

By now I think we’re all sick of fish feasts. Minor glyphs can be used to change this form into a Pear or Peach tree.

Shapeshift: Banyan Tree
The druid turns into a Banyan Tree, rapidly covering the field of battle and impaling all enemies in range with her roots. 10-second channel.

Druid tree forms - Banyan Tree

Fun fact: The roots of Banyan trees grown downwards from the branches to the ground. The oldest Banyans can cover over 3 acres of space.

I suppose this ability isn’t very heal-y is it? But it would be awesome.

Shapeshift: Magnolia Tree
The druid transforms into a Magnolia Tree.

Druid tree forms - Magnolia Tree

Why? Because they’re pretty, and we deserve to have a pretty tree form.  :)

What kind of tree would you like to be?