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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!

Druid Talents – Mists of Pandaria Preview

I never wrote down my thoughts on the Druid talent tree preview when it was first announced at BlizzCon last year. It was clear then that it was very preliminary and needed a lot of work. Yesterday the talent trees were updated so I thought it was a good time to analyse the new talents and see how resto Druids are shaping for the next expansion.

The Talent Tree

Mists of Pandaria Druid talent tree

Tier 1 (level 15)

Level 15 Druid talents (MoP)

Feline Swiftness – Increases your movement speed by 15%.

This one is very self-explanatory. Faster movement speed is always a good thing.

Displacer Beast – Teleports the Druid up to 20 yards forward and activates Cat Form and Prowl. 3 minute cooldown.

The 20 yard ‘blink’ sounds like it could have its uses, but I’m not sold on it activating Cat form. It seems like in a PVE scenario that would be counterproductive. The Prowl part raises some questions – will it still be activated if you are in combat? Will Displacer Beast remove you from combat? What if you have DoTs or bleeds on you? This could be a pretty sweet PVP talent if it removes you from combat and Prowl isn’t broken by existing DoTs, or it could be fairly useless. A better description is needed.

Wild Charge – Grants a movement ability that varies by shapeshift form. 15 second cooldown.

Non shapeshifted – Fly to an ally’s position.
Bear form – Charge to an enemy, immobilizing them for 4 seconds.
Cat form – Leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds.
Travel form – Leap forward 20 yards.
Aquatic form – Increases swim speed by 200% for 5 seconds.

There’s a lot to consider here. I’m a little puzzled about this talent, especially when comparing it to Displacer Beast. Displacer Beast teleports you 20 yards, activates cat form and has a 3 minute cooldown. If you’re looking to be able to get around quickly, that seems extremely inferior to Wild Charge, where you can fly to an ally’s position or can shift to travel form and leap forward 20 yards every 15 seconds. For PVP this talent is great in that it allows restos to have Feral Charge, something we haven’t been able to include in our specs since Burning Crusade (though it doesn’t seem like it will include an interrupt). That, plus the ability to jump around either in caster or travel form would give us some great mobility.

What would I take?

PVE
Feline Swiftness
is the safe, kinda boring option. It will come in handy on pretty much any fight that involves movement. Wild Charge is a bit of a wild card (haha), but the caster form and travel form leaps could be great on fights where you need to get to a certain place quickly (think getting away from Molten Seeds on Rag or stacking on a crystal on Morchok). I see myself bouncing between these two talents based on the fight.

PVP
I think Wild Charge is the winner here. It will give us more utility and make us harder to catch.

Tier 2 (Level 30)

Druid level 30 talents (MoP)

Nature’s Swiftness – When activated your next Cyclone, Entangling Roots, Healing Touch, Hibernate, Nourish, Rebirth or Regrowth becomes instant, free, and castable in all forms. The healing and duration of the spell is increased by 50%. 1 minute cooldown.

This is a huge improvement over the current Nature’s Swiftness. I love that they’ve added ‘free’ in addition to instant, and a 1-minute cooldown is much more reasonable than 3 minutes. I have to say that the idea of an instant, 9-second duration Cyclone in arena (assuring the target has burned their trinket already) fills me with girlish delight. Having NS-HT be castable in all forms could also be very useful. This talent does leave me with a couple of questions. Will using it with Regrowth double the amount of the heal and the duration of the HoT? Will Rebirth be improved at all? (don’t really see how it could be).

Renewal – Instantly heals the Druid for 30% of maximum health. Usable in all shapeshift forms. 2 minute cooldown.

This could definitely come in handy in both PVE and PVP, though it’s not the most exciting talent in the world. I personally see this as a better option for non-restos.

Cenarion Ward – Protects a friendly target, causing any damage taken to heal for 4,015 every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. Gaining the healing effect consumes the Cenarion Ward. Lasts 30 seconds. 30 second cooldown.

I think this could be a great option for tank healing druids. It adds another spell to our arsenal and you’d be sure that it would always be activated. I don’t put too much stock in the 4015 number, as long as this healed for a significant amount it could be a good talent.

What would I take?

PVE
I really like that Nature’s Swiftness is now only a 1-minute cooldown and that would probably make me more likely to use it. However, I also like Cenarion Ward. It’s hard to turn down a brand new healing spell. I would likely switch between the two depending on fight and assignment.

PVP
A 9-second cyclone? Being able to pop a Healing Touch on yourself while you’re dashing away in Cat form after some jerk priest has mana-burned the hell out of you? Nature’s Swiftness seems like the clear winner for PVP.

Tier 3 (Level 45)

Level 45 druid talents (MoP)

Faerie Swarm – Grants an improved version of Faerie Fire that also reduces the target’s movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds.

I see very little use for this talent for a PVE resto Druid. Maybe on something like Sons of Ragnaros, but from experience, there aren’t a whole lot of fights where healers need to be slowing a single target. In PVP it could be much more useful.

Mass Entaglement – Roots your target in place for 20 seconds and spreads to additional nearby enemies. Affects 5 total targets. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Usable in all shapeshift forms. 2 minute cooldown.

Again, I don’t see much use for this in PVE. It could have some rare situational uses, but the fact that it can break on damage makes it less useful. In PVP, especially BGs it could be useful, but the cooldown is rather long.

Typhoon – Summons a violent Typhoon that strikes targets in front of the caster within 30 yards, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 seconds. Usable in all shapeshift forms. 20 second cooldown.

Stealing the Moonkin talent, this one is fairly straightforward.

What would I take?

PVE
Each talent would have its own situational uses, but from experience a mass knock back (which will also interrupt) and daze is more useful than a single-target slow or a mass root with a really long cooldown. I think Typhoon would be the talent to take in 90% of PVE situations.

PVP
Again, I think Typhoon is the best of this bunch. It gives us a knock back, an interrupt and a daze on a short cooldown.

Tier 4 (Level 60)

Level 60 druid talents (MoP)

Soul of the Forest – You gain 50% haste for your next spell when you cast Swiftmend.

An important thing to note about this spell is that it is 50% haste, not casting speed, so it should apply to HoTs, giving them extra ticks. One hasted spell every 15 seconds (assuming you use SM every time it’s off cooldown) doesn’t strike me as that good. Decent, yes, an output boost, sure, but for some reason I can’t get too excited about this talent.

Incarnation – Tree of Life form that increases healing done by 15%, increases armor by 120% and enhances Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Entangling Roots and Wrath spells. Lasts 30 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.

This is just our current Tree of Life talent with a new name. At a 30 second duration, we’re losing 1 second from what it is  currently (when talented).

Force of Nature – Summons three Treants to assist in the Druid’s current combat role. 3 minute cooldown.

It doesn’t specify what the treants will do for each spec, but it’s a pretty safe bet that resto treants will heal things. Of course, pets like treants have a tendency to be… um… hmm… how do I put this delicately? They have a tendency to be fucking stupid, so I’m not sold on the usefulness of this talent.

What would I take?

PVE
I really can’t see giving up a great healing output cooldown, so I’d go with Incarnation.

PVP
Again, ToL’s increased armor, healing and instant Regrowths would be sorely missed, so I’d go with Incarnation here too.

Tier 5 (Level 75)

Level 75 Druid talents (MoP)

Disorienting Roar – Invokes the spirit of Ursol to roar, disorienting all enemies within 10 yards for 4 seconds. Usable in all shapeshift forms. 30 second cooldown.

I can’t see too many uses for this in PVE, though it could be useful for fights with adds when you find all your HoT aggro is making the adds make a beeline for you. It could be great for PVP.

Ursol’s Vortex – Conjures a vortex of wind at the destination location that pulls all enemies within 15 yards toward it. Usable in all shapeshift forms. Lasts 15 seconds. 30 second cooldown.

I’m not convinced about the usability of this spell. First, ‘destination location’ means targeting circle. I hate those. Second, 15 yards isn’t that far. If you’re using the spell to get things away from you (or a flag), you’ll need to be a really good judge of distance to make this effective. The best use I can see for this spell is to aid your tanks and DPS by bringing a pack of mobs/players together to be AoE’d.

Mighty Bash – Invokes the spirit of Ursoc to stun the target for 5 seconds. Usable in all shapeshift forms. 50 second cooldown.

Situational, but on some fights it will be really nice to be able to stun things without switching to bear form. For PVP this will give a much-needed extra crowd control/interrupt ability.

What would I take?

PVE
Ehh… I don’t think any of these talents will be useful all the time. They’re all situational at best and really only useful on fights with adds. I think I’d be switching the talent I chose in this tier (or ignoring it altogether) based on the fight.

PVP
I think the best option for PVP depends on what you’re doing. 2s arenas? Mighty Bash. BGs or arenas with 3 or more people? Probably Disorienting Roar. If I was doing a flag/node capture battleground and feeling really pro, I’d try out Ursol’s Vortex.

Tier 6 (Level 90)

Level 90 Druid talents (MoP)

Heart of the Wild – Grants 50% of Intellect as Agility and 100% of Spirit as hit rating and expertise rating and increases armor by 95% while in Bear Form. In addition, damage spells cost no mana. Lasts 45 seconds. 6 minute cooldown.

I really think they’ve missed the mark here. As many, many other druids have emphatically stated, we don’t want to serve combat roles outside our specialization. We’re healers. We heal things. I’m trying to think of situational uses for this skill. What if the tank has died and the boss needs to be picked up at 5% health? Well, I don’t think 95% more armor in Bear form would let us do that (tree form gives us 120% more armor), and I think so many other classes would be better suited for that. Maybe when there’s a phase of a fight where no damage is going out and all there is to do is dps? Then I guess it could be useful, but really, how often does that happen? Also, I’d probably take advantage of the free damage spells before I switched to kitty and started scratching things.

Dream of Cenarius – Wrath, Starfire, Starsurge and melee abilities increase healing done by your next healing spell by 30%. Non-instant casts of Nourish, Healing Touch and Regrowth increase the damage done by your next damaging spell or ability by 30%. Lasts 30 seconds, 30 second ICD.

First, I’m going to assume that when it says ‘melee abilities’ it means actual abilities (Swipe, Rake, Maul) and not just running up and hitting something with your staff. Again, I think this is situational. If you need a bigger heal, you could cast a quick Wrath first…but you could also just cast 2 healing spells instead of 1 in that time. I do think this will be more useful for PVP, but in PVE I can’t see myself casting a damage spell in order to do more healing. And really, how much is a 30% bigger heal/damage spell every 30 seconds worth? Especially when you need to spend 1.5-2.5 seconds casting the opposite first? I’m not impressed.

Disentanglement – Shapeshifting now removes roots. In addition, shifting into a form heals the Druid for 20% of maximum health. Cannot heal more than once every 30 seconds.

The usefulness of this in PVE is questionable. Removing roots isn’t something you usually have to worry about and shapeshifting isn’t something we do too often. If we need a heal, we can heal ourselves, we don’t need to shift to get the benefit from this. For PVP this is really good. I wouldn’t want to lose the ability to break roots by shifting and the addition of the heal is a nice bonus.

What would I take?

PVE
Honestly? Bleh. I’m not a fan of any of our top tier talents. I can’t really say which one I’d be most likely to want to use in their current form. They still need work.

PVP
Disentaglement, hands down.

In conclusion

I think progress has been made on the Druid talents. I’m quite excited to play around with talents like Wild Charge, Cenarion Ward and Ursol’s Vortex. I like that some tiers give us a real choice and allow us to tailor our spec to what a particular fight needs. I also really like the idea of extra utility from talents like Typhoon and Mighty Bash. However, I still feel like this talent tree is being spread too thin trying to cater to 4 completely different specializations. I would like more choices that are new and exciting for restos. Tier 5 and 6 have very limited use in raids and still need a lot of work. In their current state, nothing jumps out at me as something I really want for PVE. Our last talent point should be something exciting.