Tag Archives: wild mushroom: bloom

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.4

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

Spell changes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Lifebloom’s effect is now baseline.

Awesome, and opens up a glyph slot for:

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

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

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

And a few random, cool things:

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

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

Happy healing!

Trees They Are a-Changin’

Just a couple days after I declared that I no longer like playing my Druid, the 5.4 patch notes have been released. And boy are there some game changers.

Talent Changes

Ysera’s Gift, a new talent healing the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead. 

Ysera’s Gift is a new Level 30 talent in our talent tree, replacing Nature’s Swifteness (which is now baseline for restos). This is a passive ability that will continuously tick, healing yourself, or another nearby target if you’re at full health. Completely passive healing is a bit boring in terms of gameplay, but could provide a nice buffer. Looks like this tier will now be a toss up between this talent and Cenarion Ward, though I think that passive smart healing will end up doing more overall.

Soul of the Forest has been partially redesigned to make it more attractive to Balance, Guardian, and Restoration Druids.
Restoration: Now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.

In the level 60 Tier, SotF has been improved to increase haste for your next spell by 100%, up from 75%. Wild Growth will now gain even more extra ticks if cast after a Swiftmend, making this talent even more powerful.

Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned to reduce complexity and increase usability, but maintain the spirit of the effects. Benefits now varies by specialization. Restoration: Causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.

DoC has been redesigned to actually be usable.  In essence, this will turn us into (much less powerful versions) of Atonement healers. This will be a viable option on some fights, especially those where the boss takes extra damage. It could also be good on fights where there are periods of downtime when healing requirements are light.

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

I do like that this ability will no longer be completely passive. However, unless you’re using it for burst damage, I still find HotW incredibly boring. The healing bonus is nice, but it’s still got a 6 minute cooldown.

Nature’s Vigil when activated, causes single target healing spells to trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.

Another improvement to healing output. The bonus healing should come from any single target heal (RJ, RG, SM, HT, Nourish). This adds even more smart healing to our toolkit. This isn’t as big an an increase to healing as HotW but it can be used four times as often.

Spell Changes

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

This new spell gives us a little more burst and is something a number of Druids have been asking for for a long time. I really love the sound of this spell. I still don’t think this will be quite as powerful as something like Uplift, since Rejuv is mana-prohibitive and doesn’t jump around on it’s own, but I do think it’s a good addition to our toolkit. Realistically you’re not going to have Rejuv on more than about 8 people at a time tops, and the first applications will only have 1-2 ticks left if you wait until it’s active on 8 targets before using Genesis. So I think this spell will be most useful for healing specific, smaller groups of people. Luckily it looks like this spell doesn’t have a cooldown, so there will be a lot of room to play with it and figure out how best to use it in each fight.

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

This is huge. Only having to place one mushroom is great and being able to move the mushroom without losing the stored up healing is even better. The overall healing that mushrooms can do will be reduced (which is fine, they heal for too much now), but they’ll be so much more usable.

Innervate now causes the target to gain mana equal to 50% of the casting Druid’s Spirit every second for 10 seconds.

Whether this turn out to be a buff or nerf for you depends on how much Spirit you like to run with. With my ~8k spirit, this is a nerf. Which sucks. We’ll also likely benefit even less from Innervates from Guardians or Ferals.

Glyphs

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

This is going to be a must-have glyph. With this now you can Swiftmend the person standing out in the middle of nowhere who’s about to die without having to waste all that ground healing. Being able to place your Efflorescene where you want it (around your Mushrooom, which you can move around as you like) and have it active all the time is a huge buff.

Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it’s cast on a target other than the Druid.

Innervate trading will now be a thing again. But what if I have 8k Spirit and my co-Druid has 10k? Will she feel cheated? Will she not want my puny Innervate?

Tier 16 Set Bonuses

May as well look at the new tier set bonuses too:

  • 2P Bonus – Ironbark increases your critical chance by 20% for 12 sec.
  • 4P Bonus – Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Wild Growth critical heals have a chance to cause all cast time heals for the next 12 sec to cause a Living Seed on the target for 80% of the amount healed.

I really like the 2-set bonus. No, Crit’s not our best stat, but I like that this will (hopefully) give people a reason to use Ironbark all the time.

The 4-set bonus is just odd. I like the idea of Living Seed, but it doesn’t work like it should. It’s so fussy about what damaging effects will trigger it that a lot of the time it ends up wasted, so having LS be 80% of the amount healed rather than 30% and trigger from non crits might not make too much of a difference. With any HoT tick having a chance to trigger the effect it could technically be active all the time, but with the small amount of cast time heals we cast, this bonus seems underwhelming.


Overall, the 5.4 changes look to bring a huge improvement to the resto healing toolkit.  So many of these changes have been asked for by a lot of Druids, it’s nice to know the developers are listening.

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.3

5.3 is today! Generally, I don’t care about patches that don’t include new raid content, but Druids are getting a fair number of buffs. Here are the changes that resto Druids need to know about.

buffs

A number of Resto Druid abilities have been buffed, or improved in some way.

Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.

This is a nice change for 25s. During times of really heavy raid damage, sometimes Tranq doesn’t seem to make much of a dent in healthbars, so this should improve. Holy Priests are receiving the same buff for their Divine Hymn (so they’ll still be better than us).

Force of Nature is no longer on global cooldown and summons a single Treant. The Treant immediately casts Swiftmend (which does not require or consume a HoT) on the Druid’s current target when summoned, and accumulates 1 charge every 20 seconds up to a maximum of 3 charges.

This talent will now be completely under the player’s control, and no longer subject to dumb pet AI. Still, it doesn’t compete with Soul of the Forest or Incarnation.

Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.

This is great. You are now able to keep IB up on someone (like the active tank) for 20% of any encounter. The shorter cooldown should also make you feel more free to use IB on non-tanks when needed.

Swiftmend area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards.

Swiftmend will now heal within a much larger area. Hopefully more people will stay in it for heals if the green circle is bigger.

Wild Mushroom: Bloom: Healing from this spell has been increased by 100%, which includes all bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing. In addition, the radius has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8).

For the fights that mushrooms excel on, they will now be even better. For the fights where people are spread out or moving frequently they’ll still be clunky and of limited use.

Mark of the Wild had its mana cost reduced to 5%, down from 10%.

Not a huge deal, but will make rebuffing someone after they’re rezzed less easier on your mana bar.

My Resto Druid Guide has been updated to reflect these changes.

Some of these, like the reduction on the Ironbark cooldown, are nice quality of life changes. The buffs to Tranquility in 25s, and the range on Mushrooms and Swiftmend are really just band-aid solutions for our outdated, outclassed toolkit though. More numbers are nice, but don’t solve the problem that the other classes can put out healing faster and more efficiently than we can.

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.2

Unless something unexpected happens, 5.2 is going to drop on March 5th. Just a few days away. There is a fantastic round-up of 5.2-related posts on the official site that you should definitely check out. Here are the changes that resto Druids need to know about.

buffs

A number of Resto Druid abilities have been buffed, or improved in some way.

Naturalist: This new passive learned at level 10 by Restoration Druids increases all healing done by the Druid by 10%.

This is a nice buff to all our healing. Hopefully in 5.2, this chart will look a little different and Druids will be on more even footing with the other healing classes.

Wild Mushrooms will now gain 25% of the overhealing performed by the Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, up to a maximum of 33% of the Druid’s health in bonus healing, and growing larger as they do so. When Wild Mushroom: Bloom is cast, this bonus healing will be divided evenly amongst targets in the area of effect.

Mushrooms definitely needed some love, hopefully this change is enough to make them useful. The 33% bonus healing is applied to each Mushroom, so a 3-stack will now heal for an extra ~450k (or whatever your current health value is), split between all targets. This will make for a potent heal if it hits a single or a limited number of targets, and a reasonable group heal if it hits many targets. However, because the Mushrooms need to charge up, it makes placement of them even more important. We’ll need to learn not to place them where the raid is now, but where the raid will be in the future. Start teaching your raid that hugging Mushrooms is the cool thing to do.

The healing granted by Cenarion Ward when a target takes damage has been increased by 100%.

The current healing of Cenarion Ward is not very good. In my current gear, self-buffed, CW does a total of about 67000 healing. Doubling the amount will make it a very decent sized heal, on a 30-second cooldown. In terms of raw HPS, this puts CW ahead of Nature’s Swiftness. However, the problems with CW remain – it is very susceptible to overheal. In most cases, I still prefer Nature’s Swiftness free, emergency heal over another HoT.

Soul of the Forest: Now grants 75% Haste on the next spell cast after the Druid casts Swiftmend.

Soul of the Forest is a great boost to raid healing, granting 75% haste instead of 50% makes it even better. This means than at ideal haste levels, casting Wild Growth with the SotF buff will give you 14 ticks (up from 12). However, once we drop our 4T14 bonus we’re going to run back into the problem of the cooldowns on Swiftmend and Wild Growth aligning poorly, which means Incarnation will likely be more useful. For more on how the change to SotF will affect your HoTs, go visit Binkenstein.

The Treants summoned by Force of Nature now deal more damage and healing, and the Force of Nature tooltip will report the capabilities of these summoned pets.

I’m not sure exactly how much more healing FoN will do now. I’ve heard that they’re a fair bit better, both in HPS and not being completely stupid. I still don’t see many situations where I’d take this over Incarnation or SotF though.

Rejuvenation now costs approximately 9% less mana.

This is really just a way to let us break our 2T14 set bonuses without it hurting.

My Resto Druid Guide has been updated to reflect these changes.

Other Spell Changes

There are also a few minor spell changes coming. First, one of our talents is changing;

Nature’s Vigil now has a 90-second cooldown (was 3 minutes), and now increases damage and healing done by 10% (was 20%).

Numerically, there’s no change here. NV can just be used twice as often but provides half the bonus. This makes NV as an output cooldown less attractive to me. While I currently switch between NV and HotW on some fights, I foresee sticking with HotW most of the time now.

Revive and Mark of the Wild now cost 55% less mana.
Faerie Swarm can now snare more than one target at a time.
Mass Entanglement now has a 30-second cooldown (was 2 minutes).
Typhoon now has a 30-second cooldown (was 20 seconds).

These four changes will have minor impact on the average raiding resto Druid. The cost reduction of MotW will be nice for rebuffing those who get battle rezzed. The cooldown reduction on Mass Entanglement will make us better at CC if T15 brings us more fights with lots of adds – I would have loved this while working on Heroic Will.

Gear

I’ve posted the list of new gear available in 5.2. Valor is not being reset, so hopefully you’re sitting on a lot of it as we go into the patch. The new Shadow-Pan Assault rep has a lot of good options for quick upgrades. You’ll be able to purchase a new neck immediately for 1250 VP. If you’re anything like me, bracers tend to be the bane of the gearing process (still wearing 489s from normal Spirit Kings). SPA offers some nice bracers at Friendly for 1250 VP which you should be able to obtain quickly as well. There is also a trinket available at Friendly for 1750 VP.

None of the changes have caused our stat priority to change. You’ll still be looking to maintain your 3043 Haste level, then focusing on other secondary stats.

Throne of Thunder

If you want to get a head start on learning how to heal encounters in Throne of Thunder, go check out Dayani’s awesome, comprehensive preview of the new raid bosses.
Part 1
Part 2

A Tall Add to Mushrooms

Last night we got a slew of new patch notes for 5.2 and, surprisingly, they finally had something to say about resto Druids!

Mushrooms

First of all, the long-awaited Wild Mushroom change. The tooltip now reads:

The mushrooms grow larger as they accumulate healing power from 75% of overhealing done by your Rejuvenation, up to a maximum of 100% of your health in bonus healing.

It’s not understood exactly how this mechanic will work as they are bugged on the PTR and have been seen healing people for a few million health. I assume that the bonus healing applies to the total heal for each mushroom (and is then split among the targets) rather than applying to each heal.

When I first read this tooltip update, I was concerned that they were unnecessarily complicating things. Why not just buff the amount of healing without adding Rejuv overheal in there? Then I realized that it’s because they still don’t want us using these constantly – having to power them up with overhealing is akin to putting a cooldown on them. I don’t think it’s the most elegant solution. It doesn’t address some of the biggest problems – that casting Mushrooms is clunky and if the raid moves away from them they are useless – but any extra throughput is welcome.

I don’t really think the new Mushroom mechanic will change the way we heal (aside from using Mushrooms more). We’ll always have multiple Rejuvs out, they’ll always be doing overhealing. The biggest challenge will be proper placement – both in location and timing – so that you have supercharged Mushrooms ready to go when the damage happens.

As much as I’ve complained about Mushrooms, I do use them to some extent on a number of fights, even in their currently weak form. Empress, Feng, Wind Lord, Garalon, all involve people stacking up and an ebb and flow of damage that gives you time to set up mushrooms. If the mushrooms are capable of healing for a significant amount, the extra burst heal capability will be appreciated. I also enjoy the thought of having to prepare and play smartly in order to get the most out of the spell.

Rejuvenation

The mana cost of Rejuv is now 14.5%, down from 16%. When you consider that 5.2 will see us breaking our 2T14 set bonus, this isn’t going to have that much of an impact, but I’ll take it.

Set bonuses

We also got a look at the T15 set bonuses:

2 piece – Swiftmend’s ground effect can now heal up to 4 targets each time it heals.
4 piece – The healing done by your Rejuvenation increases by 6% each time it causes healing.

I really like these bonuses. On fights where the raid is grouped up, the 2-piece will be great. I like the 4-piece too. Though I can already hear the cries of “but overheal!” I think a direct buff to the spell we cast the most is great. You can make the overheal argument for pretty much any increase to healing done, so I don’t take it too seriously. This bonus will do very good things to Rejuvs maintained on tanks and will also be good for any fights with constant raid damage.

What do you think of the potential 5.2 changes?

What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.0.4

Patch 5.0.4 will be dropping on August 28th and it will bring all of Mist of Pandaria’s new talents, abilities and spells.

Mana

Say goodbye to the 160k mana pool that you’ve gotten used to. With 5.0.4, our mana pools will be knocked down to a fixed 100,000. Spell mana costs will come down a little as well, but not by that much. For example, on Beta Rejuv costs 3200 mana and Wild Growth costs 4580 mana. On live a Rejuv costs 3727 and a Wild Growth costs 5031. So we’re looking at about a 10-15% reduction in mana costs and a 30-40% reduction in our mana pools. This could make things tough.

The way we regen mana is also being completely changed. Talents like Revitalize, that regen a portion of our total mana are gone. This means that all of our regen will now come from Spirit. I’m going to guess that the 2007 Spirit I’m currently rolling with isn’t going to cut it. Be prepared to take a trip to the reforger once the patch hits. Say goodbye to all that yummy Mastery that you had reforged out of Spirit, and get your Spirit back. Spells are healing for quite a bit more at level 85 on the Beta, so the loss of Mastery shouldn’t affect your output negatively. You may also want to replace your throughput trinkets with regen trinkets.

Spells

Our spell books will look quite a bit different, and we will no longer have access to a number of Balance and Feral spells. This shouldn’t affect raiders too much, but be aware that if you’re used to throwing out some DPS on fights to try to help out, you won’t have as many damaging spells as you used to. Spells and abilities we no longer have include:

  • Insect Swarm
  • Wild Mushroom: Detonate (we will only have healing shrooms)
  • Starfire
  • Thorns

We are also losing access to a number of Cat and Bear abilities, but those shouldn’t have too much of an effect on a healer. The only one I’m really going to miss is Skull Bash.

We have two new base abilities:

  • Ironbark This is the damage mitigation cooldown we’ve been asking for for so long, so don’t forget to use it! We also still have access to Barkskin.
  • Wild Mushroom: Bloom Instead of hurting, these mushrooms heal. You can set up 3 at a time and they will heal everyone in an 8 yard radius for… not a whole lot, really.

A number of abilities have changed:

  • Lifebloom now lasts 15 seconds.
  • Harmony now lasts 20 seconds.
  • Nature’s Cure now has an 8 second cooldown.
  • Rebirth now brings people to life with 60% of their health, up from 20%.
  • Mark of the Wild no longer gives Stamina or spell resistance, only Strength, Agility and Intellect.
  • Dash and Stampeding Roar can be used while in caster form, but will activate Cat/Bear form.
  • Faerie Fire now causes 3 applications of Weakened Armor, instead of 1.

In addition to these things, any Resto talents that were removed with the new talent tree overhaul have been baked into our spells. Living Seed, Malfurion’s Gift, Gift of the Earthmother, Swift Rejuvenation, Nature’s Cure, Efflorescence… they’re all baseline now for Restos. However, the talents that were in the Balance tree, like Nature’s Grace, are now gone. One change that I just noticed today is that Nature’s Focus now also increases our chance to hit with Moonfire and Wrath by 15%. That’s nifty.

Talents

When the patch hits, we will have 5 talent tiers to choose, the 6th doesn’t open up until level 90.

Level 15 Druid talents (MoP)

For Tier 1 Feline Swiftness is the clear winner. Displacer Beast is awful and the uses for Wild Charge are quite limited for a healer in current raid encounters.

Druid level 30 talents (MoP)

For tier 2 I’d go with Nature’s Swiftness. Note that the cooldown is now only 1 minute, down from 3 minutes, which is an excellent improvement. Renewal isn’t something I consider a viable option for healers. Cenarion Ward may be worth playing with, but I think having NS as an extra ‘oh shit’ button is much more valuable than another HoT that’s on a 30 second cooldown.

Level 45 druid talents (MoP)

Tier 3 probably won’t see a whole lot of use in Dragon Soul. You can pretty much pick what you want here. Go with Typhoon if you want to drive your tanks and melee crazy. Typhoon also has the potential to help out with Bloods on heroic Spine, but please check with your kiter/RL as it could also screw things up if it’s not expected.

Level 60 druid talents (MoP)

I think Incarnation is the best talent in tier 4. As an output cooldown, ToL is still great, and with the mana constraints we’ll be facing, I think the ability to spam Lifeblooms (our cheapest spell) and maximize Omen of Clarity procs will be important. Soul of the Forest also looks quite strong in terms of increasing our healing output if you use Wild Growth after every Swiftmend, but it will also cause problems lining up those spells as there is a 5 second difference in their cooldowns. Force of Nature is kind of fun, but pets like these have a tendency to be quite dumb, so I’d skip them.

Level 75 Druid talents (MoP)

Tier 5 is another utility tier that won’t get used a whole lot in Dragon Soul. I can think of a few times that Ursol’s Vortex could be useful if it works properly. That is a big if. In my experience on the beta, it’s seemed a little buggy to me. Ursol’s Vortex could potentially help with add control on a few fights – Forgotten Ones on Yor’sahj, Bloods on Spine and Congealing Bloods on Madness. If UV doesn’t work as expected, Mighty Bash is good, safe bet.

Glyphs

Prime Glyphs will be gone in 5.0.4, so we will now have only 6 glyph slots. We have a lot of options to choose from.

Major Glyphs

My top 3:
Glyph of Lifebloom
– This will allow us to transfer all 3 stacks of Lifebloom when we need to switch our Lifebloom target. This is a must have for any fight with tank-swapping.
Glyph of Wild Growth
– This hasn’t changed. I would take it for 25-man raiding, but possibly not for 10s.
Glyph of Regrowth – Regrowth now innately has a 60% chance to crit, so use of this glyph will make the spell a guaranteed crit, at the cost of the HoT at the end. I personally like the knowing that Regrowth will crit and will likely use this glyph.

On fights where I don’t swap Lifebloom around at all, I would replace Glyph of Lifebloom with one of these:
Glyph of Rejuvenation
– This replaces the second half of the Nature’s Bounty target. With the change to the mana regen model, you may find yourself using Nourish more often than you’re used to, so this glyph is a good choice.
Glyph of Healing Touch
– How useful this is depends on how often you use Healing Touch. I would likely use this on Heroic Spine, since I use HT often to handle the debuffs, but would find it less useful on other fights.

Glyphs to skip:
Glyph of Blooming – This is a PVP glyph, skip it for raid content.
Glyph of Rebirth – With the change to Rebirth now bringing people back with 60% health rather than 20%, this glyph is no longer a requirement.

Minor Glyphs

The minor glyphs are mainly fun, vanity things, so I’m not going to go over them here. You can find the full list of glyphs on Wowhead.

Playstyle

The spells we use and how we use them really isn’t going to change much. Lifebloom and Harmony uptimes will be easier to maintain due to their increased durations, but don’t take that as a sign that you should cast less direct spells. With mana constraints you may find the need to cast a few more Nourishes and a few less Rejuvs and Regrowths.

Don’t foget to make a binding for your new Ironbark spell and make the most out of it. You may also want to create a Power Aura to let you know when it’s off cooldown.

Healing Mushrooms will take some getting used to. The healing they do, especially in relation to their setup time is not very good. I would suggest only using them when you can set them up before the pull and during downtimes when little healing is needed. Here are some good times to use Mushrooms on Dragon Soul fights:

Morchok – Place 3 around the place the dps will stand before the pull. On heroic, make sure to put them down on the post-split positions as there really isn’t any damage beforehand. When you run out for Black Blood, you should be able to put more down from range.
Yor’sahj – Place mushrooms before the pull as well as anytime the boss is summoning oozes and the raid isn’t taking any damage. I’m going to assume (haven’t tested yet) that detonating the mushrooms will cause stacks of Deep Corruption, so don’t use them on Purple phases.
Zon’ozz – You should be able to place mushrooms on the spot where the dps/healers stand before the pull, as well as after every dark phase before the Void Ball starts bouncing.
Hagara – Place mushrooms before the pull. If you use the strat where the ranged/healers stack up in the bubble during frost phase, that’s a good time to detonate them.
Ultraxion – In my raid, I find 98% of the Ultraxion fight consists of downtime. I’d probably just ignore mushrooms on this fight, unless you’re still seeing the Timeloop happen. If that’s the case, set them up pre-pull and detonate near the end of the fight when things get tough.
Blackhorn – Between dodging (or chasing) barrages and trying to stay out of deck fire and shockwaves, there’s not a whole lot of times during this fight where mushroom use will be able to be maximized. You could try to get Mushrooms down when an Onslaught it cast and pop them just after it hits.
Spine – Most of the downtime on Spine happens while the Plate is lifted and people are killing the tendons. You should be able to set up some mushrooms around the raid during any plate lift and detonate them as required (preferably when there are lots of healing debuffs out).
Madness – The best place to use mushrooms on most of the platforms will be when the raid is grouped up and killing the Arm/Wing Tentacle and everyone is taking damage from Blistering Heat. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find some downtime to set these up. When you are on the platform where an Elementium Bolt will hit, Mushrooms can also be used just after it hits. In the final phase, I’d get mushrooms set up near the boss before any of the adds spawn and use them when the Corrupting Blood damage starts getting heavy, sub-10%.

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.