Archive for the ‘Druid Healing’ Category
I have been invited to be a part of a Resto Druid round table tomorrow night with the Waffle Cast crew. It will be at 7:00 pst, and will be live streamed if you would like to listen/participate. You can also head over to the Waffle Cast website and post any questions that you’d like to have addressed during the round table. The participants for the round table are as follows:
Diziet: Tournament Player (most recently WCG 2011 in Korea)
Beruthiel: 25m Heroic Raider from Falling Leaves and Wings
Hamlet: EJ Math/Theorycrafting Guru and creator or Tree Calcs
Synergy: Multi Season Gladiator
Lissanna: Restokin and Druid Class MVP
There is a very diverse list of participants, so don’t hesitate to ask any resto druid questions you may have on your mind and tune in to hear all things resto!
I’ve had a few queries about my thoughts on T13, how I am gearing for progression, and more specifically on some of my stat weightings as viewed in armory; as such I thought I’d take a few minutes to go over my thoughts on set gear this tier. The most common question I’m asked about are spirit and mastery ratings – and more specifically my spirit and mastery. And, honestly, depending on when I’m asked and what gear I’m wearing my answer changes.
The Great Four Piece Debate
There is a lot of speculation about how valuable four piece T13 is for resto druids. Unfortunately, I don’t have a solid, analytical answer for that question. What I can tell you, however, is that I’ve been playing around some with the set bonus. To date, I’ve not been successful at finding how often timeslip procs in the logs - or how much of the casted spell is overheal. What I can tell you is that on the two heroic fights I used the bonus on this week I did marginally better than the prior week, and had slightly more rejuv healing. However, without definitively knowing how much of that is attributable to timeslip, I don’t know that I can say anything definitive regarding how much of an impact the bonus had.
What I can say definitively is that I still prefer the extra mana gain from 2 T12/2 T13 for progression attempts – with heroic Yor’shaj being the only exception to that rule. I find that the extra mana return far outweighs any value from “timeslip”. It gives me more leeway to learn how to heal the encounter and let’s me be a little more aggressive during learning attempts. I started our Heroic Ultraxion attempts with 4 T13, and quickly swapped back into my 2/2 set and found myself significantly more comfortable. That being said, once I am familiar with an encounter and the damage patterns in the encounter, I’ve had no issues swapping over to the 4 T13. However, I am still uncertain of the overall value outside of just increased stats on the gear.
What is up with your spirit and haste?
I’m glad you asked! My question to you would be “what was I wearing when you armoried me?!”. Because I’ve been toying with the 4 T13 bonus, but most of my gear is shared outside of the set items, and I want to be able to flip between the two seamlessly, I’m limited in what I can do with reforging on my sets. My 2/2 set sits at exactly 2005 haste, which means that I can’t tinker with any of those items when dealing with my 4 T13 set. This limits what I can do with reforging and means that my spirit in this set is a little high (2700) and I have roughly 80 more haste than I need. My mastery also takes a bit of a dip in the T 13 set.
Until I can decide what I’m going to do with the gear, I imagine that my 4 T13 set is going remain a little off stat wise. In time, I am sure that I will go straight T13 and be done with it. But for now, I’m not ready to give up the extra regen from the 2/2 set and want to continue having it as an option for progression.
As far as spirit is concerned, I can tell you that I’ve upped mine from T12 somewhat significantly. I ran roughly 1700 spirit by the end of T12, but found that was not sufficient for my healing style in the T13 content. As such, I’m currently running around 2400 spirit and feel comfortable. I’m not yet to the point of having a surplus of mana left at the end of encounters, but as gear increases, I imagine that I will get there – and when I do I will be reforging some it back off and likely back into mastery. As far as spirit is concerned overall, you just need to find a number that works well for you.
And that is what is up with my gear! Please keep that in mind if you are running an armory on me. I’d love to know if anyone has found a way to track timeslip in WoL. Additionally, I’d love to hear any experiences that you may have with the set bonus and what you think!
Druids can’t heal that! Yes, yes we can. While it’s true that we don’t bring any of the goodies that the other three healing classes offer the raid (Barrier, SLT, Beacon of Light), and there are plenty of arguments for why those other classes are more valuable to the raid on this fight – Druids are still viable healers for this encounter and it can be done with a leafy healer in the raid. Let’s talk about how to navigate through this content tier’s “druids are terrible” encounter.
Please note that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions.
A few tips!
- Don’t stress the mana void! I talked about this in the video, but forgot to mention one thing: when blue is out it’s a license to go nuts with your mana. The mana void is going to drain it all from you anyhow, make good use of it before it’s gone! Additionally, I forgot to mention that I always save my mana pot for a back to back blue void as the mana void tends to take a little longer to die due to not having as much time to DPS it down between voids. I found that a well timed mana pot could work wonders. Additionally, many of the blue combinations are the easiest! Learn to love seeing that blue slime creep in towards the boss.
- Love your melee. One thing that we learned was that as long as all of the ranged and the healers were at range, the melee were never targeted with the green ooze. This made it significantly easier on both the melee and the raid. Let your melee pile right in and have the range eat all of the green.
- Purple, Shmerple. The only really challenging purple combination is a black/purple. The rest of them are fairly easy to navigate once you get a feel for them. The biggest piece of advice I can give for surviving the purple is to make sure you raid is topped up before the purple ooze hits.
- Who is healing MY group?! We used 6 healers and assigned one to the tank and one to each group. During purple phases healers were given very strict assignments and did not heal outside of their group. We used a shaman on the tanks, with a paladin who healed group 1 bouncing Beacon of Light between the tanks (more below).
- Deep Corruption. Make sure your raid frames show deep corruption stacks. No matter how good you are, when things get hairy it’s easy to forget if you healed that person 2 , 3 or 4 times.
- What do you mean I can only heal the tanks FOUR times! Tank healing on this encounter gets tricky, and requires a combination of good communication and smart cooldown usage. We had one healer assigned to heal the tanks directly during the purple phases. When the tanks would taunt, our paladin would beacon the non-active tank (who had four stacks of deep corruption) and go nuts to keep him up, while our tank healer would swap to the new tank. Once that tank became unhealable, our paladin would swap his beacon again to deal with the damage the new damage on the tank. We utilize both tank cooldowns and external cooldowns (Hand of Sac./Pain Suppression/LoH) to help keep the tank up during the sticky parts where they could no longer receive direct heals but were still taking heavy damage. Additionally, towards the end of the purple phase, stay with the tank and time a heal to hit the second deep corruption drops off to get the tanks back in order for the next phase. There will be a fair number of tank deaths while you work through what needs to be done to keep the tanks alive during the purple phases, it’s just part of the learning curve as your tank healer and paladins work through finding the perfect combination of timing heals, swearing and prayer.
- ToL/Tranq. Unless you are trying to wipe your raid, never utilize Tranq during a purple phase. I panicked once and did this, and the raid was dead before Tranq finished casting. Oops. Additionally, save your ToL for a Red/Black/Blue or a Red/Yellow/Black phase were the extra healing and can be useful. While I suppose you could test it out during a purple phase, I feel that is a lackluster time to utilize it due to the nature of Lifebloom and your limitations on healing during that phase. I tend to favor mine on the Red/Black/Blue because LB is dirt cheap, but will also utilize it on the Red/Yellow/Black phase should we see that one first.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have questions!
I’ve gotten quite a few questions on this bugger of a fight, and I know that I’m a little slow getting this out, but I hope it’s still timely enough to be helpful! I only have kill footage of this encounter – which went beautifully until the very end where we squeaked by on the skin of our teeth, so please forgive the “oops” at the end. I will tell you what was supposed to happen as the fight came to a close and point out where that went awry. I dealt very specifically with druid healing in this video, but will add a few more comments/tips below.
Please note that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions.
A Few Tips!
- How many healers did you use? We heal this with seven healers. Our first kill was 2 druids, 1 paladin, 3 priests and 1 shaman. Our other druid healed one of the tentacle tanks during the black phase. We’ve used any number of combinations since then and been successful.
- Oh God, my mana! This is an extremely heal intensive encounter, and mana will be very tight. I opted to run with 2 T12 and 2 T13 while learning it so that I had extra regen for the encounter. Additionally, I found that, for myself, if I didn’t innervate before the first black phase things were so hectic and every GCD in the black phase was so precious, that I often forgot to innervate until we came out of the phase and I was often sub 50% mana. As such,I try to make a point to innervate before entering that first black phase to maximize my innervates through the fight. Additionally, don’t forget to maximize your trinkets if you have additional regen focused trinkets so that you can utilize them the maximum number of times in the fight.
- Love Nature’s Grace. I can’t stress this enough! Whether you are solo healing a group or healing with a partner, make smart use of Nature’s grace so that you have it available during heavy damage phases to help boost the healing you can do during those times.
- Tree of Life. As I stated in the video, I preferred to use ToL while the debuffs were active so that I could do more effective healing for less mana and it ensured that I could maximize ToL twice in the encounter. I, personally, found it somewhat lackluster for dealing with the black phase damage and found that I often reverted to rejuv/regrowth even if I was in ToL so it made the most sense for me to use it as more of a conservation tool to help support the aggressive healing needed in the black phases. This worked very well for me, but you will need to play around with it to find the best time for you and your raid team – you may well find that you like it better at a different time in the encounter.
- Tranquility. Also as stated in the video, I favored using Tranquility during the first and third black phases. This meant that I had it available for two of the phases where the healers are spread out and have to focus on keeping their group alive. I found this imperative for solo healing a group, and extremely helpful when working with another healer. While it meant that I did not have it available for the final push – we had many mitigation cooldowns available to get us through those final seconds of the fight during that fourth black phase where you ignore everything and just burn through the boss.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When your raid is first learning this fight, navigating the black phase as a druid is brutal. Our tool kit lacks any burst AE healing, which means that you need to do a lot of prep for the black phase and smartly utilize your cooldowns and toolbox to navigate through it. If you also 7 heal, one of your groups will have 2 healers in it – and if you are struggling with the black phase do not hesitate to ask to be placed in the “team up” group. We found that priests of both specs were especially adept at solo healing a group, and that paring up our shaman and myself made life a lot less miserable for the both of us. Asking for help doesn’t mean you are a bad healer, it just means that the black phase sucks and our toolkit isn’t the most adept at navigating the damage. By our third kill, with some gear upgrades and the raid more familiar with the fight, I had no issues solo healing a group – but during progression trying to solo heal it was one of the worst healing experiences I’ve ever had.
- Mitigating Damage. Something to keep in mind is that the gaze from the eyestalks can be brutal when all 8 of them are active (especially in those 5-10 seconds the flails are alive), however, those buggers can be interrupted! You probably don’t want to make it a priority to interrupt each and every one, DPS can (and should) interrupt the ones they are DPSing to help the black phase damage be more manageable. While they do not have a cast bar, you can easily tell when they are casting because they “squat”. Additionally, everyone in the raid with damage mitigating abilities should be sure that they use them during black phases.
- Raid Cooldowns. You absolutely want to have a raid cooldown rotation for the final black phase “push”. (This would be the part in the video were we made a mistake and blew up). We set up PW:B rotations, as well as Aura Mastery and 4 piece tank cooldown rotations. Once you hit that phase it’s pure survival mode. Cycle your cooldowns and keep as many people alive as you can. I might also recommend prayer. Additionally, we used Aura Mastery and 4 piece tank cooldowns during the black phases, and PW:B throughout the fight while the debuffs were active. We found that having a PW:B as the debuff comes out immediately after your first black phases to really help keep the raid stabilized - as that set of debuffs occurs almost immediately upon entering the light phase and many people are still low life from the black phase.
There is a lot going on in this encounter, so I may well have forgotten to address something. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have questions!
Ah, a new tier, a new set of nerfs and relearning how to kick ass at your class. Sounds like fun! I’m going to start Tier 13 with Hard Mode guides, as I get through them with my guild. However, if anyone has a specific request for a guide on any of the normal mode encounters please don’t hesitate to ask me if I can put one together. I do have footage of most of the normal mode encounters, and would be happy to toss something together if people feel that there is a need for the information.
As for Heroic Morchok, he’s quite a bit of fun, but can also be a little stressful from a healing standpoint – especially as a druid with our notable lack of burst AE healing. There is high raid damage that needs to be dealt with fairly quickly so that your raid is prepared to take subsequent incoming damage. It can be tricky, but it’s definitely possible for you to perform well on the encounter. Let’s take a look at how I navigated the encounter!
As always, please note that this video is best viewed in one of the higher resolutions.
A Few Tips!
- How many healers did you take? We used 6, three for each side. The enrage timer on the boss is fairly strict, so unless you have some seriously standout DPS you will probably not be able to take more than 6 healers at this stage in the content. We used a priest/paladin/druid combination on the left side and a priest/shaman/druid combination on the right side.
- Tank Cooldowns. Something that I neglected to mention in the video is that the tanks receive a debuff after each stomp that causes them to take increased damage. It will be important that the have a personal or external cooldown for each stop, and that the tanks and the healers work out a cooldown rotation in advance. We even had our ret paladins assisting with a bubble/sac to ensure that we had enough cooldowns for every stop.
- Raid Cooldowns. As I indicated in the video, the tricky part of the fight isn’t having the raid survive the stomp, it’s having the raid survive the crystal after the stomp. This becomes more challenging as Morchok’s life decreases and his damage ramps up significantly. As such, we found it far more beneficial to utilize raid cooldowns to mitigate the crystal damage as opposed to trying to mitigate the stomp damage. This opens up a world of possibilities, as the crystal damage is shadow based, making thinks like Aura Mastery and Anti-magic Zone excellent options for mitigating some of the damage. Similarly to the tank cooldowns, work out your raid cooldowns in advance, and be sure that you have a cooldown for every crystal in the 25-0% portion of his life when he gets really angry. Once you’ve done that, navigate the cooldowns earlier in the encounter to they are back up again for that last part, to assist with easing the burden on the healing. We used our raid cooldowns in the 75-50% portion of the encounter, and again at the 25-0% portion of the encounter.
- Oh god, my mana. Because of the damage patterns of the encounter, and our noted lack of burst healing, you will find that you rely very heavily on rejuv to manage the healing on the raid. Be sure that you innervate early and often, and conserve mana when and where you can. Try to line your first innervate up with a power torrent proc for the extra mana – you will have a need for it by the end of the fight. The “ooze” phase is a perfect time to utilize a concentration potion, so be sure to sneak one in during that down time. (I actually think I missed doing this in the video, and ended up using a normal mana potion as a result – and my mana at the end of the fight kicked me for that mistake!). Additionally, don’t be afraid to set up Hymning with your priest during the encounter either. The “ooze” phase is another perfect time to take advantage in the lack of healing needed.
Good Luck, have fun, and please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!
Last week I talked about my post 4.3 frustrations while healing. I spent the majority of that week feeling like I was championing a “this is why we are frustrated” cause to everyone who isn’t a druid (and feeling like I was talking to a brick wall 9 out of 10 times), while being a beacon for other frustrated druids who thought that perhaps they were alone in their frustrations and that they must be doing something wrong (and found out that they weren’t). I’m tired of trying to explain the frustrations of our class to people who don’t regularly raid as a druid, subsequently think “druids are fine, I don’t see what you are so frustrated about”, and have spent the past eight months living with what I’ve termed “tranq envy” (thanks for that, by the way, Blizzard).
Since I’m fairly weary (and emotionally worn out) from these conversations (and dealing with the frustrations), I thought perhaps today I’d flip that and write something a little more positive in an effort help the forest that came forth and said “I’m so relieved that it’s not just me”. In short, let’s talk a little bit about how to maximize what we can do with the tool kit we’ve been left with. Read the rest of this entry »
In a word: I’m frustrated.
I was trying to express this in vent last night, but I’m afraid I wasn’t very articulate about it. Borsk was pretty much like QQ more druid – which I suppose is fair, since the frustration that I felt last night is likely similar to what shaman have been feeling for the past two raiding tiers. So I’ll let him have it. But that does not change the fact that I was so frustrated and disheartened last night that by the halfway point in the raid, I didn’t even feel like being there. It is not fun to feel like you are giving it everything you’ve got and yet everything remains so insufficient.
I’ve had two druid experiences so far: a completely PuG LFR with Elentari and my Progression raid with Beru. In my PuG Elentari dominated – but I suspect that has more to do with me being a competent and skilled healer in a PuG setting than anything else. I also dominated on Mynn in the LFR I did with her, and she’s the healer I’m least comfortable with and least geared. So take that for what you will.
However, when I got into my progression setting with five other competent and very skilled healers I felt like I was busting my ass – and felt like that no matter how hard I tried I wasn’t going to catch up. Now, in looking over my logs this morning, I was far from perfect. My LB uptime was much too low on several fights and my harmony uptime needs to be picked up (but wasn’t terrible). So there is definitely room for improvement – but I have to think that everyone on my raid team was in the same boat as we looked at these fights for the first time. Let me see if I can articulate the problem without it simply sounding like a bunch of whining. Read the rest of this entry »
Today started like any other. I woke up, came to work, sat down to read some WoW news, sort through my feedreader – you know, all that good “must do before I can actually work” stuff. And during that process, I came across something that made me make the following comment on Twitter:
I’ve been a druid for almost seven years, and nothing makes me consider a “reroll” more than statements like this: “where the Druid would need to switch between healing and DPS”. I don’t understand what is so wrong with just wanting to heal? Why this constant feel that this “hybrid” theory be pushed on us?
Ok, that was actually more like three tweets, but I’ll just let you imagine that there were breakpoints every 140 letters. Anyhow, this comment started conversation between Derwent, Jarre and myself. Honestly, we probably would have been better served to have hooked up in gchat or vent and just pow-wowed, because let’s be honest – trying to have a meaningful conversation in 140 characters is borderline painful. Anyhow, the three of us spent some time discussing (read: bitching, moaning and doomsdaying) about the (very early and nowhere near finalized) direction Blizzard seems to be pushing druids with Mists of Pandaria.
Before I go any further I feel it is important to stop here, remind everyone that both Derwent and Jarre are very intelligent individuals – and I think I tend to use the bit of mush between my ears from time to time. We are all well aware that nothing is final. We are all well aware that everything can change. No one is screaming that the world is ending, the sky is falling or that we are running out and cancelling our WoW subscriptions. However, from time to time, intelligent people with similar interests get together to have intelligent conversations about things. And in most circles, this is considered healthy. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with three intelligent people analyzing the direction of our class, even if it is with a healthy dose of speculation.
Ok, now that I’ve got that out-of-the-way, let’s continue with where I was going shall we? Read the rest of this entry »
Wild Growth and Tranquility: The Problems
Everyone rushed into a frenzy yesterday at the news of a WG nerf. And to be fair I did a bit of ranting on twitter myself, but I decided that I wanted to sleep on it and gather my thoughts a little bit before putting them together to share. While my initial gut reaction was to fly off the handle, I needed to take a step and remind myself that it is day one of the PTR and many things will likely change. So let’s take a look at the nerf, shall we?
In conjunction with this change, we also need to review the change to the Glyph of Wild Growth as well.
- Glyph of Wild Growth now also increases the cooldown on Wild Growth by 2 seconds.
So what do those two combined changes achieve? Well, they pretty much put Wild Growth back to exactly where it was when Cataclysm launched before it was buffed in 4.0.6 to where it is today. I’m struggling with this a little bit. Frist, WG is pretty powerful. That cannot be denied. And honestly, anyone who wasn’t expecting some sort of nerf was probably sticking their head in the sand. Read the rest of this entry »
The other day when I gave my thoughts on Druid Healing for the questionnaire that was placed on the official WoW forums, I stated that Healing Touch was probably the least used spell in my arsenal. However, since that time, I’ve had a few people ask me about that choice, and had others comment that Healing Touch played an important role in their healing rotations, so I wanted to take a minute to clarify.
What do you mean you don’t use Healing Touch?!
Relating to your questionnaire answers – how can healing touch be your least used spell?
To start, I’d like to clarify something: by indicating that healing touch is my least used spell, I’m not saying that I never use it. Quite the opposite, in fact. I utilize healing touch every encounter. But of all of the spells that I find in my tool kit, it’s the one that I generally have the least reliance on to do my job. To be sure, there are some encounters where it is my clutch spell, such as Alysrazor and Baleroc. I even get a fair amount of use out of it in Beth’tilac. But when I compare it to the other spells in my toolkit, I just don’t use at as much as my other spells. Read the rest of this entry »