With a new tier of content now available and some interesting changes to how Critical Heals work, I have been giving some thought to my spec as it relates to stepping into Firelands and learning the new content. By the end of T11 I had dropped all of my points from furor and reallocated them into Genesis. I had also dropped all points from Living Seed and Nature’s Bounty and instead opted for taking all three points in Perserverence for survivability as we worked the final heroic encounter in the tier.
However, now that we are facing new challenges and uncertain damage patterns, and what has the potential to be an interesting change to critical heals, I thought perhaps it was time to re-evaluate my healing spec. There has been some additional chatter and number crunching surrounding the value of both Living Seed and Nature’s Bounty with the crit changes – and how we, as both tank and raid healers, should look at these talents in light of the changes.
Right now, I feel that the general consensus is that Living Seed will still only really shine if you are primarily tank healing. This is due to the fact that Regrowth is still an almost prohibitively expensive spell to cast, meaning that you are still only generally utilizing it with OoC procs, and unless you are tank healing you likely aren’t casting a ton of Healing Touch or Noursih outside of potentially refreshing Harmony. Additionally, keep in mind that the triggers to have Living Seed activate are still limited, meaning that a seed planted on almost anyone outside of the tank will likely never heal. These facts continue to make this talent fairly lackluster for most druids in my opinion, assuming that there are better places to spend the talents.
On the other hand, I feel that Nature’s Bounty has some renewed potential and deserves another look. While, similarly to Living Seed, the talent is plagued by the near prohibitive mana cost of Regrowth, the changes to critical heals would seem to mean that the almost guaranteed crit that you will get for maximizing this talent makes Regrowth somewhat more valuable as a heal – even if only being utilized with OoC procs (which is largely the only time you should be using Regrowth). At the least it certainly makes it a more effective “flash” type emergency heal and a speedy nourish for refreshing Harmony.
With that in mind I thought it was time to re-evaluate my spec and consider what, if any, changes I want to explore before stepping into Firelands.
Here is what I’m going to try for our first week of raiding
Here is a breakdown of what I changed in my spec:
- I removed the two points I had in Genesis, moving one (for now) back into Furor as I explore the mana demands of Firelands. Once I have a feel for the content, upgrade my gear and become comfortable with my mana, I will likely be dropping the point in Furor and most likely moving it back into Genesis.
- I took the other point I removed from Genesis and utilized it to get the third point in Nature’s Bounty.
- I removed two of the points I had in Perserverance and placed them into Nature’s Bounty. Once we move into hard modes again, I may reconsider this change and will weigh out the value of the extra survivability versus the usefulness/strength of Nature’s Bounty.
A few key notes:
- Keeping Nature’s swiftness in my spec is a personal preference. I utilize it at least once an encounter, sometimes more. It’s value is debatable, but it is my preference to have it.
- I continue to keep Nature’s Cure. A lot of 25s raiding druids drop it from their specs with the mentality that “other healers with less bloated talent trees can deal with cleansing magic”. While I do agree with them to an extent, I feel that it’s a utility I like having. Then again, I’m a control freak. So there you go.
I plan to raid with this spec for the duration of this week and see how I feel it works for me. At the end of the week, after looking through my logs, I’ll re-evaluate it and decide if I want to keep it or tweak it some before the next raid.
While there are undoubtedly some “must have” talents for us, I think it’s important that each healer explore the options of those “floater” talents and think about what will work best for them, taking into account your individual healing style and how you work within your healing team. There isn’t a clear-cut answer on which are the “right” talents to pick up, and until the math is tested in a practical setting I’d like to encourage everyone to do a little exploration of their own. Look through your spec and think about if the spec you left T11 with is the best one for you as you step into Firelands!