With The Siege of Orgrimmar just around the corner, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at what changes we will be seeing as we had in to take down Garrosh!
Innervate – Now restores mana based on the Druid’s spirit
This now means that your return from innervate will not be a set amount, but will be based on how much spirit you are using. This is a good change at the end game, when you are likely to have more spirit on your gear – but may make early restos a little mana starved until they are able to soak up some spirit gear. Basically you will want at least 12,000 spirit to keep your innervate at the same size that it is now. Anything lower than that will make your innervate restore less mana than currently, and anything higher will grant you more mana return from your innervate.
Wild Mushroom Bloom – The 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. The amount of healing stored on a Wild Mushroom is now reduced by Battle Fatigue. Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Bloom now have a shared 3-second cooldown.
When you summon mushrooms now, you will only have to summon one mushroom! This is a fantastic quality of life change for everyone! The healing from the mushroom will still heal as if you had planted three in 5.2/5.3 but only one mushroom is required. Additionally, you will now retain the stored up healing in the mushroom if you move it to a new location – which is a fantastic change and makes mushrooms much more forgiving if your raid moves and/or you need to change where you’ve placed your muhsroom. And you will be able to place a mushroom under a person – rather than utilizing the targeting reticule. This will mean that you can plant your mushroom via your raid frames, if you are so inclined.
There will be a three second cooldown between when you plant your mushrooms and when you are able to bloom them – which, while a change, isn’t bad. And if you PvP the amount stored in your mushroom will be reduced while under Battle Fatigue.
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.
The accumulation rate of this is basically just a reworking to compensate for the fact that we now only have one mushroom, as opposed to three. However, the Crit, Naturalist and Mastery changes are a small nerf – but likely one that was needed, since the output of mushrooms is already very powerful. While the change will probably be slightly noticeable, and maybe a little bit of a bummer, I don’t really expect it to have a massive impact on the PvE side of the game.
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 is a new addition to our toolkit. What it does, in a nutshell, is allow your rejuvs to become a more burstier heal. It will take all of your active rejuvs, and speed up the rate at which they tick so that they will all heal much more quickly. This ability also has the potential to have some interplay with charging your mushrooms very quickly, if needed.
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.
This is a good, and much-needed update to how Living seed functions. Basically, Living Seed will now build up and they won’t trigger from a hit if they party that the living seed is on doesn’t require any healing. There isn’t much more to say here, but this is a good change for Living Seed!
Swiftmend’s area-of-effect healing effect is now called Efflorescence.
Not too much happening here, other than making digging through combat logs a little easier and creating less confusion.
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.
This basically turns DoC into our version of Atonement. Only worse. While this talent had a lot of potential, the cost of wrath coupled with the interaction it’s going to have with healing makes this talent somewhat prohibitive and lackluster compared to the other two. It may have some niche uses, but isn’t likely to be the top choice for the tier.
Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids
A nice change to this ability that makes it more than just a passive Intellect increase and offers a bit of a healing bonus for utilizing the spell – somewhat similar to the extra output from ToL.
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 is a pretty nice change to Nature’s Vigil, and will likely make it the top choice in talents for us in SoO. It’s basically going to take any single target heal (Rejuv, Regrowth, Swiftmend, Healing Touch, etc.) and heal nearby person for 1/4 of the initial heal. This has the potential to be very powerful in high AE damage situations, especially given the short 1.5 minute cooldown on the ability. I would expect that this will be your go-to talent in this tier, unless there is a niche encounter that will favor one of the other two talents more.
Nature’s Swiftness is no longer a talent, and is now an ability learned by Restoration Druids at level 30.
This is a fantastic change for us, as it means that we can actually explore some of the other talents in that tier, and it removes having what is essentially a mandatory talent. Other than that, nothing else about the ability has changes.
New talent: Ysera’s Gift. Ysera’s Gift 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. This talent fills the spot vacated by Nature’s Swiftness.
Since the departure of Nature’s Swiftness left a gap in our talent tree, they have created a new talent to fill the gap. In looking at the other abilities offered, your two main options are going to be either Ysera’s Gift or Cenarian Ward. Right now, I’m leaning towards Ysera’s Gift being the stronger of the two talents, but may change my mind after playing around with it a little bit. It’s a nice self heal, with a perk for being at full health. Given the other two talents in the tier, I feel that this one will likely be the strongest in a PvE setting – but not so dominantly that the others might not have a place given the encounter you are facing.
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 (up from 75%) on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.
This is a fairly basic change for us with regards to SotF, and doesn’t change a whole lot with regards to the ability for us – but what is going to make it interesting is that we will now have the ability to decouple Efflorescence and Swiftmend via a glyph, which now makes SotF a much more attractive option. With this in mind, I would look for SotF to start edging out the other talents in this tree and for people to start favoring it over ToL in more situations.
Teleport: Moonglade now returns the Druid to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in the Moonglade area.
This is a nice little change to this ability. Essentially, if you teleport to Moonglade, casting the ability again will return you to where you were standing when you teleported there. I see myself visiting the trainers in this nice, serene location more frequently now!
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.
This is a major glyph and has some potential to bring back Innervate swapping as an option to increase the amount of mana gained from Innervate. That being said, I don’t really see it being stronger than the other major glyphs available and I’m not a huge fan of not being in control of my own innervate. Which coupled with the fact that there are stronger major glyphs, I, personally, won’t be considering this glyph.
Glyph of Lifebloom’s effect is now baseline and has been replaced with Glyph of Efflorescence.
This is a very nice change for Lifebloom, and I’m very glad to see that this quality of life change is now permanent and will no longer require us to eat up a major glyph slot to benefit from it!
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 pretty much going to be a must have glyph as it essentially makes Efflorescence a permanent effect as long as you have a wild mushroom active. This is going to be pretty powerful in most, if not all, raid settings. In addition, it decouples swiftmend from efflorescence and means that you no longer have to worry if you are “wasting” your swiftmend by using it on the tank, or someone not grouped up with the rest of the raid (*cough*hunters*cough*). The interaction that this will have with SotF also means that talent is no longer going to tie your Efflorescence to WG and lock you into utilizing Swiftmend/Efflo when it’s not really needed. Overall, this is a fantastic glyph and should be utilized is just about every PvE setting.
Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom: Allows the Wild Mushroom spell to be placed on the ground instead of underneath a target.
This is a minor glyph that gives you the option to continue to utilize the targeting reticule to place your mushrooms – as opposed to placing it underneath someone.
Glyph of One with Nature: Grants the Druid the ability to teleport to a random natural location.
A fun little minor glyph that seems reminiscent of what I might call Wormhole Generator: Druid.
Tier 16 Set Bonuses
- (2) Set: Rejuvenation ticks have a 12% chance to grant a Sage Mender, reducing the mana cost and cast time of your next Healing Touch by 20%, stacking up to 5 times.
I think that this is an interesting bonus. Essentially, at 5 stacks you have a completely free HT. It’s almost like another NS added to your toolkit. It will definitely be worth tracking, but I’m not 100% sure it will be worth picking up until you have your four piece bonus – as I’m not sure it’s worth losing your 4 T15 bonus. That being said, if you are not in T15 Heroic Gear and/or you don’t have your T15 4 piece bonus – the item upgrades may be worth moving to right away, so keep that in mind and consider it as you make a gear plan for yourself!
- (4) Set: Targets of your Wild Growth spell are instantly healed for (Spell power * 0.25).
This is a pretty powerful four piece bonus, and is something that you will want to try and pick up as soon as you can. It’s a very nice boost to Wild Growth, and give it something it sorely needs in today’s healing environment: the ability to offer a nice heal instantly.
Jina-Kang, Kindness of Chi-Ji – The Legendary Cloak
I wanted to go ahead and make mention of the cloak, simply because the proc that it offers is going to do an impressive amount of healing – and there will be a noticeable difference between those who have the cloak and those who do not. the equip effect of the cloak is as such:
Equip: Your helpful spells have a chance to grant you Spirit of Chi-Ji, increasing all healing done by 5% and causing all overhealing on players to be redistributed to up to 5 nearby injured friends, for 10 sec. (Approximately 0.58 procs per minute)
As a druid, this is going to be especially powerful given the nature of HoTs and the relationship that they have come to have with overhealing, especially in today’s healing environment. You will want to try to acquire your legendary cloak as soon as it’s feasible for you to do so, and it will be your best in slot cloak for the remainder of the tier. In fact, I would not be surprised to see some tweaks to the proc once 5.4 goes live and we see more practical use from it.
Overall, I think Druids look to be in a very strong place with 5.4.
It’s certainly going to take us some time to tinker around with our new and/or improved toolkit to find the best ways to utilize and maximize them, but we are definitely looking very healthy going into battle with Garrosh. Many of the changes are strong and supplement our current toolkit very well. I am looking forward to get to try out some new things, and explore some options that weren’t always available previously. It looks to be an exciting tier and an exciting time to be a resto druid!
I wish everyone luck as they head in to overthrow Garrosh! And I can’t wait to see who will be leading the horde moving forward!