There has been some argument about the value of glyphed HT compared to our other healing spells, in terms of what to use when 3.1 goes live. While glyphed HT may be useful for healing on the live servers right now, or for PvP in 3.1, or somewhere else where you need quick heals and can’t rely on your HOTs… glyphed HT will not be really a good heal to use in PvE raiding in 3.1, compared to other healing tools we have available.
Lets break this down. In tree form, I have 1922 spell power & 273 haste on my PTR druid, with just MOTW buff. (with all the mana reduction talents, including moonglow & full tranquil spirit)
- Healing touch is: 0.923 sec cast, 645 mana.
- Regrowth is: 1.85 sec cast, 719 mana
- Nourish is: 1.39 sec cast, 509 mana.
Just looking at the mana costs, and how fast they cast, nourish actually wins, especially with the haste bonuses other classes will give you in a raid situation. Healing Touch will clip the GCD in PvE encounters more often than nourish, so at some point, you don’t gain anything from being below the GCD all the time in raid instances. For both HT and nourish being near the 1 second GCD most of the time, nourish just costs less mana per application, and mana is going to matter in Ulduar, especially if you want to be able to roll lifeblooms on a tank.
Lets look at the healing done to compare the spells, each with their own glyph: Nourish, regrowth, & healing touch. Includes every talent that increases the healing done by these 3 spells (including Empowered touch for HT tests). Sample includes data from 10 to 15 non-crit casts. I like posting ranges better than averages for small casting sample sizes.
For nourish, this includes only the glyph and NOT the Tier 7 bonus, since if you are in full T8, you won’t have that bonus anymore. When you have the T7 bonus AND nourish glyph, nourish with 2 to 3 HOTs automatically wins, based on numbers I posted elsewhere. The nourish glyph increases the amount of nourish’s healing by 6% for EACH HOT on the target.
- Glyphed HT: Healing range 4996 to 5398
- Regrowth w/regrowth HOT applied: Range 5153 to 5415
- Nourish no HOTs: 3835 to 4128
- Nourish with 1 HOT (+glyph, no T7 bonus): 4877 to 5303
- Nourish with 2 HOTs (+glyph): 5101 to 5486
- Nourish with 3 HOTs (+glyph): 5353 to 5791
So, the break-even point for Nourish, regrowth, and Glyphed HT in terms of healing done is Nourish with 2 HOTs. When you have 3 HOTs on your target, nourish wins hands-down. At the 2 HOT breaking point, nourish wins for mana efficiency x speed tradeoffs in 3.1, where you have to worry about your mana. You should also have HOTs on a main tank if you are using your direct heals in the first place, and the glyphed HT costs you 7 talent points more (5/5 naturalist & 2/2 Empowered touch) that will make picking up your AOE heal talents harder, for very little (or nothing) in return. Also, if you have both the T7 bonus and the nourish glyph, nourish blows all these numbers out of the water with a lower # of HOTs requried. Even wild growth counts as a HOT for the glyph bonus of Nourish, so if you use it as a raid heal on people with wild growth and/or rejuv on them, then you’re gaining the benefit of the HOT +glyph combo.
Also, both regrowth and nourish would win out based on the 25% extra crit that they have compared to healing touch, which leads to more Nature’s Grace and/or living seed procs (in addition to the increased healing done from crits).
Use Nourish with HOTs for tank healing in 3.1 (with the nourish glyph and/or T7 bonus). Skip the HT-specific talents and the glyphed HT. If you really don’t care about mana efficiency, just use regrowth with glyph.
EDIT: Based on feedback – Glyphed healing touch is awesome for leveling before you get nourish. All the resto druids that are still leveling should pick up the HT glyph for their healing specs in 3.1. You can keep it for PvP healing at level 80, but it’s not going to be worthwhile for PvE healing in 3.1 once the nourish glyph goes live. Also, HT is for having a huge instant-heal when you use it with Nature’s Swiftness. When you glyph for HT, you take away the best NS-combo.