Tier 9 Set bonuses & Idols for all druid specs

Okay, so I was happily surprised to see when I logged on after my airplane flight yesterday that we had some really interesting new 3.2 developments come out. I was going to post something up late last night, but I was too tired and didn’t want to just give you just a copy/paste that you can read from wow insider or mmo-champion. I’m also expecting to see a lot more news coming out in the next several days as people have more time to test the new content up on the PTR. I’m also in California all week, so I can’t work on my normal posting schedule. This means that what I’m posting are just my initial reactions to the set bonuses & idols. We really need to see these in action to get a good feel for how they’re actually going to work.

First, the most exciting part for me is the new idols:

  • Druid T9 Feral Relic (Lacerate, Swipe, Mangle, and Shred)– While in Bear Form, your Lacerate and Swipe abilities have a chance to grant 200 dodge rating for 9 sec, and your Mangle and Shred abilities have a chance to grant 200 agility for 16 sec.
  • Druid T9 Restoration Relic (Rejuvenation) — Each time your Rejuvenation spell deals periodic healing, you have a chance to gain 234 spell power for 9 sec.
  • Druid T9 Balance Relic (Moonfire) — Each time your Moonfire spell deals periodic damage, you have a chance to gain 200 critical strike rating for 12 sec.

What all three of these do is give you a chance to proc additional helpful stats when you use one (or more) spells/abilities. I feel like I’ve been asking for stats on relics for a long time, and we’ve seen similar items before. This solves some of the problem of having to rotate between abilities and having a relic that only buffed one ability (moonkin have been trying to figure out how to swap between relics because of the changes to Eclipse in 3.1).  My bet is that these should come out on top for all druid specs, depending on what the proc rate is.

The tanking one even gives druids dodge, which means it’s got real tanking stats on it (yay!). This is also combined with an agility proc. I’m not sure if the AGI proc works in both bear & cat forms, or just cat. My guess would be that it’s only supposed to work in cat form, but I can’t get to the PTR yet (and everything on the PTR is still buggy and subject to change).

The healing one is giving extra spell power, but it also means that they aren’t going to turn the Tier 8 set bonus into a relic – I’m personally likely going to pick this up as soon as I can. Right now, I’m using the one that reduces the mana cost of rejuvenation, but I’m liking the ability to have a huge spell power proc so that it buffs my other spells and overall increases my healing done.

For balance, I’m not sure how helpful the crit will be, but about 4% crit is a welcome addition, especially combined with the new Eclipse mechanics and the Tier 9 bonus. I’m sure that once we’ve had a chance to play with it that Graylo and the other mathy moonkin will get it all worked out soon – BUT I like it just for the fact that you don’t have to swap idols if this new one will do the trick.

Now for the set bonuses:

  • Druid T9 Feral 2P Bonus  — Decreases the cooldown on your Growl ability by 2 sec and increases the duration of your Rake ability by 3 sec.
  • Druid T9 Feral 4P Bonus (Class: Druid) — Increases the damage reduction granted by Barkskin by 10% and increases the critical strike chance of Rip and Ferocious Bite by 5%.

For cats, having an increased duration on rake should be helpful, since that means they have to re-apply it less often. I’m not sure how often you are able to taunt in high-end raids (where you would be picking up this growl set bonus). Increased powerfulness of barkskin has to be nice for absorbing more damage (hey, you got the resto barkskin talent as a set bonus!), and more critical strike for some of your cat abilities is welcome. Then again, they just put crit on… everyone’s set bonuses for druids.

  • Druid T9 Balance 2P Bonus (Moonfire) (Class: Druid) — Your Moonfire ability now has a chance for its periodic damage to be critical strikes.
  • Druid T9 Balance 4P Bonus (Starfire) (Class: Druid) — Increases the critical strike chance of your Starfire spell by 5%.

We complained when we lost the Tier 8 critical strike chance, so now we’re getting back crit on the 4-piece bonus, but only for starfire. The one I’m really interested to see in action is the moonfire DOT having a chance to crit. Will the improved moonfire talent also give the DOT an increased chance to crit, or will the imp moonfire talent only work on the direct damage portion of the spell? Since we didn’t like the Tier 8 set bonuses all that much, my bet is that we’re going to want to ditch the T8 and bump up to Tier 9.

  • Druid T9 Restoration 2P Bonus (Nourish) (Class: Druid) — Increases the critical strike chance of your Nourish spell by 5%.
  • Druid T9 Restoration 4P Bonus (Rejuvenation) (Class: Druid) — Your Rejuvenation ability now has a chance for its healing to be critical strikes.

The 2-piece bonus is a “tank healing set” bonus. We won’t likely switch our 4-piece T8 bonus for the 2-piece Tier 9 set -> EXCEPT when we’re assigned to tank healing. My hope is that the new bosses will have less raid damage, and let us actually put more healers on the tank…. but only time will tell. This also goes along with another buff to nourish through talents. The tier 9 4-piece bonus gives the rejuvenaiton HOT a chance to crit. However, keep in mind that you won’t have the insta-heals on rejuvenation anymore. So, it’s going to take rejuv 3 seconds to kick in before it starts healing. Overall, the insta-heals from T8 are more useful than HOT crits without the instant heal. I’m not sure how fast I’m going to want to upgrade sets… mostly because our Tier 8 instant-rejuv bonus is just so powerful in Ulduar. I’m definitely going to have different sets for tank & raid healing until I’m in four Tier 9 pieces. It would be a lot better (for me) if lifebloom also had the HOT chance to crit, as that would encourage us to actually use it again. However, Averna at Nerf this druid is pretty happy and excited about the idea of critting rejuv ticks.

Overall, I don’t see anything in this list that I really hate. For all the set bonuses and idols, I don’t see anything that we’re going to skip over, unlike Tier 8 where we struggled a while to get moonkin in a good place (and still threw out the insect swarm & nourish idols instead of getting them). However, the growl decresed cooldown seems like a lame tanking set bonus unless we’re going to need to taunt a lot in the new raid dungeon. I’m interested in seeing how all of this is going to play out, with the procs and such.

7 Comments

  1. Posted June 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    “Overall, the insta-heals from T8 are more useful than HOT crits without the instant heal.”

    Are we sure about that? I know that the insta-heal is pretty imba, but I know that I typically put rejuvs on people in anticipation of damage, not after damage has started. Therefore the insta-heal would just be overheal, whereas the critting hots would be helpful after the incoming AoE damage starts. Even on tanks, I think the critting hots would be better than an insta-heal, because typically you want to put rejuvs on tanks and just let them run, refreshing them only as they start to run out. You don’t want to be wasting mana and refreshing them every time the tank takes damage just to get in that little instant heal.

    Granted, I think it depends on how much AoE damage goes out in this new T9 instance. For example, 4piece T8 bonus is awesome for Razorscale – someone takes damage, you put a rejuv on them, insta heal PLUS ticking heal after it. Not too much AoE damage is going out, and the use of rejuv is very effective. On Hodir, though, it’s more of me rejuving EVERYONE in anticipation of Frozen Blows, and in this case, the inital instant heal would typically be overheal, whereas the tick is the part that really counts.

    I guess the question is, will these ticks crit twice or more in one rejuv cycle? If yes, then we’ve already got more overall healing done than the 4piece T8 bonus (this isn’t taking into account effective healing vs overall healing, now – I’m just looking at overall healing at this point). I guess time will tell!

  2. Posted June 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I like the direct heal because we can control when that instant heal lands. How useful the two bonuses are really depends on the content. I’ll probably just carry around both my T8 & T9 gear and switch between them as needed. The HOT crit component is more useful for tank healing, but with the focus on raid healing, they both really have different situational usefulness.

  3. Posted June 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I think the T9 bonus be equally useful, depending on what the crit rate turns out to be (given that druids don’t usually gear towards spellcrit). There are fights where pre-hotting is wise, and fights where the insta-heal is less likely to be wasted.

    Another case where T9 > T8 bonus would be Thorim arena, where I just sit there and roll rejuvs across the raid to soak up the aoe damage (with WG) while banging my head on my desk out of boredom, just waiting for someone to swiftmend or NS+HT before they get 2-shot by something the OoM prot pally couldn’t pick up.

    Yeah, I spent too much time wiping on Thorim hardmode last night. Grr at unbalancing strike.

  4. Lgueller
    Posted June 24, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I think the 4 piece T9 bonus makes Nature’s Grace a much more attractive talent to take for resto druids. Depending on the proc chance of the crit and whether or not it triggers NG, this could provide a pretty good amount of haste for T9 resto druids.

  5. Posted June 24, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Insta vs crit: It will depend heavily on the situation. On any fight where you are reacting to damage, the insta heal will be awesome. If it’s more of a proactive heal to deal with damage that will most likely hit “soon”, then insta heal will often be overheal and worthless, and crit on ticks more useful.

    I enjoy switching gear/specs/glyphs/idols/etc according to what needs to be done, so it’s nice to have another boost to Rejuv. Plus the idol too, that’s great. How many people still use/d Harold’s Rejuvenating Broach (a mid-TBC quest blue) for the longest time? And a lot of people scoffed at Awakening but I’ve used it almost exclusively in WotLK. It’s nice to see another idol that I will definitely get a lot of wear out of.

    I thought they were making Rejuv king when they announced the 4pc T8 bonus.. but they’re really piling it on. The cynic inside me wonders when we’ll see a round of Lifebloom-esque nerfs for beloved Rejuv, considering many druids do now spend a lot of their time simply “rolling rejuvs” on the raid.

  6. Posted June 25, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s widely regarded that the 2pc Tanking bonus is pretty useless. And the 4pc gives Druids a pre 3.2 version of IBF. Nerfs are coming. Hard ones.

  7. dr00d
    Posted July 16, 2009 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Not juse the 2pc, the 4pc tanking bonus is total crap too. and not just tanking, feral cats are getting the shaft as well.

    are they trying to shaft us ferals back into the “druids are for healz” mold of the old days??