This post was received in my mail from Verdantazia. I thought it was a really interesting perspective, so I got permission to post it as a guest post. Enjoy! I’m doing my oral comps defense today (Monday), so I thought today would be a great day to have a guest poster! – Lissanna
Hi. I’m a fellow WoW player who, in the last five months, has devoted a large amount of time to leveling a healing druid. Verdantazia, NE druid 75 on Silverhand.
Whilst doing so, I naturally scouted around online to learn and read about my class, how to heal, how to gear, what to expect and so forth. However, as wonderful and useful as all the blogs and postings and guides have been, there was a large deficit of practical understanding for how to heal BEFORE you’re 80 and have Nourish and uber, epic gear. I was hoping to share some things that you might want to share with people who are in the relative same position that I am in. I’ve compiled a list of things things that one has to have/do in order to heal successfully in regular 5mans AND the reasons why they are necessary.
Let me begin by saying that I leveled Verdantazia entirely as healing spec, solo, until reaching 50 where I decided to dual spec to Moonkin. As such, I *thought I knew what I was doing in 5 man heals. I did Zul Furrak just fine in tree form, laying down Rejuvs and the occasional regrowth, and all was well. I ended up partnering with a friend and did just fine in groups in Outlands, until I reached 70 and decided to try healing for Uttgard Keep. To say that it was a disaster was a mild understatement. We wiped, oh, easily 9 times and only managed to finish by recruiting an 80.
From this trial-by-fire, I learned several things, and I wanted to share them, because currently almost all guides are written by, and for, people whose toons are 80 and for playing raids. Virtually no one gives advice on what to do before then. So here is the list for ~60-79 Resto Druids:
- 1. Whatever else you may have, glyph-wise before 80, you MUST have the Healing Touch glyph.
I know that might seem obvious to people who have already reached 80 and switched over to the Nourish glyph/skill, but coming from the background of a healing Priest it is not, and it needs explanation. As a Priest, who traditionally heals with lump-sum heals, the idea of nerfing my one good big heal seemed unthinkable. And it still is. Half healing amount to the one big heal I have? What if I need it? BUT there can be no doubt that Blizzard has created the Northrend (and Outland) instances around the idea that you do, in fact, have a flash heal, and we don’t, until 80. So a healing druid really has no choice but to glyph HT into one – the spike damage in 60-70 instances is way too much to function without it.
- 2. To be successful in Outlands/Northrend instances you must OVERHEAL, OVERHEAL, OVERHEAL.
Regular 5 mans are a series of sprints, not marathons like Raids are. As such you MUST THROW MANA EFFICIENCY out-the-window and overheal like crazy. Druids are pro-active healers, due to the fact that HoT’s take time to heal, and do best stacked. Therefore you must pretend that everyone’s taking damage all the time, even if they aren’t. You have to have the HoTs already doing when the spike damage hits everyone. Ignore raider 80’s who talk about over-healing, and heal as much as you can. Don’t worry about using up all your mana after each pull, that’s what water (and innervate) is for! If I’m drinking, I know everyone’s alive. If I’m not, I know everyone’s dead, and we’ve had wipe. This leads to:
- 3. Keep Wild Growth up every second it comes up for refresh, and spec up to it as soon as you can.
To heal a tank and four other people (including yourself), you need as many HOTs going as possible. This means using Wild Growth as the HoT you already have going on everyone when the spike damage comes, which it always does. It becomes the platform upon which you lay down Rejuvs and Lifeblooms upon once everyone’s health has suddenly dropped by half or more. I can’t emphasize this enough – keep WG up at all times.
- 4. Put the 2 points into improved Tranquility and USE IT.
I have used Tranquility at least once in every single 5 man I have participated in, in the last month, and each time it has saved the group. Why? Because with the talent points it garners zero threat, and it can heal everyone (including me) at least three times over. I find, because of Global Cooldown, I can’t realistically smother all five of us in Rejuvs fast enough to deal with massive AOE damage, and although Wild Growth is absolutly wonderful, it is by itself, rather a small. So, do yourself a favor and put those two points into Tranquilty, and hot-key it, love it, and use it. Feel free to respec out of it later on for Raiding, but until then, it’s a must-have tool.
- 5. Do everything you can to avoid aggro.
Again, this may seem obvious, but from someone who played a Priest since the day WoW began, I had been pretty used to laying down a bubble or a Renew (depending on class) on a tank before they rushed into fight, and essentially getting a free heal without any threat. To my deathly suprise, druid HoT’s seem to attract an aweful lot of unwanted attention from instance mobs. So . . . DO NOT DROP HoT’s on the tank before he/she rushes in. I find letting the tank get enough damage to equal the lump-sum heal amount afforded by Regrowth to be just right for making sure he/she has all the threat, and then laying down a Regrowth followed by all my other HoTs.
- 6. Ignore the 80 Raider’s belief that you should stack spirit for instances.
This may be true for Raiding and post 80 content, but it is NOT true for regular instances. Instead, have a goodly mount of Stamina and Int, just as if you a DPS caster. Why? Because invariably you DO get some threat, and if you’re all spirit you will die in one hit. I know, It happened to me. Several times. I learned the lesson the hard way. And as I said earlier, regular 5 mans are sprints. You should be drinking after each pull anyways. It isn’t about having to have mana regen over the course of 30 mins. It’s about surviving the next 3 mins. At 75, now, in blue gear, I’m approaching 10k in health, and now, on the odd occasion the tank loses threat, I can at least survive through several hits, and not die immeditely.
- 7. Use Lifebloom (when you get it at 64)
Since in 5 mans you’re both a group and a tank healer, you need to use all your HoTs. And Lifebloom is essential. Use one just one application at-a-time, as part of your HoT stack on the Tank, and refresh after it blooms. This is extremely easy to do thanks to its little whoosing chimey noise. Also use it with Rejuv when your’e spot healing for AOE damage. 80 Raiders all seem to be down on it, because in their world it’s no longer the most effiecient way to heal. In regular 5 mans, efficiency is surviving, and surviving is overhealing, so lay that Lifebloom down!
- 8. Best possible rotation in Northrend instances (before level 80) seems to be -
Regrowth on the tank (because it fills the hitpoints lost while you’re waiting for him/her to get all the aggro), followed by Rejuv, usually followed by a Healing Touch flash heal to those who need it, followed by ONE Lifebloom application to the tank (which I listen for and reapply after it blooms), and then finally Wildgrowth on the tank, which you then keep applying to the tank the instant it comes up for renewal. Lay down Rejuvs and a lifebloom for spot healing, and multiple flash heals as necessary, followed by that lovely Tranqillity for those moments when the you-know-what hits the fan,
Result – Success!