So, the 4.2 patch notes showed up with a surprise while I was traveling. They changed the resto druid mastery to a new ability called “Harmony”. Here’s what the new mastery reads:
Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic.
So, Lets break this down. It actually has two effects:
- First, it buffs all of our direct heals by 10% plus mastery on your gear. Direct heals are considered to be: nourish, regrowth, healing touch, and swiftmend.
- Second, you get a buff on YOU for 10 seconds that buffs your HOTs by 10% plus mastery. You get this buff every time you cast a direct heal (including swiftmend!).
Here’s how this will work in practice:
- You no longer have to “chase HOTs” when healing (ie. you get nothing more if you cast a WG and then follow it with a rejuv on the same person), since we are losing symbiosis. This means that we have to essentially “forget” Symbiosis healing, which will be the hardest part of the change.
- However, this also means that casting Nourish on someone without a HOT won’t be nearly as penalizing, since you aren’t getting penalized by both the mastery and the base effect, but instead it would prime the mastery.
- Swiftmend will keep up the mastery 2/3rds of the time (10 out of 15 seconds) if you use it every cooldown. This means that you only need to cast an actual cast-time heal once between swiftmend cooldowns to keep the mastery up.
- Sometimes, you will want to use a direct heal to refresh Lifebloom on your tank to activate the mastery. Since LB’s duration is shorter than the proc duration, refreshing LB with direct heals activates your mastery.
- Between swiftmend refreshing and using direct heals to keep lifebloom rolling, the mastery actually encourages you to have a good healing style that is still incredibly HOT-focused and semi-mobile.
- This mastery has the potential of buffing every cast you make if you manage it correctly, which is way better than our healing style was working in 25-mans (and you can heal who needs healing the most even if they don’t have a HOT already on them).
- Instead of opening with a HOT on your tank, however, you will want to prime the mastery with a direct heal and then start your opening HOT sequence on them.
While the values are slightly lower than the previous mastery, this new mastery should be a buff to our AOE/raid healing numbers, and shouldn’t really hurt our tank healing abilities. This is a really nice way to encourage the use of both direct heals and HOTs, and it doesn’t require us to cast very many cast-time direct heals to maintain it, so the mastery really favors a type of healing style that will be very comfortable and natural to our spec (and after a while, maintaining the buff will become second-nature).
In conclusion, this is a really NICE change in mechanic, and it’s really going to be awesome in the long-run.