I (Shakk) have been out for a few weeks, slaying the foul beasts that were spawned in the infernal depths of hell by Diablo. However, just in time for raid testing on the beta, I have made my triumphant return to all things resto druid. If you recall at the start of T13 I didn’t sugar coat the state of resto druids, because quite frankly we did not have the toolbox to compete against the other healers. With the latest build being deployed on the beta today, most of the issues I had wrote down for continued feedback and testing were addressed. I will be covering these changes, and what type of changes to our dynamics you can expect because of them.
The Wild Wild Mushrooms?
In the recent changes that were deployed, there is a lot going on with the mushrooms. More noticeably their base healing was reduced significantly, as well as their base mana cost. Also I can confirm with the latest build that they are refreshing harmony to the full duration. What this means for raid healers is this:
- The ability to refresh harmony, makes this spell more appealing through the nerfs
- The reduction in the range of the mushrooms again goes back to reducing its effectiveness, so it is not a mandatory spell.
- The reduction in the effective healing, will make healing split groups less appealing due to the minimal heal given to each group
- My current conclusion is the changes will allow mushrooms to be a huge addition to our toolbox, while removing one more thing that would otherwise be mandatory in our rotation to compete. While at the same time, the use of this spell can not be neglected, is a well balanced choice for AoE stacking phases.
Lifebloom, Harmony, And You
These are the types of changes that make me very excited for launch and starting the new raid tier. My guild has been testing the bosses/challenge modes as they are released onto the beta. Druids are making a major comeback this expansion, and filling in their niche within a raid group very well. If you have are a veteran resto druid, or a beginner uptimes are something that druids must maintain to be viable. In tough situations, one might find it hard to keep harmony and lifebloom at 100%. With the changes that were just released onto the beta, keeping all of our heals at maximum capacity while still maintaining good throughput has become a lot easier. I will touch on some of the key points.
- Lifebloom has had its duration increased from a 10 second hot, to a 15 second hot. Because of this change we no longer have to feel locked into our refresher spell, and will have more options opened up to us especially during periods of high damage.
- It does not provide too much duration as to render refreshing with a direct heal completely useless.
- Harmony’s new uptime will dramatically improve the druid quality of life, and will allow us to feel less GCD locked by our rotation.
- The benefit of having a 20 second harmony uptime will allow us to have 100% uptime just from swiftmend, and also lessen the blow of refreshing LB with another cast of LB.
With a lot of quality of life improvements, and some downtime freed up I wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about Dream of Cenarius. First off, this is my second favorite ability on beta to date (behind symbiosis of course). I’ve been doing some heroic testing, and raid encounters and I can tell you this is a huge throughput gain if you utilize it correctly. If you have downtime, casting wrath to improve your next heal is huge! I can confirm that this ability does effect wild mushroom detonate, and I was able to see each individual hit as high as 70k! That is absolutely insane amounts of HPS. Currently I can’t tell if there will be a diminishing return on mushrooms, so don’t get into a 25 man raid and pop it and be like hey man it doesn’t work. The last tier took quite an extensive bit of testing, but once the raids opened up Dream of Cenarius was a very easy choice for me in terms of effectiveness while raiding. However, do not let this sway you from what you want to do in terms of your talent tree since all of the talents on the last row are viable, depending on your raid group.
I had a couple druids approach me on the beta (which is totally fine I don’t bite, and I like to run stuff), and ask me about stat priorities. At this time, due to the rapidly evolving nature of the beta I haven’t been posting guides on stats. These will largely change as we near closer to launch, but I am compiling the data and plan to have a guide posted closer to the launch date. My prediction and the trend I am starting to see in the gear is that our stat priority will not change much except to reach higher breakpoints in haste, and then the priority will be given to spirit for regen and mastery since we should have near 100% uptime as of now. The new workings of harmony are possibly going to effect how we value crit. I will have more detailed information available about class specifics around the time of launch, and should have a very large introductory guide available at that time.