Patch 5.4 Resto druid changes

Patch 5.4 will hit this Tuesday. Restoration druids underwent a number of changes in the last patch that will ultimately have large impacts on healing style. I have updated the blog version of the healing guide for patch day. The current version will remain on the druid forums until patch day. Sorry for the lack of content recently. All the patch day prep slowed down my ability to put out blog content. I should be back to my weekly posting schedule now that guide writing is done. Thanks to Juvenate of WTS Heals for the typo checking.  :)

There are still several major discussions going on in the druid community about what will be the “best” talents, playstyle, and gearing choices. So, in some places, I would expect various guides to disagree. When possible, I want to highlight what the disagreements are, so you can watch for what will end up working the best for you. We usually get an entire Beta cycle to discuss all of the changes internally amongst theorycrafters and guide writers, but Resto druids got hit with expansion-level changes in the most recent patch. Briefly, here are the highlights of what the resto changes look like, along with some of the details still left to be resolved:

  • Wild mushroom changes: Wild Mushroom only plants ONE shroom (total). It still absorbs rejuv overhealing. When you move your one shroom, it keeps that absorbed value (so, moving it has no real cost). The shroom placement has a 3 second cooldown to prevent spamming abuse. Depending on your glyph choices, you can either target shrooms at the feet of a person or directly on the ground using the targeting circle (SEE: glyph of the sprouting mushroom).

  • Glyph of Efflorescence is now fairly important for raiding druids. Glyph of lifebloom (the target swap glyph) was baked in baseline. This was replaced with a glyph that moved efflorescence from swiftmend to mushrooms. When your shroom is out, people standing near it are healed by efflorescence. You can now use swiftmend as emergency burst healing, instead of a vehicle for efflorescence placement.

  • Genesis is a new ability. It makes rejuv tick faster on all your targets. This is helpful when you need to speed up the healing from rejuv. There is still some debate as to when faster rejuvs (and faster priming of shrooms) may be better than having more people blanketed by rejuvs.

  • Innervate restores mana based on spirit, restoring at least 8% of mana. This slightly increases the value of spirit, though you should end up with plenty of spirit naturally from gearing. Mana regen in general usually isn’t much of a problem in later expansion gear.
  • Talent changes (many): Dream of Cenarius, heart of the wild, nature’s vigil, and soul of the forest have both undergone some changes for resto druids (mostly buffs for all four). Nature’s Swiftness is now baseline for resto druids, and was replaced with a new talent: Ysera’s Gift. With all the changes to the class, you will want to re-evaluate your talent choices and find the set of talents that work the best for you. Also, some talents play better with the Tier 16 4-piece set bonus, so as you gear up in Siege of Orgrimmar (SoO), you will need to keep an eye on what talent choices pair best together with your current gear set. There isn’t a terrible amount of agreement on some of the talent options, so you may have to play with them a little. I’ll try to keep track of what people are doing and adjust the talent section of the guide (and write up talent posts) as needed this raid tier.

  • You have the choice between mastery-heavy builds or haste-heavy builds, since the 13K haste breakpoint should be easily attainable in SoO. Mathematically, the two builds should pull similar numbers, but you may need to see if faster heals or bigger heals are better for your raid group makeup. Until the patch dust settles, this will still be under debate.

Overall healing style changes in 5.4:  The changes to the healing shroom spell are actually huge. You will now use shrooms as the center for your efflorescence. You can move the shroom along with the group during movement encounters. The changes to efflorescence, shrooms, and genesis overall make your AOE healing substantially stronger. When using the efflorescence glyph, you now change how swiftmend fits into your toolset (as a direct heal instead of the vehicle for an AOE heal). You will also have to watch your harmony mastery more if you find that you aren’t using swiftmend every time it comes off cooldown. You will need to adjust your talents to accommodate for the fairly major changes to healing playstyle, gearing, and the talents themselves.

Other Resto druid 5.4 patch resources:

So, in the next patch, are you going mastery or haste build, and what are the talents you’ll start with?

4 Comments

  1. Karä
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    What, Juvenate is still alive? And also: his guild must be in heavy demand of players since they’ve been recruiting for about 3 months now :P

    About the changes, personally I’m going for 13k haste when gear allows – I’ve only done normals in MoP :(

    One thing I’m having a really hard time figuring out in MoP is “throughput vs regen”. It was easy in Cata since intellect gave you regen. But now I’m really not sure. After Hamlet’s “flask of 2 rejuvs”-post it was pretty clear to me, but with the Rejuv changes (tier 15) and the recent Innervate change I’m really not sure which route to go.

    Nice writeup Liss, nice to see some Druid stuff from you again.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 9, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Hi Kara, I’ll nudge Juvenate and see if he’ll put up a new blog post to at least plug the fact his gear guide is updated for 5.4 (he is one of the resto druids in my guild). Also, guilds are always recruiting, though his blog posting is more about the fact that he’s too busy to post much. ;)

      With regards to regen, it’s really more of a matter of personal taste. You need just enough regen that you don’t run OOM during fights, but any mana left over at the end of fights is basically wasted. So, you can’t go all regen with no throughput, and you can’t really go all throughput with no regen. With how easy it is to get spirit on leather gear, it shouldn’t be hard to reach a comfortable regen point and then focus on throughput after that.

  2. Bisc
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    What are your thoughts on the new Dream of Cenarius Atonement healing? I know your guide says that you don’t think it’s very good, but how common do you think it’ll become?

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I’m honestly not sure. Priests are going to be better at atonement healing than druids would be, and wrath’s mana increase makes it not seem very efficient for healing. It will be best on gimmick fights, but really isn’t an every-boss type of talent. So, it depends on how many gimmick fights it works well with.