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Repost: Bearcat Madness

OK, so I (Garnaph) know this is a Resto/Boomkin blog, but it’s about time I posted something that’s pretty hardcore Feral. Blizzard is soon going to split Feral into two separate trees, and what I’m about to say is the reason why. Also, with this being the last tier in which I’ll be able to pull off this trick, this is the perfect time to blog about it.

My raiding team got into P2 madness this week on 10 man normal, in spite of the fact that most of my top raiders are away, and I had to grab guys from the other team (which is also having attendance issues), alts, basically whatever I could find to get a group together. It’s not a kill, but progression is progression, and this was a pretty big deal for us.

Our success came down to a few things. Naturally, the team worked together well, but I’d like to think I pushed everything I could out of my Druid. Arielle and Reesi talk a lot about Bearcatting. Here is why it’s the most OP crap in Wow right now.

That’s me, tanking tentacles when my Pally tank gets an impale, but otherwise staying in cat as much as possible. My gear is optimised for cat, with reforges into stats that are good for both (Mastery, then Crit), with Mastery and Agi enchants, DPS leg enchant, and Assassin’s Step on boots, because I just can’t live without the speed increase in Bear. Oh, and the DPS meta.

Then, I have a spec that’s as pure cat as I can get it, with the vital Bear talents thrown in : Thick HideNatural Reaction, and Pulverize. When I shift bear, everyting works as intended. I had to make sure I took Stampede for Kitty 4pc, and Blood in the Water for 2pc. With 4pc, the kitty rotation is a joke. About to drop Rip? Either 1+CP Bite at under 60%, or pop Tiger’s Fury, get a free Ravage and 2 Shreds with the energy you just got, and you’re good to go for a 5CP Rip. If your target is over 80% health, Ravage is basically a Guaranteed 2CP.

Speaking of tier bonuses, I make sure I’m in bear when we’re on the 4th platform (we do Blue last, so we eat the shard on the last platform), which means my FR 4pc is up as the raid takes the mental burst. 15% health + 30% healing taken (make sure to have the FR major glyph). I also stay in bear when we’re killing the shard, since I don’t want to strain my healers any more than they already are.

So basically, rather than sitting around being useless when I’m not needed as a tank, I push DPS as good as the next guy, which helps to get over the fairly rough DPS check on later platforms, where you start losing haste, dmg done, while having to deal with adds that are increasingly hard to kill, especially once Alexstrasza decides to take a nap.

In spite of the emphasis on cat dps, remember there are times that a bear can push nice AOE. When bloods are about to spawn, I shift bear, autoattack the limb to get some rage, then as they move in range, I pop enrage (15% dmg anyone?), and Swipe-Thrash-Swipe. With the Spellweaver splash damage, plus the Vengeance that you quickly get, this is some intense burst AOE.

Oh, one final tip. Since cats really suffer on target switches, ask your raid leader really nicely if you can stay on limbs, and not have to switch to take down Blistering Tentacles. It makes your life a lot easier, and you push way more DPS, which in the end is good for the raid. Alternatively, just don’t switch, and see if anyone notices :P Being a raid leader myself, I get away with murder sometimes…

Druids are the only class in game with 2 specs in one. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Posted in Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Written By Garnaph

Repost: How is your resto druid doing in 4.3?

So, now that we’ve had several weeks of raiding in 4.3 Dragonsoul raids. I wanted to check on how raids of various types are doing, so I’m creating a series of polls to ask about how people feel they are doing in 4.3. While it’s not a great way to test out actual numbers (world of logs is a better source for that), it does get at some of the psychological effects of the patch and how people feel. This also has the neat effect of seeing what kind of content my readers are doing. 🙂

Please only rate your healing & utility for content you have raided in. Polls will be open until January 1st.

For the purposes of the poll, “Healing Output” is defined in terms of things like: overall healing output compared to other raid members, HPS, and being able to keep up with the incoming damage for whatever role in the raid you are assigned to. If you don’t feel your healing output is keeping up, then you would consider your healing output to be low. Just coming in 2nd instead of 1st on meters doesn’t count as having low healing output – your healing output has to be impacting your raiding group in some way.

For the purposes of the poll, “utility” is defined as things like: burst healing from tranquility, battle res, and replenishment – compared to the utility of other classes. If you feel like your missing of tools is effecting your raid group’s ability to kill bosses, then you would say that we don’t have sufficient utility. Just wanting tools other people have don’t count as having low utility – that lack of utility has to be impacting your raid group negatively in some way.

<Note: All polls are now closed. Thank you for voting!>

Disclaimers: Thank you for submitting your opinions. You can add any additional comments you want in the comments section. Keep in mind that the above shouldn’t really be used when asking for buffs or nerfs, as the polls here aren’t going to have a representative sample of the entire class, and reflect opinions rather than actual hard data. It does, however, give us some idea of how the 4.3 changes & healing in Dragonsoul feel in various raid sizes and difficulties if the sample sizes are large enough. This is more for seeing differences of identifying where possible problems could be for looking into the content further and satisfying my own curiosities.

Posted in Patches, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna

Repost: Shakk’s guide to surviving patch 4.3

I (Shakk) have been doing a lot of studying of logs, analyzing data, compiling fight specific information, and testing in-game, what 4.3 means to resto druids. My conclusion, we are in a very good place in both 10 and 25 man raids for healing output. Some folks would question my logic on this, some folks would follow me into a black hole blindly, and some folks will test the numbers for themselves. However, no matter if you fit into one of those categories, or you’re simply looking for information on our changes, I encourage you to read through my information, and tips before you make a final decision on the state of resto druids.

4.2 Wild Growth vs 4.3 Wild Growth

Like myself, when most people heard about the 20% reduction to WG, they were completely blindsided. I actively started crunching numbers, and throwing out what if type statements, and even considered brushing off the dust on the old paladin and gearing him up to play in Dragon Soul. However, I’m still actively raiding on my resto druid. At first glance the hit to our WG looks like a kidney shot, shadow dance, and ambush to our healing numbers. (I’ve had my rogue on my mind all day, love my fear and vengeance) But, after entering into heroics this weeks, I think most of the community way overlooked the positive side of these changes.

Lets take for example in 4.2, the power of WG vs Rejuv. Rejuv, is hands down our best heal. It is efficient, it does a small direct heal, and we can swiftmend off of it for a super efficient direct heal, with an added AoE effect. On average, I found that a fight that utilizes both stacking and movement phases (much like the bosses in Dragon Soul) our WG healed for 31% of our effective healing, assuming 100% up time. Thus it allowed for an average of 16% effective healing from rejuv. Which, was fine if you are into a basically fixed rate of healing between your GCDs and the next WG you have to cast.

Now, 4.3 drops you have WG glyphed (which I highly recommend doing), and you heal a fight. You pull up that good old recount to see how much you crushed the other healers by, and notice that on average your WG is only doing 22% of your effective healing. You scratch you head for a second, but overlook an important part of your effective healing. Rejuv is now sitting at a 25% effective healing, you cheer to yourself for a second, and then fear strikes you for the sake of your mana. (Editor’s Note: Lissanna would like to note that the benefit/cost of the WG glyph changes somewhat depending on whether you are raiding 10-man or 25-man. You should try raiding with & without the WG glyph and choose what works the best for you and your raiding situation.).

Hi, I’m Your Mana, Please Manage Me

I think part of the change came, when blizzard realized that we could drop our spirit to super low levels and boost our throughput significantly. It felt like a wrath style of healing, and I for one did not like the direction this model was taking us. So by helping us choose to use rejuv more, we now have a new problem. Our mana isn’t endless anymore. Have no fear though, you still have that little button on your bar called innervate, and it still works.

If innervating yourself, using a potion, and utilizing other raid members mana cool downs isn’t enough anymore, try looking at other areas that you can change to fix your healing issues. Consider swapping out a throughput trinket for a regen trinket, altering your spec for less throughput and more conservation, or reforging off some of that 22 mastery you have for a little bit more spirit. If that still doesn’t correct the problem of you going oom 3 minutes into the fight, consider adjusting your healing style, to conserve your mana.

FYI: Tranquility’s graphic is broken in tree form.

Compensating Without Running Oom

So you just jumped into Dragon Soul after reading the first section of this guide, you got some more spirit, adjusted your spec, and dusted off innervate and bound it your action bar just like I said. You pulled Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, slapped a rejuv on each person taking damage, swiftmended on cool down, and even spammed Healing Touch on the tank when he took high amounts of damage, but during the second round of adds you had 3.2k mana left, and were fresh out of cooldowns.

In all seriousness, a lot of druids will run out towards the end of the fight if they aren’t careful. Let your heals run the full course, don’t overlap and stomp on them. If there is a period of high raid damage cast WG and then start your rejuv and mastery cycle. You want to start with the players that weren’t hit by the initial WG, but only to a point where you feel you can recover and regen more before the next big burst. Utilize Efflorescence on clumped up players, and don’t take nourish for granted. If you can’t use rejuv anymore, because your mana is pretty tight, toss out nourish. The other healers in your group will appreciate the small heal, more than you standing there looking pretty.

If there are multiple phases of high AoE damage, plan them out accordingly in your head, while you are learning the boss. If I spam rejuv during one of the phases, typically I will enter into a regen phase during the next one with ToL and rolling LB out to raid members taking damage, then for the next one I might tranq if the damage is high enough.

Part of compensating is also managing mastery. I can’t stress this enough to players that ask me for advice on boosting their output. Especially now that WG had its healing reduced, you need to keep harmony up. It can and will save your mana. One heal, is always going to be cheaper than two, when you are topping someone off. Its free additional healing, utilize it.

Final Thoughts

As with any change to a class, it brings in new ways of doing things. The nerf to WG, is not by any means a game changer for us. We simply must learn how to compensate without over compensating, and manage our mana like the rest of the healers. One can not simply look at how another class is performing, and rate their class based on it. Druids are still the best mobile AoE healers, we still bring a strong throughput cool down with us, and we are still a very competitive class, that I don’t see being tossed aside. Learning how to appropriately balance spell usage is part of being a good healer and is not restrictive to one class. Having a properly set-up druid, and using our entire toolkit, go a long way.

Source: World of Logs

*In an effort to protect the information I gathered from particular fights, and players I will not be disclosing which guilds/players I selected for the data*

Posted in Cataclysm, Patches, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Shakk

Repost: 4.3 Resto Druid Dungeon Companion

Today, we have a new “voices from the community” post by Shakk on US-Sargeras, in the guild Seriously Casual. He is a restoration druid, and today he will be talking about the new 5-man dungeons and strategies for resto druids. He may be joining us as a more permanent fixture (like Garnaph). We’ll work on improving the blog’s interface to better distinguish between posters “soon” now that the blog is growing bigger with more writers.

As people prepare to take down the new Dungeons, Raids, and the new Raid Finder difficulty, a lot of young resto druids might feel lost, or somewhat discouraged when they set foot into the more difficult content. I want to stress that communication is key. Being able to talk to members of your party to help you get through a fight, will make or break you in any environment WoW throws at you.

In this guide, I will cover how to handle the mechanics that will be thrown at you as a resto druid. Being that we aren’t a “snap” healer per say, we have to manage our toolkit a little bit more tightly in 5 man encounters, to ensure that we have enough heals to mitigate the damage going out. I will discuss mechanics that I feel, after multiple clears on each one of these dungeons, will have a fight changing mechanic for your class that you will need to be able to handle.

—End Time—

The first two bosses that you will encounter are randomly chosen out of 4 bosses. I have listed information pertaining to each one below.

Echo of Baine

  • Baine will target a platform that players are present on, and destroy it. Sending everyone into the lava, and taking damage. If all players are on the same platform expect to have to blow a cool down to keep everyone up. I recommend ToL and Barkskin to make sure everyone makes it out of the lava.
  • When Baine comes into contact with lava, he gains an ability called Molten Fists that will cause him to deal 10,000 additional fire damage to the target of his melee swings for 10 seconds. Be prepared to dump additional healing into your tank, however a tank cool down will help you get through this phase.

Echo of Jaina

  • She does not melee the tank; instead she casts [Pyroblast] at him the entire fight. It was a little more aggravating to heal through then a standard melee boss, as it cannot be interrupted and leaves an undispellable dot on the target. It is essential to manage uptime on your Lifebloom and Rejuv on the tank. Also I found, once she teleports and the tank gets back into position, a well-placed Efflorescence will greatly reduce the incoming damage.
  • The avoidable part of this fight is [Flamecore] which places a meteor on the ground that players must run over within 10 seconds. However, she sometimes throws it in a bad spot, and you might have to take the effect of it. So if you have a suspicion that you are not going to get to the meteor in time, ensure everyone is close to full health and be ready with tranquility.

Echo of Tyrande

  • There are basically two areas that you fight this boss in, the inner ring and the outer ring. If you are inside the inner ring, you will have your casting speed slowed by 25%, however if you are standing in the outer ring you do not have a casting speed debuff, but there are additional ground mechanics that are easy to avoid. I chose to stand on the outside, and dodge the abilities. This allowed me to benefit from my entire toolkit.
  • At 30% she will have 2 stacks of her casting speed buff, and she is casting 50% faster. Also, she adds a new ability called [Tears of Elune] and the damage is going to really ramp up. Be ready to use your strong cool downs. Also make sure you do not enter sub 30% with low mana, as this is the most challenging portion of the fight. ToL and Tranquility will more than likely be essential for you to survive this.

Echo of Sylvanas

  • Arguably one of the easiest bosses to heal in this instance. Although, there isn’t any game breaking mechanics or high damage phases, you should note a couple of things. If the target of [Black Arrow] dies from the dot, or the initial damage, they will have a skeleton summoned from their corpse to fight for the boss. Also, if someone steps into the shadow behind the ghouls, they are pretty much a goner unless you have Nature’s Swiftness and HT immediately on them, and they get back into the safe zone.


  • [Temporal Blast] is the debuff you need to be aware of. At the first application, it deals 25k arcane damage, but applies a stacking debuff to damage taken. As the fight goes on, it becomes difficult to heal through.
  •  The only other thing I am going to touch on, is that the hourglass refills every players health, mana, and resets all cool downs. You can activate the hourglass 5 times, so do not be afraid to use your cool downs when the damage is going out, and make sure to hit the hourglass when things start to spiral out of control!

—Well of Eternity—


  • In this encounter healers need only be aware of a couple high damage abilities. [Corrupting Touch] is a stacking tank debuff. The second and most important is [Fel Decay] which will cause the healer to take damage, based on how much they heal the target of this debuff. Ensure you have enough health to survive.

Queen Azshara

  • This fight doesn’t have any fight changing mechanics built into it. However, it does have stack damage that you need to be aware of. As more minions become active, there is going to be high levels of raid damage. If you can avoid using your cool downs with fewer minions up, it will significantly aide you when you must deal with multiple at one time! I recommend saving tranquility for later in the fight.

Varo’then & Mannoroth

  • Illidan grants himself a buff called [Waters of Eternity] which greatly reduces fire damage taken. It is a great idea to stand close to him whenever possible.
  •  The area that you as a resto druid should shine far above other healing classes is [Fel Firestorm]. All you have to do is constantly run around (think Baradin Hold) while it is active, and heal people that take damage. Do not stop to heal, or you will take damage. Only use hots and instant casts.
  • Once Varo’then is defeated. I found it easier to stand on top of the tank for the rest of the fight, so they could pick up the mobs that were spawning and I wouldn’t suffer pushback.

—Hour of Twilight—



  • [Chains of Frost] is a dispelable root that he places on players and holds them into place. Coupled with the icy boulders that are raining down on you from above, it is imperative to get this dispelled as quickly as possible.
  • At 30% is when the AoE damage kicks in, the boulders are still coming and Arcurion activates [Torrent of Frost] which causes roughly 15k damage per second to all party members, if your group is slow at burning consider having a cool down available.

Asira Dawnslayer

  • Asira will randomly drop a [Smoke Bomb] equivalent to that of the rogues ability, however hers does damage to all players inside of it. If people are taking too much damage inside, remember non targeted heals will hit players inside the smoke bomb. Consider using Wild Growth or Tranquility if the damage is too high.

Archbishop Benedictus

  •  [Righteous Shear] & [Twilight Shear] are two dispellable abilities during this encounter. They both deal high amounts of damage to players. You must remove the stacks of this debuff, although Thrall does assist you in this, two dispellers are better than one.
  • The Archbishop will also summon a [Wave of Twilight] on the platform. If a player fails to move out of the wave, immediately pop Barkskin and another ability to get your raid topped off. The damage will keep being dealt as long as the person remains in the wave.

Sources: In game testing, the dungeon journal, and wowhead for up to date links

Posted in Cataclysm, Voices From The Community, Written By Shakk


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