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Balance druid 7.0 survival guide for level 100

Balance 7.0 survival guide for the level 100 pre-patch.

For the full level 110 guide and advanced strategies, please read Cyous’ full moonkin guide. There is also a wowhead moonkin guide available written by Bologna from Midwinter. This ‘survival guide’ just gives you just enough info to get started on the pre-patch and does not apply to level 110 rotations, where the “moon” spells from your artifact change how you generate most of your Astral Power. This guide isn’t useful for mythic raiding (because Cyous & Bologna do a much better job of that!), but if you just need to survive until Legion launches, this will get you started.

General Stat priority: intellect (higher ilevel) > haste > critical strike >= Mastery >= Versatility

It doesn’t really matter what gear you wear for the couple weeks until Legion comes out. Just wear your highest ilevel gear options, favoring haste over other stats. Even Versatility is no longer bad, so it’s okay if Versatility is on your gear (and it even might come ahead of mastery in some situations).

New Mastery! Eclipse is gone and has been replaced with Astral Power as a resource. Thus, we have a new mastery (Starlight) that increases Empowerment damage as well as starsurge & starfall damage). You build astral power by casting spells such as Solar Wrath and then spend astral power using spells such as Starsurge or Starfall.

Single-target rotation basics:

  • Keep DOTs (Moonfire & Sunfire) on your target.
  • Use cooldowns (such as celestial alignment & any CDs from talents).
  • Use Solar Wrath for generating Astral Power. You also use your level 90 talents for generating Astral Power.
  • Spend Astral Power on Starsurge. Starsurge will give you charges of Solar Empowerments.
  • Cast solar wrath to spend Solar Empowerment charges and generate more astral power.
  • Cast Innervate on your healers in raids during times of heavy mana consumption.

Multi-target & AOE rotation basics:

  • Keep DOTS on all targets (Sunfire spreads on its own, moonfire you cast on each target), unless they are going to die super fast.
  • Use cooldowns (Such as celestial alignment & any CDs from talents).
  • Use Lunar Strike to generate Astral Power when it can hit multiple nearby targets. You also use your level 90 talents for generating Astral Power.
  • Spend Astral Power on Starfall when you know the targets are going to stand still for several seconds (don’t waste starfall on moving targets).
  • Cast Innervate on your healers in raids during times of heavy mana consumption.

For advanced tactics & how talents interact with increasing the rotation complexity, make sure you read Cyous’ full guide! This short TLDR version here doesn’t replace understanding how all your spells work & the complexity of your level 110 rotation.

Talent Options for 110

I’m not covering the specifics of each talent, though most talents have situational uses that increase or decrease their usefulness. For the purpose of level 100 pre-patch play, there are two really basic potential paths to take. Note that for more advanced strategies, you may try out Stellar Flare or Fury of Elune which are spells that increase the difficulty of the rotation. Here are some easy beginner talent options:

General purpose beginner raiding talent build. While not the highest DPS option available, this should get you started while you learn the more complex options available. If you need more on-demand burst astral power generation, you can trade your level 90 BOA for Astral Communion (blessing of Elune is typically higher sustained AP generation when you frequently cast Wrath or LS).

Balance_General Purpose Raid Build

Soloing/leveling alternative. More heals, force of nature to taunt targets off you (they don’t target bosses in raid/dungeons, but they do taunt trash), and Stellar Drift since things die too quickly to benefit from Nature’s Balance.

balance soloing build

Posted in Legion


Resto druid Legion survival guide for 7.0

Resto druid survival guide for level 100 Legion 7.0 pre-patch! NOTE: This is currently a preview subject to change!  With the pre-patch hitting July 19th, here is a short guide covering the major changes you will have to adjust to at level 100. The full guide will be updated some time in the next few weeks for level 110 end-game. Restoration druids are largely similar in toolset & playstyle in Legion compared to Draenor. Thus, you should mostly be able to keep playing the way you are used to for the next month in Draenor content. The goal is still to use mostly HOTs around the raid as your primary healing strategy.

This survival guide covers the following topics:

  • New Mastery
  • Spell & ability changes
  • Stats
  • Talents

New Mastery: Harmony

  • The Draenor mastery ability was removed & replaced with a new mastery for Legion.
  • This new mastery instead increases your healing done by ALL spells for each HOT on your target (e.g., rejuv, lifebloom, wild growth, regrowth’s HOT portion). So, having 2 HOTs on the target will heal more than 1 HOT on the target. Then, 3 HOTs heal for more than 2 HOTs, and so forth.
  • Additional HOTs from talents can also increase this mastery healing (e.g., cultivation, spring blossoms, germination). Note that effects like living seed, efflorescence, and tranquility don’t count towards the mastery, as they are not considered HOT effects. Cenarion ward only counts as a HOT after the person takes damage (e.g., the ward is consumed) and the HOT portion is ticking down for 8 seconds.
  • How much does this impact your healing?
    • Druids are balanced around ~1 to 2 HOTs on a target for the purpose of raid healing. So, in most cases, the main goal will be to avoid casting Healing Touch or Swiftmend on people who don’t have HOTs on them.
    • While the old mastery buffed you (the healer), the new mastery is based on number of HOTs on each individual target (e.g., if you have 3 HOTs on your tank and 1 HOT on a mage, then the mastery bonus is higher on your tank than the mage).
    • All HOTs benefit from the mastery (e.g., if you cast Rejuv on someone who has no other HOTs, Rejuv still gets a mastery bonus value of 1 HOT).
    • The mastery buffs both your direct heals and HOTs, and the bonus increases for each HOT you have on a target. For example, at 8% mastery on my undergeared level 100 resto on the PTR, my rejuv ticks for: 4479 with 1 HOT (rejuv buffing itself), 4803 (2 HOTs), 5129 (3 HOTs), 5453 (4HOTs), 5778 (5 HOTS).
    • In general, your goal should be keeping multiple HOTs on the tank and not worrying too much about the mastery for raid healing (as shown above, the increase in rejuv ticks at 100 don’t make a second HOT necessary for rejuv to be beneficial for your raid). Try not to spam yourself OOM by blanketing people needlessly just because you think you have to HOT stack.
    • Note that HOTs dynamically update every time they tick. It doesn’t matter what order you cast your HOT spells in when stacking multiple HOTs on a target. Your mastery will check number of HOTs on a target every time it ticks.

Spell and Ability Changes

Removed abilities:

  • Nature’s Swiftness, mark of the wild, soothe, and genesis are gone.
  • Dramatically reduced access to baseline off-role damage/utility abilities (NOTE: see the section on level 45 affinity talents for how you can get access to damage abilities for soloing via talents!).
  • Cyclone: Now only available as a PVP talent at 110.
  • Most “major” glyphs have been removed (instead, these effects have been baked into abilities, changed into talents, or removed).

New abilities:

  • Innervate has returned. Now allows all spells cast for 10 seconds to be mana-free (usable on yourself or others).
  • Revitalize: This is now a mass resurrection spell available to healers. Returns all raid or party members out of combat (revive is 1 person out of combat, rebirth is 1 person in combat). This basically replaces Mass Res, which was taken away from non-healers.

Modified abilities:

  • Swiftmend: longer cooldown & larger effect. Swiftmend also no longer requires a HOT for you to be able to cast the spell (though due to interactions with the new mastery, HOTs on the target will make it heal for more).
  • Teleport Moonglade: Will eventually be replaced with Dreamwalking as you level in Legion (gives you access to a larger set of portals to various places).
  • Efflorescence: Wild Mushroom has been renamed Efflorescence – place a mushroom on the ground to heal targets standing nearby.
  • Note that minor glyphs (largely impacting cosmetic appearances) are still available as either glyphs or tomes. You apply minor glyphs to the spells themselves, or learn shapeshift forms such as tree form, rather than using the old glyph system.

Stat Priority

Overview. In general, it doesn’t much matter what your gear is like is for the month before legion comes out.  There are two general strategies for stats (large group vs small group) since the value of mastery goes down as the number of people in your party goes up. Spirit and multistrike have been removed from all of your gear. For the pre-patch month, just wear whatever is highest ilevel, since you’ll replace everything soon anyway, but here’s a quick set of potential priority lists. Higher ilevel things with more intellect, of course, will always help your healing the most.

  • Stats for large raids: Haste = crit > versatility = mastery. Mastery doesn’t work very well with large numbers of targets to heal (e.g., groups of 15+ such as LFR or Mythic raids). So, haste & crit seems to come out higher.
  • Stats for 5-mans & small group contentMastery > haste = crit > versatility. For smaller groups, mastery clearly comes out ahead of all other stats, due to the ability to stack HOTs on multiple people (regardless of which talent build you take).

Potential Talent Builds

In general, for the Legion pre-patch month, the talent choices don’t matter a whole lot. Below are two potential strategies. The first is the highest output healing build for Legion end-game raiding, focused on maximizing Wild Growth use (turning swiftmend into a spell that primes Wild Growth to heal more). The second is more of a fun 5-man alternative build for beginners that frees up Swiftmend to be used as an emergency tank heal it was meant to be. I’ll do a full set of talent explanations in the full end-game guide I’ll post in the upcoming weeks.

Talent build for large group content such as Heroic/Mythic raids: Prosperity/Soul of the Forrest/Spring Blossoms/Flourish (choose whatever you want for remaining talents at level 30, 45, & 60 – but note the affinity discussion at the end of the post).

  • Maximizing Wild Growth for large group content: Soul of the Forest (SOTF) is a very strong talent. However, you always time it so you can follow Swiftmend with Wild Growth (thus, Swiftmend now gets used every time it comes off cooldown to buff Wild Growth. Pair SOTF with Prosperity to allow for more Swiftmend casts. Flourish extends the duration of your HOTs (use it after Wild Growth casts once per minute). These three together make your Wild Growth healing incredibly potent for raiding.
  • Level 90 talent discussion: Spring Blossoms is the most obvious choice for level 90 talents since it allows you to get a HOT component on Efflorescence and is essentially passive bonuses that interact with your mastery. In fights where a 2 minute tranquility works well with encounter design, Inner Peace can be very potent. Germination won’t work as well in raids, due to eating too many GCDs (you’ll get more mastery bonus from Spring Blossoms).
  • This SOTF build works great for some raid encounters but falls short of a Culvination build in others. So, you may find yourself wanting to change talent builds around in raids depending on the encounter, particularly for more advanced mythic raids.
  • This healing strategy works by: Casting swiftmend ALWAYS followed by wild growth. Extend the HOT from Wild Growth when flourish if off cooldown (1 x per minute). Keep rejuv/LB on tank(s). Keep Efflorescence under the melee group. Be careful managing your mana between Wild Growth Casts, so you can cast Wild Growth as often as possible. Tranquility on cooldown.

SOTF Build level 100

Alternative talents for 5-mans or some raid encounters: Abundance (or Cenarion Ward), cultivation, germination, stonebark (or flourish). Note that you can choose whatever level 30, 45, or 60 talent you want (but see discussion on Affinity level 45 talents at the end of this post).

  • This focuses on maximizing your rejuv use (with bonus rejuv stacking from Germination & Cultivation) and maximizing your mastery bonuses. Given that tank healing matters more for 5-mans, abundance (with a ton of rejuvs spread around) will make your direct heals super fast. Healing Touch can actually drop below 1 second cast times.
  • For the level 15 talents, some people prefer Cenarion Ward over Abundance, since the speedy direct heals from Abundance are causing people to run out of mana too quickly. The HOT from Cenarion Ward (after the person takes damage) also counts towards the mastery bonus.
  • Stonebark is useful for tank healing in 5-mans, particularly for people who may be struggling to keep the tank alive (this talent increases the healing done to the person you cast ironbark on, so cast ironbark frequently on a tank). However, flourish is a good alternative to boost overall party healing (but only if make sure you use Flourish after you cast wild growth).
  • Note that some people will likely still take SOTF over Cultivation, depending on the encounter. For beginners in particular, the more passive healing will be really helpful in cases where you fall behind and people drop low. I also think keeping Swiftmend freed up for emergency tank healing is preferable for small group content over using it to buff WG.
  • The rejuv-focused strategy works by: Keep HOTs on tank & Stonebark (plus Cenarion Ward if you have it) as often as possible. Keep casting rejuvs on any party member taking damage in that fight (you can stack 2 rejuvs per person). Keep Efflorescence under as many people as possible (probably the tank/melee area). Save tranquility for when you can stand still and everyone is taking heavy damage. Use your Healing Touches and regrowths for direct healing when needed (HT is speedy when you have abundance). Use Swiftmend as an emergency burst direct healing cooldown to save a tank or other party member from death.

Rejuv build level 100

Affinity Level 45 talents: Druids have always been known as the “jack of all trades, master of none” spec.  So, resto used to have a smattering of damage & tanking abilities that almost never got used. So, they stripped out all these off-role buttons from your baseline spec (except for enough spells that you could kill something if you got stuck). Your affinity talent lets you choose an off-role spec where you pick up more abilities that make you pretty decent at one off-role thing at a time, rather than crappy at all off-role things all the time.

  • If you choose balance affinity, all your spells (including healing spells) get an added 5 yard range. You get moonkin form. This increases your damage in form & allows you to cast several additonal balance spells when you shift into moonkin. The extra range is pretty nice for times when people are super spread out.
  • If you choose feral affinity, you get a 15% movement speed buff. In addition, you get feral abilities that allow you to have relatively mana-free damage while in cat form.
  • While guardian affinity gives you 10% reduced damage taken, a raid that is asking their resto druid to off-tank something in the middle of the fight has probably already all died. So, you get little to no good utility from a resto/guardian build – you need the damage from balance or feral way more than the guardian passive.

There is also a full restoration guide up on Wowhead that is complete with Legion-relevant information. I’ll be working on my full resto guide for 110 expecting to launch in a few weeks.

Let me know if there are any other pressing questions or suggestions!

Posted in Legion, Patch 7.0, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Update for Legion Class Prep

Hi everyone! I haven’t been as active blogging this summer as I’ve been testing legion. I have, however, been busy with writing guides & playtesting for the expansion. Here are some important things to know for my Legion plans:

  1. I am returning to my moonkin/resto druid for Legion raiding, after a 2 expansion (MOP & WOD) hiatus where I raided on my mage. While fire mages will be lots of fun, the druid class hall is just far more awesome than the mage class hall. Plus Eclipse is gone and they updated moonkin form, so I had nothing left to complain about.
  2. My druid leveling guide will be ready to go for 7.0 by the time the pre-patch hits. I have finished a lot of the leveling guide for newbie druids. They made changes to the 1 to 10 leveling process for druids and other relevant changes that I discuss in the guide.
  3. I will have short 7.0 survival guides for Resto and for Balance that will cover the basic changes for pre-patch. This will cover general spell changes (what’s new, what’s gone, and how to survive for a month until Legion launches).
  4. I will make an intro Legion end-game guide for Resto (targeting new level 110 players) that will be ready by the time Legion hits. This will likely be in transition during the pre-patch month.
  5. I won’t likely make a full balance 110 guide, but I will have plenty of resources and basics (such as what life is like after Eclipse is gone). I will also cover the basics of artifact weapons, class halls, and other things important to druids.
  6. My guild (Undying Resolution on Elune) made it to 10/13 Mythic. We currently have open recruitment for raiders in Legion (mostly DPS, but also a tank).  We’re running Wed/Thurs progression nights from 8 to 11 Eastern (heroic/mythic in legion), plus Sunday more relaxed content (achievements, normals, or alt stuff).

Beta updates:

  • For leveling 100 to 110, resto druids can pretty effectively use balance or feral affinity (which should actually do decent damage with a fair amount of survivability). So, the problem for resto druids of healer leveling viability is mostly solved.
  • They removed the gold cost for spec swapping, such that running multiple druid specs a lot easier.
  • While you can’t max out 4 artifact weapons very quickly, you can pick one “main” weapon that you keep slotting the highest, and one or two other “off-spec” weapons at about 80% of the power of the main weapon. My /played on my beta druid at 110 is 12 hours. My balance spec has 14 total ranks (across 7 traits) spent in my balance weapon. I have 10 total ranks (across 5 traits) spent in my resto weapon. At some point, my main weapon’s ranks cost somewhere around 10,000 points, and my resto weapon’s traits may still be under 1,000 – in which case, it makes sense to buy cheap traits on the other weapons if you swap a lot.
  • Also, the druid class hall has a moonkin teacher instructing baby moonkin how to cast spells. Except for that one bad student who won’t stop flying in circles (thanks Poneria and T.G.Q. for finding the baby moonkin for me!). The baby moonkin also make me sad because they remind me of Mourninglory and her 8 moonkinlings. She would have loved this feature if she were around to see it. While the moonkin’s name isn’t a reference to Mourninglory, I still would like to think of it as a small tribute to her helpfulness, as well as a tribute to all druids who work hard to teach others and be kind to the community. It’s nice to remember sometimes how great the druid and Warcraft community can be.

And on that sappy note, bring on Legion!

 

WoWScrnShot_070216_181542

WoWScrnShot_070216_220813

Posted in Druid - General, Legion, Written By Lissanna


Legion Beta is here!

Legion Beta is in full swing now, with a large group of people being invited to help test the content. While there are a few major bugs being worked out (such as disappearing NPCs), I wanted to briefly reflect upon development thus far.

The good:

  • The druid class hall is really, really pretty. Also, the class hall concept overall works pretty well, where you are likely to see other people frequently when you visit the class hall, but have a strong reason to leave & go out into the world.
  • New druid form updates are really, really pretty. The new moonkin feels much better – it’s difficult for me to log back onto my old druid with how much better the new druids look. The cat and bear forms are looking great, especially for the artifact forms.
  • Balance druids have a good starting point, with a newly redesigned mastery, a fairly complex toolkit, and decent utility (especially picking up extra healing spells with the affinity). While there are small tweaks to balance that I expect to see before things go live, we’re at a good starting point.
  • Resto druid’s toolest is starting to come together. Resto druids have gained back innervate (utility to cast on other people), dash (you can run away again!), and cyclone (as a PVP talent). So, some of the concerns and weaknesses we were concerned about were addressed.

WoWScrnShot_120515_155427

To be decided:

  • Resto mastery: The biggest question mark for resto druids right now is whether or not the new mastery is good. In most situations it should overall work fine. In places where the mastery falls short, we’ll likely just see changes to how resto druids heal. In general, the new healing strategy suggests that people won’t sit at 100% all the time, so HOTs may turn out to be pretty valuable if that healing strategy actually goes live. In general, the new resto mastery seems to be growing on most people on the beta forums right now, after some tweaks to the spec seems to have made it more desirable. So, resto mastery could work out fine. If it doesn’t work out fine, I’m sure we’ll see small tweaks along the way that keeps mastery desirable for druids.
  • Healer soloing & leveling: The new specialization system and artifacts have made it somewhat more difficult for healers to level. This is likely to be more true for undergeared healers than people with lots of gear. In addition, some healer specs are better off than others (I hear that holy priest is particularly difficult).You do get some DPS abilities (druids via the affinity system could potentially be in a good place if feral or balance affinity does enough damage). However, as they balance how difficult or fast it is to kill stuff in the world, healer leveling runs the risk of being slower and more boring than DPS leveling. It will cost you up to 61 gold every time you want to change a spec to DPS. In addition, you need an artifact weapon for a spec for it to really be viable – making swapping between specs challenging for healers. So, if you pick the resto artifact first, you won’t have a DPS weapon until after you’ve unlocked the ability to get a second weapon. In my guides, I’ll put in a level 100 to 110 section for advice on leveling healers (and how to manage spec swaps), but I’m still keeping an eye on healers’ ability to solo level & solo end-game world quests. Someone suggested that healers should get a boost to their world soloing damage (that wouldn’t work against players, in dungeons, or other group content). At this point, I think that might ultimately be the best solution if testing finds that healers struggle too much at keeping up with their DPS leveling counterparts. UPDATE: Gold cost on swapping specs is being removed, which helps some with being able to swap specs for leveling & whatnot.

Conclusion: In general, the transition to beta signals that we’re getting closer to release. The class changes need to be done by the end of July, since we traditionally see a pre-patch a month before the expansion launch. At this point, I’m still pretty committed to swapping to my druid for raiding on my moonkin in Legion.

 

Posted in Beta Feedback, Druid - General, Legion, Leveling


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