The new 5.3 patch is going live today. This has fairly big changes for resto druids, especially those in 25-man raiding.
Druid 5.3 changes
I have a post up describing the major 5.3 changes for resto & balance druids. These changes should be implemented today.
This means that I have also updated my resto druid healing guide:
I also made some minor edits to the blog’s leveling guide, but nothing substantial.
Mage 5.3 changes
- Mages had a buff to Living Bomb that now theoretically makes it better for single target boss fights than Nether Tempest. Nether Tempest is still better for multi-target cleaving boss fights (e.g., Horridon).
- Mages also had buffs to our AOE spells, though I’m not sure how these changes impact our overall AOE rotations yet, especially if you are going to be running around with Living Bomb for most of the raid and not consistently switching back to nether tempest for trash packs. I may need to spend some time in LFR tonight to figure out what buttons I should be mashing. 🙂
- You can upgrade gear again with valor points, so don’t forget to hit the upgrade vendor and cash in any saved VP.
- Grab some friends and hit up Heroic Scenarios to help with your VP farming fun.
- And of course, make sure you read one of the patch day summaries at MMO-champion, or WOWhead, or WOWinsider.
With 5.3 likely to come out in the next few weeks, I thought it might be helpful to write a recap of the 5.3 changes for resto & moonkin druids. Since this is still on the PTR, it is, of course, subject to change. The full PTR notes are available here.
We still don’t have an official release date, but I thought it would help to cover some of the changes in more detail.
- Both resto & moonkin benefit from general druid changes. First, Force of Nature is undergoing some changes in 5.3. It is now going to be one big tree (without a pet bar) that is a little bit smarter, and should chain-cast spells (instead of pausing so much). For moonkin, the casting of roots in PvE is still likely problematic. However, the resto druid version (that now casts swiftmend in addition to healing touch) is likely a more viable option than it was previously. As a “fire and forget” spell, now off the global cooldown, it may be worth trying out, especially for new players .
Balance 5.3 changes
- The main balance changes for 5.3 are really about PvP, with some solar beam changes.
- In addition, the glyph of Omens seems like it could be used to fish for eclipse procs in PvP situations. However, most of the utility spells that generate Eclipse energy with this glyph aren’t often used in PvE.
Restoration 5.3 changes
- Ironbark cooldown will be 1 minute instead of 2 minutes (the PvP set bonus change means that this won’t really impact PvP). This gives you the ability to sometimes cast this on non-tanks to save raid members from harm, rather than feeling forced to always save it for tanks. You can, alternatively, cast it more on the tank if that works best for the fight. The important part is that this should just generally be used more often to reduce the damage members of your raid are taking.
- For 25-man raids, Tranquility will hit 12 people. In 10-man, it will continue to hit 5 people. Several other AOE heals of other classes (such as the priest divine hymn) were changed to also have a different target number for 10 & 25-mans. This will help druids scale better for 25-man raiding, where a weakness of druids was that our tools were really limited in the number of people we could heal at a time in 25’s.
- Our “smart” heals will be smarter. One of the problems with smart heals was that they frequently targeted pets over players, leading to what looked like a lot of healing done, but was really wasted healing. So, now, these “smart” heals will now more consistently choose wounded raid members over their wounded pets. In addition, since pets should take a little less damage in raids, they won’t really be at risk of dieing. Note that if players are at full health, it will still do healing on the pets.
- The radius of Swiftmend‘s Efflorescence AOE effect has been increased to 10 yards. With how spread out people tend to be, this still will be used more often in melee on 10-mans. However, you now have a higher probability of hitting both your tank and melee for bosses with smaller hit-boxes. In addition, for ranged spread-out times, there is now an increased chance of having more people hit by Efflo (and given the 3 person limit, anyway, that’s not so bad).
- Wild Mushroom: Bloom was given two buffs. First, it has the same increase in radius to 10 yards that Swiftmend’s AOE got. Second, the baseline healing (and scaling with rejuv overhealing) was also increased. However, this doesn’t change the fundamental flaws that makes the ability feel more situational. That said, it will be worth using more often in times where you are likely to stack on one spot for AOE healing.
- It is also important to note that some of the problems druids are having is with how HOTs don’t play well with discipline and paladin absorbs. The paladin absorb mastery is targeted for a minor nerf for 5.3, which may indirectly help out druids to look better on meters. 😉
Old screenshot from the Fireland raiding days. 🙂
So, druids should all be familiar with the infamous Fire Kitty staff from Firelands.
We recently had confirmation that the effect from the fire kitty staff is now available without the staff. You can get seeds (5 at a time, each seed lasting 1 hour) from Firelands. Since the Burning Seeds are bind on account, you won’t be able to pick them up from the auction house. Instead, you have to actually go to the Firelands instance to get them.
So, now you can get the temporary fire kitty buff without having to keep an outdated staff equipped (I for one know how embarrassing it can be to get caught in the wrong outfit half way through a raid). We all know how much druids enjoy being on fire. Or at least, that’s what we try to tell Juvenate. More details available on WoWhead.
Today’s guest post is by Malon of <Nightshift> on Wildhammer-EU. He has been a raiding Mage since WoW’s European launch.
I’ve had some requests on Twitter (where I post as @ArcaneTactics) to collate my #MageTips series into a single document. These are various helpful hints and tricks for PvE Mages; things that will help eke out a bit more damage, utility or survivability on the various encounters WoW has to throw at its most squishy class.
Some of these tips – especially the 5.0 ones – may now be out of date, but (flagrant self-promotion) I post new ones every week. If anyone has any questions or comments, I’d welcome them. Thanks again to Liss for hosting this post – and for recently combining Restokin’s Druid news with useful Mage advice. If you have more Mage Tips, feel free to post them as comments in this thread, or tweet them to @arcanetactics!
Stay frosty (or otherwise…),
- Blazing Speed is a good way to quickly paint a lot of tiles in the heroic Stone Guard encounter
- Using RoP+glyphed Evocation in Gara’jal’s spirit realm will constantly renew the Spiritual Innervation buff.
- Nether Tempest is the most efficient way to kill Gara’jal’s adds. Apply it to each one; it’s faster than directly damaging them.
- You can Blink out of Subetai the Swift’s Pinning Arrow on the Spirit Kings encounter.
- Ticks/explosions from NT and LB DO NOT proc the negative effects of the shields on Heroic Spirit Kings.
- Spamming Scorch during phase 2 Elegon, increases your chances of a HU proc. Pyro! is absolutely necessary to down the Energy Charges.
- Place Rune of Power nine-tenths inside Elegon’s ring; you’ll benefit from it while standing on the edge & jumping to clear stacks.
- The Glyph of Blink causes the spell to bug out on Elegon’s platform; remove it for that fight.
- Touch a Spark and quickly Blink to avoid damage on H Will of the Emperor.
Heart of Fear
- A FAST Blink will sometimes let you avoid the damage from Tay’ak’s Unseen Strike (there is a short stun before the damage).
- It’s possible to spread CB from Garalon’s body to his up to 2 legs, but only from a leg to his body – never another leg.
- Glyphed Ice Lance will cleave from Garalon’s body to his legs, but not vice versa.
- You can Blink out of Amber Prisons in the Wind Lord Mel’jarak encounter.
- Mel’jarak’s Blademasters will put a debuff on players before charging them; this can be Ice Blocked off, cancelling the charge.
- Ice Block will remove Amber-Shaper Un’sok’s Parasitic Growth ability – a great help in Phase 3.
Terrace of Endless Spring
- Alter Time will reset your Dread Shadows stacks on Tsulong to 1, no matter how many you had when you cast it.
- ArcEx can be used to keep Arcane Charge stacks during Lei Shi’s Get Away! ability.
- Greater Invis and Alter Time appear (unconfirmed) to remove stacks of Scary Fog on H.Lei Shi. Try not to be assigned to this role.
- Ice Block can be used to negate Breath of Fear, giving more uptime on the Sha of Fear’s adds. Double the fun with Cold Snap!
- Greater Invisibility is a viable alternative on Sha of Fear; it will be up for every Death Blossom, allowing you more DPS time.
- The Sha of Fear is big enough that AEx will refresh your AC stack from a fair distance. Use it before Cackle to retain your stack!
Throne of Thunder
- Blazing Speed is my Recommended Talent for Jin’Rokh the Breaker; combine with Blink for speedy recovery from orb kiting.
- Build a big Combustion on Tortos; it can be spread to mini turtles as they spawn.
- Useful! #MageTips RT @jnsplace Use Ice Floes on Tortos during turtle or rock dodging phases.
- Slightly less useful. #MageTips RT @IRONF0RGED Don’t die.
- Blazing Speed + Cinder on Megaera = super-fast Icy Ground melting.
- RoF is great to temporarily halt (then gather for AE) one stream of Ancestors during An Urgent Plea
- Haste increases ALL your regen, not just passive; It affects mana gained from Evocation and Gems, too.
- Temporal Shield with Cauterise is an amazingly sexy combination with massive self-healing potential.
- Make a macro for /cast Mage Bomb. It will change depending on the Bomb you pick.
- Damage from Blizzard and Flamestrike do not break Frost Nova.
- With reasonable latency and glyphed DF, you can get an IL+DF combo off with just one FoF charge. Lance MUST come first!
- A macro combining Temporal Shield (off the GCD) and Incanter’s Ward is very useful!
- The first ‘tick’ of Frozen Orb will always grant a FoF charge.
- Alter Time will only interrupt spell casting if you’ve moved since casting it. If you stand in the same place, it won’t.
- This post on EJ is an excellent chart that tells you exactly when your next haste breakpoint is approaching.
- The Glyph of Rapid Teleportation will also work on portals cast by other Mages and NPCs (like the one on Shan’ze Dao)
- Glyph of Icy Veins contains a hidden +20% chance to proc Fingers of Frost, to make up for the reduced tick speed of Bomb spells.
- ‘Fight fire with fire’ does not apply to A’lar.
- Use “/cast [@target] Frostbolt” to stop yourself auto-casting at your pet.
- Your Bomb spells will explode when your target dies, not just when they expire.
- Arcane Explosion makes the Pest Problems daily, for the Tillers, ridiculously fast (5.2 update: also applies to The Creeping Carpet of Ihgaluk).
- Contrary to opinion, Arcane AoE IS viable (on high-health targets). Bomb, Flamestrike and clear stacks with ABG, rather than keeping them.
- Ancient Teleport: Dalaran (from Koegler’s shelves if Book Burner doesn’t hit books) is a great way to get to the Greench…or troll raid mates.
- If you can hit something with it, Arcane Explosion is a useful way to keep AC stacks up while moving.
- Frost is a good offspec for haste-stacking Arcane Mages, as they both benefit from the stat (unlike Fire or mastery-Arcane).
- Generally, Frost’s AoE and burst makes it superior to other specs for Challenge Modes.
- Glyph of Armours increases each armour’s defensive benefit by 10 percentage POINTS, not 10% of the original number.
- Frost Bomb calculates its damage based on when it explodes, not when you cast it. Make sure your cooldowns are up.
- NT and LB can be ‘clipped’ – refresh them just before they expire and you’ll still get the last tick/explosion.