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Patch 7.2.5 for balance and resto druids: Not much changed

The 7.2.5 patch is a small patch that coincides with the launch of a new raid tier. Overall, balance and resto will be in a similar place in Tomb of Sargeras, which opens June 20th. Neither spec had any major rotation or spell changes, with almost all changes being minor or numeric balancing. That said, lets get into some of the highlights of 7.2.5.

The most important thing for druids is the new Moonkin Festival, where you can adopt a baby moonkin for a day! I’m pretty sure this involves dancing, napping, and moonfire. Sounds like fun right? I’m not sure what day it is, but I’ll be sure to post about it more before the celebrations arise. Okay, now down to business!

There are changes to Mythic+ loot (and no more ‘depletion’ of keys), so you should review the changes before you head off to run your M+ for the week.

Balance Druid Changes

  • Bora has a whole FAQ for raiders about the 7.2.5 changes, which you should read. I’ll cover the highlights here:
  • Starsurge does more damage. This should be a small single-target DPS increase.
  • Stellar Drift’s starfall bonus does less damage. This will result in a small nerf to AOE damage. The two changes combined make starsurge superior to cast on single targets than starfall (so the AOE build is less effective on single-target fights).
  • Emerald Dreamcatcher got changed but should be close to the same overall benefit. It now reduces the cost by 5 power, but the buff now lasts 5 seconds. This means that you theoretically should be able to maintain close to 100% up-time on the buff when using an ED rotation. This also means we don’t have the same hard haste breakpoints for ED. Instead, staying slightly above 24% haste is likely fine based on the preliminary math, as the breakpoint possibilities between 24% and 44% haste are too variable to aim for in TOS. However, the dreamcatcher is significantly weaker than other legendary items for heroic/mythic level TOS for high movement fights, so this may not be relevant at all.
  • The Soul of the Archdruid is a new legendary ring that is pretty strong for moonkin, particularly for mythic raiding.
  • The radiant moonlight cloak is a pretty average and situational legendary.
  • As of now, moonkin are planningto run 2T Tier 19 (cloak/shoulders) and 4 Tier 20 pieces early on in TOS, until whatever point Blizzard nerfs the Tier 19 2-piece bonus.
  • What stats should you go for? With these changes to devaluing ED (and the fact starfall doesn’t scale with haste), we’re not going as heavy haste anymore and are favoring more mastery (e.g., mark of the trained soldier neck enchat), although you should sim yourself to get your own personal stat weights.

Restoration druid changes

  • Resto druids were coming ahead a little too strong and thus received a minor 4% nerf that really isn’t something to worry about at this point. Resto will still be competitive and otherwise got no substantial changes to spells.
  • The cultivation talent was also nerfed, but you’ll still want to use it for most situations.
  • The Aman’thul’s Wisdom legendary shoulders were also nerfed, making it much more situational.
  • Chameleon’s Song is a new legendary helm that looks like it might be pretty good for getting more wild growth targets during the duration of the buff.
  • The Soul of the Archdruid ring is much better for balance than resto at this point in testing.

That’s overall the main highlights of what is coming for druids. Keep in mind that number tweaks and changes will absolutely happen as the new raid tier gets underway. So, hang in there for the usual bumpy patch ride!

Posted in Druid - General, Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 7.2.5, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna


Patch 7.2 for balance and resto druids

This week is the release of patch 7.2! There is a lot of world content released but the raid dungeon won’t be released for a few more months (probably some time this summer). Feel free to join the druid Discord to discuss changes in 7.2 with other druids!

Here are some highlights:

Overall, after the patch hits you want to unlock your artifact knowledge by doing the Armies of the Legionfall quest chain (complete this before doing world quests or anything else, as the increased artifact knowledge is important. Make sure you start learning your new AK ranks as fast as you can).  You also then want to complete the Defending Broken Isles chain that unlocks the new artifact weapon paths.

There is also a bunch of other world content, leading up to things like being able to fly and completing quests that allow you to unlock your new druid class “mount” (owl bird shapeshift form).

 Balance 7.2 patch highlights:

New traits in your balance weapon progression (click here for example path video by Emre#0950 on Discord).

  • At 35 traits, you unlock “Goldrinn’s Fury” to get access to the new traits & ranks. You will want to fill out your whole new mini-tree from Radiance thru the gold trait (Circadian Invocation).
    • Wax & Wane is a trait where moonfire/sunfire has increasing stacking damage. This doesn’t dramatically change your rotation, as moonfire spam is not intended to be a viable single-target strategy.  This has undergone some tuning such that it’s an okay DPS increase during times you might want to spam moonfire (e.g, cleave or heavy movement fights where you might end up needing filler).
    • Circadian Invocation is the gold bordered trait. It gives 6% to arcane, 6% to nature and 12% to Astral (e.g., starsurge, starfall). This is a pretty big buff to our single-target damage.
  • After that, you can go back and fill out other ranks in your existing traits (e.g., scythe of the starts, sunfire burns, etc). Here’s the path:
    • 6: Scythe of the Stars 4/4
    • 7: Sunfire Burns 4/4
    • 8: Solar Stabbing 4/4
    • 9: Twilight Glow 4/4
    • 10: Dark Side of the Moon 4/4
    • 11: Empowerment 4/4
    • 12: Falling Star 4/4
    • 13: Bladed Feathers 4/4
    • 14: Touch of the Moon 4/4

balance spell changes:

  • We didn’t have any major spell changes for PVE.
  • The starfall change isn’t a nerf. The patch notes only list one change that isn’t really something most people will even notice. While the haste scaling change for starfall seems like a nerf, keep in mind that haste only ever reduced the duration without adding extra ticks. Basically, starfall will now stay active longer but have a slower tick rate. You will get the same number of total ticks, with a slightly longer damage buffs on your DOTs or longer to cast while moving (the starfall circle stays up longer). In exchange, starfall is not really so great on things that die fast (and because it was never burst damage in the first place, that’s always held true). On mobs that died in a few seconds, you never got the full starfall/DOT ticks off in the first place, which has always been a glaring weakness for balance. In conclusion, the starfall change isn’t a nerf.

balance gear:

  • Promise of Elune (balance boots) got a buff that makes them better than they were (at least a small DPS upgrade now over equipping no legendary at all). Sephuz also now gives a 2% haste bonus passive. Ekowraith also got a haste stat bonus. Overall, I don’t think these changes impact the BIS list for balance legendaries (the strong ones are still really strong), but if you got stuck with crappy ones before, they are at least closer in their DPS increase.

Restoration 7.2 highlights:

Questionably Epic is a new resto druid site that has a good preview up and is worth checking out. 

Overall, resto druids don’t have a ton of changes, so the main thing will be how to advance your weapon with the new traits.

  • After 35 traits, you can put a point into G’hanir’s bloom to unlock your new traits. You should work towards your gold-bordered trait (deep rooted) first.
  • After you unlock deep rooted, you can go back in and fill out your ranks in other traits, starting with the really good ones (e.g., persistence, grovewalker, knowledge of the ancients, essence of nordrasil, etc.).

Restoration Gear:

  • Drape of Shame got nerfed, but is still a great cloak at this point unless you need the set cloak for your set bonus.
  • The resto druid shoulder legendary got buffed but it is currently unclear where it falls in the list of legendary items, but should be better in cases where people are likely to hover at 100% long enough to accumulate extra HOT ticks.
  • Sephuz’s secret got the 2% baseline haste that makes it better, especially on fights where you can use the proc.
  • Tearstone was nerfed, but still a strong legendary.
  • Several other legendaries got slight buffs that make them somewhat better but not really change in their priority at the moment.

Happy patch day! Once we see how all the changes shake out, I’ll do another round of edits on the resto druid healing guide sometime next week with updated info.

Posted in Legion, Moonkin Balance DPS, patch 7.2, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna


Resto and balance in patch 7.1

Blizzard has a fairly large content release happening with patch 7.1. While it feels too soon to be launching this much content, there are some changes worth noting.

First, remember that you can turn Blood of Sargeras into a trader and get fun things like more Starlight Rose for your flask/potion needs, or other crafting materials.

Second, remember that some of the functionality of raiding addons was broken (I’m pretty sure they didn’t reverse this decision they announced several months ago). The UI can’t tell positional space of where people are in the room. That makes things like “Spread out 5 yards” much more difficult to coordinate. There isn’t any way to do range frames, radars, nearby warnings, or arrows pointing you to another person. So, good luck with that. 😉

Restoration changes in 7.1

  • When you use frenzied Regen (FR) in bear form, you get a benefit from your Harmony mastery. If you sometimes use guardian affinity and pop FR in bear form, you will heal slightly more over the duration.
  • Ysera’s Gift sticks to party & raid members, so now you will be less likely to randomly heal people when you are standing in town.
  • Some of living seed’s effect was ‘nerfed’, although Living Seed didn’t contribute much to our total healing done in the first place. The artifact trait listed in the patch notes is also one of the last traits we suggest picking up, so the change to that trait doesn’t matter much. At this point in artifact progression, it will end up being less overall living seed healing done, but it did maybe 1% of anyone’s total healing in the first place.
  • Regrowth & healing touch baseline healing was buffed, but this isn’t documented in the patch notes (though it should go live). Regrowth crits less, but does more immediate healing. So, think of the package of changes as being a buff to the direct healing portion of regrowth rather than anything else. This might also impact the value of crit and other stats after all is said and done, but only slightly.
  • Swiftmend’s healing was increased slightly, likely in part due to the living seed nerf. This means that when you use swiftmend as a burst heal, it’s a tiny bit more potent. When you use swiftmend to get the Soul of the Forest (SOTF) buff, try to make sure you get a benefit from that burst heal (otherwise, the change results in even more overhealing).
  • They nerfed the prosperity talent, reducing the cooldown by 3 seconds instead of 5. This makes it more annoying to line up SOTF with wild growths, but still leaves the combo fairly potent.
  • They buffed the cultivation talent by 20%. On fights where cultivation was good, it’s now even better. This makes cultivation somewhat more helpful on raid encounters where you might have people sit at or below 60% health enough to proc cultivation. While we call the SOTF build the ‘raid’ build, there are certainly plenty of raid fights where cultivation shines.
  • Incarnation is off the GCD, but you still will likely value SOTF or Cultivation more.

TLDR for resto: Not much really changed in terms of how you heal. Cultivation’s value definitely increased. Most of the changes come out to a net neutral impact overall, depending on what talents you take. The living seed nerf offsets some of the buffs to the direct healing portion of spells. We’ll have a more solid idea of the impact of these changes once it hits the live servers and we know the final numbers.

Balance changes in 7.1

Not much changed for balance, just some minor tweaks.

  • Owlkin Frenzy now only makes Lunar Strike instant, rather than being consumed by Wrath or Lunar Flare. This is good in some ways in that you can’t accidentally ‘waste’ it now, but also gives you less flexibility in its use.
  • You now have regrowth instead of healing touch baseline & can cast regrowth in moonkin form. This has a faster cast time, but a pretty small initial heal. If you happened to be unlucky and got the legendary that impacted healing touch, it now impacts regrowth instead.
  • Incarnation no longer triggers the global cooldown and they fixed the graphical bug (big armored super moonkin Incarnation form is back!). I find myself using this some, so that’s nice.
Posted in Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 7.1, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna
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Leveling advice for Resto druids 100 to 110

For leveling 100 to 110 in Legion, the artifact weapons have a large impact on your leveling choices. If you want to see what traits to pick up for your resto weapon, see my Resto end-game guide. You get your first artifact weapon at level 100 and then you can pick up all of the other 3 druid artifact weapons at level 102. For leveling, you basically have 3 options:

  1. Resto artifact weapon at 100 -> Pick up other artifact (balance, feral, or guardian specs) at 102.
  2. Alternative artifact (balance, feral or guardian) at 100  -> Pick up Resto artifact at 102.
  3. Stick with resto from 100 to 110 & ignore off-spec artifacts entirely (rely on grouping or affinity talents).

Any of the three above approaches are viable for early leveling, depending on your particular situation. Keep in mind that if you go with a DPS or guardian artifact first, you won’t be able to heal dungeons for the first two levels. It’s almost always worth doing the quests to unlock all 3 of your off-spec weapons just because you get experience and really awesome looking weapons out of the quests, with no side-effects simply for owning an off-spec weapon. Ultimately, there are several questions that you will want to think about as you are leveling.

Can you solo quest level as resto?

Yes, restoration with one of the affinity talents is perfectly fine for leveling in Legion. In fact, resto druids get talents that allow for the fastest leveling speed for healers. You get a pretty good DPS toolset for your off-spec. There is no reason you should HAVE to level as a DPS spec if you want to level resto, given how strong the Affinity talents are. The rotations are also simplified in your Affinity spec, so you won’t have to learn overly complicated rotations for leveling as resto with an affinity spec. Any of the three affinities should overall get the job done.

Also, with the new shared mob system tapping, you can always tag things other people are attacking and follow people around some to speed up questing.

Is DPS leveling faster?

DPS leveling with artifact > Healer leveling with artifact > DPS leveling with NO artifact (See relevant testing from Healiocentric). This means that you need the DPS artifact weapon to be able to DPS level. If you pick up the DPS weapon first, then you can’t heal for the first 2 levels. So, if people are relying on you for dungeons on Day 1, then you are far better off starting resto & picking up DPS specs later on. You can always pick up a DPS weapon or go guardian for leveling at 102, even if if you start as resto. There isn’t much of a punishment if you want to change your mind and level as DPS after 102.

Overall, if you want to be able to heal dungeons at level 100, or if you are leveling with a group you are still far better off starting as resto & simply focusing on your resto artifact as you level.

What about leveling guardian?

Guardian has good survivability and does decent damage, so if you pick up a guardian artifact, then you are welcome to try guardian leveling. Some people seem to enjoy guardian more than resto or a DPS spec, particularly since you can survive having multiple things beating on you while you AOE them down in bear form as guardian spec. The increased survivability while pulling groups of mobs at a time can be effective (but likely less effective if you only pull 1 thing at a time). Basically, you can be a fluffy bear all you want if it works for you. The nice thing about having access to all 4 weapons at level 102 is that you can try any spec you want.

What about relics for my artifacts?

You want to equip whatever the highest ilevel relics you can to a weapon, even at max level. In the words of Spoonzilla, “Traits only matter if it’s within 5ilvl… maybe 10 if it’s a really good trait versus a really bad one. But weapon ilvl is uber important.”

For quest rewards, you can change your loot setting to get relics for the appropriate spec you want relics for (e.g., if you want resto relics while leveling balance, set your loot spec to resto). If you start leveling as DPS, it’s fine to put your first few relics into your DPS weapon to make leveling faster. You get at least one relic per zone when you clear the main story questline. There are also relics from dungeons and some can be crafted via professions, so you can buy relics from the Auction House if you get desperate. It’s only around level 107+ that you need to worry about prioritizing relics for your main weapon for getting end-game relics. When you add a new relic to a weapon, it will delete the previous relic and replace what trait is equipped to the new equipped weapon trait. Keep in mind that you will unlock the third relic slot towards the end of your artifact campaign at max level. When you get towards the end of the campaign, try to hold onto a spare Life relic to slot in your 3rd relic slot.

What about traits for my artifacts?

As a resto druid, you should be prioritizing artifact traits for your “main” resto weapon. However, artifact power (AP) is applied to whatever your equipped weapon is. Most artifact power comes from items that you have to click on to apply power to your equipped weapon. If you level balance, you can save up the AP items and apply them to your main resto weapon any time you want.

You can put 13 points into the traits of an off-spec weapon without hurting your main-spec artifact  much at all. So, early on, it won’t hurt you to invest some traits in an off-spec weapon. Beyond the 13 point, there are big trade-offs as to how far you might choose to go for multi-spec for artifacts if you want to dual-spec in raids at max level. After 13 traits, you want to finish your main weapon & then come back. Be careful though, because whatever weapon you have equipped is the one that the AP applies to. On beta, I accidentally used AP items on the wrong weapon from time to time – which slowed down my artifact leveling.

What about trinkets as I level?

Keep in mind that crafted trinkets or dungeon trinket drops will typically be fairly strong for starting out with 110 raiding. So, if you end up with a few DPS quest trinkets as you level, it won’t hurt you all that much. Dungeon trinkets will also end up being better than leveling trinkets for your raid prep. So, taking a few off-spec DPS trinkets from questing early on won’t matter all that much. You can also set your loot spec to resto at higher levels if you level/solo as a DPS spec and don’t want to grab DPS trinkets or other DPS gear.

What about legendary item drops when soloing at 110?

You can always set your loot spec to resto if you are soloing as a DPS spec, even for wold quests at max level. You will want to equip whatever world drop legendary items you get first, since you won’t get a lot of choice early on. I haven’t yet seen a single legendary item in beta. The wowhead resto guide has artifact advice if you end up being lucky enough to make choices.

Conclusion

If you want to pick up Resto and stick with it for all your soloing needs, then your Affinity talent will be perfectly sufficient. Your resto artifact increases your Affinity DPS enough that your artifact (with relics slotted to increase your weapon ilevel) is uber important. Do your leveling & solo questing as whatever spec you want. Enjoy Legion!

Posted in Leveling, Patch 7.0, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna


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