Part 1: Description of Healing tools – Getting to know your spells
(Updated 9/8/2013 for patch 5.4)
Before I describe how to heal, I need to introduce you to the spells and how they will work.
Single-target Direct Heals:
In addition to the instant-cast direct heal from swiftmend, there is also a “trinity” of 3 direct heals (based on the outdated assumption that people make choices about what heal to use in direct healing). Our “Big” heal is Healing Touch (macro this to nature’s swiftness). Our “fast” heal is regrowth. Our “efficient” heal is Nourish (not used much in high-end raiding). While you will use these fairly often in in scenarios or 5-mans, they are much more situational in raiding.
- Swiftmend(instant, 15 sec cooldown) puts a medium-size direct heal on a target effected by a rejuv/regrowth HOT. When you aren’t using the efflorescence glyph, efflorescence will sprout a 10 yard circle around that target (See: efflorescence under AOE heals). Swiftmend activates the harmony mastery; similar to the other direct heals. So, even when using the efflorescence glyph, this is an important heal to keep track of. As a great single-target burst heal, to use on tanks or raid members that need a quick burst.
- Healing Touch (2.5 sec cast time after Naturalist, mana expensive). Heals for a large amount, with a high mana cost and a semi-long cast time. You can use this to refresh Lifebloom on your target. Use this when you need a big heal on a tank or raid/party member. Omen of Clarity procs will make this spell cost no mana to cast. You want to macro your Nature’s Swiftness talent to this spell, since it is our largest direct healing spell.
- Regrowth Heals for a medium amount and is now our “flash” heal instead of nourish. Use when you can afford the mana and need a fast heal. You can also use this when you are in tree form and get Omen of Clarity procs for mana-free instant regrowths. Can also be used in specific boss encounters that require fast direct heals. The new glyph of regrowth takes away the HOT component and increases the crit chance to 100%, making it more reliable as a quick burst heal. This is useful for activating your harmony mastery and refreshing your lifebloom stack, since it has a fast cast time.
- Nourish (2.5 sec cast time after naturalist, mana efficient). Cast time is the same as Healing Touch. However, it costs less mana and heals for less than HT, which is our “efficient” heal when you want to conserve mana. Not often used in raids, since casting things like rejuvenation is going to be a better use of your time.
The “bread and butter” of druid healing is not about direct heals. The primary tools of resto druids are our Heal over Time (HOT) spells.
- Lifebloom (instant) is your tank HOT. Now lasts 15 seconds. You can only have this on one person at a time (unless you are in tree form). You will need to keep a 3-stack of lifebloom up on your tank, even if you are raid healing. You can either refresh it directly by casting lifebloom or by casting any of your single-target direct heals. When in tree form, you can sprinkle this around raid members to try and get more Omen of Clarity procs. Casting lifebloom on another person can transfer the 3-stack from one target to another (just make sure it has more than 2 seconds left when you swap it).
- Rejuvenation (instant) is a primary healing spell for you as a raid heal. Rejuv works best on lightly wounded targets, or other people who are likely to be taking damage over time to benefit from the most ticks. You should use this as your primary heal for sprinkling around on raid members instead of using single-target direct heals when there is a lot of people taking damage. When your rejuv over-heals, it now buffs the healing done by your wild mushroom spell. Thus, feel free to spam rejuv around the raid as much as your mana allows. In addition, genesis speeds up the healing done by rejuv that makes it more useful on people with more serious injuries.
Multi-target AOE heals:
We now have a fairly good set of abilities for AOE healing, including an improved Wild Mushroom spell (with efflorescence tied to mushrooms when you take the glyph).
- Efflorescence: While not a spell you directly cast, this needs to be directly discussed since it can be attached to one of two different spells. This can either be attached to Swiftmend (by default), or it can be attached to having a Healing Shroom on the ground (when glyphed). When attached to swiftmend, up to 3 people standing in that 10 yard circle gets healed for up to 7 seconds. When attached to your healing shroom, it seems to continuously tick on 3 wounded targets at a time standing in the 10 yard circle, as long as you have a shroom on the ground. This makes efflorescence better when tied to healing shrooms. Moving out of the circle stops healing, so this is better when targeted on groups of people (especially those who would benefit from the healing shroom burst).
- Wild Growth(instant, 8 to 10 sec cooldown) is still a “smart” heal that hits multiple targets to heal over time. Use this often as an AOE heal, both when you are assigned to raid healing and when you are assigned to tank healing, since using it will help out your raid a lot in times of AOE damage.
- Tranquility (channeled over 7 sec, 3 min cooldown after talents) – In 5- and 10-man content, this heals the 5 low-health party/raid members. In 25-mans, this heals the 12 lowest health raid members. It has a big direct heal that hits about every 2 seconds, and also applies a HOT that stacks up to 3 times that lasts for the duration. Use this as your emergency AOE heal, and try plan in advance which phases to use it (in most raid encounters, it’s possible to plan ways to use it twice in heavy AOE phases).
- Wild Mushroom: Bloom (instant, 3 second placement cooldown; 10 second bloom cooldown) – Place down one healing shroom on the ground (last up to 5 minutes) and then hit the “bloom” button to trigger their direct heal for everyone within a 10 yard radius of the mushroom. Depending on glyphs, you either drop the shroom at the feet of your target, or target the ground directly using the targeting circle (depends entirely on your own preference). When your rejuvenation over-heals (e.g., ticks on people at full health), a portion of that overhealing will be absorbed by shrooms you have on the ground. This causes the shrooms to grow bigger in size, as well as to heal for more when you bloom them. When you move & re-plant a shroom, it will retain that over-healing value. When you bloom your shroom, it expends that value and you will have to start storing up healing again. With the efflorescence glyph, you want to leave your shroom on a spot where people are standing and would benefit most (such as a melee group in 25-mans). In some cases, you may not bloom your shroom every 10 seconds, but may want to leave it for soaking rejuv overheals and providing a vehicle for your efflorescence healing.