Part 1: Description of Healing tools – Getting to know your spells
(Updated 5/20/2013 for healing in 5.3)
Before I describe how to heal, I need to introduce you to the spells and how they will work.
Single-target Direct Heals:
There is a “trinity” of 3 direct heals for all classes. Our “fast” heal is regrowth. Our “efficient” heal is Nourish. Our “Big” heal is Healing touch. While you will use these fairly often in in scenarios or 5-mans, they are much more situational in raiding.
- 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’s our largest direct heal.
- 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.
- 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.
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. The Glyph of Lifebloom is helpful in tank-swap fights in raids, because it will transfer the 3-stack from one target to another.
- 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.
Multi-target AOE heals:
Your Area of Effect (AOE) healing choices are somewhat limited, which is why Rejuv ends up being used as filler between your multi-target HOTs. Swiftmend counts in this category, since you will have to be mindful of making sure you are making the most use out of Efflorescence.
- Swiftmend (instant, 15 sec cooldown) puts a medium-size direct heal on a target effected by a rejuv/regrowth HOT, and then efflorescence will sprout a 10 yard circle around that target. Up to 3 people standing in that circle gets healed for up to 7 seconds. Moving out of the circle stops healing. Since swiftmend activates the Harmony mastery, in addition to the incredible amount of healing done by the spell, you really should use this spell every time it comes off cooldown. While you should use this every cooldown, make sure you are trying to maximize the amount of healing it does with the large direct heal and AOE HOT.
- 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, 10 second cooldown) – Your mushrooms now heal instead of doing damage. Place down three shrooms 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(s). 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. Overall, this will make shrooms heal more if you wait and let them grow before you bloom them. This is a situational spell, since you have to target them on the ground and you have to wait for them to “charge up” with rejuv ticks. Thus, it helps if you can pre-place them on a designated stack-up spot, especially for dealing with heavy burst damage. If the damage already happened, then you are better off just casting WG/rejuv than trying to set up shrooms and bloom them. You can also stack them up before a pull. The mana cost is tied to the bloom & not placing the shrooms, so if you have to move them, you don’t have to double-pay the mana cost.