5.2: Druid Changes

Contents
Healing Spell Changes
Talent Changes
Utility Changes
Resources

Okay, I’m starting to get excited for Patch 5.2 now. It’s almost here, y’all! So it’s probably about time I share some of the important Druid changes with you, right? Right!

I’ve fallen quite behind on my spreadsheet-updating schedule, thanks to the urgency of PTR raid testing and also finishing out tier 14 content, so it will be a few days before I can update my spreadsheets and the more comprehensive content on the Druid Changes page. Until then, I hope you’ll all be able to make do with this brief overview!

Healing Spell Changes

Rejuvenation’s mana cost has been reduced to 14.5% of base mana, or 8,700 mana.

Restoration Druids now have a new passive ability, Naturalist, that increases all healing dealt by 10%.

And Wild Mushrooms have been moderately overhauled!

Wild Mushrooms gain a buff to display their current "charged" amount. I hope you can track this via WeakAuras!

Wild Mushrooms charging up

The mushrooms now have a small base heal but can be “charged up” by your Rejuvenation overhealing, absorbing 25% of the Rejuvenation overheal. As this occurs, they gradually grow in size until they have stored up a maximum of 33% of your health per mushroom, or a total of 99% of your health. When you use Wild Mushroom: Bloom, the resulting explosion delivers this healing evenly amongst all targets in range.

Fully charged Wild Mushroom

Fully charged Wild Mushroom

WM:B is now a pretty potent heal – especially if it hits only a few targets when they really need it – but it does have some downsides. The Mushrooms can take quite a while to charge up – to determine how many Rejuv ticks it would take your own ‘Shrooms to reach their full potential, divide 33% of your health by 0.25*(a Rejuv tick). Most Druids are probably at the +1 tick threshold for Rejuvenation, meaning 6 ticks per cast, so you can again divide that number by 6 to determine how many Rejuvenations are required to fully charge your Mushrooms. And that assumes that your Rejuvs are entirely overheal, which is unlikely to be the case!

You must be able to set up your Mushrooms well in advance to gain the maximum benefit from them, and more importantly, if you replace them without blowing them up, you will lose all the charging-up goodness you put into it. This makes WM:B a very situational spell – you can only use it when you know for certain where your raid will be after the 20-30 seconds it takes to charge them up. For some fights this will be trivial – especially Jin’Rohk and Iron Qon – but for others, this may be difficult to predict.

Talent Changes

Probably the largest change for Restoration Druids in this patch is the revamping of Nature’s Vigil. Nature’s Vigil is now a 90-second cooldown that provides a 10% boost to damage and healing, and converting 25% of the healing dealt into damage. While this does not change the absolute throughput gained by the ability, it does mean that it will feel less like a bursty throughput cooldown and more like … a … really lame version of Archangel?

The place where this will really hurt is in stacking Nature’s Vigil with other cooldowns, e.g. The Light of Day mechanic in Heroic Tsulong. By smoothing out Nature’s Vigil’s burst over a longer window of time, it begins to approach Heart of the Wild’s behaviour and benefit more closely. This may encourage more Restoration Druids to try Heart of the Wild, which is IMO a good thing because HotW provides awesome flexibility :)

The next biggest change in Talents is in the Level 60 Talents. While Incarnation remains unchanged, Soul of the Forest and Force of Nature each were buffed. Force of Nature’s treants now generate about 20% more healing (this is a ballpark figure, because I can’t match up the tooltip numbers with the healing done quite yet – give me a little more time!). And Soul of the Forest now provides 75% Haste to the next spell you cast following Swiftmend, up from 50%.

I do not think the buff to Force of Nature has gone as far as they need to to make the Talent competitive. The buff to Soul of the Forest was IMO unnecessary, as it is a very strong Talent for fights with constant AoE aura-type damage, but hey, I’ll take it ;)

Several other Talents got minor overhauls:

  • Displacer Beast now activates Cat Form, teleports the player 20 yards forward, and provides a 50% movement speed increase for 4 seconds;
  • Cenarion Ward’s healing has been doubled. This makes it an extremely mana-efficient and high-throughput ability, but being a HoT triggered on any attack, it may well still be mostly overhealing. This may be useful for some fights where tank damage is extremely heavy, but its 30-second cooldown is just too punishing, IMO, to allow it to outweigh Nature’s Swiftness;
  • Faerie Swarm can snare more than one target at a time;
  • Mass Entanglement’s cooldown has been reduced to 30 seconds, from 2 minutes (!); and
  • Typhoon’s cooldown has been increased to 30 seconds.

Utility Changes

The mana costs of Revive and Mark of the Wild have both been reduced by 55%. This should make it a little less painful for non-Restoration or Balance Druids to resurrect dead players after a wipe/kill, and less punishing to re-buff players who are battle-ressed during combat.

Resources

Jasyla @ Cannot Be Tamed has an excellent summary of What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.2; stop on by!

Alaron @ The Fluid Druid has an overview of the entire class’s changes; for those of you who care about your off-specs, he’ll tell you how to Prepare your Druid for the 5.2 THUNDER THRONE :)

Binkenstein @ TotemSpot has got you covered for Haste Breakpoints with the new Soul of the Forest buff.

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