Patch 5.4 has brought quite a few changes to Resto Druids! I’ve already covered many of them in depth in a previous post, so I’ll try to keep this limited to discussing what’s changed since then. You can of course view all of the Resto Druid changes in my updated Druid Changes page, including a spreadsheet with support for the new class mechanics!
- Wild Mushroom now summons a single mushroom at your (friendly) target’s feet, which stores 100% of your Rejuvenation overhealing up to a cap of 200% of your health.
- Wild Mushroom can be moved to a new location by simply recasting the spell, and you will not lose any accumulated overhealing bonus.
- Wild Mushroom: Bloom and Wild Mushroom share a 3-second cooldown. The base healing from Bloom (the healing it’d do if you had no Rejuvenation overhealing at all) is affected by Naturalist and Harmony, but the overheal bonus is not. None of it can Crit.
- Lifebloom’s glyphed stack-transference behaviour has become baseline.
- A new spell, Genesis, provides Resto Druids with more burst healing potential. The spell costs the same as Rejuvenation, and accelerates all active Rejuvenation casts, causing them to tick, and expire, 400% faster.
- Innervate now returns 50% of your Spirit as mana every second for 10 seconds. This has a minimum mana return of 8% of your mana bar.
- Living Seed can now stack up to a total amount of healing equivalent to 50% of the Resto Druid’s health, and it has become more sensitive to raid damage, proccing more frequently.
- Nature’s Swiftness is now baseline for Restoration (and Balance) Druids. It has been replaced with Ysera’s Gift, a passive talent that heals the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is on full health, this effect will instead heal a nearby injured target. Expect this to become the default Talent for all Druids.
- Soul of the Forest now provides a 100% Haste bonus to the next spell after casting Swiftmend. This now plays nicely with Lifebloom, too!
- Heart of the Wild now improves the Druid’s healing by 25% while active, for Restoration Druids only.
- Dream of Cenarius increases Wrath damage by 20%, and provides healing equal to the damage dealt to an injured ally. This “Wrathtonement” is weak healing and not really suitable for use in progression raiding, for example.
- Nature’s Vigil’s healing bonus has been increased to 12%, and your single-target heals will also heal a nearby ally for 25% of their healing done. This is by far the strongest Talent in the tier and likely to become the default.
- The Glyph of Lifebloom has been removed since it is now a baseline effect.
- Glyph of Efflorescence removes the Efflorescence component from Swiftmend and links it instead to your Wild Mushroom. Efflorescence will persist as long as your Wild Mushroom is active. Swiftmend’s healing is increased by 20%. This is an amazing Glyph!
- Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom allows you to place your Wild Mushroom via targeting reticule instead of by targeting a player and dropping the ‘shroom at their feet.
- Glyph of Innervate allows you to cast Innervate on another player, providing 60% of your usual Innervate amount to that player and to yourself. If you have another Resto Druid in your raid, Glyphing this and trading Innervates will be a mana regeneration increase, if of course you both have similar levels of Spirit on your gear.
Thoughts on Gearing
The 13k Haste breakpoint that grants an additional tick of Rejuvenation should be achievable in t16 gear (it already is for some very well-geared Druids in t15 gear). This means giving up a lot of Mastery, but the overall increase to your healing works out to be pretty much the same – you’ll lose a bit of healing from your non-HoT spells and gain a lot from Rejuvenation and Wild Growth’s extra ticks, and your faster-ticking permanent Efflorescence. With 4-piece t15, an extra tick of Rejuvenation is pretty strong, and when you upgrade to t16, the extra ticks grant you extra chances at stacking up the buff to get a free, instant Healing Touch.
Speaking of t16, here’s your set bonuses:
2-piece: Your Rejuvenation ticks have a 12% chance to grant a stack of Sage Mender, which reduces the mana cost and cast time of your next Healing Touch by 20% per stack. Stacks up to 5.
4-piece: Targets of your Wild Growth are instantly healed for [Spell Power x 0.25].
The 2-piece bonus is not really a throughput increase – Healing Touch falls a bit short of the healing dealt by Rejuvenation, for example – but it can be an efficiency increase and a situational, spot-healing tool. The free Healing Touch can be used to top off players in danger when Clearcasting/Regrowth is not available. I don’t really think it’ll be worth casting the Healing Touches at less than 5 stacks of the Sage Mender buff, but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise
The 4-piece set bonus is pretty awesome, even though its healing isn’t increased by Naturalist or Harmony. At the approximate 40,000 SP in my Throne of Thunder normal-mode BiS gearset, this set bonus would add 10,000 healing to each target of my Wild Growth cast. This works out to around 400,000 healing per minute (unglyphed, on CD), and decreases in HPS the less frequently you use Wild Growth. However, if a less-frequent Wild Growth is the right spell to counter the damage pattern of an encounter, then you shouldn’t let the thought that your set bonus will perform a little worse interfere with your healing instincts!
I’ll note that on the PTR yesterday when I was mucking about with this set bonus, I was finding it doing 33% of my Spell Power, not 25%. I’m not sure if this made it live – it certainly hasn’t been updated on the item data displayed on Wowhead! – but if so, then this set bonus is even awesomer.