|Bathed in Light Strategies|
|Level 60 Talents|
|Level 90 Talents|
The Tsulong encounter in Terrace of Endless Spring presents some interesting healing complexities that warrant a bit of a closer look. In the Tsulongevity series, I will explore the interaction between the healing buff and each healing class’s spells and cooldowns, and aim to generate some recommended “rotations” that should serve you all well for both the normal and Heroic difficulties.
I’ll start with Druid, because I found a bug that is annoying me and I wanted to get it out of my head: Soul of the Forest/Lifebloom does not give extra Lifebloom ticks on Tsulong.
In usual overanalytical fashion, I’ve gone a bit nuts here. Use the table above to navigate to the section(s) you’re most interested in, and note the TL,DR at the end if you want strictly the facts, ma’am :D
There are two ways to defeat Tsulong: by reducing Tsulong’s health pool to 0 during a Night phase, when Tsulong is hostile, or by increasing Tsulong’s health to 100% during a Day phase, when Tsulong is a friendly target. Tsulong switches between Night and Day phase every 2 minutes. Since the Day phase is the most relevant to healers, most of this article will focus on it alone.
During the Day phase, Tsulong will periodically begin to cast Sun Breath, which is a cone attack that will debuff any healers standing within it with Bathed in Light. Bathed in Light increases all healing done by 500% (in other words, you do your normal healing x6) for 6 seconds. The Sun Breaths, and thus the Bathed in Light debuffs, come every 29 seconds, and you will get 3 full Bathed in Light “windows” in which to apply truly ridiculous healing to the dragon. Near the very end of the Day phase, Tsulong will cast a fourth Bathed in Light, but transitions back to Night phase, becoming hostile and unhealable, shortly thereafter, so healers do not get much of a chance to capitalise on this final Bathed in Light window.
Let me throw a little bit of math at you. The Bathed in Light debuff is active for 15% of the phase, during which time you do 6 times as much healing. 15 x 6 = 90. The other 85% of the phase, you deal normal healing. 85 x 1 = 85. So basically, if you do not optimise your Bathed in Light healing plan, you will deal almost as much healing to Tsulong outside of Bathed in Light as you will do inside Bathed of Light, and overall you will deal 175% of the healing you normally would have done.
However, if you can plan ahead, you can squeeze much, much more healing out of the Bathed in Light debuff. Here are a few simple tips:
- Use any healing spells with a cooldown during the Bathed in Light window. These abilities are typically strong – thus they are given a cooldown to limit their frequency of use. There are a few exceptions, though – don’t bother with Wild Mushroom: Bloom, for example.
- Apply long-lasting HoT effects that will retain the Bathed in Light-boosted healing values even after Bathed in Light fades from you. This artificially extends your Bathed in Light window.
- Use your throughput-boosting cooldowns/trinkets during Bathed in Light (or a little before, so you don’t waste any precious Bathed in Light time). Increases to the healing you do are proportionally better when you are already doing increased healing!
Using these tactics, you can improve your Bathed in Light-empowered healing so much that it will well and truly overshadow the healing you will deal outside the Bathed in Light window. In other words, maximising your Bathed in Light healing will maximise your Tsulong healing. While that non-Bathed-in-Light healing will never truly be negligible, you can use the time between Sun Breaths to cast efficient spells and regenerate mana to ensure you can afford your Bathed in Light rotation.
For Druids in particular, note that your HoT effects that you cast upon Tsulong directly (e.g. Rejuvenation, Lifebloom) will retain their Bathed in Light-boosted healing values after Bathed in Light fades from you.
However, if you refresh Lifebloom after Bathed in Light expires, you will overwrite your empowered Lifebloom HoTs with an icky normal Lifebloom. Also, Regrowth’s HoT refreshes itself whenever it heals a target under 50%, meaning that the Regrowth HoT will instantly refresh itself outside of the Bathed in Light during the entirety of the first Day phase. For this reason, I’d suggest glyphing Regrowth, since the HoT is inconsequential once it overwrites itself. HoT effects that are ground-based, such as Swiftmend’s HoT effect, do not retain the Bathed in Light boost after you lose the debuff.
Note that in Heroic mode, there is a second healer-buff to obtain – The Light of Day – that increases your healing done by an additional 1500% for 6 seconds. However, the 1500% boost is only at the start of the Light of Day effect; it gradually reduces in strength over its duration. This means that, in Heroic mode at least, it is important to get your most high-throughput spell casts out of the way as early as possible within the Light of Day/Bathed in Light windows, so you may as well start practicing that now! :)
In general, I will compare healing strategies using the combined sums of the mathematical equations that convert Spell Power to healing done. I’m doing this so that you can plug in your own Spell Power values and determine how much healing you would do, rather than giving you largely irrelevant numbers based on my own undergeared Druid alt’s terrible, terrible gear. However, it also serves to make the point that – no matter what your gear – there is one particular strategy that is incredibly powerful and will always outperform the other options.
I only concerned myself with calculating the amount of healing you will generate in each Bathed in Light window. Note that this will include any HoTs you apply during Bathed in Light that carry the Bathed in Light boost over after you lose the debuff. It will not, however, include the healing done by a HoT effect that you refresh and thus overwrite the Bathed in Light buff, or healing dealt as an incidental, secondary effect of spells you cast during Bathed in Light that do not retain the Bathed in Light boost (e.g. Swiftmend ticks after Bathed in Light expires; Lifeblooms that bloom outside the Bathed in Light window).
Each strategy will be calculated as though you executed it perfectly 3 times during the Day phase (once for each Sun Breath).
I first considered three separate Lifebloom healing techniques:
- Allow the Lifebloom HoT to be refreshed by direct healing, and keep a 3-stack of Lifebloom ticking on Tsulong for the entirety of the phase.
- Use Glyph of Blooming to “turn off” Lifebloom refreshing. Roll a buffed-by-Bathed in Light Lifebloom HoT until the spell blooms, then reapply it. (The Bloom will not be affected by the Bathed in Light boost because it is a separate spell effect, and is calculated independently of the healing dealt by the Lifebloom HoT effect.)
- Use the Glyph of Blooming and allow a 3-stack Lifebloom to Bloom during Bathed in Light. (Since the Bloom and the HoT are calculated as separate effects, the Bloom will only get the Bathed in Light healing boost if it actually occurs during the Bathed in Light.)
Strategy 1: Lifebloom ticks around every 0.85 seconds, so during the Bathed in Light window you can get a maximum of 7 ticks. I thus multiplied 7 * 3 stacks * the Lifebloom HoT equation * 3 Bathed in Light windows * 6 times as much healing.
Strategy 2: A Glyph of Blooming Lifebloom has at least 12 ticks, and if not refreshed will retain the Bathed in Light boost until it blooms. I thus multiplied 12 * 3 stacks * the Lifebloom HoT equation * 3 Bathed in Light windows * 6 times as much healing.
Strategy 3: A Glyph of Blooming Lifebloom blooms for 150% of the normal bloom equation. I thus multiplied 1.5 * 3 stacks * the Lifebloom Bloom equation * 3 Bathed in Light windows * 6 times as much healing.
The results of these calculations are displayed in the table below:
|Strategy||Base Healing||Spell Power Coefficient|
You can see that both the Base Healing and the Spell Power Coefficient of the third strategy far outweighs the equations of the 1st and 2nd strategies, making the Glyph of Blooming’s Bloom the superior option for Lifebloom healing.
Based on the desire to use cooldown abilities and high-throughput HoT abilities during the Bathed in Light window, I came up with two strategies:
- Swiftmend > Rejuvenation > glyphed Regrowth > glyphed Regrowth (5.5 seconds with no Haste)
- Swiftmend > Rejuvenation > Healing Touch (5.0 seconds with no Haste)
Because I want to use my Swiftmend as early as possible in the Light of Day buff in Heroic mode, I did not consider timing a hard-cast spell to land right as we gain the Bathed in Light buff. These are very tight timing rotations and if trying to land a pre-cast ended up pushing another spell out of the Bathed in Light window, you could end up doing worse. However, in both cases you could simply add a Regrowth to the start – timed to hit right as the Breath occurs – and it would not affect the comparison between the two strategies.
Similarly, in either case there is less than a full GCD at the end of the cast sequence, but if you time it well, an instant cast will get its healing out before the Bathed in Light fades. I would consider Wild Growth here (although NS/HT or NS/Regrowth are also contenders). The reason I suggest Wild Growth is that it will assist with the raid healing, which is not something you can entirely ignore. One Wild Growth in each Sun Breath is likely to keep your raid safe without requiring much further attention, since very little raid damage goes out if the Day phase is handled well by your tanks and DPS.
So, how do the two strategies stack up? See the table below:
|Bathed in Light Healing Strategies|
|Strategy||Base Healing||Spell Power Coefficient|
Note that I have not included the guaranteed Living Seeds from the glyphed Regrowths in the above calculations, since I am not certain that Tsulong should get damaged enough to use up the Living Seed before it expires. If the boss does take damage, though, you will see even more healing out of Strategy 1, since the Living Seed was applied based upon the size of the Regrowth.
I have included 5 ticks of the Swiftmend/Efflorescence effect, since in all my trials that is how many I averaged during a Bathed in Light window. The HoT continues ticking after Bathed in Light fades, but is not boosted, so I have not counted the final HoT ticks in this analysis. This affects both Strategies equally.
This is largely up to you. There’s no real need to put as much effort into maximising this healing as there is in maximising your Bathed in Light healing throughput. I’d recommend casting mostly Healing Touch, because the slow cast time means it doesn’t drain your mana quite as quickly as Regrowth does, and a large part of Regrowth’s superiority over Healing Touch is in its Living Seed, which does not necessarily get triggered during the encounter.
Make sure to keep Rejuvenation rolling, and if you agree to follow my recommended strategy, you should keep the following in mind:
- Be sure to have 3 stacks of Lifebloom on Tsulong, at full duration, approximately 4 seconds before Tsulong begins to cast Sun Breath;
- Be sure to have Rejuvenation on Tsulong with enough duration left that you can Swiftmend it immediately upon receiving Bathed in Light;
- If you do not have any way to reduce the cooldown of your Swiftmend, do not use it between Sun Breaths. You will run the risk of pushing it, or other spells, out of your Bathed in Light window, since the Bathed in Light interval is only 29 seconds.
First of all, let me discuss the bug I hinted at in the start of this article: Soul of the Forest + Lifebloom does not work on Tsulong if the Soul of the Forest-hasted Lifebloom cast refreshes a Lifebloom already in progress. I have a series of excerpts from World of Logs attempts to show this behaviour, which you will have to click on in order to read :)
This is not quite the same bug as the one that prevents Soul of the Forest from playing nicely with Glyph of Lifebloom and Lifebloom, but it is similar. While that bug happens everywhere, this bug seems to happen only on Tsulong. I was able to use Soul of the Forest/Lifebloom to obtain extra ticks when refreshing the buff on myself, on the Enchanted Plant, and on guards sitting around in Stormwind, but on Tsulong it simply does not occur properly. It is therefore impossible to use Soul of the Forest to obtain a 3-stack Lifebloom on Tsulong that will grant the appropriate number of ticks.
The bug is not limited to Lifeblooms that are augmented by the Glyph of Blooming. Even without the Glyph (without any Glyph, in fact, that affected Lifebloom) I was able to replicate the issue.
So, what should we be using Soul of the Forest on during the Day phase? I would suggest Rejuvenation – again, since HoT effects can “extend” our Bathed in Light window, empowering our HoTs will give us the largest improvement on our Bathed in Light healing.
Since Rejuvenation is included in both Bathed in Light Strategies 1 and 2, using Soul of the Forest with Rejuvenation improves both Strategies by the same amount – the amount of 3 Rejuvenation ticks (or more, if you can gear for additional Rejuvenation ticks via Haste, but this is not really worth aiming for – you would need 8080 Haste to get the 4th extra tick, and that would give up a lot of Mastery). This of course can be achieved for every Bathed in Light phase, so you get a total of at least 9 extra Rejuvenation ticks over the course of each Day phase.
By comparison, Incarnation: Tree of Life provides a 15% bonus to healing you deal for 30 seconds. This will only really cover a single Bathed in Light phase, so I compared a 15% increase in one of the three Bathed in Light windows for each Bathed in Light Strategy to the improvement that you would see from using Soul of the Forest with Rejuvenation, to determine which Talent was the better choice:
|Soul of the Forest vs. Incarnation|
|Talent||BiL Strategy 1||BiL Strategy 2|
|SotF||228,636 + 21.168*SP||228,636 + 21.168*SP|
|I:ToL||77,666 + 7.174*SP||57,281 + 5.296*SP|
As you can see, Soul of the Forest always performs better than Incarnation. And since Bathed in Light also restores 25% of your mana total each time you are affected by it, Incarnation’s role as a mana-efficiency cooldown is not strictly needed. An instant Regrowth under Incarnation: Tree of Life is only slightly better than a cast-time Regrowth (because it hits at the start of the GCD instead of the end), and furthermore, Soul of the Forest is more flexible, since you can use it during the Night phase with Wild Growth to deal with the frequent and raid-wide Dread Shadows damage, while Incarnation would be on cooldown.
What about Force of Nature?
Well, I wasn’t able to test it enough to determine whether there was any way to get the Force of Nature Treants to benefit from Bathed in Light, but I did notice one thing: My Treants simply did not attempt to heal Tsulong at all.
So while arguably there may be some role for them as mana-free raid healers – although, not really, I mean, look at how small the healing numbers are in these Recount reports – they simply cannot help you improve your Tsulong healing, and are pretty much useless for this encounter.
Earlier, I mentioned the idea of using your throughput-increasing cooldowns during Bathed in Light in order to maximise their output increase. So it should seem clear that Nature’s Vigil, being a throughput cooldown, is better than Heart of the Wild for this fight, right?
Well, I’m not so sure.
Nature’s Vigil has a 3-minute cooldown (at the moment, at least) so would only be usable once during each Bathed in Light phase, and not at all during Night phase in order to ensure that it was available for use during Day phase. During Nature’s Vigil, all your healing is increased by 20%, and also deals incidental damage to nearby enemies.
However, Heart of the Wild has a passive 6% Intellect increase, which, thanks to the 5% Intellect increase we also get from wearing full Leather gear, means a 6.3% Intellect increase, and a corresponding 6.3% Spell Power increase. Now, this is not exactly equivalent to a 6.3% healing increase – the base healing component of the healing equations makes your Spell Power to healing conversion just a little off from a 1:1 ratio – but it is really, really close.
So the comparison is between 20% extra healing for one third of the Bathed in Light windows, or ~6% extra healing all the time, including all three Bathed in Light Windows. When we look at it like this, NV will bring your throughput up to an average of 640% during Bathed in Light, while HotW will bring it up to approximately 636%. There is not a lot of difference between the two! You may well value the constancy of Heart of the Wild over the limited inflexibility of Nature’s Vigil.
The secondary effect of each Talent – NV’s damage or HotW’s cross-role capabilities – are not terribly useful during the encounter. While NV damage could help nuke down Unstable Sha that are getting close, it’s certainly not a guarantee that the damage would ever be effective. For HotW, the healing requirements throughout the fight are pretty consistent, and there’s not a lot of breaktime wherein you could bust out some crazy DPS. You could consider asking the other healers to cover you at the start of the first Night phase, while you pump out some Wraths or go kitteh for glory, but if that causes them to use throughput cooldowns during Night phase instead of during Day phase, it may be an overall loss to your raid.
Certainly for Heroic, though, Nature’s Vigil is far more likely to be useful. Another 20% on top of 1500% is the kind of burst that is worth losing Heart of the Wild’s passive boost for the rest of the encounter. Also, if your raid group has a Holy Priest and/or Mistweaver Monk in their lineup, who will be using their Guardian Spirit or Life Cocoon during a specific Bathed in Light window, pairing Nature’s Vigil with these cooldowns may be more valuable.
What about Dream of Cenarius?
Dream of Cenarius has amazing potential for this encounter, but oh man, it is fiddly. You will need to stay close enough to Tsulong that you can make certain you are in the breath before it occurs, but the adds in the fight are so far away and die so quickly that it can truly be difficult to get a Wrath off or to reach an add and use a melee ability before it dies.
Also, since my recommended first spell is Swiftmend, and Dream of Cenarius’s 30% healing bonus does not affect the Efflorescence segment of Swiftmend, you won’t get the full benefit of the Talent using my technique. You can certainly play around with the order of spells, using Dream of Cenarius to empower a Regrowth that hits right as the Sun Breath is applied, for example, and you’ll see magnificent returns from this, but I’m just not sure the fiddliness and potential for mistake is worth it. If you’re very, very good with this ability, though, by all means give it a try, and let me know how it goes!
Talents: NS, SotF, HotW (normal)/NV (Heroic)
Glyphs: Glyph of Blooming, Glyph of Regrowth, (Glyph of Healing Touch – if you lack 4-piece t14)
Between breaths: Get 3xLB up, refresh it with 4 sec to Sun Breath cast; keep Rejuvenation rolling (but do not overwrite a Bathed-in-Light-boosted Rejuv); use Swiftmend as soon as it comes off cooldown, then hold it ’til the next Sun Breath; cast Healing Touch unless you have Omen of Clarity/Clearcasting, in which case cast Regrowth.
During breaths: Swiftmend, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Regrowth, Wild Growth or NS/HT; allow LB to bloom
Healing attributable to Bathed in Light: 2,422,107 + 225.580*SP
With a conservative 20k Spell Power, this equals 6,933,707 healing in each Day phase – solely during the Bathed in Light windows – without Critical Strike, Mastery, raid buffs, flasks, trinket procs, or any Level 90 Talents factored in!
See the handy infographic below for a more visual description of the plan:
What are your Tsulong healing tips and tricks? I’d love to hear from you – especially if you have a better-performing plan! :)