The New Discipline Priest: 7.2.5

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Having been away for a while, my once familiar class and spec have put me squarely in the relearning phase. After reading Mend’s guide (fantastic by the way) and running Proving Grounds endlessly, here are my healing notes for what Discipline priests look like – in a short, visual, tl;dr type of version.

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MoP: Things I’m Stoked About

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Recently, I haven’t had much to say. I haven’t been raiding ever since our raiding group retired and fact of the matter is, raiding is how I enjoy WoW. That coupled with the fact that Cataclysm hasn’t really been fantastic in my eyes led me to wonder if I would even be playing this game come Mists. With the recent press release however, I’ve come across loads of information that have me rethinking that part. Here are the things I’m stoked about in Mists…

Patch 4.1: Resto Changes Analysis

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It’s a new day and a new patch! And while the trolls are unleashing their fury on Azeroth, the restoration tree has once again had some major changes. I’m really looking forward to these changes since they hit quite a few of things on our wishlist. Let’s take a look at what to expect!

Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects.

This is a really great change. For the last couple weeks I’ve dropped Living Seed and Efflorescence from my talent build since I found their healing to be rather weak. With Efflorescence now being changed to a smart heal, I’m more inclined to spend points in it. Well that and also this other little thing they mentioned….

In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.

I have but one word for this change – yay! Living Seed always formed a dismally low portion of my heals and now I can finally freely invest in Efflorescence. This essentially brings Efflorescence to being a 3 point talent investment from previously being a 6 point talent investment. It’s a like a yummy discount at a shoe sale.

Malfurion’s Gift now reduces the cooldown of Tranquility by 2.5/5 minutes.

This is a really nice talent. I originally thought it was lacklustre because there are a couple raid fights where I go without using tranquility at all, let alone twice. The last few weekends however, have changed that perspective. Fights like Cho’gall have made me acutely aware of high raid damage and I think having an extra tranquility will help. I will also update my healing perspective posts on these fights seeing how tranquility can be rotated along with the Tree of Life cooldown now.

Nature’s Swiftness now also increases the healing done by the affected nature spell by 50%.

Nature’s Swiftness is another talent I passed over since it no longer had its life-saving aspect with what Healing Touch heals for now. The extra 50% healing certainly brings back that aspect and makes it a more attractive “oh crap!” spell to have around during high damage situations. It’s something I’ll be considering in my new talent build.

Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.

I’m really happy about this one since it frees up use of my barkskin immensely. There have indeed been times where I really wanted to use Barkskin but couldn’t since I needed to save it for when I’d be unleashing Tranquility.

Lifebloom’s bloom effect has been reduced by 20%.

I don’t expect to notice this too much to be honest. The only time I deliberately let my lifebloom bloom is when one of the tanks is really low and it pretty much just buys a second or two for the tank healer. Those 40k crits were pretty cool to see but let’s be honest, a lot of blooms were plain old overhealing because I missed renewing it by a second.

In summary, this patch is bringing us a lot of changes targeted to make our healing more effective but its doing so with precision rather than a blanket healing increases. I like it better this way to be honest. I think it’s going to make for some interesting talent choices and perhaps even a change in healing style. I’ll be posting up my new talent build after the patch goes live, and once I get my feet into a couple raids I’ll also be updating my healing perspectives posts. Thanks for reading and happy patch day! =)

Change to Living Seed in 4.1 on the Horizon

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I usually like to save blogging about changes until the Patch is actually live on servers, but I was so excited about this one, I just couldn’t hold back. The latest Patch 4.1 PTR Notes included a key change to the resto talent tree and is a wish come true for many of us tree healers out there.

“In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.”
Woohoo! Living Seed usually forms an abysmal portion of my healing while requiring a whopping 3 talent points in it just to get to Efflorescence. It’s not a complete talent revamp by any means but it is certainly a step in the right direction and I’m a happy panda about this. =)

My New Talent Build: Goodbye Efflorescence

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It’s been a week now since patch 4.0.6 came out, and while a lot of the changes were in the right direction (hello Wild Growth buff), there are still a few loose ends about the resto druid’s talent tree that need to be addressed. Living Seed and Efflorescence in particular, deliver precious little in terms of healing for the whopping 6 points of talent investment. My healing usually reflects them being dismally low, hovering around 3% or so. I’ve been increasingly frustrated with these for various reasons and since the patch hit, I decided to experiment around a bit and pull the plug on these talents. With a little tweaking in playstyle and a few helpful Power Auras, I must say it’s beginning to grow on me. Grab a cookie and join me for details on this new build!


Why I did away with Living Seed and Efflorescence:

  • Raid Healing: To begin, I’m usually the floater healer who focuses on the raid and drops a couple heals on the tanks when necessary. I’m in charge of the raid and almost never solely tank heal unless one of our healers is down. In this scenario, Living Seed already looks less attractive than it would if I were a tank healer.
  • Low Healing: Incredibly low healing for an incredibly high talent point requirement. Last weekend, Living Seed made up close to  2% of my heals while Efflorescence did a little over 3%. This was on Magmaw – a fight which encourages the ranged to stack to begin with.
  • 10 man vs 25man: It should be noted that I exclusively run in a 10man raid. I can see a higher utility for Efflorescence in particular in 25 mans where the stacking of members is more likely to happen than in 10 man. However, in 10 man raids there are few fights that require stacking and in the event they do (such as Red vial phase in Maloriak), there are usually more than 6 members there anyways which kicks in the diminished healing effect for Efflorescence.
  • Ground Clutter: I mentioned this earlier in Magmaw’s stat and I’ll say it again – ground effects are cool but they sometimes obscure other things I should be watching out for – like those flame pillars.

The New Build: 

As primarily a raid healer, my healing strategy for the future is to focus on the Nature’s Bounty mechanic. This is, however, a double edged sword if you will. It gives you a powerful way to up the raid but being careless means we pay a high cost in terms of mana. The idea is to get ultra fast Nourishes from having Rejuvenation active on three or more targets. With the talent at 3/3, my Nourishes are as fast as 1.5 seconds which is awesome. Swift Rejuvenation has a new importance for me since I want to get those Rejuvenations up quickly in times of high incoming damage before I can start Nourish. It’s also useful in the “oh crap” moment where you have to quick Rejuv+Swiftmend to keep someone from death.

This approach somewhat reminds of the holy priest’s Chakra: Sanctuary – it has great throughput potential but is also mana heavy, so tread carefully. The mana intensive aspect makes Moonglow a mandatory talent to take. I did away with Nature’s Swiftness in favour of Furor because I found myself rarely using it if at all, and to be honest Healing Touch doesn’t heal for all that much anymore. With 6 talent points free from Living Seed and Efflorescence, I chose to distribute them in Blessing of the Grove and Perseverance. Perseverance is interesting since its not really a healing talent but I figured the less damage I take, the less I have to heal myself. Or better still, I might not die. Given the high amount of magic damage going around in fights, it seems a promising talent for now.

Blessing of the Grove is rather a dilemma for me, I admit. I’m not entirely sure whether to leave those points there for the extra healing, or whether even a talent like Nature’s Ward would be worth taking. In raids there a lot of times when I fall to the 50% health mark and a free Rejuvenation has two advantages: a) its free and thats good given the mana cost of rejuvenation. b) That’s one less Rejuvenation I have to cast to get my Nature’s Bounty in motion. This one is still up in the air – a 4% healing buff to Rejuvenation….or free Rejuvenations for me….hmmmm. Now if only I could take Genesis instead of Blessing of the Grove… but I guess I need a certain number of talents to get down the resto tree to begin with. Ah the dilemmas of talents.

Thanks for reading as always!