Resto Druid Mage Tower Complete!!


The best things often happen unplanned. This morning, I logged on just for fun and decided to give the Mage Tower a go over my morning coffee.


I made it to the last stage which wasn’t too bad but at some point I realised, this was going to happen! We were alive…and we were killing him!! I will not lie – my hands started shaking a bit, but it was a good clean finish. All those attempts and practice paid off!!

Here’s a closer look at this beauty!


Despite the frustrations that came with this challenge, I’m happy I managed to get it completed. And it’s because of those frustrations that it feels like something well-earned. I never did have a Benediction equivalent for my druid (closest was the swift flight form quest line?) – and now it feels kinda close.


I tip my hat to Blizzard for making challenging solo content for us playing who still like the mountain climb but don’t raid Mythics or whatnot anymore. It was fun, it was hard and it was a great feeling when I finally reached the top of the mountain!

If you’re working on the Mage Tower challenge, fear not – don’t be discouraged by the sheer number of attempts. Mine took way more than 40 and that’s all I can say because I frankly lost count. I’ve updated my guide to include tips from my recent success as well as extra resources so check it out here!

Until then happy healing!

Healing Perspectives: Morchok

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Today I finally ventured into Dragon Soul….just to say hi. I couldn’t help but notice how different the experience was from my first foray into Firelands. I enjoyed these fights a whole lot more! There wasn’t an insane amount of trash to be had, the first boss took a few attempts but was relatively painless, as was the following one. The mechanics were interesting and didn’t give me the impression they were designed by a complete sadist. So far, so good.

Speaking of downing bosses, let’s talk about Morchok….Father of Ozruk! Well, not really….or maybe? They do look alike! Here’s how to take him from the perspective of a healer. For clarity, this post is about dealing with Morchok on 10 man normal mode.

Healing Perspectives: Ascendant Council

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As their name suggests, the Ascendant Council is a council type fight consisting of elemental foes. This fight is incredibly fun while also being a bit chaotic. Just as a quick reminder, I’ve written out these posts purely from a perspective of what a healer needs to know and be aware of during a fight. Hopefully, this will serve as a good prep for the fight as well a concise checklist of reminders before taking on the boss. I recommend checking out sources like tankspot for the complete guide to the fight. As healers, it’s time to put on our dancing shoes and see what’s in store!

Patch 4.0.6: Resto Changes Analysis

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The first major patch of the expansion is upon us and it brings with it much needed hotfixes, tweaks and balance to healing. I for one am excited about this – they appear to have hit all the right spots with the resto changes. We seem to be moving more towards the HoT flavoured healing style. Interested? Let’s take a look at these changes and see what the road ahead is like!

 (I’ll be talking about the changes relevant to healing here. For the complete list of changes I recommend WoW Insider or MMO Champion).

Omen of Clarity can no longer trigger from helpful spells (aka heals), unless the Restoration talent Malfurion’s Gift is chosen. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, as I’m inclined to think that Omen of Clarity procs most of the time from lifebloom to begin with – hence the huge proc rate in Tree of Life form. Rather than hinting at staff-whacking routines for the proc, this one simply ties together Lifebloom with our mana management proc.

Rejuvenation is now trained at level 3, down from level 8. In addition, its mana cost is now 20% of base mana. The mana cost is slightly above what we’re currently at but still below the 26% at release. Might pinch the first few days, but overall seems to be a good spot for mana cost.

Empowered Touch now also affects Regrowth. In addition, after Tree of Life is no longer active, this talent will only refresh the most recently cast or refreshed Lifebloom, and will not refresh other copies of Lifebloom. Initially, I found this one to be undesirable but since raiding I’ve changed my mind. This is mostly due to the fact that it is a bit clunky to keep all stacks of Lifebloom up on a tank when you’re primarily healing the raid. And while my use of Regrowth will mostly be limited to Omen procs and Tree of Life, it is much faster than Nourish or Healing Touch and I foresee it being quite useful in keeping up Lifebloom stacks – an aspect highlighted by the Tier 11 4-piece bonus. As for the Tree of Life exploit, glad to see the fix.

Natural Shapeshifter has been reduced to a 3/6-second increase to Tree of Life’s duration, down from 5/10. A small reduction that I’m not terribly worried about. It makes sense to balance buffs with reductions such as these. Buffs…I did say buffs….read on!

Nature’s Bounty no longer affects Swiftmend, but now has a new effect. When the druid has Rejuvenation on 3 or more targets, the cast time of Nourish is reduced by 10/20/30%. I find this one really interesting. Reduction of Nourish’s cast time is always welcome, but the fun part here is that this one now gives us an incentive to keep Rejuvenation up on multiple targets. There will always be some balancing to be done between keeping it up and its corresponding mana cost but for now a faster Nourish on Rejuvenated targets is great.

Symbiosis (Mastery) benefit from mastery increased by approximately 16%. Symbiosis always struck me as being more beneficial to tank healing than raid healing simply because of the prohibitive mana cost of HoTting the raid up. This buff I like, and as a healer be more aware of taking advantage of it as much as possible – including using Nature’s Bounty above.

Tree of Life duration has been reduced to 25 seconds, down from 30. A small reduction, but nothing earth shattering here.

Wild Growth healing has been increased by 30%, and the cooldown has been reduced to 8 seconds, down from 10. Raid heal love wrapped in a box with a pretty bow. Thank you!

Glyph of Regrowth now causes the heal-over-time effect to refresh itself on targets at or below 50% health, up from 25%. The increase in health makes this one an interesting glyph. While the HoT at the tail end of Regrowth is weak, it still adds up and provides a free mastery bonus for the incoming heal. Its definitely more competitive as a glyph than its earlier version. 

In summary, these changes seem headed for the distinctive HoT based healing style us trees are known for. We’re being encouraged to be a little more liberal with our use of Rejuvenation and Wild Growth. Regrowth still remains a situational spell to me due to its high mana cost, but with the added bonuses of refreshing lifebloom and the revamped glyph, its made a little more rewarding than it used to be earlier.All in all, I’m looking forward to this patch!

Healing in a Shattered World: Patch 4.0.3a

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Every so often, I get a heal craving. It’s much like a chocolate craving – you feel like eating that moist gooey chocolate cake much in the same way you feel like throwing out some yummy heals. I had one of these heal cravings in the past week, but funny thing was instead of leaving me fat and happy at the end of it, I was left scratching my head over my heals. Was it just me or did Nourish not seem that awesome? Was it just me or did I actually see my mana bar move when I cast Rejuvenation? Should I have used *shudder* Healing Touch there instead?

And so I grabbed my chocolate cupcake, and settled down to take a good look at what our heal spells look like in the best way I know – reread those tooltips! Grab a cupcake and join me =)

I might be stating the obvious here in listing the spells, but it was helpful for me to just take a step back and re-evaluate the restoration healing arsenal. A lot of our spells look the same and sound the same but work very differently in their duration, mana costs and amount healed. They’re essentially new friends. I’ll be referring to the druid changes in Patch 4.0.3a – here’s a link to the druid changes to keep handy.

Heal-over-time Spells:

Rejuvenation: In Patch 4.0.3a, its mana cost was increased by 30%. The spell now costs 26% of base mana making it a pretty expensive spell to use. At level 80, the mana cost is in the 1k neighbourhood.

Lifebloom: One of our cheaper spells that costs only 7% of base mana. The catch is that we’re only allowed to put this on a single target at a time…unless we’re in tree form. Its our staple heal on the tank and a powerful raid healer when we unleash the tree.

 Wild Growth: Costs a whopping 27% of base mana – even more than Rejuvenation. It is, however, a smart heal and really our one powerful AoE heal spell. Use it wisely and well.

Cast-time Heal Spells:

Healing Touch: I’ve begun to take a second look at this spell, despite writing it off during Patch 4.0. This used to be the famous healing spell druids rarely ever used, and now at a cost of 30% base mana with a base 3 sec long cast still doesn’t look appealing. But, it still heals like a truck compared to the newly refashioned Nourish.

Nourish: Not really sure what to do about this one. Nourish costs a lovely 10% of base mana, but it now has a cast time equivalent to that of Healing Touch and heals for a significantly lower amount. However, it has the perk of refreshing Lifebloom if talented into. I can only see this being good for topping people off but its long cast time is rather deterring.

Regrowth: If you thought the rest of the spells were expensive, well this one takes the cake. It costs 35% of your base mana…and yet it delivers. Its quick, it heals and if you’re not careful it’ll kill your mana before you know it.

Other Spells:

Swiftmend: My best friend – made more powerful when glyphed. This guy costs a humble 10% of base mana and brings people up in a flash – faster than Regrowth.

Efflorescence: The circle of green goodness that procs from Swiftmend. Its healing is dimished when over 6 people stand in the circle but its still a great effect in that we can AoE heal by targetting a particular area.

 Tranquility: I admit I put this in purely for the sake of being thorough. This costs 32% of base mana and remains our “oh crap” spell.

The Message:

  • It’s loud and clear to me. No more blanket healing. With the mana costs of Rejuvenation and Wild Growth, its really not an option to just HoT everyone up preemptively. This is not a bad thing – it just means that as a druid I need to get to know my heals more intimately. Know how much they cost, know how much they heal for – assess the damage incoming and make your decision on what to put out there.
  • Since infinite mana is definitely out of the game, it’s more important to heal selectively and to put a cap on overhealing as much as possible. This is more than just knowing your how much spells cost – it also requires you to know where you’re healing who for how much. Yes that was an awkward sentence, but it gets my point across hopefully. =P 
  • Nourish versus Healing Touch is still up in the air. In Patch 4.0.3a, mechanics were changed to allow Healing Touch to refresh Lifebloom on the target as well. Nourish doesn’t have much going for it at the moment apart from its low mana cost. This is one of those places where I would keep both spells handy and then decide on the situation. Would a Nourish cut it or should I go Healing Touch? And do I have the mana for it? Its one of the many things that make healing interesting in this new world – no more easy answers. It now requires evaluating and consciously deciding one over the other. 
  • Keeping tracks of procs such as Omen of Clarity and Nature’s Grace are also important. I use the Omen of Clarity proc to mean a free Regrowth mostly. Timing specific mana-heavy heals with such procs adds up in keeping yourself from going oom. Nature’s Grace is a great proc to keep track of when someone is going down fast. The increased haste after casting regrowth immediately translates to a faster Healing Touch to get them back up.

My impression after taking a good look at the spells was pretty much out with the old and in with the new. Our spells and mechanics have changed and healing like we did in the past simply won’t work anymore. Healing is now a very interesting game – it keeps us on our toes as we evaluate damage and make our decisions about which spell to use, all while carefully watching mana and cooldowns. Not to say that healing in the past wasn’t interesting – oh no, it was great but it was also a whole different game. And now, the game and rules have changed yet again and  to heal well requires a very different style.

In my opinion, the Shattering is all about letting go of the past and approaching the new world with an open mind. It happened to our beloved zones and quests… and healing is no exception.

4.0: Impressions of Resto Healing

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Well what do you know, they really did take away my tree! *cough* Moving on, spells and talent trees look vastly different, some of them unrecognisable even.  To wrap my head around what’s changed (since I never kept up with the articles on it), I took a long hard look at tooltips and healed a couple heroics. This is less of a blow-by-blow analysis and more of a summary of the big things that have changed and are relevant in understanding the heal mechanic.

Talents: These stood out to me talent-wise.

Efflorescence (3/3): An AoE heal effect that heals nearby allies within 15 yards for 20/40/60% of what your Swiftmend healed for.
Revitalise (3/3): In addition to giving us some mana regen,  this proc also grants Replenishment.
Nature’s Bounty (3/3): Apart from the massive crit addition to Regrowth, critical heals from Nourish and Swiftmend have to reduce the cooldown on Swiftmend by 0.5 sec.
Empowered Touch (2/2): Healing Touch buffed by 10%, and more interestingly Nourish has a 100% chance to refresh Lifebloom.

Spell Changes: Our spells remain more or less recognisable with a few changes here and there. However, they certainly serve new roles in healing.

Rejuvenation is more mana expensive and of shorter duration (12 secs).
Wild Growth now has a 10 sec cooldown.
Lifebloom is now a great cheap HoT to cast but only castable on one target at a time.
Swiftmend now procs Efflorescence
Regrowth has a reduced cast time which makes it a quick but expensive heal.
Nourish has a longer cast time but now refreshes Lifebloom on the target.
Rebirth now has a 30 min cooldown, and this cooldown is shared with all druids in the party/raid. Battle-rez with caution!

Buffs and Debuffs:

Mark of the Wild now has 1hr duration and buffs all raid/party members. No more Gift of the Wild.
Remove Corruption is a one-sweep spell that removes 1 poison, 1 curse and 1 magic effect if talented into.

Tree of Life Changes:

Tree of Life is now a cooldown that lasts for 30 seconds. When used, it enhances healing and certain spells discussed below. Usable every 3 minutes.

-Tree of Life spell changes:

What does this mean for healing? And glyphs?

One of the first things I noticed was that the changes in Rejuvenation  no longer allow us to pre-emptively hit up ALL raid members with it all the time. Doing so, as we did before, would have us go oom very quickly. So while Rejuvenation  is still a staple healing spell for us, being more selective about who you pre-emptively hit up is key. Rejuvenation  still plays a significant part in healing, so Glyph of Rejuvenation is a good choice.
– Lifebloom  has an interesting role now. It is limited to one target for most of the time — thus it makes sense to leave Lifebloom   as far as possible on the Main tank/Off-tank. Nourish  while not quite the quick heal we’re used to anymore, refreshes Lifebloom   for us and thus the mechanic between the two makes tank healing much more viable than it used to be. Using Nourish  to refresh Lifebloom  instead of recasting it has the added bonus of proccing Living Seed and other good stuff. Don’t leave home without Glyph of Lifebloom.
– Swiftmend now has the added bonus of Efflorescence attached to it which makes it a flexible spell for both tank and raid healing. I considered Glyph of Swiftmend good pre4.0, and it’s only got better since. Leaving Rejuvenation/Regrowth up there saves you a GCD and considering the passive and talented buffs to them, increases our healing as well.
– Regrowth  is a quick heal spell but use it wisely and resist any urge to spam it. It’s powerful and quick but overusing it will result in ooming. The one time I did spam it was in ToL form as an instant cast to keep a tank up in Pit of Saron…it’s a strange story, yes I know. Apparently I just had bad luck or the Blood spec has some issues…either way I wouldn’t know! Glyph of Regrowth seemed weak to me as targets being 25% shouldn’t be happening too often – but that might change in Cataclysm. For the time being, I passed.
– A final point regarding the Major Glyphs: I chose to go with Glyph of Wild Growth, Glyph of Rebirth, and Glyph of Innervate. At this point really, I simply looked for glyphs that would help restoration in any way. I did, however, choose to skip Glyph of Healing Touch for the time-being since I rarely cast Healing Touch, if at all.
As I mentioned earlier, this post summarises the significant changes to healing I found this patch. I will probably hold off on analysing healing, gems and other aspects until Cataclysm simply because these mechanics were made for Cataclysm and not Wrath and it seems a bit premature to delve too deeply into them. Hope you enjoyed this post and have fun healing =)