Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm not that smart... really.

Most of the druids I talk to on my server are guildies who are fairly new to level 80 and are still gearing. Their number 1 concern when raiding is mana management, which until now I've been chalking up to their gear. But as I read more and more resto druid guides, I'm discovering that mana seems to be an issue for a lot of experienced, established trees as well.

That kind of got me thinking that I'm doing something wrong, as I don't have mana issues... ever. And I'm not sure why that is. My toon doesn't have huge amounts of int (hence the title of this post ^.^) and my mp5 is good not great, so how is it that I'm not healing to oom when so many admittedly better resto druids are?

Unbuffed I'm looking at 2.3k +heals, 17,000 mana with 241 mp5 (while casting). Buffed and with Flask of Pure Mojo, I put out roughly 2.8 to 3.3 hps single target healing, and 3.1 to 3.5 hps on the raid. My build takes advantage of all the mana saving talents, but so does every other tree I've looked at. So, it must be my healing style, right? Maybe you all can help me figure this out?

Here's my approach...

Regardless of my assignment, I play the role of raid healer (obviously paying more attention to my tank if I'm assigned the single target role). I pre-hot one or two tanks (depending on the pull) then get ready with swiftmend as my first response to burst damage. Everyone else in the raid goes without HoTs... for now. (I'm curious if other trees out there pre-HoT dps targets as well as tanks to start a fight.)

As the fight progresses and the tanks move into their positions, I renew their HoTs and watch for isolated damage on other raid members (such as a fireball from Razorscale.) If I see someone get hit, and I know they aren't likely to take immediate follow up damage, I'll throw a rejuv on them and let it tick them back to full (or get eaten up by a priest/pally heal).

As we move further in the fight I start planning for raid wide damage (such as Kologarn's left arm or XT-002's tantrums) and if I time it right, I can have rejuv rolling on ranged, wild growth ticking on melee, HoTs on my tanks, and a lifebloom for yours truely. That's usually enough to keep everyone up as I cycle back through with more HoTs and Nourishes on the toons taking more hits.

Inevitably someone gets a little too close for comfort to critical, so NS+HT comes in handy (I usually pop it 2-3 times per fight depending on the length). And my favorite heal, swiftmend is plan B should another of my buddies find themselves in dire straights.

It's pretty much rinse and repeat from there. I never put more than 1 lifebloom on a target unless it's a fight where I know my tank will be taking more damage spikes than I can respond to with NS+HT, swiftmend, HoTs+Regrowth, and Nourish spams.

Is that far off from what you all do in your raids? I'll be really upset if it turns out my style is putting undue pressure on my fellow raid healers and my numbers aren't where they should be.

To summarize my approach, I'd say I'm a reaction healer, making sure all my tools are available when I need them, but waiting until after the damage occurs to put them to work.

Any thoughts, tips, suggestions on how I can be more mana inefficient... err... I mean better at what I do?


  1. There's nothing awry with your spec/gear etc, and your tactics don't sound odd. Are you sure it's not just your other druids being a little more spammy/wasteful? Are they stuck in the habit of using Lifebloom on multiple people?

    I think you're being too hard on yourself - it doesn't sound as if you're doing anything wrong.

    Apart from the occasional fight where I get a mana burn or have to dump mana into a rez etc, I've never had problems with mana. It has never been an issue.. I've never felt the need to stack more regen, or ease up on my playstyle, or anything like that.

    Who are the druids you've been reading about having mana issues? What content are they on? I honestly don't think that the majority of druids are having mana issues, even after recent changes.

    My only other question is why are you using the mp5 flask if you don't have trouble with mana? If you don't need mana, then using mana consumables is essentially pointles - you're not getting any benefit. I would switch to Frost Wyrm.

  2. Hi Keeva,

    I'm happy to hear that you think I'm doing alright with my healing style. :-) And especially happy to hear that most druid's you've seen are not having mana issues. I was worried I wasn't pulling my own weight somehow.

    As for pots, I stick to pure mojo more as a safty net than a necessity. Frost Wyrm would surely give me more bang for my buck, but at the end of a long fight I like having that cushion so I can heal big and hard when the priests are going oom.

    With the new patch I'll probably switch to Frost Wyrm. But for now, Mojo is my security blanket.

  3. I agree with Keeva that your healing appears to be in the norm. I've found that with raid healing (only using rejuv/WG) that it is nigh impossible for me to go OOM. It's when I go spamming Nourish or something on tanks that my mana starts to dip, and even then it's nothing a pot or innervate cannot handle. I seriously cannot remember the last time I've actually been concerned about my mana except for fights like Vezax of course.

    If you aren't even using innervates on most fights I'd say that you can pretty safely ditch the mojo's and use Flask o' teh Frost Wyrm.

  4. I am new to healing, and found this helpful as a guide, as presently I am one of the Lifebloom spammers :P

    So thanks for so clearly outlining what you do - I have found it a little difficult to get guidance in this area.

  5. I've only been raid healing on my tree for about 3 months, so I'm not an expert, but your style sounds very similar to mine. There are only 2 differences: 1) I try to keep 2-3 LBs on both tanks instead of 1, and let them bloom every time and 2)I spam WG, nearly everytime it's available. I don't go oom except in the really long boss fights and 1 innervate solves that issue. I have found that with a pally buff, I hardly ever even have to use my innervate. Even when running Ulduar in my Naxx 10 gear ;)

    As for raid healing, I don't usually pre-hot the dps. I respond to damage they take with rejuvs. It seems to work out that my rejuvs get the healing rolling long enough for the other healers to cast their spells so we don't lose a dps. After I've hit everyone who's hurting with a rejuv, then I go back thru with nourishes. I wonder if trees that are having trouble with mana are dropping too many heals on their dps. They may have high overhealing from nourishing over their rejuvs and heals from other healers.

    I only pre-hot dps when I know something like Hodir's frozen blows is coming.

    I also use flask of frost wyrm. However, using the flask of mojo might allow you to save your innervates for your priests so they can keep healing longer. I primarily heal with other droods and pallies, so it's not really needed for me.

  6. I have a different healing style. I also very rarely oom - unless my healing team is filled in with pugs and I'm having to step it up.

    Yes, I do pre-hot some dps in my guild. I know the DPS (usually just two or three) that will likely be taking more initial damage over the fight. I will place regrowth on them so I don't have to worry about them for a bit.

    I heal primarily using rejuv, regrowth and back it up with nourish. I use WG alternating between mellee and ranged or when I know raid wide damage will ocurr. I use LB only when I need instant cast heals due to the lack of interruption (ahhh, I'm a tossed salad or squished like a bug in Kologram's hand.)

    I do not worry about overhealing as long I do not oom. Yup, I'm one of those! As we progress into Ulduar our healing assignments will target our strengths - I place regrowth on the Light Bombs or Gravity Bombs in XT and work with my Priest on the tank and keep rolling HoTs on him. WG the mellee as needed and I'm good to go.

    A good way to make sure that you are pulling your weight is to get Recount. It will give you a clear understanding of your healing/overhealing/dispel status overall and who might need some assistance either in gear or spell rotation.

  7. I agree with most of the above that your healing tactics sound fine and very similar to my own style. I would like to add one thing to think about and maybe push you out of your safety zone: There is no award given at the end of the fight for the healer with the most mana left over.

    That said, I wouldn't change your style, but maybe look into changing your gear and/or consumables a little: Frost Wyrm Flask instead of Mojo; Idol for healing output instead of mana conservation (remember you can change that mid-fight if you need to); Some piece of gear with high spellpower instead of hight int/mp5/spirit (you can swap it btwn attempts if it didn't cut it.)

    So I don't think you are doing anything wrong, but maybe this is a good time to test your own limits of daring!

  8. Thank you all for the comments! I'm definitely inspired to take the training wheels off and step out of my comfort zone a little bit.

    Trees helping trees... It's powerful stuff. :-D

  9. From my experience in hardcore endgame, you are fine. There's a lot of "good" druids out there that heal completely ineffieciently. Don't take it personal. They just got stuck in the pre-wrath rut.

  10. I set up a /castsequence macro that goes like this:


    Sorry I don't have the actual macro to post because I'm not at my PC. The thing I like about this is I can go through targets, throwing out rejuvs, and if they're really low I can stack up LB on them. Works pretty well for tank healing too (as long as I'm a bit proactive with it).