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?