Update: This post is ancient and no longer applicable. See the Cataclysm version here.
Like a lot of resto druids, I tend to Rejuvenate first and ask questions later.
Fight starting? Rejuv the tanks.
Targeted by something? Have a Rejuvenation.
AOE coming up? Rejuvenation for all with a side of Wild Growth.
With Swiftmend and Nourish to plug holes and the occasional free Lifebloom, this strategy has seen me most of the way through Icecrown.
However, one recent fight — Blood Queen Lana’thel — has gotten me thinking about Mana regen again.
We’ve only beaten her a few times at this stage but I find this fight harder on my mana than most of the rest of ICC. It eases up towards the end when a good chunk of the raid have been turned into self-healing vampires but there’s a bit before that where I find I’ve Innervated, chugged a potion (in case), my trinket is on cooldown and my mana bar isn’t as blue as I would like it to be.
Given that a stated goal of Cataclysm is to make healers think about mana again, it seems like a good opportunity to start examining my spellbook to see if I need to change my approach.
Warning: attempted theorycrafting!
We do this fight with two healers. Our tanks are ably healed by a resto shaman, along with the solitary melee DPS.
This leaves me primarily in charge of seven health bars (though I keep a Rejuv on the tanks just in case). For those who don’t know the fight, ranged need to be spread out as she has an off-target attack with splash damage, so Wild Growth will almost never hit more than three ranged targets.
Now, the Blood Queen will be damaging the raid in a number of ways:
- Shroud of Sorrow (raid): This seems to average about 3.2K damage every two seconds with the appropriate buffs / auras.
- Twilight Bloodbolt (single target): Factoring in mitigation this seems to be in the 4.5K to 5K range. The damage from this also splashes to anyone within six yards.
- Pact of the Darkfallen (two targets): Seems to be around 1.5k damage every two seconds to targets and people nearby. Two or three ticks before it’s removed, for the most part.
- Swarming Shadows (single target): Puts a debuff on the target that creates a ground effect every second. Each second standing in the ground effect does just under 2k damage.
- Bloodbolt Whirl (three targets): Casts an AOE fear then fires a Twilight Bloodbolt three times over six seconds. If people spread out fast enough the damage is minimal but with the splash damage and the aura still ticking it can add up.
So, what should I be casting to deal with this, balancing effectiveness with efficiency?
I know Rejuvenation is meant to be very mana efficient but I haven’t looked at the efficiency of my other spells recently. Here’s a quick comparison:
|Spell||Cost||HoT||Total||Time / Duration||HpS||HpM|
|Rejuvenation||446||6 x 4000||24000||12 seconds||2000||54|
|Lifebloom||292*||9 x 800||11900||10 seconds||1190||41*|
|Regrowth||719||9 x 2000||25500||1.3 seconds / 27 seconds||900||35|
|Wild Growth||643||7 x 1200***||8400***||7 seconds||1200||13***|
* 782 – 490 refund
** With Glyph and one HoT
*** Average per target
All results are based on my current gear and using numbers from ICC logs so they include our typical raid buffs and the 30% overall buff. Also, I’m typically using Nourish with only one HoT on the target.
First off, it’s clear that Rejuvenation is both my most mana-efficient heal and my highest throughput HoT for single targets. Given how well it matches up to Shroud of Sorrow it seems like it makes sense to keep this on the raid as much as possible.
After that, Lifebloom is surprisingly efficient if you apply it once and let it bloom, particularly if you factor in how it interacts with Clearcasting. If a target is already Rejuvenated and needs a 10K heal sometime in the next ten seconds it seems to be the way to go.
Wild Growth, unsurprisingly, is a bad single-target heal.
Swiftmend is clearly better than Nourish as a quick, medium-big heal and Regrowth isn’t as much of a mana hog as I thought, at least in cases where it isn’t overhealing too much.
This gets into the key issue — apart from bad splash damage, none of the abilities do that much damage in one go and my most efficient heal is already spoken for. Unless I get behind on healing, most of my spells will overheal significantly, which is a problem when I am trying to conserve mana.
So I wanted to look at the spells in terms of how quickly and efficiently they can heal fixed amounts of damage.
|Spell||Time to 5K||Time to 10K||Time to 15K||HpM at 5K||HpM at 10K||HpM at 15K|
* Mine is closer to 14.5k on average but I’m rounding
** With one HoT
*** Per target
This leads me to some interesting conclusions:
- Unless you need 15k of healing (or are running) you may as well Nourish instead of Swiftmend.
- Lifebloom is more mana efficient than Rejuvenation for healing up to 10k damage (but slower)
- For small heals, Wild Growth is definitely the spell to use if it will hit at least two targets
- Regrowth is definitely poor for raid healing. The one case for it would be as a direct heal in under two seconds on a target without Rejuvenation. Even then it probably loses to Nourish.
Bringing it all together, this is probably how I can use each spell most effectively in this fight:
- Rejuvenate: Keep on raid as much as possible
- Wild Growth: Pact of the Darkfallen damage and Bloodbolts if they splash. Use during Bloodbolt Whirl as well.
- Lifebloom: Swarming Shadows and most Bloodbolt damage
- Swiftmend: Players with very low health and a HoT, likely ater Bloodbolt Whirl.
- Nourish: As per Swiftmend
Now le’t see if I can apply what I’ve learned to Sindragosa and the Lich King before redoing it all at level 85.
Maybe I’ll make a spreadsheet. I hear people like those.