Like many resto druids, I’ve had my share of thoughts on the changes to Tree of Life that came with patch 4.0.
I still stand by my initial view that if Blizzard insisted on giving us an arboreal cooldown I’d like to have kept the existing Tree of Life form and be able to press a button to turn into a bigger tree — a resto druid equivalent to putting it up to eleven.
Additionally, I really wish the new tree form could dance, though at least it can cry about not being able to dance.
But while I was initially sceptical that a healing cooldown would be useful for druids, I’m now starting to find opportunities to use it and I’m finding it really useful.
Just as reminder, the new Tree of Life gives the the following buffs:
- increased healing
- increased armor
- Lifebloom can be put on more than one target
- Regrowth is instant
- Wild Growth hits two more targets (eight total with glyph)
- Wrath does more damage
- Entangling Roots is free
Previously I discussed how much I hate Nourish now. I followed through on my threat to remove all talents that buff Nourish from my spec, and with the patch 4.0.3 changes I could take Malfurion’s Gift.
So while in Tree form I can Wild Growth eight targets, spread around cheap, fast-healing Lifeblooms and use instant — and often free — Regrowths if people get into trouble.
Now we’re still working on Arthas. Over the course of the transition phase we have:
- everyone moving
- sometimes a couple of ticks of Remorseless Winter (6k per tick)
- Pain and Suffering on random targets (2-3K per tick)
- Ice Pulses (2k per tick)
- Up to two large mobs beating on the tanks
- Soul Shriek (15k damage and debuff) on tanks and the occasional other player
Popping Tree of Life when that starts dramatically increases my ability to deal with the incoming damage.
But instead of just being a cooldown that allows me to do the same thing only better it actually requires me to use my spells differently to get the most out of it.
That makes it an interesting change to druid healing.
However, I think this will keep druids as raid healers first and foremost.
If you are healing a single tank all you get from it is a slight increase in healing and instant Regrowths. However, the Regrowth cast time is barely longer than the GCD, and if you are spamming it you are overwriting the HoT and will likely blow all your mana.
It would give you the ability to heal two tanks fairly effectively for forty seconds if you need to cover for another healer.
All things considered, I’m looking forward to finding new opportunities to whack moles with my giant wooden arms.
Though I’d still like to do the twist on occasion.
Like Bloodlust, the new tree form also acts as a raid warning.
“The healer’s in giant tree form! Everyone look busy!”