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Sep 25

Mastering Mechanics: Lifebloom

mop_logo This post was originally written during Mists of Pandaria. Its content may be outdated due to changes that come with expansion packs. Please consider this while reading. 

Questions? Feel free to contact me – contact@sometimesatree.com.

 

Lifebloom is an extremely important spell in the Resto druid arsenal, and is often underrated. If you can learn to use it better, it will lead to an increase in performance, and will make you a better player in general.

100% uptime

Shoot for 100% uptime with your Lifebloom. This is now easier than ever thanks to the redesign of Lifebloom in Mists of Pandaria, which means that if you have a stack of three LB rolling on someone, you can just move them onto another target if that person is out of range. Get in the habit of doing so if your raid is spread out and your preferred target, usually a tank, is out of range. One of the best temporary LB dumps is yourself.

Roll a stack of 3 LB on the tank before the fight. Why? Your out-of-combat mana regen is much better than your in-combat mana regen. It’s the difference between starting a fight with full mana vs instantly dumping ~10k mana.

You can maintain your stacks either with a single LB (cheap!) or a direct heal. The direct heal is your best choice when it’s actually needed, otherwise, go for the cheap option. The exception would be situations where you proc Clearcasting and there is practically no damage in the raid. You may as well throw out the direct heal because it’s free, and of course will refresh/activate your Harmony!

Dump Clearcasting Procs

Unless you have some kind of UI-obscuring addon, you probably know when you have clearcasting up on account of the 2 big leafy and green heads-up bars around your character. There are two ideal clearcasting dumps – Regrowth and Healing Touch.

Generally, the raiders in the highest-end guilds (the ones racing for world- and region-firsts) tend to favour Healing Touch from what I have seen. When paired with the Glyph of Healing Touch, it significantly reduces the cooldown of your Swiftmend. A very cheap, direct heal available in 12 seconds, down from the original 15, can be a big factor. Placed right, Efflorescence can be a bigger one. Bear in mind that the long cast time of Healing Touch means that it can be difficult to make it work with Swiftmend. That’s OK though, because Healing Touch is a giant heal in its own right.

Regrowth has a much faster cast time in comparison. It’s an instant cast while in Tree of Life form to boot. The shorter cast time makes it much easier to use. With Glyph of Regrowth, its healing power is comparative to Healing Touch, and without the Glyph, the HoT provides a means for Swiftmend to be cast.

Practice Makes Perfect

When you raid (LFR is the perfect place to do this), focus on Lifebloom uptime. You don’t want to have to rebuild a stack of 3 at any point during a fight. Why “practice”? Repetition is important. You build up a sense of cadence. Eventually, you will have an internal clock set to Lifebloom expiry, and you won’t even need to check how long LB has until it runs down. You will be able to keep it running effectively while you focus on everything else.

In Tree of Life, to put it simply, you want to spam the hell out of Lifebloom. Sure, WG is a priority for AoE healing, but you want the bulk of your GCDs spent on Lifebloom. During Tree of Life, you’ll find there’s a lot more going on. Generally, the healing is a bit more hectic when you decide to pop a cooldown. You also have a lot more Omen of Clarity procs. Even if you prefer Healing Touch as your clearcasting dump, during Tree of Life go with Regrowth and the instant cast. Free instant Regrowths are going to be better than Healing Touch all day.

Tree of Life

It turns out that Tree of Life is also the best time to practice your LB usage. Whenever I have a long break from play and come back a bit rusty, I lose my stack during ToL a lot. The thing is that Lifebloom from ToL isn’t extended by direct casts, so you have to refresh with LBs rather than rely on any free instants. When you LB around the raid, always make sure you “return home” to the tank, or whoever your primary LB target is. After ToL expires, one more LB is needed on your primary LB target in order to get it back to being refreshable by direct heals.

Personally, I judge everything about where I am at in terms of raid capability by Lifebloom. If I can comfortable keep it rolling and I can avoid losing my stack during a Tree of Life, I am confident I can handle anything thrown at me.

Permanent link to this article: http://sometimesatree.com/mastering-mechanics-lifebloom/

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