|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 Its content may be outdated due to changes that come with expansion packs.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.
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The Efflorescence-based changes to mushrooms are the big news in patch 5.4, but the changes to Wild Mushroom: Bloom are extremely interesting. The changes have transformed an ability, taking it from irrelevant to very, very relevant. When used properly, Wild Growth: Bloom can be nearly or even as effective as a raid cool-down. All Druids should be Blooming mushrooms regardless of their role in the raid – it has very little cost. Placing a mushroom has no mana cost and will only set you back a global cool-down. It can be pre-placed before a pull. If you use Glyph of Efflorescence like I do, the only real drawback is that your Efflorescence disappears for 3 seconds, until you are able to replace it. The cost of WM: Bloom is another GCD and around 6k mana.
A Description of the Changed Bloom
When you place your single mushroom, it will “charge up” by the amount over-healed by your Rejuvenation. This stacks up to an amount 2 times your total health. So if your raid-buffed HP is 500k, it will add 1 million bonus healing to the baseline effect (which is low to begin with). The Bloom will evenly distribute the amount it heals to all targets within its fairly small radius – on a fight like Sha of Pride, I was hitting all 19 DPS and healers who weren’t dead in LFR. The Bloom cannot crit on its own, but over-healing Rejuv ticks have a chance to proc a crit-effect – 2 times the healing. The crit proc has no expiry, so it could proc on the first overheal and you could bloom it 5 minutes later and it will still crit. I haven’t been able to test out the proc rate (if it’s simply player crit % or something else) but I haven’t had an issue yet with charging it for a long time and the crit-effect not being available.
The mushroom may also be moved around freely, and all charge is maintained. This means that you never need the raid to go back to the mushroom for heals, and you don’t have to put up with poor Efflorescence placement for the sake of a burst. Mushroom placement and Blooming share a 3-second cooldown. The amount of additional healing from the “charging” can be tracked by a buff on the mushroom.
At 500k raid-buffed HP, a fully charged mushroom detonation with crit proc will heal for 2 million health, spread across all targets within range – for 5 targets it’s 400k per person, which is more effective than the Monk raid cooldown ‘Revival’.
Rejuvenation is a notorious over-healer – it lasts for 12 seconds, and it’s rare you’ll be a part of a healing team where the other healers will respect your HoT, and resist the urge to top off that raid member. Where once that sort of rare raid chemistry among healers was desirable, a sort of holy grail if you will, that is no longer necessarily the case. The changes to bloom go a long way to combating the problem that is overhealing.
How to Bloom Effectively
The Bloom might be a massive heal, but with no limit to the diffusion across players, you’ll want to try to limit it in 25-player modes especially to hitting between 5-10 people at a time. This is much easier for 10-man, where you can pretty safely detonate it in the DPS pile to good effect nearly every time. Many procs in this game (like Clearcasting) are usually best used as quickly as possible. The crit-effect of WM: Bloom I feel is an exception to this rule.
You’ll almost always prefer to use it like you would a raid cool-down, giving it plenty of time to charge up and be willing to sit on a fully charged and crit-effect-ready mushroom for a little while until it will be best used.
As a multiplier, the crit-effect proc has a huge impact on WM: Bloom’s power. I suggest you adopt as a rule of thumb not to detonate mushrooms without the crit-effect being active, although it is OK to detonate it before it is fully charged. Get familiar with the pattern of healing – the way number of players in range as well as amount of healing done for time spent charging up.
Finally, I haven’t come up with a way of tracking the Bloom power of the mushroom yet, because the buff with that info is on the mushroom itself rather than the player. A numerical indicator somewhere would be fantastic and if that functionality isn’t achievable with an existing add-on, maybe it’s time that changed.