Improving as a Resto Druid

I sort of struggled how to name this post, as it’s really more discussing what I’ve learned since Cataclysm launched, rather than me telling you what you should be doing as a druid.  I’m still a sapling if you put it in perspective, I created Elunamakata about a month or two before Cataclysm came out, then she became my raiding toon for guild needs, and my main out of how well it just suits me.  I’m not claiming I have it down pat or correct by any means.  However, I have noticed some things that I’ve started doing the past two tiers, that made me panic in the first tier of this expac.

Innervating Early:
I now use my innervate at around 80 percent.  This was not always the case, when I first started, I was using it when I heard the lovely “hey noooooob you need mana!” speech.  What really helped me to watch it better was to actually get an add-on to specifically remind me to use it.  I prefer to use Innervator2 , it gives me this lovely little chiming noise at around 80 percent, that will not shut up until I use my innervate.  It will then remind me when it comes off cool-down and also will chime if I’m getting below 30 percent (i think?) mana to use a mana potion if that is not on cool-down.  It’s an all around neat trick and really helpful on those progression fights.

Casting Barkskin:
It really really took me forever to remember this spell.  I knew I had it, I knew it was super awesome and I knew I should use it….but being new, I didn’t associate it with any of my previous abilities.  Since I’ve been playing a while now, I’ve made a real effort to use it when there is heavy aoe, when I pull aggro, or when I could just help out on mana to use that instead of having to heal myself.  Part of what helped me to remember it was a fight where I would pull a lot of adds from healing aggro (hello stupid trash before Ultraxion…aka “how fast can we watch eluna die!”).  Part of what made me take a while to remember it was previously, tranquility didn’t have a built-in knock-back protection, so I had it macro’ed to that spell.

Using Thorns and Mushrooms:
While thorns is not an excellent source of dps, on progression fights, every little drop of dps your raid can squeeze out really does help.  I usually cast it on the main tank, since I’m pretty sure they will be getting smacked around.  My mushrooms come out when I know there will be a need for AOE dps and I can spare the cool-downs.  (Obviously once Mists of Pandaria come out this will be outdated!).

Using Tree Form:
I used to “save” tree form and use it as an “oh crap” cool down.  Not so much now, this could be because I know the fights and know when I will need it to boost my healing on certain phases, but even when I don’t, if there’s a lull in the healing (such as when the tendon is being dps’d down and a new add isn’t back out on spine), I will pop into tree form and dps for a bit.  Or if I know there’s going to be a need for a ton of healing (thinking of the dark phases in Warlord Zon’ozz, where Tranquility will not be up every time) I know to save it so that I’m not using all my cool-downs at once.

These are just a few things that come to mind that I’ve improved upon since I first started healing way back in 5 mans and heroics at the beginning of Cataclysm.  Your mileage and guild needs may vary, but, these small things can make a huge difference in your survival rate, team work, awareness, and even your healing.  It helps to have them bound to easy to access areas.  Stay tuned next week when we discuss Vuhdo, Decursive, and how to bind more than 3 keys to your mouse.  🙂

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