It’s a little disconcerting reading about Loatheb and repeatedly running into comments along the lines of “if anyone struggles here, bring more Priests” and “HOTs aren’t going to do much in this fight, so a druid may struggle a bit”. I did struggle a bit. The first time is always difficult for me as the bulk my attention is going towards my fingers and wrists. I read up as much as is humanly possible and try to anticipate how the general strategy will impact on my hands, but until I’m actually there, it’s impossible to really know.
I was pretty much useless for the encounter. I didn’t think I needed a graph to remember when to cast HoTs so that they bloom on the right players at the right time, but trying to count whilst watching multiple timers, health bars, finger joints and listening to vent overwhelmed me. My timing was off and my healing was embarrassingly awful. It has made me go back to my spellbook and Loatheb notes and all healy things on the forums to see how I could fix this. Loatheb hits like a girl and with the spore buff basically available to all, it really should be an easy heal.
The consensus seems to be to stack HoTs up during the downtime so that they tick and/or bloom appropriately in the heal window. How you go about this, seems to up to individual taste. I prefer thinking figures through myself rather than just following advice, so here’s my thoughts on my bag of tricks and how to make use of it most appropriately:
- Lifebloom: I think the key is to get lifebloom up so that it blooms on 2-3 targets inside the window as well as getting it up on a few more players so they can get the benefit of 2-3 ticks in the heal window.
- Rejuv: Possibly the least useful spell as it ticks every 3 seconds, so timing has to perfect to get even just one tick in the window and it’s not the most powerful of a tick, but if there’s time, I guess every little bit helps.
- Regrowth: Best time to cast is just before the window opens so that it lands as soon as the window opens and can be followed immediately with a swiftmend.
- Wild Growth: I’m with the general opinion on this one, pre-hot the raid with WG.
- Nourish: I’m not a big fan of nourish as I love my instant cast HoTs a little too much, but I can see why it’s a popular choice for casting inside the window. It’s a nice spell, and there should be time to fit it in straight after swiftmend.
- Living Seed: If I’ve got the spore buff, there’s a 100% chance that regrowth will crit and therefore plant a seed on the target. Landing a regrowth as the window opens therefore have the added bonus of also planting a living seed.
- Nature’s Swiftness & HT (3 minute cooldown): With a 3-minute cooldown on nature’s swiftness, there will only be one of these, either for myself or the tank.
- Tranquility (4 minute cooldown): My get-out-of-jail-for-free card. Best saved for the point where health bars are hovering in the red and the situation has just become serious. Personally, I hold back on tranquility as long as possible, particularly here where the situation is gradually worsening and healing should in turn, gradually increase.
- First eight seconds of Necrotic Aura: Cast rejuvs or DPS a little.
- Seconds 9 – 11/12: Get swiftmend up on three targets and/or three stacks on one target
- Seconds 12 – 13/14: Stack swiftmend on your targets to benefit from ticks during the window
- At 13/14: Cast Wild Growth
- At 15/16: Cast regrowth (1.9 second cast) or healing touch (2.9 second cast) to land inside the window
- Inside the three second window: swiftmend, followed by 1-2 nourish (1.43 second cast)
Outside window: Eight seconds in cast Lifebloom x3 for the bloom, lifebloom 2-3x for the tick, wild growth, regrowth or healing touch
Inside window: Swiftmend, 1-2 nourish OR NS+HT, or tranquility toward the end.
It seems like a good plan, let’s see how it goes next time in Naxx.