To Bloom or Not to Bloom?
The year was 2008. The place was Mount Hyjal. I remember sitting in front of my computer screen, eyes focused on the Grid in front of me and obsessively rolling 3 sets of Lifebloom on the tanks and tuning out everything else around me, so that none of them bloomed prematurely. The phone might ring, my stomach might be growling – it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was not letting those Lifeblooms bloom. That was the worst thing in the world to me, back then as a resto druid in Burning Crusade.
Cut to today, where Lifebloom has gone through a string of changes that led one blogger from WoW.com to refer to it jokingly as “FFS, just put it out of its misery.”
How did we get here? How did Lifebloom go from being a revolutionary spell that led to renewed druid healing prevalence in both PVE and PVP to something that most druids barely have room on their action bars for? Is there a place for it now and if so, where is it?
To answer that question briefly, Lifebloom does still have a place in the repertoire of a raiding resto druid. It has taken a backseat to other spells, like Rejuvenation and Wild Growth and may even see less action than Regrowth or Nourish would. But it has a purpose and we will get into what that purpose is and just why those changes over the last year or so may not be so bad after all.
The mechanics behind Lifebloom used to be quite simple. Keep it rolling (a slang term for keeping a full stack up constantly). With the changes that have taken place, letting a Lifebloom bloom is no longer a bad thing. Rolling Lifebloom was still pretty common through Naxxramas and even through most of Ulduar. Most druids were starting to experiment with early blooming and more use of Rejuvenation, but didn’t really start to catch on until hard modes came out, with patch 3.2 and more specifically, with Trial of the Champions.
Keeping a stack of at least 2 or 3 applications of Lifebloom on your main tank is always a good thing. Follow that up with a Rejuvenation and then a Regrowth. See how the fight is going. If you see the damage being pretty even and predictable and the other healers are keeping up with it, feel free to keep the Lifebloom rolling. You shouldn’t be having a problem with mana, where this is too taxing on you. You should also have the free time to spread some Rejuvenation on raid members in between refreshing your stacks.
But if you see your tank taking a lot of raw, hard hitting damage or spike damage (meaning it goes from small to very large hits very quickly), let the Lifebloom bloom. You should start seeing some impressive crits and that heal can be a saving grace in fights where there is already enough going on and tanks can die in the blink of an eye. I always keep a stack of 2 or 3 up, I let it bloom and then I place a whole new set on. Rinse and repeat. Keep other HoTs on the tank and share some with the raid, too. Throw in a Swiftmend (Glyphed, of course) or some Nourish, if the incoming damage is still a bit much.
Lifebloom can also be useful on the raid if they are taking steady damage or face increasing amounts of damage. Examples of this are during Light Bombs on the Deconstructor fight or targets of Legion Flames during Lord Jaraxxus. The best example I have found as a renewed use of Lifebloom is during the Leeching Swarm effect that Anub’arak emits, as the final boss in Trial of the Champion. This effect deals damage to the entire raid and heals him for a portion of the damage he does. For the healers, they have to find a balance between keeping the raid up, but not so much so that Anub’arak gets more life back than the raid can chip away at.
Lifebloom is perfect for this. I literally spend the rest of the fight, from 30% on just Lifeblooming everything. Just one per raid member. Put it on and let them all bloom. It does just the right amount of healing, but not too much and the mana returns from all those blooms will make sure you can keep it going until Anub’arak goes down.
There is also some speculation as to whether Lifebloom blooms can proc Forethought Talisman. I adore my Talisman and the talents we have for improving HoT effects makes the HoT from it very potent and I have seen some blooms do this. It doesn’t seem to happen all the time, but it can happen. Just another good reason to get in the habit of letting Lifebloom bloom, I think.
All in all, it may not be what we were used to and it may not be our bread and butter anymore, but Lifebloom is still entirely relevant and can provide a useful and sometimes surprising healing element to our already impressive array of HoTs and direct heals.
Tagged as HoTs, Lifebloom, Restoration Druid, Spells + Categorized as Druid