[Cataclysm] Battle Rezzes and You: What Every Druid, Warlock, Death Knight, and RAIDER Should Know — Part 2

Every raider should know the slight differences between the three types of Battle Rez spells and understand how they impact the decision to resurrect a player during combat.

Warlock Soulstone

Warlocks have the unique ability to choose someone ahead of time for their Soulstone spell. Before an encounter begins, they can create a Soulstone and place it on another player. That player will receive the Soulstone buff for 15 minutes. If the receiving player dies while this buff is active they will have the choice to resurrect upon death. The main benefit to this is that as long as the Warlock has a Soulstone active on another player, the Warlock herself does not still have to be alive to bring that player back to life. There aren’t many situations in current content where this is useful, but I am reminded of the Assembly of Iron encounter in Ulduar. The tank with Overwhelming Power was going to die without question, using a Soulstone on them ahead of time would ensure they would be able to come back and finish the fight even if the Warlock ended up dead from other encounter mechanics.

Alternatively, the Warlock can use their Soulstone similarly to a Battle Rez, waiting until a character has died before using their Soulstone on them. The Warlock should ensure they have a Soulstone ready to go in their bags at the start of an encounter to eliminate cast times.

The spell Create Soulstone takes 3 seconds to cast, has no cooldown, and creates a conjured Soulstone. Soulstones are “unique,” meaning a Warlock can only carry one at a time. Using the conjured item is an instant action, but doing so will initiate a 15 minute cooldown on the Warlock preventing the use of a second Soulstone.

A Soulstone will resurrect a player with 30% health and 30% mana. This can be modified with the Major Glyph of Soulstone, which increases the amount health restored by 40%. In other words players brought back to life with a glyphed Soulstone return with total of 70% health and 30% mana.

Death Knight Raise Ally

The Death Knight battle resurrection is an instant cast spell. The downside to Raise Ally is that it costs 50 Runic Power, which often requires several long seconds of power ramp up time where the Death Knight must be very careful about avoiding abilities that require Runic Power. Using Raise Ally triggers a 10 minute cooldown on the ability. Death Knights are the only tank class that can cast a Battle Rez spell without needing to wait for taunt; using Raise Ally will not expose them to higher incoming damage as Rebirth would for a Feral Bear tank.

Raise Ally brings players back to life with 30% health, 30% mana, and a cosmetic 10 minute debuff called Void-Touched which gives the player a ghostly appearance. There are no glyphs that modify a Death Knight’s Battle Rez spell to grant its recipients more health or mana.

Druid Rebirth

This is the original battle resurrection spell. Unlike the other two types of Battle Rezzes, the unmodified spell requires the druid to carry a Maple Seed reagent which is consumed upon spell cast. Using the Minor Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth will remove the reagent requirement. Rebirth has a 2 second cast time and triggers a 10 minute cooldown on the ability.

Standard Rebirth will bring a player back to life with 20% health and 20% mana (10% less than either Soulstone or Raise Ally). However, the Major Glyph of Rebirth makes the Druid Battle Rez truly shine in all situations. Using Rebirth while modified by that glyph will cause the Battle Rez spell to bring a player back to life with 100% health and 20% mana. Yup, full health. Though a Battle Rez recipient should always be watching timers to make certain a big AoE damaging spells isn’t about to go off (see part 1!), coming back to life at 100% health certainly helps out in uncertain situations.

Though all Druids can use Rebirth, Druid tanks must be particularly careful about when they use their spell as it will force them out of Bear Form. In most circumstances, Bears should be the last ones called upon to use their battle resurrection. However, with common sense and consideration of encounter mechanics, a Bear can pull this off –just don’t expect an immediate Battle Rez.

Plan for the most effective use of each different battle resurrection spells. If a tank just died, a Druid with a glyphed Rebirth is likely the best choice to quickly get them back on their feet with enough health to immediately taunt the boss back. If the raid lost a healer and they need to be back in action immediately, a Warlock Soulstone might be the most appropriate spell as the recipient will return with more mana than if they were brought back by a Death Knight or Druid. Calling upon a Death Knight to use Raise Ally might be the best option when a DPS dies and the raid has a few moments to spare before they must be brought back. Admittedly, this sort of planning might make more sense in a 25s raid setting, but it is worth knowing what to expect from a Battle Rez in any situation.

As with most raiding strategies, communication is key. The caster should announce when they are using their Battle Rez spell, who they are casting it on, and if it has suddenly become unsafe to accept the resurrection. If you are the usual Battle Rezzer for your raid and someone dies while you are still on cooldown, make sure you communicate this to your group so that alternatives can be quickly put into action.

A Battle Rez cannot always save the day… but having a plan and understanding the spells can increase the chance that it will!

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[Cataclysm] Battle Rezzes and You: What Every Druid, Warlock, Death Knight, and RAIDER Should Know — Part 1

This is the first of two slightly out of date posts that have been sitting in my draft folder for about a month or so.  They were intended to be helpful posts and may still be useful so I’ve decided to finish them up and post them.   It was getting a little long though, so now it’s split into two posts! Hopefully someone out there with questions about then whens, whys, and hows of Battle Resurrection spells will come across these posts. =D

With 4.1 came a big change: Warlocks and Death Knights now have the ability to resurrect fellow raiders during a battle.  This change follows closely along the heals of other changes Blizzard has recently implemented to the game; making certain that all critical raid buffs are spread out among at least three unique classes.  For another example you can look at Heroism/Bloodlust, which is now provided by Shamans, Mages, and (Beast Master) Hunters.

In addition to the recently added Battle Rezzes, Cataclysm changed how raid leaders and raiders should fundamentally approach the spell by enforcing a hard per encounter limit; three Battle Rezzes in 25s, one in 10s.

Historically, some guilds allowed resurrection to be used whenever the Druid thought it was appropriate, and some guilds restricted the spell, requiring the raid leader to call out for someone’s resurrection.   From my experience, many guilds and raid leads allowed for an amalgamation of the two methods.  Often times, the more Druids in your raid, the freer they were to use their Battle Rez at will.

However, in Cataclysm (even in a 25s setting) the increased number of people who can Battle Rez coupled with the decreased number of allowed Battle Rezzes and the method in which Battle Rezzes are counted forces us to be more careful about when we use the spell, on whom we cast it, and if we should accept a combat resurrection sent our way.

It’s that last bit I want to focus on:

Should you always accept a combat resurrection sent your way?

The short answer would be no.

A Battle Rez only counts against your encounter limit when it has been accepted by the recipient.  If someone sent a Battle Rez your way and you decline (or even if you simply sit on the “Accept or Decline” window), the combat resurrection does not count towards the encounter limit and another Battle Rez can still be cast.

This places an equal burned on the person accepting a Battle Rez as the person casting the Battle Rez.  The caster has triggered (and potentially wasted) their personal 10/15 minute cooldown, but the recipient has the final say on whether or not the resurrection counts against the encounter limit.

In this new world of limited Battle Rezzes, you should consider a quick checklist before accepting any combat resurrection sent your way:

  • Did someone more valuable die while the spell was being cast? (Be honest with yourself about what you can contribute to the raid)
  • If so, is there another Druid/DK/Warlock available to combat resurrect the other person? (Some addons, such as ORA3, will help track Battle Rez cooldowns)
  • Was the caster in a safe location when they cast the Battle Rez? (You’ll return to life at the exact location the caster was standing when they used their ability; listen/watch for communications from your rescuer, a good combat resurrecter will let you know if it is not safe to accept)

Ideally, you should be running through this list and paying attention to the locations of your potential rescuers from the moment you die until combat ends or you receive a Battle Rez.  The tides of battle can turn swiftly if you are able to act quick enough and get back into the fray with minimal downtime.

Part 2 of this post will cover the details of all three combat resurrection spells, including a discussion of their differences and suggestions on their best uses.

[4.1] Another Adjustment: Nature’s Swiftness

With the preview of the level 85 Heroic Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman instances posted and the latest PTR update, we are getting closer and closer to the release of 4.1.  Unfortunately, it looks like Restoration Druids might only be receiving spell tweaks in place of a briefly mentioned (and much hoped for) new cooldown.

The buff to Efflorescence is really really nice (see Jar’s post at R4HT if you still need proof of this).  So is the reduced cooldown on Tranquility (that is, of course, assuming it isn’t nerfed as a result).  Now the latest PTR changes includes an 50% increase in the amount healed when using Nature’s Swiftness with a healing spell, which ought to make the talent attractive again.

When taken together, those three changes are a great boost to Restoration Druids.   I’m glad Nature’s Swiftness is regaining it’s place as an “OH SH**!!!” button.  I’ll actually need to re-tool my Nature’s Swiftness+Healing Touch macro for the first time since the Burning Crusade in order to have a way to cast HT without trying to cast NS each time.   I mean, really, before this expansion I only used HT when NS was available and the tank was in dire straights.  Between the Shattering and 4.1, if I even bothered to spec into NS, I used it on CD because it really didn’t serve a greater purpose and the Glyph of Healing Touch encouraged its frequent use.

Anyway, I’m still keeping an eye on the PTR and hoping for something shiny to head our way.  I wont be holding my breath for it, though.

[4.1] Efflorescence and Tranquility – Updated! PTR Build 13707

Wouldn’t you know, as soon as I post something about Efflorescence and Tranquility, Blizzard goes and makes my post obsolete. >.>  I didn’t want to go back and edit in the new info after the comment I got (<3 Keeva) because it just wouldn’t make any sense.  So instead, you get this quick new post.

I haven’t had a chance to find the official notes yet myself, but according to WoWHead the latest PTR build includes…

Efflorescence now heals the three most injured targets within its effect for health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by your Swiftmend for every 1 sec for 7 sec.

Malfurion’s Gift now also reduces the cooldown of your Tranquility by 2.5/5 minutes.

So, my guess about Malfurion’s Gift turns out to be correct.  This is a nice change.  I was using this talent before it became mandatory (when Blizzard changed Omen of Clarity), but even so it sorta rubbed me the wrong way to know it was becoming mandatory.  Glad to see the extra carrot added to the talent.

As for Efflorescence, the larger individual ticks on a limit of three players really helps to increase its general usefulness.  I think there is still uncertainty about how -exactly- this new effect will work, we’ll have to wait and see what the PTR can tell us.

I still wish Efflorescence would be unlinked from Living Seed!!!

[4.1] Battle Rezzes for DKs & Warlocks, Changes to Efflorescence & Tranquility

Edit: Well, the latest build info was just posted and it includes more information on the Efflorecense and Tranquility changes I mentioned in this post.  Check out this post for the updated info from Build 13707.

Battle Rezzes

So there was this recent announcement…

Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

– Patch Notes, 4.1 (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2356431)

And now we hear this…

Our plan is still to let Soulstones be used on dead targets, effectively giving warlocks a combat resurrection as well. Unlike the death knight one, which was a relatively straight forward change, the warlock one requires new code. We still plan on making this change for 4.1, but we will keep you updated.

– Zarhym (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2140450499#14)

Well, as the opening poster in the Warlock thread points out, Blizzard had been hinting at making Soulstone more like a “battle rez” for a while now, so this isn’t really “new.”   But when this didn’t happen at Cataclysm’s launch and Blizzard didn’t make any further mentions of it, I began to wonder if it really were going to happen.  Even when Blizzard announced the changes for Death Knights, I thought perhaps they had merely shifted the non-Druid battle rez to them instead…  But this change makes sense.  Three classes can provide Heroism…and now three classes will be able to provide a battle rez.

Efflorescence

Any Resto Druid currently on the PTR has probably noticed that Efflorescence is behaving oddly.  I’ve only had a few opportunities to check it out myself, but it’s seems to be acting as a smart heal.  Though originally assumed to be a bug, Blizzard has decided they like the effect and will be implementing it as a feature:

The change to Efflorescence becoming a smart heal was actually originally just a bug. Since so many of you responded so favorably to it though, we’re actually going to redesign Efflorescence to work similarly. We expect the redesign to help the talent be more useful in 5 and 10 player content as well. We’ll have more details at a later time.

-Bashiok (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2140510015#19)

I wonder if they’ll be making a similar change to a Priest’s Holy Word: Sanctuary?  Also, I’m not sure they’ll implement it in exactly the same fashion that Keeva describes, that seems a little too powerful to me based on what Blizzard has done so far to healing.  I have a feeling the overall healing on Efflorescence might be reduced, but, even if that happens, it will be an overall buff to the talent.  The question becomes, is it worth picking back up?  Will they unlink it from Living Seed?  If not, what 6 talent points should I (and others who are currently skipping Efflor) drop from my spec to snap it back up?

Tranquility

Gift of Nature (passive) also reduces Tranquility’s cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.

– Patch Notes, 4.1 (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2356431)

As many people have already stated the wording for this makes little to no sense.  Currently, Gift of Nature is a passive “specialization” something we get automatically for choose the Restoration talent tree; it has no ranks, and thus the two step cooldown reduction doesn’t really work.  It is also not clear whether Tranquility’s base cooldown is being raised, which might mean something like Resto Druids can cast it every 8 minutes, but Ferals and Moonkin can only cast it every 13 minutes, or something like that.  The information is just so incomplete at this time.

Another possibility; will it be a 2 point talent?  We don’t really have room in our spec for any new talents, so if they go this route I think it’ll be attached Malfurion’s Gift, or maybe Naturalist. There really aren’t many other good 2 point talent options.  One option would be redesigning Living Seed and/or Efflorescence down to 2 point talents and attaching this Tranquility change to either of those.  It would make either talent much more desirable and free up a point or two for the other nice talents that many choose to sacrifice for Efflorescence.

Really, at this point, the only thing I can say about this tiny bit of information is that it hints to still further changes in the works for Restoration Druids in Patch 4.1.

…and that’s not evening including the Cooldowns that were promised us a few weeks back. Hold tight, fellow Druids!  Let’s see where this ride takes us. =)