Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Many Uses for the Tree of Life Cooldown! An Illustrated Guide

I've been meaning to write this post for a while and I've finally finished the drawings for it! I've been having fun recently doing some lighthearted doodles for guildies (inspired by one of our boomkins who also likes to make doodles). I love drawing tree form, and what better way to do a post about the many wonderful uses of our Tree of Life cooldown than by doing a bunch of doodles for it! Let's dive in.

Tree of Life: Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armour by 120%. Also protects the caster from Polymorph effects. In addition, some of your spells are temporarily enhanced while shapeshifted (Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Entangling Roots, Wrath).

Heal Moar!!!!
Throughput Boost!
This is the most straightforward use for the Tree of Life cooldown - it increases our healing done by 15%. This is a great and simple use for ToL - is the tank getting absolutely wrecked? Pop ToL and heal to victory! A period of raid-wide damage? Pop ToL and heal heal heal! (More tricks on raid healing with ToL below!) Want to boost your Tranquility even more? Pop ToL, activate Harmony and Tranq away! You can plan to use it in advance if you know a period of heavy damage is coming, or pop it in an emergency when you need that extra boost.

Raid Healing with ToL!
This is one of my favourite uses for Tree of Life. I often save ToL for specific points in fights with heavy raid-wide damage. I pop ToL and spread Lifebloom all over the raid - single stacks, multiple stacks, whatever's needed. This gets tons of Omen of Clarity procs, which I can use to throw out instant free Regrowths to top up anyone who needs a bigger heal. I work in Wild Growths as well (which hits an extra target in ToL), and Swiftmend as needed. You could throw out a couple of Rejuvs as well, but all the free Regrowths going out will set up Swiftmendable targets, so while ToL is active I wouldn't use too many Rejuvs.

This strategy will give you a tremendous amount of raid coverage at an incredibly low mana cost. Lifebloom is an extremely cheap spell, so you can spread it over as many people as you can and barely see your mana dip at all. All of the Omen of Clarity procs will let you throw out the free Regrowths as well, so you'll have tons of big instant heals going out at zero mana cost as well. Wild Growths will still cost mana of course, but should absolutely still be going out, as well as Swiftmends as needed.

Lifebloom does a good amount of healing, so don't discount spreading it around the raid! Don't forget - it stacks and it blooms. All druids should be running with 3/3 Gift of the Earthmother in their spec regardless, and this talent increases the bloom from Lifebloom by 15%.

This strategy also gives you more mobility in phases of heavy raid damage, the instant Regrowths let you pop off some bigger heals while on the move instead of having to stop to cast.

Don't be afraid to use Regrowths without OoC if you need to! It will cost more mana of course (so be careful not to spam it!), but if it's a choice of someone living or dying, you should use it.

Some examples!
5-Mans: This is a great trick to use on the Panther boss in Zul-Gurub (especially if your tank got a few too many cats!). The entire group is getting wrecked - you can easily cover all five people in the group with 2-3 stacks of Lifebloom. All of the OoC procs will let you get instant free Regrowths for bigger heals on party members or the tank, and you can layer on Wild Growths on cooldown as well. You might want to keep a Rejuv on your tank so you can Swiftmend him if necessary in case he didn't have a Regrowth thrown on him.

Raids: Obviously you can cover more raid members with Lifebloom in a 10man than in a 25man, but it is still an extremely useful strategy. Two examples!

Beth'tilac: I use this strategy all the time on Beth'tilac when I go up top to heal and in the final phase. It is especially useful up top as I can cover myself, the tank, and the DPS up there with LB, get quick top-ups on me and the DPS with the free Regrowths, cover everyone with Wild Growth, Swiftmend when needed, and continue my direct heals (Healing Touch and Regrowths as needed) on the tank.
It is also a mana efficient way to cover the raid during the final burn phase and will help you manage your mana in what is a very intense healing and mana phase without reducing your healing done.

Ragnaros: I love using Tree of Life on the two Intermissions phases. The entire raid is taking lots of damage from the Lava Bolts during these phases, and in the second Intermission phase your tanks are also taking a beating from the Lava Scions. Using ToL here allows you to be mobile when your raid is very spread out and to quickly and efficiently heal and top-up raid members. An instant Regrowth on someone whose health is low can save them from being killed by another Lava Bolt! It will also help conserve your mana for later phases, especially the Molten Seeds phases which have a significant amount of raid damage.

Tree of Life can be great as a DPS cooldown! ToL reduces your Wrath cast-time by half, so you'll end up with about a 1 second cast time (possibly less if you have Nature's Grace procced or Heroism). This can be really wonderful in fights where there's a significant DPS burn needed during a period of low or no raid damage, and also it's just extremely fun to do! Not to mention a treant casting Wrath looks amazing! A great example is the Alysrazor fight in Firelands - when she crash-lands, she takes additional damage, attacks restore your mana, and no damage is going out until she starts to take off again. So, pop treeform, and pew pew pew!!

Also, if you do any BGs or Arenas, it can be a fun little way to finish off an opponent. They won't be too happy with you though!

Annoying Rogues (and PVP fun in general)!
Speaking of BGs and Arenas... I don't PVP too often, so when I do I like to have a bit of fun. I don't profess to be an expert at PVP though!

ToL is of course a great cooldown to use in general in PVP, I find especially in BGs if someone (or many) decide to beat on me for a while. If a melee comes to hit me, the instant heals are amazing for surviving (especially when they pop their cooldowns) as you can lay on the HoTs and do larger top-ups with Swiftmends and instant Regrowths without worrying about getting interrupted. The more-skilled PVPers out there will probably have interrupt-juking down to an art form, but I still have some ways to go with that!

ToL also increases your armour, makes you immune to Polymorph, and allows you to cast Entangling Roots instantly, so you can root people and flee if your Nature's Grasp is on cooldown. Don't forget to cast Thorns on yourself! (ToL doesn't boost Thorns, but it's still good to cast if a melee is poking at you!) It can also help you live a bit longer as you try to either flee, CC, or just wait for a peel or some DPS back-up.

If you want to have a bit of fun with your would-be assassin, you can also throw out a classic /dance or /cheer or /wave while in treeform. Prepare to have them harass you for the rest of the BG though! Just greet them with a /smile when you see them again.

One of my favourite things about Tree of Life form (and why I miss the perma-tree form so much) is the sheer light-heartedness and goofiness of the form and all the fun emotes and play you could have with people. Though I prefer the old Treant form, the new tree form can have a lot of fun as well (its flailing is even goofier than the treant flails!).

I most sorely miss the light-hearted fun I would have constantly with my permanent tree form. I'd jump around, run into walls, /dance, /cheer (my favourite), back when I was an engineer I'd rocket boot and parachute off the steps in VoA or random cliffs (a tree floating down on a parachute was amazing). A treant running around looks hilarious - they always look very busy, as if they're rushing about yelling 'NO TIME TO STOP!! MUST GO HEAL THINGS!!' Not to mention the fun had with guildies threatening to chop me down/set me on fire/etc while I shed leaves on them. All these poor Worgen, they finally got to come play and they lost all the trees they could have peed on!

I absolutely love the cooldown ability, don't get me wrong, but I'm still disappointed that I had to lose my permanent tree form just to get it. I wish we could get some option to turn on the form (perhaps out of combat) just to have some fun without a duration!

Nods here to the ever funny Allie Brosh from Hyperbole and a Half 
That about wraps it up! Do you have any uses for Tree of Life that you've found particularly useful or fun? Share in the comments!

1 comment:

redcow said...

This post delivers! Your doodles are adorable and the advice is spot on, too :D