When to use the new Tree of Life
I’ve heard from a lot of druids that they’re a bit uncertain as to how to use the new Tree of Life, assuming they remember to use it at all. (And also assuming they don’t just automatically try to pop into it at the start of a dungeon – something I’ve certainly been guilty of doing once or twice.) For those who are still a little confused about what exactly Tree of Life does, here’s a quick overview:
- All your healing is increased by 15%.
- Your armor is increased by 120%.
- Your Lifebloom can now be cast upon an unlimited number of targets.
- Wild Growth now hits an additional two members of your raid or party.
- Regrowth is an instant cast.
- Wrath’s cast time is reduced by 50%, and its damage is increased by 30%.
- Entangling Roots is now an instant cast, and its damage is increased by 200%.
While it was fun to pop into ToL and spam Wrath on boss fights at the tail end of WotLK, that’s unlikely to be something you have the mana to do at this point in Cataclysm. Though the increased damage from Wrath may not be particularly useful in PvE fights now, everything else that you gain from going into ToL form can be essential to your healing strategy.
So when is the best time or the best way to use ToL? Obviously, that’s going to vary somewhat depending upon the encounter, but here are a few opportunities to keep in mind:
At the beginning of a boss fight.
Cast ToL at the start of a two-tank fight so that you can put Lifebloom up on both of the tanks.
Even after ToL expires, it’s possible to keep Lifebloom rolling on both tanks, as long as you only continue to directly cast Lifebloom on one of them. (As of patch 4.0.6, this trick will no longer work.)
During Heroism or Bloodlust.
Want some 15% increased healing to go with that 30% increased casting speed? Yes please!
When you need more mobility and/or survivability.
With more instant spells, and more potential for group healing with the enhancements to Lifebloom and Wild Growth, going into ToL right before you need to run around can be a very good plan. (And you get to watch your tree flail its branches like a crazy person – bonus!) ToL is also helpful if you know that your group will be dealing with adds soon and that those adds may take a shot or two at you before heading for the tank. The 120% increased armor means a significant increase in damage reduction, and the instant-cast Roots may help you make a quick escape from any adds that are being particularly bothersome.
Just before you cast Tranquility.
Since Tranquility is our most powerful healing cooldown, why not do everything we can to increase its healing output? Chances are good that, if you’re using Tranquility, there’s been quite a bit of group damage and it may still be going on. Shifting into ToL before you cast it means that you’ll reduce the damage you’re taking as you cast the spell, which is also a Good Thing.
In general, you’re going to get the most use out of ToL’s additional healing and enhanced spells when there’s a lot of raid damage going around, so you should attempt to use it when that’s most likely to happen in a boss fight. If the encounter is going to last longer than 5 minutes, then use ToL once near the beginning of the pull and then again when it comes back off cooldown. Because it has a relatively short cooldown, there really aren’t very many wrong times to use ToL – except, of course, upon zoning in to the instance.