Thursday, February 18, 2010

Glyph-Swappage in ICC10

Blood Queen Lana'Thel was the start of something I had struggled, fought, kicked, and screamed against doing for as long as I could:

...having to swap my glyphs mid raid.

For a long time, I succeeded in getting away with using only three resto glyphs: nourish, WG, and swiftmend. It was a good mix of tank and raid healing love, and it got us through most of ICC. When Lana'thel gave us a 0.8% wipe, however, I knew I needed to bite the bullet and change up my glyphs, throwing a rapid rejuv in place of WG, since the spread of our little 10-man raid prevented me from hitting more than 4-5 people at once with the spell.

...then came Valithria. I was raid healing, so I needed WG back; I put in WG over nourish to see how the rapid rejuv glyph felt some more.

...and Sindragosa. Well, dang, I needed nourish again (until they just told me to go feral for it!), and RR wasn't as useful as WG.

...and Lich King. More spreading, massive damage, nourish beats out WG. I think. Or maybe I need Nourish AND WG, and RR will get the bench again. Still trying to decide on that!

...and of course the rest of the instance, which in many cases in conducive to using the WG glyph, especially trash, and some bosses that would probably be better with a RR glyph rather than WG due to raid spread.


So now I carry a stack of WG glyphs and RR glyphs: in most cases, a fight will tailor itself to one or the other. My limited bagspace cries against carrying more nourish glyphs, *cough*buttheguildbankiskindlyprovidingstoragespaceforthat*cough*. This is likely the most irritating thing I have found about glyphs thus far, and an unfortunate side effect of progression raiding in an instance that was built to have something more than cookie-cutter boss fights. While I certainly enjoy having a variety of boss encounters, "needing" to swap my glyphs around for each boss is particularly annoying, and I entirely blame the introduction of the rapid-rejuv glyph.

It was fine before this glyph came along. I had my three glyphs, and I was set. Then RR came along and had to spoil the party. I cannot deny its usefulness any longer: there are boss fights where heavy raid damage is going out over too spread a raid for WG to be as effective, and chain-gunning lifeblooms isn't effective enough, and I "need" that hasted rejuv to keep the raid alive on a progression boss.


This list assumes that a boss is "progression," or otherwise "not on farm." Farmed bosses are easy enough for the guild that a glyph swap is not necessary to ensure victory. Experience and gear will move a boss from a guild's progression list to their farm list.

This list is also based on 10-strict raiding with a mix of ranged/melee and 2 (sometimes 3) healers, no others being resto druids.

Lower Citadel - Marrowgar:
  • Swiftmend: generally a good idea, and with the movement phase, definitely a good idea here.
  • Nourish: two tanks plus a spiked player makes nourish an excellent glyph choice.
  • Rapid Rejuv: in his whirl phase, people will be fleeing in all directions, and may not stay in range for healing. Faster HoT ticks may or may not be beneficial here, depending on how far out your raid spreads (thus leaving heal range, etc).
  • Wild Growth: while some strats may have the whole raid clump up in melee range, generally there won't be a need for aoe healing, unless you have a large number of raiders all prancing about in the fire. More of the raid healing will be needed in the whirl phase, when raiders aren't nicely clumped. If your guild uses a brute-force-gear-overwhelm strat that keeps the whole raid clumped up in the whirls, WG would be an obvious choice to take as a glyph for this fight.
Lower Citadel - Deathwhisper:
  • Swiftmend: I love this glyph.
  • Nourish: tanks will be taking some spikey hits, and some dps may need a quick top-off over the hots already running on them before they get one-shot by a ghost, aggro, etc.
  • Wild Growth: most of your ranged and healers will be grouped up together, with periodic damage from aggro, the boss, and death runes. Melee/tanks will also be grouped with pets, though may be spread out too far to make the 6-target WG as useful. In phase 2, everyone will be clumped generally, and death runes can be quickly countered with this.
  • RR: not as necessary here, imo. Given the spikey nature of the damage, a longer-lasting rejuv serves as a steadier base for Swiftmends and hot-buffed nourishes. Lifebloom easily serves here as a good quick-ticking hot.
Lower Citadel - Gunship:
  • Swiftmend: /love
  • RR: Faster ticks on the tanks = glorious.
  • Nourish: assuming a 2-healer set up, you WILL be casting nourish on a tank, and you want it to be as buffed as possible. You may also need your nourish for an aggro-pulling dps on your own ship.
  • WG: given the split of raiders between the two sides, on top of the players jumping in cannons, WG simply will not be hitting 6 players regularly. Raid-wide damage isn't as much a concern, either, as much is negated by pressing the "w" key to get out of targets.
Lower Citadel - Saurfang:
  • Swiftmend: yep.
  • Nourish: tank healing and mark-of-the-fallen-champion healing, easily boosted by hots makes this glyph a no-brainer.
  • RR: the faster ticks allows this spell to counter the random-target DoT debuff without any other healing (in most cases).
  • WG: given the ranged spread and debuff-based raid damage, WG glyph will only be effective in the melee. Usually, the melee won't all have damage, so it's just a revitalize-love on the melee in one GCD. This is an option if you have a cohealer who is taking care of (or helping with) the DoT debuff. If you don't have revitalize, then it's a non-issue.
Plagueworks - Festergut:
  • Swiftmend
  • Nourish: lots of tank-healing here. I'd consider it a necessity.
  • Wild Growth: assuming you group your melee and healers and tanks (and pets) in melee range, you will (probably) find the 6 targets quite useful for raid-healing through some of the inhales and exhales. Target your WGs on the boss to ensure the tank shares them.
  • RR: could also be useful here, but I view it less so than WG. This will be a matter of raid makeup: if you are putting more players out in ranged (and away from AoE heals), RR will become more useful. Lifebloom can easily be used on ranged players, however.
Plagueworks - Rotface:
  • Swiftmend
  • Wild Growth: most of the raid will be grouped up and taking splash damage together.
  • Nourish: depends somewhat on your makeup and assignment. If you're mostly healing the kiter, you will want to prioritize mobility; if you find you are needing to heal the MT with Nourish, then the glyph will certainly be a boon. Nourish will also be enjoyed for boosting through a player who has the disease on them (for those that don't cleanse immediately) to help cut through the healing debuff, and for all those times swiftmend is on cooldown as people run through slime, get sprayed, etc.
  • RR: The faster ticks may be detrimental on keeping the hot going on those who run out of range (to merge oozes) and in keeping players swiftmendable: aoe heals will take care of most of the raid-wide damage. Situationally, with a kiter running through slime pools/ooze, it could be useful.
Plagueworks - Putricide:
  • Swiftmend
  • Nourish: even with three healers, you will be healing tanks, especially in P3.
  • RR: helpful for cutting through raid damage as the group spreads out around slime puddles, particularly in P3. It also results in faster revitalize procs on your abom for extra energy, since the ticks occur more quickly.
  • WG: this one has some usefulness for raids that group up on green ooze explosions to help spread out damage. In most cases, you will be able to bridge your WGs across the raid, as long as they are disciplined enough to stick more or less together (through P1/P2). P3 it is unlikely that you will have 6 players/pets close enough together.
Crimson Hall - Blood Princes:
  • Swiftmend
  • Nourish: 3 tanks, 3 healers. Druids will most often be assigned to the kite-tank, but even with the heavy mobility, nourish is useful for healing your tank. A possible alternative is RR, if you find your mobility is more important.
  • WG: when raid damage happens, it will usually be on a clump of players, and I found that the 6-target was frequently useful. Your own raid makeup and guild's style (and habit of grouping together) may alter your choice.
  • RR: could be useful, but lifebloom can serve the same quick-tick purpose in raid healing. If you find your raid does spread out too much for the 6-target WG to be useful, swap your WG with a RR for the quick-tick heal.
Crimson Hall - Blood Queen Lana'thel:
  • Swiftmend
  • Nourish: even if you're put on pure raid-healing duty, you will likely be using nourish on the dps. It will be more useful, at least, than WG, since the raid is so far spread out.
  • RR: given the spread of players, you will be using rejuv heavily in tandem with lifebloom, swiftmend, and nourish as raid heals. The glyph will help immensely in off-setting the heavy raid damage.
  • WG: it is unlikely that a 10-man raid will find much use for a 6-target wild growth in this fight, where it is detrimental to group up. It is more common to hit 3-4 players with your WG in this fight.
Frostwing Halls - Valithria Dreamwalker:
  • Swiftmend
  • Nourish: whether you are "raid healing" (including the tanks) or dragon-healing, nourish will be used a lot.
  • RR: a definite if you are dragon-healing. As a raid-healer, the raid damage tends to come in spikes, and often the raid is spread out too much to make good use of a WG glyph. You must balance the quicker-ticks usefulness with the fact that it doesn't last as long on the raid/tanks, making their swiftmend eligibility more prickily!
  • WG: only applicable if you are put on raid-heal duty, and only if you have a large group of ranged players who will be grouping up on you, and near the dragon. The splash can help heal the dragon as well as your co-healers and the ranged dps.
Frostwing Halls - Sindragosa:
  • Swiftmend
  • Nourish: even with three healers, you will be tank-healing in parts of P3. Between ice tombs and the unchained magic/instability debuff, healers will be rotating who is doing the active tank healing.
  • WG: your raid will be grouping up, a lot. You will also be able to easily walk up to bridge your WG with the melee. With the constant raid-wide damage, WG is extremely useful in this fight.
  • RR: WG and lifebloom easily make up for not using the quicker ticks of this glyph, since the raid is mostly grouped up. The longer ticks of an unglyphed rejuv will also help those players that are ice tombed, as it will continue to heal them even when they are in ice tombs and suffocating, if applied just before they are tombed.
The Lich King
  • Swiftmend
  • Nourish: even with three healers, you will be tank-healing a decent amount. It also helps if you get sucked into the blade in P3 and you need to heal Terenas.
  • RR: given the amount of movement and tank healing and heavy damage in this fight, faster-ticking rejuvs are a blessing.
  • WG: your raid should be clustering together often enough to make WG useful; however, the RR trumps it. If you want to replace any glyph with WG, I recommend replacing Nourish with it.

So, how about other raiding trees? Are you needing to carry around extra glyphs to swap them around mid-raid? Is this a phenomenon limited to the 10-man raiding scene, where nourish abounds in usefulness for many fights?


LawGirl said...

For dps I never switch out my glyphs. Except taking away glyph of thunderstorm to knock around adds in Deathbringer, which I only do in ten man. With my healers I have to switch out glyphs much more often. On the druid your list makes sense, I generally have to switch some glyphs out while raid healing, and now I do arena so I have to get even more glyphs for that. On my shaman I noticed that I am having to switch out glyph of lesser healing wave for the extra mana regen from water shield cuz certain fights are hard on my mana pool. Hey, ToC made me think I could totally gear haste/crit, I never needed as much Mp5 for those fights. So I switch the glyph out, which helps out a lot. Especially on that big old dragon that you can't overheal.

Leiyan said...

I raid 25s mostly, and like you I've pretty much found that the Swiftmend, Nourish, and Wild Growth glyphs are my stand by favorites.

However, like you, when it comes to Valithria, as a drake healer, I have been using Rapid Rejuv in place of WG. I did heal Prof. Putricide in 25s with the RR glyph, thinking the extra energy on the Abom was worth it. However, after a few wipes, I put the WG glyph back in. It felt to me that getting an added WG target outweighed the faster Rejuv ticks.

But, yes, lately I do carry two stacks of extra glyphs with me. It's a bit annoying, but sometimes you just need every advantage you can get.

Thanks for taking the time to write this awesome blog, it's easily my favorite source for Resto Druid information.

Kae said...

Glad to be of service, Leiyan :) I can see the WG glyph being overall more useful more often in 25s, due to the larger number of players running around.

Kay: thunderstorm... oh I bet that's funny to see :) I had fun with typhoon the little bit that I have played in chicken-form, back in Naxx. The knockback makes me cackle maniacally.

Josh said...

I made the switch a few months back to Rapid Rejuv, Nourish, and Wild Growth and haven't looked back. Losing swiftmend was a little bit annoying the beginning but now it's become 2nd nature to reapply rejuvenation after a swiftmend.

Attackattack said...

I'm ret we dont switch glyphs - and of course holy pallys dont have a whole ton of choices when it comes to glyphs!

Cuantro said...

Yeah I am coming to that place too where switching is almost mandatory. I run with WG RR and Swiftmend. We are in P2 of arthas as well and honestly I am healing it on my disc priest because I found resto healing on arthas to be a waste. For Heroic mode each fight is definitely going to require it's own set of glyphs.

Jen said...

I'm fighting it and I think I'll just swap RR for Swiftmend and be done with it. It's not like I always manage to keep Rejuv up anyway... and despite Grid showing it, I never notice other druids' Swiftmendable HoTs.

Min/maxing is fine, but this is too much for me (along with changing specs and gemming for particular fights). The only concession I made to "tailoring" myself was get Revitalize for Putricide, but that's because I figured some extra mana can't hurt in the other fights either.

Kae said...

I can't get away without Swiftmend, unfortunately. The next cast after it, particularly when healing a tank, is nourish, which is buffed by those hots, and often when the tank is a sliver off from death and every second counts.

I suppose it is useful that my husband is a scribe :)

Anonymous said...

I've actually got 5 stacks of glyphs in my bags (RR, Rejuv, Innervate, WG, Noursih) and swap them out when needed. Although, for the time I've dropped my balance spec for a "Valithria" spec, so I'm not using many of the WG/Nourish glyphs currently, because I have them glyphed in that spec.

However, I frequently swap up RR, Rejuv and Innervate based on the fight I am doing, and if I'm in the 10s or the 25s. :)

Kae said...

Where do you find bag space???

...I can't give up my lucky rock or Archmage Vargoth staff!

Unknown said...

I think it depends on the healer I'm running with.
If I'm running 10s with a disc priest, ok I run RR, WG, SM and just make sure they don't have to concentrate on the raid, and snipe in when it looks like they need me to.
I run 10s with my shaman friend, I'm nourish, wg, sm.
The holy priest 10s sm, rr, nourish
The Paladin (haven't had the option yet.. wtb 2nd pally in guild for 10s).

But for 25s. If we run 1 pally and 2 disc priests (wtb 2nd pally so 1 holy doesn't have to swap disc for val). I have a RR,WG,SM, as having enough ST healers I've not had to nourish much, but instead cover with WG and synergistically triggering my compatriots RG when a ranged or melee is being dumb. But then on val, I just swap my WG for nourish. I actually like the WG and cast it on the dragon and help the other healers keep the raid nice and tidy (woot a 10k hot, is orgasmic). For sindragosa.. still ? if I want to run my RR, but with the option being nourish.. bleh. But since LB large swaths of the raid for the initial, and hopefully managing never to get hit with the casting debuff (along with many stacks of the mystic buffet) by not being a LOS fail in stage 3 .. I guess if pally 1 is LOS fail, and disc 1 is los fail.. maybe I'll have to heal the tank? And since healing in stages 1-2 is pretty light duty and not really important enough to impose glyph necessity... maybe nourish?

I guess I see my druid as more of the AOE neutralizer. I don't puts much with the tanks other than a few quick swoops, but mostly I just saved ranged I watch are getting close to pulling agro >.< Or trying to save a melee. hrm. I just trust our tank healers.. because if I don't.. they'll never learn. If I'm the tank healer... which is rare... I swap specs, gear, and glyphs though . Not like I don't keep 2 resto specs up already for a hasted 4 piece CF rj/wg or a less hasted, slightly more crit rg/rj/wg/nouish.

I'm a relatively new druid though. hrm..

Niniel said...

I carry some stacks of Rapid Rejuv, Nourish and Wild Growth to switch around in ICC 25 man depending on fights. Not that I really have to, just that I want to push through some extra healing :)

Siobhann said...

I've gone with Nourish, RR, and WG. I miss glyph of Swiftmend, but I made it thorough BC without it well enough.

Kae said...

BC was lifebloom-based :) Though, I tell you what, I have a nagging fear that Cataclysm will bring about a complete nerf to rejuvenation the way WotLK destroyed lifebloom. Each expansion has radically changed druid healing, so I am just waiting to see what Cata has in store for us!

Jasyla said...

I raid 10s and 25s and carry around stacks of Swiftmend, Nourish, Wild Growth and Rapid Rejuv. I love them all. I wish I had 4 glyph slots. For the most part, RR and Swiftmend stay in all the time, and I switch between WG and Nourish depending on how much raid healing I'm doing.

I always keep HoTs on the tanks, so I find RR invaluable for most fights. WG is probably my least favorite glyph (blasphemy!). I prefer to focus on healing people taking a decent amount of damage (Vile Gas, Ooze Adhesive, Bone Spikes) or focus on the ranged who are a bit spread out and let the shammies and holy priest take care of the people are more grouped up.