As a raid leader in a ten man raiding guild the buffs and other benefits that raiders bring with them is something that I consider often. I haven’t lately thought about everything that I bring. I should now that the patch is out and Cataclysm is on the horizon.
Mark of the Wild – Many druids were upset with the MotW change (it is now the same buff as Blessing of Kings) as they think it means they can be replaced with a pally. As a raid leader who has throughout Wrath felt like he had to bring four pallies to a ten man raid because they had the best buffs, I love this change – now I only have to bring one pally for Might.
Innervate – With mana regen becoming the game that healers will be playing in Cataclysm, innervate is going to become more important. Glyph of Innervate can further improve on the mana returns to the raid as a whole. The last time I attempted Lich King (post 4.0.1) there was another druid healer with me and we discussed both glyphing and trading innervates to increase the mana return.
Replenishment – Resto druids can now provide replenishment. I can feel it when there isn’t replenishment in the raid, so I had been waiting for this. This is another change that had made things easier on me personally and as a raid leader.
Barkskin – A good bit of damage reduction on a fairly short cooldown, what more could you want? Oh yeah, to be able to cast it on the tank…
Shadowmeld – Wipe recovery. It isn’t the get out of jail free card that it used to be but it will still sometimes save you a repair bill and your raid a corpse run. It is also the only type of aggro dump that Resto druids have.
Rebirth – Just one of the ways that I make up for other people’s poor play. The infamous ‘brez’ is going through some changes on the beta but ultimately we will still be bringing back the dead mid fight come Cataclysm. Combined with Glyph of Rebirth and Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth it is incredibly effective and leaves you without any reagents to worry about… Look, that five minutes you used to spend running across Dalaran to buy leaves and seeds is now diamonds. For bonus points, add a Nature’s Swiftness to it and instantly reverse a tank death.
Remove Corruption – Decursing of curses, poisons, and magic effects (if talented) all rolled into one spell now. It freed up another binding for me.
Thorns – Thorns was reworked for the patch and now is a DPS-ish cooldown rather than the short buff we are used to. It is great for helping a tank establish threat at the start of a pull or on tank switches. It also puts out decent DPS in its own right and is worth using if you can spare the GCD. I use Glyph of Thorns to make sure it is always ready (and because the other glyph choices are kinda crap).
Soothe – Druids can dispel enrage? Yep, since the patch. I haven’t gotten to try it out yet, maybe I’ll put together a ToC 10 to farm some JP.
Faerie Fire – Now an armor debuff stacking up to 12%. There are a number of other classes and now even pets that can provide this so hopefully the healer won’t have to, but we can.
CC: Again something we aren’t used to seeing lately but making a comeback in Cataclysm.
Cyclone – Short, reliable CC that makes the target invulnerable to attacks. Preferred CC for raid members who need to be locked down.
Entangling Roots/Nature’s Grasp – Roots will only immobilize an enemy so it would be best used on melee. Nature’s Grasp is my go to button when something is chasing me, it has saved me from blood beasts before.
Hibernate – Another CC but you are limited as to what type of mob is vulnerable. I believe that it still preforms a hit check against the caster so it would be better to have a moonkin or even a feral druid employ this spell. This has gotten a fair amount of use in Ruby Sanctum.
Coming Soon: Stampeding Roar – Learned at level 83 this is a short AoE movement speed buff. There are both cat and bear versions of the ability and it is available to all druids. I wish I had this while we were working on Sindy.
Well, all of those things are on my bars. In Cataclysm I may have to move my CC abilities to a more prominent location or come up with more convenient bindings for them. Or maybe I should just assign others to handle it. I would rather dispel than CC any day.