This was a topic brought up while discussing Trauma last week, so I thought it would do good to really delve into it for you Trees out there. The choice here is less dependent on fight mechanics than the healadin 4T10 bonus, but is very much dependent on 10-man vs. 25- man.
– For 25-mans… –
The bonus was very much created for the 25-man raiding Tree and it is so incredibly powerful. I remember well the hub-bub when the changes to GotEM went through and we all started to cry over the loss of that beautiful 4T9 bonus, but this bonus is almost better for the raid healing Tree then that one. Having your Rejuvs spawning new ones on people near by makes all that “blanketing” you do that much more effective, especially as the bonus favors jumping to those who don’t have a Rejuv up on them yet. Think of it this way: while you do your 5x Rejuv 1xWG spamming, your HoTs are jumping of their own accord to new people without you having to do a darn thing. Considering that a single Tree can only logically cover about half a 25-man raid, the likelihood of the proc being wasted because everyone already has a Rejuv on them is very low.
Probably the main issue with picking up the 4T10 bonus is that Blizzard felt the need to put very little haste on any of the Tree tier. It was a very disappointing choice on their part, as crit is almost totally wasted on a raid healing druid. That does not mean that it is impossible to reach the haste soft cap while getting the 4T10 bonus. The 25-man raider is helped by having both a Wrath of Air totem and either a Ret paladin or moonkin in their raid, as well, which can’t be assumed for 10-mans. With careful gemming and choices of off-set gear, reaching the haste soft cap even with tier (and Trauma!) is certainly not difficult.
Do you really need to be haste soft capped? If you’re looking to use the 4T10 bonus and raid heal, absolutely. The key to getting the most of the proc is to have as many Rejuvs on the raid at one time as you can. That means that a 1 second GCD is a must. Speccing into Celestial Focus/Revitalize is another must. (Not taking Celestial Focus as a raid healing Tree is like shooting yourself in the foot. Not taking Revitalize is like shooting the rest of your raid in the foot.) As much as it will pain you, gemming into that last bit of haste that you’ll need is a must, too. Those Rejuvs bouncing around your raid will make it all worth it, I promise.
There really is nothing like a Tree using 4T10, Trauma and Althor’s Abacus. Here is my best-in-slot list for 25-mans, maximized for that raid healing experience.
– For 10-mans… –
This is a bit more convoluted than it is with 25-mans. A few of the issues that crop up with this decision is that there is easily attainable ilevel 264 gear, while the only tier available to the 10-man raider is ilevel 251. We all know that spellpower is a major factor for druids, so that’s quite a difference. Added to the above mentioned issue with the terrible itemization of the tier and you’re looking at a serious throughput loss in taking any of the tier pieces. Another real strike against the bonus is that you only have 10 people to cover in these raids, making it far more likely that you’ll simply have almost everyone covered with a Rejuv already.
Interesting to me is the fact that many people claim haste is less useful in 10-mans, which is exactly the opposite of the way things. A druid doesn’t have 4 other healers to cover the spike damage; being able to whip off those fast Nourishes and get back to rolling your HoTs is a must. Haste is a guaranteed throughput boost on every spell you will be casting (up to the 1 second GCD, of course). Your other choice on gear is crit, which only effects specific spells and is -not- guaranteed. Also add in the fact that you aren’t certain to have a shaman or Ret. paladin/moonkin in your raids with you and haste from your gear/spec becomes ever more important. The simple fact is that up until haste soft cap, haste gives a Tree more throughput point-for-point than even spellpower.
So, really, for 10-mans I highly recommend not going for the 4T10 bonus. Heck, even the 2T10 bonus is completely underwhelming for 10-mans when you look at how much you lose.
Here is my best-in-slot list that I made for my own “strict 10-mans” druid. You’ll notice that I gemmed very heavily for haste. This is due to the fact that we almost never have the correct raid buffs.