Crowd control as a restoration druid
Restoration druids bring two useful crowd control options to a party: Entangle and Hibernate. I’ll talk through each of these, then discuss some tactics I use to make these easy to manage while still maintaining full healing. (We can also Cyclone for a short duration CC, but I tend to save that for emergency situations, see below.)
Healing should still be your first priority. Your CC will lessen the damage on the party, and should make healing easier on big pulls, especially in the first few seconds of battle before anything is killed. Despite all of the notes, don’t be intimidated by managing CC while healing – it will make your role in the party more dynamic and fun 🙂
It is possible to use both of these CCs at once, but I’d only recommend it if you feel comfortable with doing so, and your tank is comfortable with the limitations involved with a healer CCing (see below re hit cap and aggro.)
As the spell says, works on beasts and dragonkin. This mean it’s useful in Grim Batol on the dragonkin, and *can* be used on the beasts in Tol’Vir – but they tend to be non-elite. Unlike polymorph, this does not heal the mob while they sleep – this is important in Grim Batol, as any dragonkin damaged during the bombing run can be hibernated without affecting their wounded state.
Any damage will break this CC.
This will be your mainstay of CC in most instances, so practice using this while soloing (along with its close cousin Natures grasp).
Entangling roots can be cast on any mob (that’s not generally CC immune). It just stops a mob from moving, it does not stop them from using any abilities that can be used at range, so it’s best cast on melee mobs. If it’s cast on a caster, healer or hunter mob, they will keep right on casting, healing or pewpewing the party, so make sure your party leader understands that.
This CC will not break with a small amount of incidental damage.
You can glyph to make this instant cast, but with a 5 second cooldown – so you may want to consider swapping out a major glyph if you CC often.
Marking up CC in Grim Batol
Hit cap (or lack thereof)
If you are geared strictly in healing gear you will be low on hit. This means that both you and your tank need to understand that a) your initial spell might not land and b) it may break earlier than expected. In both cases it’s likely that the mob will make a bee-line straight to you.
I overcome this by re-ccing the mob fairly often well before the duration ends. Well before. Perhaps paranoidly before 🙂 I basically use a spare GCD every 10 seconds or so to reapply my CC.
Remember that in large group pulls, minimizing the damage at the start of the pull is the main game. So don’t stress out too much about your CC breaking early – it’s given yourself and the party some time in the first 10 seconds of the fight to stabilize incoming damage and control the mobs.
As mentioned above, when the CC breaks unexpectedly, there’s a large chance the mob is going to head straight to you. I manage this in a few ways:
a) I keep my camera pointing with my CCed mob(s) in view so I can keep an eye on what they are up to
b) I try and stand withing 15 yards of the tank, and with the tank between myself and my CCed mob, so that if it breaks it has to run through the tank to get to me. Also, standing only 10-15 yards behind the tank means the tank can easily pick the stray up witha TC or swipe or whatever.
c) Natures grasp. If you don’t have this on your bars, and hot keyed, do it now! As soon as your CC’ed melee mob breaks, pop NG and head towards the tank. One hit, the mob will be re-CCed near the tank and you can safely step away. If you are still getting beaten on, don’t forget you can cyclone your target to give you enough time to scream out for help.
Using Entangling Roots in Vortex Pinnacle
Managing healing while CCing
As a bare minimum, I recommend having your CC spells hotkeyed.
I actually bind to a focus macro so that I don’t need to keep my CC targeted,
/use [@focus] Entangling Roots
(or if I’m running two CCs I use one on my target, and one on my focus. I have /focus keybound as well so it’s quick to set up each pull – but that’s just me.)
I heal using mouseovers in any case, so it’s not a target-switching nightmare. If you are used to healing your target, you might find it’s easier to make the move to mouseover healing. There’s lots written about this elsewhere, but it will help you manage both healing and cc simultaneously.
One final thing, if they don’t already do this: ask your tank to make your CC the first one to break once the group is under control, so you can focus back on healing full time.
(I mainly run with a warrior tank, who leaps into each group and aoe-stuns them, allowing CCers to do their thing. He then backs off and lets the uncced mobs come to him, allowing him to maintain aoe threat on the remaining group. This means I can CC and be ready to heal before the tank starts taking damage, which is ideal.)
1. Wait for your party leader to assign your CC target
2. Set your focus accordingly (It may help to select your party leader and ‘assist’ them to acquire your target)
3. Wait for the tank to pull
4. Cast your CC
5. Focus on healing the tank/party – but whenever you have a spare moment, re-cast your CC.
6. If your CC breaks, cast NG, step towards the tank and wait for the mob to be picked up/re-entangled.
Simple! Hope you enjoy the new dungeons, and this new dimension we bring 🙂