Hello Guardians!

As you all probably know by now, the first PTR build for content patch 5.2 was deployed on Friday. Unfortunately the PTR servers didn’t come up before I left on vacation. I haven’t had time to test anything specific, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell you exactly what the changes were. Blizzard was kind enough to also post some patch notes before everyone started their holidays. I’m basing my reactions on this document primarily – however I will defintely be doing some testing when I get home later this week.

Patch Changes

Displacer Beast has been redesigned. It now triggers Cat Form and grants 50% increased movement speed for 4 seconds after teleporting, and no longer activates Prowl.

Lets be honest here. No PvE Guardian actually gives a shit about Displacer Beast. Honestly I think this version is way better in terms of being an escape – but that’s just my personal opinion.

Cenarion Ward now grants 100% increased healing.

Now this is….interesting. Previously the problem with Cenarion Ward was that it was too goddamn terrible to be of any use when compared to Nature’s Swiftness, and it would almost always go to overheal. I’ve put together an SS to model how both CW and NS+HT scale with various stats. I *think* it’s correct, but I want to double check with in-game observations before I post it.

That being said my initial results are that CW is now much, much better for raw healing than NS+HT. For a tank (especially in heroic raiding) I expect CW to become the defacto choice because of how well and how often it helps you recover from spike damage. Even more reason to hope you have a holy paladin in your 10m group.

Frenzied Regeneration now scales 10% more efficiently with attack power.

Oooookaaayyyy? I’m confused as to where these buffs are coming from. I guess it could be that we have no way of preventing spike damage that isn’t on the combat table or from melee swings (outside of cooldowns). I mean I’m not really complaining, but since highly skilled Druids have had no particular trouble with anything outside of Lei Shi I’m just really confused. Rage stats will become more valuable as a result.

Tooth and Claw now scales 10% more efficiently with attack power.

Sure? I wonder what they’ll say when we actually start caring about Haste in great quantities and actually have the RPS to be able to use T&C when it’s available. The only reason we aren’t using it now is because SD is (and still is) better. In the next tier our RPS is going to go up a *lot* and we’ll be able to use T&C basically on cooldown.

Mastery: Nature’s Guardian now provides 20% more armor per Mastery rating.

And here’s my “WTF!?!” face. After writing a post about how I expected us to be able to cap Armor sometime close to the end of the expansion because of the VP upgrade system, they go ahead and do this. So what does that do to the amount of Mastery required to cap?

Even without whatever change Blizzard decides to make in the end because of the item upgrade system, we will almost 100% certainly be capping Armor by the end of the expansion. Further when dealing with Melee damage you will want to stack Haste/Mastery pieces after Hit/Exp capping in 5.2. This means that you will end up building more than 1 tanking set if you’re a heroic raiding Guardian. One for RPS/DPS, and another for mitigating pure melee hits.

Revive and Mark of the Wild now cost 55% less mana.

THANK. FUCKING. GOD.

Faerie Swarm can now snare more than one target at a time.

Meh. It’s so terrible compared to the other options that no Guardian really cares anyway.

Mass Entanglement now has a 30-second cooldown (was 2 minutes).

Orly? This suddenly becomes very interesting. Before Typhoon won based purely on how often it was available. However having ME available that often for fights like Elegon or Empress could prove to be very interesting. I’m actually tempted to try ME on Heroic Elegon and Empress anyway just to see how well it works.

Typhoon now has a 30-second cooldown (was 20 seconds).

Meh. You generally only ever use it once at a time anyway (except during Challenge modes).

The Treants summoned by Force of Nature now deal more damage and healing, and the Force of Nature tooltip will report the capabilities of these summoned pets.

They scale off our AP now (terribly), but they’re still shit DPS when compared to Incarnation, and Taunt still doesn’t do anything useful because they die in one hit. I am however tempted to try them on some encounters just to see what happens though.

Soul of the Forest: Guardian: Generates 3 additional Rage per Mangle.

God-fucking-awful. Incarnation generates something in the area of 3x the RPS of SotF, and scales with Crit. SotF doesn’t scale with anything. It’s terrible. So terrible.

Nature’s Vigil now has a 90-second cooldown (was 3 minutes), and now increases damage and healing done by 10% (was 20%).

Now this, this is actually a pretty sweet buff. When used on CD (assuming equal AP on both uses) it’s an average 83% increase in healing. It’s not even that big of a DPS loss either. It also makes DoC even more terrible than it was – although nobody really cares since nobody took DoC to begin with.

HotW will remain the talent you take for off-role-ing on encounters where it’s advantageous to do so, or if you need/want the extra Stamina.

That’s it for today! Happy holidays!

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