Symbiosis: Healer abilities that we might want

So with the official unveiling of the new Level 87 talent called Symbiosis Druids are wondering what types of abilities might be available to “copy” and how useful they will be for us. Symbiosis might prove to be incredibly difficult to balance because of the vast amount of combinations that will be available.

Today I want to go over what Resto Druids will possibly get from other healers and what we might personally desire. First, there will be a few clear-cut rules with this talent:

  1. No mana regen abilities- Symbiosis is not going to copy Hymn of Hope or Mana Tide Totem and conversely other healers are not going to receive Innervate. Devs won’t let this happen for balance reasons, so there’s no point in even talking about them.
  2. Class-defining abilities- We won’t be copying Beacon of Light, Prayer of Healing, or Divine Aegis. These abilities define other classes and will be too difficult to balance. Symbiosis will be a fun addition to our healing toolset, but Blizzard won’t want other class-healing abilities to dominate our output.
  3. Any of the 3 base direct heals- We already have our own. Blizzard won’t give us a copy of Divine Light or Flash Heal.

With that being said, let’s dive into each healer’s toolbox and see what we can benefit from.


Abilities we don’t want/won’t get:

What we might want:

  • Hand of Protection- Useful for saving the Mage that pulled aggro. Also useful to save yourself from physical damage effects.
  • Hand of Sacrifice- The signature Paladin damage reduction cooldown. I could see many Druids salivating over this spell. In return, Paladins could receive Ironbark.
  • Holy Shock- I’m not 100% sure if offering this spell would be beneficial or not. It is the staple Paladin instant-cast spell, however I don’t see it being very beneficial to our own toolset. We have other spells that are more efficient.
  • Divine Favor- It’s a good throughput cooldown, however, temporary Haste buffs are always fairly iffy between breakpoints.
  • Avenging Wrath- This would be nice. A flat 20% output cooldown.
  • Aura Mastery- This is becoming the new Devotion Aura in MoP and won’t require Auras. I can see it being a useful magic-damage cooldown for PvE.


Abilities we don’t want/won’t get:

  • Renew- We already have Rejuvenation and it heals for significantly more.
  • Holy Word spells- We don’t have Chakra, so these spells are out.
  • Shadowfiend- Mana regen spell.
  • Hymn of Hope- Mana regen spell.
  • Divine Hymn- Nice try. The Devs are not going to let us copy Holy’s signature raid cooldown.
  • Prayer of Healing- A class-defining ability that could easily overwhelm our own AoE toolkit.
  • Penance- It sounds good, but without Grace it heals for a poor amount.
  • Circle of Healing- A spell that defines Holy Priests. We already have Wild Growth. We don’t need another mindless AoE spell.
  • Desperate Prayer- We have an option to get Renewal from our own talent tree which is a copy of this spell.

What we might want:

  • Prayer of Mending- I can see us getting a lot of use out of this spell. It’s an easy fire-and-forget spell that would compliment our toolkit.
  • Guardian Spirit- Yes, it’s possible we might see Guardian Spirit in our toolkit. In return, Holy Priests could receive Ironbark which would be valuable to them too.
  • Pain Suppression- Again, we could link up with a Disc Priest for this spell. They could benefit from an additional tank cooldown with Ironbark.
  • Power Word: Shield- We could see Druids having their first ever absorb ability. However, Power Word: Shield isn’t really worth casting as Holy unless you want the Body & Soul buff and I have a feeling the same might apply to Druids.
  • Lightwell- Honestly, I know a lot of players who loathe this spell including a decent chunk of the Priest community. Being a former Holy Priest, I consider this spell to be very valuable. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing this ability implemented with Symbiosis.


Abilities we don’t want/won’t get:

  • Pretty much any totem- We don’t have the ability to set totems down. Druids being able to set totems would likely cause design problems.
  • Healing Rain- With the implementation of Healing Shrooms, we won’t want nor do we need another AoE ground healing effect.
  • Chain Heal- A class-defining ability. It could easily overpower our own AoE toolkit.
  • Spiritwalker’s Grace- Being able to heal on the move is very nice, but we already do that fairly well already. Even Shaman have found this spell extremely situational.

What we might want:

  • Riptide- An instant cast heal with a HoT attached. Sounds very Druidic! This spell would easily scale with our Mastery as well. The only downside is that we won’t benefit from Tidal Waves. In return, Shaman could get Lifebloom.

Overall, Shaman really don’t offer too many desirable options for us (at least ones that are viably balanced), so our best bets will be Paladins or Priests depending on the ability offered. My only other pondering question I have for Symbiosis will be whether it copies spells BEFORE or AFTER glyphs are implemented. It will be interesting to say the least.

All I can say to Druids is this: Start getting real chummy with your Holy or Disc Priests!

8 Responses

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  1. As a Priest, I’d hope Druids won’t get Prayer of Mending or Power Word: Shield, unless Blizzard gets around to letting them stack. It can be annoying enough with multiple Priests running around without having to track what the Druids are up to as well.

    I suspect Lightwell probably falls into the Class/Spec defining column at least from the Devs point of view. Although handing it out through Symbiosis would be another way to get more people yelling “Click the Lightwell”, so who knows.

    As a Druid, I’d love Prayer of Mending, possibly more than any of the other options.

    Interested in how it’s going to work though. Potentially having to have a spare keybind free on non-Druid classes to bind a possibly awesome ability on the off-chance you get Symbiosis could be annoying and a bit of squeeze.

    Also can’t help wondering what Resto Druid ability we would get in return. Lifebloom to allow for more per raid? Ironbark could be a possibility but how many cooldowns is too many to trivialise raid content (especially since the MoP talent trees contain a few new ones). It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how it develops.

  2. As a priest, I would almost assume outright that Prayer of Mending is going to be the ability that is passed on to restodruids. It really is the obvious choice, and I think all healing druids would be very happy to have the “frisbee” as a part of their arsenal. Penance might be an option, but as noted, it would also be rather weak without Grace, and Lightwell is definitively handled as one of those “awesome cooldowns” that make or break a Holypriest.

    In return, swiftmend sounds really nice as Holy (if it works with Renew), but would be pretty worthless for a Disc priest. Wild Growth sounds really awesome as Disc, but would be pretty wasteful as Holy due to the existance of Circle of Healing. Ironbark would croach into the cooldown territory though, so I don’t really believe in this.

    But one general choice that would make sense to pass onto a other healers is Combat Ress. It might however be rather boring in a 10man where you can only use one of them. But in a 25man, or 5man – it be pretty useful.

    1. I think a big issue with giving Swiftmend out would be the fact that it can only be used with a Rejuv or Regrowth HoT on the target. Spells like that wouldn’t really be viable.

      I hope they don’t hash out combat rezzes. Not only would it take away from Druid utility, but it’s rather boring. I’d like to see healing spells or cooldowns being copied rather than utility spells.

      I wanna be a tree that can pop “wings!”

  3. I am really excited for Symbiosis. I think it’ll be interesting to figure out depending on the situation when to use it and what for. Will be nice to see officially what we can end up “stealing” :D

  4. I too am really looking forward to this ability and hope it doesnt just boil down to best option is class X and you never get to use it on anyone else. The wording suggests it would not work this way but maybe getting a different spell from Disco priests thzn holy would be nice.

    Another question is in 5 mans there may not another healing class so what do you get from DKs, Warriors, Rogues, Hunters, Warlocks or Mages.

    Would not expect anything that useful for healing from them but some defencive CDs might help and would love to see Heroic Leaping trees

  5. Not only the Brez taking away Druid utility, but the last thing we need is another class handing out unglyphed Brezzes. There are few things that frustrate me more than a twitchy DK in a pug popping a Brez on someone and watching them get one-shotted right back down.

  6. Just found your site, sorry posting on an older topic. :) I currently do arenas with a druid. I wonder how this would play out with Cat and a Disc Priest? In someways, I see this as the warlock Dark Intent spell, where both people get a dmg/healing buff, based on crits; only certain classes will really provide the Druid a benefit.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Eride!

      There’s a lot of speculation about Symbiosis and we really don’t know what it’s limitations will be until Beta. I do think you are right in the sense that it will work like Dark Intent where some classes will benefit more from it than others.

      We’ll just have to wait and see!

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