Making the most of Efflorescence

One thing I’ve enjoyed since the change is having the ability to make a dent in health bars while the raid is grouped up. This is originally coming from a class that, for the longest time, had a fairly weak healing ground effect. In fact, it was so weak that you got laughed at on the forums for even suggesting it’s uses since it’s HpM was so low. Of course, Holy Word: Sanctuary has been “stealth buffed” for a while now to where it ignores the 6 people or more rule. It’s still somewhat lackluster, but it’s a major improvement and brings it’s output closer to other healing ground effects.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that each healer’s “AoE heal” has a weakness of some sort. Overcoming that weakness is what can really separate an “ok” healer from an exceptional one.

Paladins: Holy Radiance


  • Scales with Haste, Crit, and Spellpower.
  • Has a higher range than other AoE heals.
  • Able to get more ticks by stacking Haste


  • Doesn’t scale with Mastery.
  • Suffers from the 6 or more diminishing returns rule.
  • Heals players for less the farther they are away from the Paladin.
  • High mana cost.
  • No ground effect.
  • Not target-able.

Shaman: Healing Rain


  • Scales from Crit, Mastery, and Spellpower.
  • Larger ground AoE effect than others.
  • You can place it anywhere you want.
  • Triggers Earthliving.
  • Can have 100% uptime.
  • It’s blue!


  • Doesn’t scale with Haste.
  • Requires people to stand in it.

Priests: Holy Word: Sanctuary


  • Scales from Crit, Mastery, and Spellpower.
  • Shiny graphics make it easy to find.
  • You can place it anywhere you want.
  • Currently “bugged” where it ignores the 6 or more people rule for AoE ground effects.
  • Is the longest lasting ground effect.


  • Doesn’t scale with Haste.
  • Requires people to stand in it.
  • Has a smaller radius than other AoE ground effects.
  • Has a longer cooldown.
  • High mana cost.

Druids: Efflorescence


  • Scales from Haste, Mastery, and Spellpower.
  • Free of mana cost.
  • It’s a smart heal, prioritizing healing for the 3 lowest hp party/raid members within the flora.
  • Able to get more ticks by stacking Haste


  • Doesn’t scale with Crit.
  • Only limited to Swiftmend targets. Can’t target the ground effect.
  • Has a smaller radius than other ground effects.
  • Requires people to stand in it.
  • Doesn’t heal everyone at once.

So how do Druids overcome Efflorescence’s weaknesses?

It doesn’t scale with Crit

This isn’t a big deal. All healer AoE effects scale from only 1 major stat and 2 secondary stats. Crit is usually the least effective for most healers and isn’t a stat that’s sought after. Druids got lucky since both secondary stats are the ones we should be utilizing more on our gear.

Only limited to Swiftmend targets. Can’t target the ground effect.

This is probably the biggest hindrance with the ability. Other healing classes can target where their ground AoE goes, but Druids have to think ahead and look for a person who is standing in a preferred area to Swiftmend. But there’s a fairly easy solution for this.

Swiftmend yourself. It took me a little while, but I realized that if I just stood in the place where I wanted it I wouldn’t have to think about where to put it. It takes the pain out of having to guess who would be the most effective target. The most effective target is usually yourself in group-up situations.

Has a smaller radius than other ground effects.

Efflorescence is smaller than Healing Rain, but the graphic is easier to see during raid fights. I see it as a more fair tradeoff than most people.

Requires people to stand in it.

To be honest, you should be casting Efflorescence AFTER the group has clumped up for maximum effectiveness alleviating the need for DPS to run inside it. Most DPS are so locked into their rotations that they really don’t have the capacity to move into a pretty flower circle. Why fight it?

Doesn’t heal everyone at once.

When 4.0 debuted, Efflorescence was extremely weak. In fact, it was so weak that some Druids advocated spending points elsewhere. But Blizzard rectified their little brain-fart in 4.1 where the talent was completely overhauled (by a PTR bug no doubt). It also got divorced from Living Seed which was a lackluster required talent.

The smart heal effect of Efflorescence is really a double-edged sword. It’s SO much better than what it was, but it’s still weak from a number’s perspective. Healing Rain and HW:S don’t have limits to the amount of players healed. Efflorescence does. But, it makes up for it with a smart heal priority effect.


11 thoughts on “Making the most of Efflorescence

  1. “But there’s a fairly easy solution for this. Swiftmend yourself.” So easy a solution I bet most druids haven’t thought about it ^^ Nice read!

  2. nice post πŸ™‚

    As you say, eff was horrible in 4.0, but now is rather cool. The placement of it is an issue, I usually either pop it on myself (as you suggest) or around the tank if we have a few melee together.

    It becomes very good when combined with someone elses AoE, e.g. I stand in the middle of healing rain and then use it on myself, the most injured peeps in the middle get a good bonus on top of the HR. I think we are lucky with it, in that it’s a nice “free” bonus for using SM (which is mana efficient anyway) and when used with non-smart heals like WG it can really help even out the healing.

    Given the short duration, it is definitely better cast after a clump up, and to help with that I usually mark myself as a point to collapse to when needed, (tip: while you can lose raid marks from yourself, pop out a companion and mark the companion and your mark will stay πŸ™‚ ) So everyone just falls back onto the triangle (or whatever). That makes using eff so much better and should maximise its possible healing.

    I think the main problem at times is that people forget that it’s a freebie secondary effect and compare it unfavourable to the likes of healing rain and such, when it can’t really be expected to perform in the same way. Either way, it’s an excellent addition to our tools since they changed it πŸ™‚


    • Thanks for stopping by Kat!
      Initially, I always found an issue with targeting a certain raid member with Swiftmend. My target always seemed to be the mage or hunter that would stand 5 yards outside the group clump making only half the raid in my circle. I ended up just targeting myself and got more output out of the ability. Efflorescence is usually my number 3 heal on WoL beaten only by Rejuvenation and Wild Growth.

      • number 3! I never get it that high ^^ though my next blog post is going to explain why πŸ˜‰ Mine are always LB, rejuv and WG (though not always that order).

  3. I’ve been toying with my druid over the last couple of weeks, mostly as a tank, but also as a healer (oh God, remembering my Clique mousebinds from Wrath was crazy!) and I have to say that I really prefer Efflorescence to the stupidity that is Holy Radiance. It’s so much cheaper in cost, you actually have a target for the center of the effect and you can hit it every 15 seconds. WTB holy paladin version of Efflorescence that doesn’t cost a zillion mana…

    That said, properly specced, my Holy Radiance will also grant me a 4-second speed boost, which has definitely come in handy from time to time, particularly before 4.2 when Divine Protection also granted us the sprint. That’s not something I would easily trade. πŸ™‚

    Good post! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Kurn!
      Holy Paladins have certainly seen the shorter end of the stick with Holy Radiance. It’s fairly clunky and it’s super expensive. I like the idea of it, but I think it would be more worthwhile if it benefited from Mastery over Crit, especially now since Illuminated Healing stacks. Of course, Blizz would probably think that would be OP to some degree though.

      I think Druids are fairly lucky that Efflorescence scales from the 2 secondary stats that they benefit from the most. The same can’t be said for Holy Priests, Paladins, or Shaman which makes their AoE heals less potent than what they could be. Could you imagine if HW:S or Healing Rain scaled with Haste instead of Crit? Most Shaman and Priests would jump for joy.

  4. I’d actually see Sanctuary’s duration as more a bane than a boon, to be honest… While there are times that it’s nice to have that duration, remember that it’s also on the longest cooldown of all of the position-based AoE heals at 28 seconds, talented (didn’t Holy Radiance recently get a buff on the cooldown to 20 seconds? – if not, I stand corrected). 18 seconds is a really long time to be standing in one place, too, with how often boss mechanics force you to move around of late. If you’re not specced into Tome of Light (which I believe a lot of priests are not, or were not, last I checked), it’s actually a 45-second cooldown, which makes it even more prohibitive to use. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from Sanctuary. >.> Bah.

  5. Hey there, found your website through restokin’s blogroll πŸ™‚
    Great post, helps me understand more about the other classes aoe spells that I work with.
    I’d just like to point out that Efflor semi-benefits from crit. If the Swiftmend that procs the Efflor crits, the Efflor heals are based on a percentage of the SM so they’d go up too.
    It’s sort of an “all ticks will crit” vs. “no ticks will crit” situation πŸ™‚

  6. Keep in mind Efflorescence’s ticks are based on the amount of healing Swiftmend does to its target (including over-healing). Knowing this, the ideal targets in a grouped up situation (assuming everyone needs a heal in that group) will be classes/specs with talents that increase their amount of healing received. Two such specs are feral (cat) druids (Nurturing Instinct) and assassination rogues (Quickening). Both of these talents provide a 20% increase in healing taken.

  7. Both vuhdo and grid can support cluster detection. You can use this to spot particularly good people to swiftmend. If you make the indicator only show up when swiftmend is available (and make it big and obvious) then it can serve as a reminder to use it pretty much on cooldown. (I can’t find the grid mod that does this offhand, but I have used it. Vuhdo supports it out of the box).

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