Holy Word: Sanctuary vs Efflorescence

I love using Holy Word: Sanctuary on players in melee only to find that the Efflorescence from druids already beat me to it. Both effects can easily be stacked on top of each other for extra AoE healing. Great times for this would be on Blood Queen or on Festergut, for example.

On the other hand, I’ve found that it can be a redundant AoE overheal especially when the affected players aren’t taking that much damage. As a priest, I can place a Sanctuary down wherever I like. A druid can just about do the same, but the flowerbed only appears beneath the target of their heal.

Already in raids, I’ve been in situations like this:


Blue dots represent players. The large, transparent circles represent the area of the AoE healing effects. A well placed Sanctuary can cover players standing far from each other but Efflorescence is limited to the target’s location. Has anyone else seen cases similar to this? I just find it funny in a sense. Come on guys! Recognize that these circles are good things to stand in! As a guideline, I think druids have melee players covered. Holy priests can park Sanctuary on range if the melee isn’t in need of it. Thinking ahead to Sindragosa for tonight, I have a feeling we’ll be stacking these for players at melee range.

Side note, I participated in beta tests for Blackwing Descent and Bastion of twilight on sunday. They’ll be appearing on WoW Insider sometime soon. Great encounters, Omnitron especially. Blizzard has not shown any signs of lacking any raiding creativity yet. Lots of promise for us raiders.

15 thoughts on “Holy Word: Sanctuary vs Efflorescence”

  1. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use Sanctuary on the melee since they have a more or less static and grouped position? With Efflorescence having a broader reach, wouldn’t it be more flexible to reach different groups of ranged?

    Just wondering though.. I’m not in a position to test either approach 🙂

    • Zusterke: You would think it makes more sense ^^. After two days of raiding though, maybe my druids just have an affinity for healing up the melee. It could just be my guys, period.

  2. It varies from fight to fight. By nature ranged DPS are not really going to actively move out of position into an efflorescence puddle. ICC25HM damage is too spiky and fast to make that kind of transition really practical and more than likely they are too busy maximizing their rotation.

    The diagram shown is very much a possibility when it comes to casting the spell on ranged players. A lot of fights in ICC encourage spreading out limiting Efflorescence to a small number of ranged players more than likely. Melee tends to be the preferred location for Efflorescence to maximize its output however even then only the aura damage fights let it reach its maximum potential. I’ve been look at logs for ICC25 and it seems that the effectiveness for both Living Seed and Efflorescence (6 talent points mind you) can drop off to next to nothing depending on the encounter (very similar to Trauma actually).

    One can only hope in the slower more deliberate raid environment of Cataclysm that every little bit of healing matters and that DPS would be willing to shift over a few feet to get into the Efflorescence puddle. Given that it lasts for only 7.5 seconds the onus will still be on the druid to place it intelligently so that nearby ranged wouldn’t need to move that far to get to it with enough time left to benefit from it.

  3. I’ve just gone through trying to explain potential uses of the 3 Chakra states and Revelation effects on our blog – I see a lot of potential in stacking Sanctuary with Efflorescence or also PW:Barrier, depending on what raid units are concerned. Take a DPS-race situation like Hodir heroic for example, where the entire raid would take a lot of AoE-dmg and you would also have all your ranged relatively stacked around one point or beacons, combining the effects there should be lovely! =)

    It would ofc be a big overkill in an average situation.
    I imagine that in most ‘standard encounters’ we will be using Sanctuary on the melee/MT camp, if mana allows us to.

  4. I haven’t done a 25-man since patch, but efflorescence definitely has its issues. First, the duration of the efflorescence is about half of the cooldown duration on swiftmend (which triggers it). Second, sometimes DPSers are standing where you least expect them to be standing, so it’s like wasting your heal if they’re off in some corner where they shouldn’t be. And finally, the fact that swiftmend triggers it means we won’t use it to force efflorescence half the time. If someone’s life needs saving and they’re off by themselves but our NS is down, we’ll likely use swiftmend regardless. And so the efflorescence is often ill-time in that regard.

    In this sense, it’s a rather weak spell in comparison to the other ground area spells. Which is unfortunate.

    If I were still raid leading, I’d most definitely stress the importance of spreading, on fights that require it, but I’d stress for people to stay within “radial range” of heals like these. The same was stressed for chain heal. “Spread, but stay close enough such that CH can jump between players.” When you do that, and people are smart enough to understand it, you’ll be able to hit at least a few people with the area heal while they maintain the required spread for fights like Saurfang, BQL or Festergut. And because it’s a pre-positioned spread, there is no superfluous movement which causes DPS to drop too much.

  5. I was also testing last night, i rolled with a shammy instead of a priest and the first thing I thought was, boy do these AoE heals come in handy, especially in the Tron Council fight. Did you try this fight in 10 man or 25 man? I ran with a 25 man group and mana was a bit of a pain at around the 35% mark.

  6. I was also testing last night, i rolled with a shammy instead of a priest and the first thing I thought was, boy do these AoE heals come in handy, especially in the Tron Council fight. Did you try this fight in 10 man or 25 man? I ran with a 25 man group and mana was a bit of a pain at around the 35% mark. How was your mana holding up?

  7. That’s a shame, I think healing is the best part of that fight. Are you playing on the PvE realm? I wouldn’t mind running some stuff with you and chatting it up about healing and whatever else.

  8. I found Efflorescence incredibly useful last night when we did Sindy HM and RS. As we stack both ranged and melee in these fights myself and the other druid organised who was looking after melee/ranged and kept it up pretty much each time it was off cool down. I’ve decided I’m really excited about it and the potential it has.

    Druids are going to start being strategic in stacking fights on who to cast Swiftmend on, especially if Efflorescence continues to be as powerful at 85 as it does at 80.

    It was quite sad though seeing people run out of it to begin with 🙁 I made the point of casting it over our fish feasties between attempts to get people a bit more used to it.

  9. I raid 10mans, and that will be my main focus in Cata as well. I think it might be hard to use the PoH chakra effectively in a 10man environment. But Santuary will be really pretty.

    And to be honest, I can’t blame people that they try to get out of ground effects. We’ve all been trained for years on end to get the hell out of the fire…give it some time and people will stand in the right stuff 🙂

  10. Sanctuary’s ability to be dropped on a chosen location makes it an incredibly powerful aoe heal to use in response to changes during combat.

    On Sindragosa HM I was pretty much using Sanctuary for most of the fight, keeping up circles on both melee and ranged groups. In between sanc casts I would cast a ProH where needed only to keep the chakra up, and refresh my pom. If mana allowed, a CoH was used as well to top of the raid. Other than that, Sanctuary was doing the hard work.

    In p2, if you are still using the all move to the icetomb location tactic, you can just drop a circle there prematurely because you know the raid is going there. Even if you have the debuff, you can provide some added raidhealing while not casting.

  11. About Sindy, though; if you’re dropping Sanctuary for the ranged, make sure you’re close enough to the dragon that your tank healers can stand in the goodness and still reach the tank. That might seem obvious but our hpriest was really hit or miss about it the other night, because he’s so raid-focused. I also play a holy priest, so I know what the goodness is, but I couldn’t park my pally in it cause with the changes to Beacon I need to be able to heal the tank directly (plus, not being able to do so made me nervous even before the patch).


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