Analysis, Featured, Lunar Guidance, Spells and Talents
Many Restoration Druids probably remember speccing into Omen of Clarity at one point or another while leveling (unless you happened to read about how worthless it was). It has traditionally been considered an ability that’s more useful to Ferals who rely on melee than to Moonkin or Resto Druids. However, with the recent changes in the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, this may all be changing:
As you can see, Omen of Clarity will now equally benefit Druids of all specs who opt to drop a point into it. It’s so good, in fact, that I suspect it will become a core ability to all three specs. Interestingly, they’re doubling the proc rate from 3% to 6% but simultaneously adding a 10 second internal cooldown. As long as your casting frequency is greater than 1/sec, this is at minimum a 0.75% increase in proc frequency.
Expected Proc Rate
We know that the formula for the proc rate of something with an internal cooldown can be expressed as:
PPM = 60 / ((casting frequency/proc rate) + internal cooldown)
Applying this to the new values for Omen of Clarity, our formula will look like this:
PPM = 60 / ((casting frequency/0.06) + 10)
Applying this formula across a wide range of reasonable cast speeds, we find the following PPM:
* A cast speed of 1.0 is only possible while chain-casting Lifebloom with 5/5 Gift of the Earthmother and 0 latency. It’s really just included to make the table look pretty.
As we would expect, Omen of Clarity will proc fewer times per minute as we cast fewer spells that can cause it to proc. Logically, it makes sense to use these “free” spell casts on one of our most expensive spells. Although Healing Touch (Rank 15) costs 1400 Mana, a more convenient and useful choice will probably be Flourish:
At 1125 mana and a seven 7 duration, Flourish appears tailor-made to fit into our Lifebloom rotation. If we assume it’s used while in Tree of Life (and there will be virtually no reason not to use Tree of Life anymore), it costs 900 mana. We can use this number to determine the average MP5 value of Omen of Clarity using the following formula:
MP5 = (PPM * Mana Cost) / 12
If you were to cast a Flourish every time Omen of Clarity procs, OOC would be worth the following MP5:
If, however, instead of using a Flourish (which may not always make sense given the dynamics of an encounter) and instead substituted a Rank 15 Healing Touch, the MP5 values would look like this:
Obviously, what you use will depend on your circumstances (and sometimes you won’t be able to allow it to disrupt your Lifebloom rotation), but I wanted to show just how much potential Omen of Clarity has just in case some Restos weren’t sure how good it is.
Druids aren’t the only class to have some form of clearcasting. Shamans, Mages, and Priests do, as well. However, the frequent use of instant-cast spells like Rejuvenation and Lifebloom make clearcasting even more desirable for Druids. Clearcasting procs are determined server side, so it can take more than half a second to find out that your next spell will be free once you’re spell has finished casting. If you were casting a spell with cast time, it’s usually not worth it to cancel and cast another spell that costs more mana instead. If, however, you’ve cast an insta-cast spell that procs Omen of Clarity, you’ll probably notice the proc while waiting for the global cooldown to expire. Gift of the Earthmother, a 5-point talent that reduces the GCD associated with Lifebloom and Rejuvenation to 1.0 seconds, will make these procs more difficult to catch and adjust to, but it should still be possible, especially since there’s an audible sound when OOC procs.
Finally, it’s worth noting that since casing a spell under clearcasting doesn’t use mana, it also doesn’t contribute towards keeping you inside the 5SR. Druids already spend most of their time inside the 5SR, so it’s less significant for us, but consider a situation wherein a Lifebloom cast procs clearcasting, and you switch to casting a spell with a casting time (ex. Healing Touch, Nourish, or Regrowth). Casting that spell won’t put you back inside the 5SR. If you then cast another non-instant spell, you wouldn’t return to the 5SR until after it completes, giving you a 50-75% chance of getting a tick of mana regeneration outside of the 5SR, depending on spell haste, latency, and spell selection. Obviously, encounters where this is plausible will probably be uncommon, but it could be useful in 5-man instances where you generally only have to maintain a triple-stack of Lifebloom on one person.
Omen of Clarity as a non-Restoration Druid
So that’s the good news regarding the changes to Omen of Clarity. The bad news? Unfortunately, it’s still not 100% accessible to Balance Druids; they’ll almost certainly have to spend a couple of “dump” points if they want to get down to the third tier where it resides: 2/2 Improved Mark of the Wild and 3/3 Nature’s Focus (Tier 1), 3/3 Natural Shapeshifter and either 2 points in healing threat reduction via Subtlety or 0.2 seconds off the cast time of Healing Touch via Naturalist.
Luckily, Feral Druids still benefit from 5/5 Furor (Tier 1) and 5/5 Naturalist as well as 3/3 Master Shapeshifter (Tier 2) , making Omen of Clarity an easily-acquired addition to their Restoration investment.
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