Today we will be looking at the new Symbiosis spell for Druids and what it will bring to the game, assuming that it keeps the form it currently has in the Beta test. You’re right that it will affect every class, and everyone should learn about it because it means that grouping with a druid, whether for a raid, a 5-man heroic instance, or a PvP battleground, now offers you the possibility that your character can acquire powerful new abilities while the druid gains some of yours.
This adds another level of complexity and decision-making to the game – which has already increased the number of elective and RNG effects involved in an end-game rotation to about twice the number used at the end-game in “Wrath of the Lich King” – but it also opens up many possibilities for exciting, unexpected combinations and more tactical thinking, which translates into more versatility, power, and most importantly, fun.
Bear in mind, though, that the Symbiosis I’m describing here may not appear in the retail version of the expansion. The odds are that some tweaks, changes, nerfs, and buffs will be applied as a result of Beta testing feedback. It’s even remotely possible that Symbiosis will be scrapped entirely from the game, though this seems unlikely at this stage.
Still, what I’m telling you isn’t the last word on Symbiosis and will likely be slightly inaccurate as a guide to this new spell. This is a teaser and general introduction, not a writ-in-stone pronouncement.
The basic idea behind Symbiosis
The idea behind Symbiosis is that a druid can cast this spell on a friendly character (only player characters are eligible – this does not work with NPCs). This gives the druid a new spell based on the class of the target (but not their specific talent spec), while at the same time, the character who is sharing Symbiosis with the druid gains a new ability, power, or spell in exchange. The exact benefit gained depends on both the class and talent spec of the character involved.
For example, if a druid applies Symbiosis to an Arms warrior or a Fury warrior, the warrior gains Stampeding Shout, a shout that gives an area of effect (AoE) speed boost to all friendly characters in a 10 yard radius. The speed increase lasts for 8 seconds, increases speed by 60%, and removes all snares on affected characters – this powerful effect has a 10 minute cooldown, so it should be used prudently, as when the crucial flag of a battleground is being run. Protection warriors, on the other hand, gain Frenzied Regeneration, which has a 1 minute cooldown and allows the warrior to covert rage into health, with 3 rage buying 1% of health (a maximum of 60 rage, or 20% of total health).
In return, the druid gains various abilities depending on their talent spec.
- Balance druids, in this instance, would be granted Intervene, which permits them to dash forward towards a friendly character in their party or raid and take the next melee or ranged attack aimed at them.
- Feral druids obtain Shattering Blow, an instant cast attack with a 5 minute cooldown, which either removes an invulnerability effect, such as a paladin’s “bubble”, or else lessens the target’s armor by 20% during a ten second period. It also inflicts damage and causes the druid to switch into cat form.
- Guardian druids (yes, there is a new classification for tank-specced feral druids in Mists of Pandaria) gain Spell Reflection, an instant-cast, 2 minute cooldown spell that does exactly what it advertises – reflect one hostile spell cast on the druid within 5 seconds of us.
- Last but not least, Restoration druids can buy themselves some elbow room in a fight with Intimidating Roar, which causes a paralyzing fear effect on 6 foes within 8 yards, so that they cower harmlessly for 8 seconds, giving the healing druid the opportunity to make a clean getaway.
Other details of Symbiosis
The effects described above only scratch the surface of the possibilities offered by Symbiosis. Some classes gain only one effect for all three of their specs, while others gain a different effect for each. Druids receive different powers for each spec, however. Some of the more spectacular examples include:
- Becoming Symbiotic with a paladin gives a Balance druid Hammer of Justice, the paladin class’ signature six-second stun.
- Symbiosis with a mage grants a Restoration druid Ice Block, the invulnerable, ten-second ice sheath that frost mages now sport when they are near the end of their health.
- On the flip side, Discipline and Holy priests gain Entangling Roots, while Elemental and Enhancement shamans obtain Solar Beam, an AoE silence and interrupt.
The system is clearly a very intriguing one and greatly changes druids’ role in both PvE and PvP content. It also gives all classes more flexibility. No longer is the Mage facing off against you in the battleground incapable of healing himself if he has a druid ally who cast Symbiosis on him, while a rogue may now have Growl, granting her 330% extra armor and a taunt, making her capable of briefly tanking when the tank has bitten the dust (or making her less “squishy” in the battleground).
Learning how your class can benefit from Symbiosis if you are not playing a druid, and what kind of benefits you will gain from other classes if you are playing one, is destined to be one of the keys to play success in Mists of Pandaria if Symbiosis remains largely unchanged from its current form.
Want to learn more about Mists of Pandaria and the exciting new changes it will bring to the WOW landscape?
These guys have it all. Click here to find out more