Napkin Math – What can Soul of the Forest do for you?

Soul of the Forest is a rather interesting talent in that it offers us a multitude of options ranging from throughput to mana savings all packaged within one nice talent. There is a lot of math regarding this talent that is accessible out on the internet but I thought I’d offer some napkin math to you if you’d prefer something a bit more simplified.

How it works

SotF grants you a 50% cast speed buff after casting swiftmend. In and of itself this sounds fairly underwhelming but once applied to a Wild Growth you are granted 4 extra ticks per person with the buff applied. This increases the throughput of Wild Growth by approximately 50%. The counter is that Swiftmend has a 15 second cooldown and Wild Growth, when glyphed, has a 10 second cooldown. This has the benefit of us casting wild growth less often, if glyphed, for a greater effect. This increases short duration healing and can add a mana saving effect.

Soul of the Forest as a mana conservator – glyphed Wild Growth used on cooldown

If a one minute interval of a fight is so demanding that you are actively casting wild growth when available you could do so six times over that time frame. Each wild growth would heal 6 people for the standard amount (For the sake of this article I’ll do a smidge of algebra and call “Wg” the amount wild growth would normally heal) totaling 36 x Wg.

With SotF if you want to time your Wild Growths with Swiftmend you are now casting four Wild Growth’s over the course of the minute. Each of these casts will heal 6 people for 1.5 x Wg for a total throughput of 36 x Wg. There is no drop in wild growth though you are much more limited in when you can cast it. The advantage, as mentioned before, is that the healing is more concentrated.

In the ‘on cooldown’ situation, casting 4 Wild Growths versus 6 costs you 33% less mana. Over one minute you will save 27,480 mana or gain 2,290 mp/5.

Soul of the Forest as a throughput gain and mana conservator – time glyphed Wild Growth

In any fight where wild Growth is not used on cooldown and can be timed to line up with encounter damage then soul of the forest is purely a throughput gain. It may not always be an entire fight but you will find some boss encounters where there is an ability every 30 seconds or so (epicenter for example) that you benefit greatly from timing both your swiftmend and wild growth up with.

Soul of Forest as a throughput gain – unglyphed Wild Growth under heavy strain

Please note that in any encounter that strongly does not support unglyphed Wild Growth, you will be at a throughput loss. The glyph’s downside only comes into play when it is needed on cooldown.

When you unglyph Wild Growth things change quite a bit but at the cost of a LOT more mana. This is only advisable on a fight where a.) you can sustain the throughput with lots and lots of mana and b.) you absolutely need all of the wild growths you can. Without the glyph wild growth’s cooldown drops to 8 seconds. As you can imagine two 8 second cooldowns line up pretty well with a 15 second swiftmend cooldown. This changes the math pretty drastically.

As mentioned above, over the course of one minute casting SM and WG on cooldown gives you four casts of wild growth for an output of 36 x Wg (factoring in the bonus for SotF).

Without the glyph you can cast wild growth seven times over the course of the minute. Of these seven, four of them will be buffed by Soul of the Forest. What you get is the following:

4 casts x 5 people each x 1.5 = ~30    for 27 x Wg output

3 casts x 5 people each = 15   for 15 x Wg output

Total = 45 x Wg

Compared to the glyphed scenario you generate 25% more healing via Wild Growth. The downside is that you were forced to cast it 3 more times spending 43% MORE mana. This equates to -41,220 mp/minute or -3,435 mp/5.

Tree of Life

The caveat to what I’ve written is that you are giving up Tree of Life. Hamlet made a good point that looking at Soul of the Forest in a bubble is unwise. While Soul of the Forest breaks even under heavy duress and produces a large throughput gain when timing SM and WG is possible, it all comes at the cost of Incarnation.

Tree of Life gives you a 20% throughput boost with 17% uptime. Which averages out to 3.4% throughput but concentrated on when you need it. ToL also offers mana savings and versatility with its improved WG (12 x Wg per 3 minutes)

Conclusion

This is all extremely simplified napkin math but I hope that it illustrates how Soul of the Forest can be used in multiple situations. The extreme throughput scenario with unglyphed Wild Growth will only be sustainable at much higher gear levels. The question will be at that point, does Incarnation (or maybe even a fixed force of nature?) math out better. What must be carefully monitored is the glyphed WG and SotF combination. At that much higher gear level, how relevant is that 2+K mp/5 we get compared to what our high spirit levels can sustain.

I do highly recommend that you give Soul of the Forest a try. You might find it helps your output by way of raw numbers and mana conservation more than Tree of Life. It was difficult for me to try a load out that didn’t have our iconic ability and I’ve come to enjoy both options quite a bit. I will more than likely return to Tree of Life though, as I prefer what it has to offer but you need to decide what is better for you.

(If there are any math errors in here and you spot them please let me know. The intent was to keep it simple and not use any of my math applications but that always brings risk of error)

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5 responses to “Napkin Math – What can Soul of the Forest do for you?

  1. A better estimate of the increase to each WG is 50%. First of all increasing haste by 50% tends to increase ticks by 50%. Sometimes it will be 1 less or 1 more due to breakpoints (e.g. an 8-tick WG could potentially become 11, 12, or 13. I actually mentioned this to Bink so he could include WG-with-SotF breakpoints in his breakpoint card: http://www.totemspot.com/vb/entry.php?b=41 .

    And interestingly, the way WG works, the added ticks aren’t weaker on average than the existing ticks–it always works out to adding something as strong as the middle tick.

    • You are correct. I mistakenly set WG at 8/11 versus 8/12 and that is a huge deal. It does improve SotF to not be a throughput loss at any time and a gain when you can time your SM and WG. At your suggestion I elaborated on that a little more.

      I did include a section on Tree of Life as it does need to be stated this all comes at a cost. I personally prefer Tree of Life but it is good to see what SotF can bring to the table for some fights.

  2. I like napkins.

    I think this is a great post because it helps to illustrate some of the options we have going into different fights. Generally speaking, I prefer ToL as well. But from the math you have laid out here, it looks like SotF has a much more even and consistant spread vs. ToL’s burst/cooldown style.

    So is the incoming dmg much more consistant, or is it specific to a particular phase of a fight? A quick glyph switch lets us adjust tactics before a pull.

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