Restoration Druid Guide

Click here for the updated Restoration Druid Guide for Mists of Pandaria.

Welcome to my restoration druid guide for Cataclysm. This guide is directed at PVE raiding (though most of this information is good for 5-man dungeons as well) and should answer most of your questions about how to be an excellent druid healer. The guide is also maintained on Wowhead.

Last update: 4.3

Table of Contents

  1. Stats – What each one does for you and how it’s prioritized. Includes haste break points.
  2. Talents – A description of all the talents in the resto tree and the important ones in the other trees. Includes a basic healing spec as well as a few spec options.
  3. Spells – Descriptions and tips for using all your restoration spells along with some important balance ones.
  4. Glyphs – Descriptions of all the glyphs that could be useful for healing.
  5. How to Heal – General healing tactics and advice on making the most of specific abilities.
  6. Gear – Gear available in T13
  7. Gems and Enchants – How to trick out your gear.
  8. Consumables – What to eat and drink.

Stats

Here are the stats you will find on healing gear and what they do for you.

Stamina

Each point of Stamina gives you 10 health. Stamina is not a stat you have to look for, it will be present on almost all gear. Your health will increase with your item levels.

Intellect

Each point of Intellect gives you:

  • 1 spell power
  • 17.53 mana
  • 0.0015% critical strike chance

Intellect is the strongest stat for resto druids. It increases our mana pool, gives us throughput and increases the effects of mana regeneration that are based on mana pool (Innervate, Replenishment). Amount of intellect should be the first stat you look for on gear.

Spirit

Spirit increases mana regeneration, both in and out of combat. Your mp5 depends on both your spirit and intellect.

Haste

128.05 haste rating = 1% haste

Haste reduces the global cooldown (to a minimum of 1 second), reduces the time it takes to cast spells and can increase the number of times your HoTs tick. Haste is very important, especially to get in those extra ticks. See below for the chart of Haste Break Points.

Critical Strike Chance

179.28 crit rating = 1% critical strike chance

All your heals, including HoT ticks, are capable of critting. Critical heals heal for 2x the amount of normal heals. This is a lower priority stat for druids.

Mastery

143.42 mastery rating = 1% mastery bonus

The resto druid mastery is Harmony. It increases the potency of your direct healing spells (Swiftmend, Regrowth, Nourish, Healing Touch), and after casting a direct healing spell it increases the potency of HoTs for 10 seconds. Mastery is useful for both tank and raid healing druids.

Spell Power

Spell power is only found on weapons. It affects the output of your spells.

Stat Priority

Intellect > Spirit (until mana is not a problem) > Haste (to 2005) > Mastery > Crit

*This is the priority for a raiding druid with a 5% haste buff in the group. For non-raiding druids or those without the haste buff 1601 is a good target.*

Haste Break Points

With certain amounts of haste, you can squeeze in extra ticks of your HoTs. Each table below shows the amount of haste needed to get x extra ticks of each spell. There are two sets of values. First, if you do not have a 5% haste buff and second, if you do.

Lifebloom

Ticks 10 11 12 13 14
Without buff base 640
(5%)
1922
(15%)
3212
(25%)
4488
(35%)
With buff base 0
(5%)
1221
(9.5%)
2449
(19%)
3665
(28.6%)

Wild Growth/Efflorescence

Ticks 7 8 9 10
Without buff base 913
(7.1%)
2745
(21.4%)
4582
(35.7%)
With buff base 260
(7.2%)
2005
(15.6%)
3754
(29.2%)

Rejuvenation

*These breakpoint will also give you an extra tick on the HoT left by Tranquility*

Ticks 4 5 6
Without buff base 1603
(12.5%)
4805
(37.5%)
With buff base 917
(7.2%)
3967
(35.7%)

Regrowth

Ticks 4 5 6
Without buff base 2135
(16.6%)
6403
(50%)
With buff base 1423
(11%)
5489
(42.95)

In order to get a 1 second GCD you would require 6403 haste without the 5% buff, or 5489 haste with it. This is not going to be possible with current gear.

So how much haste should you be looking for? First, figure out if you will consistently have a 5% haste buff in your raid group, and plan around that. Next, pick an attainable target. Here are the above tables organized a little differently to help you pick a good target.

Without 5% buff

Haste Extra ticks
640 11th tick of LB
913 8th tick of WG/Efflo
1603 5th tick of RJ
1922 12th tick of LB
2135 5th tick of RG
2745 9th tick of WG/Efflo
3212 13th tick of LB
4488 14th tick of LB
4582 10th tick of WG/Efflo
4805 6th tick of Rejuv

With 5% buff

Haste Extra ticks
0 11th tick of LB
260 8th tick of WG/Efflo
917 5th tick of RJ
1221 12th tick of LB
1423 5th tick of RG
2005 9th tick of WG/Efflo
2449 13th tick of LB
3665 14th tick of LB
3754 10th tick of WG/Efflo
3967 6th tick of Rejuv
4883 15th tick of LB

If you have the 5% buff 2005 haste is an attainable goal that would give you 1 extra tick on Wild Growth, Efflorescence, Rejuvenation, Regrowth and the HoT left by Tranquility and 2 extra ticks on Lifebloom. Gear for haste, and reforge others stats (crit or mastery) until you hit this number. Once you reach 2005, additional haste will be less useful to you.

If you do not have the 5% buff 1601 haste is a good goal which would give you 1 extra tick on Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Efflorescence and Rejuvenation.

*Special thanks to Hamlet’s TreeCalcs spreadsheet which provided all the neccessary druid math around Haste*


Talents

There are currently a LOT of desirable talents in the resto and balance trees, but unfortunately we don’t have the points to take them all. Individual specs will vary based on playstyle and gear level.

Here is a basic spec that includes all the talents that I consider mandatory for PVE:

Restoration Druid basic spec
This is a very bare bones spec. It leaves 2 points that must be spent in the restoration tree, plus another 10 points that can be spent elsewhere. The mandatory resto talents are:
Natural Shapeshifter
Naturalist
Heart of the Wild
Master Shapeshifter
Improved Rejuvenation
Revitalize
Nature’s Bounty
Empowered Touch
Malfurion’s Gift
Efflorescence
Wild Growth
Gift of the Earthmother
Tree of Life

I have two basic spec suggestions – one for output and one for mana conservation and longevity.

Output spec:

Restoration druid PVE output spec for 4.2Link

This spec has zero points in Moonglow or Furor, so you really need to have the appropriate gear, raid buffs and consumables to pull it off. This spec will put out the most HPS but will be hard to sustain.

Mana spec:

4.1 Resto Druid mana specLink

This is a much safer spec. You get all three points in Moonglow and 2 in Furor – you’ll be able to sustain casting for much longer. In addition, there are two points in Perseverance, which will help keep you alive. If you like the look of the improved Nature’s Swiftness you can take a point away from Perseverance or Nature’s Bounty to get it.

If you want something in-between, play around with the optional talent points. For example, you could take the two points out of Furor and put them in Genesis.

Here’s a closer look at all the possible talent choices for druid healers and how important they are:

Restoration

Tier 1

NoBlessing of the Grove (2 points) – Two points increases the healing of your Rejuvenation by 4%. Though Rejuvenation does make up a large portion of our healing, this gives very little bang for your buck when compared to other talents. See BotG vs. LS and BotG, LS and GotEM for more info on this talent.

YesNatural Shapeshifter (2 points) – Reduces the cost of shapeshifting by 20% and increases the duration of Tree of Life by 6 seconds. This is a prerequisite for Master Shapeshifter in tier 2.

YesNaturalist (2 points) – Reduces the cast time of Nourish and Healing Touch by 0.5 seconds.

YesHeart of the Wild (3 points) – Increases your Intellect by 6%. Intellect gives you a bigger mana pool, more spell power and increases mana regeneration effects. A must have.

Tier 2

NoPerseverance (3 points) – Decreases your magic damage taken by 6%. Damage reduction is always nice, but unfortunately there are a lot of other important talents to take, making it hard to squeeze any points in here.

YesMaster Shapeshifter (1 point) – Increases your healing by 4%. This applies to all healing spells. Take this.

YesImproved Rejuvenation (3 points) – Increases the healing of your Rejuvenation and Swiftmend by 15%. This will also increase the healing of Efflorescence (if you take it).

Tier 3

YesLiving Seed (3 points) – When you critically heal with Swiftmend, Healing Touch, Nourish or Regrowth you plant a Living Seed on the target that will heal for 30% of the amount healed the next time they are hit. Living Seed’s output is disappointing, but the other options aren’t that great either.

YesRevitalize (2 points) – Rejuvenation and Lifebloom ticks have a 20% chance to regenerate 2% of your mana. Also Replenishment to your group when you cast or refresh Lifebloom. This is a necessity in order to regenerate mana, both for ourselves and our groups. Lifebloom should be stacked on the tank (generally) at all times, so this will proc all the time.

OptionalNature’s Swiftness (1 point) – Makes your next nature spell an instant cast and increases the healing done by 50%. While this is a handy talent to combine with Healing Touch for a big emergency heal, talent points are rather tight. If this is something you use often, take it. If it’s something you find stays unused in a lot of dungeons and raids, skip it.

NoFury of Stormrage (2 points) – Makes your wrath spell free and gives you a chance to proc instant Starfires. Sounds like fun, but there is no room for this in a PVE healing spec.

Tier 4

OptionalNature’s Bounty (3 points) – Increases the critical strike chance of Regrowth by 60% and when you have three Rejuvenations active the cast time of Nourish is reduced by 30%. This talent makes Regrowth an almost guaranteed crit – without this talent Druids are lacking in ability to cast large spells quickly.

YesEmpowered Touch (2 points) – Increases the healing done by Healing Touch, Regrowth and Nourish by 10% and these spells now refresh Lifebloom. You will definitely want these spells to refresh your Lifebloom stacks in order to maintain a steady amount of healing on tanks. The increased healing is great too. This is a must have.

YesMalfurion’s Gift (2 points) – Whenever you heal with Lifebloom you have a 4% chance to proc Omen of Clarity and reduces the cooldown of Tranquility. This is our only source of OoC procs, so it’s very worthwhile. Maintaining stacks of Lifebloom at all times means this procs often. This also reduces the cooldown of our most poweful healing spell.

Tier 5

YesEfflorescence (3 points) – Your Swiftmend spell causes healing flora to sprout beneath the target, restoring health equal to 12% of the amount healed by your Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 sec for 7 sec.

YesWild Growth (1 point) – Heals 5 people within 15 yards of the target over 7 seconds. This is our most useful AoE heal. Must have.

OptionalNature’s Cure (1 point) – Allows your Remove Corruption spell to also remove 1 magic effect. To me, this is a must have. There are an endless number of nasty magic debuffs. Being able to get rid of them is a good thing.

NoNature’s Ward (2 points) – When you take an attack at or below 50% health you will automatically cast a free Rejuvenation on yourself. This is a PVP talent. There’s no room for this in a PVE spec.

Tier 6

YesGift of the Earthmother (3 points) – Increases the healing done when your Lifebloom expires by 15% and causes your Rejuvenation to instantly heal for 15% of the total effect. With this, the ‘bloom’ from your Lifebloom is very large and can restore a big chunk of health. The Rejuvenation bonus is very nice too.

OptionalSwift Rejuvenation (1 point) – Reduces the global cooldown of your Rejuvenation by 0.5 second. Since Rejuvenation is no longer blanketed on everyone, and our GCD is already reduced a fair bit by haste I don’t think this is a mandatory talent, though it will increase your output if you use Rejuv a lot.

Tier 7

YesTree of Life (1 point) – Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 120%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarily enhanced while shapeshifted. This is our one major cooldown spell that increases our healing output, reduces our physical damage taken (through armor) and allows us to multi-stack Lifebloom, Wild Growth more people and gives us an extra instant spell. It’s a bargain for 1 point.

Balance

Tier 1

YesNature’s Grace (3 points) – Increases your haste by 15% for 15 seconds after casting Regrowth, Moonfire or Insect Swarm. Has a 1 minute cooldown. If you’re smart about how you use this, it can be very useful. 15% haste will give you extra ticks on almost all of your HoTs. This can increase your output considerably during the proc.

YesNature’s Majesty (2 points) – Increases your critical strike chance for all spells by 4%. Fairly straightforward.

Tier 2

YesMoonglow (3 points) – Reduces the cost of your healing and damage spells by 9%. If you ever have mana issues, this is a must.

NoGenesis (3 points) – Increases the healing done by your HoTs and Swiftmend. If mana is no longer a concern, this talent is great for providing extra output.

Feral

Tier 1

YesFuror (3 points) – Increases your maximum mana. Very helpful for increasing your mana pool, but as mana becomes less of an issue, this talent becomes less neccessary.

To help you decide whether to choose Moonglow or Furor to help out your mana pool, see the math behind the talents. (Spoiler: Moonglow is better!)


Spells

Druids have a heal for every occasion. Here’s a look at everything healing-related in our spellbook.

Restoration

Lifebloom Lifebloom

Cost: 7% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Master Shapeshifter, Revitalize, Malfurion’s Gift, Gift of the Earthmother, Tree of Life, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Lifebloom has become one of our most important spells again though it can only be stacked on one player (when Tree of Life isn’t active). It stacks up to three times and if it expires, it will bloom and heal the person it was applied to for a large amount. Only let Lifebloom expire if the person it’s on desperately needs a big heal and be sure to stack it up again immediately after. It’s important to ALWAYS keep Lifebloom rolling as it returns mana to ourselves and the rest of our group. Lifebloom ticks every second (faster with haste) so it provides a nice, steady stream of heals.

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

Cost: 20% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Blessing of the Grove, Master Shapeshifter, Improved Rejuvenation, Revitalize, Gift of the Earthmother, Swift Rejuvenation, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Rejuvenation is a strong single-target heal over time. Though we shouldn’t be spamming it like we did in Wrath, it should still get a lot of use. Keep one rolling on the tank, use it as a precursor to Swiftmend on melee and use it to counter damage over time effects. Always try to keep 3 rolling at a time to gain hasted Nourishes through Nature’s Bounty.

Regrowth Regrowth

Cost: 35% of base mana
Cast time: 2 seconds
Talents that improve it: Living Seed, Nature’s Bounty, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Empowered Touch, Tree of Life, Nature’s Grace, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Regrowth is fast but very expensive. It heals for a good amount and leaves a 6 second HoT on the target. Use it when you have a Clearcasting proc or when fast heals are needed.

Swiftmend Swiftmend

Cost: 10% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Master Shapeshifter, Improved Rejuvenation, Living Seed, Nature’s Bounty, Efflorescence, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Swiftmend is a large instant heal with a 15 second cooldown that requires either Rejuvenation or Regrowth on your target in order to be used. If you are specced into Efflorescence, make sure you are using Swiftmend on targets that are grouped up.

Nourish Nourish

Cost: 10% of base mana
Cast time: 3 seconds
Talents that improve it: Naturalist, Master Shapeshifter, Living Seed, Nature’s Bounty, Empowered Touch, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow
Use: Nourish is a cheap, slow, small heal. Nourish heals for 20% more if the target already has a HoT on them. Use Nourish to refresh your Lifebloom stacks on the tank if they are not at full health.

Healing TouchHealing Touch

Cost: 30% of base mana
Cast time: 3 seconds
Talents that improve it: Naturalist, Master Shapeshifter, Living Seed, Empowered Touch, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow
Use: Healing Touch is a large heal with a long cast time and expensive mana cost. It is useful for tank healing, but not a great raid heal. It’s best used to refresh your Lifebloom stack on a tank (or other player) who is getting dangerously low on health.

Wild Growth Wild Growth (talent)

Cost: 27% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Master Shapeshifter, Tree of Life, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis
Use: Wild Growth is a talent in the resto tree. It is a smart group heal that heals multiple targets over 7 seconds. Use Wild Growth when many people are taking damage.

Tranquility Tranquility

Cost: 32% of base mana
Cast time: 8 seconds, chanelled
Talents that improve it: Master Shapeshifter, Nature’s Majesty, Moonglow, Genesis, Malfurion’s Gift
Use: Tranquility is a huge, channeled, smart group heal that heals the 5 people with the lowest health and leaves a small HoT on them. With a 3 minute cooldown, Tranquility can and should be used 2-3 times per fight when multiple people are low on health. It provides a LOT of healing for a relative small mana cost.

Nature's Swiftness Nature’s Swiftness (talent)

Cost: 0
Cast time: Instant
Use: This is an optional talent in the resto tree. It is best used in combination with Healing Touch if someone needs a large heal quickly.

Tree of Life Tree of Life (talent)

Cost: 6% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Use: Tree of Life is a talent in the resto tree. It is on a 3 minute cooldown and it increases your healing, armor and modifies some of your other spells. When in Tree of Life:

  • Regrowth becomes an instant cast
  • Lifebloom can be applied to multiple targets
  • Wild Growth heals 2 extra targets
  • Wrath is faster and does more damage
  • Entangling roots becomes an instant cast and does more damage

Tree of Life should be used often, if for nothing else than the 15% healing increase. If you save ToL as an ‘oh shit’ button, you’re missing out on a lot of extra healing output. That said, if you know there is a particularly tough to heal phase on a fight, you can time its use around that.

Remove Corruption Remove Corruption

Cost: 17% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Talents that improve it: Nature’s Cure
Use: Remove Corruption gets rid of 1 poison, 1 curse and (if specced into Nature’s Cure, which you should be) 1 magic effect all with one button. This spell is not cheap and it will be cast even if your target is not affected by one of these debuffs. Use it judiciously.

Omen of Clarity Omen of Clarity

This is a passive effect. Your spells have a chance to put you into a Clearcasting state, reducing the cost of your next spell with a cast-time by 100%. The only healing spell that will trigger this is Lifebloom, which requires the talent Malfurion’s Gift. The tooltip on this is misleading. Clearcasting only affects Regrowth and Healing Touch. Nourish is not affected by it.
Use: Whenever you get a Clearcasting proc, make the most of it. Use Healing Touch if someone needs a large amount of healing or Regrowth they need a smaller amount.

Mark of the Wild Mark of the Wild

Cost: 24% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Use: This is the buff we offer to raid groups. It provides the same buff as Blessing of Kings, so work out who will use it if you’re in a group with paladins.

Rebirth Rebirth

Cost: 0
Cast time: 2 seconds
Use: Rebirth is our in-combat resurrection spell. Use it wisely as it has a 10 minute cooldown.

Revive Revive

Cost: 72% of base mana
Cast time: 10 seconds
Use: This is our out of combat resurrection.

Balance

There are also a few spells in the Balance spellbook that we should be using regularly.

Barkskin Barkskin

Cost: 0
Cast time: Instant
Use: Barkskin reduces our damage taken by 20% and prevents spellcasting delays. With zero mana cost and a 1 minute cooldown, you should be using Barkskin a lot. Use it whenever you are taking damage.

Innervate Innervate

Cost: 0
Cast time: Instant
Use: Innervate restores 20% of your maximum mana over 10 seconds. Use this early and often. Casting Innervate on another person only grants them 5% of their maximum mana.

Thorns Thorns

Cost: 36% of base mana
Cast time: Instant
Use: Thorns is a good way to help your tank build aggro, especially on multiple targets. Note the mana cost on Thorns though, only use when necessary.


Glyphs

Druids don’t get a lot of choices for glyphs. Here’s a review of the ones available to us.

Prime GlyphPrime

There is really no question when it comes to which Prime Glyphs to choose.

The good:

Glyph of Lifebloom – Increases the critical strike chance of your Lifebloom by 10%. Lifebloom is something you should be keeping up 100% of the time, so this is a very valuable glyph. The crit applies to both the ticks and the bloom.

Glyph of Rejuvenation – Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 10%. Rejuv should still be getting a lot of use for raid healing so this is a nice glyph.

Glyph of Swiftmend – Your Swiftmend no longer consumes a Regrowth or Rejuvenation effect from the target. Excellent for two reasons: First, we don’t have to spend the mana to re-apply the HoT if it’s consumed. Second, if you consume another druid’s HoTs you will receive a beating.

The not so good:

Glyph of Regrowth – Your Regrowth heal over time will automatically refresh its duration on targets below 50% health. This may have situational uses, but compared to the other three prime glyphs, it’s still the weakest in most cases.

Major GlyphMajor

In the Major Glyphs, we’ve only one clear winner, one glyph with both benefits and drawbacks and a couple situational glyphs.

The good:

Glyph of Rebirth – Players resurrected by Rebirth are returned to life with 100% health. With this glyph we don’t have to worry so much about battle rezzing at the perfect time to avoid our target dying again due to raid-wide damage. This also saves the mana it would take to heal the rezzed person.

The situational:

Glyph of Wild Growth – Wild Growth can affect 1 additional target, but increases the cooldown by 2 seconds. How useful this is will depend on your raid size, how closely people are grouped up and how often raid damage occurs. Use the glyph when the raid is grouped up or raid damage does not happen often.

Glyph of Healing Touch – When you cast Healing Touch, the cooldown on your Nature’s Swiftness is reduced by 10 seconds. If you don’t have Nature’s Swiftness in your spec, obviously this is a bad choice. If you do it can be quite useful when doing a lot of tank healing.

Glyph of Innervate – When Innervate is cast on a friendly target other than the caster, the caster will gain 50% of the Innervate’s effect. This isn’t terribly useful, but if you don’t have Nature’s Swiftness in your spec, there are few other choices.

Glyph of Thorns – This reduces the cooldown on Thorns by 20 seconds, bringing it down to 25 seconds. Casting Thorns isn’t a huge priority but on fights where a lot of adds are being tanked, or the tanks get some kind of damage bonus, Thorns can but out a fair amount of damage.

Minor GlyphMinor

Minor glyphs don’t affect combat mechanics and are really a matter of personal preference.

Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth – Your rebirth spell no longer requires a reagent. This is the most useful minor for me. It saves an inventory slot and helps avoid the embarrassment of having to announce that you can’t battle rez because you have no reagents.

Glyph of Mark of the Wild – The cost of Mark of the Wild is reduced by 50%. This is useful if you need to buff someone mid-fight.

Glyph of the Treant – Your Tree of Life form now resembles a Treant. If you don’t care for looking like Grampa tree, you can go back to wilted broccoli for your Tree of Life look.

Glyph of Aquatic Form – Increases your swim speed by 50% when in Aquatic Form. This could come in handy if any underwater fights are introduced, but for now it’s just nice for swimming around Vashj’ir.

Glyph of Dash – Reduces the cooldown on your Dash ability by 20%. Could occasionally be useful if you use kitty>dash to move around in fights.

Don’t forget to carry around some Dust of Disappearance so you can switch your glyphs to suit particular fights.


How to Heal

There is not a single correct way to heal. Spell usage really comes down to fight mechanics, group composition, healing assignment and personal preference. However, there are some important things that every druid should know about healing efficiently in raids.

General Strategy

Single Target Healing

Druids have a very good tool set for single target healing. If you’re assigned to tank heal, in general you will want to:

  • Keep up 3 stacks of Lifebloom
  • Keep up a Rejuvenation
  • Direct heal (and refresh Lifebloom stacks) with either Nourish or Healing Touch, depending on how big a health deficit the tank has
  • Use Regrowth or Swiftmend when fast heals are needed.
  • Make sure you are casting a direct heal every 10 seconds to trigger Harmony.

Whether Nourish or Healing Touch is used primarily is really up to you. It all depends how much health your target needs and how much healing they’re receiving from the other healers. If you prefer Nourish, consider keeping an extra two Rejuvenations up on other raid members to decrease the cast time of Nourish by 30% (if specced into Nature’s Bounty).

Multi-target Healing

  • Keep 3 stacks of Lifebloom on a tank
  • Use Wild Growth whenever 3 or more people need heals – this will generally be used on cooldown
  • Use Rejuvenation to stabilize people – you should be able to keep up 3-5 rejuvs at a time (~3 is a good target in 10s, while in 25s you can keep more up)
  • Cast a direct heal (Swiftmend, Regrowth, Nourish, Healing Touch) at least every 10 seconds to trigger Harmony.
  • Use Omen of Clarity procs to spot heal with Regrowth.
  • If someone gets dangerously low on health, hit them with a quick Regrowth or Rejuv then a Swiftmend.
  • Use Swiftmend to proc Efflorescence when people are grouped up.
  • If damage starts getting out of hand, use Tree of Life and/or Tranquility.

These tips are mainly for 10 and 25man raiding. If you’re healing 5-mans Wild Growth and Rejuvenation will be used less.

Tricks and Tactics for Specific Spells

Harmony - resto druid mastery

Harmony

We want to keep our Mastery, Harmony, activated as much as possible. In order to do this, we need to cast a direct healing spell every 10 seconds. If you are tank healing, this shouldn’t require any extra effort. If you are raid healing, you need to make sure you’re casting a direct heal at least every 10 seconds. If you use Swiftmend on cooldown all you need to do is cast 1 other direct heal in between SM casts (I’d suggest Regrowth) to keep mastery activated.  You may need to learn to become more liberal with direct spot healing if you don’t do it already. Create a Power Aura to let you know when Harmony is about to run out to remind you to cast another direct heal.

Barkskin

Barkskin

Barkskin reduces your damage taken by 20%. It costs no mana. It triggers no global cooldown.

  • Use it often.
  • Use it anytime a boss if about to do a large, raid damaging ability.
  • Use it if you get targeted for a damaging attack.
  • For more uses see: Barkskin in Tier 13

InnervateInnervate

Innervate returns 20% of your mana, so it makes sense to use it for the first time once you hit 80% and every time it’s off cooldown from then on. There are ways to increase the effect of Innervate:

  • Innervating while your mana pool is increased (such as when under the effect of Hymn of Hope, Power Torrent or a trinket proc that increases your Intellect) will increase your mana gain, so try to plan the use of these things with your raid.

LifebloomLifebloom

Lifebloom:

Always keep this triple-stacked on someone (usually a tank). If your lifebloom target gets very low on health and your stacks are about to expire, let it bloom for a large heal, then stack it back up immediately. Your uptime on Lifebloom should be as close to 100% as possible.

Omen of ClarityOmen of Clarity / Clearcasting

Clearcasting makes your next Regrowth or Healing Touch a mana-free cast. Use your clearcasting procs every time. Be sure you are aware of when you get a clearcasting proc (the in-game power aura is quite good) so you don’t miss any.

  • Use Healing Touch if you have the time and someone needs a large heal.
  • Use Regrowth if speed is more important, or to help set up a good Swiftmend target for Efflorescence.

RegrowthRegrowth

Regrowth is our fastest direct heal without a cooldown. Though its mana cost is slightly prohibitive it does have a number of things going for it:

  • With points in Nature’s Grace Regrowth increases our haste rating by 15% for 15 seconds (1 minute cooldown). Regrowth should be used to keep the uptime on this haste buff as high as possible (25%). The extra haste could push you over to a new haste break point and will also benefit your spells with a cast time.
  • With points in Nature’s Bounty Regrowth is the healing spell that is most likely to crit (both the direct heal and the HoT), this will apply Living Seed and increase its healing output.
  • It’s fast. In situations where multiple people get very low on health you can pump out almost double the amount of Regrowths in a few seconds as you could Nourish or HT.
  • It’s instant while in ToL.
  • It gives you something to Swiftmend.

Regrowth should certainly not be spammed, but it is an excellent choice when you get a Clearcasting proc or if someone needs a heal fast.

TranquilityTranquility

In general Tranquility will be usable 2-3 times per fight. Do not forget to use it. It provides a huge amount of healing for a relatively low mana cost. When you use Tranquility remember:

  • Use it when you will not have to move for the next 8 seconds. You don’t want to have to interrupt the channel.
  • Cast a direct heal beforehand to ensure than Harmony is in effect for the whole cast.

Tree of LifeTree of Life

Tree of Life has a 3 minute cooldown so you should be able to use it at least twice on most fights. It is best used in times of heavy raid damage. General tactics while in ToL:

  • Use Lifebloom on multiple people. Single applications can be used on many raid members to give them a small HoT then a direct heal from the bloom at the end. If specific people are taking heavy damage, you have multiple 3-stacks up. All the extra Lifeblooms ticking will give you many Clearcasting procs.
  • Use Clearcasting procs for instant Regrowths.
  • Use Wild Growth on cooldown whenever multiple people have a health deficit.
  • If there are many people getting low on health, use Tranquility.

Wild GrowthWild Growth

Most raid fights have constant raid damage, so using WG on cooldown is almost always a good idea. Wild Growth can be cast on hostile targets. If you are fighting a large raid boss (like a dragon) and people are spread out, target the boss for your Wild Growth cast and it will hit people all around it.

A Note on Cooldowns

Druids have a limited amount of cooldown abilities to increase healing. We have Tree of Life and Tranquility (plus any on-use trinkets you may have). Many people like to wait for emergencies to use these spells and they end up not being used at all. This is a bad idea. Tree of Life increases our healing by 15% in addition to the spell buffs it provides. If you are not using it, or using it less than you could be, you are gimping your healing. Tranquility provides a huge amount of health to your raid (for example, on my first Chimaeron kill it did 380,000 healing. In 8 seconds. That’s pretty awesome.) If you’re not using it multiple times every fight, you’re gimping your healing.

When learning a new fight it can be difficult to know the best time to use these abilities. However, once you’ve learned the damage pattern plan your cooldown use ahead of time so you can make the most of them.


Gear

Full list of 4.3 restoration druid gear can be found here.


Gems and Enchants

Gems

Meta – Burning Shadowspirit Diamond

Red sockets – Brilliant Inferno Ruby (or Brilliant Chimaera’s Eye if you are a jewelcrafter)

Yellow sockets – Reckless Ember Topaz or Artful Ember Topaz. Use Reckless until you reach 2005 haste. Once you’re there, switch to Artful.

Blue sockets – Purified Demonseye

If socket bonuses are particularly unimpressive (e.g., 10 spirit) feel free to ignore them and gem straight Intellect (Brilliant Inferno Ruby). Just make sure you’ve always got 2 orange gems to activate your meta.

Enchants

Head

Arcanum of Hyjal (60 Int/35 Crit) – from Guardians of Hyjal vendor

Shoulders

Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone (50 Int/25 Haste) – from Therazane vendor.
Felfire Inscription (130 Int/25 Haste) if you are a scribe.

Cloak

Greater Intellect (50 Int)
Lightweave Embroidery if you are a tailor.

Chest

Peerless Stats (20 to all stats)

Wrists

Mighty Intellect (50 Int) or Greater Speed (65 haste) if needed to reach 2005 haste.
Draconic Embossment – Intellect (130 Int) if you are a leatherworker.

Gloves

Greater Mastery (65 Mastery) or Haste (50 Haste) if needed to reach 2005 haste.

Legs

Powerful Ghostly Spellthread (95 Int/55 Spirit)

Boots

Lavawalker (35 Mastery + run speed increase). Always go for the run speed increase over straight stats.

Weapon

Power Torrent (500 Int proc)

Off-hand

Superior Intellect (40 Int)

Rings

If you are an enchanter, enchant both rings with Intellect (40 Int).


Consumables

Flask: Flask of the Draconic Mind (300 Int) or Cauldron of Battle. Do not be tempted to use a spirit flask instead.

Food: Severed Sagefish Head or Seafood Magnifique Feast (90 Int).

Potions: Potion of Concentration will provide the most mana return providing you can find 10 seconds in a fight where you don’t have to heal or move. For fights where this isn’t possible, Mythical Mana Potion (or Mysterious Potion if you are an alchemist) is the way to go. If you are desperate for extra healing output and mana is not an issue, Volcanic Potions can be used.


Updates

Feb. 9/11 – Updated to reflect patch 4.0.6
April 27/11 – Updated to reflect patch 4.1
June 26/11 – Updated to reflect patch 4.2, added sections on gear, enchants and gems
July 21/11 – Updated haste caps and addressed Moonglow vs. Furor
November 29/11 – Updated to reflect patch 4.3
Dec 15/11 – Updated gear list and optimal meta gem

15 Responses to Restoration Druid Guide

  1. Under single target heals : I think you meant to say Nourish cast time is decreased by 30 %.

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  3. OOOkay .. I have a dumb question. I posted it in the forums but nobody knows. Nobody on my server knows. Best explaination was someone said it was idle animation. But that’d explain it if it happened with big pauses in between. Like, the night elf bounce. Anyway. the other day I was healing a heroic. I flipped into treform – cata treeform, and started casting heals. Next thing I know, my toon is stooping down to put flowers on the ground. Then she flips her hands up and throws flower petals all over the place while a green glow is all around her. She does this is she’s healing or if she’s just standing there. If she’s just standing there she will continually do it until TOL falls off. What is that?

  4. I have some dubts: if i could agree that the 2005 haste is what we try to cap if we are in a 25 man raid, i’m not sure of this if we are in a 10 man raid. In fact i guess it would be better to reach the 916 haste rating and then go for mastery in the ten man version. Instead in the 25 man version the extra tic of WG is pretty awesome. So why you said that 2005 is the rating to cap?
    Another question: since we restore our LB with nurish etc. etc. is goot to try to reach at least the haste rating to get the extra tic on LB?
    Last one: when we use tree of life and then tranquillity, is not good after that to spam LB on everyone? Cause cost less than the others and is pretty effective.
    Sorry for my english, i know is not good at all. Ty for the patience =).

    • This is going to be a long reply.

      1. 915 vs. 2005 haste for 10 mans.
      Even in 10s, Wild Growth and Efflorescence can make up a large portion of healing. In most fights people are grouped up enough that WG will usually hit the max amount of people. Haste vs. Mastery is going depend a lot on your spell breakdown.
      Going from 915 haste to 2005 haste will give you: 12.5% more healing from WG and Efflo, 9% more healing from Lifebloom, ~5% more healing from Regrowth from the extra ticks you get. How much of an overall healing increase this makes depends on how much healing these spells do. You can check your spell breakdown to see the difference this would make. The extra haste also reduces the cast time of your spells which can be significant: HT and Nourish become 2.06 second casts (rather than 2.22), Regrowth becomes a 1.23 second cast (rather than 1.33), Tranquility becomes a 6.59 second cast (rather than 7.11).

      Using those 1090 points on Mastery instead of Haste would give you a 9.5% increase on all your healing spells (assuming you keep Harmony up 100% of the time).

      I think it’s a close call, but I prefer the extra HoT ticks and faster direct heals even for 10s.

      2. Lifebloom haste breakpoints
      LB is usually refreshed before the last tick goes off, so the benefit of reaching this next haste point is debatable. It does make the HoT tick faster, but I think in this case Mastery would be a better choice.

      3. Lifebloom spam in tree form can be very effective. With a lot of Lifeblooms up you’ll get a lot of Clearcasting procs that can be used on instant Regrowths. I’d still use the other spells in addition to LB though: Wild Growth and Swiftmend on cooldown are going to put out more healing than just LB spam.

  5. i am a 10 man main healer for my guild, i am of the aproach that i heal everything and anything that needs it as i feel my class allows me to do that, i wish to comend you on your work here as its fantastic wish i had somewhere like this to go when i was learnign to play, however i have some questions id like your personal input on if i may,
    1) empowered touch, seems a waste of a talent alocation because of these simple reasons
    A- taking it means you cannot time the bloom effect (which is extremely powerfull) whilst tank healing after heavy damage as the bloom is refreshed
    B- relying on it to refresh lifebloom useing nourish means a loss of reaction time as you sit and wait for the cast instead of useing another spell
    C-just hard casting lifebloom before it finishes results in more hps as you get use of all of lifebloom tics gained from haste, and also much more of a mana save, which if refreshed at about 8-9 secs saves you roughley the cost of a single HT which would possibley heal similar amounts to the nourish
    wouldnt these two talent points be better spent on say blessing of the grove? as rejuv is one of our top heals, even tho it isnt a static 4% as it reads it still beats the inflexableness of empowered touch as we gain what could basically be another cd in the form of a bloom ?

    2)917 haste not 915 haste as just 2 simple haste points gives an extra tick to tranquility (http://theincbear.com/math/resto-haste-breakpoints)

    3) on the subject of 917 haste vs 2005 haste, yes you may gain an extra tick of LIFEBLOOM, REGROWTH, WG & EFF. lets actually break that down
    LIFEBLOOM- yes you gain an extra tick but due to the empowered touch talent you NEVER see its benifiet as its always being refreshed
    REGROWTH- an extra tick of this could have its uses however as you said this particular heal isnt like it was in wrath and should be used spareingly as an emergencey heal which in most cases of healing by the time the final tick hits (6 secs) the tank is usually full hp and awaiting the next blow even if the tick is not overheal its only 1-2k at max which isnt exacly anything to scream about
    WILDGROWTH- i cant really talk about 25 mans but in 10 mans wild growth is almost always TOP over heal followed or infront of rejuvenation, which means the final ticks are most likley overheal, also the question of how haste actually effects WG as the tool tip reads 10,000 healing over 7.4 secs now does the extra tick increase the 10,000 or just spread the 10,000 in quicker chunks either way it doesnt matter as the final ticks will result in overheal
    EFF- this is possibly the ONLY benifiet to 2005 haste as each individual tick can change target which means it almost never overheals unless badly used

    so the real question in my eyes is:- is 1 more tick of efflorescence better than 1100 of a secondary stat and my answer is no not for 10 mans at least !

    your thoughts on these points would be awesome

    Kazume-Karazhan

    • Hi Kazume, thank you for the compliment and the excellent questions. I am not the best at math, but I’ve been thinking about these questions all day and did some quick testing when I got home.
      1) I don’t think Empowered Touch is a waste of a talent point at all. The bloom effect is extremely difficult to time and I don’t think it’s a particuarly reliable as a heal. I think you’d be better off with a direct heal or a Swiftmend if the tank is taking heavy damage rather than waiting for Lifebloom to go off. Letting Lifebloom bloom also wastes 3 GCDs and mana as you need to stack it back up afterwards. Taking the talent doesn’t mean you NEED to use Nourish/HT to refresh Lifebloom, you can still use another LB application to refresh it if extra healing isn’t needed. But if extra healing is needed, you can cast Nourish/HT and not have to cast a LB as well, saving time and mana. Plus, the talent also increases the healing of HT, Regrowth and Nourish by 10%, which is definitely worth it. Blessing of the Grove is a weak, weak talent. Looking at my last 2 raid kills, an extra 2.55% healing on Rejuv (which is the bonus I would get with my particular spec) would be a total increase of 0.3 – 0.5% total healing. The 10% bonus to direct heals would be much, much better for tank healing, and approximately the same or a little higher for raid healing, plus the benefits listed above of saved mana and GCDs. I don’t think a difficult to execute heal from the bloom outweighs the other benefits of the talent.

      2) Thank you, I will adjust the numbers. Though I just want to make it clear to anyone reading this that this haste break point does not effect the main Tranquility heals, just the number of HoT ticks from the secondary effect.

      3) Lifebloom – You actually do see a benefit from the extra haste, even though you generally cut off the last tick or two, because the ticks come faster. With 963 haste and a 5% buff (I know, not 917, but I didn’t want to reforge to get the perfect numbers), LB ticked 11 times over 9.75 seconds, or every 0.886 seconds. With 2023 haste LB ticked 12 times over 9.86 seconds, or every .821 seconds. Also, I think you will see benefit from the extra ticks. If you refresh Lifebloom 2 seconds before it expires with 2005 it’s still ticking 1 extra time from the extra haste, even if you don’t see the actual last tick.
      Regrowth – I don’t agree this should be used sparingly, it’s my most frequently cast direct heal. That said, the extra tick is still only about a 5% increase on the healing of Regrowth.
      Wild Growth – I tested this as well. With 963 haste WG ticks 8 times over 7.07 seconds (every .88 sec), with 2023 haste it ticks 9 times over 7.4 second (every .82 sec). The extra haste does not just tack an extra heal on the end and increases the total healing by 12.5%. Though WG has higher overheal, you can’t really assume the extra tick will all be overheal or else what’s the point of increases any stat?

      So, as I said in the comment above, the extra haste gives you 12.5% more healing from WG and Efflo, 9% more healing from Lifebloom, ~5% more healing from Regrowth plus your direct heals are about 8% faster.

      So for 10s, I think it’s a bit of a toss up and will depend on how much of your healing comes from those 4 spells. The best way to figure out what’s best for you would be to look at your logs and do the math.

  6. wow thank you for your fast reply, i have a few more questions if possible. (

    1)furor vs moonglow vs gennesis ?
    which is best

    LIVING SEED Vs BLESSING OF THE GROVE
    now before i ask this qustion or rather more a considered opinion, id like to point out you have already covered it but id like to also point out the mechanincs of how it works and how these mechanics actually defeat any kind of real testing. for example:

    if you have ever had to heal LK hc vs a disc priest the one thing you could never ever do was out heal them during the infest phase. why….? becasuse its a sheild and therefore gets counted first before any incomeing heals, the same use to apply to earth sheild from shamans and so the same applys to living seed. If, (like healing vs a priest) you have living seeds on the target (depending on boss) you will find your other spells such as rejuv and rolling lifebloom WILL overheal more than they should do as living seed is picking up the slack.

    now my point is that if you didnt have living seed on your rolling heals you have anyway will still do the healing required, think of it this way:-
    rejuv has say 5 ticks of 4500 thats 22500 of potential healing plus GoTE means rejuv has 25000 POTENTIAL healing how much of that is overheal is down to choices.
    living seed is dependent on the previous cast to determine its power and the cast you choose is dependent on situation and incoming damage. so lets make a senario
    you have a tank below 30% hp most resto healers would react like this
    tank on 50k/185k
    SWIFTMEND +30k ls=9K
    LB=2K
    RJV=5K
    LB=2K
    LB=2K
    RJV=5K
    HT +24k LS=7.2K/ or regrowth = 20k ls=6k pluss 4k in ticks
    now thats roughly about 80-90k healing done includeing effourescence combined with other healers possible reactions leaves the question at what point did my other heals start overhealing, well we can see that a tick from lb and rejuv is about the same as a LS so when looking at both LS used its about 15k healing that would have been taken care of in the down time but because the ls is present results in overheal from your bread and butter rolling spells

    so to sum up we can note that LS inreases the over heal on rejuv and lifebloom LS gains a large portion of its healing during times of none major damage, that said if its not major and therefore not urgent then rejuv and lifebloom can fill that role rather easliy. this is present in your own healing diagram where you over healed with rejuv 55% and lifebloom 59.7% (http://www.cannotbetamed.com/2011/05/13/blessing-of-the-grove-vs-living-seed/)

    that covers tank healing, the question of how much of the total healing of living seed is actually present on the tank in the final make up is an interesting one.
    and will it benifiet the raid at all as it does state that the person with the living seed must be ATTACKED which is usually a braod term for single target damage not aoe that is suffered from raid bosses, which indicates to me that the portion of living seed damage healed on raid members will only be present in fights where there is add damage (BETH’TILAC, LORD RYH) are the only bosses where by this becomes a genuine reality with shannox and domo being possible but less likey

    so all that considered living seed will heal a tank for about 80-90% of the total healing done and this should already be compensated for with the hots you already have. imo blessing of the grove even with its reduced effect will benifet all targets always and not just after a direct heal AND assuming the target will be hit again.

    empowered touch

    • Hello again!

      1. Furor vs. Moonglow vs. Genesis
      First, I don’t think Genesis really fits into a direct comparison. If you aren’t having mana issues, I’d say extra output is the best choice, so Genesis is better. If you are struggling with mana at all, then one of the mana talents would be a better idea.

      I started doing some calculations on Furor vs. Moonglow and it got so long and complicated that I decided I’m going to do a whole blog post about it. It should be up in a couple days. However, the short answer is that at current mana levels (110,000-120,000mana) Moonglow is superior for any fight that lasts 3 minutes or longer.

      2. Living Seed vs. Blessing of the Grove

      Living Seed (or Earth Shield) is not at all comparable to a priest’s Power Word: Shield. Living Seed does not absorb damage. It places a buff on a person and when that person takes damage it triggers and heals them. It doesn’t increase overheal at all. If the person doesn’t take damage while the LS is on them, it does nothing. For raid healing, you’re right, it isn’t triggered as often as it is on a tank, but it’s not just direct melee hits that trigger it. Things like Rhyolith’s Concussive Stomp and Beth’tilac’s Venom Raid will also trigger it.

      Living Seed and Blessing of the Grove are both pretty weak overall. As I said in my original post on the subject it depends on your healing style. If you do a lot of tank healing ans use a fair amount of direct spells, I think it’s much better. If you mostly raid heal, it’s a toss up.

  7. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/ysera/Nontameable/simple
    (look at 2nd spec its my main i was a feral for lvl wanted to dps but i like healing more)
    Never wanted to redo my spec till now, i avrage 14k-16k heals, ive been at 20k heals ONCE
    (recount under healinng done in the Parenthesis not the huge mega # if i understand correctly thats heals per seccond or somthing good keeps being compared to others by it)
    tryed to grear myself 17% haste>mastery>crit, guild is going DS weekly now but saddly ive never done the whole thing soo i was thinking make a change in a talent or some gear around would improve my healing a bit over the last 20 mins ive read aton on ur site that i dint know can you give me any kind of sugestion, im fearing over buying VP gear becouse of i’d lose my 17% haste and reforging is a pain when u cant realy reforge into haste, as far as i know haste is my life line and all the new VP stuff is liek go crit and not soo much haste as teh stuff that im useing kinda stuck so im trying to gather opinoins
    Joshua R A recently posted..In Defence of Regrowth

    • Hi Joshua,

      First, and most importantly, put 3 points into Efflorescence. 1 point isn’t going to cut it. That spell can easily make up 20-25% of your overall healing, so you’re effectively nerfing it by 2/3 with only 1 point. Drop 2 points from either Blessing of the Grove or Living Seed in exchange.

      In terms of valor gear, the Cloak (Woundlicker Cover) should be your first purchase. It’s got haste and it’s the best you’re going to get. The boots (Boots of Fungoid Growth) are a good choice for a second purchase.

  8. HI, i’v got some problems i feel i am doing the spells right and all, i was wondering if you could check my druid Colaskum (Kazzak) and c if you can find any thing wrong with it. whould appriciat it very much

    • Hi there Colaskum. Your gear looks pretty good to me. A few small reforge things: You’ve got 2046 haste, which is more than you need. You could put the 36 haste back to mastery on your relic. Also, your spirit is a little high. I personally wouldn’t go any higher than 2500 or so (actually, *I* wouldn’t even go that high). You could get some more Mastery by reforging the Spirit on items like your helm and robe.

      As for your spec, I’d suggest Moonglow over for Furor as the best mana talent. Everything else looks fine. Some things I wouldn’t choose (like I’d have 3 in Nature’s Bounty, rather than points in BotG), but there’s nothing wrong with the talents you’ve chosen.

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