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
- Stats – What each one does for you and how it’s prioritized. Includes haste break points.
- 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.
- Spells – Descriptions and tips for using all your restoration spells along with some important balance ones.
- Glyphs – Descriptions of all the glyphs that could be useful for healing.
- How to Heal – General healing tactics and advice on making the most of specific abilities.
- Gear – Gear available in T13
- Gems and Enchants – How to trick out your gear.
- Consumables – What to eat and drink.
Here are the stats you will find on healing gear and what they do for you.
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.
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 increases mana regeneration, both in and out of combat. Your mp5 depends on both your spirit and intellect.
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.
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 is only found on weapons. It affects the output of your spells.
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.*
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.
*These breakpoint will also give you an extra tick on the HoT left by Tranquility*
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
|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
|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*
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:
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:
Heart of the Wild
Gift of the Earthmother
Tree of Life
I have two basic spec suggestions – one for output and one for mana conservation and longevity.
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.
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:
Blessing 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.
Natural 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.
Naturalist (2 points) – Reduces the cast time of Nourish and Healing Touch by 0.5 seconds.
Heart 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.
Perseverance (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.
Master Shapeshifter (1 point) – Increases your healing by 4%. This applies to all healing spells. Take this.
Improved 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).
Living 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.
Revitalize (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.
Nature’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.
Fury 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.
Nature’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.
Empowered 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.
Malfurion’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.
Efflorescence (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.
Wild Growth (1 point) – Heals 5 people within 15 yards of the target over 7 seconds. This is our most useful AoE heal. Must have.
Nature’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.
Nature’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.
Gift 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.
Swift 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.
Tree 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.
Nature’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.
Nature’s Majesty (2 points) – Increases your critical strike chance for all spells by 4%. Fairly straightforward.
Moonglow (3 points) – Reduces the cost of your healing and damage spells by 9%. If you ever have mana issues, this is a must.
Genesis (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.
Furor (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!)
Druids have a heal for every occasion. Here’s a look at everything healing-related in our spellbook.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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 (talent)
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
Cast time: 2 seconds
Use: Rebirth is our in-combat resurrection spell. Use it wisely as it has a 10 minute cooldown.
Cost: 72% of base mana
Cast time: 10 seconds
Use: This is our out of combat resurrection.
There are also a few spells in the Balance spellbook that we should be using regularly.
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.
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.
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.
Druids don’t get a lot of choices for glyphs. Here’s a review of the ones available to us.
There is really no question when it comes to which Prime Glyphs to choose.
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.
In the Major Glyphs, we’ve only one clear winner, one glyph with both benefits and drawbacks and a couple situational glyphs.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
- 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
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 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
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Full list of 4.3 restoration druid gear can be found here.
Meta – Burning Shadowspirit Diamond
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.
Arcanum of Hyjal (60 Int/35 Crit) – from Guardians of Hyjal vendor
Peerless Stats (20 to all stats)
Powerful Ghostly Spellthread (95 Int/55 Spirit)
Lavawalker (35 Mastery + run speed increase). Always go for the run speed increase over straight stats.
Power Torrent (500 Int proc)
Superior Intellect (40 Int)
If you are an enchanter, enchant both rings with Intellect (40 Int).
Flask: Flask of the Draconic Mind (300 Int) or Cauldron of Battle. Do not be tempted to use a spirit flask instead.
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.
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