Once you hit level 85 and are looking to start heroics or raiding you’ll probably want to make a few tweaks to your spec. The general spec for PVE healing is 8/2/31.
Here is the basic spec that includes everything I consider to be mandatory talents.
With this spec you get a reduction in spell cost from Moonglow in the balance tree and 10% extra mana from Furor in the Feral tree, which are very important right now. The mandatory resto talents are:
Heart of the Wild
Gift of the Earthmother
Tree of Life
This leaves you with 5 extra points to spend in the Resto tree.
My spec of choice places the extra points in Efflorescence (3 points) and Nature’s Bounty (2 points). My spec looks like this:
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%. With the reduced reliance on Rejuvenation this is a fairly weak talent. There are better places to spend your points.
Natural Shapeshifter (2 points) – Reduces the cost of shapeshifting by 20% and increases the duration of Tree of Life by 10 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. Nourish is your most mana efficient spell and you will be using it often. These points are a must.
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. Another must have.
Perseverance (3 points) – Decreases your magic damage taken by 6%. Damage reduction is always nice, but unfortunately there are too many 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 is a much stronger talent than the 4% rejuv bonus from Blessing of the Grove. 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. With our increased dependence on direct heals, Living Seed now provides a much more healing than it did in Wrath. This is a prerequisite for Efflorescence.
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. 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 and gives you a chance to reduce the cooldown on Swiftmend by 0.5 seconds when you critically heal with Nourish or Healing Touch. How useful this talent is really depends on your healing style. With the immense cost of Regrowth, it probably won’t see too much use. I’d suggest taking other important talents first and dropping any extra points needed to reach the last tier into this.
Empowered Touch (2 points) – Increases the healing done by Healing Touch 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. 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. Mana is in short supply so this is an excellent talent. Maintaining stacks of Lifebloom at all times means this procs often.
Efflorescence (3 points) – When you heal with Swiftmend, you sprout a bed of healing fauna beneath the target, healing everyone within 4 yards for 30% of the amount healed over 7 seconds. This is another talent that depends on how you play. In raids where people are grouped up a lot, it can provide a lot of healing. However, if you stick mostly to 5-man dungeons or don’t place the Efflorescence properly, it becomes much less useful.
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 seconds. Since Rejuvenation is no longer blanketed on everyone, I find this spell is of limited use.
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 (though highly expensive) spell. It’s a bargain for 1 point. Plus, who doesn’t like Grampa tree? 😛
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%. This talent is the reason we spend any points in Balance tree. The current mana situation makes this a very valuable talent.
Genesis (3 points) – Increases the healing done by your HoTs and Swiftmend. When we get to a point where mana is no longer such a big concern this will be a fantastic talent, but until then we need to take Moonglow instead.
Furor (3 points) – Increases your maximum mana. Unfortunately, putting 31 points in resto and 8 points in balance only leaves 2 points to put here, increasing your mana by 10%.
My full resto druid guide can be found here.