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Resto Druid Changes and Specs for 4.1

Patch 4.1 brings a few changes for resto druids:

  • Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects.
  • Efflorescence has a new spell effect.

This redesign changes the Efflorescence from healing a small amount for everyone in it, to a smart heal that will heal the most injured for more. If there’s anyone out there who still believes the change is a nerf, here’s some napkin math. Assuming that Swiftmend heals for 15,000:

Old Efflorescence:
Six people stand in the Efflorescence and receive 30% of the Swiftmend’s healing over 7 seconds. That’s 4500 healing for each person giving a total of 27000 healing done. Not a bad amount, but the ticks will only be healing for 642 per tick. If more than 6 people are standing in the Effloresence, the healing per tick will be even less.

New Efflorescence:
Any number of people stand in the Efflorescence. The three people with the lowest health will receive 12% of the Swiftmend’s healing every second for 7 seconds. Each tick will heal for 1800. That’s 12600 healing for each person giving a total of 37800 healing done. And that’s not all – since Efflorescence is now effected by haste, it will likely be ticking 8 or 9 times rather than 7. Each extra tick adds 5400 healing to the total amount of healing done.

This is a very nice buff.

  • Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.

Resto druids have been asking for this change for a while, and Blizzard has listened. At first I was very excited about this change, but after weighing the options it opens up – I don’t think it’s going to make an ounce of difference in my spec or healing. I’ll talk more about this when I give spec options below.

I’ve already voiced my concerns about this change. It’s disappointing that we aren’t getting a new, damage-reducing cooldown but forgetting that for a second, this is a nice change. Being able to use Tranquility 2 or even 3 times a fight will increase our healing output considerably and give us more options during times of heavy raid damage.

While this is a buff, it’s not very impressive. It’s not enough of a boost to convince me to pick up NS in my spec, but it is a nice little bonus for those who already spec into NS and use it regularly.

  • Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.

A small buff, but a useful one. Now we no longer have to save Barkskin for our Tranquility channel and can use it during more damage-heavy times instead.

  • Lifebloom‘s bloom effect has been reduced by 20%.

With all the buffs we’re getting, we had to take a hit somewhere. This isn’t a terrible change. The biggest impact from this will be casting LBs on multiple people during ToL.

Specs

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

Output spec:

4.1 Resto Druid output spec

Link

This spec has zero points in Moonglow or Furor, so you really need to have the appropriate gear, raid buffs and consumables to use this spec. This spec will put out the most HPS but will be hard to sustain. Why have I put 3 points into Living Seed even though it’s been unlinked from Efflorescence? Why not put those points in Blessing of the Grove instead? Based on my Regrowth usage (I use it for almost all OoC procs) and crit chance, LS will provide ~50% more HPS per point than Blessing of the Grove. BotG is a really underwhelming talent.

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.

As always, these changes are reflected in my Restoration Druid Guide.

Resto druid specs for 4.0.6

Looking for a spec for 4.1? Look here.

4.0.6 brought a few changes to the restoration talent tree. These changes are:

  • Empowered Touch now also affects Regrowth. In addition, after Tree of Life is no longer active, this talent will only refresh the most recently cast or refreshed Lifebloom, and will not refresh other copies of Lifebloom.
  • Natural Shapeshifter has been reduced to a 3/6-second increase to Tree of Life’s duration, down from 5/10.
  • Nature’s Bounty no longer affects Swiftmend, but now has a new effect. When the druid has Rejuvenation on 3 or more targets, the cast time of Nourish is reduced by 10/20/30%.

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:

Basic restoration druid spec for 4.0.6

This is a very bare bones spec. It leaves 5 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 (at least a couple points)
Empowered Touch
Malfurion’s Gift
Wild Growth
Nature’s Cure
Gift of the Earthmother
Tree of Life

Here are some possible talent specs:

Efflorescence spec

Restoration druid spec with EfflorescenceLink

If Efflorescence is something you just can’t give up, I’d suggest a spec like this. It leaves room to put full points in Nature’s Bounty and GotEM, while still leaving room for mana talents like Moonglow and 1 point in Furor. If mana isn’t too much of a concern you can flip some of those points into Genesis or Swift Rejuvenation.

Efflorescence-free zone

Restoration druid spec without EfflorescenceLink

If the six points in Living Seed and Efflorescence are too excessive for you, try out a spec like this. You can use your 6 ‘found’ talent points to fill out other optional talents in the resto tree with things like Swift Rejuvenation, Nature’s Swiftness and Blessing of the Grove. This leaves 2 points to spend as you like. Go with Furor if you need more mana, Genesis if you want more throroughput or Perseverence for damage reduction.

Screw mana, give me more thoroughput

Restoration druid spec without mana talentsLink

If you’ve got the gear and a variety of mana cooldowns in your raid group, mana might not be an issue for you. If that’s the case, try out a spec that maximizes healing output. The big difference in this spec is that is takes 3 points in Genesis, and none in Moonglow or Furor. This spec leaves you with one point to spend as you choose: you best bets are Swift Rejuvenation or Nature’s Swiftness.


Note: I have updated my Restoration Druid Guide to include the changes from 4.0.6, please check it out.