Advanced Catweaving in Dragonflight
Your priority as a healer is to keep your party alive. Most failed keys are due to deaths from either player failure or simply becoming overwhelmed. You can’t save everyone as a healer, but you can make a serious impact. Keeping a DPS alive that’s soaking frontals can be a better choice than doing damage yourself. That being said, because of the way Mythic+ is designed, not all pulls will require a lot of healing – even on the highest keys. You might even find that more pulls than not require very few healing abilities at all. The result is that you’ll have plenty of time to press DPS keys in between your healing in order to speed up the key. This guide will teach you how to use your limited GCDs in order to maximize your damage in a key. The following guide was written by Theebok and edited by Voulk.
Spec talents are reasonably straight forward and you’ll make only minor variations. The class tree tends to allow for much more decision making and you’ll be picking between utility, damage and defensiveness. At standard key levels you can simply opt for the damage, but keep the alternatives in mind – particularly if you are pushing very high keys.
Protector of the Pack vs Heart of the Wild
Protector of the Pack saw a few nerfs in 10.0.5 and the two are now very similar in damage. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to running each:
- Heart of the Wild is in a much better place in the tree and it costs fewer points to get there. That means you’re able to take more damage talents lower in the tree. Heart of the Wild is also very good for single target DPS – particularly when you don’t have to heal often. It also buys you Renewal which is a very good defensive button.
- Protector of the Pack is easier to maximize damage from since you only need to press Moonfire often (which you were going to do anyway). It also lets you take Disorienting Roar quite easily which is great utility. The downside is that it leaves you with few points to spend elsewhere, which is particularly difficult on keys where you need to take some utility earlier in the tree like Improved Nature’s Cure.
1 minute Convoke vs Spring Blossoms vs Circle of Life and Death
Circle of Life and Death could easily have an entire article written on where it excels but it’s safe to say that it’s a fairly good DPS choice. It increases the amount of good spells we cast, and reduces the amount of low-value filler. Its healing benefit is a little more spurious and can be situational. Cenarius’ Guidance is fairly middling for DPS but is great for healing and Spring Blossoms offers extremely good healing but no damage. The choice can basically be simplified as:
- Good default? Spring Blossoms + Circle of Life and Death
- Max damage? Circle of Life and Death + Cenarius’ Guidance
- Max healing? Spring Blossoms + Cenarius’ Guidance
If you have a preference you’re also fairly safe to just go with it.
Improved Nature’s Cure
Improved Nature’s Cure is only necessary in Temple of the Jade Serpent and Algeth’ar Academy. You can swap it out in all other dungeons.
Resto Druid is a very strong healer in 5 man content due to our ability to prehot the party before damage comes out. That allows us to prepare for dangerous moments – so long as we know it’s coming. We can also use that to our advantage to apply our healing before a pull even starts to open up more time to DPS. Given the Druid base kit is so strong for healing, we are able to gear around maximizing our damage in Mythic+ instead.
If you’re still learning the spec then use QE Live to determine your gear. It’ll build you a balanced set that combines damage and healing.
Once you’re more experienced you can join the DPS-focused meta and swap to Raidbots (Dungeon Slice) which will help you pick your best damage set.
The most effective stat for adding damage in a key is Haste which adds both damage (through faster hot / dot ticks) and lowers your global cooldown which lets you fit in more casts overall. This is even better when you consider you only need X GCDs to keep your most important HoTs on your party which means any GCDs added can all be focused on DPS. Crit and Vers are both of similar value though versatility also reduces damage taken which becomes particularly key as you climb to higher keys. Mastery is a very good healing stat, but is often dropped almost entirely as it adds no damage value.
Recommended Stats: Haste / Versatility
Flaring Cowl is worth about 500 DPS if you’re good at staying in melee (it has a small range). Fairly unimpressive alone but you can combine it with Seal of Diurna’s Chosen to add even more damage (up around 1.5-2k with good melee uptime). It’s not an insane combo, but it’s worth wearing if you have access to both of them and want to be DPS focused.
Lariat is a safe option that offers about ~1.2% DPS and 1.2% HPS through its proc. It won’t cost you anything extra and doesn’t have any requirements. It’s also still good in the highest of keys. It’s a very safe craft. It will do a bit less damage than Flaring Cowl or Potion Extension.
The Potion Absorption embellishment can be put on any slot, and increases the duration of your Shocking Disclosure potions by 50%. They stack and you could wear two of them but the Flaring Cowl set tends to be a bit stronger and also avoids mobs needing to live for a full minute to benefit. You also need to be using potions very regularly to benefit. I’d recommend adding it to a ring or weapon slot if you decide to use it.
Alright, you’re talented, you’ve picked out your best gear set and trinkets and now you need to know which buttons to press. The damage rotation for Resto Druid in Mythic+ is quite a bit more complex than most other healers and changes depending on the number of targets you’re up against. Resto Druid DPS is mostly based around our DoTs (fittingly) and a reliance on big Moonfire casts has become increasingly prevalent in Dragonflight. We’ll discuss what to do during specific target counts below but some notes first:
- When a mob is close to dying you should fall back to Shred or Swipe since any newly applied DoTs won’t be able to run to their full duration. Don’t Moonfire a mob that’s on low health.
- Swarm is not mentioned in the rotations below since it’s something you’ll just continue to cast on cooldown through a key and you’re likely to already have it running when going into a pull.
- For fights with decent healing checks, you can just use Nature’s Vigil during the most difficult moments – usually when you’d be casting Flourish.
- Your priority is keeping up all four DoTs. In order of priority: Rip > Moonfire > Rake > Sunfire. Thrash is a lower priority but still better than non-Starsurge filler.
- Once your DoTs are active keep Starsurge on cooldown, and fill with Shred / Ferocious Bite if you have extra time.
- You’ll generally only Bite if you would otherwise overcap on combo points and you don’t have a target to Rip. You might also hit it if a target would die before Rip would have any time to tick.
- Your opener is a stealth Rake -> Moonfire -> Sunfire -> Shred until you can Rip. If you have combo points saved up from a previous pull then it’s a good idea to Rip immediately after your stealthed Rake.
- Realistically you can burn through your Cat Energy and then cast Starsurge along with any necessary DoT refreshes afterwards.
- On a small number of targets you’ll play similarly to on single target. Rip, Rake, Moonfire and Sunfire are still your key abilities, but you’ll add Thrash in too before you start including fillers like Starsurge. Your opener changes slightly to prioritize Sunfire as your first GCD after stealth rake.
- As the enemy number grows the rotation becomes simpler. You’ll keep Sunfire up, Moonfire every target, then you can Thrash > Swipe if you have spare GCDs. You can also keep Rake on a priority target. You don’t need to Starsurge or Shred unless you have a priority target.
13 enemy targets is fairly rare but does happen sometimes – particularly in Algeth’ar Academy. Keep Sunfire and Thrash active and then Moonfire as many targets as you can. When mobs are low health you can sub in Swipe instead.
While Resto has a more complex rotation than other healers, it is still quite doable with practice. You won’t always have time to apply all DoTs, but knowing which ones to apply when can add a lot to your damage. Just pressing Moonfire on a single target can add a lot of DPS alone, and pressing Sunfire in AoE packs can add much more. While healing is still your #1 priority, you’ll find it it quite easy to add free damage. The most important takeaway is to always be doing something. While the recommendations above can be quite specific, the damage loss of making slightly a slightly suboptimal decision is much less than wasting a few GCDs deciding what to do. Your first objectives are to keep Sunfire and Moonfire active – the rest you can learn as you go.
Picking a Weak Aura
- My Shred and Swipe tooltips seem a little off? This is partially due to mob armor, but also due to a tooltip bug that has them double dip with Versatility. This is just a tooltip issue so don’t worry about it too much.