Resto Druid Prepatch FAQ

Corruption is dead. Bring on the Shadowlands.

Resto Druid is set to receive some moderate changes in 9.0 but the spec mostly plays the same and you shouldn’t feel in unfamiliar territory when the patch drops. In raid we are still cooldown focused, with incredible versatility. Our strengths around 1-2 target healing are also exemplified by upcoming legendary effects. It’s too soon to see where we’ll land but it’s looking good. In Mythic+ we’re… well… godlike. Nerfs in that area are expected but are also four years late at this point so the fair bet is that we continue to reign in that area of the game.

Prepatch tends to be a volatile time for the game and you can expect information in this FAQ to shuffle around a little bit as all of the new stuff is tested in a proper live environment. We’ll make sure you’re kept up to date. Information below is aimed at level 50 pre-Shadowlands release. All guides will be updated a second time when the expansion itself launches, complete with covenants, legendaries and more.


The Essentials

  • All stats have been squished down to more readable levels. This shouldn’t make a noticeable difference to your power level because all mobs have also been scaled down accordingly.
  • Talents revamped (details below).
  • Several spells returned to the game (some were PVP talents that are now globally available): Cyclone, Stampeding Roar, Nature’s Swiftness (available at level 58).
  • Mastery nerfed by about 10%.
    • This is an attempt to curb our Mythic+ strength but it’s a bit of a slapdash change and has no real impact on our massive dungeon power.
  • Several changes to existing spells including:
    • Swiftmend: cooldown reduced to 15 seconds, but now consumes a HoT.
      • Worse for emergency healing but improves synergy with Soul of the Forest.
    • Ironbark: cooldown increased to 90 seconds. Levelling unlocks a second rank where it also increases HoT healing on the target by 20% while active.
    • Regrowth: levelling unlocks a second rank that increases it’s crit chance by 40% on a target that already has a regrowth HoT.
    • Innervate: levelling unlocks a second rank that gives you 50% of the bonus when you give it away. Global cooldown removed. Duration slightly reduced.
    • Mana costs on key spells reduced including Lifebloom, Efflorescence and Wild Growth. Rejuvenation mana cost increased by ~10%.
    • Sunfire nerfed by ~27%. Moonfire damage buffed by 20%.
    • Swipe capped to 5 targets. This is part of a change made to multiple AoE spells across the game.
    • Photosynthesis nerfed from a 5% chance per HoT tick to 4%.
      • More Mythic+ nerfs in an aim to bring us from S++ tier to merely S+.


When do I lose X?

  • Corruption is removed immediately as the patch hits. In practical terms this means your raid healing requirement goes down by a lot as your DPS will lose a collective 15 thing from beyond / minute.
  • Azerite Traits and Essences stick around until we delve into the Shadowlands itself at which point our neck loses its connection with Azeroth and they all become very fancy stat sticks.


Talent changes? What’s best in 9.0?

  • Raids

  • Mythic+

    Cultivation might also see some play in the prepatch. Watch this space.

Talents that are still up in the air

Raid: Soul of the Forest v Tree of Life

Soul of the Forest gains some significant power in Shadowlands owing to Swiftmend losing almost half of its cooldown. It also has some very good synergies in Convoke the Spirits (free Swiftmends) and the upcoming Wild Growth conduit (a significant power gain for WG). In the prepatch we don’t have any of those things yet, and we also have an end of expansion stat line, even after corruptions removal. That likely leaves the incumbent Tree of Life the victor for now but the gap has closed to the point where you can start practicing your Soul of the Forest now if you like.

Healer Damage: Balance Affinity v Feral Affinity

The clashing DPS affinities are currently very close in the prepatch from a DPS perspective and Balance Affinity also gives us the otherwise removed Typhoon back. The power of both are heavily tied to their parent specs which are getting tuned weekly which makes calling a winner almost impossible at this point. Balance Affinity does gain more from Shadowlands launch since Convoke in Moonkin form does rather ridiculous damage, and the new dungeon affixes are currently rather horrible for melee. For now, take your pick. It isn’t a substantial gap regardless of your decision. Feral still does very good damage if you’d rather use something you’re familiar with.


New Talents in 9.0

  • Heart of the Wild (replaces Typhoon): A significant, long duration DPS cooldown with a five minute cooldown. You’re likely to use this in all types of content with Mighty Bash / Mass Entanglement dropping to niche picks. It isn’t a ridiculous amount of extra damage but access to a damage cooldown as a healer is still very nice.
  • Overgrowth (replaces Stonebark): A converted PVP talent that adds all of your HoTs to a target. Too expensive and up against too strong a competition for raid. Might see some niche use in Mythic+ where mana is less of a concern and it’s GCD efficiency might make it playable in dungeons with a heavy ST healing focus.
  • Nourish (replaces Prosperity): A long, slow single target heal that requires several HoTs on the target to justify it’s cast. This needs some serious buffs to see play in Shadowlands. It’s better in the prepatch, before we get rank 2 of regrowth, but still too clunky to see play.


Remember that all information is specific to 9.0 and will change with expansion launch.


What about our stats?

You shouldn’t need to greatly alter your current load out when the patch hits. Those with heavily socketed / leech pieces are unlikely to see any gains in swapping them out for alternatives. If you’re running a less complete set going into the patch then you’re best off either gearing for item level (which is of much higher value in 9.0) or using QE Live to aid in your gearing decisions. It’ll be updated a couple of days before the patch goes live.



Should I level to 60 as Resto?

It’s a very slow way to level. I’d strongly recommend any of the other three specs with a preference toward Balance or Feral if you’re solo levelling. If levelling as a tree is a must then pick up Balance or Feral Affinity, Heart of the Wild, and the best two damage trinkets you have. Take advantage of your big self-healing by pulling reasonably large size packs, or by levelling with a friend.


What else do I need to know?

  • This is a fantastic time in the expansion cycle to experiment and try out the new stuff. Don’t feel like you have to run a specific build for the next few weeks.
  • Your Azerite trait & essence load out shouldn’t meaningfully change. Everything is roughly still proportional in strength to pre-9.0 and if there are any exceptions we’ll make sure you’re informed.
  • Healer Stat Weights and WoWAnalyzer are in the process of being updated. Look out for them as the 9.0 versions go live.
  • You might have read about large increases in the spell power coefficients to all of our spells. This went hand in hand with the removal of a global “spec aura” that we had throughout BFA. These spells are exactly as strong or weak as they already were. The change was purely in the background. Any exceptions are listed in the notes above.
  • Both Ny’alotha and Mythic+ have been nerfed to compensate for the loss of corruption. Generally prepatch raids are much much easier than they were during progression. It’ll probably be the same this time around.


You can read more about upcoming Shadowlands content here, starting with our solid array of legendaries. Any other questions? Drop them below and I’ll get you an answer.

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