Resto Druid 8.1 FAQ

Projected 8.1 standings


Balance Changes

The patch notes aren’t particularly good at explaining what specifically is changing so here’s the full list:

Moving our power from Tranquility to Wild Growth isn’t necessarily a bad idea since 30+% of our overall power coming from one spell every two minutes wasn’t ideal. It’s a 2-3% nerf to our throughput in most raid cases and a flat buff in Mythic+. Our playstyle won’t change that much. We’re still cooldown-based powerhouses and you’ll still play around Tree of Life, Tranquility and Flourish windows.


Where do we sit on the healer log? But X said…..

Healers were reasonably close together in Uldir and with the 8.1 changes bringing Disc down and Resto Shaman up they should be closer still. We are not on top of the healer power rankings but when everyone is close together that doesn’t matter so much. Play what you enjoy and don’t worry about the theoretical 4% extra HPS you could be doing if you were a Disc Priest. By the time you get good at the spec you rerolled to there’ll be another patch and the rankings will shuffle again. Try not to take “math” done in paint too seriously.


Does this change which talents we take?

You’ll still take Inner Peace / Flourish most of the time. Cooldown strength always depends on the damage windows of each fight but at least for Uldir our progression build won’t change. Soul of the Forest in particular isn’t magically viable because of the small synergy with a 10% Wild Growth buff (that Tree of Life also benefits from).


Feral buffs? So… Catweaving buffs?

The following Feral changes copy over to us as Resto:

  • Buff: Rip Energy cost reduced to 20. Combo points now extend duration instead of increasing damage.
  • Buff: Shred damage increased by about 20%.
  • Nerf: Ferocious Bite no longer refreshes Rip on low health targets.

The other changes, such as the aura buff and mastery changes, are Feral-only.


Trait Revamps

In 8.1 several traits are being revamped while others are being removed entirely and replaced with new traits. All azerite pieces will continue to have four rings until season 2 launches at the end of January along with the new raid and Mythic+ season. The Azerite Page has been updated with all changes and Questionably Epic Live can tell you what your best gear is.


  • Autumn Leaves 2.0

    Old Ranking: Gold

    New Ranking: Rolls Royce / Best in slot

    What changed? The first Autumn Leaves trait now adds 1s to Rejuv duration. The bonus healing for having one HoT on the target has been reduced.

    How do we feel? The Autumn Leaves change makes it a strong raid trait that’s no longer dependent on the nature of the fight like the old Autumn Leaves.  You can expect almost a 7% throughput increase to rejuvenation from the extension and then any bonus healing you get for Rejuv being the only HoT on the target is a bonus. The extension doesn’t stack. You’ll want one Autumn Leaves only. In Mythic+ Autumn Leaves is decent alongside Germination but poor in Photosynthesis builds.

  • Lively Spirit 2.0

    Old Ranking: Silver

    New Ranking: Diamond

    What changed? Lively Spirit now returns mana based on number of spells cast during the Innervate but the int boost has been reduced.

    How do we feel? The early math on this trait was incorrect. The first piece you pick up is highly competitive and you’ll want one for sure going into Battle for Dazar’alor.

  • Ephemeral Recovery 2.0 0.5

    Old Ranking: Bronze

    New Ranking: Silver

    What changed? Instead of offering almost-passive mana regen through the fight, Ephemeral Recovery now gives it to you in one load when you fall below 20% mana.

    How do we feel? Ephemeral Recovery becomes slightly better on shorter fights. It has a three minute cooldown so it’s possible to cheese it and get mana from it twice on some fights this can’t be relied on very often. Ultimately the middle traits aren’t hugely competitive and this does an ok job if you’re stuck with it.

  • Fungal Essence Removed! New Trait: Early Harvest

    Fungal Essence Ranking: Bronze 

    Early Harvest Ranking: Silver

    How do we feel? Fungal Essence was a booby prize that you prayed you didn’t see in your M+ cache every week. Early Harvest isn’t top tier, but you won’t feel quite as disappointed. It’s in the middle of the pack.

  • Azerite Fortification Removed! New Trait: Switch Hitter

    Azerite Fortification Ranking: Bronze was generous

    Switch Hitter Ranking: Silver

    How do we feel? Azerite Fortification made Fungal Essence look glorious in comparison. It was a non-trait. Useful in world PVP but never in raid. Switch Hitter is just ok. You can Bear Form -> Frenzied Regen as big raid damage hits and the 10% Avoidance will do a little work. It’s still nowhere close to the best inner traits like Resounding Protection but it at least does something. We don’t get the Swiftmend absorb as Resto.


The new Darkshore Warfront add another four new traits

Horde and Alliance get two each. More information will be added on these when the servers come back up.

  • Ancients’ Bulwark (Alliance)

    Ranking: Gold

    What does it do?  You gain 200-300 Versatility while standing still and heal for 400-600 per second while moving.

    How do we feel? It’s ok. The standing still portion is stronger than the move portion so you’ll want to stand still as often as possible. This also means that you can’t jump. I’m so sorry.

  • Shadow of Elune (Alliance)

    Ranking: Low Silver

    What does it do?  Your spells have a chance to increase your Haste by 500-700 for 15 seconds. At night, you also gain 10% movement speed for the duration.

    How do we feel? This is effectively a Blood Rites that doesn’t refresh on kills and instead gives an occasional movement speed bonus. Random speed bonuses are effectively useless and there aren’t enough stats to make this better than low-mid tier.

  • Apothecary’s Concoction (Horde)

    Ranking: Low Silver

    What does it do?  Your healing abilities have a chance to restore 4000-5000 health over 6 seconds. Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal 2000-3000 damage over 6 seconds. These effects are increased by up to 100% based on the targets missing health. Does not count as a HoT for our mastery.

    How do we feel? This one isn’t great either. It’s slow, random healing and even if you’re healing a raid that’s perpetually on 10% health you’re still not getting enough value out of it to compete with better traits.

  • Endless Hunger (Horde)

    Ranking: Diamond

    What does it do?  Your Versatility is increased by 200-300. Moving near an enemies corpse heals you for 3000-4000 health.

    How do we feel? Turns out flat stats are pretty good. This is still basically a better version of the Alliance version (Ancients Bulwark) since it provides the same amount of Versatility without forcing you to stand still. Any healing you get from moving near enemy corpses is a nice bonus.


Does this mean we have a new BiS?

For Uldir you’ll want to run 1 Autumn Leaves, 1 Archive of the Titans and then either a second Archive or a Waking Dream. The Mythic+ best in slot list hasn’t changed and you’ll still want to run 1 Grove Tending and 2 Tradewinds or Archive of the Titans.


New Profession Items

It’s a great day to be an Engineering / Alchemy main. The new items will be potent at the start of the raid tier (and now) before falling off later. Leatherworkers also gain the ability to make 385 BoP boots / pants and Jewelcrafters can be a very powerful 415 socketed ring.


Emblazoned Gearspun Goggles

The Breakdown: If you already have a decent 385 helm then save your money. This doesn’t outrank them. If you’re a new alt or still running around in 370 world quest gear then you might consider it. The 400 and 415 ilvl versions of the helm can’t be made until the new raid is live.



Emblazoned Alchemist Stone

The Breakdown: The new Alchemist stone is basically the Mythrax trinket with a big mana bonus attached. Given how mediocre the current slate of trinkets is, this makes it good enough to be a top 2 raiding trinket until Season 2 begins. Alchemists also get two hour flasks. That’s right. It’s time to reroll. This one can be a little confusing because there are actually two 385 Alchemist stones and the one available from the trainer can’t be crafted until Season 2 begins at the end of January. To learn how to craft the Emblazoned stone you need to craft a 355 Sanguinated Stone. That’ll give you the recipe for the 370 ilvl Imbued Alchemist stone which will then unlock the 385 version. Phew. You can scrap the 355 and 370 stones after you make them to get some of the Expulsom back.


So, what else is coming this patch?

Honestly most of the good content is coming when Season 2 begins at the end of January. Until then you’ll have some badass new quest lines and a BFA version of the Legion Invasions to see you through the rest of 2018.



11 responses to “Resto Druid 8.1 FAQ”

  1. Vhelke says:

    Great site, my go to source of theorycrafting.

    Looking at the racials grid of your 8.1.5, I see the highmountain tauren missing. Can we expect roughly the same numbers as kul tiran ? 1% versatility

    Keep up the good work!

    • Voulk says:

      Thank you so much. I can’t believe I forgot the Kings of the Mountain. They’re just a little below Kul Tiran, since the Kul Tiran racial includes the HoT as well as the 1% Versatility. Definitely a very very strong Druid race.

  2. Atlass says:

    Hey I know it’s not related to the article, but was just wondering when to expect the bosses guide on the mythic plus compendium. They were such a huge help in Legion and have been looking forward to them. THanks for all you do! 🙂 Cheers

  3. ellori says:

    Hi, I greatly appreciate all the useful guides and stuff!

    Just a heads up to let you know I think the Grid2 profile needs updating for the new Necrotic affix name (from Necrotic Rot to Necrotic Wound).

  4. Gamdja says:

    As usual the best site for Resto Druid. Keep it going ! thanks for the work done !!!

  5. Hydrohots says:

    Great guide, exactly what I was looking for going into 8.1. I’m really interested to see how Apothecary’s Concoctions and other warfront traits work out in terms of power, for both resto and boomkin. I just got the AC helm so if there is any way I can help upload data just let me know.

    • Voulk says:

      Thanks! Looks like the new traits are on the weak side for Resto. The warfront traits from Arathi weren’t great either so I’m guessing they purposely tune these ones down.

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