Resto Druid Essences

Patch 8.2 brings a new progression system in the Heart of Azeroth itself – Essences. Essences give you a new ability to drag onto your bars (most of the time) and they’re pretty impactful to our performance. For Resto Druid there’s a core set of 4-5 of them that you’ll want to collect and swap between depending on the fight. I’ll include fight-specific recommendations a week or so after the raid opens. If you’re after a full in-depth breakdown of every Essence you can read through the Essence Preview series here.

 

The TL;DR Essence tier list

Sometimes you just want to know what’s best. These are rather general and even Essences in the “niche” tier might see some use if their strengths align with a specific fight, it just won’t happen often. As Resto Druids in raid we’ll mostly be swapping between Ever-Rising Tide and Memory of Lucid Dreams as our major with a lean toward the former. In Mythic+ Ever-Rising Tide remains our highest throughput option but Well of Existence can greatly improve our spot heal.

  • The Major Slot (unlocked when you finish the intro quests)

    The Michael Jordan tier: Memory of Lucid Dreams, The Ever-Rising Tide
    The Next Best: Well of Existence, Life-Binders Invocation
    Niche to unusable: Vision of Perfection, Worldvein Resonance, Artifice of Time, Crucible of Flame, Vitality Conduit, Ripple in Space, Conflict & Strife

     

    The Minor only slots (unlocked at 55 and 65)

    The Michael Jordan tier: Memory of Lucid Dreams, Well of Existence, Ever Rising Tide
    The Next Best: Conflict & Strife, Life-Binders Invocation, Worldvein Resonance
    Niche to unusable: Artifice of Time, Vision of Perfection, Crucible of Flame, Ripple in Space

  • The Major Slot (unlocked when you finish the intro quests)

    The Serena Williams tier: The Ever-Rising Tide, Well of Existence
    The Next Best: Life-Binders Invocation, Crucible of Flame (DPS contribution), Memory of Lucid Dreams
    Niche to unusable: Artifice of Time, Vision of Perfection, Worldvein Resonance, Vitality Conduit, Ripple in Space, Conflict & Strife

     

    The Minor only slots (unlocked at 55 and 65)

    The Serena Williams tier: Well of Existence
    The Next Best: Conflict & Strife, Life-Binders Invocation, Memory of Lucid Dreams, Ever Rising Tide
    Niche to unusable: Artifice of Time, Ripple in Space, Crucible of Flame, Vision of Perfection, Crucible of Flame, Worldvein Resonance

 

Stuff you should know

  • All flat numbers and percentages on your Essences scale with your Heart of Azeroth neck level. This applies to minor essences most of the time since Majors often don’t have a flat number component but there are exceptions (Crucible of Flame, Artifice of Time).
  • Your first Essence slot gives you both the Major and Minor components.
  • You can compare all Essences in QE Live and it includes full log support. A week or two into raid it’ll let you optimize for a fight specifically.

 

Master the spec: Top tier Essences in detail

  • The Ever-Rising Tide

    Essences: Ever Rising Tide

    Ramp

    You’ll need to chain cast during the first 8 seconds of the buff. We’ll call this the “ramp” phase. You don’t really have to change your rotation here, so long as you’re always casting. Rejuvenation is an easy choice and keep your Efflorescence refreshed. Wild Growth can either be cast in the very first GCD of the buff, or as your last cast of the 8 second window. We basically want our healing buff to be maximized before we weave it in.

    If you’re planning on combining Lively Spirit with Ever-Rising Tide it’s often best to cast your Innervate 12 seconds before you pop ERT. This syncs the 20 second intellect buff up with the 16 second period of increased healing.

    Mighty Burst

    With the buff stacked pop your cooldowns of choice and thrash out as much healing as possible. You’ll always want to get a Wild Growth in regardless of what else you’re using.

    Notes

    • Don’t feel like you have to use this on cooldown. You want to align it with the damage of the fight, and then to a lesser degree your other cooldowns. Remember that it’s costing you 6400 mana every time you click it. We can justify that cost by pumping out a lot of healing during its duration but if we don’t then you come out behind.
    • Aim to combine it with at least one of Flourish, Lively Spirit or Tranquility. Specific usages are fight dependent and we’ll have individual tips a few weeks into the tier.
    • In Mythic+ the mana cost isn’t quite so tight since we are ultra efficient dungeon healers. You’ll still want to line it up with damage.
  • Memory of Lucid Dreams

    Essences: Memory of Lucid Dreams

    Notes

    • It doesn’t particularly matter when you pop Lucid Dreams rank 1 and 2. Make sure you don’t overcap on mana and you’re set. Aim to use it for the first time at about 80% mana if you’ll be actively casting in the 15 second window.
    • At rank 3 you’ll want to align it with any kind of raid-wide damage when possible to make use of the Leech. You can hold the cooldown for 10-15 seconds if it’ll give you a better window.
    • The minor is completely passive. There isn’t an advantage to trying to play around it with more expensive spells.
    • Memory of Lucid Dreams also increases cat form energy which is good but not really enough to push it to the top tier for Mythic+ alone. It can be a good choice if it’s a high tyrannical key and you’re making some use of the mana regen through the instance. The extra damage is a tidy bonus.
  • The Well of Existence

    Essences: Well of Existence

    Notes

    • The well can store up to your maximum HP.
    • There isn’t really an optimal way to play around the well. You’ll heal as normal and it’ll redistribute your overhealing as you go.
    • The Major isn’t quite as good numerically but the single target burst healing can be very useful, especially in dungeons like Kings Rest (Spit Gold, your time has come).
    • Significantly more difficult to empty in LFR, normal and some heroic raids. Keep an eye on how much throughput you’re getting from it and if it drops below ~2-3% then consider swapping it for another Minor.

 

Onwards to the 8.2 FAQ