Resto Druid in Five Minutes

Updated for 8.3! We got a small mastery nerf but nothing about our playstyle changes.


This is a quick reference sheet that offers a quick way to get into the spec. For the full Resto Druid guide, complete with advanced explanations, start here. The reference guide is unlikely to offer the best strategy for any particular fight, but should be ‘pretty good’ across the board. Restoration Druids specialize in heal over time (HoT) effects and excel at reacting to consistent damage while being weak at dealing with burst damage outside of cooldowns. In raid they often focus on healing the raid while keeping multiple hots on the tanks. They are decent in raids and the dominant healing spec in Mythic+.

Core Spells

  • Lifebloom. Heal over time that can only be cast on one target at a time. Aim for 100% lifebloom uptime on a tank or priority target.
  • Rejuvenation. Heal over time effect that lasts 15+ seconds. Start spreading rejuv across the raid ~10 seconds before you’re expecting heavy damage.
  • Wild Growth. AoE heal over time effect on a short cooldown that hits six targets. Very efficient and should be cast almost on cooldown to keep the group healthy.
  • Efflorescence. Targeted healing effect that heals allies in the green circle. It lasts for 30 seconds and is incredibly efficient. Aim for 100% uptime.
  • Regrowth. Fast, inefficient heal that applies a smaller HoT effect. Cast whenever an ally needs urgent healing, or whenever Omen of Clarity procs.
  • Swiftmend. Instant heal on a 25 second cooldown. Our only emergency single target heal. Reasonably mana efficient in BFA.
  • Solar Wrath. Our basic damage spell. It doesn’t cost any mana and it’s a great way to fill in gaps in your rotation. You can’t afford to cast healing spells for eight minutes straight so use Solar Wrath as a filler.
  • We also bring significant utility to the raid or dungeon and you can read more about those spells in the rest of the guide.



  • Barkskin. Reduces the damage you take by 20% for 12 seconds. This is off the global cooldown, so get into the habit of casting it whenever you’re in danger.
  • Ironbark. Reduces the damage your target takes by 20% for 12 seconds. Use this whenever tank damage has gotten too high for your HoTs, or when another key ally is in trouble.
  • Tranquility. Heals ALL allies within 40 yards and leaves a stacking HoT that lasts 8 seconds. An extremely powerful raid cooldown.


Players new to the spec might consider taking Abundance and Tiger Dash in the first two tiers for an easier playstyle. In the level 90 tier you should take Spring Blossoms, so long as the raid is stacked. Inner Peace can also see play if it gives you particularly good Inner Peace timings. We’ll find out soon if Ny’alotha contains any. These aren’t the only viable talents, just a strong default set. You can read more about our talents here



Our best raid trait is Autumn Leaves while Tradewinds and Grove Tending are very good in Mythic+. You can read more about our Azerite traits here, and our trinkets here. Stat traits are exceptionally good for both kinds of content and Loyal to the End, Heart of Darkness, Blightborne Infusion and Swirling Sands all make multiple best in ring lists.

For the rest of your gear aim to pick up your highest item level pieces. Our secondaries are all close in value. You can read an in-depth Corruption guide here.



You’ll want to start collecting the following when you jump into the patch. There is also an Essence page in the guide.

  • Memory of Lucid Dreams

    How to get it? Reach rank 3 on any bodyguard. They’ll get experience by joining you for special daily quests or world quests. There is a cap of +1 level per day.

    This is a solid all-round Essence that is good on every raid fight and is easy to pick up.

  • Ever Rising Tide

    How to get it? Reach honored with Ankoan (Alliance) or Unshackled (Horde). You get rep from completing world quests and from the core story quests.

    This is a more advanced Essence that excels in high throughput environments. You won’t use it every fight but you’ll want it in your toolkit. The minor is also exceptional.

  • Well of Existence

    How to get it? Reach honored with the Rustbolt Resistance (the Mechagon faction). You can get rep from world quests and picking quests up around Mechagon.

    This is a great pick for a minor slot and scales well with your throughput. You will use this until you unlock rank 3 Conflict and Strife.


Quickfire Tips

  • You need to “ramp” for incoming damage by spreading rejuv through the raid ~10 seconds before you expect it to hit and Wild Growth as it goes out. This means that you have to know the timers of the fight to know when to start preparing. This can take practice but is much more rewarding than mindlessly spamming spells and running out of mana two minutes in.
  • Playing a resto druid well means keeping a high uptime on your most mana efficient spells. You need to have 100% uptime on Lifebloom, Efflorescence and Cenarion Ward and this can be harder than you might expect. Check your uptimes after every fight with WoWAnalyzer.  
  • Innervate reduces the mana cost of spells to zero for its duration. Use Flourish to extend the duration of the extra HoTs you’ll have up. Try and fit in both a Wild Growth and an Efflorescence refresh to maximise the value of the Innervate.
  • Use Bear Form to help survive burst damage and buy yourself a few extra seconds to receive heals. If you are talented into Guardian Affinity you can cast Frenzied Regeneration to heal yourself back up. Keybind it. It’s a significant boost to your HP and will save your life frequently.


Need more depth? Start with spells.