Resto Druid in Five Minutes
Last Updated: 6 December 2020 (Shadowlands)
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 a dominant healing spec in Mythic+.
- 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. You can also follow up heavy raid damage by casting Regrowths after your Flourish.
- Swiftmend. Instant heal on a 15 second cooldown. In now requires a Regrowth, Rejuv or Wild Growth HoT on the target to cast and it’ll consume the weakest of the set. You’ll mostly cast this when you take the Soul of the Forest talent, or when you need an instant heal on a target that might otherwise die.
- Solar Wrath. Our basic damage spell. It costs very very little 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. Contributing damage to a fight when able is a sign of a capable healer.
- We also bring significant utility to the raid or dungeon and you can read more about those spells throughout 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. Keen use of your defensives is a key difference between a good and great player of any spec. Put it on a great keybind and then use it regularly.
- 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. The cooldown on this is so short that you should aim to use it multiple times per attempt or dungeon.
- Tranquility. Heals ALL allies within 40 yards and leaves a stacking HoT that lasts 8 seconds. A powerful raid cooldown. The HoT portion effectively increases all of your healing across the raid while active through our mastery.
These are very similar to what you would have run in Battle for Azeroth. Abundance is replaced by Cenarion Ward, as our low haste and restricted mana allows fewer active rejuvs than we had previously. Abundance will become stronger as the tiers go by. In the level 45 tier you should take Spring Blossoms, so long as the raid is stacked. Inner Peace is more of a niche pick when the raid is very very spread, or when it gives you a key extra Tranquility in a fight. Soul of the Forest is very competitive with Tree of Life now, but has a poor interaction with our best raid legendary (Vision of Unending Growth) where the Soul of the Forest proc can be eaten by a spreading rejuv. You can read more about our talents here.
Full Guide: Legendaries
Raid: Vision of Unending Growth > Memory of the Mother Tree > the rest.
Mythic+: Memory of the Mother Tree = Dark Titans Lesson = Circle of Life and Death (DPS Focus) > The rest > Vision of Unending Growth
Full Guide: Stats
Gearing Tool: QE Live
Intellect is our strongest stat by a large margin in Shadowlands. In most cases you will just select your highest item level gear. For equal item level pieces you can follow a rough priority of:
- Raid: Haste > Crit = Versatility > Mastery
- Mythic+: Haste >= Mastery > Crit = Versatility
Once the raid goes live you can use Wowanalyzer to get proper stat weights that are accurate to your character and gear. The above linked Questionably Epic Live takes the guesswork out of gearing your character.
Night Fae is a dominant option for Resto Druid PVE. The other choices are 5-6%+ behind and I’d strongly recommend you avoid them in any kind of competitive play.
- You need to “ramp” for incoming damage by spreading rejuv through the raid ~12 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 (or to half if you use it on a friend). 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.