Resto Druid in Five Minutes

Last Updated: 21 April for Patch 9.2.

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 strong cooldown combos and unrivalled mobility and defensive power.

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. 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.

Cooldowns

  • 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.

Talents

Some quick notes on talents

  • Mythic+: Photosynthesis is a great starter dungeon choice since it adds a lot of healing. Once you’re more comfortable you can swap to Flourish which will give you more opportunities to maximize your damage.

Legendaries

Full Guide: Legendaries

Raid: Celestial Spirits (Unity) + Vision of Unending Growth. Verdant Infusion has some niche but rare usages.

Mythic+: Verdant Infusion (healing) / Draught of Deep Focus (damage) or Circle of Life and Death (damage).

Stats

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 >= Mastery > Versatility = Crit
  • Mythic+ (healing): Haste >= Mastery > Crit = Versatility
  • Mythic+ (damage): Haste > Versatility >= Crit >> Mastery

Questionably Epic Live above takes the guesswork out of gearing your character and you should use it for all gear related questions. There’s a starter guide to get you started.

 

Covenants

Raid

Night Fae is a dominant option for Resto Druid in raid. The other choices are 5-6%+ behind and I’d strongly recommend you avoid them in any kind of competitive play where your healing is relevant. For fights with no healing check you can swap to Kyrian to buff the damage of a key DPS but this is a healing heavy tier and Kyrian was nerfed quite hard.

Mythic+

In Mythic+ you have more choice.

  • Beginners: Night Fae remains a good pick, but is very defensively focused. You’ll do very good healing and handle emergencies very well. The downside is that you’ll do less damage. A great pick while you’re learning the spec.
  • Personal DPS: Necrolord.
  • Group DPS: The Kyrian legendary gives a superb stat buff to an ally. This can be a very strong addition to your group, so long as you have a good DPS to attach it to.

Venthyr is not competitive in any content.

 

Quickfire Tips

  • 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. You are a cooldown based healer. This is covered much more in the rest of the guide.
  • 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 (when taken) Cenarion Ward. 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. Keybind it. It’s a significant boost to your HP and will save your life frequently.

Need more depth? Start with spells.