Resto Druid in Five Minutes
Updated for 8.1.5! You might also want to check out the Resto Druid FAQ here.
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+.
- 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 Inner Peace if you can make use of the extra Tranquilities and Spring Blossoms if you can’t, so long as the raid is stacked. These aren’t the only viable talents, just a strong default set. You can read more about our talents here. In BoD in particular it’s quite common to take Spring Blossoms.
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. In Battle of Dazar’alor you’ll want to aim for pieces with Treacherous Covenant or Bonded Souls. They’re incredibly strong.
For the rest of your gear aim to pick up your highest item level pieces. Our secondaries are all close in value.
- 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.