Resto Druid in Five Minutes

Last Updated: 3 July 2020

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+.


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. If you take Abundance you can cast this with much more freedom since it becomes a reasonably efficient spell. We’ll discuss that more in the talents section.
  • Swiftmend. Instant heal on a 25 second cooldown. Our only emergency single target heal. Reasonably mana efficient this expansion.
  • 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 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. An extremely powerful raid cooldown.


Once geared you should consider Abundance in the first row, particularly if you end up running full Expedient. 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 Tranquility 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


Gearing & Corruption

Our best resto-specific traits are Lively Spirit, Autumn Leaves and Rampant Regrowth. You can read more about our Azerite traits here, and our trinkets here. Stat traits are exceptionally good for both kinds of content and Heart of Darkness, Blightborne Infusion, Blood Rite and Swirling Sands are all solid choices. You can run your specific azerite pieces through QE Live to hone in on your best set.

You can read an in-depth Corruption guide here. In raid you will slowly build toward either an Expedient or Severe set by stacking your gear with your chosen secondary. Expedient has a much higher cap, is incredibly popular and is quite easy to gear for. Severe is easier to play but doesn’t have quite as high a throughput cap. While gearing the various stat procs are also solid (Void Ritual included). You will look at swapping them out around 1800ish of your chosen secondary stat.



Full Guide: Essences

Essences are reasonably fixed for Resto Druid in raid. You’ll pair Memory of Lucid Dreams major with Ever Rising Tide, Conflict & Strife in your first two minor slots. For Heroic raids you’ll complete the set with Unwavering Ward whereas Mythic favors Formless Void as it scales harder with your throughput. Well of Existence is a distant fourth place but really do strive to collect the above.


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.
  • 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.