Resto Druids specialize in Heal over Time effects and this theme runs through most of our spells. You will need a method of tracking our different buff spells since they are most efficient when not overwritten early. This section can be long but the explanations are thorough, and the tricks spread throughout are valuable. If you are picking up a Resto Druid for the first time, I’d recommend reading the reference sheet for a much quicker explanation of each spell. Restoration is an incredibly rewarding spec to master and I would strongly recommend it to prospective healers. We are primarily cooldown-based healers and we pull most of our power through combining our spells. You’ll build large crescendos of healing that line up against key mechanics of each fight. It’s an incredibly rewarding playstyle.
- Lifebloom. Can be cast on one target at a time. Aim for high Lifebloom uptime on a priority target like a tank. If you recast Lifebloom on a target with less than 4.5 seconds remaining it will proc the bloom portion of the heal (and so you should never let Lifebloom run out).
- Rejuvenation. Heal over time effect that lasts 15 seconds. Rejuvenations are strongest when cast just before damage is about to hit and as a Resto Druid you will learn to predict incoming damage. This is covered in more depth in the Encounters section (which will return in the 9.1 raid). A good resto druid will know when to cast, and when to hold back.
- Wild Growth. AoE heal over time effect on a short cooldown that hits six targets. Wild Growth is a smart heal and will pick the six lowest health targets to heal. This makes it incredibly efficient and you can cast it on cooldown to react to any raid wide damage. If you are having mana trouble, cast this more often and Rejuvenation / Regrowth less. Wild Growth is amazing.
- You should know: Even though Wild Growth is cast on an ally (like every other heal) it won’t necessarily hit that target. It instead will pick the six lowest health targets within 30 yards of them. This tends to be a good thing in most cases, and the 30 yard range means that you can often decide if you want it to hit the ranged group or the melee group (who are often more than 30 yards apart). You should cast it on whichever group is lower, with a slight prioritization to the group that also has your Efflorescence (for Mastery).
The Direct Heals
- Regrowth. Fast heal that applies a smaller HoT effect. A useful filler spell if you take Abundance, otherwise it’s less efficient than casting a rejuvenation instead. Regrowths role in your ramp is after damage hits, when you already have a large set of Rejuvs out and have already cast Wild Growth.
- Swiftmend. Instant heal on a 25 second cooldown. Reasonably mana efficient in BFA. Pull it out whenever anyone needs emergency healing.
- 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.
- Trick: You can cast Barkskin in any form, so combine it with Bear Form to survive almost any mechanic. This almost doubles your effective health.
- 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 if another key ally is in trouble. In Shadowlands it also buffs all active HoTs on the target for it’s duration. You can cast this on yourself if Barkskin is on cooldown, or if you need both (what are you getting hit by!?).
- Tranquility. Heals ALL allies within 40 yards and leaves a stacking hot on them for 8 seconds. This is a potent cooldown, but no longer a key part of our kit like it once was.
- Trick: Tranquility benefits from your Mastery, so throw out a Wild Growth and make sure you’ve coated in the raid in Revejunations where possible before you cast Tranquility to give it a significant boost.
- Ysera’s Gift. Basically a free heal on you, or a raid member every 5 seconds. It doesn’t benefit from Haste or Versatility, isn’t increased by your Mastery, and cannot critically heal.
- Omen of Clarity. Omen of Clarity rewards you with some free Regrowth casts for having Lifebloom up. You are likely to see 2-3 procs a minute, and if the raid is in reasonable health you can cast the free Regrowths on the tank to put up another HoT for your mastery. You should make use of every proc. Omen of Clarity has a chance to proc even if the Lifebloom tick was 100% overheal.
- Efflorescence. Targeted healing effect that heals allies in the green circle. It lasts for 30 seconds and you’ll want to aim for 100% uptime (here’s a WeakAura to help). It’s very efficient so long as there are at least three allies in the circle that are missing health. It’s large enough to hit both the tank and the melee group in most fights and that is often the recommended strategy. Haste increases the rate at which Efflorescence heals and it can crit.
- You should know: For encounters where you are running Spring Blossoms, the Efflorescence heal will prioritize targets that don’t have the Spring Blossoms hot but Efflorescence is otherwise NOT a smart heal (and so could heal an ally at 90% life instead of one at 10%).
- Innervate. Allows you, or a targeted ally to cast spells for free for 12 seconds. It’s better to cast it on an ally rather than yourself, since in Shadowlands you still get half the benefit if you do so. If you’re in one of those groups where you’re doing almost all of the heavy lifting then you can keep it but try to avoid doing so.
- Trick: Efflorescence and Wild Growth are both reasonably expensive spells that should be fit into your Innervate duration. Rejuvenations are better value than Regrowths unless the Rejuvenation will mostly overheal.
- Trick: Try not to time your Innervate as the big damage hits. Instead cast it 5-8 seconds beforehand to get a blanket of Rejuvenations out before the damage hits. This might increase your overheal by a little bit but also vastly increases the chances of your raid group surviving the damage.
- Nature’s Cure. The Resto Druid dispel. In Shadowlands dispels are on an 8 second cooldown, and remove all negative effects on the target. As a Druid we can cleanse anything that isn’t a disease, and dungeons in particular have **many** status effects that you can dispel. Make sure this is keybound and used frequently.
- Ursol’s Vortex. A frequently forgotten about utility spell that has many applications in Mythic+ dungeons (and a few in raid too). It forms a cyclone at the targeted location which pulls back in mobs that escape as well as slowing them down. You can get pretty creative with its use but some examples include:
- Keeping mobs away from the tank in Mythic+ dungeons (especially with the Necrotic affix when the tank is trying to reset stacks).
- Stalling boss adds (no great applications in Nathria).
You also have some damage spells, including Moonfire, Sunfire, Solar Wrath, and an additional set depending on which Affinity talent you select. You should use any downtime to chain-cast Solar Wrath at the active priority target. It costs zero mana and can make a significant difference to your progression. Feel free to weave in Moonfire if you have excess mana.
If you recast a hot that has less than 30% of its duration left on a target the remaining duration will be added to the refresh. For example, if you refresh a Lifebloom with 3 seconds remaining, that three seconds will be added to the 15 second fresh Lifebloom (for an 18 second total duration). This applies to all heal and damage over time effects therefore there is no cost to refreshing HoTs early within this zone. 30% is a little hard to remember so here are some proper numbers:
- Lifebloom: 4.5s or less remaining.
- Rejuvenation: 4.5s or less remaining.
- Regrowth: 3.6s or less remaining.
The Resto Druid mastery has been through a few iterations since the stat was introduced, with its current version one of the best. Mastery: Harmony increases all healing done to the target by 4-20%+ for each HoT on them. This means that if you have a Lifebloom and a Rejuvenation on the target and 20% mastery, all healing you do to the target will be increased by 40% (20%x2). This includes the HoT themselves.
There are currently nine different spells that count toward it:
- Regrowth (HoT portion)
- Wild Growth
- Cenarion Ward
- Spring Blossoms
- Tranquility (HoT potion)
Germination tends to be a rare pick so the maximum you’ll usually get to is eight, but in reality you’ll sit at 2-3 in raid and 3-4 in threatening dungeon scenarios. Non-resto druid HoTs like those you see occasionally on trinkets do not count toward our mastery.
Getting the most out of your Mastery
A newer player might be content with letting mastery do its thing as a mostly passive boost to healing. However as a more advanced Resto Druid player we can get more value out of it than that. Feel free to come back to this section after you’ve read through the rest of the guide.
By stacking our HoT’s on a smaller number of players, we increase all healing that we do (though to fewer targets). Here are some ideas:
- When blanketing the raid with Rejuvenations, prioritize those standing in your Efflorescence (often melee). This increases your Efflorescence, Spring Blossoms, and Rejuv healing.
- Keep Rejuvenation and Lifebloom on the tanks at all times as they’ll buff each other by 10-15% or more. This also has the effect of increasing your Cenarion Ward healing by a huge amount.
- Prioritize Regrowth heals on targets already effected by Rejuvenation since it will buff the direct heal component, and then the HoT portion will buff the Rejuvenation. In high tank damage situations it is often worth keeping the Regrowth HoT on the tank permanently, and should definitely be cast before Cenarion Ward (if taken) is dropped to increase its value even higher.
Now that we have a rough idea of what our spells do, let’s find out how to use them together.