Shadowlands Compilation: Resto Druid
Last Updated: 13 August
This page will exist as a compendium of all Resto Druid changes in the upcoming Shadowlands expansion. We don’t know anywhere near enough to comment on viability or strength yet but I’ll add commentary where relevant. This page will be updated as we learn more. Overall the Resto Druid changes are big positives so far and our new talent tree in particular is looking great.
- Stampeding Roar
- Nature’s Swiftness (tooltip missing, makes your next Regrowth instant and increases its healing by 100%).
- Nourish (talent, previously PVP only, replaces Prosperity)
- Heart of the Wild (talent) – Replaces Typhoon.
- Overgrowth (talent, previously PVP only, replaces Stonebark). Its cooldown has been increased to 1 minute.
Resto Druid is already stacked with Mythic+ utility. Now we have more. With mastery unchanged our dungeon outlook remains as good as it has been in Legion and BFA at this early juncture. If Feral Affinity remains the strongest DPS option on the row then we’ll trade Typhoon for Maim, Cyclone and Mighty Bash which is a large upgrade. Nature’s Swiftness could be expanded to include Nourish but will be quite a large heal either way.
Overgrowth really needs a mana cost decrease to see any competitive raid use. It might find niche M+ play as-is.
- Swiftmend replaced with Swiftmend Classic™. It’s cheaper and has a shorter cooldown (15s), but it consumes a HoT on the target.
- Multiple spell mana costs have changed. Some spells are also slightly stronger / weaker than on live. This is discussed further below.
- Ironbark cooldown increased to 90s (from 60) but at level 56 gains Stonebarks effect of increasing HoT healing on the target while active.
- If Innervate is cast on an ally you now get the effect at 50% effectiveness for its duration.
- Regrowth initial heal has a 40% increased crit chance at level 54 if the target already has a Regrowth HoT.
- The Photosynthesis proc chance has been reduced from 5% per HoT tick to 4%. This is a reasonable nerf to our single target healing in Mythic+ but not one that is likely to disrupt our current strong position in dungeons.
The Swiftmend change gives Soul of the Forest a large increase in power and it should compete well on that tier so long as New-Swiftmend is worth casting. Baking Stonebark into Ironbark is a great move since it effectively removes a dud talent. The cooldown increase is no doubt to curb our dungeon strengths.
The Innervate change is great for raid utility, though I would have preferred a 100/100 split or a 100/50 split in favor of the casting druid instead.
Current Talent Tree
You can also play around with the wowhead talent calculator here. Germination likely still needs a little work to be viable.
Consider these informational only for now. They will likely change throughout alpha and we still have Covenant “trees” to come which will likely modify spec abilities like the Artifact weapons did in Legion. We’ll go into much more depth when they get a few more builds along.
Mastery: 9%, Haste: 8%. These are based on the stats we had at the beginning of BFA which is likely to follow in Shadowlands. Crit / Spell Aura not included since they are consistent across spells with the exception of the second Regrowth cast which is minimally affected.
Covenants are basically four mini-factions of which you’ll pick one to align yourself with. There will be a process to switch covenants but they’ve indicated it won’t be an ultra quick process. Signing up to a covenant gives you one “signature ability” which is the same for every class, and a special “spec ability” which differs depending on what you’re playing. These are going to be tuned up until the day the expansion goes live (and probably for weeks after that) so we can only speculate about which might be best. They should also eventually have skill trees attached to them that give a variety of passive abilities. We don’t know much about these yet but they could factor into our decision.
Signature Ability: Summon Steward. You get your own personal butler that can give you a potion that heals and removes Curse, Diseases, Poisons and Bleeds. In BFA this would have been occasionally useful in Mythic+ but probably not enough so that you’d take it over the other three alternatives. The heal does have three charges but we’re still not particularly excited about it.
Druid Ability: Kindred Spirits. As Resto we get to form a bond with an ally that lasts for an hour. Every minute we can empower the bond for 10 seconds. The bond replicates 50% of all healing we do onto the target. Think of it as an on-use Beacon of Light.
Signature Ability: Fleshcraft. A channeled 4 second cast that creates an absorb for 20% of your maximum HP. If you channel near a corpse it absorbs between 20% and 50% instead (scaling with the strength of the mob). It also has a long two minute cooldown. This is solid for surviving one shots but Adaptive Swarm is poor and we’re often not contending with many hits of that size in the first tier anyway.
Druid Ability: Adaptive Swarm. A large HoT or DoT that heals over 12 seconds and increases our other HoTs by 20%. Bounces between allies and enemies on expiration. If you can have multiple of these out at once then it’s reasonably good and a great design. Given it is random and only heals one target at a time we will probably want this to be very good numerically to justify the pick. It currently isn’t.
Night Fae (Ardenweald)
Signature Ability: Soulshape. A movement speed buff with a blink attached? Yes. Please. You can also collect different forms to turn into including a moth, wolfhawk, unicorn and much more. We already have a lot of mobility baseline, but this has been invaluable in raid testing to reposition quickly around the room – particularly when you’re moving away from the group where Wild Charge is less effective.
Druid Ability: Convoke the Spirits. Channel a flurry of Druid abilities over a 4 second cast. The tooltip mentions that it’ll prefer restoration abilities but it remains to be seen what kind of percentage we’re looking at here. This is currently incredible. Swiftmends cast by the ability proc Soul of the Forest and it even has a small chance of casting a free Flourish.
Signature Ability: Door of Shadows. This is a blink with a 1.5s cast time and a 1 minute cooldown. Blinks are generally given quite high value and they should only feel “mandatory” with very specific dungeon / raid boss design. I don’t think we’ll ever end up in a situation where you are only invited to a key or raid if you are Venthyr – at least with what we currently know.
Druid Ability: Ravenous Frenzy. For 20 seconds, spells you cast increase your damage, healing and haste by 2%. If you stop casting for 1.5s you’ll take a huge self-hit and be stunned. This is like a mini Ever Rising Tide. With starter haste levels you’re looking at an average of ~16% haste and healing for the 20 second duration on a three minute cooldown. This is likely to start the expansion poor and then become a monster by the time it ends. Lines up very well with Tree, though it doesn’t function well with Tranq.
Legendaries have been split into their own article for deeper analysis. You can find it here. In general we have a well-rounded set of legendaries with only a few needing some tuning pre-release.
Conduits & Soulbinds
Analysis on Conduits and Soulbinds is coming soon!
A little confusing Kindred Spirits spell in this article . Its a link to hunter’s spell for BM, not druid’s from shadowlands
I don’t think Convoke for resto casts SOTF if you’re not specced into it (unlike flourish). This must’ve been updated.
Yep you are right. They are basically just regular Swiftmends and so benefit from any Swiftmend related synergy you take (with the exception of the legendary sadly)
Night Fae is very druidic. The story itself of the zone initially felt too cartoonish nature-loving themed, but quickly gained depth, I personally liked. The questline when you join the covenant to get your abilities is very witty and interesting, and if they don’t provide the same to the other covenants, everyone will have at least one alt Night Fae. Both for Resto and Guardian, the ability is a huge oh-crap button (for guardians can leave you with 3-5 IFs and a full rage bars, all mobs onto you) and for Resto it’s what he described, amazing. The only issue (for everything but resto) is that the general ability gets you to “human” form, out of shapeshifting, and it is disastrous for tanking.
I think I’m going to pick the covenant that I like the best thematically and work with the abilities it comes with as best I can.
Expac after expac and patch after patch people throw themselves into the best ability and then cry so loud when it inevitably gets nerfed. So cool transmog or fun ability or best soulbinds for me is what i’ll be picking.
So i loved to play Prosperity + Soul of the Forest + Germination even tho it wasnt the best, its playstyle just was realy fun to use.
With Prosperity no longer available and the change to Swiftmend, do u think its still possible to play around Soul of the Forest?
Hey, do you think that the Night Fae druid ability will choose cat’s spells if you are in cat even if you are in resto spec ? This could be HUGE in mm+ combined with Heart of the Wild and Feral afinity
As a healer I am really happy about the return of Stamp Roar and HotW. I loved the added utility before they were removed.
Regarding covenant abilities I am sceptical at best. Don’t get me wrong I do like what blizz is trying to do. But either we are forced into a certain covenant (which would be the case now) or the abilities will be nerfed into oblivion so that the choice doesn‘t really matter.
Ion said that they want players to choose what they like and that (at the moment) you won‘t be able to change covenants. So they realistically have to make the abilities irrelevant to achieve that because otherwise players will always pick the statistically best covenant for their spec. And don‘t even think about possible nerfs later down the line without players being able to change the covenant.
TLDR: I do hope they get it right but I‘m sceptical because there are way to many factors to consider throughout the expansion.
Anyway that got way longer than I expected it to be, what do you think?
Kindred spirits applies the same buff but backwards. So if you use it on a healer, they’ll place a beacon on you, a tank will sac you, and a dps will give you stacking int.
Nice! Good to know.
Really nice write up. Thanks for this.