A little bit about myself: I played retail for 7 years nonstop from vanilla to cataclysm before quitting a few months into cata, i currently play casually on retail now just to keep in touch with friends mostly. I have many posts on elitists jerks and blizzard forums with theory crafting for classes. I’ve raided with 2 different top 50 US guilds for most of my time in retail. I Love to theory craft and find out how best to maximize my healing on all of my healers not just druids although they are my favorite healing class. I decided to return to my favorite expansion and the heyday time of being a restoration druid.
I hope this guide helps you with all your questions and if you have any feel free to hit me up in game (if im not busy raiding), PM me, or hit me up in this thread. You can find my current spec here.
Note: This guide will not cover healing at lower levels of gear or a fresh lvl 80 druids this is for those of you with decent to great gear. I will NOT be covering a 10m normal or H healing guides. THIS GUIDE IS FOR 25 NORMAL AND HEROIC MODE HEALING ONLY. 25man modes offer the highest gear and difficulties and that’s what I am basing my guide on.
I highly suggest reading this guide as it will answer a lot of your questions but you can also check out my resto guide right here…
1. Breakdown and abilities of our class
2. Stats and Priorities
4. Healing spells and breakdown
8. Common Questions and current bugs
9. Macros, Addons and Tricks
Druids have some of the most unique things to offer others that are class specific in the game such as:
We are the only class with Rebirth (battle rezz)
We have one of the most overpowered mana regeneration abilities in Innervate
We are the most mobile healers in the game.
We offer class buffs such as 6% increased healing to the raid.
Pulled agro with healing on ads that spawned? Shadowmeld! Also comes in handy for many things in molten such as combat bug.
Druids can easily shapeshift in and out of forms to remove slowing effects which is great for bosses and mobs.
We are the only class that can play all 4 aspects of the game: Melee damage, Ranged damage, Tank, and Healer.
These things alone make a resto druid or any druid for that matter essential to a raid composition in order to fill many roles.
This is by far our most important stat to get capped before we start pouring on the spell power. Why Is this you ask?
The reason why it’s important to get haste capped is simple. It allows us to cast rejuvenation (our best heal) as fast as possible in game. Blizzard (and molten) has a built in 1 second global cool down or GCD so no matter if it is an instant cast or not. That’s the reason why you cannot spam your instant cast spells as fast as you can spam.
In order to reach this you will need 735 haste with 5/5 gift of the earth mother (Gotem) and 3/3 celestial focus (CF). Without the 3/3 in celestial focus you will need a haste rating of 856. For instance let us say you are a druid who can only cast rejuvenation every 2 seconds vs. a druid who is haste capped and can cast 1 every second. After 6 seconds you have casted a total of 3 rejuvenation’s vs. the haste capped resto who has casted 6.
The two haste specs (735 and 856) are only soft spec caps. To be hard capped we will need the following: a shamans 5% haste totem, and either improved moonkin form or a swift retribution in our raid composition.
The totem and either of the latter talents will provide us with enough haste in a 25m raid to be hard capped for 1 second rejuvenation’s. It is important to remind your raid leader in order to maximize your healing that you will need these buffs.
Spell power increases our healing so of course this is our second best stat to stack kind of a no brainer here
By far our third best stat. With Improved Tree of Life any spirit we have 15% of it is converted to spell power. Not only is that great but spirit is also great for our mana regeneration.
-Critical Strike Rating-
It is not our greatest stat with icc gear and the changes to resto druids after 3.3.2 while crit is good for those player rolling tier 9 gear it becomes useless at the higher end due to the fact that haste is more important and a better pick up gear wise. Once you reach the haste cap however crit should be something you aim to pick up for those rare times that you find yourself casting a direct heal. Remember crit and haste usually share spots on gear so while one piece may have crit another piece exactly alike may have haste. Do not gem for crit, simply after hitting haste cap gear for it.
Increases our mana pool. Other than what comes on your gear do not go around stacking for it.
While it may look good looks can be deceiving. It gives us no benefit to spell power like spirit does and it does not scale with certain things for us.
735 haste cap spec
856 haste cap spec
Which spec is better and why?
Well as you can see by looking at the talents rolling the 735 spec allows for less talents into the restoration tree. While some people may say well “those are just useless talents” they could not be further from the truth. Everything in the 856 spec is meant to maximize all our heals even for those rare times when we find ourselves casting direct heals. Let’s break down a few of the talents used in the 856 spec compared to the 735 spec….
In the 856 spec:
Great for those times when you direct heal a tank or proc a lifebloom effect on him or even a swiftmend heal. Nice little pic up to boost your raw healing even though it is currently not working as intended it still does some healing. (please vote this up in the bugtracker here)
not only am I getting a dmg reduction which comes in handy when adds are running loose but as I mentioned before after hitting the haste cap you want to go get crit in place of it? This talent provides you with more crit as well.
There are very few if any times I do cast nourish except on H LK or VDW but when I do I like my nourish hitting harder.
Both specs use….
In just reading the talent you can see why its such a great pick up. Both our top 2 heals proc it so it’s a no brainer why it should be a MUST HAVE. Great way to keep your dps up and give them more mana,energy,rage, and runic power.
The 735 spec:
ok yes you have to waste a point to get to celestial focus and brambles is the only viable spot to most people.
This talent is for direct healing fights only and for those not at either of the haste soft caps. It is needed only at the 735 soft spec to reach celestial focus. DO NOT USE THIS IF AT 856 HASTE OR MORE. A lot of people roll points into here thinking this is a great thing to have even after they reach the 856 haste…
Read the talent carefully. Then try it out when you’re at the 856 haste cap outside of a raid. At my current haste (865) my nourish is at a 1.1 second cast. Remember you cannot go below a 1 second GCD. So in reality when Natures Grace procs and you cast a direct heal your only shaving off .1 seconds. 3 talent points to shave off .1 seconds? It’s a waste since this heal becomes a 1 second cast in raid with all the buffs anyways.
Well what about Regrowth? It is at a 1.4 second cast time at the 856 rating outside raid. In a raid this drops to 1.1 (if you have the proper buffs) so again even in a raid you’re only shaving off .1 seconds. Pointless. A waste of talent points at that level also considering we don’t do a lot of direct healing as it is because when it procs you have 3 seconds to use it and if you’re in an AoE fight you’re not going to stop blanketing just to cast a direct heal.
The pushback effect reduction does not affect our healing spells only damaging spells however the 3% haste is needed to reach the soft cap when running the lower 735 soft haste cap.
So in comparing the raw power healing to each other the 856 spec provides us with more healing options/ more power than the 735 spec does.
Most of our healing comes from Healing Over Time spells or HoT’s. We are great at anticipating and gathering healing for fights before they begin and constant raid damage from bosses.
Rejuvenation or rejuv, is our best heal. You want to spray this throughout the raid as much as possible which is called “blanketing” the reason we do this is to anticipate heavy raid damage before it actually starts this also allows us to swiftmend (SM) almost any target as well as providing us with another great use of using rejuvenation. To get ahead on your healing you will also want to start “pre-hotting” or casting rejuvs right before the encounter starts.
Wild Growth (WG) should be up every time is off of CD. It is a very powerful heal and should be cast on raid members standing in a group so that the effect hits its maximum amount of targets. Casting this heal on a targets not stacked up is a loss in healing and does not help your raid.
Swiftmend (SM) should be used on every global CD if there is a player who is at low HP. it is an amazing heal that can hit as hard as a paladins top heal. ive seen procs in molten at the 30K-40k range already. Its like having another instant cast hard hitting heal at your fingertips to use. As well, it is one of the most mobile abilities of any healing class with only a 15 cd it makes us a mobile hard hitter.
Regrowth (RG) is kind of like our oh **** spam raid heal or our burn for when heroism is thrown and the raid is taking massive damage when hero goes out it becomes a GCD capped heal. Also a great idea to keep this rolling on tanks.
Lifebloom (LB) should be used with caution. Stacking it should only be done on tanks and if you have the mana pool to do so. It sucks up a lot of our mana, use your clearcasting procs to cast mana free ones that will give u the mana back effect as well. Good for fights where tanks are getting hit hard such as HLK and they need all the healing possible while your ranged group is busy moving from traps.
Nourish is used sparingly and is another oh **** heal. Remember it gains bonuses from hots already on the target try to use on tanks only or low raids member who have a hot (healing over time) spell on them already. Another great heal for HLK.
Tranquility Party only heals. Good for when your fellow party members are taking large amounts of damage and need topped off fast. Is a great combo for GtS.
Healing Touch STAY AWAY FROM THIS HEAL! It does basically nothing. It hits as hard as a nourish with full hots on a target. Only good for a natures swiftness macro.
Remember our role is to raid heal not tank heal. Leave that to the shamans and paladins. Rely on your other healers in raid to pick up incoming large chunks of damage on tanks while you focus on the raid. However do not forget situations arise where you may need to heal a person out of range or maybe a few healers are dead. For those times and to get them up fast direct healing is better until the raid dmg has become stable again.
These first two are MUST haves for any resto druid. Our third glyph however is really a tossup of what you think you would like more.
-Swiftmend- is a must. It saves us a global cd which means we do not have to recast a rejuvenation on the target effected by the swiftmend effect.
-Wild growth- also a must. Hitting one more target with this spell is an awesome effect and really helps healing the raid.
Possibilities for 3rd slot Glyphs:
-Glyph of Rejuvenation- ( Not to be confused with Rapid Rejuvenation) adds a little extra healing that may be possible for those who are getting hit hard.
-Glyph of Innervate- Great for that extra mana regen for both the person you casted it on and yourself. Also acts like having x1.5 vates on yourself when you cast this upon yourself.
-Glyph of Nourish- Great for fights like HLK or for those times you find yourself spamming bc half the healers are dead or a person just got hit really hard.
Why no rapid rejuvenation?
It is a question I get asked a lot and it has a very simple yet complex answer. It is great for 10 man bad for 25. It reduces the tick on our rejuv from 18 to 15 (when at 856 haste). Which means you can hot 3 less targets with it (again remember 1 second cast times). Plus your chances to SM raid member’s drops by 3.
To break it down for you. rejuv when speced into it is an 18 second tick meaning it will hit a target 6 times (every 3 seconds). With rapid rejuv it hits faster and thus cancels out 3 seconds on the timer. Same amount of healing ticks. So the max number of rujuvs you can spam when having this glyph is 15 vs without it 18. That’s 3 more targets you could have hotted up and 3 more targets that could have been used for a swiftmend. rapid rejuv also does a LOT more over-healing in 25 especially on AoE fights which is almost 90% of the icc encounters. It’s useful on H LK only. When Heroism is thrown and you have this glyph your rejuv really gets low timer wise (around 10 seconds depending on your haste). Over healing by large amounts. You want long steady heals on AoE fights not fast hitters. Quantity over quality is what wins the race here and rapid rejuv offers the latter. You want more rejuvs ticking on more players because damage is random. Rapid rejuv again does not work well for that.
Another post about why RR is not really effective in 25m:
This makes haste rating lower the time between rejuvenation ticks (without adding new ticks). This leaves healing per cast time of rejuvenation unchanged while increasing healing per second. This glyph is similar to the priest glyph of renew in this way. The value of this glyph depends on the damage pattern of the fight. Some fights, such as Twin Valkyrs, have raid wide aura damage(or any AoE damage fight for that matter) which favors Rejuv/Wild Growth spamming. In such fights, what determines druid throughput is healing per cast time, which makes this glyph not particularly useful. Moreover, if the DPS from the aura is less than the HPS of Rejuvenation modified by the glyph then the glyph can even decrease effective healing throughput and increase overhealing (since the HPS gain from the glyph on one target isn’t translating into effective healing due to lack of damage).
On the other hand, some fights feature damage that is more focused on tanks, and specific targets (for instance Rotface’s infection, or Saurfang’s mark) Molten is a little different. In such fights druids don’t spam as much, and use more targetted healing instead, so healing per second becomes a more important characteristic. In such fights the glyph may be very valuable. Finally on some fights (Anub) you may want to restrict the amount of HPS you do. Such fights also aren’t a good time to bring out this glyph. The glyph becomes very powerful in 5 man or 10 man content since it allows druids to blanket the entire group/raid with faster ticking Rejuvenations with little sacrifice of coverage.
This glyph increases the power of the Revitalize talent on the targets you do rejuvenate (although not on the raid as a whole). If you want to specifically take advantage of the dps gains of Revitalize by concentrating Rejuvenations on specific targets that gain a lot from Revitalize such as death knights, this glyph may be helpful.
tier 10 4 set– Sanctified Lasherweave Helmet, Sanctified Lasherweave Legplates, Sanctified Lasherweave Gauntlets, Sanctified Lasherweave Pauldrons
chest- Sanguine Silk Robes
neck- Bone Sentinel’s Amulet
back- Greatcloak of the Turned Champion
wrists-Bracers of Eternal Dreaming
waist- Professor’s Bloodied Smock
feet- Plague Scientist’s Boots
rings- Ashen Band of Endless Wisdom, Memory of Malygos
Idol- Idol of the Black Willow
trinkets- Purified Lunar Dust, Solace of the Defeated, Glowing Twilight Scale, Althor’s Abacus….(depends what you need more mana or SP)
weapon- Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings with Sundial of Eternal Dusk as your off hand.
I usually get a lot of questions about this as well which I will try to cover
Why is a cloth chest our BiS?- This is before cataclysm and the buff that gave you a bonus for wearing your armor class set. The chest piece offers the highest amount of haste because the pieces such as your chest and legs have higher stats than those of other pieces such as hands or shoulders. This is to maximize your stats to boost your haste from gear and not gems which is a loss in not haste but spell power.
What If I don’t have the coins to donate for the Legendary? Look for items with haste spell power and spirit. If you want to donate but don’t have enough coins to reach the legendary I would suggestArchus, Greatstaff of Antonidas or Royal Scepter of Terenas IIas Trauma is currently not working like it should. Another great pick up is Dying Light from BQL or the Mag’hari Chieftain’s Staff from DBS in 10m. If you have the sindial as your offhand but cant get the legendary mace then Royal Scepter of Terenas II is your best bet.
Does the mace really do that much healing? Yes! Its still not currently not working 100% as intended. However on fights such as TOGC twins I do around 5 million healing in absorbs alone! That’s crazy! The mace really excels at any AoE healing fight and is great for infest on HLK. However there are some drawbacks. For one you will lose haste when you acquire it making you gem more haste and losing some spell power no spirit on it as well which is a loss in Sp and mana regen. It also does not stack with others who have the mace, as in you do not get a double shield only 1 shield per mace. It also has 45 second internal cooldown and with the proc lasting 15 seconds it is basically only useful once every minute.
Why that 4 set? Why not use the shoulders with haste and the crit chest instead? Because the shoulders have a lower haste gain than the chest does. The chest has a higher set of stats than the shoulders do thus making getting to haste cap easier by choosing the chest pieces over the shoulders for the haste stats.
Your gems should be itemized to help you hit the haste cap while not sacrificing to many to help you stack more spell power gems. For this we use a number of different gems.
Quick King’s Amber=+20 Haste Rating
Reckless Ametrine=+12 spell power+10 haste
Runed Cardinal Ruby=+23 spell power
Meta Gem= Ember Skyflare Diamond +25 spell power +2% intellect or Insightful Earthsiege Diamond +21 Intellect and chance to restore mana on spell cast.
Why no spirit gems? You should not be gemming for mana generation. You should be focusing on haste or spell power to maximize your haste cap or your healing spells. Druids have the most powerful mana regeneration in the game. I have yet to go oom in any 25H raid. Besides gemming for 2 or 3 spirit gems are not going to have a big impact on your mana return.
Socket bonuses? NO. Hit them where you can but do not gem all your gear to hit them. Lets say for example the H silk robes your wearing have a 23 sp gem, 12 sp +10haste, and a 12 sp+ 10 spirit gems in it to hit the bonus of +9 spell power. So that’s 56 spell power+10 haste+10 spirit. However lets say your already at the haste cap. Adding that other 12sp+10haste gem just added another unneeded 10 haste. If you had rolled all +23 spell power gems your talking 69 spell power. A much better way to go to maximize your healing.
Please keep an eye on every bug to do with druids <HERE> and keep them bumped and voted.
What idol can we use that works? idols working again as of 9-14-13.
Is there a Rotation that we should use? Yes and no. When healing there is no “real” rotation. A lot can happen that makes a rotation useless. Breaking off to solo heal or to use some cd’s to help a raid member out really prevent any healer from using a rotation. However you want to be casting rejuv and WG all the time. With WG on a 6 second cd you can get off 6 rejuvs before throwing it out again. This should be common practice especially on AoE fights.
Why not use Tier 9 for all of icc? Well while Tier 9 does make healing H LK a little easier, the stats you lose by dropping your Tier 10 is almost 100 across the board (100 intellect, 100, spirit, ect..) this stat loss really begins to show when healing AoE fights. Not to mention most of the tier 9 gear was built around crit due to the set bonuses back in 3.2
Is the 4 set Tier 10 worth it? Yes! it does around 8%-10% of my total healing for any aoe fight. The proc helps me to blanket most if not all the raid in any AoE fight. For those who think a 2% chance is low or don’t see it procing enough then you’re not blanketing enough. Every tick of rejuv has a chance to proc the free rejuv.
What is the t9+rapid rejuv+crit spec and why haven’t you gone over it? Here on molten ive noticed compared to retail that unless it’s a progression kill it is really not needed. In retail all druids on H LK were rolling nourish specs for that fight alone. Here I can keep my 856 haste spec and still top healing easily on H LK. Maybe I will add it in later but for now I’ll just cover the basics.
Powershift Macro (all forms) for breaking snares fast and staying in form-
/cast [stance:1] !Dire Bear Form; [stance:4] !Travel form; [stance:3] !Cat Form; [stance:5] !Tree of Life
Courtesy of Artsy:
Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch (requires two presses if moving)
/cast Nature’s Swiftness
/cast Healing Touch
Nature’s Swiftness + Rebirth (requires two presses if moving)
/cast Nature’s Swiftness
Barkskin + Tranquility
Flasks: Frost Wrym for increased spell power or Mojo if you find yourself running low on mana.
A neat trick you can do to conserve mana is whenever your omen of clarity procs is to cast Lifebloom and you will still get the mana back effect from the spell.
I know a lot of players ask me who should I cast my WG on to maximize its effect? Since ranged are usually spread out I hit them with my rejuvenation’s and hit the melee every 6 seconds with my WG thus covering both groups. If you’re ever in doubt however go stand in a group and cast it on yourself!
DO NOT refresh HoT’s before the timers expire clipping yourself only hurts your healing and mana. Keep an eye on your timers or whatever you’re using to track your hots on your unit frames.
What Raid Frames should I use? The debate still goes on to this day. Grid? Grid2? Healbot? Ect. It’s really all a matter of personal use. I myself prefer grid2 for its smooth look and upgraded abilities over grid. Use what is most comfortable to you. You can find these addons and get them to work by using wowace, curse, and wowinterface and searching for previous downloads and getting the last version dated for 3.3.5
Professions? to get the maximum effect from your professions choose ones that boost spell power or haste such as JC, enchanting, LW, BS.. ect. If you really are about min/maxing your gear drop your gathering spec and go duel professions such as JC and enchanting as i am doing.
What about other addons? I personally use LuI although I run skada over recount (so I can see absorbs) ive also added fortexorcist for CD tracking and Eventalert to watch for key procs. Ive also added many other things to tweak the look but as you can see here is what It currently looks like. Clique is a great moseover addon that can be used for not only healing but any class or abilities in game. You can download all my current addons and variables by clicking here.
Remember this spec is for raw over all power healing. If you want heal to your maximum potential then this is your spec and guide. If you wish to tank heal (which druids are not equipped for) i would recommend points into naturalist, getting Rapid Rejuv, and getting the T9 set. However you will not be healing to maximize your full potential. Leave the tank healing to the shamans and paladins. They are better equipped for healing those large hits.
lastly a lot (not all) of the arguments made against this guide come from a community of players who have never actually ran any theorycrafting nor played retail nor for that matter have a clue about the class and know anything about min maxing. Do not be swayed by these people. When the changes come this guide will reflect those said changes. Right now this guide is for Ragnaros and Deathwing players only.