Restoration Druid Guide Part 6: Gameplay (8.1 Compliant)
I saved this part for last for a reason. It’s important to have the right tools before you start a construction project, and resto druid is much the same. Theory is important. But now, let’s get right into the nitty gritty – the part where you actually heal.
Firstly, make sure you’re all buffed up and ready to go. If you’re doing a progression fight, make sure your enchants and gems are on point. Make sure you have Lifebloom and Rejuvenation running on the tank. Keep those rolling on the tank or tanks at all times. You can put Ironbark on your tank if they’re a bit squishy or before a big damage ability. Right after the pull, put down your Efflorescence under a group of at least 3. Usually the melee are all together so they’re good to put it under. Make sure you have as close to 100% uptime as you can.
Heal light to moderate group damage with Wild Growth. To heal damage on a single target when you have time to cast, use Regrowth or Swiftmend. Apply Rejuvenation to people taking steady damage. I like to put Cenarion Ward on the main tank immediately on cooldown. If they are taking high damage or you anticipate them taking high damage, throw Ironbark on them.
For high damage phases, pop Tranquility. If you chose Tree, you can also pop that. It empowers your spells and makes Regrowth instant, so I usually spam Regrowth on people. Be aware that this really burns your mana. You can use Innervate to give yourself some time to blanket the entire group with HoTs and then pop Flourish. There are some situations that those abilities are very helpful, but I like to just cast them on CD so I’m making good use of them. Make sure you cast Regrowth when Omen of Clarity procs.
If you are going to have to soak damage, make sure you put Barkskin on yourself. You can even use Ironbark on yourself and shift into bear form and use Frenzied Regeneration if you really need to. Make SURE that you don’t tunnel and forget to heal yourself. You can’t heal anyone if you’re dead. If it becomes necessary you can cast Nature’s Cure or Rebirth on an ally, though for Rebirth I would ask permission from the raid lead before doing so. If many people are dead after a fight is over, you can use Revitalize to get the whole group up at a time.
Certain talents and Azerite traits may change how you should prioritize and use spells.
Autumn Leaves – If you have 2 or more traits of Autumn Leaves, you need to make sure you’re not blanketing your Rejuvenation targets with other Heal Over Time abilities. You must be much more sparse in your use of Wild Growth. Don’t use it as a filler or top-up, only use it if people are sub-50% health. Also be careful of the Heal Over Time effect of Regrowth. Only use it if it’s necessary. Pick another target for Regrowth if you get a Clearcasting proc.
Rampant Growth – Basically, Rampant Growth will apply Regrowth’s Heal Over Time effect on whatever the target of your Lifebloom is. You should naturally be maintaining Lifebloom on your tank. When you get a Clearcasting proc, use Regrowth on someone else (not the tank) who is taking damage, and your Lifebloom target (the tank) will also get the Heal Over Time effect. You can maintain very high uptime for the HoT on your tank this way. Of course, Autumn Leaves and Rampant Growth conflict, so I wouldn’t have both at the same time.
Soul of the Forest – If you choose to take Soul of the Forest as a talent instead of Cultivation or Incarnation: Tree of Life, you must make sure you’re using it to its fullest potential. Always use the buff to boost a Wild Growth cast. If you’ve chosen the Flourish talent, try to only extend your buffed Wild Growths, not the regular ones. There will be times you won’t remember to make use of your buff after using Swiftmend, so pick up my WeakAura here so you never forget to use it!
If you find yourself lagging behind the other healers in raids, try logging your fights with Loggerhead, uploading them through WarcraftLogs, and running them through WoWanalyzer. It will tell you exactly how to improve.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, comment or tweet me so I can address it. I am not the end all be all of resto druids so if there’s something I should add I’d be happy to do it. Thank you for reading my guide.