Restoration Druid Guide Part 3: Spells (8.1 Compliant)
In this particular section I will go over some spells that are specific for the restoration spec, and give tips on when and how to use them. I will be leaving out talent spells as I already went into detail about them in the Talents section of the guide. I also won’t be discussing passive abilities.
Barkskin – This is a personal cooldown that reduces incoming damage by 20% for 12 seconds. You can use this before widespread group damage or when you’re personally being attacked.
Efflorescence – This is our ground area heal. You place it on the ground under a group and it will heal them. Make sure it is under a group of at least 3. I usually find that it’s best to put under melee because they’re usually stacked together.
Hibernate – Will put a Dragonkin or Beast target to sleep for 40 seconds. Use it on something attacking you, or wait for your raid leader to call you to use it.
Innervate – Allows the target to cast spells for no mana for 10 seconds. I really recommend using it on yourself. You can use it to chain Rejuvenations in preparation for using Flourish, along with a Wild Growth, for some very strong burst healing. I also recommend placing Efflorescence before popping those abilities. Bind Innervate to another ability if you have difficulty remembering to use it (like me…). Don’t be scared to use it. Just use it when it’s off cooldown unless you are waiting for a specific time in the fight to use it. Don’t wait for the “perfect time”. It won’t come and you can easily go a whole fight without using it if you aren’t thinking about it (which is bad and a waste).
Ironbark – This is a defensive cooldown we can put on the tank. You can put it on them at the start of a pull to make it smoother, or wait until the boss is about to do a strong attack to provide the tank with extra protection. You can also cast it on yourself.
Lifebloom – This is a heal over time spell that you can have one one target at a time. Normally I recommend using it on a tank. If you’re healing with another restoration druid, you should coordinate so you each have your Lifebloom on a different tank. Make sure you keep your uptime on this as close to 100% as you can. If you recast this with less than 4.5 seconds left to tick, it will trigger the bloom, so you should NEVER let this HoT drop, but still don’t recast it too early because that’s wasting mana.
Nature’s Cure – This is our basic dispel. It has an 8 second cooldown, so be careful to prioritize who needs dispels first. Also make sure it’s actually something that warrants being dispelled, because of the mana cost.
Rebirth – Our battle resurrection. I really recommend saving it in case the tank or another healer dies. But of course, if your raid leader calls for it, use it.
Regrowth – Our quick OH SHIT heal. It takes up quite a bit of mana but has a short cast time, so use it if your tank is about to die. We will occasionally get Omen of Clarity procs to make it a mana-free cast so make sure you use them.
Rejuvenation – This is really what druids are known for as healers. This is our main heal over time spell. You can blanket the raid in it, but that will burn mana quick, so I recommend keeping it rolling on the tanks and then sticking it on someone who is low on health but not in much danger of dying. Learn to anticipate incoming damage so your are putting Rejuvenation on the right people and not overhealing at a high cost to your mana.
Soothe – You probably won’t ever use this in a raid, but it can be useful in dungeons.
Swiftmend – You can use this on a target with one of our heal over time spells and it will instantly heal them for a small amount. Good to save for an emergency since it’s instant.
Tranquility – This is our major raid cooldown. Use it when you can stand still for a few seconds because it’s channeled. Save it for high damage phases and coordinate its use with the other healers on your team. Tranquility benefits from your Mastery, so throw out a Wild Growth before you cast Tranquility to give it a boost!
Wild Growth – This is our blanket smart heal heal. It has a short cast time, and will put a heal over time effect on the 6 lowest health members of your group. It is usually a top 3 heal so make you use it on cooldown of more than a couple are injured. Wild Growth will always prioritize player targets over non-player targets (like NPCs and pets). Make sure you aren’t spam casting Wild Growth just because it’s come off cooldown unless you actually HAVE to, because it does cost a lot of mana.