As resto druids, close to nothing has changed compared to our good old Cataclysm gameplay. MOP has just been easing the gameplay and providing us with some new tools but in essence, the core of our gameplay hasn't changed, at least in theory.
Duration of Lifebloom and Harmony has been increased respectively to 15s and 20s. This is a typical quality of life change. You no longer have to worry about Harmony as it will keep itself up with Swiftmend and to some extend, mushrooms.
Mushrooms now have a restoration version. Wild Mushroom : Bloom allows you to bloom 3 previously grown mushrooms for a small amount of healing.
We have also been given a new damage reduction cooldown. Ironbark is a small single target 20% damage reduction for 12s every 2 min. The short cooldown and relatively long duration makes it a welcome change. However it will in no way be mandatory in the raids.
Intellect only gives spellpower and no longer increases our mana pool, only spirit provides regen. As you can see, Innervate will no longer scale with gear and as we progress through content, will become much smaller in your mana regen effect distribution. Comparatively, a full Innervate may represent 30s of normal regen at the beginning but will surely be much less in later tiers. For first tier of content, both in dungeon and raids, Innervate will still be a very good regen tool.
We also get Symbiosis. Buff a player with it and you get a new ability depending on its class, the player gets one of yours. If you are not forced to give it to tanks (for them to get more cooldowns), I'd recommend giving it to shamans but classes like Hunter and Mage give key spells that can be used in some strategies. Or you can chose Death Knight and get a decent damage reduction cooldown on top of your Barkskin. Full list of druids gained spell Full list of spells granted from druid
Talent system has received a great overhaul. Many old mandatory talents are now baked directly into our spells and talents offer a choice you need to consider every time you face a new challenge.
Before even going into talents, it may be interesting to see where all those old talents went.
Rejuvenation now includes at instant heal when you cast it, on top of it's normal hot. It will heal for as much as a tick.
Lifebloom refreshes when you cast a Nourish, Healing Touch or Regrowth on the target.
Swiftmend, on top of it's instant heal, will put a healing circle on the ground. It has the very same mecanic as our old Efflorescence, except that a critical heal on Swiftmend no longer benefit the amount on the hot.
Feline Swiftness is probably the best choice as movement speed is king in most situations. I always encouraged everyone to use movement speed on boots because it really is worth the stats loss. Displacer Beast is a pure PVP talent and should never be taken.
I will not be using Wild Charge unless there is a very good reason for that on a specific boss. If you look at the mechanic closely, the only real benefit is your ability to catch up with your raid if you have to move and you are late. It will prevent you from dying in many situation but you will have to use it very reactively.
Feline Swiftness is the prevention. Wild Charge, the cure. Better use condoms right ?
Definitely Natureís Swiftness. There is no reason to use anything else. With a 1 minute cooldown, a mana-free instant spell is extremely good. It does not consume the clearcasting buff from Omen of clarity.
The amount of healing you do is not always relevant in whether or not you kill a boss. A death in your raid is something much more hurtful than just few percent less healing. In fact, I don't think Cenarion Ward provides more healing than NS + Healing Touch and probably doesn't. Cenarion Ward is designed for tanks to give a constant source of healing. In a typical raid environment, a good bunch of your Cenarion Ward will end up overhealing.
Nature's Swiftness is probably the best tool we currently have as it will save lives more than anything else.
It's a very situational tier of talents. On some bosses, using Typhoon will surely help but maybe it would be better to have Mass Entanglement if you design a strategy around it.
Soul of the Forest is quite honestly a pretty bad talent in most situations. In some fights itís decent but to use to its maximum potential, you are taken away any flexibility. The only decent use of SotF is to cast Swiftmend then Wild Growth just after. In combination with the Healing Touch glyph (that reduces the CD of SM every time you cast one) it becomes decent. But the problem is that it requires way too much commitment to this specific healing strategy you are completely stuck with a blindfolded rotation that does not allow you any digression or versatility. Therefore itís good on bosses in which you do the same thing over and over but quite frankly, I haven't seen any so far.
This is why I strongly advice keeping Tree of Life, or according to its new name: Incarnation. Nothing changes and itís always better not to change something that works. The best thing of ToL is its versatility. Itís both a mana cooldown and a throughput one.
You can use it with efficiency, rolling Lifeblooms (which are now much better) in the raid and using Regrowth whenever you have an Omen of Clarity proc. Or you can use it primarily for its +15% healing and Wild Growth boost (unlikely considering mana difficulties). Even casting few Regrowth without clearcast can often save people.
Force of Nature is a pretty bad talent. Itís uncontrollable and the overwhelming strength of Incarnation makes it a subpar talent.
Same as Tier 3 talents. None of those talents have strong uses and therefore should be picked if any gimmick is found on a specific fight.
Nature's vigil is a no brainer. It's a long, good, straightforward healing cooldown. Honestly they probably didn't know what to put there and chose the easy way. Dream of Cenarius, like Soul of the Forest, is constraining as it forces you to regularly cast Wrath to get the best ouf of this talent.
I can see myself using Heart of the Wild on very intense dps fights. In many guilds, healers are not required to dps. But in high-end progress with gear deficiencies in your whole raid, you are sometimes forced into becoming a DPS for a short time if you want to meet the requirements. Although the 6% Intellect gain will never be that relevant, at least in the first tier of content.
◊ Rejuvenation: itís a good choice if you use Nourish a lot. Considering we have no mana issue in DS, you will usually benefit from it.
◊ Regrowth: do not use it. Our crit rate on top of the Regrowth built-in 60% crit is enough to guarantee a crit. Also it makes the target available for Swiftmend use which would no longer be the case if you use this glyph. If you use your Tree of Life with only Lifebloom and Regrowth, you would have no available target for SM and be forced to roll a Rejuvenation before being able to cast Swiftmend.
◊ Wild Growth: still the same glyph. Use it in 25 man, do not in 10 (except on some bosses).
◊ Lifebloom: itís a very good glyph. Itís what we have been waiting for for a long time now. Our 3 Lifeblooms were a huge constraint on any tank-switch fight. On many bosses you couldnít afford to change your LB to the next tank, knowing there will be another change in the next 15-30 seconds.
◊ Healing Touch: pretty straightforward glyph. The problem is that Healing Touch isnít a good spell. Regrowth is more dynamic and cost roughly has much mana.
◊ Rebirth: now that you rez with 60% life from the base spell, this glyph can be reconsidered. Honestly, s*** happens. But quite frankly, itís all about the person you rez and your communication. If you call the rez safely and the person is clever enough not to rez a second before a massive aoe, 60% or 100% is the same.
=> My choice: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Rejuvenation.
Only the Glyph of Grace might be useful if you ever drop from high grounds. Unlikely though.
Provides spellpower and critical chance. It's our primary stats and we should focus on it in competition with Spirit.
Provides regen. It will surely be our first secondary stat. You can expect to have huge mana issues in raids if you don't have a very good gear prior to entering any raid instance. You will have to determine yourself what level of spirit is required according to the challenge you are facing manawise.
Haste provides faster casts, and at some points new ticks of your hots. You should aim for 3043 for an additional tick of Rejuvenation (on top of +1 Wild Growth, +1 Tranquility hot portion, +2 Lifebloom). Haste between breakpoints is useless. It makes you consume slightly more mana, do not benefit Rejuvenation global cooldown and has no directly healing impact.
It's the next stat to focus on. It's a straight up healing increase. It does not have any soft caps, meaning it gives a direct healing bonus for every single point of mastery you have.
On paper and in practice, crit provides less thoughtput than mastery and you should avoid it as much as you can. We are also provided with crit on Regrowth and the change to Swiftmend makes it even less powerful.
When it comes to priority, gemming, reforging and gear choice, our options are not so limited. Let's go straight to the point :
Gear pieces will all have intellect based on their item level. So you will have intellect according to your item level.
You will end up with 2 secondary stats on any item. So you will always be able to work on 2 different objectives.
You want your haste breakpoint (=3043). So get some haste. This is your first objective, it should be easily doable with dungeon gear, crafts and potentially gems.
Your second objective is to get the right amount of regen. Then your Mastery will follow and will depend directly on the amount of regen you chose to have.
You should gem primarily for Intellect. But if it's necessary, meaning you fell like you don't have enough on your gear, you can gem for Spirit. Spirit gems have a better item budget than Intellect ones. You gain more Spirit than Intellect by gemming for it.
I do not recommend to try to go for the second haste breakpoint (at 6652) until you have strong raid heroic gear.
I strongly advise to get all possible regen oriented gear and especially trinket. Go full out spirit and drop some until you feel good about your regen. With a good mix of normal raid + dungeon gear you should aim for roughly 6000 spirit.
Alchemy Mixology - 320 Intellect
Blacksmithing Glove and Wrist Sockets - 2 gems, 320 Intellect or 640 of a secondary stat
Enchanting Ring Enchants - 320 Intellect
Engineering Glove Use Effect - 1920 Intellect for 10 seconds every 60 seconds
Inscription Shoulder Enchant - 320 Intellect
Leatherworking Bracer Enchant - Additional 320 Intellect
Jewelcrafting Gems - 320 Intellect
Tailoring Cloak Spirit Embroidery 3000 Spirit for 15 seconds every ~60 seconds or Tailoring Cloak Intellect Embroidery 2000 Intellect for 15 seconds every ~60 seconds
Everything is close to the same. I'd recommend Tailoring + Engineering/Blacksmithing.
Giving you a BIS list right now would make much sense. It actually usually makes no sense as only few people reaches BIS. Also most of the time an item that is not BIS might be better according to your current gear. Take a look at this wowhead list of raiding gear and try to pick what gives you the best upgrade.
Due to the fact that consumables provide the same amount of spirit or intellect, it is advised to choose the Intellect flask/food and gem into Spirit. You should never be using Spirit flask and food if you are not already fully gemmed into it (or at least in majority).
There are really 3 very important things you must have on your interface as a restoration druid:
- a raid frame addon displaying your hots and potentially their duration. I'm using Grid.
- a buff/debuff/cooldown tracker. I'm using Power Aura and NeedtoKnow
- Omni cc to display visual duration on your cooldowns.
Finally this is where it gets interesting. But to be a comprehensively good resto druid, you must go through all of the above before thinking about your gameplay.
And there you are, up and ready with everything set and done and you are going into your raid or dungeon. You need to know what to do!
Starting with the basics, we do not have a proper rotation but more like a priority list that you have to respect to be most efficient.
Keep Harmony up, which is now really easy with a 20s duration.
Keep Lifebloom up on a tank as much as you can, but donít forget that the bloom can sometimes save him.
Wild Growth whenever there are 3 or more targets hurt
Swiftmend on a group of damaged people. Never hesitate to use it to save someone though.
Use Rejuvenation on people under 60% hp. But carefully, it costs a lot of mana.
Use Regrowth to consume your Omen of Clarity procs
Tranquility and Tree of life (Incarnation now) usage hasnít change
Innervate yourself under 75% mana and then on cooldown. You may want to wait if you have a shaman dropping an early Tide in your raid
Put mushrooms under groups of people and bloom them whenever there is aoe damage
There is a lot more to it. Unfortunately it would be way too long to decrypt everything, mostly because our gameplay is variable on a per boss basis.
What is important to remember and work around is your mana. You will have mana issues, that's a given. Rejuvenation is your mana sink ability and you will soon understand that without Rejuvenation, you are low on healing. Therefore, the more healing you want to do, the more Rejuvenation you will have to spam. But mana is unlikely to follow and this is why proper gearing according to the encounter is important. So to say, gameplay tends to be the same as in Cataclysm but becomes really different because of mana constraints.
But when it comes to dungeons, and because you can drink between pulls, Intellect will shines and you will be able to keep steady pace on rolling Rejuvenation. Raids are very different tho.
You will understand as well that Mushrooms are somewhat mandatory because of mana, again. Mushrooms cost close to no mana but their healing is very low.
It's very important not to waste any mana and if you come from a Dragon Soul raiding guild, it will be quite the shock. No more random Rejuvenation or Regrowth in the raid or you will fall behind and never keep up on mana.
It will be very tempting to spam Rejuvenation. Remember to use Nourish on your Wild Growth targets, to use Tree of Life as a mana cooldown and to agree with your teammates on cooldown use.
Use mushrooms because it's cheap. But don't expect miracles out of it. It does not help you to top the raid. You'll barely notice any difference on the players' HP on a stacked raid. It will represent between 5% and 10% of your healing.
I would love to do a full out gameplay guide with a lot of tips and analysis for those interested. There is a lot to learn about resto druids. But to see beyond this, everyone must master the basics.
Got a question for you resto druids out there im a resto druid myself at 564 ilvl now doing the stat priority like this haste 8033>11000 spirit>mastery>crit> excess haste my question now is should i maybe go for the 13xxx something haste breakpoint instead of stacking mastery after 8033 haste? im raiding in a 10 man guild and we're starting on hc progress in a week, we're 2 man healing most fights atm me and a disc priest but got a shammy as 3 healer for fights like iron juggernaut hc(2 man healing everything on normal)