Patch 4.3 Restoration / Resto Druid Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and healing strategies

Hmm. Dragon Soul looks kinda bleak from a Resto Druid perspective. Not much in the way of vegetation. Including us now that we don’t have tree form, dammit. Never mind. If you want to get your HoTs rolling and your big green circles, erm, circling, we’ve got you covered, with a guide to Restoration druiding in Patch 4.3 including talent spec, glyphs, gems, gemming and reforging, changes this patch, and of course a guide to our healing spells.

Updated Dec 12th, 2011 for Patch 4.3

Changes to Restoration Druids in Patch 4.3 – Wild Growth

Resto Druids are seeing one big change in Patch 4.3 – Wild Growth is being significantly nerfed, losing 20% of its healing and gaining 2 sec on its CD if it’s glyphed. Practically speaking, the glyph change is the one that will mess with how you play – it makes the WG glyph a bad choice in 5-man content, questionable in 10-man (take it if you love it) and only OK in 25-man. WG will still retain its place in Resto AOE healing, although if you’re used to the pre-nerf version, you’ll have to readjust to its lower healing output.

The Resto Tier bonuses are interesting – notably, when you get the two-piece tier bonus, Innervate also reduces healing mana costs for a while. This change means you’ll be better off using Innervate situationally when high damage is about to hit.

Restoration healing “rotation”

Of course, Resto druids don’t have a “Rotation”. But here’s the best way to use our spells to ensure no-one drops dead:

Tank Healing

In general, you’ll want to keep Lifebloom at 3 stacks on the tank, use Rejuvenation on him or her too, and keep them topped up with Nourish in low-intensity phases and Healing Touch in high-intensity phases. Use Swiftmend whenever it’s off cooldown. If it all goes pear-shaped, throw out at least one Regrowth for the buff, several if absolutely vital – but they’re expensive. Don’t run yourself out of mana overusing Healing Touch, or let the tank die by refusing to switch from Nourish to something bigger. Make sure you’re casting a direct heal (not a HOT) often enough to refresh Harmony – once every 10 sec, or watch your buff bar.

Raid Healing

Keep 3 stacks of Lifebloom ticking on the tank for the mana benefits. If several people take damage, use Wild Growth as the spell of choice. If it’s heavy damage, pop Tranquility, or if it’s not quite “argh we’re going to die” urgent, put a Rejuvenation on each of the injured people. Otherwise, just keep using Wild Growth on cooldown to bring people back up. Use Swiftmend on cooldown on the biggest group of injured people to pop Efflorescence, the AOE heal, and also to refresh your Mastery. Use Nourish to refresh the tank’s Lifebloom, and heal individual people with Nourish, Healing Touch or Regrowth in order from “meh” to “Yikes” levels of damage. Again, remember to cast a direct heal every 10 sec to refresh Harmony.

Cooldowns: Don’t be afraid to use Tree of Life – its cooldown is fairly short. As mentioned above, use Tranquility if everyone’s taking heavy damage – it’s a very powerful spell. For real emergency moments, pop Tree then Tranq. Use Innervate as soon as you hit 85% mana.

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Resto Druid Talent Spec

Druid talents can be very specific to your play style. If you have more time, check one of the guides below for further information on your possible talents.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Restoration

Intellect is probably the most important Resto stat. Spirit controls mana regen and you should prioritise it if you are having mana problems.

If you are close to the Haste Caps (916 and 2005, assuming you regularly raid with a shaman or shadow priest, otherwise 1603 and 2745), it’s very advantageous to reach these. After that, Mastery is the best healing output stat.

Reforging: If you can get to a Haste cap, reforge Mastery and Crit to Haste. Reforge any and all stats to Spirit, Crit first, if you are having mana problems.

Gems: Use two Reckless Ember Topaz in the best two yellow sockets to activate Ember Shadowspirit Diamond, the best meta gem. After this, use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby in all sockets. unless you can gain 20 INt or more with one non-red socket, or unless you are close to a Haste Cap. In that case, use Purified Demonseye, Artful Ember Topaz, or Reckless Ember Topaz.

Resto Druid enchants

Several professions have “superior” enchants – use them if the stats are appropriate. Felfire Inscription on shoulders from Inscription, for example.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect or Enchant Bracer – Greater Speed if you can get to a haste cap that way
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Haste
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker (the run speed is very useful)
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Glyphs

Prime: Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, Swiftmend

Major: Rebirth. If you have Nature’s Swiftness in your spec, Healing Touch – otherwise, Innervate. If you’re on 25-man content or you think you’ll be healing large groups in 10-man, Wild Growth, otherwise Innervate or your choice.

Minor: Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth, and two of your choice, although this old-school tree would strongly suggest Glyph of the Treant.

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