What’s that you say? We can have permanent tree form back again? WOOHOO! But that’s not the only change to Resto Druids in Mists of Pandaria and WoW’s Patch [patchnumber] / The One Where Garrosh Loses It Completely – there’s the new talent system, new glyphs, and modified spells to take account of too. If you want to get healing without reading a wall of text, here’s our Quick Start guide to your play style, spells, stats, talent builds, glyphs, reforging and gemming and more in MoP.
Updated [guideupdated] to World of Warcraft Patch [patchnumber]
Resto Druid Changes in WoW Patch [patchnumber]
Significant changes for us:
- Several glyphs have been changed or removed.
- We have new abilities: Genesis and Ysera’s Gift (Tier 2 talent – take it!).
Resto Healing “Rotation” and Priorities
Tank Healing As Resto
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 Regrowth, 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 20 sec, or watch your buff bar.
Raid Healing As Resto
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 refresh Harmony (and, y’know, do some healing). 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 20 sec to refresh Harmony.
Wild Mushrooms are now actually useful – remember, place them where the raid WILL BE, not where they are now. With Glyph of Efflorescence, you’ll also cause an Efflorescence effect around them, making them very useful indeed.
Use Ironbark when a single player – usually the tank – is taking a lot of damage.
Don’t be afraid to use Incarnation: 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.
You can also use our new cooldown, Genesis, in emergencies. It speeds up the tick on all your Rejuvenations, meaning that they heal people much faster but also expire faster.
Other CDs: Nature’s Swiftness is an “emergency” heal, but it’s good enough you should use it on cooldown. Use Innervate as soon as you hit 85% mana.
Remember to cast Mark of the Wild if someone else isn’t providing a similar or better buff. Cast Symbiosis on one of the tanks if they don’t have it already, and otherwise on a Mage, Monk or DK. Remember to use the ability it grants you in return!
Restoration Druid Talent Choices
The new talent system is very flexible, so you should experiment with your choices – although for Resto Druids, there’s arguably less choice than for other classes.
If you want to get started with a simple, solid talent build, we recommend:
- Tier 1: Feline Swiftness
- Tier 2: Ysera’s Gift
- Tier 3: Typhoon
- Tier 4: Incarnation
- Tier 5: Mighty Bash
- Tier 6: Heart of the Wild – mostly for the strong passive buff.
Stats, reforging and gemming for Restoration Druid
Intellect is still our most important stat.
If you are close to the Haste Caps (3043 and 6652, assuming you regularly raid with a Moonkin, Elemental Shaman or Shadow Priest, otherwise 5320 and 9109), it’s very advantageous to reach these. After that, Mastery is the best healing output stat, and Spirit is still very important for mana regeneration..
Reforging: First, reforge any and all stats to Spirit, starting with Crit, until you’re comfortable with your mana regen. After that, if you can get to a Haste cap, reforge Mastery and Crit to Haste, then reforge anything left over to Mastery.
Gems: Use a Brilliant gem (or Sparkling gem if you need more Spirit) in all sockets. If you can gain 60 Int or more with one non-red socket, or you are close to a Haste Cap, use Purified, Artful, or Reckless gems.
Meta Gem Burning (healing throughput) or Revitalizing (mana regen)
Resto Druid Glyphs
Most Major Glyphs are now very situational, so choose the ones that benefit your play style.
Major: Glyph of Efflorescence, Glyph of Regrowth and Glyph of Healing Touch are all good choices. Glyph of Rejuvenation is very helpful if you’re struggling for mana. Glyph of Wild Growth is useful in 25-man.
Minor: Get Glyph of The Sprouting Mushroom. Other than that, your choice. Although Glyph Of The Treant lets you be a tree again full time!
Restoration Druid enchants and item enhancements
You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant – Inscription of the Earth Prince on shoulders from Inscription, for example.
- Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
- Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
- Chest – Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit
- Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
- Hands – Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste
- Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Legs – Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
- Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
- Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
- Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect
- Elitist Jerks has a very complete and detailed Resto Druid guide
- Icy Veins continue to provide superb, well-checked guides – including their Resto guide
- Restokin’s excellent guide is already updated.
- Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.
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Everybody loves fire, so you’ll be delighted to hear that one of the early bosses in the Firelands raid is entirely made of fire – something that’s going to be oh-so-much fun for you if you’re healing. Lord Rhyolith is a fun boss with a really unique mechanic. Here’s our guide to defeating Rhyolith as a healer.
Lord Rhyolith is giant made of fire, who live on an island in the middle of a lake of molten fire, drops fire on the ground, and spawns adds that damage the raid with fire.
You should probably think about buffing the raid with fire resistance of some form.
Everyone needs healing
The fight consists of two phases: a ‘hit the boss, dodge the fire, deal with the adds’ phase (which will take up most of the fight) and a final, fairly standard, burn phase.
During the first phase Rhyolith will deal no damage. Your melee DPS players will be moving him around the room, but they will not be taking any direct damage from him. Instead, the damage will come from the adds that will spawn, and from the from the various forms of do-not-stand-in-it fire that appear on the floor. Our main article on Lord Rhyolith tactics has the full scoop.
You’ll find that the damage output for this fight is split pretty evenly amongst the entire raid. You’ll still need a dedicated healer for the tank (this fight only requires a single tank) but the rest of the healers will be splitting their attention among everybody. You may find it useful to assign some healers to the melee DPS and the rest to the ranged DPS, but the exact division of labor is up to you.
Rhyolith will spawn adds about every 25 seconds or so. It’ll either be a group of 5 Fragments Of Rhyolith, or a single Spark Of Rhyolith.
The Fragments of Rhyolith will only damage the tank, and won’t do huge amounts of damage. However, any Fragments still alive after 30 seconds will ignore the tank and charge a random raid member, administering their remaining health as instant damage. They’ll destroy themselves in the process, but that won’t be much consolation. There’s nothing you can do to avoid it (it’s the job of the damage-dealers to burn them down in time) but you may be quick-witted enough to fire off a preemptive HoT on the poor raid member about to be squashed. At the very least, you need to be ready with a beefy single-target heal once the damage has been done.
The Spark of Rhyolith throws out constant AoE damage, but if the tank has positioned the mob sensibly, nobody other than the tank will be affected by it. Sparks also increase their damage over time, so the tank will definately need ongoing healer attention while a Spark of Rhyolith is alive.
Lord Rhyolith will cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds, which will deal raidwide AoE damage. You should be able to time the casts quite accurately, and be ready with compensatory heals when it does go off.
As a side effect of Concussive Stomp, Rhyolith will create volcanoes on the floor. The volcanoes will occassionally erupt, dealing fire damage to random players every 2 seconds. Each eruptions lasts 20 seconds in total. Getting hit by an erruption will also apply a stacking debuff which increases fire damage taken. Thankfully for your mana supply (and possibly sanity) some of the volcanoes will be quickly converted to craters – this happens when Rhyolith stands on them.
When a volcano becomes a crater, it will immediately emit Lava streams. The streams will start at the crater and move away in all directions from it. Any idiot – er, that is, any valued colleague and fellow noble hero – who stands in the fire will receive damage. Well, honestly, what did they expect?
After 10 seconds, the lava streams explode, dealing damage to anybody stood on them. Once that happens, the crater disappears and is replaced by a lava pool (which will still damage anybody who stands in it but won’t do anything else).
Lava streams are quite slow-moving, so your raiders should be able to avoid them, but there’s a lot of other stuff going on at the same time, so don’t be suprised if the occasional mistake is made.
Yay! Phase 2 is about to sta- Ouch!
Once Rhyolith is reduced to 25% health, he’ll start to attack the raid directly, and – after a short bit of scripted animation – Phase 2 will begin. Be prepared: he’ll immediately throw down a rather nasty bit of once-only raidwide damage, which can be quite alarming if you’re not expecting it.
This is an absolutely classic burn phase, if you’ll pardon the rather appaling but ultimately unavoidable pun. Rhyolith will continue to cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds, which will give raid-wide damage. It also has a knock-back ability, so be careful not to get too close. He’ll no longer be summoning volcanoes, although there may well be some left over from Phase 1.
As with similar final burn phases, the damage the raid takes will gradually increase, and the tank will be taking the brunt of the damage. As a healer, it’s business as usual for you – cycle your cooldowns, grit your teeth, and wait for the big fiery fella to fall over.
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One of the first bosses you’re likely to encounter in the Firelands raid is the evil Apostrophe Spider, Beth’tilac. Healing Beth’tilac can be a challenge, but with careful coordination with the rest of your raid you’ll be feasting on spider meat in no time.
As we mentioned in our main Beth’tilac tactics guide, your raid will be split into two groups: one to stay on the ground level, and one to climb up to Beth’tilac’s web. One healer should be assigned to the Web Level Team, with the rest of the healers staying on the Ground Level. It’s best to assign a healer with good AoE heals to the Web Level Team. A single-target healer might find things get a bit hairy once Beth’tilac starts throwing out AoE damage.
Healing the ground-level team
If you’re part of the Ground Level Team, you won’t ever have to ascend to the web level. There’s almost no need to worry about positioning during the main phase of the fight, so stack up in the centre and simply heal the rest of the Ground Level Team while they deal with the adds that will spawn.
You should probably assign a dedicated healer for the off-tank, who will be taking notable damage from Cinderweb Drones (the largest adds). You should also watch out for the small Cinderweb Spiderlings, who apply a DoT when they hit.
Cinderweb Spinners occasionally encase players in webs. Rely on your DPS to get you out if you become trapped in a web. Remember to communicate your dilema through the time-honored method of shouting incoherently.
The Web Level Team will temporarilly jump down to ground level each time Beth’tilac casts Smouldering Devastation. Once that’s happened three times, Beth’tilac herself will descend, and Phase 2 begins.
Healing the web-level team
The Web Level Team should only need one healer. At the start of the fight, you need to be on the lookout for spider threads, which are left by Cinderweb Spinners when they die. These threads act as vehicles, so you can click on one to transport yourself to the web level. You need to be the second person to reach the web level, so as soon as the main tank has grabbed a thread, go grab one yourself.
There are no adds on the web level, only Beth’tilac and her various irritating spells. She’ll regularly cast Ember Flare, which does fire damage to all players on the web level. She’ll also cast Meteor Burn, causing meteors to drop onto the web. They have a clear indicator in the form of a fiery orange circle, so they’re easy to avoid. They’ll leave behind a small pool of fire, so be on the lookout for clumsy raiders accidentally stumbling into them.
When Beth’tilac’s Fire Energy bar reaches zero, she’ll start to cast Smouldering Devastation, which is bad news for anyone on the web level. Jump down the hole in the middle of the web, and assist your fellow healers on the ground level until it’s safe to head back up again. You’ll need to find another dead Spinner and hitch a ride on its thread like you did at the start of the fight.
Smoldering Devastation will happen three times in total, then it’s time for Phase 2.
Phase 2: Panic
Beth’tilac descends from the web level to the ground level. You should stack up behind her with the rest of the raid. The main tank and the off-tank will be regularly switching boss aggro between them, in an effort to rid themselves of The Widow’s Curse. This debuff slowlyreduces the amount of healing they can receive, so don’t be too concerned if your healing seems to be becoming gradually more ineffectual.
Beth’tilac’s damage will continue to increase during this phase until she’s killed, so now is the time to expend your once-per-fight healing cooldowns. Coordination with your tanks and with your fellow healers is the key here. After that, it’s up to the DPS to make sure this final phase doesn’t last too long!
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Shannox, along with his two pet dogs, is one of the first bosses you’ll encounter in the new Firelands raids. Although not the hardest boss in terms of healing, Shannox will definitely require your healing team to be on the ball.
As you’ll see from our detailed guides to Shannox strategy, this is a two-phase fight. The first phase requires you to keep healing your assigned targets while avoiding Shannox’s traps. The second phase is a burn phase during which Shannox will be pumping out truly shocking amounts of damage. Your job during that second phase is to help your raid cling on to life until the DPS can take Shannox down.
A lot of the damage in this fight will be Fire damage, so fire resistance buffs are mandatory.
The fight consists of three mobs, all of whom you’ll be fighting at once. The main tank will be on Shannox, with the off-tank taking Riplimb some distance away. Rageface can’t be tanked, so he’ll be running amok through your raid. Spread out at the start of the fight. Ranged DPS will be doing the same.
Things not to stand in (spoiler alert – one of them is fire)
Shannox will regularly drop _Immolation Trap_s and _Crystal Prison Trap_s. Both of these look like standard Hunter traps, so they’re easy to spot. You should avoid standing in either of them. The _Immolation Trap_s will do fire damage, but the _Crystal Prison Trap_s will prevent you from performing any action at all until the rest of the raid frees you. Getting a healer caught in a trap like that can often mean an unexpected meeting with the spirit healer, so watch where you stand.
Shannox will frequently throw his spear in the direction of Riplimb. Any player standing in that spot when the spear lands is dead, so move out of the way as soon as you see the indicator appear (it’s a big fiery circle on the ground).
Once the spear has been thrown, there’s a secondary effect – a lot of smaller, one hit only, fires on the ground. Avoid standing directly on those and they won’t trigger.
Healing the tanks
As well as regular melee damage, both tanks will quickly acquire the debuff Jagged Tear. Not only is this a DoT, it can stack, so you’ll need to be ready to compensate with sparkly feelgood green HoTs.
The tanks should be coordinating so that Jagged Tear drops off when Shannox throws his spear. This will give you a bit of breathing space , but be prepared for Jagged Tear to start stacking up again soon afterwards.
Healing the raid
Shannox does a Cleave attack, which in an ideal world shouldn’t hit anyone other than the main tank, but be prepared for melee DPS to be accidentally caught in the cone from time to time. You know what they’re like.
It’s also a good bet that some players will trigger an Immolation Trap, especially during the first few attempts at this boss. The trap will do immediate fire damage, plus additional fire damage over the next three seconds. It will also apply a debuff which lowers the target’s fire resistance.
When Shannox’s Hurl Spear ability lands, it’ll do a nasty 50k damage to everyone, which will need to be healed through. Watch out for the fiery explosions which come immediately afterwards, too, in case some raid members get caught out.
_Crystal Prison_s will be being triggered fairly regularly. Be aware that these block line-of-sight, so you may need to move to continue healing your target.
Off the leash
Rageface will be another source of continuous damage to your raid. He’ll target a random raid member and start to do serious amounts of damage. Your raid leader or healing leader will probably assign one healer specifically to track Rageface’s targets, and heal them through the damage.
If everything’s gone according to plan, your raid will kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health. At that point, Shannox will enrage. Expect the damage to the tanks to increase significantly. Your healing cooldowns should be saved for this phase if you possibly can. Coordinate with your tanks, too – they should be cycling mitigation cooldowns during this final phase.
Shannox will no longer be throwing his spear, but will instead regularly cast Magma Rupture, which does AoE fire damage and also increases the amount of fire damage taken. Be prepared for the main tank to die during this phase, even if your healing is top notch: it’s a difficult phase to endure unscathed.
That final phase can be a bit hair-raising, but if your DPS team are on the ball it shouldn’t last too long.
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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:
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.
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.
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.
Arcanum of Hyjal
Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect or Enchant Bracer – Greater Speed if you can get to a haste cap that way
Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Haste
Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Enchant Boots – Lavawalker (the run speed is very useful)
Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect
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.
You might also want to check out our main World of Warcraft page, and get the best posts from the Internet’s WoW blogs, every day.
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Hey! Long flight? Stuck on a loading screen in game? Corpse running from your latest wipe in a shiny new difficult dungeon? Not playing at all because you couldn’t get the time off and want the latest news nownownow? If that’s the case my thoughts are with you!
I’m playing Cataclysm too, just like you. I’ve set aside some time to play and I’m intending to quest and instance my little heart out. Right now I’m exploring Mount Hyjal for the first time, taking my fury warrior for a spin and spending most of my time handing quests in to NPCs who are heroically balancing 30 player-drakes on their heads.
I still intend to be posting. Crazy? Probably. But I expect the blogosphere to explode in a rush of excitement, albeit after a pause while everyone glues their eyes to the game and forgets to post. And there are going to be moments you alt-tab out and want a quick read. So I’ll be combining the two and bringing you exciting, happy reads to keep you occupied when the rest of the party is calling each other noobs because the sheeped mob got free early.
‘Cos I’m playing too the updates won’t be at particular times but whenever I see something interesting and get a chance to post it. We might also do a few quick-tips posts of things we’ve found ourselves as we wander around being gubbed by overgrown fish people.
Posts will also probably be a bit shorter for the next few days (this one excepting) so that we can all get on with the important task of playing. Just to prove that we’re still here in this manic time though, here are some tasters of useful stuff the blogosphere’s got as we start our Cataclysmic journey:
That’ll do for now – there’s more, of course there’s more – but you want something to read for later, right?
As always, comments are welcome as we change from a Wrathful and pie-loving bad guy to literally trying to kill internet dragons. I’m not seriously expecting you guys to have time to comment right now but I’d be greatly interested to hear your thoughts on posts and updates on how you’re enjoying Cata. Remember, stay safe, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!
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