Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.2.
This page focuses on the Resto Druid in a raiding (PvE) environment, which Resto does very well. For info on PvP or leveling or other Druid specs, see the links just below.
|This Restoration Druid guide is primarily intended for use in PvE and Raids at level 90. However, the principals will still apply during the leveling process. If you’re looking for advice on leveling your Druid, check out our Death Knight Leveling Guide.
If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 90 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide.
Other Druid Guides:
Restoration Druid Talents
Our picks are in bold.
There are situations where you might want a different talent than those shown below. They’re easy to change and you will need one Tome of the Clear Mind for each change you make.
- Feline Swiftness is a constant movement increase. What’s not to like?
- Displacer Beast is much like a Mage’s blink. Pop forward, shift to cat form, and have a brief speed increase.
- Wild Charge allows you to fly to an ally’s location, useful for re-locating yourself swiftly during a fight. If burst movement to an ally is more valuable to you than Feline Swiftness, take this one.
- Nature’s Swiftness is the clear winner at this time, nothing wrong with an instant empowered spell or heal every minute. It has versatility that Cenarion Ward lacks.
- Take Renewal if the only reason you’re playing a healer is to heal yourself.
- Cenarion Ward was buffed in 5.2., and has its uses, but Nature’s swiftness is much more versatile.
- Faerie Swarm improves Faerie Fire with a speed debuff, not exactly amazing stuff here.
- Mass Entanglement is probably the most useful talent in this tier, an AoE CC.
- Typhoon might be situationally useful, like everything else in this tier. One good use is to get yourself onto the hate list of your tanks and melee as you knock opponents away from them.
- Soul of the Forest gives you a haste effect applied to the first spell you cast after using Swiftmend. This talent is useful, but not my preferred choice. It can be nice if that Haste is applied to something like your Wild Growth.
- Incarnation: Tree of Life is great for burst healing and my recommended choice this tier. It’s also much more flexible than Soul of the Forest.
- Force of Nature isn’t worth taking except for the occasional laugh when used alongside the Glyph of the Treant. The heals aren’t efficient and they aren’t much smarter than zombies.
- Disorienting Roar might disorient you as you try to find a good way of using it. Good for getting away from melee mobs, but not much else.
- Ursol’s Vortex is a helpful targeted AoE slow, take it.
- Mighty Bash is a decent stun, but requires melee range which hampers its usefulness.
- Heart of the Wild has good passive increases to your stats, although it’s doubtful you’ll find much use in its other, triggered benefits.
- Dream of Cenarius might be useful if you weave in Wrath or some other attack spell to take advantage of the healing bonus.
- Nature’s Vigil is a burst healing cooldown similar to Incarnation. A much shorter cooldown than Heart of the Wild enhances its usefulness.
- Glyph of Rejuvenation is somewhat useful.
- Glyph of Lifebloom provides a boost to your healing.
- Glyph of Wild Growth - one more target for a slightly longer cooldown.
- Glyph of Stampeding Roar provides raid utility when movement is important, although it does nothing to boost your healing.
- Glyph of Regrowth
- Glyph of Rebirth - Not as important as it used to be since your rez brings her back to 60% anyway. Might be nice in certain tight situations.
- Glyph of Stampede
- Glyph of the Treant – If you like being a tree for some reason.
- Primary: Intellect and Spirit
- Secondary: Haste (12.5% & 21.4%) > Spirit > Mastery
- Weaker: Critical
- Unneeded: Hit & Expertise
Intelligence is your #1 stat for total overall healing. Once upon a time Int added to mana pool, no longer. These days it’s basically Spellpower with a bit of crit rating.
The value of Spirit depends on your mana usage. Gear for Spirit until you feel good about your usage, then go for something else. If you’re ending your encounters with full mana then you should swap out some spirit for other stats. You should be low on mana at the end of the fight, but not have to worry about it during the fight.
Haste isn’t so hot a stat unless you can hit the breakpoint which give you extra ticks on your Heal over Time (HoT) spells. Here’s a card with Haste breakpoints to shoot for.
Haste Soft Caps:
- 12.52% total Haste for an extra tick in Rejuvenation and Tranquility, this will come from the 5% Spell Haste Buff (such as what Moonkins provide) and your own Rating
- 21.43% total for an extra two ticks to Wild Growth. As above, this includes the Haste buff and your gearing.
- As mentioned above, unless you can hit the Haste breakpoints you should go for Mastery and/or Spirit.
- You can see all the Haste breakpoints for Resto Druids (and other healers) on totemspot (this is the same card as above.)
In-Depth “Rotation” Guide
As a Restoration Druid you depend primarily on HoT spells to heal a large number of targets periodically rather than the use of direct healing spells. Rather than react to damage, apply your HoTs to any target you anticipate will take damage.
- Lifebloom is a HoT spell that stacks up to 3 times on a target and should always be applied to any target that is going to take heavy damage, likely a tank. Using the Glyph allows you to instantly apply a 3 stack Lifebloom to other targets so long as you already have 3 stacks of Lifebloom active on any target.
- Lifebloom’s periodic heals have a chance to trigger Omen of Clarity which makes the next Healing Touch or Regrowth cast within 15 seconds cost no mana. Use Regrowth if you absolutely need to heal a target immediately and Healing Touch if you have a bit more time to get your healing in.
- Rejuvenation is a HoT spell that should be applied to any target in need of healing as it has a low mana cost and is instant cast.
- Healing Touch is a heavy healing spell with a moderate cast time and high mana cost, use this for periods of heavy damage.
- Regrowth is a fast, high mana cost heal which heals for a large amount and adds a short, 5 second HoT effect to the target. This should be used only in emergencies due to the high mana cost.
- Wild Growth heals 5 targets, 6 with the glyph, prioritizing the raid members with the lowest health at a minimal mana cost.
- Swiftmend is a heal that can only be cast on targets already effected either Rejuvenation or Regrowth, healing the target and placing a circle around them that heals the three lowest health players within the zone.
- Wild Mushroom allows you to place up to 3 mushrooms that, when triggered with the Wild Mushroom: Bloom ability, heal all nearby players.
- Tranquility is a channeled AoE heal spell that heals 5 of the lowest health targets around you and is quite powerful for times of large raid damage.
Due to our Mastery: Harmony we receive both a decent boost to our direct healing and a more important boost to our periodic healing effects every time we cast a direct heal. You should endeavor to maintain this buff at all times.
- Innervate can and should be used almost always on yourself for the maximum benefit of the mana regeneration.
Tier 2 Talented Abilities:
- Nature’s Swiftness, the preferred choice for this tier, allows you to instantly cast a single healing spell once every minute and should be used for emergency situations. Healing Touch is usually the best choice of spell when using this ability although it also boosts the duration of Regrowth’s HoT effect.
- Cenarion Ward should be applied to the tank or whoever is taking consistent damage.
Tier 4 Talented Abilities:
- Incarnation: Tree of Life should be used as often as is necessary assuming it’s off cooldown. While using this ability simply as it is available can help lighten the load of raid healing, you should probably keep it in reserve for times when the increased healing output is truly important.
Gems, Enchants, Gearing
Gearing’s pretty easy. Just grab the leather gear with the stats you need. You don’t need the spirit gear. Reforge weaker stats into stronger ones.
Restoration Druid Gems
Gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats, 320 Haste Vs 160 Int, for example. This means that you should try to match socket bonuses (and they’re generally pretty nice, anyway.)
Stack some Spirit until you’re happy with your mana usage, then go for as much Int as possible. Use the hybrid gems to match sockets. Yo might have to do some experimenting to hit the best comfort level for you style of play. If you need the gold to buy all the gems and other stuff you’ll want you should go here.
Here’s a possible gemming choice:
- Red slots: Brilliant Serpent’s Eye for the Int
- Blue slots: Purified Imperial Amethyst: Int and Spirit
- Yellow slots: Quick for the Haste or Reckless for Int and Haste
|Gem Priorities For Resto|
|Meta||Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect|
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste
Fractured Sun’s Radiance: +320 Mastery
|Blue||Sparkling River’s Heart: +320 Spirit|
|Purple||Purified Imperial Amethyst: +80 Int, +160 Spirit|
|Orange||Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 80 Int, 160 Haste|
|Prismatic||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int|
|Cogwheel||Sparkling Tinker’s Gear: 600 Spirit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Restoration Druid Enchantments
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession.
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit: Sometimes increases Int by 1650, might increase Spirit by 750 if mana is low.|
|Shoulders||Secret Crane Wing Inscription: – 520 Int and 100 Crit rating, Requires Inscription 550.
Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +200 Int and 100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect: +180 Int
Lightweave Embroidery – attacks have chance to increase Int by 2k for 15 sec, requires tailoring
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all stats (Int & Spirit)
Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit: +200 Spirit if you need a mana regen boost
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +180 Int
Fur Lining increases Int by 500, requires leatherworking.
Socket Bracer – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170-Haste
Socket Gloves – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int or Spirit or other gem|
|Leggings||Greater Pearlescent Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Spirit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery, slight run speed increase.|
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Intellect: +160 Int, Requires Enchanting 550|
All food buffs last one hour. Alchemists get about 30% more effect and an extra hour from all Flasks and Elixirs.
- Mogu Fish Stew: 300 Int
- Steamed Crab Surprise: 300 Spirit
- Braised Turtle: 275 Int
- Fire Spirit Salmon: 275 Spirit
- battle: Elixir of the Rapids: 750 Haste – The only use for this is to hit a Haste breakpoint, otherwise the Int flask is much better.
- Potion of the Jade Serpent: 4k Int for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 120k HP
- Master Mana Potion: About 30k Mana
Professions for Resto Druids
All of the professions provide some benefit for Druids of any spec, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, look st the Haste buff from Herbalism, though you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash.
If you want to extract every last bit of healing power then you’ll want to level one of the crafting professions.
Remember that gems with secondary stats have twice the value of those with primary stats, 320 Spirit Vs 160 Int, for example. Blacksmithing allows you to add two gem sockets to your gear and you can drop in 640 Spirit or 640 Mastery if that better suits your needs. This might make Blacksmithing the most useful profession if you’re just looking for stats.
|Tailoring||Cloak enchant sometimes adds 2k Int.|
|Leatherworking||Bracer enchant adds 500 int.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make nicer gems for your own use.|
|Enchanting||Enchant both rings, for a total +320 Int gain.|
|Inscription||Shoulder enchant adds 520 Int and 100 crit.|
|Alchemy||More effect from your own potions. Adds 320 Int and an extra hour to your main flask.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Int by 1940 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.|
|Blacksmithing||gives two extra gems slots for an additional 640 Spirit or Mastery.|
|Skinning||provides 480 crit rating|
|Herbalism||Small heal and 2880 Haste for 20 seconds. In addition, you can find health and mana spirits, which are rather nice.|
Races for Restoration Druids
Before Cataclysm the choice of race for a Druid was a “difficult” one: Tauren or Night Elf? Now, there are four races. Cataclysm allowed the Worgen and Trolls to become Druids. Mists of Pandaria makes no changes to races and there are no Pandaren Druids.
The difference between races is largely visual as opposed to bringing any real advantage to any particular race. Trolls might be the most generally useful, but pick the race that works best for you. If you want to be “efficient,” then here are the details for each race:
- War Stomp stuns nearby opponents, which might be handy as an escape every once in awhile.
- Increased health (about 5%,) doesn’t seem to scale well at very high levels, but is still a plus.
- Good with Herbalism
- Resistant to Nature damage.
- Can periodically move quickly, which is useful.
- Increased crit chance is nice, since Crit is a decent stat for you.
- Increased skinning speed and skill
- Berserking increases attack and casting speed. Useful for phases of very heavy healing (you will also burn mana faster.)
- Damage increase Vs beasts isn’t interesting to you as you don’t believe in doing damage. Your cat form, on the other hand…
- Ranged weapon Expertise is not useful to you.
- Reduced duration of movement imparing effects, useful for most, but your shapeshift is a far superior “break free” ability.
- Night Elf
- Shadowmeld has situational use. You fade away, dropping aggro, but must remain stationary. Nice for those times when you need to drop aggro, right now.
- 2% dodge is a nice ability for bear tanks and cats, you have little use for it.
- Faster movement while stealthed is nice when prowling, but you have no use for it.
- Resistance to Nature damage
1-90 Druid Leveling Guide
An in-game leveling guide, like Zygor’s Guide, (semi) automates the whole 1-90 path for your Druid. Pick your starting point, from any level, and Zygor’s will show you where to go and what to do.
It automatically updates and advances as you complete tasks and quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically (always showing you where to go next,) and includes all the important quest info. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again, much less stop mid-play to browse some website. Grab your copy here and get leveled fast, or read the review first.
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