How to Play a Resto Druid
So you want to learn how to play a Resto Druid. Well, you’ve come to the right place. On this page we’ll take you through the spell use, rotations and best advice for a Resto Druid Healer right up to maximum level. This page informs you how to play a Resto Druid Healer in general at maximum level. We’re going through a lot of spells in this section, so if you haven’t already, have a look at the Resto Druid Spells page for descriptions. For this page, we’ll assume that you have or will follow our advice on gems, enchants, glyphs, talents and specs.
Your healing is increased by 5% for each of your heal over time effects on that target. The way this works is a little bit different to previously because instead of applying a buff to you, your heals depend on the HoTs on your target. If the target you’re healing has a Rejuvenation on them, then healing done to them is increased by 5% (including the healing done by that initial Rejuvenation). If they have a Rejuvenation & a Lifebloom on them, then it’s a 10% increase, and so forth and so on…
The spells that are cause this increase are: Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, Regrowth and Wild Growth. The talents that also cause an increase include: Cenarion Ward (after ward consumption), Cultivation, Spring Blossoms and Germination.
- Raid-wide buffs have been removed since patch 7.0.3
- Mastery is no longer a buff.
- Make sure you’re full (or very close to) health and mana.
- Consume your Consumables.
Be sure to drink a consumable such as Conjured Mana Pudding to regain your mana, so that you have maximum mana. As you gain gameplay experience you will gain an understanding of the mana required for each fight, along with your gear improvements, you won’t have to drink to regain mana before every encounter. But when starting out it’s best to drink when you can. You can’t drink while you’re in combat. You should also obtain and consume a consumable to gain extra buffs from food or drinks. To view what consumables are beneficial to you head to the Resto Druid Consumables page. Now that you’re buffed, have full hp/mana bars and the rest of your party/raid members are ready, it’s time to prepare to engage with the enemy NPCs or “mobs”.
As a Healer, you’re not going to be the first to run in, this will usually be the Tank(Guardian Druid, Protection Warrior, Blood Death Knight, Protection Paladin or Brewmaster Monk). As a Resto Druid, the play style calls for a more proactive role, meaning you will need to prepare for situations rather than respond to situations. Slightly before the tank is going into combat, we’ll want to prepare them for the damage they’re going to receive, otherwise you will be on the back foot as soon as the tank takes damage. You’ll want to first place some Heal over Time spells(HoTs) on your Tank and any others who will receive damage first.
- Get Lifebloom rolling on the tank – keep it rolling unless large heal needed in which case let it expire. Then re-apply ASAP.
- Keep a Rejuvenation rolling on the tank/s.
- Use Regrowth for Omen of Clarity procs.
- Use Swiftmend for a large instant heal.
- Use Ironbark on a tank taking serious damage.
- Place your Wild Mushroom under the tank.
Rejuvenation and Lifebloom give you a bit of a buffer while healing, in that they “roll” on the target, healing for a certain amount over 10-12 seconds. While these HoTs are rolling, it gives you an opportunity to move, to use other cast-time heals on the tank or devote some time to healing the party/raid. After a time, Rejuvenation will just expire, while Lifebloom will expire with a large heal to finish it off. If you cast Lifebloom again, the Lifebloom is refreshed to the full amount (15 seconds). You will want to keep Lifebloom rolling on a tank at all times, or you will fall behind. Summary: Get Rejuvenation or Lifebloom (or both) rolling on the tank/s.
During light damage to the tank you can continue to use Rejuvenation to top them up. During heavy damage to the tank you can use Healing Touch for a large heal. If Lifebloom is soon to expire, the tank is high on hp and you have little time, refresh Lifebloom on the tank by pressing Lifebloom again. If Lifebloom is soon to expire, the tank is missing low-mid hp and you have little time, you can let it expire to trigger the large heal, but you should recast Lifebloom onto the tank again immediately. If the tank is taking a lot of damage, place Rejuvenation and Regrowth on the tank to increase the rolling heals. If there is a spike in damage, use Swiftmend for a large instant heal.
If your timing is right you can chain a lot of big heals in a row on the tank should they suffer from a large amount of damage. For example: Lifebloom > Rejuvenation – 12-14 seconds pass – Damage about to occur – Begin to cast Healing Touch – Lifebloom expires (Big Heal) – Use Swiftmend
You also have a strong defensive cooldown: Ironbark, which can be placed on a target to reduce the damage taken by the target. This can be handy to help mitigate damage especially to the tank. Or it can be used on any other fellow party/raid member or even yourself.
- Keep Lifebloom up on a tank.
- Use Wild Growth every time it comes off cool down.
- Place your Efflorescence AoE heal under a group likely to take damage (such as melee).
- Top up players with Rejuventation.
- Use Swiftmend on players with for quick strong heals.
- If you gain Clearcasting, use it to top up party members with Regrowth
One of your main heals for party/raid healing or multiple-target healing is Wild Growth. This places a HoT on multiple players, healing them quite well. It has a 1.5 second cast time and places the HoT on 5 injured members (or 6 if glyphed).
Another AoE healing spell is your Efflorescence, which is instant and has no second cool down. It places a Mushroom on the ground that forms a green circle around it that will heal those injured who stand inside it. Place this under a melee group that is likely to take damage, including the tank, or under any group of players that are likely to take damage. It lasts 30 seconds and you should have it up most of the time (mana permitting).
Use Rejuvenation on multiple targets to help top up those that are low.
For healing a particular member with dangerously low hp use Swiftmend, instantly healing them for a reasonable amount.
Heavy Damage Phase Healing
- Keep Lifebloom up on a target (usually a tank)
- Make sure your Efflorescence is down before-hand so your green AoE heal is in a good location
- Continue using Rejuventation on players taking damage
- Use Swiftmend for those who need strong instant heals
- Use Wild Growth off cool down immediately after Swiftmend to boost it
- Use Flourish to extend all HoTs (including your boosted Wild Growth).
- Use Tranquility
- If you gain Clearcasting, use it to top up party members with Regrowth
At times during an encounter there is likely to be some heavy damage phases, meaning you and your party/raid members are going to suffer more damage faster, at which point more healing from you is required. We have covered what to do should your tank suffer from large damage spikes, so this will be more about using your cool down abilities for party/raid wide damage (which can include your tank). When these heavy damage phases occur, they usually last for a short amount of time and occur several times throughout an encounter.
During these heavy phases, it’s a good idea to roll HoTs on those who need it most, use Rejuvenation or Regrowth (faster instant heal and a following HoT) and use Swiftmend for an instant heal. Place your Efflorescence on the ground under those taking significant damage and use Wild Growth every time it comes off cool down.
It is at this time you may want to use your strong talents if you have cool down talents such as Incarnation: Tree of Life if you have talented into it.
With our recommended build on the Resto Druid Talents & Specs page, Soul of the Forest supplies you with a boosted Wild Growth after using Swiftmend. We then recommend talenting into and using Flourish.
During these phases you’ll want to continue using Wild Growth every time it’s off cool down and use Regrowth on those players with the least hp and need healing fast, but be careful because Regrowth is very expensive and it’s easy to spam and run out of mana.
Tranquility is a very powerful, raid-wide smart heal(heals lowest hp players first) that heals the raid for an amount every 2 seconds while channeled and not moving. To get the most out of this spell, don’t try to cast other spells, use it at a time when you can stand still for 8 seconds so as to not cancel it early and don’t use it when you’re in Tree of Life form.
If you’re looking for additional burst healing, load up a few of your party/raid members with Rejuvenation and use your Genesis spell. This spell speeds up the ticks that Rejuvenation heals with and therefore provides a burst of healing.
- Use Nature’s Cure to remove magic, poisons and curses.
Occasionally encounters present themselves as to place “debuffs” or negative spells whether from mobs or bosses. These debuffs can range from bleeds, poisons, diseases, curses and magic. All healing specializations can remove magic debuffs, but each class has a different removal tool unique to themselves. A Resto Druid can remove magic debuffs, poisons and curses using Nature’s Cure. Remove these debuffs as soon as you can, though be sure that they need removal, as sometimes debuffs, though bad, may need to remain on a player.
Like all class specializations, there are more spells that are available to a Resto Druid through talent selection. To learn more about choosing your talents and the benefits, head to the Resto Druid Talents & Specs page. If you’ve chosen your talents already, it’s time to learn about a Resto Druid’s stat priority on the Resto Druid Stat Priority page.