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How to Play a Resto Druid

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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.


The first and really the only castable buff that you gain as a Druid is Mark of the Wild, which you gain as a spell at level 30. This is something that you’ll want to cast on all party/raid after entering a dungeon or raid. It improves some of your base stats and is beneficial to all classes. All party/raid members should have this buff before entering combat. You can cast it during combat, but this takes up a spell cast(global cooldown) and uses mana. After dying, entering a new party/raid or after 1 hour, the buff will expire, at which point you will need to re-cast this buff on all party/raid members. Mark of the Wild also shares the same benefits as the Paladin’s Blessing of Kings and the Monk’s Legacy of the Emperor buffs. If you have a Paladin in your group, they should buff with Blessing of Might first and then you can buff with Mark of the Wild or the Monk can buff with Legacy of the Emperor.

Another “buff” that you have is the last base spell you gain at level 87: Symbiosis. Cast on another party/raid member, this spell does two things: 1) Gives that target access to a select spell of yours and 2) Gives you a select spell from the target. Cast this on a party/raid member of your choice before an encounter (except another Druid) and you will be linked for 1 hour, until cancelled or you are too far apart. For additional information on the spell Symbiosis, please visit our Resto Druid Symbiosis Table page.

Resto Druid Symbiosis Table

Another important buff is provided by the Resto Druid’s Mastery: Harmony. This is a passive buff that is applied to yourself only, when you cast a direct heal spell such as Regrowth, Healing Touch or Nourish. What’s so important about this buff is that it increases the heals of your Heal over Time spells by 10% while it is active. To get the most out of your healing this buff must be active 100% of the time. Therefore, we encourage you to cast direct heals before and throughout encounters. If you have a Clearcasting proc available, use Regrowth or Healing Touch, if not, use Nourish because it’s less mana-expensive. There’s no excuse really to not have this up.

Before Combat

After buffing your party/raid members, 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, the first to run in 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. Therefore you’ll want to place a Heal over Time(HoT) on your Tank or those who will receive damage. If you’re below level 64, your HoT of choice will be Rejuvenation so you can place that on your tank, if you’re level 64 or above, Lifebloom is your HoT of Choice, in which case you can apply this HoT 3 times (or 3 stacks).

Tank Healing

Rejuvenation(before level 64) and Lifebloom(level 64 and above) give you a bit of a buffer while healing, in that it “rolls” on the target, healing the tank for a certain amount over 10-12 seconds. While these HoTs are rolling, it gives you an opportunity 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. Pressing Lifebloom again or healing the target with Nourish, Healing Touch or Regrowth, your rolling Lifebloom stacks are refreshed to the full amount (10 seconds). You will want to keep Lifebloom rolling on your tank at all times, or you will fall behind. Summary: Get Rejuvenation or Lifebloom(3 stacks)(or both) rolling on the tank. During light damage to the tank use Nourish for a small heal and to refresh Lifebloom. During heavy damage to the tank use Healing Touch for a Large heal and to refresh Lifebloom. If Lifebloom is soon to expire, the tank is high on hp and you have little time, refresh Lifebloom on the tank by casting it 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 will need to recast the 3 stacks onto the tank again. If the tank is taking a lot of damage, place Rejuvenation on the tank to increase the rolling heals. If there is a spike in damage, and you have Rejuvenation on the tank, use Swiftmend for a large instant heal, this will also place Efflorescence on the ground underneath the tank and surrounding members that will heal them over time. If the tank still needs a large heal to top up their hp, you can use Nature’s Swiftness to make your next Healing Touch instant. 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: – 3 stacks of Lifebloom > Rejuvenation – 7-8 seconds pass – Damage about to occur – Begin to cast Healing TouchLifebloom expires (Big Heal) – Use Swiftmend – Use Nature’s Swiftness – Cast an instantHealing Touch. 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.

Party/Raid Healing

Your number one heal for party/raid healing or multiple-target healing is Wild Growth. This places a HoT on multiple players, healing them quite well. You can also use Rejuvenation on multiple targets to help top up those that are low. A good idea for healing a particular member with low hp is to use Rejuvenation and then Swiftmend, instantly healing them for a reasonable amount and also placing Efflorescence on the ground that heals those around them over time. It’s good to use this method on those taking damage within close proximity of each other. If the tank is topped up and you’re a little bored, you can spam Nourish on raid members to get them up to 100% hp. It’s cheap and gives you something to do in the lull periods. For heavy damage to the raid, read below.

Heavy Damage Phase Healing

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 then use Swiftmend. Use Wild Growth every time it comes off cool down and use your strongest spells Tree of Life and Tranquility. Tree of Life transforms you into a Tree and enhances your healing abilities for a short duration. You can now cast Lifebloom on multiple targets instead of just the tank, your Wild Growth places a HoT on one extra target and your Regrowth is instant cast. During these phases you want to continue using Wild Growth every time it’s off cool down, use Lifebloom on as many targets as you can 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. Don’t use Tranquility when you’re in Tree of Life form. 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. It also places a Heal over Time on those it heals stacking up to 3 times. 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.

Another spell that you can use for raid healing is using your Wild Mushroom. Wild Mushroom include two parts to it: Wild Mushroom: a spell you use to place a mushroom at the feet of your target and Wild Mushroom: Bloom: the spell you use to detonate that Mushrooms effectively healing your party/raid members nearby. Overhealing that is done by your Rejuvenation ticks on yourself and party/raid members are stored in your Mushrooms and can increase the healing done by them. They cost no mana to place and a small amount of mana bloom, and bloom has a 10 second cool down.

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. This will also help to faster build up the healing stored in your Mushrooms.

Mana Regeneration

As encounters go on and you use spells to heal, you’re going to use up mana. While typical game mechanics such as buffs and stats will return mana to you, it’s usually not enough and you need a little extra help. That’s where your main mana return spell comes in, which for a Resto Druid is Innervate. Innervate will return a significant amount of mana to you which will allow you to continue heal. You want to use it as early as you can but not too early that you’re wasting it. We suggest using it on yourself when your mana pool is at around 80%. This means it won’t return more than you can hold and also means you could possibly use it multiple times in an encounter. If you’re completely fine for mana, don’t be afraid to cast it on someone else(i.e. another healer).


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.

This page originally appeared on HealingWoW on .

Written by: on December 4, 2012.

Find more posts by the Resto Druid by going to the Archive, or learn more about this class by going to Resto Druid's main page.