Resto Druids are amazingly fun to play end-game. They have many aspects that separate them from other healing classes and give them a play style all their own. You’ll either love it, or hate it; There is no in between.
Today I’m going to give you a quick run down of the basics for resto druids as of Cataclysm patch 4.2+. You’ll notice I’m skipping a lot of the little stuff, and focusing more on the parts that end up being more complicated. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
Why play Resto?
The biggest difference between druids and most other healing classes is that a good chunk of the druid healing spells are Heal-over-Time (HoT). What this means is that the person doesn’t get healed as soon as the spell is done casting, it will deliver the healing over a period of time instead. The bad news about this is that we’re not designed to be the saving throw at the last minute. However, the good news is that we can plan ahead to put the HoT up and not need to worry about it. Set it and Forget it as the saying goes.
This makes it play like a chess game where you always need to be thinking 2 moves ahead. We can mastermind the fight from start to finish, and the tanks will never know.
Still Interested in playing a Resto Druid? Keep reading after the jump.
The spec can vary depending on how you play. Doing Firelands progression raiding, I seem to have the best of luck with this build.
Intelligence: Int is out top stat. You’re going to want to get as much of this as possible. Int effects out total mana, spell power (scaling of spells), crit and mana regen.
Spell Power: Helps scale up your healing spells. The more of this the better, but is only going to be found on your weapon.
Spirit: This stat is going to be vital. The more spirit you have, the faster your mana regeneration will be. How much you need will depend on how you play an the fight. If it’s a really long fight or there is a lot of raid healing, you may need more.
Haste: Haste makes things faster. It will make your spells cast faster, your HoTs tick more per second (more ticks = more healing). This stat plays an important role, which we’ll discuss further down.
Mastery: Our Mastery is called Harmony. For every 143.42 points in mastery, you get 1% more healing when Harmony is active. You activate Harmony by casting a direct spell (Nourish, Regrowth, Healing Touch), which lasts for 10 seconds. Aside from Haste breakpoints, this is the best secondary stat when spirit isn’t needed.
Crit: The more Crit you have, the higher chance of a spell critically hitting you have. When a spell crits, it heals for double what it normally does. Though awesome, it’s less valuable than the secondary stats listed above because it’s inconsistent.
Int > Enough Spirit to avoid Oom > Haste to breakpoint > Mastery > Crit
Haste breakpoints are going to either be the most complicated thing ever, or really really easy. I’m going to do my best to make it easy.
For all these numbers, we’re going to assume you’re getting the 5% haste buff from a fellow raid member. Most raids will have one of the classes that give it. If you don’t have one…well get one.
In short what a break point is: For every X number of haste you will get an extra tick of Y-spell while it’s up. Because you’re getting another tick, you squish more healing into the spell.
Rejuvenation (RJ) lasts for 12 seconds and normally ticks 4 times @ level 85. If you have 916 haste, it will tick a 5th time during the 12 seconds. Because healing is based per tick, not per cast you’re getting a significant increase.
Now that said, every spell has a break point where it ticks faster, but most aren’t worth caring about. Your two big ones are 916 and 2005.
At 916, as mentioned above, you get your 5th tick of rejuvenation. Because this is your primary healing spell, it’s important.
At 2005, you get your 9th tick of Wild Growth and Efflorescence. These are your primary AoE/group healing spells and you’re going to use them often.
Hitting your haste breakpoints:
This is where the decisions start. Getting to 916 shouldn’t be hard once you get a few blues. Getting to 2005 on the other hand can be a bit difficult. I wouldn’t advise trying to hit the 2005 until you start getting epic (iLvl 353+) gear, it’s not worth the effort.
When you first start gearing into T11 gear and even early Fireland gear you will notice that gear with haste and int/spirit won’t be the most common thing. You may need to gem or enchant for haste. This is perfectly fine.
The smart people around the web and EJ have crunched the numbers and determined you can sacrifice up to ~300 int in order to hit the 2005 break point to make it worth it. I’d recommend not sacrificing more than 200 for most play styles.
Between haste points, don’t bother stacking haste. Reforge it into mastery/spirit (if needed) instead.
You can find a good list of all your haste breakpoints over HERE.
Update: This may change in patch 4.3 with the WG nerf. This page will be updated upon patch release if needed.
Roll LifeBloom (LB) on the tank. Use Nourish to refresh it to keep it rolling when possible. Always have LB rolling on somebody regardless of if you are tank/raid heals.
Slight touch up, use Nourish.
Light-moderate, throw a Rejuvenation on.
Moderate, use Regrowth.
Quick heal, use Swiftmend.
OMG HE’S TAKING TOO MUCH DMG!, use Healing Touch.
More than 1 person taking light-moderate damage, use Wild Growth.
Everybody is dying (and it’s your fault), use Tranquility. Best used just after WG to have both going.
Use something for healing assistance. Be it VuhDo, Healbot, Grid, Clique, or something else. Though the built-in raid frames are getting better, they still need work. I suggest VuhDo, it’s easy and works very well.
I haven’t covered everything here, wouldn’t dream of it. Here are some resources with more information to help you out.
[Resto] Cataclysm 4.2 @ Elitist Jerks by Hamlet
TreeCalcs : Healing calculator. Helps to see if reforging will improve your healing before you waste the gold.
Druid Haste Rating Breakpoints @ The Inconspicuous Bear
1. Get Int. Lots of it.
2. Aim for 2005 haste, or else get 916 and stack mastery.
3. Learn the fights, and think about what will need healing before the damage comes. Put a HoT on it.
4. Use Tree form, it’s awesome.
5. Travel form is awesome too, especially for running from ghosts in ZG.
6. Barkskin makes you die slower.
7. A good druid is better than a decent priest. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
8. Nourish, Nourish, Nourish, Nourish, Nourish, Nourish…
Hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.