This is a compendium of information on raiding as a Resto Druid. It summarizes well-known points of Resto play, and serves as a starting point for discussion of healing in Mists of Pandaria. While there's a lot of room for discussion, people should be generally familiar with the contents of this post before replying on this thread.
The new talents are such that the intention is for one not to be exceedingly better than the other, which leaves you many options. You should explore the talents and find those that suit both your play style and the dynamics of each encounter. With the ease of respeccing, you may find that certain talents are more advantageous for different encounters. As such, you may want to consider using the new flexibility to respec based on the demands of each encounter.
Recommended - This talent will be very useful to nearly all Restoration Druids, but there are some instances in which you may want to skip it in favor of a different talent in the tree.
Situational - This talent will be useful in some situations depending the style of the fight.
Skip - There are very few circumstances in which this talent is worth considering in PvE content, but should not be overlooked if there are boss mechanics in which it could be useful.
The weakness in this ability is that it offers another heal over time ability, that you cannot direct, and has a lot of potential for overheal and wasted healing. You would need special circumstances that play to the talent's strength to opt for it over Nature's Swiftness.
Gain 75% haste after using Swiftmend. Can be very powerful when combined with Wild Growth for extra burst AE healing during heavy raid damage or to refresh Lifebloom or Rejuv during periods of heavy tank damage. This choice can be strong in encounters with consistent raid damage. The downside to this being that you must tie your spells together to receive full benefit, at a cost of losing flexibility. Note: Is stronger with 4 T14 than without.
Permits you to shift into Tree of Life. Gives 15% increased healing as well as the ability to enhance Lifebloom, Wild Growth and Regrowth. In addition to the healing boost, it is very powerful as a mana saving resource due to the relative low cost of Lifebloom and the extra clearcasting procs resulting from multiple Lifeblooms being active.
Summons a treant to help you heal. Upon summoning the treant will cast Swiftmend on your target. Despite the changes to improve this talent, it remains the weakest of the three abilities in this tier and its use remains situational.
Offers a static 6% increase to intellect and also offers the ability to enhance specific abilities outside of the resto specialization for 30 seconds. While the "enhanced" portion of the ability is situational, the Intellect increase is quite strong. Note: This is a very strong option for Challenge Modes, where the enchanced portion of the ability is quite strong as a means to add extra DPS during periods of low damage.
The least attractive ability in this tier, Dream of Cenarius will increase your next healing spell (excluding tranquility) by 30 percent after casting wrath. Because of time required to cast wrath, the low healing boost to one ability, and the fact that this cannot effect tranquility, this ability is not a favorite for PvE.
Increases all damage and healing done by 10% for 30 seconds. It also permits your healing spells to do damage to nearby enemies for 25% of the healing done or 25% of your damage done will heal nearby enemies. This is a strong option due to the increased healing provided, which offers us an additional cooldown during high damage times. The other bonuses of the ability are largely tertiary - but may have times where the extra damage is beneficial to the raid.
A few additional facts for the people who are interested:
Omen of Clarity: Clearcasting can only be procced by Lifebloom (via the Malfurion's Gift ability that is part of the baseline resto abilities). Among healing spells, Clearcasting is only consumed by Healing Touch and Regrowth. A proc lasts 15 seconds.
Efflorescence is now combined with Swiftmend and will show as Swiftmend in your logs. The individual ticks can now also crit.
Wild Growth: The base heal decays with each tick, but all extra healing from spellpower is equal across the ticks.
Mark of the Wild: Now only provides Strength, Agility and Intellect.
Heart of the Wild is calculated utilizing your total intellect as opposed to base intellect.
Resoration Druids receive a passive bonus, via Leather Specialization, that increases intellect by 5% provided that all applicable item slots are filled with leather gear. This is a very easy bonus to obtain and the bonus far outweighs any benefit that you may receive by wearing non-leather items. To take advantage of this bonus, you should always opt to wear leather items.
Intellect provides 1 spellpower and 0.00039% to crit per point.
Several abilities and bonuses may interact with Intellect to provide an increased value for each point of Intellect that you have. There are three main abilities that will have this effect: Leather Specialization (5%), Heart of the Wild (6%) and Mark of the Wild (5%). As such, assuming use of Leather Specialization and MotW, 1 point of intellect will be worth 1.1025. If you add in Heart of the Wild 1 point of intellect will be worth 1.169 (this will also provide you with 0.00046% crit per point). Note that it takes 2168 points per 1% crit, which is about 3.5 times weaker than 1 crit rating.
Intellect will be your best stat for throughput.
Intellect, without the talent bonuses or crit bonus. Basically a weaker form of Intellect that only appears on weapons and trinkets, but is still good.
Since Intellect no longer increases our mana pools, or has any effect on our regen (or innervate), Spirit has become our primary regen stat. 1 point of spirit will grant you roughly 1.128 MP5 (~.56 MP5 in combat). With Meditation (which is baseline), you will gain 56.4 MP5 in combat for every 100 Spirit.
480 mastery rating adds 1% to our Harmony bonus. This is essentially a flat bonus to all healing (albeit an additive bonus, so slightly weaker than it looks). Aside from haste breakpoints, mastery is the secondary stat giving the best throughput.
425 haste rating gives 1% spell haste. This reduces the cast time and GCD of all of our spells, to a minimum of 1 second GCD (there is no effect on Rejuvenation, which automatically has a 1 second GCD from talents). It also causes our HoT's to tick faster and potentially gain extra ticks (see below for more on breakpoints). Aside from a few very significant breakpoints, haste is a weaker secondary stat since it doesn't improve Rejuvenation at all, and increases mana consumption.
Critical strike rating:
600 crit rating gives 1% to crit. All healing effects are able to crit. Due in part to its greater itemization cost, crit adds ess throughput than mastery.
As noted above, much of the value of haste lies in its ability to add extra HoT ticks at certain specific values. Here are some of the most important ones that tend to be useful to know while gearing your character:
The 5% haste buff referred to below comes from a Moonkin, Shadow Priest, or Elemental Shaman.
Intellect will be your primary stat. While chosing gear you will need to find a point where you have a comfortable amount of throughput and regen. To facilitate this, you will want to optimize trade offs between spirit and other secondary stats so that you have enough regen to fit your playstyle (and raid environment) without neglecting other secondary stats. If you are ending encounters with excess mana, continue to devalue spirit until you reach a point that you can successfully end the race with your mana bar empty while continuing to feel that you had enough mana to successfully navigate the encounter.
Healer epics have Intellect, Stamina, spellpower in the case of weapons, and 2 out of the 4 secondary stats: crit rating, haste rating, mastery rating or Spirit. Reforging allows you to change 40% of one secondary stat on an item into another secondary stat that's not already present. When planning what to equip and reforge, keep the following in mind:
You should be aware of haste breakpoints for your HoT's (see above).
The first breakpoint we will want to try to reach is 3043, for your first Rejuv and Tranquility tick. One thing to note about the Tranquility breakpoint is that it only affects the HoT portion of Tranquility and you do not gain extra ticks of Tranquitly itself. It may be appropriate to give up some Int if necessary to reach your breakpoints (by using haste gems or swapping an item). In time, if your gear has a plethora of haste, you can aim for the second tick of Wild Growth attainable at 6652 haste, however it is perfectly fine to remain at 3043 and reforge any excess haste into mastery.
If you are utilizing Soul of the Forest, you can aim for the 5437, but as stated above, it is fine (if not recommended) to stay at 3043.
It is important to note when you are gearing for breakpoints that you should select one and gear accordingly - if you cannot reach your selected breakpoint, do not continue to gear haste that will leave you in between break points. Simply reforge your gear appropriately until you are capable of reaching the next benchmark.
Otherwise, always choose an item of higher ilvl (and if possible, higher socket count) in each slot. You should opt for items that have both Int and Spirit, until you have reached a comfortable regen level, and then you can opt for items that have alternative secondary stats.
Outside of haste breakpoints, your basic choice is between throughput stats (mastery and crit) and regen (Spirit). When it's not getting you extra HoT ticks, haste is your weakest stat since it doesn't benefit Rejuv and increases your mana consumption.
Between mastery and crit, mastery winds up being a better throughput benefit.
With the change to mana pools and the regen paradigm, you should look to find a regen level you are comfortable with relative to your preferred play style, and then reforge to mastery.
The end result is that once we are comfortable with our regen (spirit levels) we will continue to stack mostly Int as much as possible, and try to reach 3043 haste if you can reasonably do so in your gear. Otherwise, generally try to fill any remaining stats with mastery.
T14 2 Piece Bonus: The 2T14 will be quite attractive as we enter the first tier of raiding, due to the reduced mana cost of Rejuvenation (10%). Use it as soon as you can get it.
T14 4 Piece Bonus: The 4T14 is also quite good for the decreased cooldown on Swiftmend. When used in conjunction with Soul of the Forest it helps to better synergize the cooldowns on Wild Growth and Swiftmend.
T15 2 Piece Bonus: This bonus will be quite nice in a 25 man setting due to the likelihood of consistently having four targets grouped for Swiftmend, but may not be as useful in a 10 man setting.
T 15 4 Piece Bonus: The value of this bonus is about a 16% increase to rejuv's healing, the later, more powerful, ticks are more likely to be overhealing - which synergizes well with the new mushroom format.
+18,000 mana with Potion of Focus, +12,000 mana with Master Mana Potion, 60 sec. ICD (?)
Note: I did not add any crit trinkets to this list, with the assumption that we will favor trinkets with some form of mana return in this first tier. The only exception is the Direbrew trinket, as it may be an easy "gimme" starter trinket.
Sometimes you simply want to activate a trinket on cooldown. Here's a macro you can stick into any of your spells to do so without spamming error messages or sounds:
Something that is important to note with regards to food and flasks is that they do not have the same 1:2 benefit that gems share with regards to secondary stats. That means that the trade off is 1:1 for both of these forms of consumables; or put more simply you would be trading the same amount of a primary stat as you are a secondary stat for the trade. While the benefit of spirit consumables is a topic of debate, the general consensus (and the math!) is that it is not worth the trade off to utilize spirit consumables over intellect.
I have continued to include them in the guide for completeness purposes (and so I don't get a million notes telling me they've been forgotten!), but as a Resto Druid, you should generally always make use of intellect consumables.
Burning Primal Diamond - This will be the main throughput gem once you have found a comfortable level of regen from gear and are ready to move into more throughput. It will likely continue to be the main choice for meta gem for challenge modes.
Ember Primal Diamond - This gem focuses on throughput and increased mana pools. However, the 2% mana increase is not as strong as the regen gained from the additional spirit in the Revitalizing gem. You should never use this gem if there is a Revitalizing Primal Diamond available for use.
It should be noted that, unlike in past expansions, socket bonuses are generally quite strong. This means that, outside of extraordinary circumstances, you will want to match your sockets for desirable bonuses.
Brilliant Primordial Ruby - Will be an option as throughput gem, but it's worth taking a look at secondary stat and hybrid gems to see if they will offer more throughput in red sockets as gear increases before opting for this gem.
Sparkling River's Heart - As gear levels increase, this gem becomes less desirable. You will utilize hybrid gems to meet socket bonuses; and, as such, will not want to utilize straight spirit gems.
Fractured Sun's Radiance - Will be an option as a throughput gem at higher gear levels and can be used to fill yellow sockets.
Aside from a few unusual ones, most professions provide roughly equal gains:
Alchemy: Mixology with Flask of the Warm Sun will give you 320 Intellect as well as double the duration of your flasks. Alternatively you can utilize Flask of Fallng Leaves which will provide an additional 480 Spirit, however this is a weaker option and is less desirable.
Leatherworking: 500 Int to bracers in place of the usual 180 Int, for a 320 increase to intellect.
EngineeringSynapse Springs give an average value of 320 int (1920 Intellect for 10 seconds, with a 60 second cooldown).
A macro similar to the one given above for trinkets can be used for glove tinkers--the glove slot is number 10.
TailoringLightweave Embroidery gives 2000 Int for 15 seconds, 20% proc on spellcast, 60 second cooldown. The average benefit is around 500 Int, minus the 180 Int you usually have on your cloak, for an increase of around 320. However, Darkglow Embroidery gives 3000 Spirit for 15 seconds, 20% proc on spellcast, 50 second cooldown. The average benefit is around 900 Spirit, however it becomes less desirable as gear levels increase.
The remaining professions are weaker:
Herbalism gives a haste cooldown via Lifeblood. At 2880 haste for 20s every 2 minutes, it averages out to 480 haste. Additionally, you can loot Water Spirit's.
It's important to not waste time between casts. This is an easy way to lose quite a lot of healing over the course of a fight without realizing it. This section contains a bit of information that you should know about spell targeting, timing, haste, queueing, and the GCD.
By default, a heal targets your target, if it exists and is friendly. Otherwise, if you have Auto Self Cast activated (Interface->Game->Combat), it will target yourself. If not, you will get the dreaded "blue hand" asking you to choose your target.
You can control targeting priority using macros. For example, if you want to heal your target's target if your target is hostile:
Most healers use mouseover macros of some variety (either with Clique (see below), or with keyboard binds, or both). The basic form of a mouseover macro is this:
/use [@mouseover, help] Rejuvenation
You can any combination of click-casting and keybinds to heal effectively, so long as you don't use the "blue hand." But if you've never used mouseover functionality of any kind (either click-casting or mouseover keybinds), I recommend you try it at least for a while. Though some good healers stick with the "old fashioned" target-and-cast setup, that requires two inputs instead of one for each heal. You should try both before deciding.
You now have the option to have the client process events when you release the key or on your initial key press. Keep the option you choose in mind for learning your timing. It should be noted that, by default, this is set to cast on key down. If this is unsatisfactory, you can select your preference under Interface -> Combat.
When you send a spell command to the server, if your character is unable to cast immediately (typically because it's still casting or GCD-locked from your last spell), the server will see if you become ready to cast within a certain short window. If you do, it will begin the cast immediately. You can set the length of this window with an interface option called "Custom Latency Tolerance." You want to set this value to a high enough amount that you can always press the next spell key comfortably before the current spell finishes, and never have a gap between casts. But you don't want to set it too high, because you can't change your mind after you queue a spell, so your reaction time is effectively slower if you "lock in" each spell a long time before it begins casting. Experiment and find something you're comfortable with.
We spend a large portion of our time casting instants, so you want to get very comfortable with the rhythm of your GCD spark. If done perfectly, each GCD begins as the previous one ends, with no visible gap.
This section is a summary of basic principles--detailed discussion of various healing techniques and spell usage will be largely be the focus of the discussion thread.
Rejuvenation: Though we have to manage our mana, and will not be able to sustain blanketing the raid, this spell is still central to our healing. It does very high amount of healing, is quite efficient, and it enables Swiftmend. Because it is a moderately expensive instant, it can burn your mana quickly if you start spamming it. But whenever you can cast a Rejuv that will not be mostly overheal, it is an excellent choice. In addition, you will often maintain Rejuvenation on a tank who's taking any significant amount of damage. In general, your "filler" healing is a mix of Nourish and Rejuv, based on your mana. It is also worth noting that your rejuvenation will now also instantly heal for the equivalent of one tick upon being cast.
Wild Growth: This remains an excellent spell all-around. It will automatically target the 5/6 lowest-HP people within range (not necessarily including the target). Because the radius is now so high (30y), you can often just cast it on anybody and get a good result. Make sure to cast it anytime an AoE effect hits some people in the raid. In heavy damage situations you'll use Wild Growth on cooldown. Even though it is expensive, it does more than enough healing to be worth it. Wild Growth is unusual in that in can be targeted on a hostile unit and will still apply to the lowest-HP raid members in range of that unit. Additionally, you will want to consider that if you opt for Soul of the Forest you can “prep” your Wild Growth to be more powerful by using the haste bonus from Soul of the Forest to add a nice healing boost. To do this, simply cast a Swiftmend and make sure that Wild Growth is the next spell that you cast. This will be very useful during times when the raid is experiencing heavy damage and needs to be topped up quickly.
Lifebloom: You want to keep this rolling on a tank at virtually all times. It is a strong, cheap HoT, has a very fast tick rate to help stabilize the tank. It is also helps to enable Omen of Clarity procs, so that you enter a clearcasting state. Try to get used to the timing of refreshing this on the last tick without breaking your casting rhythm, both with Lifebloom itself and with Nourish/HT/RG. With the increased duration of Lifebloom, you should always have an opportunity to refresh it in your healing rotation. Always have a Lifebloom stack on one person, even if there's no tank at the moment. Additionally, with [Glyph of Lifebloom] you can swap around your three stack for the cost of one GCD and utilize it as a quick ticking HoT for quick, emergency healing on another member of your raid, provided it's not needed on the tank at that time.
Nourish: The Druid's cheap heal. Nourish's healing per mana is now quite low, and your mana may be better spent filling time with extra Rejuvenations instead, when you can afford them, even if it means you have some down time in casting. Based on this there is almost no optimal time to utilize nourish where another spell will not better serve you.
Healing Touch: Has the same cast time as Nourish, but is less efficient and much larger. While a typical use iwas to top off a tank who needs a direct heal, glyphed Regrowth now does this quicker and more efficiently. As such, you will almost never cast Healing Touch in its current state.
Regrowth: The Druid's fast, inefficient direct heal. When people in the raid need immediate healing to avoid death, use this (also use Swiftmend if it's available). Whenever a Clearcast procs, you can more liberally throw a Regrowth on anyone in the raid who isn't topped off. With the [Glyph of Regrowth], Regrowth becomes a very powerful, fast, direct heal and will be your main direct heal. If you are utilizing the glyph, Regrowth has almost equal healing to Healing Touch, and will also plant a living seed on your target. As such, you may want to consider pairing it with Nature's Swiftness. You can utilize the macro above to achieve this - just replace "Regrowth" with "Healing Touch". Regrowth has another important use during Incarnation: Tree of Life, discussed below.
Combined with Nature's Swiftness (now on a one minute coolodwn), it provides an emergency instant heal which is somewhat stronger than Swiftmend. You'll usually use it with Swiftmend when you need two consecutive instant heals on someone. Macro for this:
(You can replace the @mouseover with whatever target you like). Note that this will cast both spells at once if you're still, but you'll need to press the macro twice if you're moving.
Swiftmend: A strong instant heal on a short cooldown. Swiftmend now has efflorescence baked into it as one of the base effects of the ability, so in addition to the instant heal, you will also provide AE healing to those 10 yards around the target. Additionally, if you are spec’d into Soul of the Forest, your Swiftmend will provide a haste boost to the next spell cast, and is very complimentary when used in concert with Wild Growth.
Swiftmend is one of our best spells. Always be vigilant for people at low HP on whom you might use this. It's great for helping stabilize a tank anytime you see them sit low for more than a GCD, or making sure any raid member is safe while your HoT's do their work. You can Swiftmend another Druid's HoT's, so you want your raid frames to show who's Swiftmendable. Using Swiftmend on cooldown also helps to ensure high Harmory uptime.
Clearcasting: Not a spell, but deserves an entry. Clearcasting lasts 15 seconds and can only apply to the expensive spells Regrowth and Healing Touch, so it's difficult to waste. When Clearcasting procs, you simply have to make sure to cast a Regrowth in the next few seconds. A Rgrwoth should generally be your first thought--based in its current place in the Druid toolkit. The tank is a good target; and regrowth on him for a free heal and LB/Harmony refresh is never a bad option. If, however, people in the raid are in need of a quick heal, a Clearcast is a good chance to throw a Regrowth on them as well. Clearcasting has a 4% chance to proc.
Incarnation: Tree of Life: In addition to the 15% healing bonus, this has a few effects on our healing spells:
Lifebloom: now castable on any number of targets. This is handy since Lifebloom does moderate healing and is very cheap. In a fight where you don't need Tree for other purposes, shifting to cast primarily Lifebloom for 30 seconds lets you use ToL as a very good mana cooldown.
Regrowth: now instant cast. Not a throughput gain since Regrowth is a 1.5 cast anyway, but this allows use while moving and also gives you much quicker reactive healing. Because of all the Lifeblooms you use during Tree of Life, you get a lot of Clearcasting procs from Malfurion's Gift, and can turn each one into a free instant Regrowth. The Regrowths even refresh the Lifeblooms.
If many people in the raid need healing quickly, shifting to cast instant Regrowths can help hit people who need the most healing immediately. Similarly, it is also quite strong for tank healing in challenge modes during periods of quick, heavy tank damage. Be careful though, as this can be expensive. Still use a good amount of Lifebloom when people aren't in danger of death.
Wild Growth: now targets 2 extra people. Simply makes WG slightly better to use even than it ordinarily is.
As as final note, in my experience, I tend to use ToL form at fixed times each encounter (once I've seen the fight enough times to have a plan), rather than in much of a reactive way.
Soul of the Forest: Similar to Clearcasting, this is not an ability, but also deserves an entry. If you opt to take the Soul of the Forest talent, you will have the ability to add 50% haste to your next every time you cast Swiftmend. The bonus is multiplicative and will result in a flat increase and a multiplier to your existing haste value. This can be very powerful when used smartly. The best way to utilize Soul of the Forest for maximum throughput will be as such:
No 4T14 - Line up SotF with Wild Growth every other Swiftmend. During the alternating Swiftmend, utilize Rejuvenation to consume the Soul of the Forest proc. Continue to make use of Wild Growth on Cooldown, ensuring that every other one is lined up to be used in concert with Swiftmend. You will want to utilize the Wild Growth glyph, regardless of raid size, for maximum output.
4T14 - Once you obtain your four piece set bonus you will want to continue to utilize the Wild Growth glyph, but you will want to sync Wild Growth with Swiftmend every time it is cast. While this will result a small amount of downtime for Wild Growth, the benefit of syncing the two far outweighs the healing lost from the 3 second delay.
The calculations supporting the above conclusions were done by Kjeldorian and can be reviewed here and here.
Tranquility: This spell is very strong now, and outputs massive amounts of healing during its channeling time. Due to the new smart targeting mechanics, it's basically self-working. Can easily save people from dying if you mash it quickly when the raid takes a lot of damage. You can now use it 2-3 times per fight, so depending on the encounter, you might use it reactively when the raid is at low HP, or you might plan its use around certain boss abilities. The spell is now immune to pushback, so you no longer have to protect it with Barkskin. When Tranquility is cast in a 25 man setting it will heal 12 injured raid members. In a 10 man setting it will heal five injured raid members.
Wild Mushroom/Wild Mushroom:Bloom: You are able to place three mushrooms on the ground and then "bloom" them to heal all allies within 10 yards of the mushrooms. The mushrooms suffer from diminishing returns for everyone they hit beyond six people. Originally intended to help facilitate the burst AE healing gap in our toolkit, the version of Mushrooms that made it into Mists falls a little short. As such, you will need to determine when mushrooms will be a benefit to your healing, and when other options will be preferable.
[5.2] A change was made to Mushrooms with 5.2 that allows any over healing from Rejuv to "charge" them, increasing the power of the bloom up to 25% per mushroom, for a maximum of 33% of the Druids total health. While this does boost the output from mushrooms, it also adds another complication to an already clumsy mechanic. In addition to the other problems present, it becomes even more important that you know well in advance where to plant them, so that they can charge, and then hope your raid is standing in the proper spot when you bloom. Becaise lf the new "charge" mechanic you are heavily penalized if you have to move them, or the raid is not in a good position when you bloom them. The end result of the change is currently unknown, and we will need to see practical application of the spell before making a determination as to the current viability of utilizing mushrooms, and where they fall into our toolkit. [/5.2]
[5.3]The healing done from Mushrooms, including the Rejuv charge up, has been increased 100%. While all of the same commentary from the 5.2 changes apply, this new change makes mushrooms potentially very potent. It will be important to try to plan usage and placement of your mushrooms smartly in order to maximize their output. In encounters where the raid is spread out, do not hesitate to drop single mushrooms around the ranged or on the tank.[/5.3]
To utilize them, it will be important to have both placement and bloom keybound to easier facilitate the mechanics required by the ability. You should try to pre-place them in designated areas where the raid is going to group up, when possible; and should try to place them during lulls in damage when minimal healing is required. Because of the low mana cost, mushrooms can be used when you have the time to place them, there are multiple people in range who will benefit and you can anticipate the incoming damage. You should not completely ignore mushrooms, but you should also not neglect your other core abilities to make mushrooms a part of your standard rotation.
Living Seed:While this is not an ability it is worthy of a note, as Living Seed is now baseline for all resto druids. Every time you critically heal a target with a direct heal, you will plant a Living Seed on them that will heal for 30% of the underlying heal when triggered. This seed will be triggered by the next physical attack that the target receives. While not particularly useful for raid healing due to the restriction on how it is triggered, Living Seed can add a nice buffer when tank healing. The down side to the current iteration of Living Seed is that you have little control over when it is planted and triggered, which can lead to Living Seeds that are partially or completely overheal, somewhat reducing the benefits of the spell. Swiftmed, Noursih, Healing Touch and Regrwoth can all plant a Living Seed.
Rebirth: This will allow for an in combat resurrection of an ally. The most important issue is to avoid wasting it, especially now that the raid can only use a limited number per attempt (3 in 25-man, 1 in 10-man). First, make sure to coordinate with other Druids/DK's/Warlocks in your raid using macros or Vent so two of you don't cast on the same target. Second, people love to accept the resurrection as soon as it appears and die to something immediately. It can be good to warn them if it's a bad time to accept.
Here's a macro that casts Revive instead of Rebirth if you're out of combat, and also alerts your raid if Rebirth is used:
Innervate: In general, you will cast this on yourself on cooldown. Use the first one in any encounter after you dip slightly below 80% mana, and then on cooldown after that. Innervate is extremely weak when cast on targets other than yourself, and this is rarely going to be worth doing.
Nature's Cure: On an 8 second cooldown, this will remove poison, magic and curses. It will be important to prioritize cleanses in order to make sure the most imported debuffs and/or the most important people are cleansed first. It will likely also be important to work with your healing team to organize cleanses on any encounter where the need to cleanse multiple people exists.
Barkskin: Remember that this doesn't use the GCD, so you can cast it almost anytime without disrupting your healing. It should be on an easily-accessible bind, and you should make it second nature to hit this instantly when you foresee a threatening amount of damage coming.
Iron Bark: Castable on a friendly target, it will reduce 20% of all incoming damage. It has a one minute cooldown, and should be coordinated with the other healers on your healing team and treated as a tanking/raid cooldown. However, with such a short cooldown, you should not hesitate to utilize the ability freely across your group/raid as it is needed.
Symbiosis: Creates a link with another member of your party or raid that gives you one of their abilities, and provides your ally one of your abilities. The strongest abilities for you will most often be the extra survivability abilities offered, however it will likely be determined by your raid team where they would like Symbiosis for maximum benefit to the raid. Additionally, keep in mind that certain encounters may have mechanics that can favor a specific symbiosis set up.
You can find the abilities gained and the abilities given in the charts below. It should be noted that some of the abilities gained are modified versions of the original and may not contain all aspects of the original ability.
I'm not going to say too much about UI; it's largely a personal issue. The only major point specific to Resto Druids is that we can move continuously while casting many of our normal spells. You want to have a control setup that allows you to be proficient at moving and casting independently--experienced Druids get very comfortable doing this. But it's a matter of practice more than anything else.
You need some kind of raid frames. Grid, Vuhdo, Healbot, and Shadowed are all in use currently. You can find all of them at typical addon sites. Choosing between them is up to you. Whichever you use, you want to have it set up to show you at least the following:
Each raid member's HP (including pets)
Which of your HoT's are on which targets (particularly Rejuvenation)
Which raid members are in range
Which targets are Swiftmendable
Debuffs you can remove (Curses/Magic/Poison)
Customizable debuffs for important boss abilities
Which players are being targeted by mobs
Which players have incoming heals from other healers
Notifications for when a player is resurrected, offline, or has the Spirit of Redemption buff (all important to make sure you use Rebirths wisely).
A few other UI tips specific to Resto Druids:
Since we use instants so much, you want to have some kind of prominent indicator for your GCD. The Quartz (below) GCD spark can be put anywhere; right next to your raid frames is a good option.
Now that you usually only have Lifebloom on one target, it's good to have a timer somewhere outside your frames. I keep one just above my raid frames by my casting bar, so I can see when I need to refresh by looking in one prominent place, regardless of whom it's on. I also have an aura set up to notify me if, for whatever reason, I’ve let Lifebloom drop.
A UI tip that applies to anyone, but is too important to omit. In whatever buff mod you use (e.g. Raven, Power Auras, Weak Auras, Tell Me When, etc.), make a central and very large buff indicator (i.e. a substantial portion of your screen), that contains only those critical boss debuffs that require immediate reaction to prevent a death or wipe. The goal is to grab your attention and make it impossible to not notice immediately when you get one of these debuffs, no matter where on the screen you're looking. People who do this are far less likely to be the one who wipes the raid because they had tunnel vision, and that is more important than any amount of healing technique.
Clique: If your raid frames don't inherently support click-casting (Grid, for example), this is a simple, popular mod for setting it up.
Quartz: as a primary caster, you should have a proper cast bar. This is an excellent one.
The foundation of this guide came from Hamlet's work during Cataclysm. While he is no longer as active in the game, he has left a lasting memory on many of us with his mathematical prowess and knowledge of the class. We would not have many of the resources we have today without his hard work and I thank him for his contributions to the community. In addition I would also like to thank both Binkenstein, for his work on the haste breakpoints for all healers and Kjeldorian, for his work on optimal use of Soul of the Forest.
I would also like to note that I am not Hamlet. This guide is a work in progress. It can, and will, evolve with the knowledge that comes out of the Mists. I am not infallible, I make errors (and have probably done some math wrong somewhere already!) and I am sure that the initial thoughts we have now will change as we move further into the expansion and have more hands on experience with the content. I am happy to make any changes necessary, entertain healthy conversation about the class as we move forward, and update the guide as needed from the resultant conversations. In return, I kindly ask that you are respectful in all feedback offered. If you notice an error, please feel free to post it below or PM me, and I will correct it as soon as possible.
May your leaves flourish in the fresh breezes bringing us to Pandaria!
Last edited by Earen : 05/21/13 at 10:48 AM.
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Yes I apologize for my ambiguity, I was referring to Leather Specialization, but more specifically the effect it has on the Stat Evaluation section. Assuming you have 1 INT it then becomes 1.05 INT due to the specialization and then the value of 1 INT if both Leather Specialization and HoTW were selected 1.113 INT.
You may also wish to include the value of INT as further increased as the Stat Buff effects this (1 INT: 1.1025 INT (MoTW / Leather) + 1 INT: 1.169 INT (MoTW / Leather / HoTW)
Updated Tailoring benefits to correct my math. The result was to raise the intellect and spirit values for both cloak enchants. (To be done: confirm/test ICD, and subsequent benefits - will work on tonight).
Added note about Leather Specialization to to gear section.
Added small note to indicate that HotW bonus is calculated using total intellect.
Updated Stats:Intellect to better reflect bonuses received.
Added a few notes to glyph section.
Adjusted Mastery co-efficient.
Added note about the updated proc chance for OoC.
Updated Spells to add Living Seed.
Added commentary re: Haste Breakpoints to consider the tranquility breakpoint at 3043, as well as clarify how that breakpoint effects tranquility.
Fixed more typos!
Updated ICD on Darkweave Embroidery to 50 seconds, and subsequent bonus as a result (Testing). I have not done similar testing on Lightweave, as yet, but it continues to be reported at a 60 second ICD in several locations. Testing shows lightweave to continue to be on a 60 sec. ICD.
Started work on trinket list.
Added Pre-Raid Gear Post
Clarified the language for CW a little bit, so as to indicate that NS is the better option in almost all circumstances.
Updated Int Numbers
Updated spirit numbers, will update MP5 on trinkets in a bit.
Updated Mastery numbers.
Added qualifiers to the food/flasks to indicate that they should only be utilized if the regen is needed and cannot be found elsewhere.
Added a clarification for Ember Meta that it should not be used if a revitalizing gem is available.
Added note to clarify haste to boots is only optimal with feline swiftness.
Updated to note that it can be on down or up stroke of the key.
Updated MP5 on trinkets.
Noted for completeness that Renewal doesn't take a GCD.
Noted Ursol's Vortex can be used at range and the other two abilities in that tier cannot.
Updated description of spellpower as Int no longer gives "mana gains."
Added note in Mastery section re: confirmation.
Clarified Breakpoint table to be more clear.
Simplified discussion of first breakpoint.
Clarified information on socket bonuses.
Removed Greater Haste from boot enchants.
Updated Spirit Note on Alchemy and JC professions to indicate that the Int option is stronger of the two.
Clarified note on Clearcasting Proc.
Removed wrath from ToL discussion.
Simplified Symbioses Table.
Added SotF breakpoints to haste table.
Added Belt Buckle to enchants.
Made minor updates based on Tree Calcs assumptions.
Added Aclchmist's Rejuvenation
Added note about NS/Regrowth.
Added in a note in the consumables section regarding the Spirit vs Int discussion, as well as strengthened the language encouraging folks to opt for intellect consumables.
Changed spirit benefit from Mixology to 480 (from 320).
Updates for 5.2
To complete: Trinkets, additional feedback on set bonuses, additional feedback on mushrooms, unbuffed SotF input.
Started work on Trinkets
To Complete - Proc rate information on trinkets.
Updates for 5.3
Last edited by Earen : 05/21/13 at 10:41 AM.
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
I wanted to drop a note to state that I've gone ahead and started filling in the trinket section. For the time (and likely permanently for this tier) I have excluded trinkets that do not offer mana return, with one exception. If you are aware of a trinket that I have missed, or I've listed one that was removed, please let me now. Additionally, if you can confirm any of the ICD's I've listed, or have information that fills in the "tbd" areas, please don't hesitate to let me know (note: I should have the locations for the raid trinkets once I get home tonight).
I should have the average spirit calculations done shortly, but they are subject to change if the ICD information I have is incorrect.
I am debating adding in a MP5 column. Feedback on the usefulness of such a column would be appreciated.
e: I had the time, so just went ahead and added MP5, as I felt it would be useful.
Additioanlly, anything listed with a "?" means that the values in WoWHead were questionable (or calculations derived from those values) and I want to research further before completing.
Last edited by Earen : 09/14/12 at 12:42 PM.
Reason: I can't spell.
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
A number of folks have asked about adding a "pre-raid" gear section to the guide. I have been hesitant to do this because of how quickly it will become outdated. Historically, a separate gear post is made for the start of the expansion and then after that a gear discussion thread is started for each tier. However, since several folks have asked about it, I thought I'd go ahead and toss something together here.
This is not meant to be a BiS list, it is simply a guide to let you know what gear is available at the start of the expansion. The gear listed below should be able to obtainable without ever stepping into a raid - however, you should note that with the changes to how purchasing faction gear works it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain all of the faction items available before entering your first raid and will want to prioritize purchasing those items accordingly. It should also be noted that I have only added heroic level gear, with a few exceptions for crafted items, into this list. I have purposely excluded all PvP gear from the list.
A few notes:
A higher item level is generally better, based on the increased stat weightings allocated, but you may want to consider a lower level item with spirit over a higher level item with no spirit.
A helm with a meta socket will generally be better than a helm that does not have a meta socket. You will want to prioritize obtaining a helm with a meta socket.
Know your haste breakpoints and gear accordingly. You will want to focus on gear that will facilitate reaching your first breakpoint. It is better to be a few points over the breakpoint than under it.
Items below are listed by their iLevel. However, you should take other things into consideration when determining which piece of gear will work best for you, and should not automatically assume that the item listed at the top of the list is the best item for you to use.
It has been brought to my attention that a number of the PvP pieces aren't terribly itemized, and may fill in as solid starter pieces until you can acquire comparable PvE items, due to the relative ease of obtaining the PvP gear and the strength of the non-resilience stats. As such, I've listed them below for consideration. However, it should be noted that you should work to obtain better itemized PvE selections as soon as you are able.
If the 464 ilvl pvp gear (Dreadful Gladiator's Kodohide) is available week one, the set bonuses, in my opinion, make it optimal for a pre-raid set. Using the gloves for example: Item Comparison Tool - World of Warcraft the pvp gloves are not only a direct upgrade due to the gem slot, they also provide a set bonus. Other pieces from the Dreadful pvp set with similar itemization to the heroic 5-man pieces can also be considered as viable or superior alternatives on a slot-by-slot basis.
Has anyone noticed that
1) If you try to Swiftmend someone without a HoT on them, you get the blue hand? That's new, and should probably be fixed.
2) If you macro "/use Swiftmend /use Rejuvenation" (with whatever target stuff you want thrown in), it will cast SM if possible otherwise Rejuv. Something about the blue hand issue from 1 circumvents that the fact that you usually can't filter 2 GCD-based spells in a macro.
I have had the blue hand issue since 5.0.4 released. It sometimes also occurs with a freshly placed rejuv, if the game hasn't registered the rejuv on the target yet and you try to swiftmend it - at least my assumption is that the blue hand appears because of game lag in that situation. I have not tried the macro yet, but will be more than willing to give it a shot if it alleviates the blue hand problem.
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
It's not ideal, since you don't always want to use GCD to cast a Rejuv (especially if you were just trying to Swiftmend something). But it's a lot better than wasting that same GCD bumbling around with a blue hand. And the side effect of a minor circumvention of the macro rules is kind of handy.
Hmm although if Swiftmend sometimes misses a Rejuv, that might be even worse, since it will just overwrite the Rejuv. How can that happen anyway though even with lag? There's a whole GCD between the two spells.
You know, I never even thought about the gcd. I just know I'd toss a rejuv on someone specifically to SM it immediately, and sometimes I can't SM off the rejuv. Perhaps I was overzealous and trying to do it before the GCD cycled? Either way the result was the blue hand - which is frustrating and annoying. When I have some time tomorrow, I'll see if I can replicate the error a few times to see if I can nail down what's causing it.
I do hope it is not intended and gets resolved.
e: It's definitely not a gcd issue. If I try to cast too quickly I get "Another Action is in Progress". So I'm not sure what is causing the blue hand on a recently applied rejuv.
Last edited by Earen : 09/21/12 at 1:22 AM.
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt