This post reflects Patch 2.4.2 on live servers. The calculations concerning Spirit in this post all assume that you have Blessing of Kings and the Living Spirit talent.
WLK Info: There is a discussion thread going on at Restoration WotLK Talent Preview / Discussion. When WLK is released and numbers start to come out, I intend to update this thread or create and link to a new one.
Druids have a reasonably sized and very versatile arsenal of healing spells. Our class-defining strength is the wide variety of HoTs (heals over time) available to us. We also have three direct heals, two of which tie into the HoT system. This section lists all the healing spells available to us and briefly discusses their mechanics and common situations you would use them in. For a more detailed discussion of how to use the spells in a real world situation, look at the "Healing Strategies" section.
All the formulas in this section use "H" to mean the amount of bonus healing you have.
Lifebloom is unique among HoTs in a few ways. It ticks every second instead of every three like most HoTs, it can be stacked multiple times by the same druid, it has an extremely high healing throughput (for a HoT) if stacked up, and it goes out with a bloom that heals for roughly the same amount as the HoT portion. Its primary uses are tank healing (always stacked up three times) and efficient non-emergency raid healing (generally by applying one and allowing it to bloom). Lifebloom cannot be Swiftmended. Mastering the various uses of Lifebloom is a huge part of skilled Restoration play, and a decently sized portion of this post is devoted to discussing it in great detail. See the "Rolling Lifebloom" and "Healing Strategies" sections for more information.
On a very Lifebloom-heavy encounter, where you are healing multiple tanks taking consistent damage, you can expect it to account for 85-100% of your healing. When healing a single tank it will probably account for 50-60% of your healing. If you are splitting your attention between a single tank and the raid, expect something like 30-40%.
For those that are interested in calculating lifebloom tick values, its base tick in a Restoration spec is 42.9 and its bonus healing coefficient per tick per stack is 9.81%. For a 3-stack, the base tick is 128.7 and the coefficient is 29.42%, which gives the talented formula:
LifebloomThreeStack = 128.7 + .2942 * H.
An instant, short-cooldown (15 seconds) heal that requires Rejuvenation or Regrowth to be present on the target. This is an extremely effective spell both for raid and tank healing and should be used liberally. Swiftmend will always pick the druid HoT that has the least time remaining, regardless of which druid it is from and whether it is a Regrowth or a Rejuvenation. The size of the Swiftmend heal is not affected by whether the HoT has a second left or was just recently applied.
A two-second casted direct heal that places a fairly weak but long-duration HoT on the target. This spell is nice for tank healing (it's another HoT and can be used to put some extra healing into the tank if desired, without leaving tree form). It's a staple of druid raid healing, mostly because it is a reasonably quick direct heal and it comes with long, swiftmendable HoT.
Maximum-rank Regrowth's direct heal has a base value of 1285 and an untalented coefficient of 28.9%. It is affected by the talents Empowered Rejuvenation (adds 20% to the coefficient) and Gift of Nature (10% increase on the final value). The standard restoration spec has all these talents, which gives the talented formula:
RegrowthDirect = 1413.5 + 0.3815 * H.
The tick has a base value of 182 and an untalented coefficient of 10% per tick. It is affected by the talents Empowered Rejuvenation (adds 20% to the coefficient) and Gift of Nature (10% increase on the final value). The talented formula is:
RegrowthTick = 200 + 0.132 * H.
On top of this, the standard restoration spec has Improved Regrowth, which gives it a very high crit rate. When it crits, the direct heal hits 50% harder and the HoT component is unaffected.
Rejuvenation will heal for a roughly similar amount as the lifebloom HoT + bloom (i.e. what you would get if you put a single lifebloom on someone and let it bloom). It takes more time to deliver this healing, 12 seconds instead of 7, but it has the advantage of being swiftmendable. It also is part of our fastest non-Nature's-Swiftness healing combo: Rejuvenation + Swiftmend, which heals for a significant amount and will deliver its healing in one GCD's time (1.5 seconds without haste gear).
Rejuvenation will tick four times, and its untalented coefficient per tick is 20% with a base value of 265. It is enhanced by the talents Empowered Rejuvenation (adds 5% to the tick coefficient), Gift of Nature (10% increase on the final value), and Improved Rejuvenation (15% increase on the final value, stacks additively with Gift of Nature). The talented formula is:
RejuvenationTick = 331.25 + 0.3 * H.
There are only two situations that you will consider using healing touch. One is in conjunction with Nature's Swiftness as an emergency heal, and the other is when you absolutely need maximum burst single-target healing for a short amount of time. You can do this with a healing touch / lifebloom rotation, although this is only somewhat better than a regrowth / lifebloom rotation.
Maximum-rank Healing Touch has a base value of 2960 and an untalented coefficient of 100%. It is enhanced by the talents Empowered Touch (adds 20% to the coefficient) and Gift of Nature (10% increase on the final value). If you have both of these talents, the formula is:
HealingTouch13 = 3256 + 1.32 * H.
In general, it should be obvious when to use this spell. Kazzak's periodic enrage, Zul'Aman dragonhawk trash after a nasty CC break, and other such heavy party damage scenarios.
There are 42 points of defining Restoration talents:
- Improved Mark of the Wild
- Nature's Focus
- Improved Rejuvenation
- Nature's Swiftness (NS)
- Gift of Nature
- Improved Regrowth
- Living Spirit
- Empowered Rejuvenation
- Tree of Life
If you choose to use your remaining points to get more Restoration talents, the best choices are Empowered Touch for larger NS+HT, Natural Shapeshifter to help with shifting to move or decurse and then shifting back to tree, Naturalist for faster HT cast time, and Tranquil Spirit to reduce NS+HT mana cost. There's also plenty of room in a good raiding Restoration build for 5/5 Starlight Wrath, which makes soloing much easier and, if you are running SSC, is a huge help when you have to kill your Inner Demon (barkskin and spam wrath).
You might wonder why the standard list does not include Naturalist, the talent that reduces Healing Touch cast time from 3.5 to 3 seconds. This is because in nearly all situations, you will only use Healing Touch in conjunction with Nature's Swiftness. It will not be as effective at spot healing as Regrowth (for its speed and ability to be swiftmended) or Lifebloom (for its efficiency). The only real legitimate use is when you really need to put out maximum healing on a single target, which is achieved by casting (with no haste) HT, Lifebloom, HT, Lifebloom. If you have a significant amount of haste you will be able to fit two HTs in between Lifebloom refreshes, however. If you feel that you will need maximum single target throughput, get Naturalist.
The five-second rule, commonly abbreviated FSR, is a game mechanic that governs whether you are considered to be in your "while casting" period of regeneration or "while not casting" (the two different periods suggested by the Mana Regen tooltip on your character screen). Unfortunately, these periods do not occur "while casting" and "while not casting" at all, but rather follow this rule:
"If you have completed a spellcast that cost mana within the past five seconds, you are considered to be in your 'while casting' regeneration period. Otherwise, you are in the 'while not casting' period."
This means that if you continually begin to cast and then cancel a spell without completing it, you will never enter the "while casting" period (since you must complete a spellcast). It also means that if you cast a spell more often than every five seconds, you are never in the "while not casting" period. Druid healers are rarely in the "while not casting" period, but luckily we have talents like Intensity to improve our "while casting" regeneration rate. The primary exception to this rule is when you are under the effect of Innervate. While this effect is active, you will always be considered to be "while not casting" even if you are casting spells.
People often refer to the "while casting" period as being "in the five second rule." Similarly, the "while not casting" period is often referred to as being "out of the five second rule."
The only really worthwhile stats for a restoration druid are stamina, intellect, spirit, mp5, spell haste, and bonus healing. Spell critical chance is so unimportant that they are essentially worthless.
The generally accepted method of gearing a restoration druid is to get as much mana regen as you need to get the job done and then stack some combination of healing and haste. This general guideline is left intentionally vague because determining the correct balance is a delicate task and should be done with the needs of the particular encounter in mind. It is not uncommon for a healer, druids included, to change gear multiple times per night. If you need some guidance, carefully read this section as well as the "Gear Choice" section immediately below it. You may also consider looking at some Armory profiles of druids you trust.
The amount you need depends on the level of the raids you are doing (for example, you must have 8500 HP minimum for Naj'entus) and your ability to quickly react to things that might hurt you. For the most part, you should be okay with the stamina that comes on your gear, since healing leather tends to have a decent amount of it. If your standard gear has a lot of pieces with no stamina or little stamina on them, you should acquire some stamina pieces to switch in when appropriate. If this is necessary I usually use Arena gear or sometimes alternative raid drops that have less power but more stamina.
An extremely important stat for all healers in TBC, and druids are not an exception. The relative value of bonus healing depends on your assignment. When healing tanks or any other raid member taking consistent long-term damage, the strength of our HoTs is what makes us viable and so bonus healing should be stacked as high as possible. If you are doing a significant amount of raid healing, bonus healing is still a very important stat but it is not the end-all stat that it is in a tank healing situation. Mana regeneration increases in importance as it becomes useful to be "wasteful" with mana by refreshing lifebloom stacks early and using regrowth and swiftmend liberally. Spell haste allows you to deliver healing to more targets than you could otherwise, which can be better than simply delivering more healing to the same number of targets. In a situation where you do a lot of raid healing, it will be up to you to choose an appropriate balance of bonus healing, mana regeneration, and spell haste.
Formerly a worthless stat, haste serves a purpose now that it reduces the GCD. It does this using the same formula that it reduces spellcasts with, meaning your GCD will be: 2355 / ( H + 1570 ), where H is your haste rating. There are two primary uses of haste: first, to attempt to stack haste high enough to achieve a 5 GCD cycle, as opposed to the normal 4 GCD cycle (see the section on "Rolling Lifebloom" if you don't know what this means). This allows for some interesting 5 GCD cycles, for example see the "Healing Strategies" section and look for the "hasted" multiple tank cycles. If you are interested in pulling off a 5 GCD hasted cycle, you will need a theoretical minimum of 113 spell haste in order to get a 1.4 second GCD. It is extremely likely that you will need more than this in a real-world situation due to latency effects, and possibly significantly more. Druids later in this thread have reported success in the 250-280 haste range.
The second use of haste is to allow us generally deliver healing more quickly by speeding up the GCD. Even if you do not have enough haste to achieve a 5 GCD cycle, a moderate amount of haste will improve the speed of the rejuvenation+swiftmend combo, allow you to deliver healing to a tank in crisis faster, and allow you to spread HoTs around the raid faster. If you intend to use haste in this fashion, it can be very useful when you are splitting your attention between a single tank and the raid. For this reason I believe haste is a useful stat to have on a generalist healing set.
Spirit, Intellect, and MP5
The mana stats. MP5 is fairly simple to understand: each point bestows you with one point of mana every five seconds, no matter what the situation is. There is another system of regeneration going on in parallel, based on your Spirit and Intellect and using the formula:
SpiritIntellectRegen = 5 * 0.00932715221261 * sqrt(Intellect) * Spirit,
where sqrt is the square root function and Intellect and Spirit are the values listed on your character screen. The "SpiritIntellectRegen" number you get from this formula is the amount of mana you will get from the spirit/intellect system every 5 seconds "while not casting." You will get 30% of this while casting from Intensity. This is completely separate from the mana you get from the MP5 system. The "Mana Regen" tooltip on your character screen totals up the pure MP5 on your gear, then calculates the mana you get from the spirit/intellect system "while casting" and "while not casting," then adds them together and displays the final result.
There are no simple numbers for the value of spirit and intellect, since the value of one depends on the other due to the nature of the SpiritIntellectRegen formula. This is further complicated by the fact that the value of spirit is determined solely based on how much intellect you have, while the value of intellect is based both on how much spirit you have and how much intellect you have (due to the square root, intellect has diminishing returns). Some general guidelines follow, with all equivalences stated assuming you are always in the "while casting" period:
- At 300 intellect, ten points of additional spirit on gear will grant 3.2mp5 while casting.
- At 400 intellect, ten points of additional spirit on gear will grant 3.7mp5 while casting.
- At 500 intellect, ten points of additional spirit on gear will grant 4.2mp5 while casting.
- At 600 intellect, ten points of additional spirit on gear will grant 4.5mp5 while casting.
- At 300 spirit, ten points of additional intellect on gear will grant 1.0 to 1.2mp5 while casting.
- At 400 spirit, ten points of additional intellect on gear will grant 1.3 to 1.6mp5 while casting.
- At 500 spirit, ten points of additional intellect on gear will grant 1.6 to 2.0mp5 while casting.
- At 600 spirit, ten points of additional intellect on gear will grant 1.9 to 2.4mp5 while casting.
- At 700 spirit, ten points of additional intellect on gear will grant 2.3 to 2.8mp5 while casting.
- At 800 spirit, ten points of additional intellect on gear will grant 2.6 to 3.2mp5 while casting.
These numbers do not consider the effect of Spirit and Intellect on Innervate. If you Innervate yourself, things can get complicated, especially if you are capped on mana. By this, I am referring to the situation in which your Innervate restores more mana than your mana pool can hold, which can easily happen. At this point, Spirit will no longer benefit your Innervate but Intellect continues to (since it increases your mana pool size, it will let you "fill up" more). If you are concerned about this, consult the "Innervate" section for more details.
The intellect and spirit numbers in both lists are pre-Kings. The base intellect range used in the second list is 600 intellect for the low number and 400 intellect for the high number (since intellect has diminishing returns, its marginal value decreases as you add more).
Note: In addition to Intellect's contribution to the spirit/intellect system, it also extends your mana pool by 15 for every one point of intellect.
As mentioned above, the generally accepted gearing philosophy is to maintain enough mana regeneration to get the job done, and then stack some combination of +healing and haste after reaching that. When starting out in Karazhan I shot for around "while casting" 100-110 regen, in mid-BT and Hyjal I went for 190-200 or so, and now in 2.4 post-BT I have somewhere in the mid 200s.
In general it is best to make gear choices based on your current stats and what is needed for the encounter. This will involve striking a balance between mana regeneration, bonus healing, spell haste, and stamina. If you are interested in a quick answer, the following section has two Lootrank links describe the items you would want for two generalist sets of restoration equipment.
Rough Lootrank Weights
Purple set: Loot Rank: Purple. By "purple set" I mean these weights represent a fairly balanced tradeoff between +healing and mana regeneration. The most appropriate gem selection for a purple set would be to gem for +healing bonuses by using pure healing gems in red sockets, combination healing/mp5 (or healing/spirit) gems in purple sockets, and yellow gems only to meet the requirement for an IED meta. If this gem style appeals to you consider using this lootrank.
Red set: Loot Rank: Red. A red set focuses on maximizing output. It does not ignore the value of mana regeneration, but devalues it somewhat compared to the purple set. The most appropriate gem selection for a red set would be to usually gem pure +healing (except where other gems are required to meet a meta requirement, which could be either IED or a Bracing gem).
About both sets
I generally agree with the rankings and gem choices given the stated purpose of each list, especially when the scores are far apart. When the scores are within a hundred or so, it becomes a tougher decision. Loot Rank recommends gems based on a simple examination of the weights, and generally gets the right idea. If you are interested in a more detailed look at restoration druid gemming styles, including a discussion of meta gems, look at the "Gems" section below.
A brief word about the weights used in these lists: Intellect, Spirit, MP5, and bonus healing are carefully weighted to correspond to the priorities represented by the purple and red sets; because of this, those values should not need tweaking. Haste is given an small and also arbitrary weight (one haste rating is worth slightly less than half of one point of bonus healing). Feel free to change it, since there is no mathematical basis for choosing that particular value. Stamina is given no weight because healing leather generally has enough to make it a non-issue. If you find yourself lacking stamina, simply pick a piece lower down in the list that has more stamina.
These lists do not account for anything but the basic stats. This includes set bonuses and items with on-use effects or procs, and so they are worthless for evaluating trinkets and may give you the wrong idea regarding set items. For more information on those two topics look at the "Set Bonuses" piece directly below this paragraph, and the "Trinkets" section lower on the page.
Most restoration druid bonuses on TBC gear are not amazing, and some of them are nearly worthless. Generally you will be fine breaking your set to upgrade an item unless the size of the upgrade is minor.
Malorne 2-Piece (Tier 4): Procs the spell Infusion, which shows up on WWS. I'm not sure what the proc rate is, but when I had it I generally observed it to proc once every 1-2 minutes based on WWS.
Malorne 4-Piece (Tier 4): 24 seconds off the Nature's Swiftness cooldown. This is nice but not worth seeking out.
Nordrassil 2-Piece (Tier 5): 6 seconds added to Regrowth's HoT duration. This does not affect the tick size. It's nice if you are doing a significant amount of raid healing and wish to have HoTs available to swiftmend.
Nordrassil 4-Piece (Tier 5): 150 points added to the final heal of Lifebloom. This is not worth seeking out since the final Lifebloom heal tends to either never happen (when it is rolled on purpose) or be massive overhealing if it does.
Thunderheart 2-Piece (Tier 6): 2 seconds off the Swiftmend cooldown. There will always be times when your swiftmend has 1-2 seconds left on its cooldown and you wish you could use it, so this is a pretty nice bonus if you are not locked into a rolling lifebloom cycle.
Thunderheart 4-Piece (Tier 6): 5% increased healing on Healing Touch. This bonus is borderline worthless, but you will probably end up getting it anyway since Thunderheart is a very good set.
Tree of Life
Our 41 point talent. Tree of Life form has a large number of effects, both positive and negative. Even with the negatives, you will probably be in tree form almost always.
Tree of Life aura: 25% of your Spirit is granted to your party as bonus healing received. This aura's main competitors are Devotion aura, Shaman totems, and Blood Pact. There's some discussion on Tree Concerns and Issues - Page 6 but the bottom line is that while tank group composition largely comes down to guild preference, two good groups are the single tank group tank/paladin/shaman/warlock/tree or the double tank group tank/tank/paladin/warlock/shaman. If you are short on warlocks or shamans then a tree druid can be an acceptable substitute in the double-tank group. For a boss that does any appreciable amount of physical damage, you want devotion aura if the tank is not a druid at the armor cap.
Mana cost reduction: 20% reduction in the mana cost of your spells. This is an extremely effective part of tree form, and is in fact the only useful aspect of it when your aura is not being used in a tank group. As an example, when keeping up lifebloom and rejuvenation on two tanks this is worth 120 mp5 in mana savings.
Limited spell selection: You can cast Barkskin, Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, Regrowth, Innervate, Abolish Poison, Nature's Swiftness, Swiftmend, Rebirth, and Tranquility. Notable spells that may not be cast include Healing Touch and Remove Curse. The loss of Healing Touch is not a serious issue since it is merely a large, slow, direct heal like everyone else's and is not part of what restoration druids uniquely bring to a raid.
Movement speed decrease: 20% slower base run speed. On some fights this does not matter at all, since little to no movement will be required. Even with this speed decrease, druids are surprisingly mobile healers due to the fact that all spells but one (regrowth) can be cast while on the move. For times when you absolutely must move as fast as possible, shift out of tree form temporarily. You can pick up the Natural Shapeshifter talent to help with this if you want. If you get Boar's Speed on your boots, the 8% movement increase goes a long way to helping tree form's mobility and may reduce the amount of times you feel that you need to shift out.
While browsing forums you will often see references to "rolling lifeblooms". Rolling lifeblooms refers to the practice of building up a 3-stack of lifebloom and re-casting it before the stack expires, thereby keeping up the full 3-stack indefinitely. The power of a rolling lifebloom lies in the fact that it ticks every second and so it is the fastest no-cooldown healing spell in the game. Due to its fast tick speed and high average value, it is the most powerful HoT by an extremely large margin (with +1800 healing, a lifebloom will heal for about 2000 over three seconds, the normal tick time of most HoTs).
With +1800 healing, you can expect lifebloom to tick for about 660 on people outside your group, and 700 on people in your group. The power of the rolling lifebloom technique lies in the fact that tank spike deaths often happen in a short 2 second window, which lifebloom is guaranteed to tick twice in. Thus in addition to being a significant source of healing, lifebloom stacks will tick every time the tank is spiking low and effectively increase his hp by at least 1300 and maybe more (depending on the burst potential of the boss).
Since lifebloom only lasts seven seconds, rolling one or more lifeblooms puts restrictions on how you must use your global cooldowns. When refreshing a rolling lifebloom, you incur a global cooldown of 1.5s, leaving 5.5s to cast other spells before it must be refreshed again. Due to latency effects, which pile up between each instant cast due to the global cooldown, you may only have 4.5-5s. This means that with good latency you can roll lifebloom on a maximum of 4 different targets if you do nothing else, although if your latency is poor it may be risky to attempt rolling more than 3 (if you slip and miss a refresh, the stack falls off and will need to be recast). If you have poor latency, consider wearing spell haste gear, which will provide more leeway in your cycles.
When rolling lifeblooms, you may find it useful to make a macro for each tank and bind them to something convenient like shift-1, 2, 3, 4:
/target TankName /cast Lifebloom
This way, if you are rolling three stacks you just need to hit shift-1, shift-2, shift-3, pause (or cast something else), shift-1, shift-2, shift-3, etc. Another option is the following macro:
/target TankName /cast [modifier:shift] Rejuvenation ; [modifier:alt] Regrowth ; Lifebloom
You can bind these to F1-F4 for example, and then you have the flexibility to easily change what type of HoT rotation you are doing by using F# for lifebloom, shift-F# for rejuvenation, and alt-F# for regrowth. Four lifeblooms would be F1, F2, F3, F4. See the "Healing Strategies" section for more suggestions.
If you are rolling four lifebloom stacks and one does happen to fall off, skip ahead two stacks (i.e. 1->3, 2->4, 3->1). It is better to lose one more stack than to lose them all (which will probably happen if you try to stick to your normal order).
Innervate multiplies Spirit/Intellect-based regeneration by 5 for 20 seconds and allows it to work while casting.
The amount of spirit on gear varies based on personal choice. In general, healing priests and druids will get the most mana back from an innervate. To calculate the net mana returned we can adapt the formula from the Stats section above. The formula is:
InnervateMana = 20 * IntensityFactor * 0.00932715221261 * sqrt(Intellect) * Spirit
IntensityFactor is 4.7 for druids, priests, or mages that take Intensity, Meditation, or Arcane Meditation. It is 5 for other classes. This accounts for the fact that Intensity-type talents do not apply while under the effect of an innervate. As an example of what you can expect, a restoration druid with 400 spirit and 500 intellect would receive:
InnervateMana = 20 * 4.7 * 0.00932715221261 * sqrt(500) * 400 = 7842 mana
A shaman with 125 spirit and 500 intellect would receive:
InnervateMana = 20 * 5 * 0.00932715221261 * sqrt(500) * 125 = 2607 mana
However, with Divine Spirit and Blessing of Kings, the shaman would have 193 spirit and receive 4025 mana, a remarkable improvement.
The biggest thing to be careful of with Innervate is checking whether you will max out your mana pool or not when you cast it. Run the InnervateMana number for yourself, and if it is larger than your mana pool then attempt to make it larger will serve no purpose. The only way you can increase the power of Innervate at this point is to add more Intellect, which will increase the size of your mana pool and therefore give you access to more of the InnervateMana.
Who should I heal in a raid?
The strength of druid multi-tank healing means that in any situation where you have multiple tanks, you will generally want to be healing them (see "Multiple tanks"). In situations where there is only one main tank, you have a few options. In general you will either focus on him (see "Single tank") or just keep a lifebloom rolling while focusing on the raid (see "Raid healing"). In certain exceptional situations you may want to ignore the tank and focus completely on the raid. This is generally when tank damage is very minor or when multiple hots are especially well suited to healing raid damage.
Your assignment may also change multiple times within the same encounter. For example, on Illidan my assignment is:
Phase 1: Single tank (MT only)
Phase 2: Multi-tank (heal the two flame tanks)
Phase 3: Dual assignment (MT + agonizing flames on the raid)
Phase 4: Dual assignment (Warlock tank + flame burst on the raid)
Once you have decided on the most useful assignment, look at the sections below for details on how to best execute it.
Your best bet is to roll lifebloom while keeping up rejuvenation and, if necessary, the regrowth HoT. Tree druids can be effective MT healers on any encounter, but they are most effective when there are times that all healers are briefly incapacitated (for example: Gruul, Anetheron, Azgalor). In general, the benefit of putting a tree on the MT is a strong stabilizing effect on his health due to the fact that lifebloom ticks every second and a spike can be instantly countered with swiftmend.
Keeping up lifebloom and rejuvenation on a single tank costs a total of 260 mana every 5 seconds. Keeping up the regrowth HoT adds another 160 mana every 5 seconds. Doing all of this is 420 mana every 5 seconds, easily sustainable for a very long time, especially if you use Innervate on yourself and drink potions.
If the tank spikes low, Swiftmend or NS+HT. You can use this macro, which will work from both tree form and caster form:
/cancelform /cast Nature's Swiftness /cast Healing Touch(Rank 13)
This macro will be sent to the server instantly, rather than waiting for a latency round trip like the old pre-2.3 macro. You will need to manually shift back into tree after using this macro.
When healing a single tank, you should have some spare time even when keeping up full HoTs (lifebloom, rejuvenation, regrowth). You can use this time to heal the raid, pump more healing into the tank using downranked regrowths (which do not overwrite the max-rank regrowth HoT) or simply conserve your mana. Generally healing the raid is the best of the three choices, but use your judgment.
Roll lifeblooms on all of them and use your judgment to decide what to do with your remaining global cooldowns. You can use these spare cooldowns on raid healing (squeeze out some lifeblooms or regrowths) or you can use them all on your assigned tanks, for example to add rejuvenations. If you want to use all of your GCDs on the tanks, here are some suggested cycles along with their mana costs and haste rating requirements:
- Keep up lifebloom and rejuvenation on both, which only requires using three GCDs every 7 seconds. It contains a "free time" period that you could use cast another spell on someone else, or just pause while watching a HoT tracker addon. If you pause during the free time, this cycle costs about 525 mana every five seconds. It does not require any haste. The cast rotation is:
LB 1, LB 2, RJ 1, RJ 2
LB 1, LB 2, (free time)
- If you find yourself unable to get four spells in per cycle without lifebloom falling off, try this instead:
LB 1, LB 2, RJ 1
LB 1, LB 2, RJ 2
- A more aggressive rotation can keep up full HoTs (lifebloom, rejuvenation, regrowth) on both. This cycle costs 735 mana every five seconds and requires no haste.
LB 1, LB 2, RJ 1, RJ 2
LB 1, LB 2, RG 1
LB 1, LB 2, RJ 1, RJ 2
LB 1, LB 2, RG 2
- The basic rotation keeps up rejuvenation on two of them while lifeblooming all three. This cycle costs 662 mana every five seconds and requires no haste.
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, RJ 1
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, RJ 2
- If one tank takes significantly more damage than the others, you can keep up rejuvenation and regrowth on him while lifeblooming the other three. This cycle costs 742 mana every five seconds, and requires either 1-2 haste items or a rock-solid connection. This is because the second step of the cycle (3x LB + RG) theoretically takes 6.5 out of the 7 seconds available, which is cutting it extremely close in the real world of variable latencies.
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, RJ 1
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, RG 1
- A heavily hasted, 5-GCD cycle (this probably requires at least 250 haste rating to nail down) can keep up rejuvenation and regrowth on two while lifeblooming all three. This cycle costs 869 mana every five seconds.
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, RJ 1, RJ 2
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, RG 1
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, RJ 1, RJ 2
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, RG 2
- The basic rotation keeps up lifebloom on all four. This cycle costs 542 mana every five seconds.
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, LB 4
- A heavily hasted, 5-GCD cycle can keep up lifebloom on four and rejuvenation on two. This cycle costs 797 mana every five seconds.
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, LB 4, RJ 1
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, LB 4, RJ 2
- You cannot heal five tanks without a large amount of haste. If you have it, your only choice is to lifebloom all five:
LB 1, LB 2, LB 3, LB 4, LB 5
If you are healing multiple tanks you may find it makes the process much easier if you use macros. I do this in order to be able to watch my field of view and move without having to worry about targeting tanks all the time. See the "Rolling Lifebloom" section above for macro suggestions. Normally I bind four combination Lifebloom/Rejuvenation/Regrowth macros to F1-F4 (push for lifebloom, shift-push for rejuvenation, alt-push for regrowth).
The most important thing when healing non-tanks is to get to know the patterns of incoming damage. The biggest questions are: how much damage should you expect, and how fast? How predictable is the damage? You will generally use your full arsenal of spells when raid healing, but probably tilted towards Regrowth, Swiftmend, and Rejuvenation.
For fast spot healing, you have two options: rejuvenation+swiftmend is a very large short-cooldown heal that can be performed in 1.5sec, and regrowth is a slightly smaller heal that puts on a very long HoT. Regrowth is powerful in situations where the raid is taking a decent amount of continuous damage and needs to be topped off all the time (for example: Naj'entus when a shield is imminent). The direct heal is fairly large and the HoT helps to keep people high if they take damage again soon. Furthermore, the HoT is swiftmendable, and so in situations where people need to be topped off quickly you can get a lot of healing done by finishing a regrowth and then immediately swiftmending another regrowth HoT on someone else. If you have been using regrowth to top people off, there will be a lot of people with regrowth HoTs on them to do this to (especially with 2pc T5).
Place Rejuvenation on people that have fairly high current hit points but you think have a decent chance of taking damage soon. This is mostly to set up a Swiftmend, but the ticks can also top them up if they don't take as much damage as you feared.
If someone needs a medium amount of non-time-critical healing, use either rejuvenation or a single application of lifebloom. When deciding which one to use, you have to make a judgment call: Rejuvenation is better if you want to have the option to swiftmend it later; Lifebloom is better if you want the HoT healing to be delivered quicker (7 seconds instead of 12) and do not mind lacking the option to Swiftmend.
If you know that a random person will be taking heavy damage soon (for example: Solarian missiles, Hydross water tomb, Winterchill icebolt, etc) then enable aggro alert in your raid frames and wait for a non-tank to light up red. This means that the boss has decided to use his random secondary targeting system (RSTS) and that person will soon be the target of incoming damage. React accordingly: either begin to pre-emptively cast a regrowth or start to apply HoTs.
If you know that a particular person will be taking continuous damage for an extended period of time (for example: the Reliquary of Souls aura in phase 2 and 3, Brutallus's Burn, Illidan's Agonizing Flames) then you are well-suited to counteracting that damage with HoTs.
Raid healing is generally more mana-intensive than tank healing due to the fact that you are likely to use Regrowth and Swiftmend much more often. Consider downranking regrowth when full-rank is not necessary and using lifebloom when time is not critical. You will probably need to make heavy use of consumables, especially mana potions. If you have the opportunity to take a break, use it: when out of the five-second rule, druids regain a fairly large amount of mana due to a favorable spirit formula and the presence of a lot of spirit on our gear.
Working as a team: First, make sure that healing assignments are clear: free-for-all healing is going to lead to massive inefficiencies. If there are other healers assigned to the raid alongside you, encourage them to use raid frames that show the major HoTs: Renew, Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, and Regrowth. The other healers should know about how much healing to expect from these HoTs and know that if the target they are on is not likely to die soon, they will be fine letting the HoT work. If raid healers are stretched thin, awareness of HoTs goes a long way towards more efficient distribution of healing. Don't step on other healers' toes: if a tight group of melee just took a hit at the same time as some ranged folks, you should heal the ranged since a shaman or priest is likely to cover the melee with chain heal or circle of healing. Either explicitly work out with the other healers what you all are going to do, or learn how they heal and work around it: the goal is to get everyone the healing they need without excessive overlap. Lastly, if you find that your HoTs keep being overhealed and nobody is dying and healers are not running out of mana, you are probably not needed on the raid and may want to consider focusing on the tank.
Continuing to heal the MT: Even when raid healing, consider keeping a rolling lifebloom stack on the main tank if you can spare one out of four global cooldowns. If you do this, then depending on how threatening the incoming raid damage is you may not want to always wait until lifebloom is about to expire to refresh the stack; rather, you can refresh it when there is a brief lull in raid healing, as long as you don't let the stacks fall off. This is somewhat more wasteful of mana but it means than you are granted increased flexibility relative to the rigid every-7-second normal method. With 1800 +healing a 3-stack of lifebloom will do about 670 healing per second, a fairly significant amount (equivalent to a Renew or Rejuvenation that ticks for 2000).
Also consider putting a Regrowth or Rejuvenation on the MT if you have some spare time. The healing it does can be useful, and it provides fodder for Swiftmend if the tank is in trouble later.
Potions: Your most powerful consumable. Carry these around even if you use nothing else. If you are not an alchemist, use . On average, a Super potion returns 2400 mana, which is worth 100 mp5 if you chain-chug them or 60 mp5 if you drink one every three to four minutes. Even at 60 mp5, potions will easily restore more mana than all other consumables put together. If you are an alchemist, use unless you are at full health. The Mad Alchemist Potions restore an average of 8% less mana (2200 instead of 2400) but the healing effect is very useful.
Flask: or for mana, or for survivability. It is not recommended to use the mana flasks in any situation where you are going "all-out" due to the very high regenerative power of the Draenic Wisdom elixir, which can be capable of matching or even exceeding a flask.
Battle Elixir: .
Guardian Elixir: . Since Patch 2.4, this is almost always better than a Mageblood elixir. In fact, it's so good that it may be able to compete with a flask depending on your current spirit and intellect.
Weapon Oil: Good buffs and very nice for wipe content since they persist through death. The best is , which grants +healing despite the suggestion on its tooltip that it does not. If you are concerned about mana, you can use instead. is a nice balanced oil but it is extremely expensive and generally not worth the price of using it over one of the other two. Each oil has five charges that last for an hour each.
Food: . They are cooked from Golden Darters, which spawn in Terokkar Forest and can be caught if you have decent fishing skill (320 or so, plus a lure). You can catch them from plain water in the non-flying-mount areas. Do not use , since the fish sticks will restore more mana in addition to providing the bonus healing.
There aren't many healing idols, so I will just discuss all of them briefly (except the ones that only improve Healing Touch, which is used rarely if ever in the healing style described by this guide). Idols can be changed while in combat, so you may use more than one idol over the course of an encounter.
- : The best idol for rolling lifeblooms, and a very good idol in general due to the versatility of lifebloom.
- : If you are in a tank group, consider wearing this. The bonus of +44 healing to all healers on the tank (including yourself) is fairly substantial.
- : This idol is the best choice if you are doing a lot of spot healing with regrowth. Otherwise, it is fairly bad.
- : A decent choice for spot healing. This will increase the size of your rejuvenation-based swiftmends as well as the rejuvenation ticks.
- : Not good at all, since lifebloom will never do its final heal when rolling and it barely helps if you are using lifebloom to raid heal. This is a decent idol for PvP if you are facing a purge-happy opponent and it is appropriately located on the Arena vendor.
Useful effects on trinkets fall into four major categories: passive +heal, non-spirit regen, spirit regen, and clickable +heal. Often a single trinket will have two of these effects on it. If you are an alchemist, one of your trinkets should be the , which requires no raid materials and is the best healing trinket currently in the game.
Passive +heal: These are the best choice when you are not having mana issues. Popular starting trinkets include the , , and (the Prayerbook is also a non-spirit regen trinket, see below). Two of these trinkets are from badges and one is from a reputation vendor, so they are fairly easy to get. There are many other trinkets with +healing on them and rather than giving a list I will just link to a wowhead search: Trinkets.
Non-spirit regen: Many of these trinkets also have passive +healing, making them extremely attractive. Two of the best trinkets in the game, the and are trinkets with a combination of passive +healing and non-spirit regen effects. Another popular trinket with a similar combination is the , an introductory trinket available from the Lower City reputation vendor. None of these trinkets changes in effectiveness depending on how much Spirit or Intellect you have.
- : The Stone is worth an average of 960 mana for each super mana potion you drink. If you drink a potion every three to four minutes, the Stone's alchemy effect is worth 25 mp5. It is worth 40 mp5 if you chain-chug every cooldown. This means that in most situations where you are using potions, the Stone is worth 25-40 mp5. Due to the Stone's high mana value and high passive +healing, it is the best restoration druid trinket currently in the game.
- : This procs the spell Wisdom, which shows up on WWS. The buff is generally up 20% to 25% of the time, so it is worth 15-20 mp5 on average. Like the Alchemist Stone, it has a high amount of passive +healing and is a very attractive trinket.
- : If you cast 8 spells in 15 seconds and use this trinket every cooldown, it is worth 15 mp5. If you want to use the prayerbook but have trouble remembering to activate it, consider macroing it to a common spell like Lifebloom or Rejuvenation. One possible macro is:
#showtooltip #show Lifebloom /script UIErrorsFrame:Hide() /use Lower City Prayerbook /script UIErrorsFrame:Clear() /script UIErrorsFrame:Show() /cast [target=mouseover] Lifebloom
This will activate the Prayerbook if the cooldown is available, and will always cast lifebloom on the target your mouse is currently over (this is a click-to-cast macro).
Spirit-based regen: The most popular trinket that falls under this category is the . The used to be somewhat popular, but it is no longer very good due to the fact that it is extremely likely that you will cap your mana when using it in conjunction with Innervate, which was the ideal way to use it in previous patches.
- : With 500 spirit and 500 intellect, it is worth 1100 mana each time it procs. Benhoof reports in this thread that it procs about once every two minutes for a tree druid, which agrees with the 2% proc chance listed on wowhead. This means that it with 500 spirit and 500 intellect, it is worth 45.6 mp5. If you have substantially more spirit it will be worth more; for example, with 700 spirit and 500 intellect it is worth 1533 mana per proc, which works out to 63.4 mp5.
Clickable +heal: These effects used to be the best to get, but since the lifebloom change in patch 2.3.2, they are no longer as good. The list remains here for sentimental reasons, and due to the fact that some of these trinkets are still good for the other effects on them (for example, is still a good trinket due to the passive +healing).
- (heroic badge reward)
- (heroic Mana Tombs)
- (quest reward from Nagrand)
- (quest reward from Netherstorm)
- (level 60 item: green dragons)
- (level 60 item: Sapphiron)
Helm: Glyph of Renewal (+35 healing, 7mp5). Reputation reward from Honor Hold/Thrallmar Revered.
Shoulder: Aldor or Scryer enchant. The Aldor enchants are somewhat better, but it's not a big deal if you already leveled your Scryer reputation to exalted.
Cloak: No real stand-out enchant. Armor, subtlely, or some sort of resistance are probably your best bets.
Chest: Either Major Spirit (15 spirit) or Exceptional Stats (6 stam/int/spirit). Exceptional Stats is only worth it if you are concerned about stamina, otherwise get Major Spirit. Do not get Restore Mana Prime (6mp5).
Bracers: Either Superior Healing (+30 healing) or Restore Mana Prime (6mp5). I prefer Superior Healing.
Gloves: Major Healing (+35 healing).
Legs: Golden Spellthread (+66 healing, 20 stamina). This is made by Aldor Tailors and requires a Primal Nether.
Boots: Either Boar's Speed (9 stamina, minor speed increase) or Vitality (4mp5). I prefer Boar's Speed due to the amount of movement required in raid encounters. If you want Vitality but can't afford it, consider a Magister's Armor Kit (3mp5), which is made by Scryer leatherworkers.
Rings: Healing Power (+20 healing).
Weapon: Major Healing (+81 healing). Spellsurge used to be somewhat popular, but it is largely an outdated enchant due to the changes to Spirit and Intellect mana regeneration and the inconvenience of using a weapon swapping mod that incurs a global cooldown.
The only two meta gems worth using are the and . The proc from the Insightful gem is worth about 25-30 mp5 in most situations, and is worth up to 40 mp5 in continuous-hot situations. Comparing this to the 26 healing on the Bracing leads most druids to go for the Insightful meta.
The best gem types in general are Purified (purple, combo healing/spirit) and Teardrop (red, pure healing). There are two main styles of gemming. First is the aggressive full-Teardrop style, which calls for placing as many Teardrop gems as possible to max out your +healing, only using Purified gems in items with one blue socket, the rest of the sockets red, and a decent socket bonus. This involves ignoring +healing socket bonuses on items with more than one yellow or blue socket. This style can be done with an Insightful meta by using two Purified and two Luminous gems, or done with a Bracing gem by just going full red. Since most healing leather has +healing socket bonuses and blue sockets, you will end up aggressively trading mp5 for +healing as you give up the 2mp5 on gems but also some +healing from the bonuses in order to pick up the additional +healing on Teardrops.
The other style is the more balanced one that calls for the use of +healing socket bonuses. You would use an Insightful meta, and socket two Luminous gems in yellow slots (if possible) or red slots (if two yellow slots are not available). The general rule to follow here is to socket appropriate colors in items with +healing bonuses and put full reds in items without +healing bonuses. Again, due to the blue sockets and +healing bonuses on most leather gear, you will end up using a lot of Purified gems if you go with this style.
If you are trying to match colors for a socket bonus, the best gems are:
The raid-oriented professions for a restoration druid are, in rough order with the better ones first:
Alchemy: Purely for , which is irreplaceable.
Leatherworking: , , and . Both of the drums are powerful buffs and the chestpiece is very nice, although it has a low drop rate and will be expensive if you attempt to buy it.
Enchanting: Constant bonus of +40 healing (two ring enchants). This is nice because it is guaranteed not to go out of date, since you can always enchant new rings. Reasonable people may differ as to whether Leatherworking or Enchanting is the better profession.
Engineering: You can make , which are unrivaled until Kil'jaeden loot.
Jewelcrafting: You can make , although from Zul'Aman is a strong competitor.
Which addons you use is largely a matter of personal preference, but the two most important are a good set of raid frames and a HoT tracker.
Raid frames: Essential in order to heal effectively since the default Blizzard frames are a disaster. Major features to look out for are HoT indicators, debuff indicators, curse/poison highlighting, range finder, and aggro alert. Popular options include Grid, sRaidFrames, and X-Perl. If you use Grid you may find some helpful information in the thread on the UI board, GRID - Addons and Functionality.
HoT tracker: Nice for keeping track of rolling lifeblooms and knowing when to refresh HoTs on the tank(s). These are much more precise than the default Blizzard ones and will also let you keep track of HoTs on more than one person. Popular options include Chronometer, HotCandy, and DoTimer.
Others: Nothing else really healer-specific, but as a raider you should invest in boss mods (Deadly Boss Mods or BigWigs) and optionally a threat meter (Omen). If you want to see how much your heals will heal for and how much your HoTs will tick for, get DrDamage. It works pretty well with druid spells and will put the number on the toolbar icon.