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Restoration Druid Spells and Abilities

Updated 1 day, 4 hours ago for patch 8.0 by Preston. View the change log.

Below are details on how each Restoration Druid spell functions and what its best use conditions are. Druids excel at using and buffing heal over time effects and as a result are one of the more mobile healers. While they have no problem single-target healing, they really shine in group-healing situations where multiple players are taking damage at one time.

Feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the page, contact me, or tweet @PrestonDvorak.

Usage Overview

Below you'll find a quick reference for each spell's usage situation. Click on any of the spell names to be taken to that spell's section for more details.

Main spell 

Your main spell should be the one you're using most often during most situations.

Rejuvenation

Group-healing

Group-healing spells should be used when most of the group is taking sustained damage, you should supplement these spells with your main spell.

Efflorescence, Flourish (talent), Wild Growth

Single-target healing

Single-target healing spells will be used when you're healing one player taking damage, again, they should be supplemented by your main spell.

Lifebloom, Healing Touch, Ironbark, Cenarion Ward (talent)

Emergencies

Emergencies occur when a player is taking critical damage and at risk of dying if you try to heal them with any of your other spells. These spells are generally used less often than all others.

Regrowth, Swiftmend

Major Cooldowns

Major cooldowns can be used to make it through particularly tough situations, but only if your other spells aren't enough on their own.

Tranquility, Incarnation: Tree of Life (talent)

Utility

Utility spells won't see usage in every situation, but knowing the situations they're useful in is very important.

Innervate, Nature's Cure, Rebirth, RevitalizeSoothe

Crowd Control

Crowd Control spells are used to keep enemies where you want them to be or to keep them from hitting players.

Entangling Roots, Hibernate, Mass Entanglement (talent), Typhoon (talent), Ursol's Vortex

Passive Effects

As the name suggests, Passive Effects are always present and generally don't require any input to work.

Omen of Clarity, Mastery: HarmonyYsera's Gift

Mobility

Mobility spells let you move around more quickly in order to avoid harmful spells or to get in range of other players to heal them.

DashTiger's Dash (talent), Wild Charge (talent)

Survivability

Survivability spells help you survive when things go wrong or when facing a particularly harmful enemy ability.

BarkskinBear Form, Renewal (talent)

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Main Spell

Your main spell should be the one you're using most often during most situations.

Rejuvenation

Do

  • use often to top off light to moderate damage
  • preemptively cast on players in preparation for group damage
  • keep active on the current tank

Dont

  • forget about your other spells when the proper situation arises

This should be the spell you're using the most. For its mana cost, it's safe to cast on any player missing at least 10% of their health. If you know heavy group-wide damage is coming in <10-seconds, you should prepare by casting this on as many players as possible, even if they're at full health. Take a look at the healing tips and tricks page for more information on healing group-wide damage.


Group-healing Spells

Group-healing spells should be used when most of the group is taking sustained damage, you should supplement these spells with your main spell. 

Efflorescence

Do

  • place under groups of players
  • place under tanks if players are too spread

Dont

  • forget to move it when the group moves

Place this under the largest group of players you can find, ideally at least three. In most cases, it's safe to keep this active even if there's no damage happening, but you should always have it active in preparation of group-wide damage.

Flourish (talent)

Do

  • use just as heavy group-wide damage begins

Dont

  • use to refresh heal over time effects when not necessary

Use this just as heavy group-wide damage begins, after you've cast Wild Growth and ideally after casting as many Rejuvenations as possible prior to the damage starting. To be even more optimal, you should also have Lifebloom and Cenarion Ward (if talented) active, but you shouldn't delay usage if players will die in the mean time or if Wild Growth will expire.

You should also try to have Flourish available after using Tranquility so you can refresh the heal over time effect it applies on all players.

Wild Growth

Do

  • use when >6 players have taken damage

Dont

  • use when group-wide damage isn't critical
  • use before heavy damage has begun; use just after damage begins instead

This should be used after six or more players have taken damage. Try not to use it before the damage has happen because the healing over time starts out quickly and you don't want it to go to waste.


Single-target Healing Spells

Single-target healing spells will be used when you're healing one player taking damage, again, they should be supplemented by your main spell.

Cenarion Ward (talent)

Do

  • use on the current tank
  • use on other players taking consistent, heavy damage

Dont

  • use where a harder hitting, faster spell is needed to save the player

Generally speaking, Cenarion Ward can be thought of as a second Lifebloom and should often be put on the current tank whenever it's off cooldown. In some cases, you can hold it to put on a player you know is going to be taking significant damage with in the next 30 seconds. Either way, you want it up as much as possible.

Ironbark

Do

  • use on a tank or player taking sustained damage or about to take a large hit

This is our external cooldown spell and its usage depends a lot on the situation. If you're in a raid setting where the tanks or certain players need external cooldowns at specific times, its best to save it for those times. Otherwise, I personally try to use it as often as possible at times that make sense. This is usually to save players that get caught where they shouldn't be, get a debuff they shouldn't have, or are low on health before taking unavoidable damage.

Lifebloom

Do

  • keep active on the current tank
  • use on yourself with Photosynthesis

This should be kept on the current tank at all times unless you're using Photosynthesis, in which case it's acceptable to place it on yourself when group-wide damage is happening. It not only provides Omen of Clarity the opportunity to proc Clearcasting but also counts as a heal over time effect for Mastery: Harmony. Additionally, if Lifebloom is refreshed with <30% of its duration remaining, the bloom effect is triggered just like if it expired. This can be used to supply a burst of healing to the tank in some cases.


Emergencies

Emergencies occur when a player is taking critical damage and at risk of dying if you try to heal them with any other spell, these spells are generally used less often than all others.

Regrowth

Do

  • use to keep a player alive when other emergency heals aren't enough or are on cooldown
  • use when Omen of Clarity is active to heal an injured player

Dont

  • use it to top players off when the damage isn't critical

As our only remaining "direct heal" that isn't on a cooldown, this should be used to rapidly heal players when other heal over time effects aren't enough. Don't be afraid to cast it multiple times on the same player if the damage they're taking warrants it. Try to avoid overusing it though, as it's quite expensive compared to other spells. It should always be used when Clearcasting is active, either on a player that's missing health or on the current tank if everyone is at full health.

Swiftmend

Do

  • use to keep someone alive if no other spells will

Dont

  • use when damage isn't critical

Similar to Regrowth, this should be used to keep a player alive when no other spell will. It has the added benefit of not having a cast time and should be used as a last resort.

If you've taken the Soul of the Forest talent, you'll be using Swiftmend much more often to gain the buff. In this case, it's acceptable to use it outside of emergency situations on cooldown.


Major Cooldowns

Major cooldowns can be used to make it through particularly tough situations, but only if your other spells aren't enough on their own.

Incarnation: Tree of Life (talent)

Do

  • use just before heavy group-wide damage
  • cast Wild Growth three times while active
  • make frequent use of Rejuvenation while active

Dont

  • overuse instant-cast Regrowths while active

This is best used at the beginning of heavy group-wide damage. You should try to cast Wild Growth three times while it's active and cast as many Rejuvenations as possible in between. If a player needs critical healing, you can also make use of instant-cast Regrowth, but don't use it too often because it will quickly drain your mana.

Tranquility

Do

  • use during periods of critical group-wide damage
  • coordinate usage with the other healers or raid leader

Dont

  • use to top off low to moderate damage, unless the majority of group members risk death otherwise

This is our large group-healing cooldown. In most raid situations, it will be coordinated with other large cooldowns for use during critical points in the fight. If it hasn't been coordinated, use your best judgement and try to avoid using it at the same time as other healers' cooldowns. When in a dungeon, this will do twice as much healing, making it incredibly useful for emergency situations there, too.

Each time this heals a player they gain a healing over time stack, which can and should be extended with Flourish if you've taken the talent.


Utility

Utility spells won't see usage in every situation, but knowing the situations they're useful in is very important.

Innervate

Do

  • use before preparing for group-wide damage
  • cast as many spells as possible while active

You'll probably use this before preparing for group-wide damage, as detailed on the healing tips page. Ideally, you'll cast Efflorescence, Wild Growth, Cenarion Ward (if talent taken), and Lifebloom while it's active, in addition to as many Rejuvenations as you can. This will give you the maximum mana savings, but really any mana savings is important.

Nature's Cure

Do

  • dispel incapacitating or high damage debuffs quickly
  • coordinate usage with other dispellers

Dont

  • dispel “explosive” or harmful-when-dispelled debuffs until the player is ready

In most cases, it's safe to dispel any Magic, Curse, or Poison effect immediately. However, because of the eight second cooldown you may need to prioritize what you dispel first if there are multiple debuffs present. Usually, you want to dispel things that incapacitate the player first, followed by debuffs that cause high amounts of damage. Be on the look out for debuffs that “explode” or otherwise cause harm to the player or nearby players when dispelled. Coordinate positioning ahead of time or be ready to use an extra cooldown (like Ironbark) to keep them alive.

Rebirth

Do

  • use immediately to resurrect a tank or healer in most raid situations

Dont

  • always immediately use on a DPS unless the group is small

Resurrecting someone in combat is very powerful. My rule for using it in raids is to resurrect tanks immediately, healers immediately if it's a heavy healing fight, and to leave DPS down unless the chances of a tank or healer dying are low. When in a five-man group, it's usually safe to resurrect anyone immediately. This is something you can coordinate with your group leader when needed.

Revitalize

Use this to resurrect dead group members when out of combat. Classes with healing specializations are the only ones with a mass resurrection, so be sure to use it!

Soothe

Do

  • use to remove Enrage effects on higher health enemies

Dont

  • use on enemies that are close to dying

Druids are one of the few classes that are able to remove Enrage effects on enemies, making this an important utility spell in most group content. With a 10-second cooldown, it will be almost impossible to dispel every Enrage effect. The best way to handle it will usually be to dispel the highest health enemy first, except in cases where an Enrage effect is more potent on a lower health enemy. The idea behind this is the lower health enemies have a higher chance of dying partway through their Enrage buff, so you help limit the total uptime of Enrage effects by dispelling the one that's likely to last the longest.

Crowd Control

Crowd Control spells are used to keep enemies where you want them to be or to keep them from hitting players.

Entangling Roots

Do

  • use to hold a melee enemy in place

Dont

  • use on enemies taking damage
  • use on caster/ranged enemies

This spell is primarily used for controlling melee enemies. It doesn't fully incapacitate the affected enemy so it's less useful for ranged or caster enemies. It will also break very quickly if the affected enemy takes damage. If a player is standing near a melee enemy when it's rooted, that player will be hit even if they don't currently have aggro.

Hibernate

Do

  • use to incapacitate a Beast or Dragonkin

Dont

  • use on enemies taking damage

Unlike Entangling Roots, this will fully incapacitate a Beast or Dragonkin enemy, making it useful not only on melee enemies but also ranged and casters. Any damage on the affected enemy will break the effect, so it will be best to use this before enemies have been engaged whenever possible.

Mass Entanglement (talent)

Do

  • use to hold enemies in place

Dont

  • use on enemies taking damage

This can be a tricky spell to make use of in a group environment without careful planning. It's very good at holding enemies in place, but only if they're not taking damage. Its use should be well coordinated with the rest of the group if possible, otherwise Typhoon is probably a better choice.

Typhoon (talent)

Do

  • use to keep adds under control
  • use to help interrupt enemies susceptible to knock back effects*

This can be used to help keep lesser enemies where they need to be and can even be used to interrupt spell casts on enemies that can be knocked back.

*One note about using it as an interrupt: because of the knock back effect, you likely only want to use it in emergencies as knocking enemies away from DPS is usually not a good thing.

Ursol's Vortex

Do

  • use to keep adds under control

This won't be useful on all boss fights, but in any situation that has lesser enemies that need to be controlled it's one of the more powerful spells. It can keep enemies grouped up to be killed or to keep them from harming players.


Passive Effects

As the name suggests, Passive Effects are always present and generally don't require any input to work.

Mastery: Harmony

Our mastery rewards having multiple heal over time effects on a player, something that's not hard to do with our spell toolkit. Even a single heal over time will benefit from this, but the more the better!

Omen of Clarity

A free Regrowth cast can be powerful at the right time. You should use the Regrowth on anyone who is missing health at the time, with tanks being the priority. If no one is missing health, you can use it on a tank to give them the heal over time effect.

Ysera's Gift

This is small little bonus heal to yourself or a nearby player. It's not substantial on its own, but you don't need to think about it and it will rarely ever overheal. Plus, it's some nice Restoration Druid flavor!

Mobility

Mobility spells let you move around more quickly in order to avoid harmful spells or to get in range of other players to heal them.

Dash

This is the baseline movement speed ability for Restoration Druids. It requires you to stay in Cat Form to take advantage of the speed increase. However, you can freely shift in and out of Cat Form for the duration of the buff. You should use this ability if you won't make it out of something without the speed increase. If you can make it out safely without using Dash, you should always continue healing while moving.

Tiger's Dash (talent)

This replaces Dash and is the spiritual replacement for Displacer Beast. While not as powerful as a blink effect, this still allows you to cover a significant amount of ground in a short period of time, and will likely be your default mobility choice. It does require you to be in Cat Form, but you'll cover the distance more quickly and can shift out sooner than with Dash.

Wild Charge (talent)

This is a versatile spell that you can customize by changing forms. The downside is it's a little clunkier than the other options because you need to change forms and then use it. However, it offers possibilities the other options don't and may see niche use on some encounters.

Survivability

Survivability spells help you survive when things go wrong or when facing a particularly harmful enemy ability.

Barkskin

Do

  • use when low on health and taking damage
  • use before taking a large hit of damage

This is our baseline personal cooldown and should be used anytime you're at risk of dying or before you're going to take a large hit of damage.

Bear Form

Do

  • use when Barkskin isn't enough or on cooldown

This isn't like a traditional survival cooldown, but considering it increases your health and armor, it can still help keep you alive. If you've taken the Guardian Affinity talent, it will also give you access to Frenzied Regeneration. The down side is you won't be able to cast healing spells while in the form, but you shouldn't need to stay in it for too long.

Renewal (talent)

Do

  • use when missing >30% of your health

This should be used when missing at least 30% of your total health and in most cases can be thought of like a second healing potion.


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Changelog - View the last ten changes. - +

August 14, 2018 - 3:16 pm (Restoration) - Fixed Disqus thread title, it should no longer appear as a BlizzCon article.

August 11, 2018 - 7:55 pm (Talents and Builds) - Minor build updates and added naming schemes that correspond with the rest of the guide.

August 11, 2018 - 7:37 pm (Stat Weights and Gearing) - Added Best in Slot lists for Raiding and Mythic+, updated Stat Priority, and cleaned up information and formatting.

August 11, 2018 - 7:27 pm (Azerite Armor Traits) - Added Azerite Armor page.

August 11, 2018 - 6:53 pm (Enchants, Gems, Consumables) - Updated all enchants, gems, and consumables to correspond with gearing strategies.

August 08, 2018 - 1:19 am (Addons) - Updated addons for BFA and added Threat Plates variables.

July 20, 2018 - 5:36 pm (Stat Weights and Gearing) - Page added with initial information.

July 17, 2018 - 11:19 am (Healing Tips and Tricks) - Added Incarnation: Tree of Life, reformatted some of the sections and expanded the information.

July 16, 2018 - 9:32 pm (Spells and Abilities) - Added Hibernate and Soothe.

July 15, 2018 - 12:14 pm (Restoration) - Initial guide launch in preparation for Battle for Azeroth.