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Restoration Druid Talents and Builds

Posted 2 weeks, 4 days ago for patch 9.0 by Preston.

Below you'll find details on how each Restoration Druid talent functions and what its best use conditions are. Druid talents allow you to customize your setup for any encounter, be it single-target healing, group-healing, or utility. Feedback is greatly appreciated! Feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the page, contact me, or tweet @PrestonDvorak.

Talent Builds

Use these lists along with the information below to choose your builds! As always, don't be afraid to customize talents to the encounter or your group's composition.

Raiding

Cooldowns

Frequent/Predicable Bursts of Group-wide Damage

This build is focused on being able to use large, group-healing cooldowns frequently. It will work best on fights with frequent, and ideally predictable, bursts of heavy group-wide damage. You should aim to keep your healing cooldowns on cooldown as often as possible without overhealing with them too much. If you notice they're going unused for long periods of time or are frequently overhealing, it's probably worth looking into another build.

  1. Cenarion Ward
  2. Tiger's DashWild Charge (personal preference)
  3. Guardian Affinity
  4. Heart of the Wild / or personal preference
  5. Incarnation: Tree of Life
  6. Inner Peace
  7. Flourish

Healing Over Time

Sustained Group-wide Damage

This build is focused on putting out as many heal over time effects as possible, with the option to buff them with Photosynthesis. This build will work best if there is sustained group-wide damage for large portions of an encounter, or when you don't need as many large cooldowns.

  1. Cenarion Ward
  2. Tiger's DashWild Charge (personal preference)
  3. Guardian Affinity
  4. Heart of the Wild / or personal preference
  5. Cultivation
  6. Spring Blossoms
  7. Photosynthesis

Mythic+ / Dungeons

This build is for Mythic+ and general dungeon content. It can be customized a little bit if you know you're going to need cooldowns other than Tranquility for bursts of damage. In general, the focus is maintaining as many heal over time effects on your group as possible, with added utility for self healing and crowd control.

  1. Abundance / or personal preference between any of the three options
  2. Renewal / or personal preference
  3. Guardian Affinity
    1. Use Feral Affinity for additional DPS in Cat Form.
  4. Mighty Bash / or personal preference
    1. Consider using Heart of the Wild when using Feral Affinity for the added burst DPS.
  5. Cultivation
    1. Use Incarnation: Tree of Life if an additional cooldown is needed.
  6. Spring Blossoms
  7. Photosynthesis

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Talent Information

Level 15 (Tier 1)

Abundance

Good For

  • additional direct healing

This talent is a nice increase to potency and efficiency for single-target healing, without adding another spell to use. The benefit also scales well considering it's not hard to have multiple Rejuvenations active at one time.

Nourish

Good For

  • heavy single-target healing

This is an even larger increase to single target healing efficiency and potency, with the small downside of it requiring a heal over time effect be present on the player you're healing. However, this will scale even higher the more heal over time effects you have on the player, because of this it's the best option if you're looking for the highest single-target healing.

Cenarion Ward

Good For

  • single-target healing over time

A good option if you're looking for heavy single-target healing over time. This has the added benefit of being another heal over time effect to benefit from Mastery: Harmony. In most cases you can think of this as a second Lifebloom, placing it on the current rank whenever it's off cooldown. Alternatively, you can save it for when you know heavy damage is coming for a player.


Level 30 (Tier 2)

Tiger's Dash

Good For

  • all-around mobility

A great mobility talent that I recommend for most situations. This replaces Dash and allows you to cover more ground even faster.

Renewal

Good For

  • when you need a large, personal heal

Use this talent if you find yourself taking large spikes of damage and you need something more than Barkskin and a healing potion to keep yourself alive.

Wild Charge

Good For

  • flexible mobility
  • flying to players in difficult-to-reach areas

This talent offers a lot of flexible movement options, but they're all slightly harder to make use of than Tiger's Dash. Most of the time, you'll make use of your caster form where you fly to a friendly player's location. Unlike Tiger's Dash, the fact that you're "flying" to the location allows you to move to allies that are across gaps or on different elevations than you.


Level 45 (Tier 3)

From a raiding standpoint, your talent choice in this tier will be almost completely situational depending on the passive effect or the additional abilities you gain. There could be fights were the extra damage from Balance or Feral is needed, but it's unlikely. Even less likely is needing to tank something, although I have been an emergency tank on some boss kills!

Balance Affinity

Good For

  • encounters where the group is spread out
  • anytime you need the knock back from Typhoon

The extra spell range will be most noticeable on fights where the group is spread out more than 40 yards. This will give all your spells a maximum range of 45 yards. You also gain access to Typhoon, which can be a strong crowd control spell on fights with lesser enemies.

Feral Affinity

Good For

  • situations that require lots of quick movement
  • anytime you need an extra stun from Maim

Druids are very mobile healers to begin with, and already have Cat Form / Dash, and Stampeding Roar by default, with the option to take Tiger's Dash for even more mobility. Those things make this talent a little less attractive, but it's still something to keep in mind if you feel like you need to move even faster. You also gain access to Maim, which can allow you to stun less enemies fairly consistently as long as you can spend time building combo points in Cat Form.

Guardian Affinity

Good For

  • situations where you'll be taking any amount of damage
  • anytime you need the incapacitating effect from Incapacitating Roar

This will likely be the default talent choice in this talent tier. Taking 6% less damage is never a bad thing, and having access to Frenzied Regeneration for additional survival is a plus. You'll also gain access to Incapacitating Roar which is nice for interrupting lesser enemies as well as slowing their incoming damage on the tank.


Level 60 (Tier 4)

Mighty Bash

Good For

  • stunning single enemies if no one else can

This is a good choice if there are enemies that can be stunned or need to be stunned and you don't have enough stuns otherwise. It can be difficult to use because it requires you be in melee range of whatever you're stunning, so coordination will be key.

Mass Entanglement

Good For

  • rooting groups of enemies that won't be taking damage

This will work best on enemies that aren't being damaged by anything and just need to be held in place, either for a tank to come pick them up or for a stronger crowd control to hit them. The biggest problem with this talent is the roots will break on even the smallest amount of damage, making it an inconsistent crowd control in most group settings.

Heart of the Wild

Good For

  • increasing damage dealt or survivability

This is a good all around talent when you don't need additional crowd control. It lets you increase our damage dealt or your survivability depending on which Affinity talent we choose in Tier 3. With Feral Affinity and Balance Affinity your associated spells and abilities will deal more damage. With Guardian Affinity you'll gain more survivability while in Bear Form. If you know you'll need to help DPS during an encounter, you'll want to pair this with Feral or Balance. For general use, the extra survivability with Guardian is a decent choice.


Level 75 (Tier 5)

Soul of the Forest

Good For

This talent is great for situations that require sustained, moderate to heavy group-healing when used to buff Wild Growth. I haven't personally found situations where I consistently use it to buff Rejuvenation or Regrowth for single-target healing, but it could be useful if you find your primary job is to heal the tanks.

Cultivation

Good For

  • situations where players often drop below 60% health

This is a good all around choice if you can't make use of the other talents in this row. Not only is the healing from this free and automatic, it's also another heal over time effect to benefit Mastery: Harmony.

Incarnation: Tree of Life

Good For

  • healing predictable, heavy group-wide damage

This is a substantial group-healing cooldown that works best for predictable damage where you can have heal over time effects active before use. 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 the instant-cast Regrowth, but don't use it too often because it will quickly drain your mana.


Level 90 (Tier 6)

Inner Peace

Good For

  • encounters where you need to use Tranquility more often

This talent is really strong when it's needed, but only if it's needed. Take it any time your group is lacking large raid cooldowns or you feel using Tranquility one minute faster is beneficial. Otherwise, you'll likely see more benefit from the other talents in this tier.

Spring Blossoms

Good For

  • group-healing when most of the group is stacked

This talent is best used for situations when most of the group is stacked, which is quite common for melee, meaning you'll likely always see some benefit from this talent. The small heal over time doesn't do a lot by itself but it does count towards Mastery: Harmony, making subsequent heal over time effects more powerful.

Overgrowth

Good For

  • rapid single-target healing over time

This applies all our healing over time effects to a player, leading to rapid healing over time. It also sets up nicely to follow with Swiftmend if a burst of healing is required. The downside is it moves Lifebloom to the targeted player, which may not always be ideal.


Level 100 (Tier 7)

Photosynthesis

Good For

  • sustained group-healing
  • focused single-target healing

This talent is pretty flexible, giving you the option to choose between sustained group healing when Lifebloom is on yourself, or focused single-target healing when Lifebloom is on another player. In large groups, you'll notice the biggest benefit when using it for sustained group healing. In Mythic+ and small groups you'll notice the biggest benefit when healing the tank.

Germination

Good For

  • group-healing encounters where the group is spread out or there is frequent movement
  • when small numbers of players need heavy healing

This talent works best in situations where the group is spread out and healers are each responsible for a portion of the group. It's also nice when specific players will need heavy healing over an extended period of time, such as encounters where high-damage debuffs are applied.

Flourish

Good For

  • healing moderate to heavy group-wide damage

This is a substantial group-healing cooldown when used properly. Generally, you'll want to 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.

It's also nice to have this available after using Tranquility so you can refresh the heal over time effect on all players.


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