This page gives a brief overview of the Restoration Druid artifact weapon, G'hanir, the Mother Tree, with a focus on what trait paths you should take when starting out. While you’ll eventually have all of the traits unlocked, there are a few different paths you can take to get there.
You unlock traits by gaining Artifact Power, which is obtained from doing nearly anything in game, including: world quests, dungeons, raids, and PVP. Once you have enough Artifact Power for a new trait, you must go back to the Dreamgrove (Druid Order Hall) to select your new trait at the Seed of Ages, located to the west of the Circle of Spirits.
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Below, you'll find recommended paths to take with your first 35 artifact traits.
Mana Efficiency (Green) | Throughput (Blue) | Utility (Yellow)
I recommend starting with the mana efficiency (green) path. Mana will be much tighter in Legion and this path focuses heavily on reducing the mana cost of spells, increasing the duration of your spells, and even giving you completely free bonus spells from the Power of the Archdruid trait at the end.
With the mana efficiency path done, I recommend going through the throughput (blue) path next. This provides the highest raw healing increase. The Dreamwalker trait at the end even provides additional mana efficiency along with more throughput.
Finally, you can go through the utility (yellow) path, or just fill in traits as you see fit. I recommend getting to the Tranquil Mind trait as quickly as possible. It’s easily the best utility trait on the artifact, eliminating one of the huge drawbacks Tranquility has.
After unlocking all 35 initial traits, you'll be able to empower your weapon with a short quest line, starting with The Broken Shore: Investigating the Legion quest. Empowering your weapon unlocks a new, small trait tree and allows you to increase all of your 3-point traits to 4-points. Below is my recommendation for the order you should get the empowered traits.
This order focuses on picking up consistent throughput increases, followed by consistent mana efficiency increases, and finally less consistent increases for both. The order is based on simulation data as well as my own feelings on how effective each of the traits are in normal healing situations.
Artifact Relics are primarily used to raise the item level of your artifact weapon. They also provide a bonus rank to certain artifact traits. You can put relics into your weapon just by Shift+Right-clicking the weapon. Note: if you overwrite a relic with a new one, the old relic is destroyed.
In most cases, you'll want to use the relic that grants your weapon the highest item level increase. If you're picking between two relics of the same item level, you can pick the relic that buffs a trait from one of the paths above that feels most relevant to what you need. You'll likely want to buff your Mana Efficiency early in the expansion, and then Throughput later.
Below are the top traits to consider buffing from each path.
The Netherlight Crucible is a forge located on the Vindicaar on Argus, it's unlocked by completing all quests in the Krokuun and Mac'aree zones, ending in the An Offering of Shadow quest. Once unlocked, it'll allow you to increase the item level of your artifact weapon, gain additional effects based on your relic, and gain additional trait points for some traits.
The added abilities and traits that are available on each relic are randomized when the relic is socketed into your weapon, so while I can't provide a definitive path to take, I've compiled a list of all available abilities and traits ranked from best to worst. Note: It may be worth it to take a sub-optimal shadow or holy ability in order to get to one of the better traits. In general, our artifact traits will be more powerful than the added abilities.
You can view the spreadsheet with all of my data for a more in-depth look at the relic abilities, their numbers, and my manual adjustments. All simulations were conducted on AskMrRobot using the Raid Healing Krosus rotation, the Raid Healing Krosus boss script, and Best in Slot gear from Tomb of Sargeras, minus trinkets and legendary items to help cut back on variables. Relic abilities were equipped one at a time.
In most cases, you'll be taking an ability in the Holy path, as these have the best synergy with healing spells.
Most abilities in the Shadow path trigger from damaging enemies. While not impossible to do as a Druid, they'll still be less effective than most Holy abilities.
The traits you pick will follow closely to the Recommended Relic Traits listed above, you'll mostly choose between Mana Efficiency and Throughput.
September 12, 2017 - Added simulation information for Netherlight Crucible abilities and adjusted rankings.
September 05, 2017 - Added Invasion Point gear to best in slot lists.
August 27, 2017 - Added Nether Crucible information to the Artifact page.
August 07, 2017 - Updated the Consumables page to include Feasts and the Mastery neck enchant.
July 29, 2017 - Updated the Best in Slot lists with notes on T19 vs T20 and viability of Tomb trinkets.
July 08, 2017 - Updated Grid settings to include Tomb of Sargeras boss debuffs.
June 15, 2017 - Finished simulations for Large-group Healing trinkets and legendary items - those lists have been updated.
June 13, 2017 - Initial 7.2.5 review. Expect more updates in the coming weeks.
May 02, 2017 - Added "Other Notable Addons" section to the addon's page.
April 27, 2017 - Updated all best in slot lists to accommodate Aman'thul's Wisdom being a top legendary choice.