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. This information is geared towards new and intermediate players, so I've done my best to avoid lots of math or complex theories. Feedback is greatly appreciated! Feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the page, contact me using the form at the bottom of the site, or tweet @PrestonDvorak.
This build is meant as a starting point and quick reference. It will perform well in most situations, but you should always customize your abilities to fit each encounter whenever possible. You can click on any talent to scroll to a section with more details.
This talent will be best used when you're single-target healing or are in a small group and feel you need an additional, burst-heavy emergency heal. In most large-group settings, Cenarion Ward will be the way to go instead because it's cheaper and heals for more over its duration. You should always take this talent if you take the Soul of the Forest talent in Tier 5.
This fills a similar role to Prosperity in that it gives you a second Swiftmend-type heal. It's not as burst-heavy as Swiftmend, but over its duration it will heal for more than Swiftmend and costs less mana. Being able to cast it on a target before damage happens gives it some extra flexibility, too. It's great for situations where there is predictable, moderate to heavy sustained damage on a single target. It will also works great as a personal survivability cooldown.
You'll likely use this talent in situations where you're able to maintain a lot of Rejuvenations. If you're finiding that the damage the group is taking is too much for Rejuvenation alone, but not quite enough for your large heals like Wild Growth and Swiftmend, this might be the talent to take. It will allow you to maintain all of your Rejuvenations as normal and then spot-heal with Healing Touch much more quickly.
Use this talent if you find yourself taking large spikes of damage or you need something more than Barkskin and a healing potion to keep yourself alive.
A great mobility talent that I recommend for most situations. It functions like a Mage's blink, instantly teleporting you forward, even allowing you to pass over harmful spells on the ground. It gives you short speed buff and places you in cat form, further increasing your mobility for a short time. Being in cat form is a small inconvenience because casting any healing spell will immediately pull you out of cat form.
This talent offers a lot of flexible movement options, but they're all slightly harder to make use of than Displacer Beast. Most of the time, you'll make use of your caster form where you fly to friendly player's location. Unlike Displacer Beast, the fact that you're "flying" to the location allows you to move to allies that are across gaps or on higher elevations than you.
From a raiding standpoint, your talent choice in this tier will be almost completely situational depending on the passive effect. There could be fights were the extra damage from Balance or Feral is needed, but it's unlikely. Even less likely is you'll need to tank something! If extra damage is required, Balance will be the best option because you can stay out at range, but it will ultimately be up to you and your raid.
The extra spell range will be most noticable on fights where the group is really spread out. This will give all your spells a maximum range of 45 yards.
Druids are very mobile healers to begin with, and already have Dash by default, with the option to take Displacer Beast for even more mobility on top of that. 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.
This will likely end up being the go-to talent. Taking 10% less damage is never a bad thing, and it's made even better by the fact healer mana will need to be managed more carefully than ever in Legion.
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.
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 CC 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 CC in most group settings.
This is a good all around talent for any encounters with adds that need to be managed. I consider it a nice compromise between the other two talents in this tier, it's much more consistent and easier to use at range. Note that not all adds will be affected by the knockback or the daze, so you'll need to experiment!
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. Consider pairing this choice with the Prosperity talent in Level 15 (Tier 1) for added flexibility.
Tree of Life is a substantial healing cooldown. For group-wide damage, it works best when you know the damage is coming ahead of time and can place HoTs on as many players as possible. Once you use Tree of Life, all the existing HoTs will heal for more and you can focus on topping off low players. Finally, there are some situations where you may need to use it to heal critical single target damage. This is rare, and you should always try to use your other single-target spells instead (Ironbark, Swiftmend, Cenarion Ward, etc). More information on group-healing and single-target healing can be found on the tips and tricks page.
Even given a situation where the group is below 60% health most of the time, the other talents on this tier provide more flexibility because you choose when to use them. I could also see this talent being used by new druid players because you can set it and forget it while you learn the basics, then graduate on to the other abilities in this tier. I'll update this section when I get a chance to use this talent more.
This talent is best used for situations when most of the group is stacked and there's consistent, group-wide damage happening. The small HoT doesn't do a lot by itself, but it does count toward our mastery, making subsequent HoTs more powerful. You'll need to keep your Efflorescence under the group, which can use a lot of mana if the group is moving a lot, so keep that in mind.
With the changes to Tranquility in Legion, 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 see more benefit from the other talents in this tier.
I've found this talent works best when you can't make use of Spring Blossoms, either becasue the group is spread out or there's frequent movement. It's much easier to maximize Rejuvenations on players while moving than it is to keep moving Efflorescence all over (it usually costs less mana, too).
This talent is mostly single-target healing focused because it will allow you to use Regrowth three times for free during Omen of Clarity, while also buffing the healing those Regrowths do. The main problem being it relies on Omen of Clarity procs, making it a bit inconsistent. I see this having a lot of use in small groups where the tank damage is incredbly heavy and you're making frequent use of Regrowth to keep them alive. The talent is also slightly more flexisble than Stonebark because you can cast the Regrowths on three different players if needed, as opposed to only one Ironbark.
This provides a more consistent increase to single-target healing over Moment of Clarity, allowing you to use Ironbark every minute. It's great for slowing incoming damage on a tank or helping heal a player when they're already low, thanks to the 20% buff to HoT effects. I would take this talent anytime you're not going to be making regular use of Flourish.
This is a very substaintial group-healing cooldown when used properly. It requires that you place as many HoT effects on the group as possible before the damage happens. You'll start placing Rejuvenations ~10 seconds before the damage is going to happen, use Wold Growth as the damage beings, and then use Flourish. This allows you to place Rejuventions on additional players before your previous ones fall off, or gives you time to spot heal critical damage. More information on group-healing can be found on the healing tips and tricks page.
February 21, 2017 - Did a full review and update of all trinket ranking information.
February 12, 2017 - Added Perfectly Preserved Cake to BiS trinket list, below Etraeus' trinket and the legendary trinket.
January 25, 2017 - Updated small-group stat weights and BiS list.
January 18, 2017 - Added Pawn Import strings for stat weights.
January 17, 2017 - Moved the Macros guide to its own section. Overhauled the Stats and Gearing page for 7.1.5.
January 12, 2017 - Overhauled legendary information and added best in slot legendaries to both BiS lists.
January 10, 2017 - Updated guide for 7.1.5, including adding Nighthold items to Best in Slot lists.
December 2, 2016 - Updated Mastery information to indicate there is no longer a cap on the number of HoTs that can contribute.
November 4, 2016 - Updated enchants to reflect Mark of the Claw proc'ing from heals again. This is now the top enchant for large-group healing.
October 29, 2016 - Updated stat weights based on my new simulations and information in the community. This didn't change much as far as BiS lists.