Restoration Druid Healing Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoD 6.0.3)

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Restoration Druid Art Image
General Information

On this page, we list your Restoration Druid core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.3. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Restoration Druid.

The other pages of our Restoration Druid guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Sonie, a Restoration Druid who raids in Method, one of the best guilds in the world. You can follow him on Twitter.

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Druid Transition Guide!

1. Rotation↑top

How you heal as a Restoration Druid depends on several factors, such as the type of damage (burst damage, sustained damage etc.) that your raid is taking, the target(s) you are assigned to heal and who the other healers in your raid are. Additionally, of course, the intensity of the damage will also further narrow down your spell selection choice.

It is impossible provide a "rotation". You will have to choose when and on who to use each of your spells, based on their strengths and weaknesses. Once you familiarise yourself with your spells, you should also read our playstyle section.

1.1. Commonly Used Spells (HoTs)

  • Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation should primarily be used:
    • to pre-HoT players before a spike of damage;
    • to act as a pre-requisite for casting Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend on players;
    • to heal players who have taken damage.
  • Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth should primarily be used:
    • to heal large bursts of damage, but beware of the high mana cost of this spell, and use it sparingly.
  • Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend should primarily be used:
    • when a single target is in urgent need for a quick (instant cast) heal.
  • Lifebloom Icon Lifebloom should be used:
    • on the tank, or another target who is taking heavy sustained damage.
  • Wild Mushroom Icon Wild Mushroom should be used:
    • to heal groups of players who are standing together;
    • before a burst of damage will hit the raid, to heal players through it, allowing you to cast other spells;
    • note that with Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom Icon Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom, you can place the Wild Mushroom healing zone at any desired location.

1.2. Less Used Spells (Direct Heals)

  • Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch should primarily be used:
    • on players who are taking a particularly high amount of damage;
  • Regrowth Icon Regrowth should primarily be used:
    • on players who are about to die before you can get another, longer cast off, when no instant cast spells are available;
    • on the tank, or another raid member who is low on health or who will take damage soon, if you have an Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity proc.

It is important to note that, if you are using Glyph of Regrowth Icon Glyph of Regrowth, Regrowth Icon Regrowth will always have a critical effect but its HoT is no longer present. This glyphed Regrowth basically replaces Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch, being more efficient than it.

1.3. Additional Action To Perform

In addition to simply using the above spells to react to the damage being done, you should also keep the uptime on the Mastery: Harmony Icon Mastery: Harmony self-buff at 100%. This requires that you cast a direct heal (Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend, Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch, or Regrowth Icon Regrowth) at least once every 20 seconds.

2. Cooldown Usage↑top

As a Restoration Druid you have 4 healing healing cooldowns by default. Additionally, you can gain several others depending on your talent choices. Your default cooldowns should be used as follows:

  • Tranquility Icon Tranquility should be used whenever a very large amount of raid healing is needed. You may be assigned to use this at a specific time, as part of a rotation with other healers.
  • Ironbark Icon Ironbark should be used to reduce the damage a tank is taking during critical moments (such as when important boss abilities are about to be cast). In the absence of such situations, you should just use it on players who are taking damage. You may be assigned to use this at a specific time, as part of a rotation with other healers and the tanks' own cooldowns.
  • Genesis Icon Genesis is too expensive to be used widely. The only time worth using this ability is when Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend and Nature's Swiftness Icon Nature's Swiftness are both on cooldown, you have to move, and you have two Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation effects on someone.
  • Nature's Swiftness Icon Nature's Swiftness should be used on cooldown.

We cover the cooldowns that are obtainable from talents, as well as a few additional details regarding your default cooldowns, in our detailed cooldowns section.

3. Optional Read: Mastering Your Restoration Druid↑top

While playing correctly as a Restoration Druid does effectively rely on using the above spells as we recommend, there is more you need to understand to maximise your performance.

3.1. Understanding Your Spells

In order to make the best use of your heals, it is important that you familiarise yourself with their strengths and weaknesses.

Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation is an instant cast periodic heal which will make up the highest amount of your healing at the end of most fights. It also provides a small initial heal. It is not very costly, and as long as it will not overheal, it is always Mana efficient to use it.

Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth is a spell that heals 5 (6 with Glyph of Wild Growth Icon Glyph of Wild Growth) low health raid members over 7 seconds. It is very expensive, so its usage should be restricted to when there is a lot of burst damage that you have to heal.

Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend heals the target for a moderate amount. It is instant cast, and it has a 15-second cooldown, but it can only be cast on targets who have a HoT on them from either Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation or Regrowth Icon Regrowth.

Lifebloom Icon Lifebloom is a healing over time spell that can only be on one target at one time. You should always keep Lifebloom running on a target who is taking constant damage, such as the tank. Lifebloom is automatically refreshed by Regrowth and Healing Touch, and when it expires (or is dispelled), it heals for an additional amount.

Wild Mushroom Icon Wild Mushroom allows you to place a mushroom at the location of a targeted raid member. If using Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom Icon Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom, then you can choose the location where to place the mushroom freely. The mushroom creates a healing zone at that location, that heals 3 injured allies in it over 30 seconds. Only 1 mushroom can be placed at a time.

Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch is an relatively cheap heal with a long cast time that heals for a moderately high amount.

Regrowth Icon Regrowth is an emergency heal. It has a high Mana cost and a low cast time. It heals for a large amount instantly and a smaller amount over 12 seconds.

3.2. Procs and Mechanics

As a Restoration Druid, you have quite a few things that you must keep track of and react accordingly to. Other than using the appropriate spell for the type of damage that is being done, this is really all there is to playing to your maximum potential.

3.2.1. Mastery: Harmony

Your Mastery, Mastery: Harmony Icon Mastery: Harmony, has two effects:

  • A permanent boost to your direct healing. While this is a welcome buff, it is not very impressive, since the vast majority of your healing will come from your HoTs.
  • A temporary, 20 second boost to your periodic healing, each time you cast a direct heal. This part of your Mastery is very strong.

It is important to make sure that the self-buff from your Mastery never drops off. This means you need to cast at least one direct heal every 20 seconds. Since you should be using Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend practically on cooldown, the requirement is very lax.

3.2.2. Clearcasting Procs

Each time your Lifebloom Icon Lifebloom ticks, you have a 4% chance to get a proc from Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity, making your next Regrowth Icon Regrowth, cast within 15 seconds, cost no Mana. You should use these Regrowths freely, as soon as you receive them, to avoid the procs from overwriting.

3.2.3. Living Seed

Living Seed Icon Living Seed requires a mention as well, even though its benefit is entirely passive and you will not really have to keep track of it in any way.

When you critically heal a target with the direct healing portion of Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend, Regrowth Icon Regrowth, or Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch, you place a buff on them, lasting 15 seconds. When the target is attacked, the buff is consumed and the target is healed for 50% of the amount healed by the spell that triggered Living Seed in the first place.

As we said, this happens passively, but you should still be aware of its existence.

3.3. Detailed Cooldown Usage

In this section, we explain in depth how to use your cooldowns.

3.3.1. Tranquility

Tranquility Icon Tranquility is a channeled spell that heals all raid members for a large amount of health over 8 seconds. It is an extremely powerful spell. It is best used during times of very heavy raid damage.

You should use Tranquility when you can channel it for its full duration (or at least very close to its full duration).

3.3.2. Ironbark

Ironbark Icon Ironbark should simply be used on the tank, when they are taking a large amount of damage, or on another player who is targeted by a powerful boss mechanic.

In addition to reducing the damage that the target takes, Ironbark also increases your healing done to them by your HoTs by 20%.

3.3.3. Genesis

Genesis Icon Genesis should be used sparingly, because of its high mana cost. In fact, you will find that the only times to use this ability are very rare cases when you cannot cast anything else while moving.

3.3.4. Nature's Swiftness

Nature's Swiftness Icon Nature's Swiftness should be used on cooldown, or as close to it as possible. You will find it most beneficial to use it with Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch. This macro may prove useful for the purpose.

3.3.5. Tier 2 Talents

Your Tier 2 talent of choice should be used as follows:

  • Ysera's Gift Icon Ysera's Gift is entirely passive, so you do not need to worry about it.
  • Renewal Icon Renewal should be used whenever you have taken damage, as an easy and free way to heal yourself.
  • Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward should be used on cooldown on a player who is taking constant damage (such as a tank).

3.3.6. Tier 4 Talents

Your Tier 4 talent of choice should be used as we describe below.

Incarnation: Tree of Life Icon Incarnation: Tree of Life should be used as many times as possible during the encounter, whenever you feel it will benefit you the most. What exactly to do during Incarnation: Tree of Life Icon Incarnation: Tree of Life depends greatly on the situation that you used Tree of Life for. Generally, the best thing to do is to use Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth on cooldown.

You can also use Incarnation: Tree of Life Icon Incarnation: Tree of Life to maintain a decent amount of healing while moving, by making use of instant cast Regrowth Icon Regrowth. Though this technique is generally not the best use of Tree of Life, it can work situationally.

Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature should be used in such a way that its charges are always kept rolling.

If using Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest, you should use Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth to heal the raid during large bursts of damage.

3.3.7. Tier 6 Talents

Currently, Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild should be used as a healing cooldown. Once you cast it, simply enjoy the increased healing.

The same is true of Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil, although its cooldown is considerably lower.

If using Dream of Cenarius Icon Dream of Cenarius, the idea is that you will use Wrath Icon Wrath during periods of low damage to conserve mana, so that you can then make use of Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth (with your Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest tier 4 talent) to deal with the bursts of damage.

3.3.8. Tier 7 Talents

All your tier 7 talents are passive, so in general you do not have very much to worry about. That said, a few changes are mandated.

If you are using Moment of Clarity Icon Moment of Clarity, then make sure to use as many Regrowth Icon Regrowths as possible in the 5-second window.

If you are using Germination Icon Germination, you will passively benefit from the increased duration of Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation. In addition to this, you will have the option of applying (and maintaining) two Rejuvenations on the same target. This will obviously drain your Mana if you over-use it, so you will have to apply it according to your circumstances.

Rampant Growth Icon Rampant Growth removes the cooldown from Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend, but causes it to consume the HoTs active on the target you use it on. If you wish to be as economical as possible, then you should only use Swiftmend when the target's HoTs are about to expire. Doing so, however, is not really feasible whenever there are large amounts of raid damage. If you use Swiftmend aggressively, consuming HoTs, but benefiting from its lack of cooldown, your throughput will temporarily increase, allowing you to respond better to damage, but it will hurt your Mana efficiency in the long run.

3.4. Restoration Druid Playstyle

As a Restoration Druid, you cannot simply "react" to the damage that is happening in the encounter, since most of your spells are HoTs. While you can react to bursts of damage with spells such as Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend and Regrowth Icon Regrowth, this is not your best asset.

Instead, you should become familiar with the way in which damage occurs in the encounter you are progressing on, and you should always prepare for it accordingly. This means that you should be able to do the following things:

  • Have Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation already up on players before the damage occurs.
  • Use Wild Mushroom Icon Wild Mushroom to place a healing zone under a group of players just as damage is about to occur.
  • Have Lifebloom Icon Lifebloom and Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation always on the tank, even if you are not assigned to it.
  • Know ahead of time when you will use Tranquility Icon Tranquility.

Indeed, these are the most important things that you must plan ahead for as a Restoration Druid. The rest of your gameplay will have to do with keeping up your Mastery: Harmony Icon Mastery: Harmony buff, making good use of your Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity procs and using spells such as Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend and Regrowth Icon Regrowth to respond to unexpected damage.

4. Changelog↑top

  • 10 Dec. 2014: Updated several sections of the guide, particularly with regard to the ideal use of Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth and Genesis Icon Genesis.