Restoration Druid DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Nov 23, 2020 at 05:30 by Torty 34 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to DPS as a Restoration Druid in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. We cover rotation, talents, stat priority, gear advice, etc.

1.

Introduction to DPS as Restoration Druid

One of the main reasons to do damage as a healer is that damage is damage. Whether it comes from the tank, a DPS, or a healer, all damage contributes equally towards killing the boss. If you are neglecting your damage, you are hindering your group's chances at a kill by lowering the overall damage output.

While not being as noticeable in raids, the difference between 0 damage healer in a Mythic+ dungeon and a healer that actively uses his damage abilities can be up to 10% of the total group DPS. It is important to remember that enemies only die when their Health reaches zero, not based on the amount of time your allies spend at 100% Health. In some situations you can afford to heal your group between the pulls instead of during them.

In order to do the most damage possible you will have to spec either Feral Affinity Icon Feral Affinity or Balance Affinity Icon Balance Affinity and constantly juggle between Cat Form Icon Cat Form or Moonkin Form Icon Moonkin Form and your normal caster form.

With the addition of Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild, Balance Affinity Icon Balance Affinity starts doing more damage for Night Fae players, in most scenarios. Feral Affinity Icon Feral Affinity is still important to learn for some solo content. On this page we will discuss both of these affinities.

2.

Spells and Passives Summary

2.1.

Caster Form

  • Moonfire Icon Moonfire is a strong single target DoT.
  • Sunfire Icon Sunfire is a strong AoE DoT.
  • Wrath Icon Wrath is a weak single target damage spell.
2.2.

Moonkin Form

  • Starfire Icon Starfire is a strong cleave spell that does damage to all targets around your main target.
  • Starsurge Icon Starsurge is a strong single target spell that increases the power of your Eclipse Icon Eclipse. It has a 10-second cooldown.
2.3.

Cat Form

  • Shred Icon Shred is a medium strength single target attack. It generates a Combo Point.
  • Rake Icon Rake is a very strong single target DoT. It generates a Combo Point.
  • Swipe Icon Swipe is a strong AoE attack. It generates a Combo Point if it hits at least one target. Also usable in Bear Form Icon Bear Form for no cost and no cooldown, but does less damage than Cat Form Icon Cat Form version. Can not hit more than 5 targets.
  • Rip Icon Rip is a very strong single target DoT. It uses up to 5 Combo Points.
  • Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite is a strong single target attack. It uses up to 5 Combo Points. It can use up to 25 extra Energy to deal up to 100% extra damage.
  • Maim Icon Maim is a single target stun that deals mediocre damage. The duration of the stun is equal to the amount of Combo Points used.
  • Prowl Icon Prowl activates Cat Form Icon Cat Form and puts you in Stealth. While stealthed, Shred Icon Shred will deal 60% extra damage and have double the chance to critically strike; Rake Icon Rake will stun the target and deal 60% extra damage.

Pandemic is a passive effect that makes it so that when refreshing your periodic damage or healing effects, the remaining duration is added to the new one, up to a total maximum of 130% of the base duration. Understanding this effect is very important to maximising your damage. For example, if you attempt to refresh Moonfire Icon Moonfire (16-second base duration) at 10 seconds left, the new duration will become 16 + (16 * 0.3) = 20.8 seconds. You will want to refresh your DoTs in a so-called Pandemic window, which is defined as any time before the DoT expiration and 30% of its maximum duration. For the Moonfire example, it will be a time frame between 0 and 4.8 seconds. Casting Moonfire at this point will add full 16 seconds, ensuring you lose no damage and your DoT is always on the target dealing damage.

3.

Rotation for Balance Affinity

Before we explain the Balance Affinity Icon Balance Affinity DPS rotation, we will need to explain how Eclipse Icon Eclipse works. Eclipse reduces the cast time of the approprite filler by 8% and increases the damage dealt by Wrath Icon Wrath by 20% and increases the Critical Strike chance Starfire Icon Starfire by 20%. Every Starsurge Icon Starsurge in this window further increases this bonus by 4%. You can not enter the same Eclipse twice in a row unless you wait ~30 seconds out of combat.

The rotation itself is pretty simple so we will jump straight into it:

3.1.

1-2 Targets

  1. Keep Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire up.
  2. Enter available Eclipse. Prioritise Solar if possible.
  3. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge on cooldown.
  4. Cast appropriate single target spell for the Eclipse.
3.2.

3-5 Targets

  1. Keep Moonfire Icon Moonfires and Sunfire Icon Sunfire up.
  2. Enter Lunar Eclipse whenever available. Ignore Solar Eclipses when you enter them.
  3. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge on cooldown.
  4. Cast Starfire Icon Starfire.
3.3.

6+ Targets

  1. Keep Sunfire Icon Sunfire up.
  2. Enter Lunar Eclipse whenever available. Ignore Solar Eclipses when you enter them.
  3. Cast Starfire Icon Starfire.
3.4.

Using Convoke the Spirits Effectively with Balance Affinity

You should always try to stand at least 10 yards away from any enemies when casting Convoke the Spirits Icon Convoke the Spirits in Moonkin Form Icon Moonkin Form. One of the spells that Convoke will heavily prioritise is Thrash Icon Thrash which just does horrible damage for Restoration Druids.

On single target make sure you apply both Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire, enter Solar Eclipse and only after that use Convoke the Spirits Icon Convoke the Spirits. The reason for that is that none of the spells cast within Convoke can trigger Eclipse Icon Eclipse, it will never re-apply Moonfire (giving you a higher chance to cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge), and it also has high chance to cast Wrath Icon Wrath on single target.

On more than one target apply Sunfire Icon Sunfire, enter Lunar Eclipse and then use Convoke the Spirits. You can cast 2-3 Moonfire Icon Moonfires before using it, but it does not make a very big difference either way.

4.

Rotation for Feral Affinity

One important thing to note is that you will receive 104% of your Intellect as Attack Power at all times. While technically your Cat Form Icon Cat Form and Bear Form Icon Bear Form abilities scale only from Attack Power, this conversion makes you scale very well from Intellect. It also means that Rake Icon Rake and Rip Icon Rip will deal full damage even when you are not in Cat or Bear forms.

4.1.

Basic Rotation for Feral Affinity

While utilising all of the 4 DoTs, 2 Combo Point generators and different finishers might look daunting at first, a large portion of your DPS can be done with rather simplistic rotations.

4.1.1.

1-2 Targets

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 Combo Points and the target has a long time to live. Otherwise use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.
  2. Keep Rake Icon Rake up.
  3. Keep Moonfire Icon Moonfire up.
  4. Keep Sunfire Icon Sunfire up.
  5. Use Shred Icon Shred to generate Combo Points on single target, Swipe Icon Swipe on two targets.
4.1.2.

3+ Targets

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 Combo Points and the target has a long time to live. Otherwise use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.
  2. Keep Sunfire Icon Sunfire up on all enemies.
  3. Use Swipe Icon Swipe.
4.2.

Advanced Rotation for Feral Affinity

There is a lot of depth to doing damage as a Restoration Druid. Some universal tricks you can use are described below.

  • Always try to open on the enemy with Rake Icon Rake out of Prowl Icon Prowl unless stun diminishing returns are important on this particular enemy. Do not pandemic refresh this Rake early, let it drop and immediately apply a new one. It is a DPS increase as long as you cast a new one within 2 seconds of letting it drop.
  • Night Elf racial Shadowmeld Icon Shadowmeld is considered stealth, so you can use it while in Cat Form Icon Cat Form and then instantly apply Rake for 60% damage increase and a stun.
  • You can use Prowl Icon Prowl outside of combat in caster form to shift into Cat Form Icon Cat Form without triggering global cooldown.
  • Last two tricks can be used together. Cast Shadowmeld Icon Shadowmeld, then immediately use Prowl, then cast Rake Icon Rake to stun your target. Keep in mind that you will only leave combat when fighting trash packs, as bosses keep you in combat at all times.
4.2.1.

Single Target

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 Combo Points and target has long time to live.
  2. Use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite at 50 Energy and 5 Combo Points and if there are more than 12 seconds left on Rip Icon Rip.
  3. Keep Rake Icon Rake up.
  4. Keep Moonfire Icon Moonfire up.
  5. Keep Sunfire Icon Sunfire up.
  6. Use Shred Icon Shred to generate Combo Points.

You want to use as little amount of global cooldowns as possible on shifting into Cat Form Icon Cat Form. Try to refresh Sunfire Icon Sunfire as late as possible and immediately after refresh Moonfire Icon Moonfire, even if it is not in a Pandemic window yet.

4.2.2.

2-3 Targets

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 Combo Points and target has long time to live.
  2. Keep Sunfire Icon Sunfire up on all targets.
  3. Keep Rake Icon Rake up on all targets.
  4. Keep Moonfire Icon Moonfire up on all targets.
  5. Use Swipe Icon Swipe to generate Combo Points.

Do not cast Sunfire Icon Sunfire until enemies are clumped up. Ideally you want to spend only 1 global cooldown to put Sunfire on everyone.

4.2.3.

4+ Targets

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 Combo Points.
  2. Keep Sunfire Icon Sunfire up on all targets.
  3. Use Swipe Icon Swipe to generate Combo Points.

While Rip Icon Rip is a DPS increase to use over Swipe Icon Swipe, but it is very rare that 5+ target packs live long enough for it to be worth casting. Most of the time you will sit on 5 Combo Points and continue spamming Swipe.

5.

Stat Priority

In general, equipping the highest item level pieces without Mastery on them will give you the highest damage. If you have equal item level pieces, then you will want to prioritise the in the following ways.

5.1.

Single Target

  1. Intellect
  2. Haste
  3. Versatility
  4. Critical Strike
5.2.

2+ Targets

  1. Intellect
  2. Haste
  3. Versatility
  4. Critical Strike
6.

Changelog

  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated with Balance affinity rotations.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
Show more
Show less