Restoration Druid DPS Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Sep 03, 2018 at 14:13 by Torty 39 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

This page shows you how to efficiently DPS as a Restoration Druid, showing you the proper rotation and talent build to choose. It also contain information about stats, gear and proper Azerite traits for DPSing. This page is updated for World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth 8.0.1.

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

About Our Author

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Torty, one of the main Restoration Druid theorycrafters. He is an author of the Twig It spreadsheet and DPS action priority list. He currently raids in Pure.

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 Feral Affinity Icon Feral Affinity and constantly juggle between Cat Form Icon Cat Form and your normal caster form. This technique is usually called "catweaving".

2. Spells and Passives Summary

2.1. Caster Form

2.2. 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.
  • 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 and it refreshes Rip Icon Rip when used on targets with less than 25% Health. It can use up to 25 extra Energy to deal up to 100% extra damage.
  • Prowl Icon Prowl activates Cat Form Icon Cat Form and puts you in Stealth. While stealthed, Shred Icon Shred will deal 50% extra damage and have double the chance to critically strike; Rake Icon Rake will stun the target and deal 100% extra damage.

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.

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. Basic Rotation

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.

3.1. 1-2 Targets

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 Combo Points and the target has a long time to live or is higher than 25% Health. 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 Innervate Icon Innervate when you run low on Energy.
  6. Use Shred Icon Shred to generate Combo Points on single target, Swipe Icon Swipe on two targets.

3.2. 3+ Targets

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 Combo Points and the target has a long time to live or is higher than 25% Health. Otherwise use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.
  2. Keep Sunfire Icon Sunfire up on all enemies.
  3. Use Swipe Icon Swipe.
  4. Use Innervate Icon Innervate when you run out of Energy and continue spamming Swipe Icon Swipe.

4. Advanced Rotation

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

  • Try to use Innervate Icon Innervate after refreshing caster form DoTs to get the most time inside Cat Form Icon Cat Form without having to shift out.
  • Always try to open on the enemy with Rake Icon Rake out of Prowl Icon Prowl. 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 100% 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. To make this even better, if you couple Innervate Icon Innervate with Shadowmeld, you can get 1 extra global cooldown of free Cat Form abilities. Keep in mind that you will only leave combat when fighting trash packs, as bosses keep you in combat at all times.

4.1. Single Target

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 combo points and target has long time to live or is higher than 25% Health. Replace Rip with Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite when enemy drops below 25% Health.
  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 Innervate Icon Innervate when you run low on Energy.
  7. Use Shred Icon Shred to generate combo points.

It is acceptable to use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite at any amount of combo points below 25% if it will refresh Rip Icon Rip that will fall off before you reach 5 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. 2-4 Targets

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 combo points and target has long time to live or is higher than 25% Health. Replace Rip with Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite when enemy drops below 25% Health.
  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 Innervate Icon Innervate when you run low on Energy.
  6. Use Swipe Icon Swipe to generate combo points.

Once enemies reach sub-25% Health, you can use a 1 Combo Point-Rip Icon Rip and then use a 3 Combo Point-Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite to refresh it. It will create a full 5 Combo Point Rip. It is only worth it if enemies will survive full Rip duration. It is acceptable to use 25 Energy-Ferocious Bites to refresh Rip if there are multiple of them running and you struggle with Energy management.

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.

4.3. 5+ Targets

  1. Use Rip Icon Rip whenever you have 5 Combo Points.
  2. Keep Sunfire Icon Sunfire up on all targets.
  3. Use Innervate Icon Innervate when you run low on Energy.
  4. Use Swipe Icon Swipe to generate Combo Points.

While Rip Icon Rip is a DPS increase to use over Swipe Icon Swipe until about 10 targets, 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.

When fighting big trash packs you can use Bear Form Icon Bear Form version of Swipe Icon Swipe when you run out of Energy. It will deal slightly less damage than its Cat Form Icon Cat Form counterpart, but it is still better than applying Moonfire Icon Moonfire or waiting for Energy to regenerate.

5. Stat Priority

Just like for any DPS spec, you will want to sim yourself to generate the best stat weights. 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. Critical Strike
  3. Versatility
  4. Haste

5.2. 2+ Targets

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

6. Gear and Azerite Traits

For more information about the best Trinkets and Azerite traits to DPS as a Restoration Druid, please read our Restoration Druid simulations page.

7. Changelog

  • 03 Sep. 2018: Added DPS guide for Restoration Druid.
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