Restoration Druid Healing Easy Mode — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we explain how to easily play Restoration Druid in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3, using the simplest rotation, talent tree, stat priority, gear setup, etc., without sacrificing performance.
This page is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialisation without being overwhelmed by the numerous subtleties and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.
The Basics of Restoration Druids
Restoration Druids rely on HoTs to set up strong bursts using Flourish. They do good healing on single targets, but they require some amount of time to set up their HoTs, and as such they require knowledge of the encounter in order prepare for the incoming damage.
Talent Choice for Restoration Druids
These are currently the best talent choices as a Restoration Druid:
- Level 15: Abundance
- Level 30: Tiger Dash
- Level 45: Guardian Affinity
- Level 60: Situational talents that will not affect performance. Preferred choice is usually Typhoon
- Level 75: Incarnation: Tree of Life (raids) or Cultivation (dungeons)
- Level 90: Spring Blossoms
- Level 100: Flourish (raids) or Photosynthesis (dungeons)
Stat Choice for Restoration Druids
Intellect is a bit lower in value than all secondaries, but each item level increase on a piece of gear will increase the amount of Intellect by a lot, thus making virtually any higher item level item an upgrade. The only exceptions are rings. You generally want to equip higher item level ones, but there might be small exceptions for those within 5 item levels. Gem sockets are worth 10-15 item levels. You can also drop 15-20 item levels for a piece with Leech and 5 item levels for a piece with Avoidance; doing more is too much of a survivability loss to be worth it.
Haste and Mastery are by far the strongest secondaries. Both are stronger than Intellect by a large margin in small group content, thus making it a possibility to drop 10 item levels on pieces with both stats compared to pieces with neither.
Azerite Traits and Essences for Restoration Druids
There are a few traits that are strong as long as you avoid using more than one of those. Your goal should be to pick up Azerite gear with single copies of good specialisation traits, fill the rest with good neutral traits, and make sure they have good defensive traits as well. Traits that you should consider looking for are mentioned below.
- Autumn Leaves provides good output even if you do not attempt to play around it in the raid setting. Avoid using more than one.
- Lively Spirit can be an extremely strong trait, if you manage to line up the Intellect buff with heavy damage. The Mana regeneration part does not stack, so it is best to only run one copy.
- Rampant Growth provides amazing throughput as long as you keep Lifebloom up and use Regrowth often on targets other than the Lifebloom one. Use only one copy of this trait.
- Grove Tending is a staple Mythic+ trait. It is so strong in small group content, that you should consider using subpar pieces just to have it. Do not use more than one.
- Heart of Darkness is an incredibly powerful neutral trait.
- Swirling Sands, Blightborne Infusion, Tradewinds, Incite the Pack are good neutral stat boost traits that you should consider using after getting specialisation traits. Critical Strike ones are slightly better for raiding and Mastery ones will be better for Mythic+.
- Resounding Protection is a defensive trait, but it can provide throughput competitive with traits in first tiers, sometimes even doing more.
- Impassive Visage is another defensive trait that you should consider when picking an Azerite item.
Essences have both Major and Minor powers, with Major powers typically being a new ability you can use, and the Minor powers granting you a passive buff of some kind. Good essences to aim for are:
- The Ever-Rising Tide — Major effect ( Overcharge Mana) is a must have in Mythic+ and extremely strong in raids. Consider getting this Essence as your priority due to its universal and unique strength.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams — a staple for raid healing, both Major and Minor parts ( Memory of Lucid Dreams and Lucid Dreams respectively). It provides the highest Mana regeneration of any Essence.
- Vision of Perfection — can be a strong choice in raid content as a Minor Essence ( Strive for Perfection).
- Conflict and Strife — is your best Minor Essence for any content ( Strife).
- Formless Void — is generally your best Minor essence in raids once you start reaching high throughput encounters (around 100 thousand HPS or more). It is also an extremely potent Mythic+ Major essence, if you are able to copy Essence of the Focusing Iris.
- Unwavering Ward — can be a strong choice in raid content as a Minor Essence.
- Spirit of Preservation — strong single-target healing Minor essence, which is often used in small group content.
Basic Raid Essence Combination
- Major Essence: Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams).
- Minor Essences: The Ever-Rising Tide ( The Ever-Rising Tide), Conflict and Strife ( Strife), Unwavering Ward ( Unwavering Ward).
Basic Mythic+ Essence Combination
- Major Essence: The Formless Void ( Replica of Knowledge).
- Minor Essences: The Ever-Rising Tide ( The Ever-Rising Tide), Conflict and Strife ( Strife), Spirit of Preservation ( Devout Spirit).
Basic Playstyle for Restoration Druids
It is important to note that Restoration Druids are unable to continuously cast Rejuvenation, as such we use DPS abilities as fillers to be able to maintain healthy Mana for burst phases. In cases of unfamiliarity with encounters you should match your Mana percentage to boss's Health percentage.
- Maintain Efflorescence under the melee group.
- Keep Lifebloom on an active tank.
- Use Clearcasting procs to cast Regrowth on any person in the raid.
- Use Cenarion Ward on cooldown.
- Use Flourish as often as possible. Make sure you have cast Wild Growth before using Flourish.
- Use Wild Growth when at least 6 members of the raid are damaged.
- Apply Rejuvenation to the active tank(s) and members of the raid who are taking or will take damage.
- You should be filling your free global cooldowns with Solar Wrath.
- Keep Lifebloom on an active tank.
- Keep Rejuvenation on the tank and on members of the group that just took damage or are about to take damage.
- Use Wild Growth when at least 4 members of the group are damaged.
- Use Tranquility, if the group is still taking heavy damage. It does 100% more healing in 5-man content.
- Use Swiftmend on a player that just took heavy damage. If they are not in immediate danger, you should apply Rejuvenation to them first.
- Use Regrowth as an emergency heal.
- During downtime, use Moonfire, Sunfire and Solar Wrath on enemies to help with the damage.
Cooldown Usage for Restoration Druids
- Tranquility should be used during heavy raid damage or when you are assigned to use it by your raid leader. Casting Wild Growth before Tranquility is recommended to increase the benefits from Mastery. In cases where Tranquility might be too dangerous to cast, you might want to use either Barkskin, Ironbark or even both on yourself.
- Innervate should be used as many times during the fight as possible. Refresh Efflorescence, cast Wild Growth, and spam Rejuvenations during Innervate.
- Incarnation: Tree of Life should be used during heavy raid damage, often paired with Innervate (when using Lively Spirit trait) and Flourish.
- Flourish should be used during heavy raid damage. Ideally, you should use it together with Wild Growth.
- 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 it at a specific time, as part of a rotation with other healers and the tanks' own cooldowns.
- 23 Apr. 2020: Slight changes to essence and talent recommendations.
- 15 Jan. 2020: Added Essence priority.
- 13 Jan. 2020: Updated for Patch 8.3.
- 13 Jul. 2019: Updated for Season 3.
- 25 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 15 Apr. 2019: This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated for 8.1 changes.
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