Restoration Druid Healing Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Dec 10, 2018 at 19:59 by Torty 39 comments

Welcome to our Restoration Druid guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. Here, you will learn how to heal as a Restoration Druid in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons. We cover everything from the basics all the way to min-maxing techniques to optimize your output.

1. Restoration Druid Overview

Restoration Druids specialise in maintaining a steady stream of healing on a few targets in the raid and offer strong bursts of healing after using cooldowns. Restoration Druids also do well when healing a small amount of targets for a prolonged period of time(such as players with debuffs).

Restoration Druids suffer in general when they have to react to damage for which they were not prepared and when they did not have the time to set up their HoTs ahead of time. Tranquility Icon Tranquility and Flourish Icon Flourish offer strong burst healing when needed.

In order to properly play a healing role, you will need more than just class-specific information. To better understand healing in general, we recommend that you read our healing guide.

2. Patch 8.1 Changes for Restoration Druids

  • Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth healing increased by 10%.
  • Tranquility Icon Tranquility direct healing decreased by 10%. Tranquility heal over time decreased by 40%.
  • New Azerite Trait: Early Harvest Icon Early Harvest, replacing Fungal Essence. When Wild Growth expires it heals the target for a moderate amount if they’re injured or reduces the cooldown of Innervate Icon Innervate by 1 second if they’re full health.
  • New Azerite Trait: Switch Hitter Icon Switch Hitter, replacing Azerite Fortification. An ability from your chosen Affinity grants an additional bonus for 20 sec: Starsurge Icon Starsurge: 287 Leech; Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite: 287 Speed; Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration: 287 Avoidance.
  • Autumn Leaves Icon Autumn Leaves Azerite trait healing bonus reduced significantly. Now also increases the duration of Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation by 1 second.
  • Lively Spirit Icon Lively Spirit Azerite trait Intellect gain reduced. Now restores 0.5% Mana per spell cast.
  • Ephemeral Recovery Icon Ephemeral Recovery Azerite trait no longer provides a stackable Mana regeneration buff. Instead it restores small amount of Mana when you fall below 20% Mana. 3-minute cooldown.

3. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Restoration Druids

  • Healing Touch has been removed.
  • Living Seed has been removed.
  • Some abilities that were not on the global cooldown before are now affected by it, including Incarnation: Tree of Life Icon Incarnation: Tree of Life, Dash Icon Dash, Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration, and Innervate Icon Innervate.
  • Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend cooldown has been reduced to 25 seconds, down from 30.
  • Regrowth Icon Regrowth base Critical Strike chance has been removed. The healing over time effect has been slightly buffed.
  • Rebirth Icon Rebirth cast time has been increased to 2 seconds from instant.
  • Bear Form Icon Bear Form Stamina increase has been reduced to +25%, down from +55%.
  • Tranquility Icon Tranquility now leaves a healing over time effect on all targets healed. It stacks 5 times.
  • Ironbark Icon Ironbark cooldown has been reduced to 60 seconds, down from 90 seconds.
  • Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration no longer heals based on incoming damage. Instead, it now heals for 24% of maximum Health over 3 seconds. The cooldown has been increased to 36 seconds. Cooldown is now affected by Haste. Charges have been reduced to 1, down from 2.
  • Shred Icon Shred and Mangle Icon Mangle are now baseline and do not require Feral Affinity Icon Feral Affinity or Guardian Affinity Icon Guardian Affinity.
  • Dash Icon Dash's duration has been reduced to 10 seconds, down from 15. Its cooldown has been reduced to 2 minutes, down from 3.
  • Innervate Icon Innervate duration has been increased to 12 seconds, up from 10.
  • Hibernate Icon Hibernate has been added.
  • Soothe Icon Soothe has been added.

4. Restoration Druid Strengths

  • A lot of high-impact cooldowns
  • Ability to sustain decent healing on the move
  • The best tank cooldown in the game
  • Very good survivability

5. Restoration Druid Weaknesses

  • Below average throughput without cooldowns
  • Very punishing in case of mistimed cooldowns
  • Bad spot healing

6. Restoration Druid Viability

Restoration Druid's role in the raid edges slightly more towards healing big damage spikes. We retain all the powerful options we had before to do so: Incarnation: Tree of Life Icon Incarnation: Tree of Life, Flourish Icon Flourish, and Tranquility Icon Tranquility. Unfortunately, this playstyle leads to a significant loss in steady healing throughout a fight. However, being able to cover harder parts of the encounters has been historically a very strong niche to fill, assuming your throughput is competitive with other healers in the raid.

For dungeon content Restoration Druids remain one of the higher DPS healers while providing substantial healing throughput, and having an access to a wide variety of utility spells for almost any situation. All of this makes Druids one of the better healers both for lower level Mythic+ farming and high level Mythic+ key pushing.

7. Changelog

  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (bosses page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (DPS guide): Updated for 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): Update for Patch 8.1.
  • 29 Oct. 2018 (simulations page): Updated simulations for 370 item level.
  • 12 Oct. 2018 (talents page): Changed talent recommendations.
  • 12 Oct. 2018 (mythic+ page): Changed talent recommendations.
  • 12 Oct. 2018 (this page): Updated strengths and weaknesses.
  • 01 Oct. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket rankings.
  • 21 Sep. 2018 (bosses page): Added some suggestions for Mythic versions of the bosses.
  • 21 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Changed trait recommendations based on Uldir data.
  • 20 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated Azerite trait rankings and talent suggestions.
  • 18 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Adjusted trait rankings based on Archive of the Titans hotfix. Added PvP traits.
  • 09 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket rankings for latest hotfixes.
  • 07 Sep. 2018 (bosses page): Updated recommendations for Fetid Devourer.
  • 07 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Adjusted Azerite trait rankings based on Uldir data.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (DPS guide): Added DPS guide for Restoration Druid.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (simulations page): Page created.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (talents page): Updated Feral and Balance affinity recommendations.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Adjusted Azerite trait rankings, changed recommended Azerite pieces.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (bosses page): Updated talents.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated Azerite trait rankings, added optimal dungeon Azerite pieces.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket rankings.
  • 23 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Removed Doom's Hatred from the trinket list.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Added detailed Azerite trait rankings.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Tradewinds and Incite the Pack traits, adjusted rankings.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Added Dinobone Charm and Leyshock's Grand Compilation trinkets.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Weapon choice clarification.
  • 16 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket rankings.
  • 16 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added some questions.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (bosses page): Page added.
  • 10 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Adjusted for Beta hotfixes, added tiered rankings.
  • 08 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Clarifications for some traits.
  • 08 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Added page.
  • 08 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated talent selections for recent hotfixes.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Engineering traits.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added page.
  • 05 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Adjusted data for Beta build hotfixes.
  • 03 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added.
  • 03 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Fixed a couple of typos.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (stats page): Added Healer Stat Weights addon instead of RDSW2 WeakAura.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Updated description of Spring Blossoms talent.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (addons page): Added Healer Stat Weights addon.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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