Restoration Druid Healing Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Dragonflight 10.2
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Restoration Druid, depending on the type of damage your group is receiving. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your healing output and your mana efficiency. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.2.
If you were looking for WotLK Classic content, please refer to our WotLK Classic Restoration Druid rotation.
Welcome to our Rotation page for Restoration Druids. On this page, you will find everything you need to know about playing the spec in Raiding and Mythic+ scenarios.
If the rotations below seem overwhelming, you can visit our Easy Mode page, which outlines a close-to-optimal rotation in simpler terms.
The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation tips, please visit our PvP page below.
Rotation / Playstyle for Restoration Druids
Your exact healing playstyle as a Restoration Druid will depend on what targets you have to heal, which is normally very closely related to the environment in which you are healing (raids or dungeons).
Tier Bonuses Effect on Rotations and Talents
Druid Restoration 10.2 Class Set 2pc has absolutely no effect on your rotation at all. You will change your Convoke the Spirits to Incarnation: Tree of Life for your raid spec, at the very least. You can run it in Mythic+, too, but it is still a lot weaker in dungeons than in raids.
Druid Restoration 10.2 Class Set 4pc will make you pay more attention to Omen of Clarity procs and spec into Tranquil Mind.
When healing the raid, you should do the following. Remember that after acquiring the Druid Restoration 10.2 Class Set 2pc, you should be playing Incarnation: Tree of Life.
- Keep Efflorescence under a group of players, usually melee.
- Keep Lifebloom on yourself, if you have Photosynthesis.
- Use Innervate during low to moderate damage moments and try to fit both Efflorescence, Swiftmend, and Wild Growth in the duration.
- Use Swiftmend and follow it with Wild Growth. Never use one without the other.
- Use Grove Guardians charges, make sure you never sit on 3 charges for any prolonged period of time.
- Keep Rejuvenation on an active tank and any players with debuffs. Be sure to cast fewer Rejuvenations to keep your Mana for Flourish windows.
- Start casting Rejuvenations about 15-20 seconds before you plan on using Flourish.
- During downtime, use Moonfire and Sunfire on enemies to help with the damage.
- You can be filling your free global cooldowns with Wrath. It is generally more Mana neutral to cast Wrath than Rejuvenation, but it does not do a lot of damage.
Try to line Grove Guardians up for higher damage portions and for when you have Incarnation: Tree of Life on cooldown to get the cooldown reduction.
Be careful with casting both Moonfire and Sunfire since they cost a lot of Mana, especially Sunfire. Sometimes, it is better to cast nothing rather than casting your DoTs in a raid environment.
Doing damage in Cat Form can put you in difficult situations or even outright wipe the raid when used without full knowledge of the fight. You are still considered a ranged and a healer in any shapeshift form. Therefore, you will be targeted by all mechanics that do not specifically target players based on distance.
When healing in a dungeon, it is important to remember that Restoration Druids have a lot of powerful tools to contribute to damage and crowd control besides keeping the group alive. Since the group is smaller than a typical raid, you will be able to produce a much more significant portion of DPS, which is essential in timed Mythic+ content.
A Restoration Druid's priority should be keeping the group alive. That does not necessarily mean keeping everyone at 100% Health or aiming to do so at all times possible. On some packs and affixes, you can afford to heal your group between the pulls or let the HoTs tick fully without resorting to single-target healing spam. Judging the damage intake of the group is the most important aspect of your success as a healer in dungeons.
During light to medium damage, you should aim to keep Lifeblooms up. Try to heal low damage using Adaptive Swarm, Soul of the Forest-powered Wild Growths, and Efflorescence. Spend the rest of the time doing damage. Managing to cast fewer Rejuvenations and Regrowths without letting anyone die will be your biggest DPS increase.
Grove Guardians add quite a lot of throughput, and they are off the global cooldown. You can also cast them out of any form. You can save multiple charges for heavy damage (even sitting on 3 charges for a time), or you can use them during low or medium damage to facilitate your damage contribution. The spell is really flexible, but can take a few runs to get used to.
During very heavy damage, you should aim to keep up as many Rejuvenations as possible, always to consume the Regrowth HoT to power Wild Growth with Soul of the Forest whenever 4 or more players are not at full Health and, otherwise, cast Regrowth. Efflorescence is a good spell to cast if you can ensure 3 players will be healed by it. Placing it before the pull is the preferred strategy. Ironbark anyone who might be in danger liberally, as its cooldown is too short to sit on. Tranquility can be used as a strong cooldown when needed.
There is more specific information on spell usage in Mythic+ on our Restoration Druid Mythic+ page.
If you want to read an in-depth guide on how to deal damage in dungeons, read the page linked below.
Cooldown Usage for Restoration Druids
As a Restoration Druid, you have a few healing cooldowns by default. Additionally, you can gain others depending on your talent choices. Your non-talent cooldowns should be used as follows:
- Tranquility should be used during heavy raid damage or when you are assigned to use it by your raid leader. It is recommended not to stack it with anything else. Casting Wild Growth before Tranquility is recommended to increase the benefits from Mastery.
- Innervate should be used as many times during the fight as possible. Refresh Efflorescence, cast Swiftmend with Wild Growth, and spam Rejuvenations during Innervate.
- Ironbark should be used to reduce the damage a tank is taking during critical moments (such as when special 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' cooldowns.
- Nature's Swiftness should be used with Regrowth. You can make a macro to use them together since Nature's Swiftness does not trigger a GCD. Use it as soon as someone drops low, and you think they will not live for a Regrowth cast to finish. Feel free to pop it often because the cooldown is relatively short.
- Flourish should be used as close to on cooldown as possible. Make sure each Flourish extends Wild Growth, as many Rejuvenations as possible, preferably Cenarion Ward if you are specced into it (in Mythic+ for example).
- Incarnation: Tree of Life is a very powerful cooldown. You should aim to use it to cover entire damage events. If those are too short, it is preferred to use Tree of Life a little before damage occurs to pre-HoT for less Mana. Tree of Life dramatically increases the efficiency of both Rejuvenation and Wild Growth. You should plan your Mana in a way that would allow you to cast during it continuously, even at the cost of significantly reduced output outside of Incarnation.
Convoke the Spirits Usage in Raids
It is not recommended to spec into Convoke after acquiring Druid Restoration 10.2 Class Set 2pc. This part is aimed at players who do not yet have this tier bonus.
The idea behind optimal Convoke usage is to pop it during Reforestation proc. To achieve that, you should be already at 2 stacks of Reforestation and have Swiftmend off cooldown.
Cast Swiftmend. Since you were on 2 stacks already, the third Swiftmend cast procs Incarnation: Tree of Life. Follow it with a Wild Growth cast. Use Convoke the Spirits straight after.
Optional Read: Mastering Your Restoration Druid
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 maximize your performance.
To be effective with Adaptive Swarm usage, you need to understand the basic principles of its usage. The easiest way to do that is to install Adaptive Swarm WeakAura. Your goal will be to stack Swarm higher (4-5 stacks) so that splits also give more stacks, thus increasing the total number of stacks long term, improving your heavily DoT and HoT playstyle oriented significantly.
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 being done, this is all there is to play to your maximum potential.
Your Mastery, Mastery: Harmony, increases your healing done to a target for each HoT that you have on that target at the time. Each HoT's healing is updated dynamically as soon as you apply another. With 10% Mastery, a single Rejuvenation will do 10% extra healing. If you apply Lifebloom to the same target, both HoTs will be doing 20% (10% + 10%) extra healing as long as they are both up. Once Rejuvenation fades, Lifebloom will continue ticking for 10% extra healing since it will be the only HoT present on the target. There are currently 12 HoTs that count towards our Mastery:
- Wild Growth;
- Regrowth's HoT portion;
- Tranquility's HoT portion;
- Cenarion Ward;
- Spring Blossoms;
- Frenzied Regeneration;
- Grove Tending;
- Adaptive Swarm.
It is important to note that this list is exhaustive. No trinket effect interacts, contribute, or otherwise benefits from Mastery. The Frenzied Regeneration from Well-Honed Instincts talent does not work with Mastery either. HoTs from Grove Guardians also do not contribute towards our Mastery. However, all their spells benefit from our own HoTs.
Each time your Lifebloom ticks, you have a 4% chance to get a proc from Omen of Clarity, making your next Regrowth, cast within 15 seconds, cost no Mana. You should use these Regrowths freely as soon as you receive them to avoid the procs overwriting each other.
Once you acquire Druid Restoration 10.2 Class Set 4pc, you will also start playing with Tranquil Mind. The chance of this effect occurring goes up to 5%, and you can get up to 2 charges, minimising the waste.
Detailed Cooldown Usage for Restoration Druids
In this section, we explain in depth how to use your cooldowns.
Tranquility is a channeled spell that heals all raid members for a large amount of Health over 8 seconds and leaves a stacking HoT behind. It is a potent spell. It is best used during times of hefty raid damage.
You should use Tranquility when you can channel it for its total duration (or at least very close to its full duration). It is acceptable to use either Barkskin, Ironbark, or both on yourself to ensure the entire cast without interruptions. You should Wild Growth before the cast to maximize Mastery contribution.
In raids, you will often use Dreamstate talent, which reduces all your cooldowns by 5 seconds per each Tranquility tick (for a maximum of 20 seconds). You generally want to use Tranquility after both Incarnation: Tree of Life and Flourish are on cooldown.
Ironbark should be used on the tank when they are taking a large amount of damage or on another player targeted by a powerful boss mechanic.
Innervate is not strictly a throughput cooldown, but it is still a crucial part of a Restoration Druid's kit. It has a 3-minute cooldown, and it places an 8-second buff on a friendly healer (which includes yourself), during which time all spells cast by the target cost no Mana.
Innervate is best used 10-15 seconds before you plan to use Flourish. You want to refresh your Efflorescence during it, so you also want to time Innervate when Efflorescence has fewer than 10 seconds left on its duration. You want to cast Swiftmend, Wild Growth, and as many Rejuvenations as your Haste allows. Timing it together with any Haste procs or Heroism/ Bloodlust is an excellent strategy.
Convoke the Spirits
Convoke the Spirits is an important part of the Druid's kit in raids. You should aim to use it as often as possible during damage events. Make sure you have some HoTs up before using it since you would waste Flourish procs otherwise. Preferably, you want to pair Convoke with other cooldowns or procs, such as Flourish or Reforestation procs.
Another trick for Convoke is to use Nature's Swiftness right before casting it. All Regrowths from Convoke will be empowered, resulting in a moderate burst increase. Make sure to use Regrowth after consuming Nature's Swiftness and put it on cooldown. Otherwise, having it with the next Convoke will be very hard.
Mana management is the most important aspect of playing a Restoration Druid. How you allocate it in a fight determines how well you will perform. Going out of Mana too early or not using your entire pool during a boss fight are the most common misplays.
- In cases where you are unfamiliar with a fight or healing team, you can start by matching your Mana bar percentage to the boss's Health percentage. Make adjustments in later pulls.
- You are supposed to utilize available cooldowns to their full potential. Good Flourish bursts, getting off Tranquility as often as possible, and keeping high uptime on Efflorescence and Lifebloom are going to be the most defining elements of your raid throughput. These points lead to encounter knowledge, and familiarity with mechanics and timings will yield the most significant returns. Even experienced players take quite a few pulls to familiarise themselves with each boss fight.
- Learn to control Mana usage in maintenance mode. Low-cost spells do not necessarily imply a good Mana investment. For example, it is almost always better not to cast a few Rejuvenations during soft damage but instead cast one Wild Growth because it will do more healing per Mana or even let other healers handle the damage. Since Druids are not able to afford constant Rejuvenation spam, you have to resort to either not casting anything or doing damage using low Mana cost Wrath.
- 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2.
- 31 Aug. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.7.
- 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
- 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.
- 24 Mar. 2023: Changed rotation recommendations for raiding.
- 20 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
- 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 29 Dec. 2022: Minor fixes.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Small updates to Mythic+ rotation and tier set advice.
- 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
- 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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