Restoration Druid Healing Spec, Builds, and Talents — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Restoration Druid in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.
1. Talent Choices for Restoration Druid
|15||✓ Abundance||✗ Prosperity||✓ Cenarion Ward|
|30||✓ Tiger Dash||✗ Renewal||✓ Wild Charge|
|45||✗ Balance Affinity||? Feral Affinity||✓ Guardian Affinity|
|60||? Mighty Bash||? Mass Entanglement||? Typhoon|
|75||✗ Soul of the Forest||✓ Cultivation||✓ Incarnation: Tree of Life|
|90||? Inner Peace||? Stonebark||? Spring Blossoms|
|100||✓ Photosynthesis||? Germination||✓ Flourish|
Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.
2. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Restoration Druids
|✔ Abundance||✘ Prosperity||✔ Cenarion Ward|
- Prosperity causes Swiftmend to have 2 charges and a 22-second recharge time (instead of simply having a 25-second cooldown).
- Cenarion Ward is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown. It places a buff on an ally, lasting up to 30 seconds. When the player takes damage, Cenarion Ward activates a 8-second HoT on them, consuming Cenarion Ward in the process.
- Abundance causes each instance of Rejuvenation that you have active to reduce the Mana cost of Regrowth by 6% and increase its critical effect chance by 6%.
Abundance can be a strong talent both in dungeons and in raids. It provides stronger spot healing for dungeon healing and an efficient filler for raid healing. Low Rejuvenation duration is the only downside, since it might be hard to get to 5-7 stacks consistently, where Regrowth starts to edge out Rejuvenation in efficiency. As such, Abundance is only recommended at high Haste values and when Mana is not a concern.
3. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Restoration Druids
|✔ Tiger Dash||✘ Renewal||✔ Wild Charge|
- Renewal is an active ability with a 90-second cooldown. It heals you for 30% of your maximum health, it is usable in all shapeshift forms, and it is off the global cooldown.
- Tiger Dash replaces Dash with a 45-second cooldown, 200% movement speed sprint that decays over 5 seconds when activated.
- Wild Charge is an active ability that is off the global cooldown
and which differs based on the
shapeshift form you are in, as follows:
- No shapeshift form: you fly to an ally's location.
- Travel Form: you leap forward.
- Moonkin Form: you leap backwards.
- Bear Form: you charge an enemy, immobilising them for 4 seconds.
- Cat Form: you leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds.
- Aquatic Form: your swim speed is increased by 150% for 5 seconds.
In this tier, you will have to choose between two movement talents. Taking Renewal for survivability is generally unnecessary, as Restoration Druids are already one of the most durable specialisations. It is much better to take Guardian Affinity for that and have a movement tool available instead.
Wild Charge has a much shorter cooldown and travels the distance required a bit faster than Tiger Dash. The downsides are: a requirement to have a friendly person in range and a need to use a macro. Neither of the Wild Charge versions in forms offer as much reactive power, because of the global cooldown. While Wild Charge itself only incurs 0.5-second global cooldown, switching to any form puts you on normal global cooldown and only after it is over you will be able to use Wild Charge.
Tiger Dash's biggest downside is the fact that it replaces Dash. The movement speed increase is very strong, it is very easy to use. Although cooldown is a bit too long, Tiger Dash should be a fine choice, especially for dungeons and solo content.
4. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Restoration Druids
|✘ Balance Affinity||? Feral Affinity||✔ Guardian Affinity|
- Balance Affinity grants you the Astral Influence passive ability, which increases the range of all your abilities by 5 yards. Additionally, you gain access to the Balance-spec abilities Moonkin Form, Starsurge, and Lunar Strike.
- Feral Affinity grants you the Feline Swiftness passive ability, which increases your movement speed by 15%. Additionally, you gain access to the Feral-spec abilities Rake, Rip, Ferocious Bite, Swipe, and your energy regeneration is increased by 35%.
- Guardian Affinity grants you the Thick Hide passive ability, which reduces all your damage taken by 6%. Additionally, you gain access to the Guardian-spec abilities Thrash, Ironfur, and Frenzied Regeneration.
In this tier, the default choice should be Guardian Affinity. The passive damage reduction you gain is extremely valuable during progression content, and even the active abilities can be very beneficial. Notably, Frenzied Regeneration can be used after taking heavy damage in order to heal yourself for free. The HoT from Frenzied Regeneration scales with Mastery and contributes to it. In cases where you expect to take a heavy hit, you should put Rejuvenation on yourself beforehand to make Frenzied Regeneration even stronger.
Balance Affinity could be used for fights where the raid is spread out, due to the passive increase in the range of your abilities. A 5-yard increase is not much and will only see niche use on fights where both your survivability is not important and players are spread far enough for 5 yards to make a difference.
Feral Affinity offers the unique ability to deal substantial damage, both single target and AoE. This can be useful on progression content, to help your raid beat enrage timers, while leaving you with healthy amount of Mana for healing phases. For a few encounters, a passive movement speed increase can be considered as the sole reason to pick this talent.
5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Restoration Druids
|? Mighty Bash||? Mass Entanglement||? Typhoon|
- Mighty Bash is an active ability with a 50-second cooldown, which stuns the target for 5 seconds. It is usable in all shapeshift forms.
- Mass Entanglement is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown, which roots the target and all enemies within 15 yards of them in place for 30 seconds. Damage done to rooted targets may break the effect. Mass Entanglement is usable in all shapeshift forms.
- Typhoon is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown. It knocks back all targets within 15-yards in a cone in front of you, dazing them for 6 seconds. It is usable in all shapeshift forms.
The choice between these talents is irrelevant in terms of your performance. You will simply choose the one which you prefer most, or which best suits the encounter mechanics. That said, Typhoon will probably be the most useful talent in the majority of fights and dungeons.
6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Restoration Druids
|✘ Soul of the Forest||✔ Cultivation||✔ Incarnation: Tree of Life|
- Soul of the Forest causes Swiftmend to grant you a buff that increases the healing of your next Regrowth or Rejuvenation by 200%, or of your next Wild Growth by 75%.
- Incarnation: Tree of Life is an active ability with a 3-minute cooldown. It lasts for 30 seconds and increases all healing done by 15% as well as increasing your armor by 120% and making you immune to Polymorph effects. Moreover, it improves some of your spells.
- Cultivation causes Rejuvenation to place a 6-second HoT on targets that are below 60% health when Rejuvenation heals them.
Incarnation: Tree of Life is a very strong cooldown. Both the flat healing increase and the buff to Rejuvenation apply to spells you cast before activating Tree of Life and last through entire duration of the Tree. Tree of Life has a very good synergy with Flourish since it lines up with every second one. The only downside would be reduced Mastery value due to losing extra HoT stacks from Cultivation. Otherwise, this is a very strong raid and dungeon talent.
Soul of the Forest is too weak numerically to be considered for any content. Besides being weak, Soul of the Forest also requires you to use your emergency heal in a rotational manner. However, if you decide to use it, the buff is best used on either Regrowth or Wild Growth, depending on which type of healing you need. For maximum throughput it is advised to use it strictly with Wild Growth.
Incarnation: Tree of Life is a default option for raid content, while Cultivation is a default option for dungeon content. Soul of the Forest does not provide enough throughput or consistency the other two options give you.
7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Restoration Druids
|? Inner Peace||? Stonebark||? Spring Blossoms|
- Inner Peace reduces the cooldown of Tranquility by 60 seconds.
- Stonebark reduces the cooldown of Ironbark by 15 seconds and increases the healing of your HoTs on the target by 20%.
- Spring Blossoms places a 6-second HoT on targets who are healed by your Efflorescence.
Inner Peace is a very strong talent for raids. The power comes from fitting extra casts of Tranquility into a fight. In cases where it is impossible to do so due to either awkward timings, movement, or your raid cooldown assignments, it is advised to take Spring Blossoms instead. Inner Peace can have a niche use in Mythic+, especially on Bursting weeks. It will allow your group to make bigger pulls more often, which will speed up the clear.
Stonebark is a very niche talent, which mostly shines in tank healing scenarios. It substantially increases your Ironbark uptime and increases its power by quite a bit, making the target very unlikely to die to DoTs or strong hits. Stonebark is only useful in dungeon content and it is not advised to use it in raids.
Spring Blossoms requires a lot of players in the group to be stacked, because it makes your Efflorescence prioritise targets that do not have Spring Blossoms HoT on them and ignore the injured player rule. It is the most optimal if you can keep Efflorescence under 9 people or more consistently throughout the fight without moving it too often. The HoT effect is extended by Flourish, but does not speed up or scale with Haste, with the exception of Photosynthesis. You should pick this talent on stacked fights without much movement and very steady damage. Otherwise, Inner Peace would be the preferred choice.
8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Restoration Druids
|✔ Photosynthesis||? Germination||✔ Flourish|
- Photosynthesis makes all your HoTs heal 20% more — by giving them 20% Haste — while Lifebloom is on yourself. Alternatively, while Lifebloom is on another ally, each of your periodic heals on them has a 5% chance to cause a final bloom.
- Germination allows you to apply two Rejuvenations to the same target. When Rejuvenation is already applied on a target, a second cast of Rejuvenation applies a second version of the HoT. From this point on, as long as both HoTs are active on the target, Rejuvenation will always refresh the HoT with the shortest remaining duration.
- Flourish is an active ability with a 90-second cooldown. It extends the duration of all your HoTs within 60 yards by 8 seconds and speeds up their tick rate by 100%.
For raiding, the best talent in this tier is Flourish. The power of this cooldown is too strong to pass up on. Flourish can also be considered for dungeon healing.
Photosynthesis is, unfortunately, too weak for raid healing. While it provides a steady healing increase, it does so by removing Lifebloom as a source of tank healing. Lifebloom will mostly overheal while being on yourself, thus reducing the added throughput substantially. Photosynthesis is. however, one of the best Mythic+ options. Together with Cenarion Ward, Cultivation and Spring Blossoms it can be a flexible option for both group healing and tank healing.
Germination is a good option for dungeons, if you are struggling with keeping tanks or people with strong debuffs alive. Germination can find very niche use on certain raid encounters, which require very heavy tank healing and almost no relevant raid healing.
9. PvP Talents (War Mode)
In Battle for Azeroth, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:
- PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
- 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
- 10% more experience gained while leveling.
- Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.
With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be killed while leveling or doing World Quests exists.
9.1. Restoration Druid War Mode Talents
In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Restoration Druid-specific PvE talents.
9.1.1. General PvP Talents
- Relentless is a passive ability. It reduces the duration of crowd control effects applied to you.
- Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
- Adaptation will automatically remove loss of control effects over 5 seconds.
9.1.2. Restoration Druid PvP Talents
- Thorns is the only PvP talent that offers a direct damage increase. It is usable in any form and can provide significant damage on big pulls.
- Druid of the Claw makes your Bear Form even more resilient to reduce downtime or save you from potential player attacks.
Disentanglement, Nourish, Revitalize, Entangling Bark, Deep Roots, Focused Growth, Encroaching Vines, Early Spring, and Cyclone have limited effect on PvE content in terms of increasing your damage in the open world, or healing in a small group setting. Overgrowth is a good option to quickly heal yourself or someone else with close to no downtime.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated for Patch 8.1.
- 12 Oct. 2018: Changed talent recommendations.
- 03 Sep. 2018: Updated Feral and Balance affinity recommendations.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 08 Aug. 2018: Updated talent selections for recent hotfixes.
- 20 Jul. 2018: Updated description of Spring Blossoms talent.
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