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Restoration Druid PvP Guide (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Apr 04, 2018 at 16:07 by Mysticall 3 comments

Table of Contents


This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Restoration Druid in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, artifacts, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Restoration Druids

Restoration Druids are the jack-of-all-trade healers. They are the best healer to date and continue to dominate other healers in the Arena. With high amounts of mobility, strong single target and spread healing and powerful defensives, they are unmatched. With all of these tools, they are also the hardest healer to master. It is not a healing spec that can be learned in a day.

1.1. Strengths of Restoration Druids

  • Great control
  • Decent mobility
  • Very hard to kill

1.2. Weaknesses of Restoration Druids

  • Hard to play for newer players
  • Hard to heal against teams with strong spread damage
  • Struggle against teams with a Purge Icon Purge ability

2. Talent Choices for Restoration Druids

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

2.1. Regular Talents for Restoration Druids

2.1.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward is the best choice in this tier. This is an extra HoT and will increase your overall healing output. This is a good spell to use right before being put in crowd control. However, if you are playing against a team with strong spread pressure, Abundance Icon Abundance is the best choice in this tier.

2.1.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast is the best choice in this tier. This is a very powerful spell that will be used to either get away from the enemy team or push in for crowd control.

2.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

If you think the enemy team will focus you at any point in the arena, Guardian Affinity Icon Guardian Affinity is the best choice in this tier. Reducing overall damage dealt to you and having access to abilities like Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration greatly increases your survivability.

If you do not think the enemy team will focus you at all, Balance Affinity Icon Balance Affinity is the best choice in this tier. The increases in range of your spells is handy for healing at maximum distance from the enemy team. You can also use Moonkin Form Icon Moonkin Form to prevent Mages from using Polymorph Icon Polymorph on you.

2.1.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash is the best choice in this tier. This is a versatile talent that can be used for getting an enemy off your teammates or setting up crowd control on a healer.

2.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Cultivation Icon Cultivation is the best choice in this tier. This will give you an additional HoT, which increases your overall healing output. However, if you are playing against a team with strong single-target damage Incarnation: Tree of Life Icon Incarnation: Tree of Life is the best choice in this tier.

2.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Germination Icon Germination is the best choice in this tier. This gives you an additional HoT on your target that will increase your overall healing output. It is also useful against teams that might have a Purge.

2.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Stonebark Icon Stonebark is the best choice in this tier. This reduces the cooldown of one of your best defensive tools, Ironbark Icon Ironbark, making it a crucial talent.

2.2. Honor Talents for Restoration Druids

2.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is the standard PvP trinket effect with a 2-minute cooldown.

2.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

Defender of the Weak Icon Defender of the Weak is the best choice in this tier. This will make your HoTs even more powerful on low-health targets. It also decreases the cast time of important spells, such as Cyclone Icon Cyclone. If you are positive that the enemy team will not swap to you anytime during the match, Vim and Vigor Icon Vim and Vigor is also a good talent.

2.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

If the enemy team has at least one melee on the team, Thorns Icon Thorns is the best choice in this tier. Because it does deal a good amount of damage, the melee on the enemy team might swap targets because of it.

If the enemy team will focus you, Druid of the Claw Icon Druid of the Claw is the best choice in this tier. This will increase your overall survivability.

If the enemy team has a lot of slows, such as a Mage, and you are playing with melee DPS, Disentanglement Icon Disentanglement is the best choice in this tier. This will make it harder for the enemy team to get away from your teammates.

2.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

Cyclone Icon Cyclone is the best choice in this tier. Cyclone Icon Cyclone is a powerful crowd control that can be used to control the enemy team. Use this ability on healers if you are trying to secure a kill or on DPS if your teammates are being focused.

2.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

If you are playing against a team with melee DPS, Revitalize Icon Revitalize is the best choice in this tier. This will increase your overall healing output against teams with physical damage. However, if you are playing against a team with two casters or you are using the Abundance Icon Abundance talent, Nourish Icon Nourish is the best choice in this tier.

2.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

Overgrowth Icon Overgrowth is the best choice in this tier. This gives Restoration Druids the ability to apply all of their HoTs instantly. These HoTs are affected by Defender of the Weak Icon Defender of the Weak and comes in handy if you are just about leaving crowd control and need to top your teammate. Be careful, however, against Mages. If they are using the talent Kleptomania Icon Kleptomania they can take all of these HoTs.

3. Racial Bonuses for Restoration Druids

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

3.1. Horde

The Tauren stun (War Stomp Icon War Stomp) is what makes them the best Restoration Druid race. You can use this ability to stun enemies and Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast away or to setup a Cyclone Icon Cyclone.

The Troll racial bonus (Berserking Icon Berserking) is also a good racial. The bonusHaste is great for burst healing.

3.2. Alliance

The Night Elf racial bonus (Shadowmeld Icon Shadowmeld) is always a strong choice when playing a healer. This racial has a high skill cap, but using Shadowmeld to avoid crowd control can be very powerful. For example, if a Mage is casting Polymorph Icon Polymorph on you, use Shadowmeld to avoid it. If you use Shadowmeld at the same time that a Priest uses their Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream, you will not be feared.

4. Playstyle for Restoration Druids

The main role for a Restoration Druid, besides keeping your team alive, is to always have your HoTs on your teammates and control the enemy team.

Most of the healing for Restoration Druids are instant casts. This makes it easy for you to heal teammates without getting interrupted. Once you have all of your HoTs ticking on your party members, you will only have to leave a pillar to refresh them.

Use Cyclone Icon Cyclone and Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots to control the enemy team. Use Cyclone on the enemy healer if your team is using offensive cooldowns and trying to get a kill. If you are not, use Cyclone on the DPS you are not focusing to stop damage. If you are playing against melee, Entangling Roots can stop them in their tracks.

4.1. Before Gates Open

Make sure your team has a strategy for crowd control because you have a large crowd control toolkit and it is important to take advantage of that.

4.2. The Opener

Healers do not really have an "opener" as such. As a Restoration Druid, you want to do a few things when the gate opens.

  1. Use Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation on a teammate that might be the focus for the enemy team.
  2. Use Prowl Icon Prowl to gain Stealth and prevent the enemy team from getting crowd control or starting on you.
  3. Use Cyclone Icon Cyclone or Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash on the enemy healer if you are trying to kill a DPS.

After this, start putting Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation on teammates and using Regrowth Icon Regrowth if they are the focus for the enemy team.

The other team is going to try to force your trinket in the opener so they have an advantage later in the game. If you are playing against a Mage, any form you are in will negate their Polymorph Icon Polymorph. If you cannot avoid the incoming crowd control, try to use Ironbark Icon Ironbark on the teammate they are focusing.

A large majority of your healing spells are instant. This will prevent you from being interrupted, so take advantage of this. Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation, Lifebloom Icon Lifebloom, Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward, Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend and Overgrowth Icon Overgrowth are all instant. The only healing spell you will have to cast is Regrowth Icon Regrowth. Use this when you are having trouble keeping a teammate at high health.

4.3. Healing Techniques

4.3.1. Burst Healing

Use this if the enemy team uses their cooldowns to try to kill a teammate.

It is important to note that if you are using Abundance Icon Abundance and Nourish Icon Nourish you should be using Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch instead of Regrowth Icon Regrowth.

  1. Use Incarnation: Tree of Life Icon Incarnation: Tree of Life if it is not on cooldown. While active, you should use Innervate Icon Innervate on yourself and use instant Regrowth Icon Regrowths.
  2. Use Ironbark Icon Ironbark. With a relatively short cooldown, this should be the first ability you use when the enemy team is bursting.
  3. Use Overgrowth Icon Overgrowth. This should keep your teammate alive. However, it is not a good idea to stack cooldowns. If Overgrowth is on cooldown or you simply do not want to use it when you have used Ironbark Icon Ironbark, continue down the list.
  4. Use your  Icon Essence of G'Hanir artifact ability. This increases the effectiveness of your HoTs.
  5. Use Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation twice to gain Germination Icon Germination.
  6. Use Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend.
  7. Use Lifebloom Icon Lifebloom.
  8. Cast Regrowth Icon Regrowth if you are still having trouble keeping your teammate alive.

4.3.2. Sustained Damage Healing

Use this to heal sustained damage throughout the fight (damage done when the other team does not have burst cooldowns available).

  1. You never want your HoTs to expire.
  2. Use Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation and maintain the Cultivation Icon Cultivation buff.
  3. Use Lifebloom Icon Lifebloom. Do not wait for Lifebloom to expire on its own. If you refresh it with ~4-5 seconds remaining, you will get the bloom heal and refresh it.
  4. Cast Regrowth Icon Regrowth if your teammate is starting to get low and you cannot stabilize their health with Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend.
  5. Use Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend.
  6. Use Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward. It is important to remember that Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward is a HoT and does not have an initial heal, so it is good to use on teammates at high health.

4.3.3. Spread Damage Healing

When there is spread damage (a single teammate is not being focused), do the following.

  1. Use  Icon Essence of G'Hanir.
  2. Keep Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation on all teammates.
  3. Use Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth, but be careful, it does cost a lot of Mana and should not be used on cooldown.
  4. Use Regrowth Icon Regrowth.
  5. Efflorescence Icon Efflorescence is acceptable if your team is stacked, but it does cost quite a bit of Mana. Use this if you have the Mana for it and you will not be repositioning Efflorescence.
  6. Use Tranquility Icon Tranquility if needed.

4.4. Defensive Techniques

You have several defensive abilities you can use to help keep you and your team alive.

  • Bear Form Icon Bear Form is going to be your main defensive ability. With talents like Guardian Affinity Icon Guardian Affinity and Druid of the Claw Icon Druid of the Claw to buff it, it becomes even more powerful. If an enemy team is focusing you, be sure to use Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation, Lifebloom Icon Lifebloom, and Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward and sit in Bear Form Icon Bear Form. Use the ability Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration to get even more health back. It is important to remember that you only get Frenzied Regeneration if you use the Guardian Affinity talent. Without this talent, Bear Form is not as powerful.
  • Cyclone Icon Cyclone is a good defensive if the enemy team does not have any interrupts remaining. This stops a player from doing anything, and is especially impactful when an enemy is trying to use their burst cooldowns. If the enemy does have interrupts available, try juking them first.
  • Ursol's Vortex Icon Ursol's Vortex is great when trying to get away from melee DPS. It is also important to remember that it can be used when in other forms. If you are taking heavy damage in Bear Form Icon Bear Form, you can use Ursol's Vortex and Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast away.
  • Use Druid mobility as a defensive. We mentioned earlier that Restoration Druids have great mobility. They have spells like Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast, if talented, and Dash Icon Dash to break snares and get away from enemies. Remembering that shifting between forms also breaks roots.

5. Useful Macros for Restoration Druids

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Restoration Druids can benefit from.

5.1. Cyclone 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Cyclone
  • /cast [target=arena1] Cyclone

Using this macro will cast Cyclone Icon Cyclone on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to crowd control an enemy while staying focused on your target. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

5.2. Mighty Bash Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Mighty Bash
  • /cast [target=focus] Mighty Bash

This macro will use Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash on whichever enemy you have on focus. Because you will be primarily using Mighty Bash on the enemy healer, you should only need this focus macro.

6. Gear for Restoration Druids

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

7. Artifact Traits for Restoration Druids

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you recently decided to make a Restoration Druid and are behind on your Artifact weapon, or you have decided to venture into PvP, try to first get the closest Golden trait. Picking up some of the more crucial traits ( Icon Grovewalker,  Icon Mark of Shifting,  Icon Armor of the Ancients, and  Icon Natural Mending) is highly recommended to begin PvP.

7.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you want to reach is  Icon Tranquil Mind.

  1. Take  Icon Nature's Vigor.
  2. Take  Icon Grovewalker.
  3. Take  Icon Natural Mending.
  4. Take  Icon Seeds of the World Tree.
  5. Take  Icon Mark of Shifting.
  6. Take  Icon Blessing of the World Tree.
  7. Take  Icon Tranquil Mind.

7.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to go for is  Icon Dreamwalker.

  1. Take  Icon Armor of the Ancients.
  2. Take  Icon Essence of Nordrassil.
  3. Take  Icon Dreamwalker.

7.3. Remaining Traits

After this, you should try to pick up the last Golden trait,  Icon Power of the Archdruid, picking up the remaining traits after that. There is no specific order for the rest, but a recommended trait to get is  Icon Persistence.

8. Relics for Restoration Druids

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

9. ChangeLog

  • 04 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
  • 24 Jan. 2018: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.5.
  • 12 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2, so only updated "About The Author" section.
  • 30 Aug. 2017: Removed artifact trait description.
  • 09 Aug. 2017: Updated recommended tier 1 and 5 regular talents. Updated recommended tier 5 honor talents. Updated burst and sustained healing rotation.
  • 20 Apr. 2017: Guide added.
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