Restoration Druid Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jul 20, 2024 at 10:00 by Torty 71 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Restoration Druid changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Restoration Druid in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Restoration Druid. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Restoration Druid or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."

1.

Restoration Druid: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Restoration Druid. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Restoration Druid spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Restoration Druid, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.

2.

The War Within Changes for Restoration Druid

2.1.

Core Changes

Restoration Druid has received some significant changes to the class tree. We can now pick almost all damage talents while picking pretty much all defensive options on top. There are some quality of life changes, where certain talents no longer require multiple points. 15% movement speed is now a one-pointer in the second tier, which means we can pretty much always pick it. The damage reduction talents now require less points and we can pick more damage reduction on Barkskin Icon Barkskin. We also completely lose access to Moonkin Form.

There are some decent changes in the spec tree too. We can no longer pick both Photosynthesis Icon Photosynthesis and Flourish Icon Flourish since they share the node now. In most situations we will probably pick Flourish in raids and Photosynthesis in dungeons. Adaptive Swarm is completely gone. So is Luxuriant Soil (Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation spread talent). In compensation for this, we got significant Rejuvenation buffs.

2.2.

Systems Changes

The War Within has major implications for all specs thanks to the Hero Talent Tree system, new tier sets, and the natural reduction in secondary stats when entering a new expansion.

Restoration Druid gets to choose between the Keeper of the Grove and Wildstalker Hero Talent Trees. In sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec, and some thoughts on what looks strong and weak ahead of launch.

3.

Hero Talent Trees for Restoration Druid in The War Within

3.1.

Wildstalker Hero Talents for Restoration Druid

Gameplay-wise, this tree provides completely passive bonuses. The only somewhat active choice you will have to make is to cast Regrowth Icon Regrowth every 10 seconds to keep 8% Crit buff. There are a lot of damage and defensive talents in this tree that provide no healing benefit. It is hard to imagine it working well for us in raids unless all the healing nodes receive significant buffs. For Mythic+ it also relies on Cat form to provide most damage benefits.

Power-wise, it is currently undertuned and impossible to play around. Most extra HoTs proc on random targets, the healing gain is very smooth and not bursty at all.

Defensively, it only provides extra self-healing, which is somewhat bad for Restoration Druid, since we already have a ton of it.

Overall, a weird choice for Restoration. It does not play into our strengths, does not have good numbers, and does not fill any meaningful niche we are missing.

3.2.

Keeper of the Grove Hero Talents for Restoration Druid

Keeper of the Grove Hero Tree Talents are primarily based on Grove Guardians Icon Grove Guardians. You will have to pick both of the talents in the spec tree for this to work at all. Although, you would have picked them because they are too strong compared to competition.

Gameplay-wise, this talent tree provides a major shift into how you will want to use Grove Guardians Icon Grove Guardians. You will no longer be able to just use them whenever. Each active treant will provide you with a stacking 6% healing buff and stacking 10% buff to Rejuvenation, Efflorescence, and Lifebloom on top. This increases the power of our burst windows significantly.

There is also a very nice new hero talent called Control the Dream. It subtracts cooldown from some of your spells (Nature's Swiftness Icon Nature's Swiftness, Incarnation: Tree of Life Icon Incarnation: Tree of Life, Convoke the Spirits Icon Convoke the Spirits) by up to 15 seconds, if they were off cooldown before being used. Crucially, this works for the first cast of the raid encounter too. This has a potential to make healing CD assignments a lot more interesting.

Power-wise, this tree is in a good spot, because it adds healing to our burst windows. There is not much more to ask, except for it being tied to stationary pets. You might lose quite a bit of healing if raid movement is needed, while your Grove Guardians Icon Grove Guardians are left behind out of range. Your treants will also cast Moonfires when spawned, adding some free damage with no input from you.

Defensively, it is not very exciting. There is only one defensive talent and it makes you take 8% less damage while having a Regrowth Icon Regrowth HoT up. Definitely not bad, but rather boring.

4.

Restoration Druid Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Restoration Druid in The War Within. After the wording of the bonus, you will find a brief note/commentary that is italicized.

  • Druid Restoration 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Druid Restoration 11.0 Class Set 2pcRegrowth Icon Regrowth, Wild Growth Icon Wild Growth, and Swiftmend Icon Swiftmend healing increased by 10%. Not much to say here, passive increase to our healing.
  • Druid Restoration 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Druid Restoration 11.0 Class Set 4pc — Your healing is increased by 8% when consuming Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest's bonus and for 6 seconds afterward. This bonus while not very strong in total, provides yet another multiplier to our burst windows.

Both set bonuses are completely passive and are not expected to have any gameplay impact. You will play exactly as you played without them.

4.1.

How Good is the Restoration Druid Tier Bonus in The War Within?

The set bonus is numerically somewhat weak. With current tuning we gain ~4-5% for both bonuses combined. However, so are all the other healer set bonuses, quite a few of them are significantly worse.

5.

Restoration Druid Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Good burst healing on short cooldown in raids.
  • +Good survivability.
  • +Good healing on the move.
  • +Decent passive damage output when using Keeper of the Grove.
  • +Good active damage output.
  • +Good constant healing in Mythic+.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -No raid wide damage reduction.
  • -Need to keep doing damage to not go OOM.
  • -Low healing in raid outside of cooldowns.
  • -Very few healing cooldowns for Mythic+.
6.

Changelog

  • 20 Jul. 2024: Updated for The War Within pre-patch.
  • 19 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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