[Druid][Resto] Jiyambi's Guide to Tree Healing

Jiyambi's picture


Restoration druids, commonly known as trees, have the potential to be excellent healers. With a wide array of spells, an in-combat res, an excellent group heal, the ability to stack HoTs to keep tanks up through damage spikes or silences, and added mobility from instant casts, trees have a lot going for them. This guide aims to teach you how to get the most healing out of your tree. For now, this guide is focused on PvE healing - in the future, PvP advice may be added.

Author's Note:

    I tried to think of all the things I had to look up/research while learning to play my tree and compile them in one spot. Much credit goes to WoWhead comments on each spell and talent, guild mates and other trees who I talked to, and the Elitist Jerks forums - there's lots of good analysis there. After researching what others said, I did my own experimenting in game, and a few basic calculations.

    I try to keep this guide up to date, but I'm pretty busy with school and other commitments. So if you see something that is incorrect or you have a suggestion for a better way to do things, please leave a comment!



Table of Contents


  1. Common Tree-Related Terms
  2. Color Code
  3. Spells
  4. Talents, Glyphs, and Builds
  5. Gear
  6. Consumables
  7. PvE Healing Strategies
  8. Tips and Tricks
  9. Useful Macros
  10. Useful Addons
  11. Druid Healing Without Tree Form
  12. Leveling as a Tree
  13. Keeping Up to Date
  14. Special Thanks
  15. Comments



Common Tree-Related Terms


HoT - Heal over Time

MP5 - Mana Regen per 5 seconds, usually referring to regen during combat

GCD - Global Cooldown (1.5 seconds normally, can be shortened through talents and haste rating)

Res or Rez - Resurrection Spell

Spec - Specialization (talent, gear, and glyph choices)

Crit - Critical heal (x1.5 healing)

Resto - Restoration, a healing druid

Roll - To "roll" a buff means keeping it up constantly, usually without ever letting it's time run out before refreshing it.

Fall off - A buff "falls off" when it's time runs out.

HpM - A spell's total healing divided by it's mana cost

HpS - A spell's total healing divided by it's cast time or it's HoT duration.

WotLK - The current expansion for WoW, Wrath of the Lich King.

Buff - Can refer either: (1) an in-game, helpful effect applied to a character, or (2) an improvement to a class' performance intended to improve game balance.

Nerf - A reduction in a class' overall performance, meant to improve game balance.



Color Code


  • Spells
  • Talents
  • Glyphs
  • Code and Addons



Spells


In this section I will discuss each of the key restoration spells in a druid's arsenal. We will, for the sake of simplicity, assume level 80 and the top rank of each spell. However, most of the discussion should hold true for lower levels as well.

We will discuss the following characteristics of each spell:

  • Mana Efficiency (HpM) - The spell's total healing divided by it's mana cost.
  • Cast Time Efficiency (HpS) - For spells with cast times - the spell's "big heal" divided by the cast time.
  • Heal Over Time Efficiency (HpS) - The total healing divided by the duration of the HoT.

We won't be using specific numbers, since they will change depending on your level, gear, and talents. I will talk about each spell in general terms, and how it might be improved based on itemization and spec. Note that talents which improve all healing spells, such as Gift of Nature, will not be mentioned as affecting each spell.

Mouse over the spell's picture to see a pop-up description of the spell, courtesy of WoWhead.


Tree of Life

    PvE resto druids should always be in Tree of Life form - as of patch 3.0, you can cast all restoration spells from tree form, and the movement speed decrease was removed, so there is no reason to switch out. PvP druids may need to switch forms for mobility (to sprint in cat form), but still should primarily be in this form. In PvP, if you are fighting a warlock make sure you are NOT in Tree of Life form, or you will be banished.

    Patch 3.1.0: Now receives 240% increased armor. You can now use Nature's Grasp and Thorns while within this form. Mana cost reduced to match the cost of Travel Form. In addition, the discount on heal-over-time spells from this talent is now active at all times, whether or not the druid is in Tree of Life form. Mana cost reduced to match the cost of Travel Form. This makes Tree of Life a nice advantage due to increased armor, but if you are battle rezzed and forget to shift back into Tree form, you won't really be penalized.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Abolish Poison

    This is a simple spell which cures poison. It effects only a single target - in cases where the poison is a multi-target effect, cure the main tank and main healers and then keep on healing - generally you won't have time to cure the entire group before the poison's timer runs out and still heal. If you have a shaman in your group, for mobs which cast multi-target poison, consider asking them to drop a poison cleansing totem so you can concentrate on healing instead of curing poison.


Gift of the Wild

    This is a powerful buff which casts raid-wide. It uses a reagent, so be sure to have plenty on hand. There is also a single-target version of this spell, Mark of the Wild.


Healing Touch

    Healing Touch was in the past considered too slow to put to much use. It is, however, extremely powerful in a Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch combo (this macro will be described in the Useful Macros section). In addition, this spell can now be modified through talents and glyphs to be an extremely fast, small heal. While the applications of this are less useful in PvE (though the ability to cast such a fast heal is nice in tank-saving situations), this fast heal has more use in PvP. Keep in mind that using this spell in that way will likely drain your mana very quickly.

    Usage notes: Those not specifically specced into this spell should use it only in a Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch combo.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Innervate

    Innervate is a spell which druids essentially use to get a second mana bar. This spell increases your mana regen dramatically for a short time, in most cases mostly refilling your mana bar. For well geared trees, it may not be enough to completely refill you, as the new changes to the spell means it does not scale with gear. If you have mana issues, consider getting Glyph of Innervate.

    Usage notes: In most cases, as a healer you will be using this on yourself. However if you pick up Glyph of Innervate, you can use it on someone else and still benefit. Note that with the recent changes to Innervate, it is now useful for any class that has mana - it is no longer dependent on spirit.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:

    • Glyph of Innervate - Gives you a "mini-vate" if used on someone else (in addition to the other person getting the normal innervate effect), and a "mega-vate" if used on yourself.


Lifebloom

    Lifebloom is the staple of druid healing, and in particular tank healing. It is a very powerful HoT that ticks every second instead of every three seconds, then goes out with a bang, "blooming" for a large heal. Lifebloom also can be stacked up to three times per druid per target. Rolling Lifebloom is a method commonly used for tank healing, where a druid keeps three stacks of Lifebloom up at all times and refreshes the stack just before it runs out. This keeps up very high constant healing, ticking every second, requires little mana, and allows for a quick emergency heal if needed (the bloom). Properly glyphed, this spell is both more mana efficient and healing efficient than Rejuvenation (when rolling 3), and also ticks more often.

    Patch 3.1.0: Mana cost of all ranks doubled. When Lifebloom blooms or is dispelled, it now refunds half the base mana cost of the spell per application of Lifebloom, and the heal effect is multiplied by the number of applications. Note that it is still more mana and healing efficient to roll Lifebloom, as long as you are good at refreshing it just before it falls off.

    Usage notes: This should not be used to spot heal - use Rejuvenation for that purpose. If you are main tank healing, roll this on the tank at all times. If you are raid healing, you may want to still roll this on the tank, if it seems he needs a bit more healing.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Nourish

    Nourish is a new healing spell only available at level 80. It is a direct heal which is significantly cheaper and faster than Healing Touch, and which becomes more effective when a Regrowth, Rejuvenation, or Lifebloom effect is on the target - which there usually will be. With the 3.1 changes, Nourish has become a major direct heal for druids, since it is very fast and can be glyphed to improve its effect with each HoT effect on a target.

    Usage notes: Use Nourish to spot raid healing. If possible, try to make sure a Rejuvenation is on the target first (this also allows for a quick Swiftmend if needed). Nourish should also be used to direct heal the tank if you picked up Glyph of Nourish, since when tank healing you should have as many HoTs as possible on the tank.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Nature’s Swiftness

    This is a long-cooldown emergency heal. Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch is a nearly instant combo which can save a dying party member or tank (this macro will be described in the Useful Macros section). It has a long cooldown, however, so use it sparingly to be sure it's ready when needed. You may also want to use a timer to monitor your cooldowns and active spells.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Rebirth

    This is your battle rez. Unless DPS is especially vital for a fight, you generally want to save this rez for tanks and healers. If another druid goes down, be sure you res them since they can res if someone else dies. This spell requires a reagent, so be sure you have a lot with you, unless you have Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth (which I highly recommend).

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Regrowth

    Regrowth has mostly fallen out of use for most druids, in favor of Nourish. You still want to keep this HoT up on the tank if you are main tank healing, but otherwise I would not recommend using it.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Rejuvenation

    Rejuvenation is often rolled along with Lifebloom on a tank, or used to spot heal. Unlike Lifebloom, it only ticks once every 3 seconds.

    Usage notes: Use this as a raid heal and roll it on the tank. I roll this on the tanks even when I'm raid healing, since it has a long duration and allows for a quick Swiftmend in an emergency.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Remove Curse

    This is a simple spell which removes a curse. It effects only a single target - in cases where the curse is a multi-target effect, cure the main tank and main healers and then keep on healing - generally you won't have time to cure the entire group before the curse's timer runs out and still heal. Some curses are more dangerous than others: try to know the type of curse ahead of time so you know whether it needs to be removed right away.


Revive

    This is the druid's out of combat rez.


Swiftmend


Tranquility

    This is a channeled cast spell which heals everyone in the area over the duration of the channeling. It is extremely powerful for AoE healing, but has a long cooldown, prevents the druid from taking any other action, and can draw a LOT of aggro (unless you have the talent which reduces threat). While it was once the only multi-target healing spell available to druids, we now also have Wild Growth to draw on.

    Usage Notes: Save this for emergency situations, unless you take the talent to lower the cooldown. Make sure to pop Barkskin before using, since you may draw aggro and as a channeled spell, taking damage will reduce the effect (this macro will be described in the Useful Macros section). This powerful spell can really save you if your group gets in over your heads.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:


Wild Growth

    This is the new multi-target healing spell for druids, and it uses smart targeting to heal those with the lowest health first in a group. Most druids agree that this spell is extremely powerful for healing even as few as two targets. Some even complain that it leads to lazy healing.

    Usage Notes: Use this spell if three or more people are hurt or taking damage. Above three, it's the most mana and time efficient spell in your arsenal, aside from Tranquility. It's especially nice since the healing comes quite fast at the beginning of the duration. It can also be nice as yet another HoT to roll on the tank for heavy damage fights, and it keeps the melee topped off. With Revitalize now effecting this spell, and considering that it ticks every second, it's better than ever to keep up at all times.

    Glyphs and Talents which affect this spell:

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Talents, Glyphs and Builds


Trees can use talents and glyphs to significantly specialize their style of healing. For example, while normally Healing Touch is not a spell commonly used by trees, a druid might choose talents and glyphs which make this spell fast and extremely powerful. Talents and glyphs will be discussed together here since they serve a virtually identical purpose: to augment and specialize a druid's healing powers. First I will discuss the talents and glyphs which may be of use to a tree, and summarize how useful each is. Then I will provide a few sample builds, for both PvE and PvP.



Talents


I will discuss all talents in the restoration tree and their relative usefulness, in addition to a few key talents from the balance tree. Feral will not be covered, as these talents are useless to healers.

Mouse over the talent's picture to see a pop-up description of the talent, courtesy of Wowhead.


Restoration - Tier 1


Improved Mark of the Wild

    This talent is useful, though only one druid in the group needs to have it. However, with smaller 10-man raids, 5-man groups, or the arena setting in mind, this talent becomes more important.

    Patch 3.1.0: Now also increases all of your total attributes by 1/2%.

Nature’s Focus

    More valuable in a PvP setting than in PvE, however still far superior to Furor.

Furor

    Essentially useless for PvE trees. It may have some limited use in PvP, where changing forms is more common even for healers.


Restoration - Tier 2


Naturalist

    This is a must-have for druids specializing in Healing Touch , but is relatively useless to those not.

Subtlety

    Fairly useful in PvE due to it's threat-reducing ability. Perhaps not vital in and of itself but good filler for higher talents - you can probably get away taking only one point here. This is also an excellent talent for PvP trees, since it helps keep your HoTs from being dispelled.

Natural Shapeshifter

    In PvE, this talent is worthless except as a prerequisite for Master Shapeshifter. It's debatable whether it's worth taking (5 talent points spent for a 4% healing increase), but if you are not specializing in Healing Touch then there isn't a lot of other filler at this level in the talent tree. PvP druids will most likely find these talents more useful, since they are occasionally called on to switch forms, for example to cat form in order to sprint away from danger.


Restoration - Tier 3


Intensity

    This is a vital skill for PvE druids (mana regen is the key to long fights), but is less important for PvP where fights end relatively quickly.

    Patch 3.1.0: Now grants 17/33/50% of mana regeneration while casting.

Omen of Clarity

    A must-have talent, costing only one point and granting a chance to "clearcast" - occasionally casting spells for free.

Master Shapeshifter

    Maxing out this talent will give you 4% bonus healing, but the cost is deceptive: in actuality this talent costs 5 points since it's prerequisite is useless in PvE. It's a high cost, but there's not much else to take as filler. PvP druids, who are more likely to change forms than in PvE, may find this talent more worthwhile.


Restoration - Tier 4


Tranquil Spirit

    This spell decreases the mana cost of your most powerful individual and group heals. If you are specializing in Healing Touch , this is a good talent to get. It's also a good one if you use Nourish or Tranquility often.

Improved Rejuvenation

    Most traditional HoT druids use Rejuvenation a lot, so this talent is a good choice. Unless you specifically use the Tranquil Spirit spells often, you'll want to choose this talent.


Restoration - Tier 5


Nature’s Swiftness

    One of two "OH CRAP" buttons a tree can get. Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch is a nearly instant combo which can save a dying party member or tank. It has a long cooldown, but is definitely worth the 1 talent point it takes to get it.

Gift of Nature

    5 points for a 10% increase in healing effectiveness. As a healer, your goal is to do as much healing as possible, and this spell definitely increases your healing through-put. A must-have.

Improved Tranquility

    Tranquility is a real life-saver in sticky situations, and this talent will allow you to use it more often and with no aggro gain. While it may not fit into every build, since there are many other vital restoration talents, this is still an excellent talent to take.


Restoration - Tier 6


Empowered Touch

    This talent provides a huge boost to the power of your Healing Touch. If you plan to specialize in this spell, this is a good talent for you. Other druids should avoid it.

Nature's Bounty

    This talent now effects both of our direct heals, and fits into every spec nicely, barring straight Healing Touch PvP specs. It is a great talent to synergize with Living Seed, since the seed relies on criticals.

    Patch 3.1.0: This talent is renamed Nature’s Bounty. Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth and Nourish spells by 5/10/15/20/25%.


Restoration - Tier 7


Living Spirit

    Spirit is a valuable stat for PvE healing, as it increases mana regen. This talent is especially valuable in conjunction with Improved Tree of Life, since spirit also adds to your bonus healing. This talent is highly recommended.

Swiftmend

Natural Perfection

    This talent is an excellent choice for PvP druids since it both increases their healing output while helping to protect them. While somewhat helpful for PvE druids due to the increased crit chance, it's not much and should probably be passed over for more helpful talents. However, if your spec is highly dependent on direct heals, take it.


Restoration - Tier 8


Empowered Rejuvenation

    HoTs are a druid's bread and butter, and this talent makes them more powerful. Two words: Take it.

Living Seed

    Taking this talent really depends on playstyle. The living seed is not something you can control. It's much better for tank healing than it is for raid healing, since it relies on the "big heals" that are mostly used on the tank and also depends on the subject being attacked again in the next 15 sec. It's also better for specs that use direct heals that can crit more often.

    Patch 3.1.0: This talent now accounts for total healing including overhealing.


Restoration - Tier 9


Revitalize

    While this talent doesn't increase your value as a healer, it allows you to "buff" other party members by increasing their capacity to tank, deal damage, or heal. Whether or not to take this talent depends on playstyle - those who simply want the most healing for their talent points should look elsewhere.

    Patch 3.1.0: This talent is now re-named "Revitalize" and now also works with Wild Growth.

Tree of Life

    The definitive tree talent, take this one.

Improved Tree of Life

    PvE druids should take this without question, since we rely on spirit for mana regen anyway. PvP druids may choose otherwise, but it still provides a solid healing boost and is definitely a viable option.


Restoration - Tier 10


Gift of the Earthmother

    For those who roll HoTs, this talent will allow you to increase your throughput and stack less haste gear. For those who prefer direct heals, this is not the talent for you. See the discussion of haste in the gear section for more information.


Restoration - Tier 11


Wild Growth

    This is an amazingly useful multi-target healing spell which smart-targets those with the lowest health. Very powerful for healing AoE damage, all PvE druids will want to take this one.


Balance - Tier 1


Genesis

    An excellent talent for druids who rely on their HoTs. Also needed to get to lower balance talents, since the other in this tier is worthless to healers.


Balance - Tier 2


Moonglow

    Reduces mana costs for Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Rejuvenation. Since any druid will use at least one of these spells often, this is a decent talent - for PvE. Saving mana is less important for PvP.

Nature’s Majesty


Balance - Tier 3


Nature’s Grace

    This talent is only useful if you use a lot of "big heals" - heals with casting times that can crit. If you are Healing Touch specialized, this is right up your alley.

Nature’s Splendor

    This is a great talent if you use HoTs often (and most druids do) - especially considering it costs only one talent point. This gives you:


Balance - Tier 4


Celestial Focus

    Unfortunately this talent requires you to use up an extra point in the balance tree - I recommend Brambles if you decide to do this, since it might be of some use. If you want to save itemization on your gear for things other than haste (such as spellpower or mana regen), this is one option. It gives you 3% haste (not 3% of your haste rating, 3% actual haste). See the discussion of haste in the gear section for more information.

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Glyphs


I will cover glyphs pertinent to tree healers. Feral and balance glyphs will not be covered.



Major Glyphs


Mouse over the glyph's picture to see a pop-up description of the glyph, courtesy of Wowhead. For a list of non-resto glyphs, see this page.


Glyph of Healing Touch

    This glyph turns your one powerful but slow heal into a fast, weak heal. Generally considered sub-par for raiding since it defeats the purpose of the Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch combo, but there is still something to be said for it: it makes Healing Touch THE fastest heal possible in the game (0.5 sec cast), when talented correctly. Because of this, it is quite popular for PvP trees. Be aware that spamming Healing Touch in this way will also make you run out of mana very quickly.


Glyph of Innervate

    This glyph vies with Glyph of Lifebloom and Glyph of Wild Growth for the third glyph slot. It's quite useful in mana intensive fights, since you can still Innervate another party member and receive a "mini-vate", or simply get an improved innervate for yourself.


Glyph of Lifebloom

    This glyph not only increases the total healing done by one Lifebloom cast, but also gives some breathing room in your rolling cycle. Combined with Nature’s Splendor, this increases your total cycle by 3 sec, which gives you 3 sec to either roll another bloom, heal AoE damage, or spam big heals on the tank. Some don't feel this extra tick is worth the glyph slot, however, and go for Glyph of Innervate or Glyph of Wild Growth instead.


Glyph of Rebirth

    While somewhat useful, this glyph still does not measure up to other available restoration glyphs. However it is a good placeholder while you wait to get one of the more powerful glyphs.


Glyph of Regrowth

    Since Nourish is used by most druids instead of Regrowth these days, this glyph is no longer popular. I definitely recommend Glyph of Nourish instead, but in any case get one or the other, not both.


Glyph of Rejuvenation

    This glyph is generally considered to be of limited use. As soon as the target recovers above 50% hit points, it no longer functions. The target is below 50% health seldom enough to make it next to useless compared to other glyphs.


Glyph of Swiftmend

    This is the most important "must-have" glyph for raiding resto druids. This glyph allows much more freedom in the use of the extremely low cooldown Swiftmend. The druid no longer needs to waste time re-applying a HoT that Swiftmend consumed - this also saves a considerable amount of mana over the course of a fight in which Swiftmend is used often (which it always should be, considering it's relatively low mana cost). Widely considered to be the best glyph available for raiding trees.


Glyph of Nourish

    Added in Patch 3.1. I would go so far to say that this is now a must-have glyph, since in my opinion Nourish is superior to Regrowth as a direct healing spell. Pick this up if you use Nourish, especially for main tank healing.


Glyph of Wild Growth

    Added in Patch 3.1. A good choice for that third glyph slot that in the past has waffled between Glyph of Lifebloom and Glyph of Innervate. If you find yourself doing a lot of raid healing, and especially if you picked up the Revitalize talent, this could be a good choice. If you mostly run 5 man instances, this is not for you.


Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation

    Added in Patch 3.3. Makes Rejuvenation an even stronger heal, but lasts a shorter amount of time. Highly recommended if you mostly do 5 or 10 man content.

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Minor Glyphs


Minor glyphs are much less important for gameplay and are more a matter of personal preference. However, I highly recommend Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth for both PvP and PvE druids - forgetting this reagent will definitely get you yelled at by your team members, and having one less thing to worry about (and one more bag space) is always nice.

For a list of other minor glyphs, see this page, courtesy of WoWhead.

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PvE Builds


These example builds are intended for raid or instance settings. Some may be more suitable to one or the other, or specialized for certain types of encounters such as heavy AoE.


Main Tank Healing - Nourish Spam


Group Healing - Revitalize


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PvP Builds



These example builds are intended for battleground or arena settings.


Healing Touch Build


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Gear



In this section I will discuss the stats best for druids, and provide recommendations on enchants and gems. Druid gearing requires a balance between two things: healing effectiveness and healing efficiency. Throw into the mix the benefits druids receive from spirit, and the complication of haste and crit, and you have some complicated decisions to make. Because of this, I'm not going to make specific recommendations for gear. Instead, I will point you to several useful tools to help you choose the gear that's best for your tree.

When gearing, keep a few things in mind:

  • Even if it is an upgrade for you, it may benefit another class more. For example, items with hit should ALWAYS be passed to offensive casters.
  • Be considerate of cloth wearers. They don't have access to as much gear as you do, and with spellpower changes you will already have the two DPS casters thrown into the mix, not to mention elemental shamans and moonkin druids who also want a cut. You don't want resto shamans and holy pallies taking your gear, so think first before rolling on cloth, especially in a guild situation.
  • Be considerate of other healers. This is especially true in a guild situation where you really want everyone to succeed. Items with lots of crit should go to the Holy Pally, and high spirit items with crit are better for Holy Priests. The best combination for resto druids is spirit + haste, and you should get priority on these items.


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Stats


Druid healing generally calls for gear with "enough" stamina, mana, and mana regen to get the job done, and as much spell power as possible. Spell haste and spell crit have limited uses. Keep in mind that the amount of mana regen needed has increased in WotLK, since fights are more mana intensive.

Generally:

    Spell Power > Spirit > MP5 > Haste Rating > Crit Rating > Intellect > Stamina

However, this can be greatly dependent upon your specialization and current gear. For example, a druid specializing in Healing Touch would certainly value crit rating more highly than one casting primarily HoTs.

Let's look at each of these stats in depth:


Spell Power

    Spell power is the stat that increases your bonus healing. In general, you want to go for as much spell power as possible as long as you have "enough" mana and mana regen. How much is enough depends on your style of play and the content you are working on, so balancing your stats is a personal decision.


Spirit

    Spirit is an important stat for druids, since it can increase both your bonus healing AND your mana regen. It adds 15% of your spirit to your bonus healing while in tree form if you have Improved Tree of Life. 30% of your mana regen from spirit also continues in combat if you have Intensity


MP5

    MP5 increases your mana regen during combat directly, unlike spirit. There are many fights that are mana intensive. It's hard to weigh mana regen vs. healing power - you have to experiment a lot and find out how much is enough mana regen for you. I have two different sets of gear that I switch between - one with more bonus healing, and one with more regen.


Haste Rating

    In the past haste rating was vital for druids, since it allowed us to decrease our GCD. Now, we have a talent which does this for us already. Haste rating can lower it further, but it is much less important than it once was. Keep in mind also that there is a "soft cap" on haste rating, since the global cooldown cannot be reduced below one second. This occurs at 50% haste. With Gift of the Earthmother, this means 655 haste rating. It's likely that you will often have a retribution paladin, shaman, or moonkin in your raid as well. You can also can take the balance talent Celestial Focus to increase your haste. This means, depending on your build and raid group, you'll need between 253 and 541 haste rating to reach the soft cap. For more information, see this excellent Elitist Jerks post on the subject. Thanks Bel for the info!

    Patch 3.3: The upcoming patch will bring a big change to our most important haste talent, Gift of the Earthmother. In the current PTR build, the talent will no longer effect only the GCD for instant healing spells - instead, it will decrease haste across the board. This amounts to an overall nerf to druid healing. However there is still indication from the blue posts that this may be changed before the patch goes live - the possibility of making the GCD reduction still apply to Lifebloom was mentioned. Regardless, keep in mind that Haste may become more important shortly!


Crit Rating

    In the past, crit rating was not very useful to druids, and most of our heals still do not use crit. However, with the recent use of Nourish as a spam heal, and the synergy with several crit-based talents, crit has become somewhat more useful. It is still by far inferior to bonus healing and mana regen, so be sure to consider those first when choosing gear.

    Choosing haste rating vs. crit rating is largely dependent on your specialization and personal preference. If you are unsure, go with haste, since it buffs both types of spells.


Intellect

    Intellect increases your mana pool. As with the mana regen stats and stamina, you just need "enough" intellect to get the job done. How much is enough is up to you and your playstyle. Typically you don't want to gear specifically for intellect, enough is usually on your gear.


Stamina

    Stamina increases your survivability. This stat is vital in PvP situations, but is largely situational for raiding. Some encounters may require a certain minimum hit points, but most of the time you should not be taking much damage. As with mana stats, you just need to have enough to get the job done - how much is up to you. Typically you don't want to gear specifically for stamina in a PvE situation, enough is usually on your gear.


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Gems


In general, red gems are the best choice for a druid when not geming for socket bonuses or metas. However, as usual this depends on your current gear and playstyle. If you need more mana regen, gem for mana regen. Likewise if you don't, gem for as much spellpower as possible. Always take Spirit over MP5 in gems - in general it will give you nearly as much regen but also add to your spell power, and also scales with stat-increasing spells and talents.


Meta

  1. [Insightful Earthsiege Diamond]
  2. [Ember Skyflare Diamond]


Red

  1. [Runed Cardinal Ruby]
  2. [Purified Dreadstone]
  3. [Runed Scarlet Ruby]
  4. [Purified Twilight Opal]
  5. [Royal Twilight Opal]
  6. [Luminous Monarch Topaz]


Blue

  1. [Purified Dreadstone]
  2. [Sparkling Majestic Zircon]
  3. [Purified Twilight Opal]
  4. [Royal Twilight Opal]
  5. [Sparkling Sky Sapphire]


Yellow

  1. [Luminous Flawless Ametrine]
  2. [Seer's Eye of Zul]
  3. [Luminous Monarch Topaz]
  4. [Seer's Forest Emerald]


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Enchants



Head

Shoulder Chest Legs Feet Bracers Gloves Back Weapon Ring


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Gearing Your Tree


In this section, I'm going to discuss three tools that you can use to help you find the best gear for your tree: WoWhead, MaxDPS, and RAWR. These three tools essentially do the same thing, but at different levels.


WoWhead

    Though usually thought of as a simple database, WoWhead has an excellent tool for finding and comparing gear. It has an adjustable weighting system preset for healing druids and an advanced filter so you can look at items only from a specific level range or source. You can compare gear quite easily with this source as well - it even has a nice system for comparing two hand weapons with combinations of one hand and off hand items.

    WoWhead is probably the simplest and easiest of the tools you can find - it requires no download and can be used immediately. However, while you can adjust the weighting of the rankings for your gear, you have to know exactly what you are looking for. Because of this, for the most customized results, I would suggest using one of the other two tools - but keep WoWhead in mind for quick comparisons and look-ups!


MaxDPS

    MaxDPS.com now has a restoration druid gear list. It is, however, based on single target healing, while most druids in a raid situation are raid healing. However, similar to WoWhead's system, the user can adjust weighting for the gear between high throughput and high mana regen. In addition, MaxDPS allows you to enter your stats, mark raid buffs you usually have, and even import your character directly from the armory.

    MaxDPS is the most personalized tool you can get without a download. While not perfect, it allows busy druids to quickly and easily see what gear might be an upgrade. However, for the best and most accurate advice, just download Rawr.


Rawr

    Rawr is a simulator. It was originally built for druids (though not for trees specifically), and has since branched out to cover almost every class and build in WoW. It is extremely powerful, containing models for almost every healing style - you simply go in and choose which style you use most often and it will base it's calculations on that style. It has all the personalization of MaxDPS, including direct Armory imports, and more. It will give you suggestions of upgrades based on the filters you choose, and can even recommend talent and glyph choices. Best of all, it takes into account Tier bonuses, something the other tools simply can't do. However, you do need to download Rawr for it to work, and you will need to update it when each patch comes out.

    If you want the best and most accurate recommendations for gear, Rawr is definitely the way to go. If you can deal with the minor inconvenience of having to download and update the program, this is definitely the best tool to use.

One other useful tool is the in-game equipment comparison addon, Ratingsbuster. This is not a database, but instead a very quick way to tell if an item that dropped is an upgrade for you.


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Consumables


Primarily you want to use spellpower consumables, since regen consumables don't give much bang for your buck. However, if you really need a little boost to regen, then go for it.

Please note that oils for weapons have been discontinued in WotLK, so no need to worry about them.


Food

  1. Fish Feast / Firecracker Salmon / Tender Shoveltusk Steak
  2. Cuttlesteak
  3. Mighty Rhino Dogs / Spicy Fried Herring
  4. Great Feast


Elixirs/Flasks
Generally it is best to use the flasks listed if you are able to. If you can't get your hands on the flasks or they are to expensive, you can use a combination of a spellpower elixir and a spirit elixir, since one is a battle and one a guardian.

  1. Flask of the Frost Wyrm (Spellpower)
  2. Flask of Pure Mojo (Mana regen)
  3. Spellpower Elixir (Battle Elixir)
  4. Elixir of Spirit (Guardian Elixir)
  5. Elixir of Mighty Mageblood (Guardian Elixir)


Scrolls

  1. Scroll of Spirit VIII (unless you have a priest in the group casting the spirit buff)


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PvE Healing Strategies


In this section I'll talk about healing strategies for PvE situations. Unless otherwise stated, I will be assuming you are using the Regrowth Spam Build discussed above - however most of this will apply to any PvE build.



Main Tank Healing


In a typical group in which you are healing a tank, you'll want to:

  1. Throw out a Rejuvenation on the tank (use this before Lifebloom since it has a higher initial healing throughput). Note: For multiple mob pulls, you may not want to pre-HoT the tank.
  2. Get a stack of three Lifeblooms going on the tank.
  3. Use Regrowth to get that HoT going.
  4. Continue to roll Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, and Regrowth on the tank, spamming Nourish if more healing is needed.
  5. If group members take damage and you are also responsible for healing them (such as in a 5 or 10 person group), use Rejuvenation for one or two targets and Wild Growth for three or more.
  6. For heavy AoE fights, you can roll Wild Growth as well. Alternatively, you can simply roll Wild Growth on the main tank as an extra HoT, which helps keep the melee topped off as well. While this isn't mana efficient, for heavy damage fights this can be very helpful in keeping the tank up and also helps heal the melee, who tend to take more damage than other raid memebers.

For trash pulls, I suggest you wait until the tank has given the mobs a smack before starting. For bosses, I highly recommend getting all your HoTs rolling before the fight starts (called pre-HoTing). Your HoTs don't actually heal until after the tank is hurt, and by then he'll have enough aggro to keep the boss from coming after you.

Unless you have stacked extra haste gear (which you should!), with this build you should generally be able to easily use around five to six global cooldowns between lifebloom refreshes (this depends on your latency). A single Regrowth takes up about two global cooldown's worth of time. Keep in mind that Swiftmend is not affected by Gift of the Earthmother and it's GCD will take a little longer than your other spells - you should still have enough breathing room to manage.

With all the extensions to Lifebloom's duration now available, you hardly need a tight rotation anymore - this is especially true if you have a good timer addon to watch your lifeblooms. See the addon section below for a suggested timer. In tough fights, you'll want to keep Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Wild Growth, and Regrowth up at all times, spamming Nourish as necessary.


Healing Multiple Tanks

In a raid situation, you may be called on to roll Lifebloom on multiple tanks. With the extended duration of lifebloom and GCD reduction available from talents and glyphs, this is easier than ever. In the past, it was possible to roll Lifebloom on at most four tanks. Now, theoretically you could roll them on as many as seven or eight (or even more with haste gear)! However, it is unlikely you will have more than four tanks at once - this means you can roll Rejuvenation or Wild Growth, use other spells, or conserve mana between refreshes.


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Raid/Group Healing


Most instance group healing in WotLK will be done with Wild Growth. It's exceptionally powerful and mana efficient for healing many people at once, and it's also very easy to use since it smart targets those with the lowest hit points. For single target heals, use Rejuvenation and, if needed, Swiftmend or Nourish. In emergency situations, you always have Tranquility to fall back on - just be sure to hit Bark Skin before using it!

For raid healing, trees are called on more and more to simply roll Rejuvenation on everyone in the raid. In 10 person raids, one tree can easily keep Rejuvenation up on all raid members while also using Wild Growth on cooldown and the occasional Swiftmend or Nourish. For heavy raid damage fights, this is the most effective way to raid heal, though it does get a bit boring.


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Tips and Tricks



Aside from specific healing strategies for PvE, PvP, and leveling, there are a few simple tricks that will help improve your performance as a tree. If you have a good tip or trick, please leave a comment!


Set a Focus

This is especially useful if you typically heal one main tank, such as in a 5 or 10 man dungeon group. This allows you to easily see the main tank's health, even when you are targeting another player. It can help you easily retarget him or her, or you can even have macros set up to heal your focus so you don't have to manually target them! In addition, there are many addons that allow special configuration for a focus, such as ClassTimers or Quartz.

To set your focus, type /focus CHARACTER in your chat window, replacing CHARACTER with the person's name you want to have as your focus. Their portrait should appear on your screen (it's position will vary depending on your UI modifications). Typing /target focus will cause you to target your focus - you can make use of this in macros. I'm not going to go in depth here, but you can write macros or use addons to cast spells on your focus without ever breaking target.


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Useful Macros


These are macros that I or other WoW-Pro trees use to make our healing lives easier. Some of these are duplicated by functionality in the addon section below. If you have other awesome macros that you use, please leave a comment!


Trinket-Trigger-Macro
Provided by murphyslaw

A macro to trigger the trinket every time you use lifebloom, so it will be up all the time. The 13 stands for the upper trinket-slot. 14 would be the lower trinket-slot. You can also exchange Lifebloom with anything else you might find better.

#showtooltip Lifebloom
/use 13
/cast Lifebloom


Innervate-Whisper-Macro
Provided by murphyslaw

Whispers the player that you give Innervate to.

#showtooltip Innervate
/script SendChatMessage("You got INNERVATED.", "WHISPER", 
   GetDefaultLanguage("player"), Unitname("target"))
/cast Innervate


Rebirth-Macro
Provided by murphyslaw

Yells who you are going to rebirth. You could do the same thing for Revive. This can be duplicated by Healbot.

#showtooltip Rebirth
/y Rebirth: %T
/cast Rebirth


Barkskin-Macro
Provided by honj93

Uses barkskin and then Tranquility or Hurricane (make a separate macro for each).

#showtooltip Tranquility/Hurricane
/cast Barkskin
/cast Tranquility/Hurricane


Nature's Swiftness-Macro
Provided by honj93

Gives you an instant cast Healing Touch with one button! Note that you need to be in range for this to work, otherwise it will only cast Nature's Swiftness. If this happens, just get in range and hit the button again.

#showtooltip Nature's Swiftness
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/cast Healing Touch


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Useful Addons


In this section, I provide a list of addons useful to tree healers specifically. We won't cover general addons, though WoW Insider has an excellent list of great addons, descriptions, and links to their download pages here.


Healbot

    From WoW Insider:

      "HealBot allows for up to 20 key and mouse combinations to be used to cast any sort of spell on a target to heal them. It provides the healer with various and critical monitors, meters, and range checks. The addon is highly configurable and can take some getting used to if you haven't used it before."

    While not necessary for 5-man dungeons or PvP, healbot is an essential tool for a raiding tree. With 10 to 25 people to monitor, it's nearly impossible to effectively heal by pointing, clicking to target, then pressing your hotkeys. Healbot eliminates the middle step and also provides lots of useful information to help you heal more effectively. I even use it while soloing, so I don't have to have my healing spells on my soloing action bar.

    When healing a main tank, I generally have him or her targeted at all times and use my hotkeys to do tank healing, while using healbot clicks for raid/group healing.


Clique

    From Curse:

      "Clique is a simple GUI that lets you assign click-casting for any number of unit frames. Click casting allows you to define the behavior the game takes when you click on a frame. This can be casting spells, running a macro, using an item, or something as simple as changing targets or assisting a unit."

    Clique is essentially a Healbot alternative that allows you to use unit frames of your choice as opposed the specific Healbot unit frames. It's been recommended by several wow-pro users, and is what I'm currently using as my healing tool. Note that Clique can also be used by non-healers - my paladin tank makes great use of it for her many tanking abilities that target party members.


Class Timer

    Class Timer is an extremely useful addon for any class. It shows three customizable sets of timers - one for the player, one for the target, and one for your focus. These can be resized and placed anywhere on the screen. The timers show durations for buffs that you place on them.

    For druid healers, these timers are essential for rolling Lifebloom and other HoTs on the main tank or your particular healing focus. When healing, I use only the focus timers to keep my screen clear, and set my focus on my main healing target (usually the main tank). You can choose exactly which buffs to show and not show. When healing, I show only Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, and Regrowth.

    Note: The bug that this addon was suffering from has been fixed! It now only displays your HoT timers, rather than every druid's.


Grid

    From Curse:

      "Grid is a modular, lightweight and screen-estate saving grid of party/raid unit frames based on Ace2 and various embedded libraries provided by the Ace-community. It's currently in beta."

    Grid replaces the default party or raid frame with a very lightweight and simplified version. It can be somewhat daunting due to it's flexibility. Grid can be combined with Clique to obtain a very flexible healing interface that is even more customizable than Healbot. However I recommend this only to the more advanced players who are used to using addons and are prepared to invest some time setting their interface up.


Recount

    From WoW Insider:

      "Recount records all the information that comes across the combat log and processes it into easy to read tables, charts, and other diagrams. It is highly useful in raid and group situations when trying to figure out what has killed people, or what people are doing right and wrong. The addon itself can be rather memory intensive at times, especially if many 25-man raid attempts are recorded with it. However with that said, it is a staple of the raiding community."

    This addon is certainly not required, but it is a great way to see how you are doing as a healer. You can watch your healing per second, your total healing compared to other healers in your group, and your percent overhealing. In addition, you can get useful information about your effective playstyle that can help you choose gear: for example, you can see how much of your healing was from spells that can crit, how much was from GCD dependant spells, etc.


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Druid Healing Without Tree Form


While this guide is specifically about tree healing, it's worth mentioning that in the past (and probably still somewhat today), there have been druids which elected to take Dreamstate instead of going all the way down the resto tree to Tree of Life. These druids would rely on big heals such as Healing Touch , since they didn't have the mana cost reduction from tree form. However, with the additions of deeper talents to the restoration tree and the ability to cast Healing Touch in tree form, it's very seldom you see a druid doing serious healing outside of tree form. It is, however, quite possible for Moonkin druids to heal most normal instances up until the level cap, if no healing-specialized player is available. Moonkin gear has lots of spell power and spell crit, so try to use direct heals when possible to take advantage of this.


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Leveling as a Tree


First off, let me say that solo questing as a tree is NOT efficient. If you plan to do most of your leveling from solo quests, you would be much better off speccing Moonkin for the duration of your leveling - most of the gear is the same. However, if you plan to do a lot of instances or group questing as you leveling, speccing as a tree can still be rewarding. Luckily with the dual spec feature (and enough money), you don't usually have to choose anymore.

If you do end up soloing as a tree: There are essentially two schools of thought on killing things when resto specced. One is to root and nuke single pulls. This tends to be very slow but is quite safe and mana efficient. The other option is to HoT yourself and pull many mobs at once (3-5), Barkskin, and Hurricane. This can drain your mana quickly and is a bit more risky, but in all is probably faster. What you choose is up to your playstyle.


Moonkin Leveling Build

    You can use this build as a second spec via the dual spec feature. It specializes in high crits and in moves that help you control the mob and the damage done to you. Keep in mind that I was never actually specced Moonkin, so if you have a better leveling build, please share it in a comment!


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Keeping Up to Date


This guide will be updated with each major patch. However, to get the news on exactly what is changing for resto druids, you can subscribe to my blog, Diary of a Fian. I provide a running commentary on the world of resto druids, in addition to observations about running guilds, raiding, and my work here at WoW-Pro.com.


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Special Thanks


I felt the need to add a section to acknowledge and thank all the people who contributed knowledge to this guide.

First, the wonderful folks at Wowhead. I could NEVER have made this guide without you. The database, comparison, comments, and tooltips are simply the absolute best available on the internet.

A big thanks to the Elitist Jerks forums. These folks really know their theorycrafting. A lot of the questions I had about specific numbers and how spells were calculated were answered here.

In particular, I want to thank some WoW-Pro users who have been a huge help. murphyslaw, thank you for being so understanding and helpful when our guides collided! You rock. honj93, your many comments were so useful, I really appreciate your help in making this guide the best it can be. Also a big thanks to Tag for the excellent correction to the listed MT healing strategy. Thanks Logos for some great recommendations for addons and external gear sites. And thanks to all the others who have commented here that I forgot to mention!


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Comments

Jiyambi's picture

25-man Tree Gear Added!

Thanks to the generous contribution of murphyslaw, we now have a 25-man raid gearing section to the guide!

This means the gearing section for the guide is tentatively done! I will still be making adjustments, as people suggest items and discussion continues, but the framework is now in place. Thanks for all the great ideas and discussion, fellow trees!

murphyslaw's picture

Because I just happened to

Because I just happened to kinda duplicate the heroic gear part of your guide, I want to further enhance that section with what I found out. You could add the following items, which I think fit well into the list:

Amulet
Amulet of Dazzling Light (The Nexus Heroic, Anomalus)

Cloak
Shroud of Moorabi (Gundrak Heroic, Moorabi)

Wrist
Handler's Arm Strap (Drak'Tharon Keep Heroic, King Dred)

Legs
Kilt of the Forgotten One (Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom Heroic, Herald Volazj)

Rings
- Annhylde's Ring (Utgarde Keep Heroic, Ingvar the Plunderer)
- Band of Guile (The Culling of Stratholme Heroic, Mal'Ganis)

Trinkets
- Winged Talisman (Halls of Lightning Heroic, Ionar)
- Spark of Life (Halls of Stone Heroic, Sjonnir the Ironshaper)
- Talisman of Troll Divinity (Drak'Tharon Keep Heroic, The Prophet Tharon'ja)

I also think, that the best Weapon to go for on heroic gear is the Staff of Draconic Combat and not the Mainhand + Offhand, because you gain:
+ 5 Int
+ 24 Stamina
+ 31 Spirit
+ 63 Haste
+ 4.1 Manareg (calculation with 1 mp5 = 2.985 Spirit)
and "only" loose 59 Spellpower.

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

Jiyambi's picture

I added your trinkets

I added your trinkets already, I'll check the other gear when I have some time Smiling

As for the weapon - I'm not certain but I looked at it back when I was choosing weapons for myself and I thought I did a comparison and saw the MH+OH were better. I will run the math again and see what's up, and possibly change the guide if I think it's warranted.

Edit: Alright, looked at it again. For the moment, lets ignore all stats but spellpower and Mp5, and what spirit contributes to those two. The staff has 31 more spirit than the MH+OH combo. That means, with talents, roughly 5.3 spellpower and 10.7 Mp5 (this uses 1 spirit = 1Mp5 outside combat, which is very rough but good enough for the moment). Compared the the 59 more spellpower and 19 more mana regen that the combo has, the staff is less than attractive. You are correct, however, that the staff has a significant advantage in haste and in stamina. Really, I think it's incorrect to say either is better, and that it depends on what you need most in your gear. I'll edit my comment in the intro to that section.

BTW... when I told my guildies I made a resto druid spreadsheet... they laughed at me Sticking out tongue

Tag's picture

Trinket

Think you missed a 10-man trinket.

Majestic Dragon Figurine - Sartharion (Normal)

Possibly the best resto-druid trinket in-game at the minute.

Tag. Smiling

Jiyambi's picture

That is indeed a sexy

That is indeed a sexy trinket. Only problem with searching WoWhead for gear info is that it doesn't always show the trinkets with special effects, like this one. Thanks, I'll add it shortly.

Tag's picture

Just do what I do and browse

Just do what I do and browse through atlas for goodies when you are bored. Or search loot lists of boss drops on wowhead instead of filtering. Takes longer but sometimes you notice funky things!

Tag. Smiling

honj93's picture

Thanks for the link

Thanks for the link I had seen a post in wowhead that it was the best for shamans, but it wasn't linkd and I couldn't find it. Sad

Anyway it seems that all healing classes agree that it is the best or one ofthe best options for them so I suppose for druids also. Smiling

http://elitistjerks.com/f47/t24796-shaman_restoration/#Meta_Gems

70 mp5 if you cast lesser healing wave 1,5 sec cast and druids GCD can be at about 1 sec, which means 1 spell every second, maybe something like every 1,2 sec if you take regrowth and swiftmend in account.

If what this shamman states is true this gem has only 15 sec internal cooldown which makes it even better. As for the 36 mp5 regeneration I suppose it may be because because of the different style of healing shammans are using and the fact that this also counts easy fights where healing isn't that needed to be spammed continuesly. But druids will need at least to put 3 stacks of lifebloom, rejuvenation (and regrwoth)in any fight so they will still be casting a decent amount of spells. And the fight regeneration is anyway mostly needed on boss fights where you usually don't stop healing.

Oh, and I wrote a page long post without noticing, it is Earthsiege and not Skyflare Sticking out tongue

honj93's picture

Insightful Skyflare Diamond

In the druid gem compilation in elitis jerk forums there are some ideas about the gems, but I don't think they're put in order of usefulness.
Anyway, some people say they prefer ember. There isn't much talk about the 2% threat reduction, so I suppose most people aren't interested in this gem (you can anyway blame your tank if you get aggro Eye )
Some say Insightful is much better than all the others. At the bottom of the second page you will find I nice post which explains why Insightful is over Ember.

(sorry, don't know how to link )
http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t38642-druid_gem_compilation/

Also at the paladin and priest forum again in elitist jerk both agree that Insightful is ways better than Ember.

Priest : http://elitistjerks.com/f77/t35208-wotlk_healing_compendium_v3_0_theorycraft_specs_etc/
Paladin :
http://www.wow-pro.com/comment/reply/1958#comment-form

Enough with quotations just see it logicaly :

Insightful gives 21 int. Ember gives 2% of your total intellect, which means you get 21 int if you have 1050 intellect raidbuffed. You may have some more raid buffed, but the difference won't be too big.

The other stats : Insightful gives you chance on spellcast to restore 600 mana (most posters agree in that) This chance is 5% (again nobody seems to disagree). Supposing you have a 5 min boss encounter (which are the cases where you would need mana reg) and cast one spell every two seconds(which can be even low) you will cast 30 spells in a minute and 150 in five mins you shoudl get the proc 7-8 times. Which means, 7x600 mana=4200 mana Jawdropping! . 4200 mana over 5 min is 4200 mana over 300 sec-->70mp5 where ember only gives 25 spellpower.

Of course that's only in theory. Most threads agree that there is an Internal Cooldown. According to paladin this is 15 sec, according to some others 45sec.
But because in reality you will cast lots more than one spell every two seconds in tight boss fights(where this mana is needed) if it's 15 sec it could be ignored, if it's 45 it could pull down the 70mp5 but I think even I would value even something as low as 25mp5 over 25 spellpower.

In wowhead a resto druid states he gets 4,5k mana in every boss fight which matches with the estimation of 75 mp5.

http://www.wowhead.com/?item=41401#comments

To much talk. I wrote all this siply because I want to hear your opinions resto druids of wow pro Laughing out loud

Jiyambi's picture

Excellent summary and I will

Excellent summary and I will definitely add it, thank you!

Logos's picture

I'd say you're spot on. I

I'd say you're spot on. I hadn't looked into it very much, partially because i'm still using my lvl 70 helm and haven't had to choose a meta in wrath yet. I did a couple of searches and found this thread which includes a wws parse of the mana return of this gem on a shaman. He calculated 36 mp5, but I'd imagine a druid would see more procs because they have more casts over the course of a fight.

If I can ever get my Helm of Anomalous to drop (Nexus dislikes me) I might have to try it out and maybe spam LB with recount running to see how much mana return it adds up to.

From the initial info from searches I'd agree that this would be the best meta.

black cat's picture

You might want to include

You might want to include the Master's Inscription of the Crag for Inscriptionists (yay, no SoH grind!) and mention the prismatic gems that Jewelcrafters have, to help people decide upon professions (if that's the sort of thing that influences their decision).

Jiyambi's picture

Hmm, good point on the

Hmm, good point on the professions thing. Maybe I'll even include a professions section that describes the benefits of professions to a tree. But the guide is sort of becoming massive so not sure Sticking out tongue

honj93's picture

Guidoholic

I really don't know, I seem to be addicted to this guide Sticking out tongue

The first thing I'm doing after getting the trusted member status is rating it and posting this comment(yeah, no moderation queue Laughing out loud).

Thanks for the consumables section, I think it will be really useful for my following raids.

And I have some thoughts about your meta gems selection, but I think I will post it tomorrow, I made some search on elitist jerk forums (these guys there are really good at statistics)and other sites like wowhead or thottbot but it's really late and I'm tired now so I will look at it tomorow again to be sure about what I'm saying.

Good Night
/yawn
/sleep

Jiyambi's picture

Looking forward to it!

Looking forward to it! Elitist jerks is a great source, too bad its a real pain in the butt to find exactly what you are looking for since it's in massive thread discussion format. That's really what inspired me to write this guide. It's not so much that I have the most amazing experience or knowledge - it's that I'm good at organizing other people's thoughts/findings/discussions. So yeah, let me know Smiling

honj93's picture

Again me!

I know what you're thinking now, something like "oh, no, not again him" Sticking out tongue Really sorry Sad

Nice idea with the stars, it makes the guide even more easy to read. Smiling

I still can't believe my own eyes when I see this blue ring be above all the other epic drops from Naxx, but I have to admit you're right Eye

Ah, and just one strange thing the second off-hand in 10 man raid section is shown as blue to me in the text, but according to the tooltip it is epic.

And btw, I don't know if you plan to add them, but if not some more cheaper enchants would be nice to not spend 500g for a piece you may replace in a week. Laughing out loud

I hope I'm not pushing you to always write more and stealing your free time ( or the time you would play WoW) Sticking out tongue

Jiyambi's picture

Nah I

Nah I <3 your comments, making the guide better!

Thanks for the note about that off hand, copy+paste causes mistakes like that at times, I'll fix it.

I'll definitely add some cheaper enchants, you make a good point Smiling

Thanks again for the comment!

Jiyambi's picture

Big Update!

I added:

.

Still to come:

  • Consumables! What to eat during raids
  • A 25-man gearing section
  • Some more details on how to heal without resto talents, for all you boomkin tree wanna-bes out there!

Jame's picture

Mwaha, the gem section is

Mwaha, the gem section is already ready for next patch. Pure win Smiling

honj93's picture

sorry about my last post

Sorry about my last post, it wasn't very nice formatted but as I said it wasn't written in the best conditionns. Sad

Because I couldn't see the item stats I mostly followed the rule epic>blue Sticking out tongue . I also remembered that I made my own little search and found that these seemed the best itemts to me.

It's actually true that I prefer spellpower over mana reg, at least for heroics I'm fine even with bad groups when I have to spam regrowth quite often without innervating my self. Smiling

But as you said it's anyway a matter of preference.

Thank you again for this nice guide. Smiling

Jiyambi's picture

Hah, no need to be

Hah, no need to be sorry!

Actually I really appreciated the comment, it inspired me to write a more detailed explanation of why I chose to list the gear I listed.

As for mana regen - I agree I think mana regen isn't as big of an issue in the 5-mans that I have done, I very seldom run out, and my innervate is enough if I do. While I don't have a lot of raid experience in WotLK yet, that is where I hear mana regen becomes an issue.

Hope that explains it a bit better, and again thanks so much for the comments Smiling

Tag's picture

I think that you'll find

I think that you'll find mana a real issue on some raid encounters if you only stack SP. Sapphiron comes to mind and Sarth with drakes up (normal or heroic probably) would be tough. I'm ok mostly seem to struggle more on 10mans than 25s due to lack of buffs that said I always use SP flask and food, if I was finding it too hard I'd switch consumables.

Tag. Smiling

Tag's picture

Some rings!

I know of two decent rings I didn't see on your gear lists (I bet when I look again now they're in the list!). They're very similar but are kinda nice if you don't have anything better (stating the obvious...).

Band of guile - The Culling of Stratholme (Heroic)
Signet of Hopeful Light - Argent Crusade - Exalted

Oh and I read something terrible, apparently Je'Tze's Bell won't be BoE in the next patch, that was just a mistake. I have to admit, I cried a little (like a baby!) when I found this out. Hope I'm wrong!

Nice lists!

Tag. Smiling

Jiyambi's picture

Yeah, I think I need a few

Yeah, I think I need a few more rings up there, I'll add them shortly.

I know there was some confusion over the Bell, and a blue explained that those already picked up would not become un-soulbound. I'll have to look into it again. Regardless, it's still a great trinket!

Edit: Looking at the PTR notes, I see nothing about the bell at all, which may mean it will not be changed. However there are lots on comments which mean otherwise.

Quote:
I was incorrect, unfortunately. The item will remain soulbound. My apologies for the misleading information.

-Maaven 12/23/2008 03:11:14 PM PST

edit for clarity: If you have the item prepatch, it remains soulbound. If this item drops for you after the patch, it will be BoE.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Tag's picture

Aha, I hadn't seen the edit

Aha, I hadn't seen the edit for clarity Sticking out tongue

Looks like I'll be able to buy me a trinket after all!

Tag. Smiling

Jiyambi's picture

Well the clarification was

Well the clarification was made by a wowhead user. However that blue's post was in response to someone asking if their currently soulbound bell would become un-soulbound after the patch, which would be no. So I think it sounds like they will in fact be BoE, but those who previously picked them up wont be able to sell them.

eric's picture

Wow Jiyambi... this guide is

Wow Jiyambi... this guide is really top 1 of the class guides Laughing out loud
And im sure you not only get 8+ karma points for this amazing guide!

honj93's picture

really nice heroic gear guide

I've just read the completed version of the heroic gear guide and it seems pretty good, as the rest of the guide ofc. But, I've got a feeling as if some things are missing. I'm on an airport computer and except the bad text formatting java isn't enabled and I can't check the links to wowhead. So, I'll try to say as much as I remember, I'll ckeck it tomorrow again to see if I have something wrong.

T7 gloves and chest can be purchased with emblems of heroism
there are some epic boots, I think from exalted wyrmrest accord
I think there is an epic ring from some hc, I don't remember which one. I'm not sure if it's clearly healer or dps ring, but it's still better than the blue.
I think there is another epic pants, leather, from dtk I think, which are better than breeches of the caller.
and finally I think there is an epic belt from hc gun'drak

Jiyambi's picture

T7 can be purchased with

T7 can be purchased with emblems of heroism? I did not know that, it doesn't seem like that from WoWhead but I could certainly be mistaken, I'll look into it.

As for the other gear you mention: all of it sacrifices mana regen for spellpower. Since what I have heard most druids complain about in WotLK PvE is a need for mana regen, I personally rank mana regen high enough that this sacrifice is not worth it. However, it really depends on the gear you have. This is why I open this section with the caveat that these are only guidelines. I also provide a link to the excellent item database service on Wowhead. I could list every possible healing item available in WotLK here, in an arbitrary order that I prefer - but really that's just an item database, which is not the point.

For now, I have included what I personally believe to be the top few items from each category. But like I said, it depends on your gear and your preference for what items to use. Healing is not like DPS. There are no be all and end all, solid stats that can give you certain "points", this is the hardest thing I have learned having gone from playing a rogue to playing a healer.

But enough reminiscence Eye Thanks very much for the advice, and I will look into the T7 pieces.

Edit: Stupid WoWhead makes it quite hard to find the info about the T7, but you are correct. I will put that in there and scamper off on my druid to get more emblems and buy myself some T7!

Jiyambi's picture

Heroic Gear Section Complete!

I've finished the heroic gear section.

I want to add another thank you for the awesome feedback I've gotten lately. I'm only one tree, and the advice and experience you have all been sharing has helped improve this guide tremendously. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me helpful comments!

Jame's picture

Looks awesome Ji.

Looks awesome Ji.

Tag's picture

Nice Guide!

I like this guide, its pretty cool and a little more readable than the one over at EJ.

One thing tho Sticking out tongue

Your bit about MT healing. Unless you're very familiar with the encounter I advocate getting your 3 stacks of LB on your tank and a Rejuv. Druids are pre-emptive healers and waiting for damage to come in before healing seems a bit backwards regarding the classes healing role. Also if there is little damage coming in after you have your LB and Rejuv up, you won't have wasted mana because you can just refresh your LB every 10 seconds and you will regen more mana than you consume. Tanks typically go down in a 2-3 second window, LB will tick 3 times in 3 seconds and Rejuv once. For a single druid thats over 4k healing (depending on gear). Tanks typically receive less healing when there is a lot of raid movement, at times like these it is essential that healers use instant heals to make sure the tank (or tanks) doesn't die. Pressure falls on druids mostly in these situations as they have the most effective instant heals. Getting in position just after a pull is a time of little healing for a tank, you don't want him to be using his CDs or trinkets within the first few seconds of an encounter so this is a time to pay close attention. If I had a piece of gold for every time I saw our MT die within the first 3 seconds of pulling Archimonde then all of my alts would have epic mounts Sticking out tongue

Anyway not a criticism, this guide is awesome, just sharing my views on MT healing. I also keep all hots up (LB, Rejuv, Regrowth) as much as is realistic. As a side note though, Wild Growth is an awesome MT healing tool: its an extra hot witch is always nice and ticks for a decent amount however when it really comes into its own is when you have some melee and there is splash damage. Often a MT healer can take care of teh melee as well (depending on the encounter) with smart use of WG and A little spot healing (HoT or direct). So don't count WG out as a useful situational MT healing tool as well, especially if you are only healing one tank and you have GCDs to spare.

Again big props on the guide!

Tag. Smiling

Jiyambi's picture

Alright, I added in both of

Alright, I added in both of your suggestions. Again, thanks very much for the insightful comment! Smiling

Jiyambi's picture

Awesome feedback, thank you!

Awesome feedback, thank you! I agree with all your comments. I use regrowth first in trash pulls but throw up lifebloom first for boss fights, but it makes sense either way. I'll edit it when I have some time, thanks again for the insightful feedback Smiling

Jiyambi's picture

Alright, I've made some

Alright, I've made some updates based on the suggestions provided here. Thanks everyone for your input!

Logos's picture

Great Guide

Hi, I'm recently returning to tree healing after a stint as a chicken while levelling. I've enjoyed reading through your guide in preparation for bringing forth my true leafy potential!!

If it helps you in gearing suggestions, I've devised this LootRank that mostly falls into my gearing philosophy. Healing usually wins out when gemming, but enough weight is given to mp5 and spirit to keep your regen happy. Minor weight is given to haste as an effective means to reduce your GCD to 1 sec. It takes ~220 haste in addition to GCD reducing talents + Wrath of air + Imp Moonkin/Swift Retribution to soft cap; any haste after that just reduces the cast time of non-instant spells. Even less weight is given to crit, though it's not discounted altogether as it has minor use.

Some caveats about the lootrank system:
1. It compiles it's lists from Wowhead and can sometimes pull in out-of-date records for items that may have had their stats nerfed or in some cases never made it past the test realm.
2. It lists items gained from quests that start with raid items as "Quest items". This can lead to results innapropriate to your filters. For example, a quest in Obsidium sanctum that opens up only after you've killed Sapphiron and turned in Key to the Focusing Iris has rewards that don't get filtered out when you exlude those raid instances.
3. BoE zone drop items from instance whow up as world drops. You have to go to the item's wowhead record to see if it is just from one instance. For example Runecaster's Mantle shows up as a World Drop.
4. Given Filters do not let you exclude Emblem of Heroism or Emblem of Valor without excluding the other also.
5. Many of the enchant suggestions are not up to date.

Addon suggestion:

An addon that I've used since I started healing is Grid. It's a raid frame addon much like healbot(I've heard... never actually used healbot). I use it in conjunction with GridStatusHots. Grid takes a bit of time to set up the first time, but now that I've gotten used to it I have trouble healing without it.

I believe most people who use Grid use Clique, which you already have listed in your addons section. I've always just used keyboard binds of a series of very simple mouseover macros(/cast [target=mouseover] SPELLNAME).

Enchant Suggestions:

Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?item=44130#comments
-Sons of Hodir takes ~2 weeks to get exalted with dailies, this or Aldor/Scryer ones are acceptable alternatives while you're getting there.
Legs: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=56008
-Because I'm cheap(with items I plan on replacing soon-ish)
Weapon: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=44629
-Because I'm cheap(with items I plan on replacing soon-ish)

Jiyambi's picture

Thanks! I'll incorporate

Thanks! I'll incorporate your suggestions as soon as I get some time!

honj93's picture

Ok, some more things now

Here I am again, I had posted a comment a month ago and you're guide has quite improved since then. Eye

So first thing to say thank you for this guide and all the effort you've put in it. Smiling

Now I have been 80 for quite some time and I've healed a lot as resto, mostly on heroics. There are few more things I want to mention.

As far as I've seen Shika has something against typos ( Sticking out tongue ), so do I with saying (or writing) exatly what you mean. So at the Spirit presentation you say ( or write )that the mana regeneration only comes in effect while out of combat which (AFAIK) means while not casting. Also it only adds to your healing spellpower if you choose to take improved Tree of Life form. And finally, 30% of the spirit based mana regeneration is effective even while casting if you have Intensity, which almost every PvE druid has.

About nature's perfection, you use it in many of your builds above replenish, that's of course a matter of preference but I don't know if the 3% more is worth only for regrowth, because most of the time your regrowth crits will be from talent at about 60% crit chance from improved regrowth, I don't feel that the 3% will make a big difference.
I just wanted to hear your opinion about that.

Also the last time I said ( wrote Sticking out tongue ) that I hadn't had healed until then. Well, that not exatly true as I had healed lots of instances with off-gear especially the first isntance of both BC and WotLK. So what would be interesting is a section to healing without healing talents which has some differences (for example lifbloom may be better than rejuvenation as spot heal at some points, because you won't have talents which improve rejuvenation or that spirit isn't as useful without Intesity).

So again thanks for this fantastic guide. I especially liked the gear section I wished I had seen it before starting heroics it would have maked the my passage from high level normals to heroics much smother. I hope to see the heroic section soon. Smiling

Thanks again, it's a really good job. Eye

Jiyambi's picture

Thank you very much for all

Thank you very much for all the feedback! I am continually adding to the gear section, in the meantime WoWhead's equipment filters are really useful for this, it even has a weighting for resto druids.

Anyway, I plan to incorporate some of the things you have suggested shortly. Thanks again!

Jiyambi's picture

Enchants added!

Added some recommended enchants! Hope this helps!

TREE-mend-us Guide !!!

Pun intended - this guide is indeed tremendous .... !

I came looking for help after recognizing my healing stats were well below the healing priest and pally in my Guild ... after several weeks of working on gear - and not improving my stats by much I started searching for, 1. tips on playing a Resto druid and 2. What should be expected between these three classes.

Pre-WotLK I held my own but it seems to have gotten alot worse. I think with the tips I've picked up here I may improve greatly (will report back after next raid).

But my second question still stands ... how should we, assuming comparably equipmented toons, compare with healing priests and pallies?

Jiyambi's picture

I honestly haven't had a ton

I honestly haven't had a ton of experience healing in raids in WotLK yet. From what I heard from other druids post patch and still in BC, they seemed to think they were somewhat inferior in total healing done compared to a priest of pallie. However, there are so many advantages to having a tree in the raid. The tree aura, the instant casts, and the HoTs really make up for lack of total healing through-put. I am raiding Naxx now and will get back to you with more details, but from what I have read it is usually recommended to have at least one Tree in the raid whenever possible, so we are most definitely not obsolete Eye

Lycander's picture

I've been doing a lot of raiding

My guild has been raiding for about a month on the 10-mans, and we have a priest, pally, and druid (me) healers. What I find is that, with mostly epic gear I'm usually about 250 or so bonus healing behind these classes. However, I can keep up with them in overall healing, as well as HPS. What we don't see is the various buffs to our resto spells that come from our talents that make up for the missing spell power.

Also, Jiyambi, I have to thank you tremendously for this guide. I've had my main since Classic, and never really paid much attention to HOT healing even in BC (when tree was pretty much useless in raids, IMO). After reading your guide I followed it and have loved it ever since. In fact, the two druid healers that came up in the guild after me followed my build and glyph info, which I got from here. Thanks again.

Souricette's picture

Healing cycle

Hi Jiyambi.

I read carefully your guide, since I am slowly leveling such resto druid myself.
You made an error when you described the different cycles of healing for Main Tank Healing. The icons displayed are not the correct icons, you have exchanged "Regrowth" and "Lifebloom" ones!

Jiyambi's picture

Actually I've changed a bit

Actually I've changed a bit about that section since I put in that cycle. I honestly think I am just going to remove the cycle, since for healing a single tank having such a cycle is really easy to keep up and obvious, with so much extra time for Lifebloom now. But thanks for pointing it out to me, I will adjust or remove it shortly.

Jiyambi's picture

Gear Update!

I added some gear, though it's not complete. I will continue working on it through the next few days until we have a comprehensive guide for tree gear.

Jiyambi's picture

Pre-heroic tree healing gear!

Pre-Heroic gear options complete. Man, this is a lot of work!

Jame's picture

But it looks freaking

But it looks freaking awesome. Honestly.

Jame's picture

Very nice. The bible of tree

Very nice. The bible of tree healing is almost complete Eye

Jiyambi's picture

Addon Update!

Added Clique and Class Timer addons. Let me know if you folks have any other essential tree addon suggestions.

Helpful Guide

One of the better guides I've seen on Druid healing, nice job! One addon I find helpful as a resto druid is Clique. I recommend checking it out if anyone is shopping for new addons Eye