Resto Druid Specs and Glyphs in 3.1


For the record, Moonkins are wonderful. I love them, and I love their dance. However, I am not going to be shaking a tailfeather–at least not for a little while. I might be the only crazy tree out there, but I’m going to use both of my specs for healing, at least for the time being. I expect to be in Ulduar tonight, and quite honestly, no one really knows how difficult it’s going to be. None of us have raided with our usual setups on the PTR, and many of us, me included, never made it there at all. We quite simply don’t know how we, as individual raid groups, will confront the challenges. Thus, it’s a great time to take two healing specs–one for raid healing, and one for tank healing. The changes to mana regen and to some individual spells (ahem, Lifebloom) may make your usual healing assignment no longer the order of the day. Are two healing builds overkill? Maybe. But are they fun? Oh yes, for me anyway.

Build #1: Single tank focused

I am working on the assumption that rolling Lifebloom on multiple tanks is good and dead, so that technique is not part of my calculations. My talent build for tank healing focuses on propping up Nourish, Rejuvenation, and Regrowth. The druid tank healer will do a version of what she’s always done: load HoTs on the tank and then cast a direct heal. The only change for me is that this heal will now be Nourish instead of Regrowth. My tank-healing spec is a version of the 14/0/57 build many of us have been using throughout Naxx, so there are very few surprises. Follow this link to see the build, but I’ll mention the key talents here.

#1: Nature’s Splendor
This talent makes direct healing much easier. The longer your HoTs tick, the more casts of Nourish you can sneak in the rotation.

#2: Nature’s Grace
This talent has been updated to benefit Nourish-heavy rotations. There’s no need to worry about Nourish clipping. An extra haste proc, of course, benefits direct healing much more than HoTs.

#3: Tranquil Spirit
Once an optional talent, Tranquil spirit looks better with the new mana constraints. Druid healers who rely on Nourish for tank filler healing should pick this one up.

#4: Nature’s Bounty
This talent replaces the old Improved Regrowth. It is the one change that cements Nourish’s place in the druid’s rotation. Do not leave the trainer without it.

#5: Living Seed
This talent used to account for less than 1% of my healing, which encouraged me to drop it altogether. Now it procs from overheal in addition to effective healing, making it a better safeguard for a tank target.

Glyphs for Tank Healing

I am going to glyph for Swiftmend, Nourish, and Innervate for my tank healing needs. Your mileage may vary. The glyphs of Lifebloom and Regrowth might still be interesting for certain playstyles, but I’m keeping Innervate until I’m sure I don’t need it.

Build #2: Raid Healing with Healing Touch

What I’m going to share with you is a bit unorthodox and is NOT to be used for tank healing. This build only becomes possible if you have another healing spec to switch to for tank healing or multitasking. In this particular raid healing build, I am going to take the opportunity to try out some new techniques. The basic idea is that Ulduar is an unknown quantity. This build de-emphasizes HoT combos, which is the druid’s strength in tank healing or in normal content. This build features a glyphed Healing Touch, which I know from experience can help when 1) the druid is undergeared for the throughput needed or 2) the druid is running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Don’t worry, there’s a second build coming up later that’s a more standard build for raid healing. The basic technique with this first build is to use Wild Growth and Rejuvenation very liberally and to save that quick HT for heavy damage targeted on a small number of raid members. Mana survival in this build depends on not spamming HT, but rather using it judiciously. The reason I’ve preferred it to the similar Nourish is that it has a decent throughput with no prior HoT setup. Regrowth might work in this role too, but it tends to be a little too slow when the healer is surprised by damage. Just as a note, with this build, Nature’s Swiftness gets used with Regrowth.

Caveat: Yes, I know I’m advocating a flash heal as a raid heal. If your team has extra paladins who end up raid healing, it wouldn’t look as good. However, if you’d been reading my guild’s WWS reports for early Naxx or harder heroics back when we were undergeared, you would have seen glyphed Healing Touch kick the ass of Nourish, Regrowth, and Swiftmended Rejuvenation as a raid heal. I credit Sthirteen with putting a glyphed HT to great use (and outperforming me and my conventional build every time).

Naturalist: Clipping be damned. Yes, your Healing Touch casts will be so fast they’ll clip. With this build, I don’t intend to use more than one at a time. It’s not set up for constant heal bombs on a tank. This is more of a run, run, heal, run, run kind of build.

Tranquil Spirit: Necessary for survival with glyphed HT. The spell is a resource hog, and you’ll need every ounce of mana efficiency.

Revitalize: With this build, the druid will be seeding the raid really heavily with Rejuvenation and Wild Growth. This little talent puts the damage buffer of those two HoTs to a secondary use. One of the things that remains to be seen is how effective Revitalize really is. I’m not counting on huge benefits, but if I’m using the affected spells anyway? Might as well.

Glyphs for HT-oriented raid healing

I’ll be using Healing Touch, Wild Growth, and Innervate for this build. I know, no Swiftmend. Believe me when I tell you that I’ll need the glyph of Innervate to sustain any amount of HT usage.

Build #3: Raid Healing Standard Build

I will likely switch to this build when I get more comfortable with Ulduar. It has more mana efficiency than the HT build, and thus it might let the raid healing druid sneak some HoTs onto the tank. My experience with the HT build is that it’s only really great when multiple healers are undergeared or don’t know WTF to do. I’d never take it as an all-purpose build, because it really reduces the druid’s rotation. With this second raid healing build, I will continue to cast Wild Growth and Rejuvenation liberally. Additionally, once I complete the 4pc T8 set bonus, raid healing with Rejuvenation will be positively delightful. I won’t need my direct heals nearly as much. However, I’ll be using Regrowth as a direct heal on targets with no existing HoT and Nourish as a direct heal on targets that already have one HoT. Swiftmend will also be extremely prominent with this build. For healing on the run, both Rejuv and Lifebloom might be cast on the target, particularly if the raid is spread out enough to make Wild Growth wasteful. The key talents are below.

Swiftmend: I can’t emphasize this enough for this build, but well, any good tree has this anyway.

Nature’s Bounty: I need to buff my two direct heals in order to deal with targeted boss effects.

Revitalize: The very heavy reliance on Wild Growth and Rejuvenation ensures the inclusion of this talent.

Glyphs for Raid Healing

My “standard” raid healing build uses the glyphs of Swiftmend, Wild Growth, and Innervate until I get the 4pc T8 bonus. With the bonus, the glyphs become Swiftmend, Wild Growth, and Rejuvenation.

As a final comment, why would I carry two healing specs when one would do? Because now I can! And also, I apparently didn’t get enough fun out of doing dailies with a Resto spec. At least that gives me a little time to look at elf-Syd instead of a tree or a bird.

12 thoughts on “Resto Druid Specs and Glyphs in 3.1”

  1. Very good guide and a fresh approach in build 3.

    Got a question though. In build 3 you are are squeezing those extra 3% spell haste out of the balance tree. For how much spell haste are you aiming on your gear then? Together with GotEM and Ulduar gear you could get below 1sec GCD quick.

  2. @Schlachtivieh

    Last I checked, I was short of the 1 sec GCD with 290 haste on my gear. I haven’t geared for haste on purpse, so the extra 3% would be helpful. I might put those points somewhere else if I end up with significant amounts of haste on my gear just because of Ulduar itemization.

  3. What? No love for the Dreamstate 28/0/43 spec? When I use that my unbuffed mp5 goes from 313 to 420. That alone means an extra nourish every 15-20 seconds which increases healing tremendously. Not to mention the extra spellpower.

  4. @Beldyn: I’ve seen good players make unconventional specs work before. However, I’m not one of those types. I need to set myself up for success.

    Last night’s read on WWS (both mine and Arktos’, who kicked my ass on the meters) says that the biggest return on effort is Wild Growth, followed by (surprise surprise) Lifebloom. Ulduar healing is very, very spammy, and also GCD-constrained, so I might even revise my builds. It seems to be all about instant casts, and the amount of damage is such that HoTs are not going to overheal. I think it’s a mistake to over-emphasize Nourish, and I certainly saw that it my own numbers. My fellow druid, Arktos, was using almost exclusively Lifebloom and Wild Growth, with an occasional Rejuv, and that was really, really helpful for the raid it looks like. However, the biggest reason Arktos outplayed me by a mile was that Ignis kept killing me a minute into the attempts. It’s hard to put out much healing if you’re present for 27% of an attempt. I’d like to see if I can contribute a little more on tonight’s raid with a bigger focus on instants.

  5. I know I started freaking out when I saw that my MP5 dropped by a third down to like 600… it was a sad sad day… however, now I feel it may be opertune to question the usefulness of a spec I made back in the day. It could technically be considered Balance/Resto, but that’s besides the point.
    it’s along those lines with a few talents you can Swap out for others at different point.
    the main one that I’d consider for switching is Living Spirit, what with spirit being pretty close to… well… useless now >.< I was just wondering what other people’s opinions are on this

  6. Yes I totally agree with Sydera. Ulduar is very spammy and likewise my top heals were WG and LB. I have always been one to emphasise LB even after it’s many nerfs as it’s still a great spell (esp now it can crit for over 14k on bloom). In regards to mana regen issues, I tailored my druid more toward mana regen when 3.1 approached (446 mp5 while casting unbuffed but with BS and JC as trade skills to compensate) – there seems to be no mana issues as such and so far. Mana returns from LBs are also welcome. However one thing though is that druids will need to be on the top of their game if they want to compete against circle of healing and the faster heals of other classes that heal for more directly – as hots are just not enough in some cases.

    You’re right about nourish too. What annoys me most is that blizz seem to have forced it upon us restos, but being the rebel, I like to chose my own ways. Nourish hasn’t played that an important a role for me so far in Ulduar 25 simply because 1/ the spike damage means that other classes’ snipe heals are more effective because 2/ who has time to cast many HOTS then cast nourish when we’re talking about random raid damage of such high proportion? Nourish alone is useless in these situations.

  7. @Onomayliya

    Spirit is still a pretty useful stat to have as it increases your spellpower, and whilst innervate has been severely nerfed (tbh it was overpowered because we regenerated a bar and a half back), it could mean the difference between downing a boss and not downing them. My own personal opinion is that removing Living Spirit will only compound what is already a dire situation for us druids, and so we must try our best to preserve what little mana regen from spirit we can get – especially as Ulduar is no walk in the park like Naxx was.

    Just because blizz nerf something doesn’t make it useless. Look at LB and Sydera pointing out that LB featured heavily in the Ulduar raid healing meters.
    We just have to be more resourceful by being rebel like me 😀

    Mainframe (EU) Kul Tiras, Galamoth (EU) Kul Tiras

  8. Hello!

    Interesting read. I am bit confused about something, though. You stated:

    “My talent build for tank healing focuses on propping up Nourish, Rejuvenation, and Regrowth.”

    But then you state:

    “The only change for me is that this heal will now be Nourish instead of Regrowth.”

    If you are using Nourish instead of Regrowth, did you really mean to say that you are “propping up” Regrowth? When you heal are you keeping only rejuv and LB up then using Nourish? Or are you doing rejuv, LB AND regrowth and then using Nourish?

    Thanks for your consideration.


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