Restoration Druid Mythic+ Guide (Patch 8.3)

Specializationby Lavathing

Welcome to Healcraft.net’s Restoration Druid Mythic+ Guide! As always, if you have any questions or comments, please comment or tweet us @Healcraft. Please note, this guide is for Restoration Druids in a Mythic+ environment. For our raid information, please click here. In addition, we cannot cover every aspect of the class in this guide, so be sure to check out our advanced healing articles for even more information.

SOME OF THIS INFORMATION WILL BE OUT OF DATE. FOR OUR 9.0 PRE-PATCH SURVIVAL GUIDE, PLEASE CLICK HERE!

Introduction

Restoration Druids specialize in healing over time abilities. With most abilities being instant cast, Restoration Druids are also great for high movement encounters. We excel at blanketing the group with healing and providing sustained throughput. Additionally, due to a variety of viable talent choices, Restoration Druids are able to adapt to various situations and encounters.

If you’d like to interact with other druids, head over to the Druid Discord – Dreamgrove! Also, I regularly answer questions and discuss healing topics on twitter, so be sure to follow and shoot me a tweet!

Table of Contents
 Rotation
 Talents
 Essences
 Stats
 Corruption
 Addons and Macros
 More Information

Rotation

Note: Healing doesn’t follow a strict rotation and this is more of a guideline. Additionally, this is tailored for Mythic+. Please visit our raid guide for information regarding raids.

Healing Rotation

1) Due to Photosynthesis, you want to alternate placing your Lifebloom on the tank and yourself depending on the situation. For strong tank healing, put it on the tank. For increased group healing, put it on yourself.

2) Keep Rejuvenation on most of the party to maintain stacks of Mastery.

3) Keep Efflorescence down. Place this in melee range so that the tank and several DPS can take advantage of its healing.

4) Consume Omen of Clarity buffs with Regrowth casts. Unless your tank needs immediate healing, try to spread your Regrowth casts to different targets to increase your group’s average Mastery stacks.

5) Use Wild Growth when AoE damage goes out on the group. Wild Growth’s healing rapidly diminishes over time, so the first second is significantly stronger than the last second. Therefore, you want to make sure that you do not precast Wild Growth too far ahead of time.

6) Use Swiftmend to heal moderately to heavily damaged players.

7) Use Innervate often. This is key in allowing your tank to chain pull without you running into mana issues.

8) Follow the Damage Rotation below when group members do not need immediate healing.

Damage Priority

1) Keep Sunfire and Moonfire active on all targets.

2) Keep Rake active on all targets.

3) Keep Rip active on all targets that will survive for 24 seconds.

4) Spend 5x Combo Points on Ferocious Bite if your target will die sooner than 24 seconds, or if Rip is already applied and not within the pandemic window.

5) Use Shred as a single target combo point generator and filler ability in melee.

6) Use Swipe on 2+ targers as a combo point generators and filler ability in melee. On 5+ targets you will spam Swipe and not consume Combo Points.

7) Use Crucible of Flame on enemy targets; do not let it cap on 2 charges.

8) Use Wrath as a filler ability if you are unable to get into melee range.

Cooldowns

Tranquility – Our signature three minute cooldown ability. Tranquility’s effectiveness and cooldown are greatly impacted by our talent and essence choices (see below). Tranquility’s shortcoming is that you must stand and channel it, due to this, we must plan our Tranquility uses wisely. This ability will almost always be assigned by your raid or heal leader. If not, use this during periods of heavy raid damage.

Ironbark – This external tank cooldown is unique due to its very low cooldown of one minute. While other cooldowns have much larger damage reduction, Ironbark fills the niche of an external that can be used very frequently.

Cenarion Ward – This is a great “cooldown” which will activate its heal on the target when they take damage. You will often use this on the tank whenever they make a big pull or are tanking a boss. This “cooldown” is tied to talent choices, see below for more in-depth information.

Talents

Talent Cheat Sheet

The cheat sheet below is a very generalized talent build suggestion. Due to the situational nature of healing, you’ll likely change talents often. For more detail, read the talent explanations below or scroll down to the Boss Guides section. Additionally, this is tailored for Mythic+. Please visit our raid guide for information regarding raids.

Talents Advanced

Abundance
Each Rejuvenation (include those from Germination) that you have active out on the raid reduces the mana cost of Regrowth by 6% and the critical effect chance is also increased by 6%. Due to us frequently having several Rejuvenations out on the raid at all times, this talent allows you to cast very efficient Regrowths. However, due to the limitation of 5 (or 10 with Germination) Rejuvenations at a time, this talent is weak in smaller group content.

Prosperity
This talent is usually only seen as useful when paired with Soul of the Forest (see below). It is important to remember that the two charges of Swiftmend recharge sequentially, not simultaneously. This means that, in effect, this talent provides you with only one extra Swiftmend over the course of the fight. The real value in this talent comes from the cooldown reduction of Swiftmend overall.

Cenarion Ward
A very strong heal that counts towards our Mastery stacks. This talent is great for Mythic+ because it provides an easily accessible additional Mastery stack while also doing a lot of healing on its own. Furthermore, the other talents on this row are not very applicable in small group content.

Tiger Dash
Tiger Dash provides a higher frequency of access to a stronger dash. However, Wild Charge also has a lot of potential for good movement. This talent row often comes down to personal preference.

Renewal
Provides a large self heal on a 1.5 minute cooldown. Generally this is the weakest choice for us. However, in some dungeons and affixes where we do not need to move around much, this can be a useful throughput increase.

Wild Charge
Provides a lot of different movement options. Due to us frequently being in different shapeshifting forms in Mythic+, this can provide a lot of utility. Often times this will either be slightly more or less useful than Tiger Dash depending on the situation. Personal preference.

Balance Affinity
This talent is generally seen as the weakest of the row for Mythic+. This is because the 5 yard increase is rarely useful in dungeon scenarios. Furthermore, the damage from Balance Affinity is far less than Feral Affinity. Therefore, we never take this talent.

Feral Affinity
This talent is the best choice for dealing the most amount of damage. This is the normal choice for all Mythic+ and dungeon content, or in raid content where you need more damage than anything else. Please refer to our Damage Priority section above for how to properly “kitty-weave” in Mythic+.

Guardian Affinity
This talent is primarily used for its 6% across the board damage reduction. However, Feral Affinity is too strong in Mythic+ compared to the other talent choices on this row. Restoration Druid’s main strength in Mythic+ is our ability to let our healing over time effects take care of the group while we do strong damage in cat form. Therefore, this is rarely taken.

Mighty Bash
This row is entirely up to what utility your group needs! Might Bash provides a strong stun that can also be used as an interrupt on adds that are able to be stunned. Most boss enemies cannot be stunned.

Mass Entanglement
This row is entirely up to what utility your group needs! Mass Entanglement is very useful in several dungeons this expansion for doing mass long-term crowd control on enemies that your team is not targeting for damage.

Typhoon
This row is entirely up to what utility your group needs! Typhoon provides a knockback, slow, and interrupt against enemies that are susceptible to knockback effects. This is often the strongest choice in Mythic+ content.

Soul of the Forest
One of my former favorite talents in past expansions. This talent has seen a recent resurgence in some high-level keys due to its strong throughput possibilities. Make sure to always use Soul of the Forest with the Prosperity talent to empower Wild Growth.

Cultivation
A very strong choice for Mythic+ because it adds another stack of Mastery to your targets without costing a GCD. This is very useful at nearly all levels of keys. This is also a very GCD efficient talent row because it is completely passive and frees up more GCDs to do damage.

Incarnation: Tree of Life
While this is a strong talent for raids, this is very weak for Mythic+. The Wild Growth effect of Incarnation is completely wasted in dungeon content, and the other talent choices provide overall better throughput and utility for druids in smaller group settings.

Inner Peace
This talent is very weak in Mythic+ because Tranquility is far less important than in raid content. Tranquility is rather time inefficient in dungeon content because it is only healing five players over a long channel.

Stonebark
This talent can be situationally used when your group requires stronger single target healing. However, Spring Blossoms tends to be far more useful because it provides another stack of mastery.

Spring Blossoms
This is the default choice of the row due to its great applicability in the majority of situations and dungeons. Additionally, this brings yet another stack of mastery to our build. Due to the nature of small group content, you should be able to apply the Spring Blossoms heal over time effect to most of your group. Also, this talent provides you with a long-term heal while you are in cat form doing damage.

Photosynthesis
This talent provides a lot of versatility to Restoration Druids in Mythic+ content. When your tank is taking a lot of damage (or any other group member), this talent will periodically provide a large heal to the player. However, in many scenarios where the entire group is taking large amounts of damage, you place the lifebloom on yourself and all of your heal over time effects on the group will tick 20% faster.

Germination
This talent gives you the ability to put two Rejuvenations on each target. This helps with single target healing because of an additional Mastery stack being easily accessible. You can take this take this in dungeons where you need to have a strong single target heal.

Flourish
This is a weak choice for most Mythic+ situations. Photosynthesis and Germination are both far more preferable in nearly every scenario.

Essences

The essence builds below are meant to be a general guideline for the most popular and effective load outs. 

Essence Build

The bold essence below indicates that it should be used in the Major Essence slot. The essences that follow the bolded name should be used in the Minor Essence slots.

The Crucible of Flame, Spirit of Preservation, Conflict and Strife, The Well of Existence/The Ever-Rising Tide
The Crucible of Flame, The Formless Void, Conflict and Strife, The Well of Existence/The Ever-Rising Tide

Major

The Crucible of Flame
This is the go-to choice for Mythic+ Restoration Druids. This essence provides solid damage and healing throughput benefits. The primary benefit of this as a major essence is the on-use damage and damage over time effect on enemy targets, particularly bosses. However, in emergencies the on-use can also be used on allies for a significant heal. This essence can be cast in any of our shapeshifting forms.

The Ever-Rising Tide
The highest healing throughput essence; however, it does not provide much in terms of damage increases. However, when you are looking for pure healing throughput, it is very difficult to beat ERT. It is important to remember that using ERT too often without drinking can make mana management difficult to sustain over many chain pulls.

The Formless Void
The Formless Void major can be useful as a damage boost depending on what major essences your teammates are using. The main advantage of this essence is that it unlocks major essences that are otherwise not available for a healer to take. This can be taken in niche scenarios where your team would greatly benefit from having more offensive capability.

Minor

Spirit of Preservation
A very strong single target/tank healing essence that also provides the unique 10 corruption resistance. This is a great choice on any smaller group content. You will almost always want to take this in dungeons and Mythic+, or even in smaller sized Normal/Heroic flex sized raids.

The Well of Existence
A very strong essence for restoration druids because of the large amount of overhealing that our heal over time spells typically bring. This minor can do a substantial amount of healing, especially in instances where people are often dipping below the heal threshold. This is recommended in many dungeons and affix combinations.

Conflict and Strife
A very strong minor essence. This essence gives you a lot of passive Versatility, which is a solid stat for both throughput and damage reduction. However, this essence requires you to farm rated PvP in order to get rank 3. Due to this, some PvE players may not have access to this essence. If you do not have access to this essence, look at the essence choices below as substitutes.

The Ever-Rising Tide
In addition to being a potential major, this is also a strong minor choice. ERT as a minor still provides a lot of passive intellect and mana return procs. This essence will smartly detect if it is better to provide intellect or mana back to the wearer (depending on your mana levels).

The Formless Void
This essence can be an alternative to taking Spirit of Preservation for the unique 10 corruption resistance. This can be a strong minor choice when your allies are using major essences with short cooldowns, therefore you benefit from the haste proc more often. Additionally, this essence provides more damage capability than Spirit of Preservation.

Stats

Mastery > Haste > Critical Strike > Versatility* >> Intellect

Intellect is a primary stat that provides 1 Spell Power (SP) per point. Spell Power increases how much your spells heal for.

Haste increases casting speed and makes our heal over time abilities have more ticks that occur more frequently.

Mastery increases all our healing to a target based on the number of heal over time effects we have on them.

Critical Strike increases the chance to critically hit with abilities.

Versatility increases all damage and healing done, and decreases all damage taken.

*For very high level keys, Versatility becomes our best stat due to its great damage reduction benefit while also contributing to our throughput. Many high keys require a minimum Versatility level in order to survive unavoidable damage.

Stat Math

The following information shows you how much second stat rating you need for a 1% increase. These will be heavily modified by corruptions (see below).

1% increase in haste = 68 rating
1% increase in mastery = 131 rating
1% increase in critical strike = 72 rating
1% increase in healing from versatility = 85 rating

Gems & Enchants

Rings: Enchant Ring – Accord of Mastery
Weapon:  Enchant Weapon – Machinist’s Brilliance.
Gems: Masterful Sea Currant

Consumables

Food: Abyssal-Fried Rissole
Potion: Potion of Replenishment for maximum regeneration. If you cannot channel for at least 5 seconds, use Coastal Mana Potion. If you do not need mana, use Superior Battle Potion of Intellect.
Flask: Greater Flask of Endless Fathoms
Augment Rune: Lightning-Forged Augment Rune, or Battle-Scarred Augment Rune if you do not have the reputation.

Race

Alliance: Kul Tiran, Worgen, and Night Elf are able to be Druids in the Alliance. All of the races have similar throughput benefits, so racial choice comes down to personal preference and utility abilities. Assuming nighttime, Night Elf’s 1% Haste provides the best healing throughput. However, Kul Tiran is preferred for higher keys because of their 1% Versatility and 2% damage taken as a heal over time. Worgen tend to perform the worst, with only 1% Critical Strike.

Horde: Troll, Zandalari Troll, Tauren, and Highmountain Tauren are able to be Druids in the Horde. The Troll Beserking racial is by far the best racial available to the Horde – an on-demand 10% Haste cooldown. Zandalari Troll is behind that with a 4% Critical Strike passive proc. Tauren and Highmountain Tauren are far behind the others in terms of throughput.

Corruption

Corruption Vendor

With the latest major update, you can now buy your corruptions from MOTHER with Echoes of Ny’alotha. To see when each corruption effect will become available in the rotation, please look at Wowhead’s Corruption Vendor Rotation page.

For Mythic+, you have two main options for spending Echoes of Ny’alotha. Both Masterful III and Versatile III are good choices, and which you choose depends on your level of keys. Masterful provides the best healing throughput, but Versatile is required for higher level keys where survivability is the greatest concern.

Best Corruptions

  • Masterful – Mastery is our best stat in smaller group sizes. Typically, you only want to use a Masterful build for dungeon and Mythic+ content. However, Masterful is also very strong in Normal/Heroic flex raiding when the raid size is smaller. Furthermore, Mastery provides the highest amount of single target tank healing of our builds.
  • Versatile – Versatility is not our best stat in terms of raw throughput. However, when you are in very high key levels there are many sources of unavoidable damage which can one-shot you if your versatility is not high enough. Due to this, Versatility becomes an appealing stat and corruption choice for Restoration Druids in high level keys.
  • Void Ritual – Void Ritual is another corruption that can be very useful while you are in lower end gear. The proc gives you a good amount of all secondary stats, and the proc chance increases when other party members are also running Void Ritual. This was originally very strong at the start of this tier when many classes ran Void Ritual. However, since the introduction of the corruption vendor, far fewer people run this corruption and therefore make it less powerful on average.

Addons & Macros

Raid Frames

Grid-2

The primary addon for any healer should be their raid frames. There are several good raid frame addons available. The differences come down to personal preference. I recommend one of the following:

Grid2
VuhDo
Healbot Continued

WeakAuras 2

One of the most useful addons in the game. This allows you to track CDs, buffs, mechanics, timers, and much more. Most guilds require this addon so players can import custom made strings for particular bosses.

Download from Curse!

WeakAura 2 Strings

Most WeakAuras can be found on Wago.io. You can also use the WeakAuras desktop client to keep your auras automatically up to date.

Macros

Basic Mouseover Macro
Allows you to cast a spell on an ally by hovering over their raid frame and hitting the associated keybind. Replace SPELL with a spell name.
#showtooltip SPELL
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead] SPELL

More Information

For more advanced information regarding healing, please check out our various other articles!

Tips and Tricks

In our tips and tricks series of articles we provide unique and interesting tips and tricks for healers on specific encounters. Which talent should you take on a particular fight? How do you deal with a certain mechanic given your toolkit? All of these are explained in the tips and tricks series!

Encounter Guides

Our encounter guides are different from other standard mass-produced guides because they focus primarily on the healer perspective. How is this different from the tips and tricks articles mentioned above? Tips and tricks focuses on advice for a specific class or specialization on an encounter. However, the encounter guides are more board and are aimed to help raid/healing leads understand all the healing details of a fight.

Best in Slot Lists

Self-explanatory! Our best in slot lists are constantly updated following hot-fixes, patches, or anything else that alters what gear we are going after. Don’t worry about doing all the tricky math, we’ll do it for you.

General Theorycraft

Almost everything else can be found on our theorycraft page! Many of our readers found us through our various spreadsheet work (example 1 & 2), and we plan to continue to provide the community with great tools to evaluate their healers.

Conclusion

Thanks for checking out our Restoration Druid Mythic+ guide! We hope that it was helpful for you and your dungeon team. If you have any questions please comment below or tweet us @Healcraft. We will attempt to answer them as soon as possible. As always, if you believe anything to be inaccurate or out of date, please let us know! Finally, there is only so much you can include in one healing guide, so be sure to check out all of our advanced healing resources. Again, thanks for reading and Happy Healing!

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