Restoration Druid Playstyle and Rotation Guide

Patch 10.2.5 Last Updated: 23rd Jan, 2024
Heregellas Author Avatar
Heregellas

Playstyle & Rotation

Playstyle in raids with Incarnation: Tree of Life (patch 10.2)

Since the 10.2 patch, Convoke the Spirits is not the preferred option anymore, and you will most likely use Incarnation: Tree of Life instead, with all the synergies it has thanks to Grove Guardians, Cenarius’ Guidance, and the Amidrassil Tier Set.

(Just in case, I kept the old Convoke gameplay notes in this guide, below this 10.2 category)

Since your Incarnation: Tree of Life will have a reduced cooldown thanks to the Grove Guardians fading, the aim for the build will be to reduce it to a ~2 minutes 20 seconds cooldown, and pair your Flourish with it, and with the Reforestation proc every other minute.

This ramp will be far less effective than before since Flourish has been nerfed quite heavily, but it will still be a requirement of your healing set-up to cover specific raid-wide damage during an encounter.

Your sustain healing will, however, be quite good, since you’ll want to use Grove Guardians on a regular basis AFTER popping your Incarnation: Tree of Life (in order to reduce its cooldown).

The basic cooldown plan will look like this, in an ideal scenario:

While doing this coverage, don’t forget the basics:

  • Keep Lifebloom on a target with the highest uptime possible. While playing with Photosynthesis in raid (if you stick to the talents covered in the Talent section of this guide), you’ll most likely keep it on yourself nearly all the time, to enhance your HoT rating. Without the talent, it’ll generally be on one tank, but it can be swapped if necessary (if someone will require a lot of focused healing at one point because of a said mechanic, for instance). Do keep in mind that you can refresh Lifebloom at 5 seconds and less to still benefit from its final bloom effect without letting it fade from the target
  • Keep Efflorescence down on a clump of players (ideally in melee, but this obviously can be swapped depending on encounters/healing set-up)
  • Keep some Rejuvenations on targets before damage is incoming
  • You can use some Regrowth or Nature’s Swiftness, if necessary on low-health targets. Use all your Clearcasting procs to activate your 4p!
  • Using support abilities such as Ironbark, utility abilities like Stampeding Roar and Wild Charge, or defensive abilities such as Barkskin and Bear Form is essential to use when needed.

On top of this healing set-up, try to optimize your DPS a bit by maintaining Moonfire and Sunfire. Careful, though, especially concerning Sunfire on Single Target. This can deplete your mana pretty quickly. Keep only Moonfire if mana is a bit of an issue. You can weave in some Starsurges if you have some spare time, and some Wrath casts after that, if possible (do use Starfire instead if you have multiple targets stacked).

Don’t forget to use Nature’s Vigil during a Flourish use too!

Playstyle in raids with Convoke the Spirits (likely outdated, if patch 10.2 remains in the same state)

During raid encounters, most of your healing will come through your ramps every minute or so.

As such, your healing set-up will change a bit between ramps and off-ramps, and I will divide this section into categories to help make it a bit more clear.

Keep in mind that with this build, you will mostly use Swiftmend & Wild Growth at some specific timings, off-ramp, and at the start of the ramp. As such, I won’t list them in the “All the time” section.

At all time

  1. Keep Lifebloom on a target with the highest uptime possible. While playing with Photosynthesis in raid (if you stick to the talents covered in the Talent section of this guide), you’ll most likely keep it on yourself nearly all the time, to enhance your HoT rating. Without the talent, it’ll generally be on one tank, but it can be swapped if necessary (if someone will require a lot of focused healing at one point because of a said mechanic, for instance). Do keep in mind that you can refresh Lifebloom at 5 seconds and less to still benefit from its final bloom effect without letting it fade from the target
  2. Keep Efflorescence down on a clump of players (ideally in melee, but this obviously can be swapped depending on encounters/healing set-up)
  3. Keep some Rejuvenations on targets before damage is incoming
  4. You can use some Regrowth or Nature’s Swiftness, if necessary on low-health targets

Using support abilities such as Ironbark, utility abilities like Stampeding Roar and Wild Charge, or defensive abilities such as Barkskin and Bear Form is essential to use when needed.

Off-ramp

  1. To optimize Reforestation, you want to use Swiftmend, generally followed by Wild Growth (thanks to Soul of the Forest), at specific points when people are taking damage,
  2. When you have 2 stacks of Reforestation, and if your ramp is needed in the next 30 seconds or so, don’t use any Swiftmend, or you’ll trigger your Tree of Life proc too early. However, you can still use Wild Growth.

During ramp

  1. Once you start your ramp (ideally ~15 seconds before the big damage input), you’ll need to fill every GCD with Rejuvenations. Depending on your haste (and if you have Blood Lust), this can change the number, but try to spam them for ~10 seconds. You might want to use Innervate at this point if available.
  2. After that, you’ll proc your 3rd Reforestation stack with Swiftmend followed by Wild Growth
  3. Then use Convoke the Spirits. If it procs a Flourish on its own, don’t instantly press yours; wait for it to fade before doing so. You’ll be able to use Nature’s Vigil with your ramp, maximizing its value
  4. If there is no Flourish proc, and if you have it available, make sure to use it
  5. If you have to channel Tranquility during the ramp, you can use it right here
  6. Fill all of your GCD with Regrowth (This is possible thanks to your Abundance stacks)

On top of that, you will be able to squeeze in some DPS globals (as long as you don’t delay your Reforestation stacks, since, on some encounters, you nearly need to proc them on cooldown.)

As the Balance spells are easier to use without baiting ranged mechanics in melee, I’ll list those next:

  1. Maintain Moonfire and Sunfire. Careful, though, especially concerning Sunfire on Single Target. This can deplete your mana pretty quickly. Keep only Moonfire if mana is a bit of an issue
  2. You can weave in some Starsurges if you have some spare time
  3. …and add some Wrath casts after that, if possible.
  4. You can use Starfire instead if you have multiple targets stacked.

If you have some free time to DPS, you can pop Heart of the Wild and begin blasting!

Playstyle in M+

We will use the mythic+ talent build from the previous section. You'll have to do some Cat-weaving (alternate some HoTs when your group needs healing + some caster DoTs, then morph and use your cat abilities with a full energy bar available, and repeat).

  • Keep two Lifeblooms active as much as possible (This is possible thanks to Undergrowth)
  • Keep placing Efflorescence on the ground  
  • Add some HoTs on people before damage happens, and heal them reactively if needed. Most of the time, your HoTs will suffice, and you will be able to weave in your DPS abilities at this moment
  • Use Grove Guardians if healing is required (one charge for some rot damage, all 3 charges for burst healing)

Then, while HoTs are healing, and as long as you don't need additional reactive healing:

  • Use Adaptive Swarm on cooldown, even where you're not in combat, to keep bouncing and spreading it when you'll next encounter a pack of mobs (Unbridled Swarm)
  • Sunfire packs of mobs and Moonfire, some of them
  • Cat Form and Thrash, then Swipe during AoE, if you have some spare GCD after your Sunfires and Moonfires
  • Otherwise, in Single Target, Rake (ideally in stealth thanks to Prowl before an encounter, but be careful on small mobs since it will stun them and can spread them from the rest of the pack)
  • Keep going with Shred to grind your Combo Points
  • Apply Rip at 5 Combo, if not present, or if duration < 10 seconds
  • Otherwise, you can use Ferocious Bite at 50 energy!
  • When your energy is depleted, and your Cat DoTs applied, time to refresh Moonfire & Sunfire, and maybe throw some healing abilities if needed before going back to Cat Form