Recommended Raid Build
- Cenarion Ward (Prosperity with T20 Set bonus)
- Displacer Beast
- Guardian Affinity
- Spring Blossoms (Germination on fights where you want more concentrated individual target healing)
Recommended Dungeon Build
Tier 1 - Level 15
Prosperity is a great talent when you need more instant spot healing, an example of this being Guarm Progress Flame Lick debuffs. Prosperity also has great synergy with the new T20 Set Bonus, allowing us to store even more "Empowered Effloresences".
Cenarion Ward is the default choice, it provides an extra mastery stack on a target while also dealing a great deal of healing to them over a short time. Cenarion Ward is basically mandatory if you are using the Legendary Bracers, and should usually be placed on a tank taking damage or on any raid member that will take high sustained damage
Abundance is a very strange talent. Unfortunately too much of our healing is focused around Rejuvenation for us to waste globals casting Healing Touches or Regrowths regularly. I'm always looking for ways that this talent could be useful, I've tried using it in a few scenarios but overall it's just a poorly designed talent.
Tier 2 - Level 30
Renewal is an ability that we used to be able to take alongside Displacer Beast in previous expansions, but is now on the same talent row. I miss having Renewal all the time as it was a great emergency self heal. Renewal can still be taken on fights where you are taking a lot of damage or movement is irrelevant. If you go into Bear Form and use Renewal you will heal yourself for a huge amount. However, in most cases Displacer Beast is the more versatile talent.
Displacer Beast is the default talent here, it has received nerfs increasing the cooldown to 30 seconds, but blink abilities are generally very strong in progression raiding and Displacer Beast is no exception. This talent only adds to the incredible mobility that Resto possess.
Wild Charge is like a more versatile, lower cooldown Displacer Beast. You might be thinking: "why is it not better then?" Well the answer is that none of the effects are blink effects, and they require you to change to the appropriate form before using it, which is not ideal if you were to try to use Wild Charge as an emergency movement ability.
Tier 3 - Level 45
Balance Affinity is a great choice for fights where that extra range will make a big difference. I have used Balance Affinity on one fight this expansion and that was Helya progression; the extra range allowed me to reach tanks and melee even when kiting my orb up the side platform, which was invaluable.
Feral Affinity is a great choice for fights where you either need the extra speed bonus or need to provide extra dps in Cat Form. Feral Affinity dps is the highest dps output you can do as a Resto Druid, Swipe provides great AOE while Shred, Rake and Rip provide incredibly high Single target dps.You should apply Moonfire and Sunfire while dpsing in Cat Form, and shapeshift out of Cat Form to apply them while you are regenerating energy. To maximise DPS, don't spend too long outside of Cat Form as your bleeds will tick for considerably less damage while you are not in Cat Form.
Guardian Affinity is my favorite affinity available to Resto Druids. The base damage reduction and the active ability of Frenzied Regeneration make you incredibly hard to kill. Guardian Affinity is one of the reasons I love playing Resto Druid on progression, clever use of Frenzied Regeneration can provide a lot of 0 mana cost healing to yourself. It scales with the damage you have recently taken which means using it after a big hit (like soloing a fel bond on Mythic Gul'dan) will provide you with a Frenzied Regeneration that ticks for literally millions. It also means you can semi-tank some mobs or bosses if the tank dies.
Tier 4 - Level 60
Mighty Bash is your generic single target stun, usually not worth taking in raids because other classes have baseline single target stuns. Has some use in dungeons if your group lacks stuns.
Mass Entanglement is a very powerful ability but should be used with caution. Rooted mobs will usually stop hitting the tank and start meleeing whoever is in range of them, this makes it very dangerous to use in dungeons.
Typhoon is the default talent here. It can be used in combination with Ursol's Vortex to AOE interrupt a group of mobs without spreading them apart. It can also be used on its own to keep mobs away from you, or knock mobs into position (think the blobs on Ilgynoth).
Tier 5 - Level 75
Soul of the Forest (SOTF) had been a default talent in the past but in Legion it has lost its flare. This is in part because of the fact that Swiftmend has a much longer cooldown now than in WOD, and in part because it is contested in the talent row by extremely strong talents. On fights where there is 24/7 damage but that isn't enough to drop you below 60% health, SOTF is in theory the best talent. However, these kind of fights don't really exist unless you're doing lower level content.
Incarnation: Tree of Life is a great talent for fights where the damage comes in heavy bursts and you need an extra raid cooldown to fill a gap, or if you are on farm and the fights are extremely short. I have only used Incarnation on one progression fight in Legion and that was Ellisande. This is because before the hotfixes, the raid damage was generally very low, except for some parts of the fight where the damage came in very heavy bursts. Incarnation may have been a lower overall HPS talent than Cultivation, but for safely killing the boss, Incarnation provided safety at the most dangerous parts of the fight.
Cultivation is the shining glory of the Resto Druid. Good use of this talent is what makes a good Resto Druid extremely powerful on progression fights. Cultivation not only adds the free healing it does, but just as importantly adds a free mastery stack! You will be proccing Cultivation often if the raid is taking heavy damage naturally by pre-reducing targets like you normally would anyway, however, to edge out even more Cultivation uptime you should be carefully watching the % health of your raid members, try to snipe Rejuvenations onto the targets that are below 60% and without a Rejuvenation. Even if they are 59% health, Rejuvenation heals instantly so you will get a full duration of Cultivation by sniping that person rather than a target at 61% health. This talent is taken 99% of times on progression because it adds so much valuable FREE healing and a FREE mastery stack on a target that needs it.
Tier 6 - Level 90
Spring Blossoms is the default choice for overall raid healing. It provides a free mastery stack on targets receiving healing from your Efflorescence. 9+ players in your Efflorescence is when Spring Blossoms will have high value, although it still has value when less are in it, and gains even more value when more targets are in. Spring Blossoms can either be used to cover low pulsing damage on its own, or used to add extra healing and an extra mastery stack to players who will take heavy damage.
Inner Peace is a great optional talent for situations where a 2 minute Tranquility would make a big difference. If you're not able to have raid cooldowns to cover every place they are needed, having a 2 minute Tranquility may be able to make you cover those slots. This talent should generally be used after communication with your healing officer or raid leader that you should take it to help make the cooldowns align properly.
Germination is an extremely strong talent for fights where certain players may take a huge amount of sustained damage. Germination is not always the highest healing meter talent but it is often the correct talent for progression fights to make sure you kill the boss. Sometimes only a few players are in real danger of dying, some examples are: tanks, players soaking the well of souls on Gul'dan, players soaking seeker swarm on Tichondrius, players that are afflicted by Fel Ejections on Star Augur and players afflicted by Mark of Frost on Spellblade Auriel. It's worth noting Germination gains even more value when you are using the Legendary Shoulders/ T19 4 Set / Legendary Ring as in a 20 man or smaller raid you can find yourself Rejuvenation capped very easily sometimes if you do not run Germination.
Tier 7 - Level 100
Stonebark is a great talent for dungeons as it provides you with an even lower cooldown Stonebark and increases the healing over time the player with Ironbark on them will receive from you. Stonebark also gains some value for possible raid use with the Legendary Gloves, although in raids Stonebark is overshadowed by Flourish.
Flourish is the default talent for raiding, it outclasses the other two talent choices massively. You should try to have the following when you Flourish: An active Cenarion Ward, a large number of Rejuvenations/Cultivations/Spring Blossoms and have active Wild Growths out. A good combination for a high amount of healing is to Flourish after a Wild Growth, use the artifact weapon Essence of Ghanir, and then Wild Growth again when it's ready. This is especially effective if you are using Incarnation: Tree of Life as you will have even more wild growths to Flourish.
With the recent addition of the ability to send artifact knowledge 40 instantly to any alt, I didn't feel the need to include a trait progression tree as you will very quickly be able to get all traits anyway! Go for the new golden as it can be fun to see proc and then fill in everything!
It is usually worth going for the highest ilvl relics you can use, though in extreme situations such as one of the best traits vs. a useless one, it would be worth using a relic with 5 ilvl lower. The best relic traits to aim for are as follows: