Resto druid WOD level 90 survival guide 6.0

Below is a summary of relevant Warlords of Draenor changes for restoration druids. This information is relevant to level 90 after the 6.0 patch. The patch is still at least a week away, but I wanted to get this posted for people to start preparing early! The below information is (to the best of my knowledge) accurate at the time of posting. Future updates will be done as needed. I will be updating the full healing guide at a later date to be relevant for level 100 closer to the expansion launch. Keep in mind that my advice for level 100 will vary greatly from what is posted below, as many level 100 decisions are not relevant for the month we are 90 or the time we spend leveling from 90 to 99. As usual, everything is still subject to change between now and when the patch goes live. Hamlet already has a level 100 druid guide up on WOWhead. In addition, my level 100 druid guide is now updated!

Major Stat Changes

Stat Squish: All the stats have been squished! All player and NPC health, damage, heals, stats, and other values have been reduced. This means that the time to kill something remains relatively constant, but the numbers shown on the screen are smaller.
• There is no reforging – what stats you have on your gear is what you get (and all previous reforging was reversed).
Spirit is now only found on accessories and not your primary gear (hit for DPS casters was removed entirely). Thus, healers and DPS casters now largely share all gear, with the exception of a few accessories with spirit. This means all your gear, gems, and such were changed to remove spirit.
• They made major HOT mechanic changes. Thus, there are no Haste HOT Breakpoints anymore (so, don’t ask for one). In addition, you can recast HOTs any time in the last 30% of the duration and not suffer any loss of ticks, so you get a little more wiggle room for refreshing HOTs without penalty. Instead of snapshotting stats, most HOTs and DOTs now update dynamically each tick.
Major stats at level 90. Most of your gear will have crit, mastery, and haste on it. Resto druids generally prefer mastery and haste over crit, but most of your gear resto tier gear will have crit on it. For the month we are all level 90, these stats aren’t terribly important for most of what you want to do, so most gear will be fine.
The other new stats (versatility, multistrike, etc) will be introduced to gear in the expansion once we start leveling and replacing gear in Draenor, and will be talked about in the level 100 guide coming “soon”.

Gearing at 90 (Summary): Accessories (e.g., neck, ring) with spirit will be better than accessories without. On your main gear (e.g., chest, pants, boots, etc), mastery and haste are prioritized higher than crit. You can’t reforge, however, so gearing optimally isn’t important for the month we wait for the next expansion. Wowhead has a gearing up guide if you need more gearing up advice (or more advice about the stat changes). Note that tiny differences in things like “optimal” enchants and consumables won’t have any real measurable effect on your performance for the month you are 90 (and are subject to change over the course of that month).

Major Changes to Abilities

Lifebloom is now limited to a single stack, instead of having 3 total stacks. The base healing was increased to compensate. This frees up more time in the fight, and means that sometimes you might want to let lifeboom actually bloom for the direct heal.
Wild Mushroom no longer has a bloom direct heal effect. Instead, it just provides a short Efflorescence ground-targeted HOT and then goes away after the 30 second duration ends. While it has no cooldown, only one can be on the ground at a time. So, as this is mana-expensive to move around, only move it if you have to.
• Swiftmend can no longer have efflo attached to it, so it only provides the instant single-target direct heal.
• Wild Growth has a cast time, but resto druids still maintain a fair amount of movement ability while healing overall.

Minor Changes to Abilities

• Omen of Clarity only benefits regrowth, and no longer gains additional procs from the Tree of Life form cooldown.
• Tranquility’s mechanic has been simplified, but it otherwise works the same in practice. It’s a powerful channeled spell that heals all nearby party/raid members over 8 seconds, with a 3 minute cooldown (no more additional HOT component or strange scaling).
Level 90 talents no longer provide a strong main-role bonus, but Nature’s Vigil seems to be the best one for resto druids.
• They changed the combat res mechanic for raids. In a raid, your combat res ability will show the number of the shared pool of charges remaining for the boss encounter across all raid/party members. In a 20-person raid, we get 1 charge every (90/20 =) 4.5 minutes, or one charge every (90/10 =) 9 minutes in a 10-person raid.

Removed Abilities

The following abilities were removed from resto druids’ toolset:

• Nourish
• Symbiosis
• Innervate
• Hybernate
• Nature’s Grasp
• Some hybrid bear/cat abilities were removed from resto druids, including: Faerie Fire, lacerate, maim, (mangle is now bear only – with shred no longer having a positional requirement for cat), maul, might of ursoc, rake, survival instincts, etc.

What are the primary healing tools?

Single target direct: Healing Touch (long cast time), Regrowth (high mana cost), Swiftmend (instant-cast, but has a cooldown and requires a HOT on the target), nature’s swiftness (paired with healing touch).
• Single target HOTS: Lifebloom (1 stack, still limited to 1 target), Rejuvenation (mana cost similar to healing touch)
AOE HOTs: Wild Growth (1.5 sec cast time, 8 sec cooldown, 7 sec duration), Wild Mushroom (instant-cast, 30 sec duration, ground-targeted), Tranquility (channeled for 8 sec, 3 min cooldown), Genesis (high mana cost, emergency heal, consumes all your rejuvs and applies that HOT healing faster).
• Important Passive Procs: Living seed (procs from Healing touch, regrowth, or swiftmend crits – got slightly better), omen of clarity (only impacts regrowth).
• Other: level 15 talents and level 60 talents provide new healing spells or augments.

What are the primary utility tools?

Crowd control: roots, cyclone, choice of level 45 talents, and choice of level 75 talents.
Movement: Dash, travel form, level 15 talents, stampeding roar
Survivability: Ironbark (yourself or others) and barkskin (yourself only)
• Other spells: rebirth, revive, nature’s cure, Mark of the Wild, Teleport: Moonglade

How am I supposed to heal raids (summary)?

The healing strategy stays largely the same. Keep Lifebloom on a single tank. Use rejuv on as many targets as possible. Use Wild Growth on cooldown. Cast Wild Mushroom once every 30 seconds, or when everyone has moved out of it. Use Swiftmend as an instant single-target heal. Use regrowth when omen of clarity procs. Use Healing Touch if you need a big direct heal. Use tranquility as needed for big burst damage phases. Use other utility (e.g., ironbark, nature’s cure, rebirth) as needed.

What talents changed? What talents should I take?

  • For level 90 (and leveling to 100), take the talents you are most comfortable with. I generally prefer passive talents over active talents for leveling.
  • The only major functionality changes are to Soul of the Forest (now provides HOTs and regrowth with a healing bonus instead of haste – still makes HT cast faster), Heart of the Wild (no longer provides strong intellect bonus), and Incarnation (they changed what spells are augmented, and so now you spam rejuv instead of lifebloom/regrowth).
  • Everything else is largely number tuning and reducing the main-role bonus from the other level 90 talents (DOC & NV) to be slightly weaker relative to the health pool changes.
  • So, a build for a player new to resto druids leveling in dungeons could be: Feline Swiftness, Ysera’s Gift, Typhoon, Soul of the Forest, Ursol’s Vortex, and Nature’s Vigil.
  • More experienced druids might take incarnation  instead of force of nature to have a cooldown that can be timed with end-game boss encounters.
  • Note that end-game raiding builds will end up with different talents that better suit the needs of the raid encounters or play-styles, especially given how the level 100 talents interact with the rest of the builds.

What’s up with my travel form button?

Travel form has merged the ground travel, water travel, and flight form all into one single button that is supposed to morph when you change environments. The Glyph of Stag will split Flight Form from this merged travel form (in addition to letting party members ride on your back). However, the “travel form” will still go into the swim/water form even when someone is on your back. So, if you are carrying someone on your back in stag form, don’t go in water or you will drop them!

“My new face is ugly!”

You can now have plastic surgery done to your character’s face by visiting the barber shop.

What race should I be?

The new racial trait info can be found here.

What glyphs should I use?

Note that the Efflorescence and innervate glyphs were removed. If this is still in your talent page, remove it – it does nothing. You can take any of the glyphs designed for resto druids that are helpful at 90 and leveling to 100. Generally keep the ones you were using before, and update any removed glyphs with new options that augment spells you are using. For more glyph advice, see the level 100 healing guides.

Posted in Patch 6.0, Restoration Healing Trees, Warlords of Draenor, Written By Lissanna

10 comments on “Resto druid WOD level 90 survival guide 6.0
  1. RohanV says:

    I don’t think your combat res changes are right. Do you really mean you can combat res someone every 5 seconds? Or do you need a certain number of charges to actually cast the res?

    • Lissanna says:

      That was a typo. It should say minutes instead of seconds. Woops! I changed the text in the post. Does it make more sense now?

  2. Kare says:

    Great read! Personally, my head is swimming with the changes that are incoming. I am a virtually new to healing as a RDruid. My main is a RShaman. I plan to re-read this and other articles as I try to understand the mechanics moving forward. Thanks for posting this!!!

  3. Moonspeaker says:

    Thank you so much for this!

  4. Mammoth says:

    Good read!

    I believe Incarnation is now enhancing Rejuv and not Lifebloom, but essentially spamming Rejuv vs spamming Lifebloom will be the same thing.

    You seem to think Glyph of Regrowth will still be worth using. Any thoughts on losing the improved Regrowth HoT because of this or do you still see big value in the glyph?

    • Lissanna says:

      With regards to talents, I was being pretty vague in describing the changes in the survival guide (written in a total of 3 hours). The full guide is going to have more info about each individual talent, based on the level 100 testing numbers after Blizzard stops doing daily patches with new number and mechanic tweaks. I changed the description of that particular talent to be slightly less vague.

      Overall, the glyph options are pretty crappy for resto druids. They mostly have giant costs that make them marginal number buffs, or they provide relatively meaningless augmentations such as tiny reductions in Nature’s Swiftness’ long cooldown when using another spell you don’t use very often. There are not great glyphs that make me excited about using glyphs.

      That said, the role of Regrowth in a druid toolset is to provide immediate mana-expensive burst healing. The regrowth glyph makes regrowth more effective at the role it is intended for, because it makes that burst healing more consistent. We don’t really even need the HOT portion on regrowth because we already have so many other HOTs that do a better job of being a mana-effective HOT. The change to regrowth means that instead of the HOT refreshing on low health targets (Which most of us forgot it was supposed to do in MOP due to using the glyph), it now has a slightly longer base duration (I haven’t seen data that shows whether this actually changes the average number of times it ticks in practice, and there was also a buff to Living Seed that may make up any numerical discrepancy in the first place). So, for level 90 to 99, I see no reason to drop the regrowth glyph most people were already using, especially for all the dungeon leveling druids are going to do until they hit 100. The level 100 glyph recommendations will be based on level 100 needs when the full guide is done (assuming that they will likely make additional changes to the glyphs, talents, and spells between today and the middle of November). I put up a link to Hamlet’s guide that explains the dungeon vs raid glyph options for level 100.

  5. Tellervo says:

    Nature’s Swiftness has been traditionally coupled with Healing Touch, but with the longer Regrowth HoT duration I’m thinking it’s better to use NS+Regrowth instead, as NS also enhances duration of the spell according to the tooltip. Thoughts?

    • Lissanna says:

      Hamlet’s guide still recommends using the macro for HT & Nature’s Swiftness. The point of Nature’s Swiftness is to prevent deaths. Healing Touch is still going to prevent deaths better than regrowth ticks.

      • Tellervo says:

        Well, with 60% increased chance I thought it tends to crit fairly often, and when it does crit the direct heal potion heals slightly more than Healing Touch doesn’t it? (Plus Living Seed, which we often forget)

        • Karä says:

          HT will still be better at preventing deaths since RG doesn’t *always* crit.

          I prefer always having a big heal rather than sometimes having a slightly bigger heal when facing oh-shit situations. But yes, RG will probably yield bigger numbers on the meter (which isn’t what we’re after here) 🙂


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