Part 1: Description of Healing tools – Getting to know your spells
Before I describe how to heal, I need to introduce you to the spells and how they will work. I will cover the major healing spells and cooldowns, although there are other healing spells available.
The primary tools of resto druids are our Heal over Time (HOT) spells, but we also do have several direct healing spells. When your direct heals crit, they apply Living Seed to the target. Living Seed provides a buff on your target that will heal them for 50% of the crit amount the next time your target is hit.
- Lifebloom(instant) is your tank HOT. You can only have this on one person at a time. When it expires, it heals for a large bloom amount. Legion change: No longer refreshed by direct heals. Don’t refresh this if it has more than 4 seconds so that the bloom will activate.
- Rejuvenation(instant) is a single-target HOT that you should cast on wounded targets. Use this as your primary heal for sprinkling around on raid members instead of using single-target direct heals when there is a lot of people taking damage. Be careful that you don’t spam yourself OOM with this ability by trying to blanket a bunch of people who aren’t taking damage.
- Swiftmend(instant, 30 sec recharge) is a medium-sided direct burst heal, used primarily as an emergency heal for people near death (especially when used on people who have HOTs stacked on them to benefit from mastery). While prosperity can give this more than 1 charge, prosperity is not considered a good talent at the moment.
- Regrowth(1.5 sec cast time). This is a mana-expensive, fast heal. Use this when you get omen of clarity for mana-free casts (note that this is the only spell Omen of Clarity works with anymore). This applies a HOT to the target (you can’t remove the HOT anymore). This is okay to cast as a tank heal as a very last resort if your swiftmend is on cooldown, but spamming this is inefficient and will drain your mana.
- Healing Touch(2.5 sec cast time). Heals for a large amount, with a high mana cost and a long cast time. This is the least utilized resto spell, since it doesn’t have a HOT and isn’t really a good emergency heal, so it’s really only used by beginners in 5-mans, but shouldn’t ever be cast in raids.
Multi-target AOE heals:
We now have a fairly good set of abilities for AOE healing, with three main AOE healing spells.
- Wild Growth (1.5 sec cast, 8 to 10 sec cooldown) is an AOE heal that costs a lot of mana. This applies a HOT that ticks down smaller each tick. This interacts with talents and artifact weapon traits, such that you will often want to cast this on cooldown, especially in raids. If you take the Flourish talent, you can use Flourish at any point during the spell’s duration for the same effect. It will target the lowest health targets within 30 yards of the person you cast it on.
- Tranquility (channeled over 8 sec, 3 min cooldown) –When you channel this over time, everyone in your party/raid is healed for a moderate amount. Use this as your emergency AOE heal, and try plan in advance which phases to use it (in most raid encounters, it’s possible to plan ways to use it in heavy AOE phases). Note that this does not have a HOT portion and thus does not directly benefit from mastery unless HOTs are on the target.
- Efflorescence (instant, 30 second duration) – This provides a stationary ground-targeted HOT (ticks on 3 people at a time) that lasts for 30 seconds. Only 1 can be active at a time. Keep this placed under your melee group (or any other group clumped together). While this does not count as a HOT, if you choose the Spring Blossoms talent, it adds a HOT portion to this spell.
- Ironbark (1.5 min cooldown) is a defensive cooldown you cast onto tanks. Reduces the damage they take by 20% for 12 seconds. In raids, time use of this cooldown with your other healers & tanks as needed.
- Innervate (3 min cooldown) – Allows the target to have mana-free casting for the next 10 seconds. Can be used either on yourself or an ally. If you use this on yourself, try to cast it right before you use your more expensive spells, such as Wild Growth. When using on other healers in your raid, try to coordinate this for high mana usage times in the fight.
- Essence of G’Hanir (1.5 min cooldown) – New ability you learned from the artifact weapon (See artifact weapon section). Increases the tick frequency of your HOT (such as lowering from 2 sec between ticks to 1 sec), dramatically increasing the total potential healing done. Cast Wild Growth before Essence of G’Hanir. If you have the Flourish talent, every other cast should line up with a Flourish-Extended set of HOTs for maximum cooldown stacking.
- Rebirth: In-combat resurrection. Cooldown is 10 minutes, but there is a limited number of times your group can resurrect. 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. A 20-person raid would share 1 charge every (90/20 =) 4.5 minutes, or one charge every (90/10 =) 9 minutes in a 10-person raid.