Zia's guide to Classic Resto Druids#
This is a guide for Druid healing in max-level raid content in Classic World of Warcraft.
Healing Touch (HT). A direct heal with slow cast time, but high mana efficiency. Commonly used ranks include 3, 4, 7, and 10/11. Ranks 3 and 4 are special in that they have faster cast time than higher ranks, making it especially interesting to downrank. Wushoolay's Charm of Nature and Idol of Health make the cast time faster, and Nature's Swiftness is almost always used with a max-rank HT for the biggest instant heal in the game.
Rejuvenation (Rejuv). Your most important HoT. Commonly used ranks include 4, 7, and 10/11. Maxrank Rejuv is strong throughout the game, both to roll on tanks, and to roll on DPS when sustained raid damage is happening. Downranked Rejuv is extremely mana efficient. However, it is weak for burst damage in itself, and prone to getting sniped. Furthermore, only one Rejuv can be applied; if another Druid applies a stronger Rejuv on a target, yours will get overwritten.
Regrowth (RG). Your fast direct heal, with a HoT component attached. Commonly used ranks include 3-6 and 9. Maxrank Regrowth is a decent emergency fast heal, while downranked Regrowth is used in RG spec for raid healing. Unfortunately, it scales relatively poorly with gear and costs a lot of mana.
Swiftmend (Mend). The 31 point Resto talent, giving you a quick-cooldown instant heal by consuming a Rejuv or Regrowth (if both are applied, the HoT with the shortest remaining duration is consumed). This spell is strong for mitigating tank burst, which is an issue in most classic content. You should always try to consume Rejuv, since that heals for significantly more.
Tranquility. A group AoE heal. Barely worth putting on your bars for 20 or 40 man content.
Druid healing specs all take at least 21 points in Resto, to get Nature's Swiftness (NS) to get the indispensable emergency cooldown. On the way, you should pick up Improved Mark of the Wild (if buffing), Improved Healing Touch and Meditation. The rest of the points can be spent in several ways, but since Druids are tasked to keep up Faerie Fire, it is useful to pick up Nature's Reach in Balance. Almost all other points in balance up to the fourth tier are optional.
Moonglow (MG) is the "vanilla" healing spec . By going 24 points into Balance, you pick up the Moonglow talent, getting you 9% cheaper healing spells, and Nature's Grace (NG), giving you faster Healing Touch casts. Optionally, you can drop points in Tranquil Spirit or Gift of Nature and pick up more points in Nature's Focus, Improved Rejuv, or Improved Regrowth.
MG is especially strong at HT spam, often on tanks. It is relatively weak in poor gear, but gets strong with better gear and more world buffs and especially in later phases when key items boosting HT are available. It is also less reliant on HoTs.
Regrowth is a faster-paced spec, going only 21 points into balance to pick up Nature's Grace, and 30 points into Resto to synergize it with Improved Regrowth. Optionally, you can move points in Tranquil Spirit to Nature's Focus or Improved Rejuv.
RG spec follows the flash spamming meta with expensive and fast casts of Regrowth. Properly world buffed and consumed, it can output very high amounts of HPS when raid healing. In low-end gear, it is the spec capable of the most output. However, RG scales relatively poorly with gear, so in later phases and especially in Naxx, the spec gets less value.
Swiftmend is, obviously, a spec focused around picking up Swiftmend. Foregoing Nature's Grace, it can instead pick up basically every good talent in the Resto tree.
It is focused around applying Rejuv to tanks and dps, and having Swiftmend available for burst healing. Lacking NG, it is somewhat weaker for HT spam, but makes up for it with Mend. Swiftmend is another spec that scales well with gear, due to the high +heal coefficient of Rejuv (and consequently Mend).
Heart of the Wild/NS is a hybrid spec, going into Feral instead of Balance.
The playstyle is basically the same as Moonglow. It is generally agreed that it is inferior to the other specs for pure healing purposes, but if you want to tank (or do limited cat DPS) without having to respec, this is the spec for you.
As a Resto druid, you will usually buff the raid with Mark of the Wild and apply Faerie Fire to raid mobs. Faerie Fire is a significant physical DPS increase and should be applied to most mobs which stay alive for more than a couple of seconds.
After buffing and debuffing, your main job is to heal. To maximize output, you should generally be casting as much as possible. The spells you use depend on your spec, as above.
If it looks like you have nothing to heal, pre-HoT with rejuv, precast a low rank of HT on a tank, or do DPS with Engineering consumes/Wrath/Starfire/Hurricane.
It is fine to use Innervate on yourself, but if you have enough mana, you can use it on a friendly Priest or Mage who needs more mana.
In Classic, downranked healing spells (down to lvl 20) have the same +healing coefficient as max-rank spells. This makes downranking very useful. A downranked spell is basically always more mana efficient. Stacking +heal and downranking saves you more mana than stacking mp5 and using high ranks. Use the rank that heals for enough.
With that said, you shouldn't downrank excessively; if you don't need to save mana, you don't need to downrank. The only exception is HT3/4, since downranking to those ranks gives a faster cast time.
Mana Pots and Dark/Demonic Runes can be used frequently. In a mana constrained environment, they should be popped on cooldown. Nightfin Soup/Tender Wolf Steak and Kreeg's Stout Beatdown should always be used, as should Mageblood Potions and Brilliant Wizard/Mana Oil when available (phase 4/5). You can also optionally pop a Wisdom/Titans flask, especially in later phases.
In Classic, world-buffed tanks risk hitting the buff cap. Proper buff cap management suggests tanks to cancel "weak" buffs. This guide maintains that Rejuv is not a weak buff - it's the strongest HoT in the game, and it's Mendable. Several minor HP buffs, such as Elixir of Fortitude or stamina alcohols, are weaker, and should be lower prio than Rejuv. However, Regrowth is a the weakest HoT in the game, and you should expect buffed tanks to cancel it. Thorns is also a low-value buff and should not be used on buffed tanks.
Resto Druids should generally stack +healing. Stamina, mana stats (int, spirit, mp5) or crit are not useless, but if it's not clear to you what to go for, pick the item/setup with higher +healing. You might not be 100% optimal in every fight, but it will usually be good enough. If you feel like you should stack mp5 since you go oom, you should downrank your spells or use more consumes instead. Stacking mp5 is not the right choice unless you get a lot of mana for a small loss in +healing.
How good is are the tier set bonuses?
T1: All set bonuses are weak. Use offset gear instead.
T2: The 3-piece bonus is good for all specs, since it provides a good bonus to mana regen. The 5-piece bonus is good for RG and Mend specs, since they pick up Imp Regrowth, and it adds significant strength to RG. However, note that NG + 5-piece makes you GCD capped, so the effective cast time of RG is still 1.5 sec. 8-piece T2 is BiS game for rejuv raidhealing.
T3: 2-piece is good for Rejuv (25% procrate for maxrank, lower for downranked). 4-piece is fair, giving decent mana savings. 6-piece is weak. 8-piece is situationally very good for high-rank HT spam.
What items do I need to go for ASAP?
From early phases: Hide of the Wild and Corehound Belt. Very strong BoE items that you can use for very long.
Later phases: Wushoolay's Charm of Nature. Wush is your single most important piece of equipment in Classic.
Salamander Scale or T2 legs?
T2 legs are better due to losing a small amount of healing power while gaining a lot of stats.
Robes of the Exalted or T2 chest?
Also close. Pick based on set bonuses or fashion.
Hide of the Wild or Shroud of Pure Thought?
Don't get Shroud if you already have Hide, which you should, since it's a BoE. If you don't have Hide, Shroud is fine.
How good is Shard of the Scale/Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon?
Bad. Best case, Shard and DMC are worth about the same as Briarwood Reed for healing.
Zulian Headdress or T2 head?
Close, but Zulian is slightly better. Go for Zulian unless you lose a decent set bonus or you think it looks bad.
When do I drop 3-piece T2?
Late phase 5 or early phase 6 when you can replace almost all your T2 pieces with BiS offset/T3 gear.
Should I go for 4-set T3?
Yes. It is a minimal cost to +healing at the gain of a lot of mana.
Should I use Fire/Nature/Frost resistance as a healer?
Generally, no. You will be of more benefit to your raid by going for normal +healing gear.
Classic Druid Discord: https://discord.gg/SMwmrBV
BiS List: https://bit.ly/35dindc
Buff Cap Calculator: https://querns.github.io/buff-cap
Debuff Checker: https://maarslet.github.io/DebuffCheck/