PvE Restoration Druid Healer Guide

PvE Restoration Druid Healer Guide
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: April 29, 2024
  • Updated: May 15, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

As the most versatile class in World of Warcraft with the ability to fill every role in the game, the Druid has always been a jack-of-all-trades. That trend continues for Restoration Druids in Cataclysm, where they remain powerful HoT-based healers who offer valuable flexibility and utility to any group.

Restoration Druid Healer in Cataclysm

Among the five healing specializations, Restoration Druids are the least changed in Cataclysm. They received no new healing spells or utility, only alterations to their existing abilities. The build’s core mechanic continues to be the distribution and management of their HoTs.

Many Restoration Druids will mourn the loss of their permanent Tree of Life form in Cataclysm, while others may welcome the opportunity to show off their new transmog sets. The new version of this ability is a cooldown that enhances some of your other spells while it’s active.

Cataclysm also marks the introduction of Efflorescence, an area effect which is placed underneath the target of your Swiftmend and heals anyone who stands in it. This talent effectively adds another group heal to your toolkit.

Restoration Druid Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Powerful HoTs
    Nobody does heal-over-time spells like the Restoration Druid. Where other classes may have one or two small HoTs they can place on a target to help smooth out damage, the Resto Druid is capable of blanketing the raid in a steady stream of healing. They can also stack HoTs on individual targets for a more focused stream of heals. At high gear levels, a lone Resto Druid can solo-heal a 10-player raid, providing a seemingly bottomless fountain of HoTs to the group.
  • Mobility
    Many of the Restoration Druid’s spells are instant, which allows them to move around freely while casting. They also have Cat Form, Dash, and Travel Form to help them navigate the battlefield.
  • Strong Utility
    Restoration Druids have all of the utility of the Druid class, including Innervate and Rebirth. They’re also likely to know when to use these spells since they’re already looking at raid frames.

Weaknesses

  • Weak Healing Cooldowns
    Tranquility is a significantly weaker version of a Priest’s Divine Hymn. Beyond that, the only healing cooldown the Druid has is Tree of Life. They have no cooldowns they can put on a tank who is taking heavy damage.
  • No Absorption/Mitigation Effects
    Every other healer has some type of absorption shield or some way to reduce the damage taken by their targets. Druids can only heal damage after it goes out.
  • Requires Planning
    HoTs are very proactive healing tools, requiring you to place them on targets in advance for maximum effect. The Resto Druid doesn’t have many tools to quickly respond to damage unexpected. This means that they need some time to prepare or adjust when there is a tank swap or phase change.

Best Races for Restoration Druid in Cataclysm

Wow Horde Crest Horde

Troll

Cataclysm brings some new Race/Class Combinations to the game, and among them is the addition of Troll Druids. This race is great for Restoration Druids for the same reason it’s great for any other caster or healer: Berserking.

  • Berserking gives you a 10 second Haste buff every 3 minutes, making up somewhat for your shortage of healing cooldowns.
  • Regeneration gives you a little extra survivability.
  • Da Voodoo Shuffle is nice to have, although you can always shapeshift to get out of movement impairing effects.

Tauren

Taurens were the only race for Horde Druids until now. Unfortunately it’s not as good as the new Troll option because none of the racial abilities do anything to improve your healing.

Wow Alliance Crest Alliance

Worgen

Alliance also gets a new race option for Druids in the brand new Worgen race. This option has a slight edge over Night Elf.

  • Viciousness increases your Crit by a small amount, which isn’t that great, but it does at least affect your healing.
  • Darkflight gives you an option for moving fast without needing to shapeshift.
  • Flayer works well for Druids, who are excellent gatherers due to their Flight Form.

Night Elf

Night Elves don’t have anything that can help your healing as a Druid, but they do have some utility that may be valuable in the right circumstances.

  • Shadowmeld can rarely allow you to drop combat and even survive a wipe.
  • Elusiveness helps you get around while on the Prowl.
  • Quickness gives you a little extra survivability.

 

About the Author

Luxrah

I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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