Friday, May 26, 2017

Restoration Druid Guide Part 1: Talents (7.3.2 Compliant)

We are updating the Restoration Druid Guide for 7.3.2! Yay! Many talents are situational and will depend on the fight at hand.  They are also based on my personal preferences and playstyle, so what is best for me may not be best for you.

Level 15. Prosperity / Cenarion Ward / Abundance

Prosperity: Each of these talents have merits in different situations. Prosperity is a good talent when paired with Soul of the Forest (though I don't recommend that talent either) because it puts Swiftmend on a 27-second recharge time with two charges, so when paired with Wild Growth it will boost your healing.  Unfortunately, this combination got nerfed and now isn't as strong as it used to be.  Essentially, because after the first 2 charges you are once again casting Swiftmend on a 27-second recharge time, you essentially only get just over one extra Swiftmend per fight.

Cenarion Ward: Most people consider Cenarion Ward the default choice, and it is a strong talent, but I really hate having an extra button to push.  To remember to use it, I have a WeakAura that stays up and has a cooldown timer on it so when the spell is up, I will remember to press it.  I have it bound to a mouse button to make it even easier.  The nice things about Cenarion Ward are: it can be pre-cast to mitigate initial damage, it counts toward your mastery, it can be extended with Flourish, AND it effected by Essence of G'Hanir.

Abundance: Most people discount Abundance as a talent because you are unlikely to be casting Healing Touch all that much anyway, and Regrowth does not heal for very much compared to how much mana it costs.  However, if you take Moment of Clarity as your Level 100 talent, you will get 3 free Regrowths in a row when it procs, and because of the Power of the Archdruid talent on your artifact, you will sometimes get 3 free Rejuvenations, which make Abundance a bit less mana intensive to manage.  Even so, it is still inferior in terms of raw healing output compared to Cenarion Ward.  I think this talent tier depends more on your individual playstyle and the mechanics of the fight at hand.  You should play around to see what suits you best.  Abundance is much better in Mythic+ when you have fewer targets to heal and you don't need to worry as much about mana.

Level 30.  Renewal / Displacer Beast / Wild Charge

Renewal: Renewal could be useful if you're soloing, but why would you solo as resto anyway?  We already have BarkskinIronbark, and Bear Form to mitigate incoming damage, plus we have much more healing in our toolkit.

Displacer BeastDisplacer Beast is always what I have up.  Displacer Beast is great for avoiding (or even outright cheesing) mechanics on fights and running back after a wipe (which of course was not your fault).

Wild ChargeWild Charge lets you swim faster but that's really... it.  I can't see it being very useful in any situation because you will generally want to stay AWAY from where people are taking damage, and if you need to go somewhere fast you can just pop Dash or Displacer Beast.

Level 45. Balance Affinity / Feral Affinity / Guardian Affinity

Balance Affinity: Give you a passive 5 yard range increase and access to some moonkin abilities.  I like to choose the Balance Affinity because my raid group has... stacking problems.  If it's a small fight area, Guardian Affinity is always a better option.

Feral Affinity: Give you a passive 15% movement speed increase increase and access to some Cat-form abilities.  This might be good for the speed increase, but it doesn't offer any benefit for a raid fight that an ability like Dash or Displacer Beast doesn't already give you.  If you have an interest in Catweaving, you should pick this one (I'm not a Catweaver, since I prefer to stay a good ways away from the combat).

Guardian Affinity: MOST people recommend this one.It gives you a flat passive 6% damage reduction, which can be invaluable during progression.  On a fight where you will have no range issues, this is definitely the choice. It gives you access to Bear abilities like Frenzied Regeneration, which can be super useful

Level 60. Mighty Bash / Mass Entanglement / Typhoon

Mighty Bash: You won't generally be called upon to stun any enemies since you will always be at range and melee should be able to perform that job.  This is more of a PVP talent.

Mass Entanglement: I really can't think of a current fight where Mass Entanglement would be useful.  It would be useful for slowing the droplets if you were going for the achievement on Immerseus, but that's about all I can think of.  Any damage taken will cancel the effect, so most of the time it will be immediately broken anyways.

Typhoon: I tend to choose Typhoon because sometimes things will get healing aggro and I can knock them back in time for the tank to get aggro on them, like the scorpion adds on Skorpyron or the adds on Tichondrius.  A special protip is that you can Ursol's Vortex a mob and them Typhoon them so they're all nice and grouped up for awesome AoE shenanigans, which is great for Mythic+!

Level 75. Soul of the Forest / Incarnation: Tree of Life / Cultivation

Soul of the ForestSoul of the Forest provides a solid buff to your Wild Growths.  It will only be good for your every second or third Wild Growth, though, and it also adds another step in there forcing you to waste one of your only non-cast time emergency heals just to buff an already powerful spell.

Incarnation: Tree of LifeIncarnation can be good if there are heavy bursts of damage and you need an OH CRAP button similar to Tranquility.  I don't ever choose Incarnation because the Inner Peace talent in the level 90 tier provides a CD reduction to Tranquility so Incarnation is not needed.  This is more of a PVP talent, but it can have situation use in PVE.

CultivationCultivation adds a second HoT on the target if they dip below 60% health.  It can be useful ASSUMING your group is going sub 60% health often enough for it to be useful.  Generally, Cultivation is going to be your highest output talent.  A nice thing is that Cultivation is always active and I don't have to worry about actively using it or timing my other spells.  It also adds to your Mastery.

Level 90. Spring Blossoms / Inner Peace / Germination

Spring BlossomsSpring Blossoms will be good on fights where people are stacked and you can see the benefit.  It's also useful because it will interact with your mastery and is affected by your artifact ability and Flourish.  Keep in mind that in a fight where you move a lot, this talent won't be as good because of the mana cost of constantly having to move your mushroom.

Inner PeaceInner Peace tends to rely heavily on damage patterns that will line up with the 2 minute cooldown of Tranquility, not to mention a decent fight length, otherwise it is a wasted talent.  You have to actually have the opportunity to use Tranquility enough times for it to be beneficial.  Obviously if you were healing a regular dungeon, you wouldn't go with this talent.

GerminationGermination can be useful in smaller groups like dungeons where you have the time and mana to apply extra Rejuvenations to people.  On a fight like Tichondrius where you do not have to worry about mana and people are taking constant ticking damage, this can be a great talent, especially paired with other talents that will affect your Rejuvenations like Flourish.

Level 100. Moment of Clarity / Stonebark / Flourish

Moment of Clarity: I WANT to like Moment of Clarity because it's simple and doesn't add an extra button I have to push, but most people would pick Flourish because it is better in terms of heal per second increase.  It also has a problem in that many times when Omen of Clarity procs, everyone will already be at full health so it is basically wasted.  Flourish just completely dominates this talent.

StonebarkStonebark is weaker compared to Flourish in most situations, it it could still be superior in fights like Mythic+ dungeons where the damage on the tank will be very high and spiky.

Flourish: What is nice about Flourish is that you are able to control it.  My reason for not liking Flourish is that it adds an extra button that I have to push.  What makes it easier is binding the spell to a key and making a WeakAura to alert me when it's up so I remember to press the key again.  I will include all my aura strings in the UI section, coming soon.  In a raid environment where other healers have tank cooldowns available, Flourish is just better.  Additionally, if you pick Spring BlossomsCultivation, and Cenarion Ward, they will also be affected by Flourish, which when paired with the G'hanir ability is pretty insane.  Try to remember to cast Cenarion Ward before Flourish so you can almost double its duration.