By Heavenfall, 70 Tauren Druid, <Four Kings> on Magtheridon (EU)
external image Ability_Druid_TreeofLife.png
Note: This is no longer being updated by Heavenfall. The original can be found at
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=304171106&sid=1&pageNo=1
which is being updated. If anyone wishes to update it, contact Athinira for access.

The Disclaimer



If you are reading this, then you should already have a basic understanding of healing as a druid in 5mans, heroics or 10mans. This is not a "beginner's guide". You should probably also have an active interest in healing, as there is a lot of reading to be done.

A couple of years back I found a great disclaimer on a guide (in that case, leveling). It went something like this: "I am not telling you how to play your game. I am telling you how I play mine." If my tone sometimes sounds a bit demanding, remember at all times that you are completely free to disagree with or ignore what I say. I am posting this in the hopes that someone can learn something, and that someone can tell me how to improve! Also take careful note that this is a PVE Endgame healing guide - that means that Heroics and Karazhan is not a consideration.



The Terminology



So, what do all these abbreviations and words mean?
HoT - Heal over time. The phrase HoTs is used as a gathering umbrella for spells that include a Healing over Time component, after you have finished casting. Examples: Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Regrowth.
FSR - Five Second Rule. Every time you finish casting a spell (except NS), you now have 5 seconds until your Spirit will regen as it does normally. Being "within the FSR" means that you have casted a spell, and now do not have full Spirit regen.
HPS - Heal per second. Means how much a healing spell heals per second. For example, your rejuvenation ticks for 999 every 3 seconds. The spell has a HPS of 333. If the spell is not a HoT spell, HPS is identical to HPSC.
HPSC - Heal per second casting. Means how much a healing spell heals in total, per second you spend casting. For example, a spell heals for 3000 and you spend 3 seconds casting. The spell has a HPSC of 1000.
HPM - Heal per mana. Means how much each mana point you spend on a spell, heals the target. For example, a spell costs 100 mana and heals for 1500. The spell has a HPM of 15.
HPT - Heal per tick. For example, your rejuvenation heals a target for 1200 over 4 ticks and 12 seconds. The HPT is 300.
GCD - Global Cooldown. Instant cast spells cause a 1.5 sec cooldown on all spells. This cannot be improved by spell haste rating, but can be improved by shaman Blood Lust.
Overhealing - How much of your healing done with one or several spells that "overheal", ie lands on the target but does not do any good because it is already at full health. For example, a spell that heals a target for 3000. The target only needs 1000 healing done to be at full health. The Overhealing is 2000, or 66%.
Effective Healing - Raw healing minus Overhealing. In essence, how much you actually healed your targets.
Downranking - Generally refers to using lower ranks of a spell to get a higher HPM at the cost of a lower HPSC.
Resto druid - A druid healing using mainly the restoration tree, and most of the time Tree of Life (see The Talents).
Dreamstate druid - A druid healing using a mix of the restoration and balance tree (see The Talents).

NS - Nature's Swiftness. A 21point talent in the restoration that all full-time healing druids will have. It makes your next nature spell instant cast (All healing spells are nature).
NG - Nature's Grace. A talent in the balance tree that, on a critical spell strike, reduces the cast time of your next spell with 0.5 seconds.
ToL - Tree of Life, a 41 point Shapeshift form in the restoration tree that disables Healing Touch and Abolish Poison and Remove Curse, decreases HoT mana costs by 20%, and gives an aura to your Party which increases healing on party members by up to 25% of your spirit. See Tips&Tricks for an exploit.



The Interface



There are different addons, and they generally do different things. I suggest trying different ones out, and finding the ones that make you the most comfortable as a healer. Or you can play without addons, which will certainly make it a lot more "challenging". The one marked with * is the one I use, but is in most cases not better, just more to my liking. If an addon has two stars, I believe it is an absolute MUST HAVE.

First of all, I suggest that you install the WowAceUpdater ( http://www.wowace.com/wiki/WinAceUpdater ). It is a very simple Windows interface to update all your addons available on Wowace.com in a snap. Of course, if you have no addons from Wowace, there's no point.

Raid Frames
(Improved frames to display your raid, often highly customizable)
*Grid ( http://www.wowace.com/wiki/Grid )
Pitbull ( http://www.wowace.com/wiki/PitBull )
Perfectraid ( http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info4673-PerfectRaid.html )
Ag_Unitframes ( http://www.wowace.com/wiki/Ag_UnitFrames )
X-Perl raid frames ( http://wow-en.curse-gaming.com/downloads/details/3416/ )

Threatmeter
(Monitors your threat in a raid environment. Depends on mainly tanks and other players to install as well)
*Omen ( http://www.wowace.com/wiki/Omen )
KLHThreatmeter ( http://wow-en.curse-gaming.com/downloads/details/4204/ )

Click addons
(assist in simple easily customizable binds of your spells - for example Right click on party member casts Rejuvenation)
*Clique ( http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info5108-Clique.html )
Healbot Continued ( http://wow-en.curse-gaming.com/downloads/details/3802/ )

HoT (and DoT) monitors
(provides an overview of currently running HoTs)
Chronometer ( http://files.wowace.com/Chronometer/Chronometer.zip )
*GridStatusHots Requires Grid ( http://files.wowace.com/GridStatusHots/GridStatusHots.zip )
*SuchASimpleThing ( http://www.curse.com/downloads/details/10201/ )

Tooltip Additions
(Includes vital information into skill Tooltips, like Mana efficiency and Heal per second casting)
*DrDamage ( http://www.wowace.com/wiki/DrDamage )
Theorycraft2 ( http://wow-en.curse-gaming.com/downloads/details/5360/ )

Mana regen Monitor
(Display vital information such as Five-second-rule (see below) information as well as approximative Mana values)
FuBar RegenFu ( http://files.wowace.com/FuBar_RegenFu/FuBar_RegenFu.zip ) Requires FuBar ( http://files.wowace.com/FuBar/FuBar.zip )

Casting Bar addons
(Improves the normal casting bar)
Quarts ( http://www.wowace.com/wiki/Quartz )
GlobalCooldownImproved ( http://wow-en.curse-gaming.com/downloads/details/7340/ )

Healing meters
(Display information about healing from raids)
*Recount ( http://files.wowace.com/Recount/Recount.zip )
Recap ( http://wow-en.curse-gaming.com/downloads/details/5467/ )
Sw-Stats ( http://www.sw-stats.com/rel/SW_Stats.zip )

What addons and macros cannot do
*Addons cannot automatically select the appropriate Rank of an skill
*Addons cannot change Unitframes in combat to display the ones that need healing the most
*Addons cannot use skills automatically

Macros
As a healer, you don't really need any special macros. If you think you do, an excellent guide can be found at
( http://druid.wikispaces.com/Macro's and Addons )



The Gear



Excellent lists of Healing gear can be found here:

Healing Gear List – by Mihir
http://druid.wikispaces.com/Healing+Gear+List

Gearing up for BC endgame healing – by Rahlar
( http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=11381213&sid=1 )

A look at what Healing gear does
(What is best for a healer? Listed in order of importance)
+Healing done by spells and effects - the single most wanted item stat for any Resto druid. It scales extremely well (see "The Skills") and it is also hard to increase by Pots and buffs. This is the MAIN stat of your resto druid, and every upgrade should be considered from that viewpoint.
Spirit only works when you are outside the FSR rule, or at 30% efficiency while you are thanks to a talent. Spirit also stacks well with Blessing of Kings (unlike +healing and mp/5s) and also buffs your ToL aura and your +healing if you have a priest doing Divine Spirit. Since 2.3 patch, it is overall better than mp5 when it comes to raiding. See addons for Fubar_Regenfu for measuring FSR, or the end of this list for a more comprehensive comparison.
Mp/5s is the third stat that any resto druid should look out for. As a resto druid, you will seldom find yourself outside the FSR rule - which means that mp5 (which always works) is a good way to regen mana. The best way to regen mana is in fact MP/5s (but Spirit wins overall due to blessing of kings, divine spirit and ToL aura). Usually, keeping a 10:1 ratio between +healing and mp/5s while casting (check your Character Info panel in game) is a good idea to have unbuffed.
Stamina is not to be underestimated in any way. Many encounters require it, and you should have it. Either at all times, or on a separate, healing-gimped stamina set (like PVP items).
Stamina is not to be underestimated in any way. Many encounters require it, and you should have it. Either at all times, or on a separate, healing-gimped stamina set (like PVP items).
Intelligence - the waste stat. If I could take all my intelligence and convert it to something useful, I would. In boss encounters, you almost always regen so much mana, that any Int you have is so dwarfed that you may start to cry. DO NOT CONSIDER THIS A HEALING STAT (unless you refuse to leave the balance tree and stick with Dreamstate).
Damage - There is only one encounter in the TBC Endgame that needs you to do damage, and even then it can be bypassed. Any item with +damage instead of "+healing and damage", is a bad item to heal in unless you cannot find anything better. +damage costs a LOT of "item points", and will not work for healing in the long run.
Spell Haste - The bottom of the barrel. It does NOT affect global cooldown, and is almost completely wasted on a Resto druid.

--- Generally, try to balance your spirit and mp/5s and int so that you have to use Innervate on yourself approximately in the middle of the encounter your guild is currently trying to progress on - but remember to include pots and buffs. An innervate used when the boss is at 5% is wasted. An innervate used when the boss is at 95% is bad play. When valuing item stats, remember that +healing is very hard to increase with buffs, while mana regen can probably be doubled just by using strong buffs (see "The Player" and mana potions also give a LOT of mana.




Talents


(For a discussion about the Druid Healing Role, see "The Endgame" below.)

Common builds
( http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=Mt0ruqcshhZZxxcbxqM ) commonly refered to as a "Dreamstate" build. Instead of relying on HoTs, this build focuses on giving Healing Touch all the boosts it can get, in order to spam it. This build also has better mana regen than a resto build due to Dreamstate, but in the end suffers from poor Mana efficiency and relies overly on slow antiquated heals. As noted in "The Game" section below, extremely few encounters need a druid on the maintank spamming HT. This build excels at dealing with SPIKE DAMAGE.

( http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=MZZxEIteqMest ) commonly refered to as a "Resto" build. Instead of relying on HT, this build focuses on giving HoTs all the boosts they can get, in order to spam it. This build also has better mana efficiency than a dreamstate build due to Tree of Life, but in the end suffers from poor measurable Overhealing and relies overly on slow Heal over Time spells. As noted in "The Game" section below, most encounters can benefit from a druid using HoTs on the raid / maintanks. This build excels at dealing with SLOW DAMAGE.

What's good about a resto druid is that you won't have to worry about what talents to take - you can have them all. The only exception is Improved Tranquility - which they might as well remove from the game as far as PVE Endgame is concerned. FIE ON IT!

Rating the Resto Talents - what is important and what is not?
Note that this is higly dependant on playstyle and personal preference. Thus, just as before, I will tell you how I rank them - and you should not think of it as LAW.

The best (in no particular order - consider these MUST-HAVEs)
Nature's Focus - for all that damage that is going around, and you not caring.
Subtlety - because you really have that much healing done.
Natural Shapeshifter - To reduce the high cost of switching in and out - which you WILL do.
Nature's Swiftness - because saving one soul every 3 minutes is worth 1 talent point
Gift of Nature - Scales with +healing gear. Enough said.
Improved Regrowth - because regrowth becomes very important and useful in late endgame.
Empowered Rejuvenation - HoT, HoT, HoT, HoT
Tree of Life - HoT, HoT, HoT, HoT
Swiftmend - A good spell for quick recovery, but should not be used on every cooldown unless you're healing 1 target only
Living Spirit - After 2.3, this is a must-have for getting a good bonus to your Spirit. Stacks with everything.

The maybes (still very good for allround healing, but it won't dramatically increase efficiency)
Natural Perfection - 3 % crit to heals, and increased chance to survive loose trash mobs (yes, they will be)
Empowered Touch - For those few encounters where ToL is useless
Naturalist - For those few encounters where ToL is useless
Tranquil Spirit - For those few encounters where ToL is useless
Omen of Clarity - You may get a few Clearcasting procs here and there.
Improved Mark of the Wild - A few extra stat points on the MT is what keeps this from "The Useless"

The Useless (If you have these, you should have a very good argument for yourself)
Improved Tranquility - Tranquility doesn't have the punch to pull aggro anyway.
Furor - Lol.



The Skills



Whenever two values are given, the first one is the one you get in caster form, and the second in tree of life. The healing spells are given with +998 healing, +1501 healing and +1865 healing under different headers. Note that all these values are given assuming a full resto build.

For more information on how restoration spells scale with gear, see the druid game mechanics page section about ability scaling.

Information about the Skills
Rejuvenation - The instant cast HoT ticks 4 times over 12 seconds, the first tick 3 seconds after the cast. Rejuvenation can be used up by Swiftmend.
Regrowth - A 2 second cast spell with a direct heal component and a 21 sec HoT ticking every 3 sec for a total of 7 ticks. The first tick is done 3 seconds after the direct heal has landed (5 seconds after you started casting). Gains a total of 53% crit from talents. Regrowth can be used up by swiftmend.
Swiftmend - An instant cast spell with a direct heal component. Requires a Regrowth or Rejuvenation on the target to work properly. Consumes the Regrowth or Rejuvenation on the target when used. Always chooses the HoT on the target with the least time remaining until it expires. For maths, remember that using Swiftmend has an additional cost in the HoT it consumes which will not tick. Healing done by Swiftmend is decided by your talents and healing, not by the one who casted the HoT.
Lifebloom - An instant cast spell with a 7 sec HoT duration, with ticks every second. At the end of the 7 seconds, a "bloom" heal is applied. Lifebloom also stacks up to 3 times. With 2 stacks, the ticks are doubled in strength. With 3 stacks, the ticks are tripled in comparison to 1 stack. The "bloom" heal is always the same, no matter how many stacks. The "bloom" heal's crit rate is decided by your target's chance to Critically Strike with spells. Recasting a Lifebloom on a target resets the Lifebloom duration. For Mathematical analysis, the "bloom" is always attributed to the first stack. Remember that (just as Swiftmend) recasting (stacking) Lifebloom before it has expired on a target has an additional cost in the ticks that will now not tick. For maximized mana efficiency, Lifebloom should be renewed after 6 seconds have passed on the HoT duration.
Healing touch - A 3 second cast heal with only a direct heal component. Famous for "downranking" to gain mana-efficiency.


            998 Healing    1865 Healing    2195 Healing
Spell            8.8% crit    10.65% crit    11.53% crit
[u]Lifebloom (1stack)[/u] (Mana cost: 220 / 179)
avg)    Total Healing    2166        3201        3600
    HPM        9.8/12.3    13.2/18.2    16.4/20.5
    HPS        309        457        514
    HPSC        1444        2134        2400
    HPT        141        226        258
nocrit)    Bloom        1131        1540        1695
[u]Lifebloom (2stack)[/u] (Bloom credited to 1st stack) (Mana cost: 220 / 179)
    Total Healing    1974        3164        3612
    HPM        9/11        14.4/17.7    16.4/20.5
    HPS        282        452        516
    HPSC        1316        2109        2408
    HPT        282        452        516
[u]Lifebloom (3stack)[/u] (Bloom credited to 1st stack) (Mana cost: 220 / 179)
    Total Healing    2961        4746        5418
    HPM        13.5/16.5    21.6/26.5    24.6/30.8
    HPS        423        678        774
    HPSC        1974        3164.7        3612
    HPT        423        678        774
 
[u]Regrowth (max rank)[/u] (Mana cost: 845/676)
avg)    Total Healing    4695        5939        6418
    HPM        5.6/6.95    7/8.8        7.6/9.5
    HPS        223.6        282.8        305.6
    HPSC        2347        2969        3208.8
    HPT        332        447        490.5
avg)    Direct Heal    2371        2810        2984
    Direct Heal %    50.5%        47.3%        46.5%
 
[u]Rejuvenation (max rank)[/u] (Mana cost: 415/332)
    Total Healing    2526        3562        3959
    HPM        6.1/7.6        8.6/10.7    9.5/11.9
    HPS        211        297        330
    HPSC        1684        2375        2639.3
    HPT        632        891        990
 
[u]Healing Touch (Rank 13)[/u] (Mana cost: 841)
avg)    Total Healing    4775        6018        6834
nocrit)    Total Healing    ~4500        ~5750        ~6462
    HPM        5.7        7.2        8.1
    HPS        1592        2006        2278
[u]Healing Touch (Rank 9)[/u] (Mana cost: 540)
avg)    Total Healing    3134        4209        4863
nocrit)    Total Healing    ~3000        ~4000        ~4600
    HPM        5.8        7.8        9
    HPS        1045        1403        1621
[u]Healing Touch (Rank 7)[/u] (Mana cost: 364)
avg)    Total Healing    2169        3030        3536
nocrit)    Total Healing    ~2050        ~2900        ~3343
    HPM        6        8.1        9.7
    HPS        723        1010        1178
 
[u]Swiftmend (Rejuvenation)[/u] (Mana cost 379/303 + Lost ticks from consumed)
nocrit)    Total Healing    2522        3563        3959
    HPM        6.7/8.3        9.4/11.8    10.4/13
    HPS        1681        2375        2639.3
[u]Swiftmend (Regrowth)[/u] (Mana cost 379/303 + Lost ticks from consumed)
nocrit) Total Healing    1992        2678        3434
    HPM        5.3/6.6        7/8.8        9/11.3
    HPS        1328        1785        2289.3
 
 

Specific notes from Maths:
-- Lifebloom stacking is by far the best way to gain mana efficiency and HPSC on a target that will keep taking damage
-- A single Lifebloom is excellent (high HPSC, high HPM, moderate HPS) to restore health to targets that are lightly damaged. One Lifebloom is good. Two are bad.
-- Rejuvenation isn't good at anything, more of an all-rounder (slightly higher HPSC than one stack of lifebloom, but worse in all other aspects).
-- Healing Touch scales very bad with +healing, and is left behind in all aspects as gear improves. It is purely for dealing with Spike damage on a single target.
-- Regrowth has the highest HPSC of all healing spells (excempt Lifebloom stacks). However, it has a low HPS, and pays for its high HPSC by having a terrible HPM (almost as bad as HT!).
-- Swiftmend remains a situational spell, to use only if a target has a consumable spell, and is in danger - however it does have a relatively high HPS and HPM (not included lost ticks from consumed spell)
-- Out of all the spells, Lifebloom scales the best with improved gear, whether you stack or not

Skills and when to use them
Given the math above (and added all our experience) we can surmize that good and efficient healing is somewhat like this (thanks Gronyon for putting it into words;):
- If a raidtarget took a hit, I use a single Lifebloom, and let the final heal Bloom.
- If I heal the tank, I keep 3 stacks of Lifebloom at all times on MT
- If I need emergency healing or if many are low on health, I use regrowth
- If I need emergency healing, I use Switfmend if possible
- if the target already has Lifebloom and I need a bit more punch, I use Rejuvenation if the bloom was just cast, or a 2nd stack if it is almost over.

Spell rotations
Spell rotations are mostly used in conjecture with Lifebloom rolling (see "The Player"). Basically, it is a phrase to indicate that you now have a limited amount of GCD to use in order to keep Lifebloom up, and you wish to make the most of it. Given that Lifebloom rolls should be refreshed every 6-6.5 seconds, we are given a certain amount of GCD to use for other stuff. For example, if you are using Lifebloom rolls on two tanks, your spell rotation would look something like:
1st GCD (1.5 sec): Cast Lifebloom on tank 1
2nd GCD (3 sec): Cast Lifebloom on tank 2
3rd GCD (4.5 sec): Cast Rejuvenation/Swiftmend/Lifebloom/NS+Regro on random target.
4th GCD (6 sec): Cast Rejuvenation/Swiftmend/Lifebloom/NS+Regro on random target.
And then you would start over, because by then the Lifebloom rolls are expiring on the tanks.

If you are only healing 1 tank, that leaves you with 3 GCD, or if you wish, a regrowth and 1 GCD.

If you are only healing 2 tanks, it is common practice to spread your rejuvenations to the 4th GCD and leave the 3rd open for swiftmends/raidtarget Lifeblooms. In your first rotation, you put a rejuvenation on one of the tanks, and in the second rotation, you put it on the other.

If you are only healing 3 tanks, you basically have to refresh Lifebloom rolls most of the time, and only on the 4th GCD can you do anything else.

If you are healing 4 tanks, you will have no time to do anything except refresh the Lifebloom rolls.

These factors also need to be understood when it comes to dealing with Lifebloom rolls that accidentally expired before they should have. If you are healing 2 tanks, you can put up a 3stack Lifebloom immediately on the 2nd tank after you have refreshed the roll on the 1st. If you are dealing with 3 tanks, you will have to spread out the stacks over 2 rotations. If you are dealing with 4 tanks, you will have to spread out the stacks over 3 rotations. This is done so you do not get more expired rolls. Making new rolls of Lifebloom must also be considered from a trinket point of view, to make sure that you get the highest possible HPS and HPSC and HPM from your rotation.

Intentionally expiring the rolls is another point of discussion. Essentially, it depends on how many tanks you are rolling Lifeblooms on, as that will also determine the time it takes to reapply a full stack. If you are dealing with a 2tank scenario, and one tank will not take damage for 20s or so, I recommend that you let his bloom expire. If healing 3 tanks, the same number would be somewhere around 30-40s.

Note that, unless you are healing 4 tanks, you don't have to use every GCD for a spell. The GCDs put the upper limit on spell rotations, but the lower limit is determined by the amount of tanks (healing 2 tanks - then I MUST use at least 2 GCDs every rotation).



The Endgame



The nature of healing
Healing is (unfortunately) a game of competition within the guild. There is only so much effective healing that needs to be done in a fight. That means that the more you heal, the less others have to. This is extremely difficult for Resto druids, as we rely on players not getting healed instantly as is possible when you've farmed an encounter for a few months. Do not be surprised - or disheartened - when you are no longer able to perform on your old levels when raiding such content. It is simply how the game is.

General Comments (Dreamstate VS Resto)
The current Endgame (Magtheridon, Gruul, SSC, Tempest Keep, Hyjal Summit, Black Temple, Doomwalker, Doom Lord Kazzak) follows (generally) a very simple pattern for healing. The MT(s) take 25% of the damage in Spike damage. The Raid takes 75% of the damage in Slow damage.

The MT(s) will regularly be hit for 5-10ks if they don't Dodge or Parry or get missed. If they are druids, or don't have Shield Block up, they will be hit for even bigger numbers when Crushing Blows Lands. Due to the nature of randomness, they will furthermore be hit in strings of damage that requires very fast healing. This is not where a Resto druid excels. If you are looking to heal the MT because your raid has no problems staying alive due to other healers, I suggest a dreamstate build.

The Raid will regularly be hit for varying amounts of damage that slowly bring their health down throughout WoW Endgame. Most classes can do very little to counter this (Soul Link is generally considered a bad PvE spec, and Ice mages are rare, shadow priests don't heal themselves which they shouldn't and so on) (the main counters are Cloak of Shadows and the paladin bubble). A druid using HoTs is an excellent (if not the best) class to counter this damage.

The Dreamstate is a good build to play the game like a Paladin. The druid class, however, has no equal when it comes to raidhealing using HoTs. If played properly, you will leave even Chain Heal shamans behind (and I mean way behind).

These rules apply when it comes to slow raidhealing:
  • Mana efficiency is King
  • Healing Output Per Second Casttime (HPSC) is King.
  • The ability to move while healing is King.


In all these areas, a Resto build is superior to a Dreamstate build. The main argument that Dreamstate druids use is that HoTs are often wasted due to other players healing before the HoT has done its work. First of all, this implies a bad raid organization - however, it DOES happen, and will continue to happen, always. There is no doubt that HoTs overheal by a vast amount. This is, however, not a problem for a resto druid. The superior mana efficiency and HPSC of a resto druid will MORE than counter the loss we get from only using HoTs. Once a Resto druid start passing 60% or more ticks lost, then maybe Dreamstate druids can start talking about which build excels at raidhealing (and you seriously should never be in that situation). It is also important to note that Dreamstate druids do not offer any kind of secondary option for Raidhealing - 3s HTs are simply not acceptable, and once Dreamstate druids start talking about using HoTs as well, you know they don't have anything more to say (Dreamstate druid HoTs are approximately 20% worse in all aspects).

In Short - Resto for Raidhealing, Dreamstate for Maintankhealing.

The remainder of this guide deals with a Resto druid, as a Dreamstate druid should need no help in how to spam HT on one or two targets. At this time, you should skip the rest of "The Endgame" section and read about rolling HoTs on multiple tanks in "The Player" section.


World Bosses
Doom Lord Kazzak - 25% tank damage, 75% raid damage. Keep your mana high so you can innervate a mana user if they get the mana drain mark and haven't grasped the encounter. ToL entire fight. At enrage, you can use Barkskin+Tranquility to keep your group up - but make sure they are in range! I don't recommend keeping a Lifebloom roll on the MT, as you will need the global cooldowns for the raid.
Doomwalker - 30% tank damage, 70% raid damage. Due to regular maintank shifts, keeping lifebloom rolls up is a waste of time and mana. Focus on healing the raid quickly after every chain lightning and earthquake - remember to barkskin before! ToL for most of the fight. Save NS for when the boss enrages, at which point you should switch out of ToL and HT spam. If you can time your barkskins, you need 6801 health to survive in this fight.

Gruul's Lair
Trash - Multiple Tanks means its an excellent place to roll Lifeblooms on them. Trinket up and keep them rolling! Be careful to not pull aggro from healing, Priests fear their tanks and the 2handguys reset aggro by charging the raid and cleaving.
High King Maulgar - There are a multitude of healing roles needed in this encounter, and it is hard to pin down one that druids excel at. If you are healing the MT or Hunters tanking the shaman, don't be in ToL, but roll Lifeblooms on your targets. Also keep an eye on the raid, as they will randomly take damage. NS+Cyclone may save your life if a felhound starts nagging.
Gruul the Dragonkiller - This is a typical "tanks take 25% damage, raid takes 75%" encounter. These numbers will switch to tanks taking more healing as your raid improves their gameplay (avoiding stuff). I recommend rolling a Lifebloom on the MT, but not on the OT. Using a rejuvenation on MT when raidsilence comes up is usually a good idea, so you can swiftmend right after. Other than that, just HoT the people that take damage up. Save NS for the later parts of the fight. ToL all the time.

Magtheridon
Trash - Careful so you don't get aggro when tanks get deathcoiled. ToL all the time.
Magtheridon 25% tank damage, 75% raid damage. Phase 1 is a lot of people taking a lot of damage. If you have a tank assigned, one lifebloom roll should be more than enough to keep him up (otherwise add Reju+Regros). Heal the raid. Lower healing when Magtheridon is being released to not pull aggro. Immediately when Phase 2 starts, roll a Lifebloom on the MT which should be kept up for entire fight. You will regularly be thrown into the air and out of range if you stay at max range. ToL is recommended for entire fight, unless you are clicking cubes to banish him.

SSerpentshrine Cavern
Trash - A few mobs use poison, but generally ToL and spamming HoTs (who could have guessed!). Make sure that you stand with the other casters.
Hydross the Unstable - 50% tank damage, 50% raid damage. Rolling Lifeblooms on whoever is MT, Regrowths on people in water bubbles, watch your healing around Phase-switching. Make sure you position yourself so you can reach most of the raid, but keep your distance from everyone. ToL all fight. You need at least 8000 health buffed to survive this fight.
The Lurker Below - 25% tank damage, 75% raid damage. ToL all the fight. Much of the fight revolves around spreading out and moving, which makes it an ideal fight for a resto druid (aim for 20% or more healing done). I don't recommend rolling a Lifebloom on the MT, as you will regularly be knocked out of range. Watch your aggro when he goes under!
Morogrim Tidewalker - 25% tank damage, 25% AoE taunt damage, 50% raid damage. Do NOT go crazy on raidhealing when he casts Earthquake as you WILL die from Murlocs then. Excellent fight to keep a roll up on the MT, but you will probably have to renew several times due to watery grave. I don't recommend ToL, as the AoE:ers will need HT on them to stay up. You need at least 7500 health buffed to survive this fight.
Leotheras the Blind - One of the poorer fights for a resto druid. Regrowth on bleeders is nice, but doesn't reward much. Other than that keeping rolls up is something you can do to occupy your time. I don't recommend using ToL, instead use HT spam on the guy tanking him in his shadow phase, or hots on the ones who have Inner deamon. Be ready to move fast, and don't use Barkskin if you get hit by whirlwind. With the +damage from 2.3, you can now Moonfire+barkskin+wrath spam your demon until it's dead.
Fathom-Lord Karathress - DPS will continuously have damage on them, which means you should keep them up. Watch out so you don't get killed by the damage going around. ToL all fight.
Lady Vashj - Phase 1 Hotting whoever gets charged works very well. Try to keep your mana high - phase 2 is the "make or break" part of the fight. Phase 2 - stay in middle and heal the ranged and tanks dealing with the adds that attack back. ToL if your paladins/shamans can remove poisons, otherwise not. Remember to keep dodging her lightning. Phase 3 - ToL - Spike damage on raid members not paying attention - regrowth! Raid takes massive damage, but it is quite a long phase so don't go crazy. Watch your step and keep your Video settings on spell animation quality high. If possible, try to keep running in Phase 3 to not get hit by new zones (thanks Diamondtear;).

The Eye
Trash - ToL and regrowth spam whenever necessary. Don't roll lifeblooms on the tanks. Make sure you get high mana before each pull - it will be needed.
Void Reaver - Caster form. 25% damage on tanks, 70% damage on other melee and 5% damage on rest of raid. Pay attention to orbs! If you have two chain healing shamans, you can pretty much afk at this boss. The best you can is either roll blooms on the tanks, or run around in circles healing the people who didn't dodge orbs.
Al'Ar - 60% tank damage, 40% raid damage. Another boring boss as resto. Phase 1 caster form, keep the MTs up as they are on the platforms. Phase 2 lifebloom rolls on the MT as well as raid healing. Watch your aggro every time he does a meteor. Watch your step and keep your Video settings on spell animation quality high.
High Astromancer Solarian - Random damage around the raid, if done right the MT will take maybe 10% of the damage and the rest will be on the raid. A very dull fight, little healing is needed.
Kael'thas Sunstrider - Phase 1 Caster form. Heal tanks. Phase 2 caster form. Heal your assigned target, and assist on the raid. Remember to pick up Staff and mace (staff for p3+start of p4, mace for rest) when it dies. Phase 3 caster form, stay on your target. If you get the Darkener, remember to announce that your target needs extra heals! If you are in range, roll Hots on MT. Phase 5 - raid heallike crazy. Movement and spreading out makes it excellent for a resto druid. You need at least 7500 health buffed to survive this fight. If you normally use staffs, remember to bring an Offhand for the legendary mace.

Mount Hyjal
Trash - ToL + Roll HoTs on maintanks, you should easily have 25% healing done. Once banshees arrive, switch out of ToL and decurse and let other healers do the work. Careful on new waves to not die from aggro - run back immediately if you die.
Rage Winterchill - 25% tank damage, 75% raid damage. ToL, but be ready to run out of Death and Decay. Regrowth on whoever is hit by the Icebolt (save Barkskin for it). Roll lifebloom on MT. You need at least 10000 health buffed to survive this fight. Keep your Video settings on spell animation quality high.
Anetheron - 25% 2 tanks damage, 75% raid damage. Make sure you are positioned correctly. Never stand close to another player (5 yards or so should suffice) as it WILL kill you if an infernal lands there - save barkskin if it happens to you. Keeping a roll on MT is recommended, but may have to be surrendered as raid takes more damage (the roll maintains ordinary healing even when you have the debuff). You need at least 10000 health buffed to survive this fight.
Kaz'rogal - 25% tank damage, 75% raid damage. Regrowth on those caught in Rain of Fire - Barkskin if you get it. Stay in caster form, as you will need to switch into Bearform when you get the mark that drains mana (IT DOES WORK). Due to spending a lot of the fight in bearform, make sure you keep the HoTs rolling on MT.
Azgalor - 40% MT damage, 25% OT damage, 35% noob damage. ToL on. If you get the mark, make sure you run immediately to the death spot. As a druid with rebirth, you should always get a soulstone before you die (but not before you get the mark). An excellent fight to roll all HoTs on the maintank and have a ToL in the MT group. However, your lifebloom should never have less than 5 seconds left until he uses his AoE silence. Just keep recasting it as long as AoE silence is not on its 13s cooldown. Swiftmend immediately after the silence is gone.
Archimonde No ToL. This fight's damage will vary greatly depending on luck / skill of raid. Decursing is always your number one priority - all heals must be cancelled immediately and you MUST decurse. Regrowth on people with Doomfire (the HoT works MIRACLES). PVP trinket to avoid Doomfires - save Barkskin for when you can't decurse or get Doomfire. Decurse. Decurse. Travel form to reach curse targets faster.

Black Temple
Trash - The trash in BT is a joke, and can easily be 10-15manned. Don't be in ToL when the poisons start going around. Expect 80% or more of all damage to land on raid, in increasing numbers and speed (this is true for all of Black Temple).
High Warlord Naj'entus - 10-15% damage on Maintank, rest on raid. ToL in Maintank group works very well. A fight for resto druids to shine due to spreading out gimping Chainshammies. I don't recommend rolling Lifeblooms on the MT because other classes can do it so much easier and you will need your GCDs for the raid. Be ready at all times to switch out of ToL to click spikes on adjacent raid members. If you are not in range to run, cast a regrowth on each target that is spiked. Topping off the raid before breaking his bubble is NOT YOUR JOB - you can not do it fast enough - leave it to all healers. Save Barkskin for when you get spiked. You need at least 10000 health buffed to survive this fight.
Supremus - Phase 1 consists of maybe 90% damage on 2-3 tanks and minimal damage on melee (noone else should ever be hurt). Don't use ToL, because you will have to spam max rank HTs on the MT (Supremus hits like Patchwerk from time to time with regular hits on the targets in melee range with highest health+threat combined). Phase 2 consists of 100% raid damage and no tanks - however you have to keep moving after him (so no ToL), as well as running away from new volcanoes that continue to spawn. Pay attention to who he is following, and the cooldown on him switching targets. You need at least 9500 health buffed to survive this fight.
Shade of Akama - Phase 1 and 2 are about the same for a Resto druid - a raid usually have 2-4 tanks tanking adds that spawn, and thus take most (75% or more) of the damage in the raid. An excellent opportunity to roll Lifeblooms on several tanks - but WATCH YOUR AGGRO! I recommend letting paladins and shamans remove poison, but be ready to assist. If you are raidhealing, regrowth as much as you can due to Rain of Fire and a very short fight (which means you won't have mana issues).
Teron Gorefiend - 25% maintank damage, 75% raid damage. The fight consists of increasing amounts of shadowbolt-spamming clouds, which means that you should play conservatively (Lifebloom) in the start, and aggressively (Regrowth) once you pass 50%. Be in ToL. Save Barkskin for Incinerate or Crushing Shadow debuff. If you get marked for death, make sure you get a soulstone as you have a rebirth - and then spam regrowth like mad and use innervate. Make sure you are in the clear about how to handle constructs. You need at least 9000 health buffed to survive this fight.
Gurtogg Bloodboil - In my opinion one of the most challenging fights in the game regarding healing. Gurtogg Bloodboil continously uses Bloodboil on the 5 targets furthest away, which ticks for 600 damage per second for 24s and does stack. The standard tactic is to use 3 groups with 5 each to methodically make sure they are the furthest away. As a resto druid, you should be able to keep one of these groups up on your own. Make sure all these players have Amplify magic, or you will not make it. One group will be hit for one stack for 24 seconds, and then have no damage for 6 seconds, and then another stack for 24 seconds. That's 3600 incoming dps. You can either roll 4 Lifeblooms, or you can cast 1 lifebloom on each party member and recast it as soon as it expires. Lifeblooms are also great for phase 2 (when Bloodboil has faded from your group) because the Fel Rage target has a buff that gives him +100% healing done with his spells. As the final "bloom" effect from Lifebloom counts as the target's healing, it will receive double healing. Generally I recommend that you spend as much time as possible regening mana in P2 outside FSR - you will need it. After 30s or so in P2 it's time for another P1 and so on. Pots and Consumables are a must here.
Relinquary of Souls - Another extremely challenging fight for healers. Between each phase, you will get full mana bar, so do not be afraid to spam. Phase 2 - Lifeblooms until Deaden lands on boss, then Regrowth anything that is hurt (the DPS in your raid). Regrowths will not be wasted, because the dps will continue to take sick amounts of damage throughout the phase. Phase 3 - start spamming Regrowths while you are killing the ghosts that give free mana/health. A few ticks will still land in Phase 3. The entire raid takes 100 damage per second, increased by 100 every 3 seconds. After 45 seconds your raid will be taking 1500 damage every 3 seconds. After 1 minute 30s that's up to 3000 damage every 3s (and at this time, if he is not dead, you will probably wipe). There is only one spell to use in Phase 3: Regrowth. Make sure you don't recast it on a target that already has a regrowth on them. On our first kill, the HPSC of my Regrowth was 3500 - without using trinkets. Tranquility is best saved until the end (it can singlehandedly keep your party up through 3k ticks) - just make sure you notify the other healers.
Mother Shahraz - A great fight for ToL. You will need at least 250 Shadow resistance unbuffed and 11000 health buffed. Try to keep your +healing high if you have a choice about which items to replace with SR. Expect to use Pots every time you are missing 3000 mana. All consumables. The raid will take moderate amounts of slow damage over the fight, HPM is the only thing that matters for a raidhealer here. I do not suggest using Regrowth on Fatal Attraction targets, because you will go oom too fast. I do not recommend rolling Lifebloom on MT, as you will need the GCD. I do recommend throwing single Lifeblooms on the ones taking her "cleave". Save Barkskin for Fatal Attraction - remember to switch out of ToL! If you get knocked into air and you have less than 4k health left - Rejuvenation+Swiftmend. Another possible way to tackle this from a resto perspective would be to roll 3 lifeblooms on the Saber Lash targets, however that depends a lot on raidsetup.
Illidari Council - Much like the High King Maulgar fight with 4 tanks (mage+3physical). As far as I can tell, these are the possible roles for a resto druid in that fight: solohealing the rogue and mage add tanks, healing dps over at the paladin with rolling Lifeblooms on either the priest or the paladin tank. Deadly debuffs to regrowth on sight are Divine Wrath and Deadly Poison. Be very alert on the AOE going on around you, and don't stay close to anyone else if you can avoid it. Coming from such fights as Bloodboil and Mother Shahraz, this encounter should not pose a problem to your guild healing-wise. Raid takes 50% damage, 4 tanks take the other 50%.At this point, it's all spike damage so either roll Lifeblooms or use regrowth a lot on the raid.
Illidan Stormrage - ToL recommended for entire fight. Phase 1 - almost no damage on the raid, most damage on maintank (10%/90%). Use Barkskin if you get Parasitic Shadowfiend debuff. Keep HoTs up on MT and throw occasional lifeblooms on those in the blue fires. Phase 1 is approximately 2 minutes, so you will have trinkets ready for phase 2. Try to exit Phase 1 with 100% mana. Phase 2 - either roll Lifeblooms on both tanks, or keep all hots + swiftmend regularly on one of them, or spam regrowth on raid. Remember to move out of your camps when melee runs into them. Save barkskin for Dark Barrage. Phase 3 Human form: Roll Lifeblooms on Agonizing Flames victims (debuff that does more and more damage over 1 minute, ending in 5k ticks/3s), or roll HoTs on MT, or randomheal people taking damage. Phase 3 Shadow-form: Slow damage on entire raid (4k every 15s or so) - 1 lifebloom per target, or roll HoTs on the warlock tank. In both forms, save Barkskin for the end of Agonizing Flames or Parasitic Shadowfiend. Make sure you are spread out at all times - don't rely on others to move from you. Phase 4: Same as Phase 3, but you have to be ready for the maintank and everyone moving about a lot more - you can position yourself closer to the raid.

The Player



As a healer, you decide who lives and who dies. You should learn every encounter from bossguides so that you know exactly what and who will take damage, and what you can do to counter it.

Lifebloom Rolling is what you call it when you have one Lifebloom that you try to keep up as long as possible on a single target taking a lot of damage. The reason is Mana efficiency and Healing output over time weighted against GCD is EXTREMELY good. Lifebloom rolling means you start with 3 stacks, and then refresh it every time 6-6.5 seconds have passed.

Know when to use Regrowth, and when to use Lifebloom, and when to use Swiftmend, and when to use NS, and when to use Rejuvenation. I cannot stress this enough. Regrowth = Expecting more incoming damage on the target, and he is already low.
Lifebloom = target moderately or lightly wounded (or Rolling, see above).
Swiftmend = You have a rejuvenation or a regrowth on a target that is almost dead, and you need instant healing.
NS = You are absolutely convinced that the target will die within the next second if you don't save him.
Rejuvenation = only use if you expect a target to take damage over 12 sec instead of 7 sec (Lifebloom), and only use on tanks if they already have Lifebloom and Regrowth on them. The type of the fight is also of great concern - is it a fast fight? Then you don't need mana. Is it a 10 minute enrage timer that you barely can manage? Then lifebloom is king.

The experience of a healer matters. The only way to really learn how to heal good, is to 1. Raid a lot. 2. Analyze how your raid healers behave, and fill in the gaps. That is all that HoTs can do. That is what druids can do better than anyone.

Bring consumables to all encounters that require it. That means Flask of Mighty Restoration, Superior Mana Oil, Golden Fish Sticks or Blackened Sporefish, and an abundance of Super Mana potions (or equivavent for SSC / TK). If you think that you will go OOM in a fight, then use them. If you have no idea, then use them.


Tips & Tricks



Use the right idol is something I cannot stress enough. Each idol available gets you an additional 2-3% on all healing spells you can use. Harold's Rejuvenating Broach ( http://www.wowhead.com/?item=25643 ) also buffs Swiftmend, if you are using it on a Rejuvenation spell. You should macro switching in and out of Tree of Life form, and equipping the right idol when you do. As for generally switching idols, make sure you do it while in a global cooldown from casting a spell - that will make sure that switching the idol does not itself cause global cooldown.

Use Tree of Life aura as a tool, not as something you paid for but want to return. It has its uses. Find them. For example, it is a great aura on Gurtogg Bloodboil, or High Warlord Naj'Entus.

Ask the mages to buff Amplify Magic if someone won't take magic damage. It adds +230 healing done to every spell on that target.

Innervate is not just a boss spell - use it to clear trash faster. The faster you clear trash, the more time you have on bosses. If you don't need your innervate in a fight, then someone else can use it.

Rejuvenation+Swiftmend is usually not a good idea, but may be required if you are moving in a boss fight. Cast rejuvenation and then immediately cast swiftmend. Some 3k healing in 1.5 sec cast time (3 sec GCD).

NS and switching out of ToL usually works wonders (macro "/cancelform /cast Nature's Swiftness /cast Healing Touch" and spamclick). However, keep in mind that a NS+Regro+Swiftmend will cost less if you are going to switch back into ToL. Also remember to keep any interface modifications from automatically switching idols when you leave the ToL, causing a GCD. (Thanks Chick ;)

Omen of Clarity and Thorns - use it. It costs nothing of the mana you use in combat, and even a few thousand extra threat points in combat may be the difference between a wipe and a kill. OoC is great for those times when you have a moment and not casting anything - throw a few melee swings, preferably with your staff. If your OoC procs clearcasting, your next spell is free and does not start FSR.

Professions are a great way to get healing gear - specifically Tailoring. Grind the mats in feral before you turn 70, and then purchase what you can to craft Whitemend and Primal Mooncloth. You will be hard pressed to replace it for stamina gear, but not before start of Hyjal Summit / Black temple. Yes, they really are that good.

Interface Options has a cool feature in the bottom right corner of the "Advanced Options" tab. It displays healing like damage is usually displayed on screen. The option is called "Show Healing".

Specially thanks to:
Perfectly Sane - my guild - for seeing the potential in an undergeared wannabe.

Blizzard - the company - for stealing 3 years of my life - and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The druid community - the posters - for being a beacon of light in a sea of darkness.

The players - that I couldn't have done it without.