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(Very much a work in progress, just wanted to get some thoughts out there)

I haven’t done any work on my healing blog in a long time.  There is a bit of history there.  Soon after I wrote this post, I went boomkin through the end of WotLK.  I picked up healing again for Cataclysm but it took me a while before I really felt in tune with my spec, my role, my guild group, etc. to be able to write something that would be proven and knowledgeable.  I also had taken some breaks during 4.2 and 4.1 that slowed things down a lot.

Currently, my guild has downed half of the heroic bosses in 10 man.  This was our first week for Zon’ozz but I wasn’t there for that one.  I have been there for the three previous heroic kills (Morchok, Yor’sahj and Ultraxion).  We are not a hard core guild nor do we try to be but we do put consistent work in to progression.

The first tip I have for any resto druid (and a lot other classes and specs) is a site:

http://elitistjerks.com/

Resto Druid theorycrafting thread

http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t110354-resto_cataclysm_4_3_dragon_soul/

They have excellent forums for each class and usually have a thread or two dedicated to having the most up-to-date theorycrafting goodies.  As a resto druid, you will be able to find where to put your talent points, how to gear, enchant and gem, etc.  There is also good discussion on casting mechanics and what to use when, etc.  All in all, I highly recommend this site.

Like anything though, it is best to read things critically and build your own understanding.  To that end, I have some points that I want to distill and emphasis further and thus I found myself writing this.

UI

Grid in the center of your screen, lots of configuration options

Talents

Here is my spec:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#0hbbZcZrfzhdcrukzo

There are some variations to what is recommended by elitistjerks which i will cover:

Gift of the Earthmother (-3) – under consideration

Nature’s Cure (+1) – should be a must unless you are only doing 25 mans and know others have magic dispells covered

Nature’s Ward (+1) – where i put an extra talent point for survivability, i think i will move this elsewhere now as i have learned fights and am better geared

Nature’s Bounty (+3) – me likey regrowth crits, good quick heal when you don’t go oom as often, very strong when coupled with tree form

Perseverence (-3) – don’t stand in fire

Blessing of the Grove (+1) – minimal gain for tier access

Furor (+3) – With the haste build talked about later, you need a big mana pool.

Moonglow (-1)

Genesis (-2) – Both sacrificed grudgingly for mana pool from Furor

Gear

I am specifically going for a haste based build.  This requires two things:

A) haste to be at or slightly above a desired breakpoint.  See elitistjerks thread for other breakpoints.

You should be able to hit these without insurmountable challenges in 4.3

1573 – If you run with a Warlock who gives you DI

2005 – no longer relying on warlock (Bottled Wishes really helps here – get those valor points!)

B) As much mana regen as I can find within reason

This has flavored enchanting and reforging choices heavily.  I still prefer my brilliant red gems though.

 

Stats:

Intellect – primary stat, most important to stack

Spirit – With a lot of haste, you need the regen you will get from spirit.

Haste – Very important to get this to a useful breakpoint but don’t be too far or else you are wasting points

Mastery – Very good HPS buff but only if you are actually using a direct heal regularly.  My preferred is Regrowth but you may want to use Nourish or Healing Touch based on your mana pool and regen.

Crit – Something to avoid but can still be useful

 

One final thing to say about gearing:

If you are at a point where you are comfortable healing the team and know that you can support progression, think about passing upgrades to DPS.  There is no such thing as an overdamage meter so you will get the most progression bang per buck if those points go to a DPS.

A month and a half ago, I felt the need to sum up my thoughts on raid healing as a resto druid. I did so in this post:

https://kyliaar.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/raid-healing-analysis-as-a-resto-druid/.

Since then a few things have changed.  Here is my new spec:

Latest Resto build

In addition to this, I swapped out Glyph of Regrowth for Glyph of Nourish.

My reason for going this route is because I have seen a lot of resto druids singing the praises of nourish as well as seeing how nourish has been buffed recently.  I also see a real failing in my previous build because any single target healing on a tank taking heavy damage is very mana intensive and extremely dicely.  I experienced this first hand in 25 man Ulduar in Iron Council.  I was asked to keep up a druid tank on one of the council.  I was able to do so successfully but I felt pressed against the backropes.  It was extremely challenging and I knew that was partially due to my HoT build.

After that, I endeavored to work out a good hybrid spec that was equally good with single target healing as raid healing.  The build above provides both but you do loose some out on the boosts that your HoTs would give.  Note that I continue to emphasize haste and haste talents.  That is very important I find no matter what you are doing.

Strategies

I do want to talk about different strategies I tried.  Essentially, I tested different things out and found that nothing changed anything I have said earlier about HoTing.  Spamming rejuv is going to give you more mana problems and slower heals without the Tier 8 4 piece bonus.  With each spell, I found that I could not find ways to use them without loosing HPS than what I described earlier.

I think the clincher for me really seeing the value in this build and not just seeing it as a slight nerf was on Anub,arak, the last boss of Trial of the Crusader.  There are periods in there where tanks heavy constant damage.  We were running with a pretty light healer group and I found that I needed to proactively spam nourish on the tanks or they would go down.  Watching 13k crits go off and the tank go back to full really sold me on the value or this hybrid spec.

Robin Torres of WoW.com just finished the posting process on my interview from the VIP dinner. This is really an awesome post. I am stoked that others are as excited about the lore questions and answers I got as well as just sharing the whole experience with everyone.

http://www.wow.com/2009/08/27/blizzcon-2009-laguna-art-museum-vip-dinner/