The best Restoration Druid talents and build in World of Warcraft Shadowlands

Use these talents and stats to improve your healing output.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Druids are one of the most flexible classes in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in both player-vs-player (PvP) and player-vs-environment (PvE) encounters. They are capable of fulfilling multiple roles such as healing, tanking, dealing damage from range or melee. Restoration Druids made a name for themselves in both the PvP and PvE environments due to their healing-over-time (HoT) effects which can mitigate a lot of damage preemptively if done properly in both scenarios.

In PvP, Restoration Druids have plenty of tools to heal their teammates and provide damage or crowd control (CC) onto their opponents, making it easier for their teammates to find a kill. They’re quite tough to kill due to Bear form, which can be enhanced via talents to become almost unkillable unless Dampening occurs. In PvE, they are great healers, who have the ability to put HoTs on everyone and prevent heavy raid damage during boss mechanics.

Here are the best Restoration Druid talents and build for PvP and PvE.

PvP

Restoration Druids are in a great spot PvP-wise due to Cyclone, a spammable CC spell, as well as their powerful HoTs and on-demand damage. You have a wide array of tools to deal with your opponents, making you a flexible teammate in arenas or rated battlegrounds. The biggest downside of this class and specialization is that you’re going to have to cast a lot, unlike other classes. Your HoTs need time to heal, so if your teammates are taking heavy damage, you’ll need to start hard casting a lot. But if you are being trained and you have the Guardian Affinity talent, you can HoT and then sit in Bear form to avoid dying.

Talents

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Level 15: Cenarion Ward – This talent puts an additional eight-second HoT on a friendly target, reducing some pressure from your enemies. It can be cast pre-emptively on a friendly target before you get CCed.

Level 25: Wild Charge – A powerful mobility spell, Wild Charge allows you to fly to a friendly target’s position on a 15-second cooldown. You can easily reposition yourself out of danger or follow up with CC onto an enemy.

Level 30: Guardian Affinity – If you want to become unkillable, Guardian Affinity is your friend. It reduces all damage taken by six percent and gives you access to defensive abilities in the Bear form, which makes you an unkillable machine. Even if you get trained down by the opponents and your teammates can’t assist you, it’s going to take a long time for your opponents to take you down.

Level 35: Mighty Bash – Mighty Bash is the best talent in the row, giving you access to a four-second stun on a minute cooldown. It’s versatile and can be used to prolong the CC onto the kill target or be used on the healer to follow up easily with a Cyclone.

Level 40: Soul of the Forest – This talent gives your Swiftmend an additional effect of increasing the healing of your Regrowth or Rejuvenation by 200 percent. It works well in picking up your teammates’ health from critical levels in the blink of an eye. Cultivation is a decent alternative, especially against compositions that focus on cleaving down your team with DoTs.

Level 45: Overgrowth – Overgrowth applies Lifebloom, Rejuvenation, Wild Growth, and Regrowth’s heal effects onto an ally on a minute cooldown. It can be used to quickly top up an ally, but if you don’t need this effect, go for Spring Blossoms instead.

Level 50: Germination – This talent allows you to apply Rejuvenation twice to the same target, increasing your healing output via HoTs. It’s the best talent by default in the row, but be wary of picking this talent against compositions that can spam dispel. Photosynthesis would be a better choice against teams who can negate your HoTs.

Gear

Your stat priority is Versatility > Haste > Mastery > Critical Strike.

With the fast-paced arena meta, you need to cast your spells as quickly as possible, and having a lot of Haste to do so is a requirement. But you should acquire plenty of Versatility before that. This stat will increase your damage and survivability, giving you more than enough time to recover if you get tunneled down. Mastery and Critical Strike are lower in priority, but if you have higher item-level gear with these stats, feel free to use them instead.

As for the Legendary item, you want to go for Verdant Infusion because it extends your HoTs every time you use Swiftmend by 10 seconds, allowing you to use your globals on other abilities.

Covenant

The optimal covenant for a Restoration Druid in PvP is Necrolord. You get access to Fleshcraft and Adaptive Swarm as the covenant abilities, which are strong in a PvP setting. The first allows you to get a powerful shield, absorbing an amount of up to 40 percent of your maximum health, while the second acts as either an HoT or DoT depending on the game situation. Both abilities are flexible and can be used in critical times to save yourself or a teammate.

PvP Talents

The three PvP talents you should use by default are Focused Growth, Mark of the Wild, and Reactive Resin. All three talents improve your healing output or reduce damage taken from opposing casters. Against melee compositions, Deep Roots and Thorns are a great alternative to pick.

PvE

Restoration Druids in PvE provide a good source of dungeon or raid healing with HoTs, allowing your teammates to go through boss mechanics with ease as heal them from all damage. You’ll always find a dungeon or raid spot due to how flexible you are with your talents, which can completely change your playstyle, especially in Mythic dungeons. While there are some weaknesses such as huge ramp-up time due to the HoTs, you’ll quickly overcome that weakness once you observe the number of benefits the class and specialization has.

Talents

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

Level 15: Cenarion Ward – Cenarion Ward puts an additional eight-second HoT on a friendly target, reducing some pressure from bosses. It is the best talent in the row by default.

Level 25: Tiger Dash – Tiger Dash is a powerful 200-percent movement speed dash on a 45-second cooldown. This ability can help you quickly kite some adds or boss mechanics and then return to healing. It’s a flexible ability and its low cooldown makes it a priority in this row compared to other picks.

Level 30: Balance Affinity – Having a five-yard range increase on all abilities is crucial in PvE content since you’ll be able to heal your teammates from a safe distance. On top of that, you get some knockback abilities and additional possibilities to do damage in Moonkin form. If you want to be a melee DPS or be tankier, either Feral or Guardian Affinity can be a good alternative choice.

Level 35: Hearth of the Wild – Hearth of the Wild gives you access to a powerful five-minute cooldown, which enhances your chosen affinity. If you picked Balance, you’ll have 300percent increased damage on top of instant-cast Starsurges, which can help you reach the top of the damaging charts as a healer.

Level 40: Soul of the Forest – This talent gives Swiftmend an additional effect of increasing the healing of your Regrowth or Rejuvenation by 200 percent. It works well in raising teammates’ health from critical levels in the blink of an eye. Cultivation is a decent alternative, especially against encounters that have a stacking damage debuff.

Level 45: Spring Blossoms – As an additional HoT to heal your allies, Spring Blossoms will directly increase your healing output compared to other talents that don’t have a big impact in PvE. Inner Peace can be an alternative if you need the reduced cooldown on Tranquility.

Level 50: Flourish – Flourish increases your healing output for eight seconds on a 90-second cooldown. It is used best in combination with HoTs on your dungeon or raid members for maximum effectiveness.

Gear

Your stat priority is Mastery > Haste > Critical Strike > Versatility.

Unlike in PvP, you don’t need to stack up on Versatility in PvE. You benefit from all stats quite well, but Mastery is king in a PvE environment. It significantly increases your healing output and should be stacked as much as possible. Afterward, you want to stack up on Haste to reduce the global cooldown and allow you to cast your spells more often. Lastly, focus on picking up Critical Strike or Versatility items if you don’t have access to Mastery or Haste items. Those stats are weaker, but if you have items with a higher level, you can equip them. Verdant Infusion is the best Legendary item so craft it to increase your healing output.

Covenant

The optimal covenant for a Restoration Druid in PvE is Night Fae. It grants you Convoke the Spirits. When combined with other offensive cooldowns, you can take down huge groups of adds quickly alongside your teammates. On top of it, you’ll get access to a great mobility spell in Soulshape. You can use it to quickly reposition yourself while your cooldowns come back.