Druid Restoration Talent Guide

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[TIER 1]

Improved Mark of the Wild **
Ranks: 5
Increases the effects of your Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild spells by 7% per rank.
The Restoration tree interestingly offers two very different but both useful abilities at tier 1. Improved Mark of the Wild boosts your main buff, and does it... adequately. At level 60 and 5 points, the bonuses are things you wouldn't mind having... but might not notice if you didn't have them. My recommendation is to take Furor instead unless you almost never go feral, then if you have a few points you want to spend in the resto tree later, toss them in this ability then. For raiding druids, consult with the others since varying levels of this talent can cause overwrite/stacking problems when buffing.

Furor ****
Ranks: 5
Gives you a 20% chance per rank to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear or Dire Bear form, or 40 Energy when you shapeshift into Cat form.
An excellent ability if you plan to shift into feral forms with any regularity whatsoever. Furor's especially worthwhile when needing to shift to bearform (perhaps in an emergency if a tank falls) by letting you use Feral Charge, Demoralizing Roar, or Maul immediately.

[TIER 2 -- require 5 points in Restoration]
Naturalist *****
Ranks: 5
Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch spell by 0.1s per rank and increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 2% per rank.
Ten percent is a significant boost for DPS, and since threat in bear form is so dependant on damage, it's also a useful tanking tool. Even a half-second means a lot when talking about the slow but powerful Healing Touch, making this a key talent for healing, either others or yourself while in solo combat. This combination of two strong talents before gives a monstrously strong use of 5 points.

Nature's Focus ***
Gives you a 14% chance per rank to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting the Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Tranquility spells.
Another strong talent for healing in most situations. Unless you're never getting hit while healing (and if so, life's already good for you) you can make good use of this talent.

Natural Shapeshifter **
Ranks: 3
Reduces the mana cost of shape shifting by 10% per rank.
This is a solid but not essential Feral talent for PvE, since you probably won't do a ton of shifting. PvP druids may like this more as their fights are more frenetic. Dedicated PvE Ferals should find better places high in the Feral tree to spend their points. Hybrid builds looking to build to Nature's Swiftness on Feral-friendly talents may consider it, though.

[TIER 3 -- require 10 points in Restoration]
Omen of Clarity ****
Ranks: 1
Instant cast, 120 Mana
Imbues the druid with natural energy. Each of the druid's melee attacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage, or Energy cost of your next damage or healing spell or offensive ability by 100%. Lasts 30 minutes.

Omen of Clarity is a self buff that gives you a chance to proc (about twice a minute) a Clearcast, no matter what form you're in. The clearcast can be used to Maul, Swipe, Shred, Demoralizing Roar ... or even cast a heal or nuke. Since shifting doesn't use the clearcast, you can even be in a form, proc the Clearcast, shift out, heal/nuke, and shift back (obviously most effective with Natural Shifter).

Intensity ***
Ranks: 3
[prerequisite for Nature's Swiftness]
Allows 5% of your Mana regeneration per rank to continue while casting and causes your Enrage ability to instantly generate (4/7/10) rage.
An interesting combination of two mediocre talents, Reflection and Improved Enrage. A lot of people will take it because of its prerequisite status. It's still not incredibly overpowered, but it's got enough utility for most druids to be worth the points on its own.

Subtlety **
Ranks: 5
Reduces the threat generated by your healing spells by 4% per rank.
If you're dedicated to healing and you're pulling aggro from it, this may be a useful ability, but more likely your problem is with your tank, not your talent point allocation. Some druids like putting almost all their points into Restoration, and in that case, sure, Subtlety has some value, but if you're content to stop at 31 or less, you can probably find a better place.

[TIER 4 -- require 15 points in Restoration]
Tranquil Spirit ***
Ranks: 5
Reduces the mana cost of your Healing Touch and Tranquility spells by 2% per rank.
With the mana cost of Healing Touch, this is a useful if not terribly exciting talent. If you're going deep into Restoration, you'll probably want it.
Improved Rejuvenation ***
Ranks: 3
[Prerequisite for Improved Regrowth]
Increases the effect of your Rejuvenation spell by 5% per rank.
The three stars here is actually 4 or 2 depending on your healing style. Basically, do you rely on Rejuvenation to do a lot of your healing? If so... it's great. If not... it's fine, but you may get better use elsewhere. With the change to heal stacking in 2.0, it's probably more often four than two now.

[TIER 5 -- require 20 points in Restoration]
Nature's Swiftness *****
Ranks: 1
Requires: 3 points in Intensity
Instant cast, 3 minute cooldown
When activated, your next Nature spell becomes an instant cast spell.

Some people, usually restoration-spec druids, consider Nature's Swiftness a "crutch" and say that if you don't have it, you don't rely on it and learn to work without it. Having both had it and not, they're largely correct when you're healing. NS gives you a panic button while healing that, with careful play, you can avoid using. But that's not the only time it can be used. NS is good enough that both Balance and Feral have very, very strong builds that ignore their own top point talent to take NS (and the lead-up Restoration abilities) instead. A Feral-NS build can easily work as an offtank or DPS in many situations, poping out to do a heal every couple minutes, then back to work. It allows you to be a secondary healer without waiting around in caster form. For Balance builds, the combination is obvious there as well. All in all, it's a keystone of many builds and should be at least considered.

Gift of Nature ***
Ranks: 5
[Prerequisite for Swiftmend]
Increases the effect of all healing spells by 2% per rank.
If you're going past Nature's Swiftness, there's no reason not to take some points in Gift of Nature. It's another core, solid, somewhat dull talent.

Improved Tranquility *
Ranks: 2
Reduces threat generated by your Tranquility spell by 50% per rank.
Tranquility got a lot stronger in 2.0.3, but went on a 10-minute cooldown. It's possible that this is a talent someone needs, but the huge majority of druids will just skip this, and rightly so.

[TIER 6 -- requires 25 points in Restoration]
Improved Regrowth ***
Ranks: 5
Requires: 3 points in Improved Rejuvenation
Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth spell by 10% per rank.
If you're going to take Swiftmend or Tree of Life, you'll probably take this talent. The 2.0.3 patch reduced the mana cost of Regrowth significantly. Combined with the 2.0 changes to heal over time effect stacking, this is now a reasonable talent. However, remember that unlike offensive spells, most healers don't want to rely on criticals. There's a potential combination of this and Nature's Grace. Note that Regrowth is the only direct heal castable in Tree of Life form, so it's almost an automatic if you're going ToL.

Empowered Touch ***
Ranks: 2
Your Healing Touch spell gains an additional 10% per rank of your bonus healing effects.
A nice, subtle, scalable healing bonus. The better your healing gear is, the better this talent gets.

[TIER 7 -- requires 30 points in Restoration]
Swiftmend ****
Ranks: 1
Requires: 5 points in Gift of Nature
Cost: 498 Mana, Range: 40 yd, Casting Time: Instant, Cooldown: 15 sec
Consumes a Rejuvenation or Regrowth effect on a friendly target to instantly heal them an amount equal to 12 seconds of Rejuvenation or 18 seconds of Regrowth.

The replacement for Innervate, which became available to all druids in 1.11, Swiftmend provides a reliable quick heal for heavy-restoration druids. The real question is whether you want to muddle through the 9 points between Nature's Swiftness and Swiftmend to get this. It's largely a function of how much you heal. If you're pretty much a dedicated healer, you want the ability.

Living Spirit **
Ranks: 3
Increases your total Spirit by 5%.
By itself, this talent is pretty bad. Spirit's the most situationally useful stat as it is, and spending talent points to go get more seems like a waste. It's not quite that bad though. Intensity will be taken by almost all healing builds (due to its prerequisite status) so that makes it somewhat more useful. Then, if you have a priest with Improved Divine Spirit, it works out to give you a little more spell power. The real reason for this talent is Tree of Life, though, and particularly, using Tree of Life in a group of healers. Otherwise, skip it.

Natural Protection **
Ranks: 3
Your critical strike chance with all spells is increased by 1% per rank and melee and ranged critical strikes against you cause 4% less damage per rank.
Ahh, to be in another tree. As a balance talent, this would be a core nuking ability. As a Feral talent, 6this would be a solid tanking ability. Instead, it sits far down the restoration tree, taking up space in case you want an inefficient use of a couple points just to go farther.

[TIER 8 -- requires 35 points in Restoration]
Empowered Rejuvenation ***
Ranks: 5
[prerequisite for Tree of Life]
The bonus healing effects of your healing over time spells is incresed by 4% per rank.
Notice a theme among the three druid tier 8 talents? This one's weaker if only for the reason that you need to put in all 5 points to get to Tree of Life, which is probably the only reason you're up this high. You'll take it if you have to.

[TIER 9 -- requires 35 points in Restoration]
Tree of Life ****
Ranks: 1
Requires: 5 points in Empowered Rejuvenation
872 mana, instant cast
Transforms the Druid into the Tree of Life Form. While in this form, you increase healing done by 25% of your total Spirit on all party members within 40 yards, your movement speed is reduced by 20%, and you can only cast Swiftmend and healing over time spells, but the mana cost of these spells is reduced by 20%. The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of Polymorph and Movement Impairing effects.

This is another talent on which many, many people have given a more informed opinion than I, so I'll leave it to you to read what they have to say and decide. I think though that if you're really dedicated to having the ultimate healing spec, you're going to want to have this in your arsenal, even if it's not always best to use it. Also, if you're a raider, not every druid needs it, but you'll be happy if some do.

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