Druid Healing Guide

Ever since the druid trait Gift of the Land was improved to affect 10 targets, druids have been the preferred healer for raids. Even without the healing, druid buff support is insane with 3 class-specific buffs (Spotter, Sun Spirit, Frost Spirit) plus the ability to stack 25 might on the full squad with perma-regen, perma-swiftness, and perma-fury. On top of that, druids can also out-DPS other healing classes, routinely doing 3-6k where other healers struggle to hit 1k.

This guide is intended for experienced and inexperienced druids alike. It represents my opinions of what druids need to know and do to be effective and hints at some advanced usage. I’m always looking to improve my own knowledge and gameplay, so please feel encouraged to leave comments about anything I’ve missed, gotten wrong, or may not have considered.

Gear

Before the most recent balance patch, I was running full harrier’s with no sigil of concentration, but because of the recent healing nerfs I’ve made some adjustments. My current build uses harrier’s armor, weapons, & backpack but magi’s trinkets with runes of the monk. For sigils, I have transference/water on my staff and transference/concentration on axe/warhorn. This build gives 67% boon duration, and the concentration proc puts me close to 100%. The rotation focuses on timing weapon swaps and entering/exiting Celestial Avatar (CA) so as to proc sigil of concentration and quick draw as much as possible. Trait lines are skirmishing, nature magic, and druid. You can view the build here.

Skills

Most of the time, if you’re the only druid, you’ll run Sun Spirit and Frost Spirit. I find that more times than not, I’ll have Glyph of Empowerment in the final utility slot. Glyph of Rejuvenation is my preferred heal skill due to its short cooldown, and my elite rotates between Entangle, Spirit of Nature, and Glyph of Unity. The tables below list other choices and considerations to be made when choosing them.

Healing Skill

There are two primary choices for healing skill: Glyph of Rejuvenation and Healing Spring. Healing Spring is the preferred option when condi cleanse is needed. Water Spirit can also be used as a passive group heal if burst healing is not needed.

Glyph of Rejuvenation 19s-cooldown AOE heal plus casts Lesser Seed of Life, an additional small heal that also cleanses 1 condi. When used out of CA, it’s a powerful self heal and weak group heal. In CA, it’s a powerful group heal and weak self heal. Use the trait Verdant Etching when selecting this option.
Healing Spring 24s-cooldown AOE heal that also applies regen and cleanses 2 condis. Use the trait Trapper’s Expertise when selecting this option.

Utility Skills

Frost Spirit and Sun Spirit are class-specific damage buffs that should always be provided, if possible. When there are multiple druids, coordinate to make sure these are provided but not duplicated

Frost Spirit Grants 5% bonus damage on hit plus provides might when traited with Nature’s Vengeance. Use Frost Spirit over Sun Spirit if you can only bring one and your group favors power damage.
Sun Spirit Inflicts burning on hit plus provides vigor when traited with Nature’s Vengeance. Use Sun Spirit over Frost Spirit if you can only bring one and your group favors condition damage.

Your remaining utility skill slots can be filled situationally or by preference.

Stone Spirit A good “other spirit” option when there are two druids splitting spirit duty. Applies protection to the group to improve survivability. Great for training raids and also provides a group immobilize when sacrificed (Quicksand).
Glyph of Empowerment Typically used as another class-specific buff for power damage (10% increase), but it also improves outgoing healing by 25% when used from CA. Additionally, it casts Lesser Seed of Life for a small heal and 1 condi removal when traited wth Verdant Etching.
Glyph of Tides A good knockback utility that also casts Lesser Seed of Life for a small heal and 1 condi removal when traited wth Verdant Etching. This is a group pull when used from CA, but its range is quite small (300).
Glyph of Equality A daze that can be used for additional CC when other skills are not needed, but also casts Lesser Seed of Life for a small heal and 1 condi removal when traited wth Verdant Etching. Acts as a group stun break when used from CA.
Storm Spirit Applies vulnerability on hit and provides swiftness when traited with Nature’s Vengeance. Storm Spirit can also be another source of CC when sacrificed (Call Lightning).
Muddy Terrain Another snare/immobilize.
Protect Me A group stun break.
Search and Resuce A vacuum revive. This is only good when your group is learning and is experiencing frequent deaths.

Elite Skill

The elite skill is mostly situational.

Entangle Use Entangle when immobilize is needed.
Spirit of Nature Use Spirit of Nature when stability is needed but can also be used for group/pull revives. Be sure to use the trait Nature’s Vengeance. This is a good default option for PUGs that die a lot or when learning.
Glyph of Unity Additional group healing when used from CA plus casts Lesser Seed of Life for condi cleanse. This is my preferred default skill outside the scenarios outlined for the other options.

Healing

Ah, the heal skills. This is (mostly) what it’s all about. Druid provides some passive healing through regen, staff #2, and glyphs (seeds of life), but its healing skills are generally more bursty in nature than, say, a tempest auramancer.

The standard druid healing rotation revolves around quick-drawing warhorn #5. Here’s my normal rotation:

  • Enter combat with staff
  • Weapon swap
  • Quick draw warhorn #5
  • Enter CA
  • [9 seconds in CA to stack might, top-off heals, and/or cleanse condis]
  • Exit CA
  • Quick draw warhorn #5
  • Weapon swap
  • [9 seconds in staff; spam #2 & #1 or #5->#3 combo]
  • Repeat

By constantly quick-drawing warhorn #5 in this rotation, you should achieve close to 100% regen uptime, and I generally keep this rotation going regardless of whether or not the heals are needed in order to keep might stacked on the group.

You’ve got a few big heals at your disposal, but these should only be used when needed and not as part of your rotation or off-cooldown. The first and easiest one is your healing skill, Glyph of Rejuvenation. It’s a fast, powerful group heal that also leaves a seed of life that will pop for a 2nd, follow-up heal after a couple seconds.

The next obvious big heal comes when in CA, primarly skills #3 and #4. If you’re quick-drawing into CA, you can do 4-3-4 for a relatively long duration of sustained strong healing. 3-4-3 is also quite potent but executes twice as quickly. #3 is targeted, though, so quick-drawing #3 is ideal for fast heals from afar. It’s hard to “save” these since you’re in and out of CA as part of the normal might-stacking rotation, but if big heals are needed, this is your bread & butter.

The druid’s final source of big heals comes from its water field, staff #5. There are lots of ways to use it effectively, and it largely depends on where you’re at in your rotation, what’s available, and what’s needed. Be aware that you need to be careful with placement of the field so you can blast it, though. If you put your water field on another field and blast it, you’ll be blasting the other field i.e. no healing.

Here are a few examples of how to use this field situationally depending on what’s available. You’ll also need to make a quick determination about how much healing is needed. Don’t blow everything to execute a full combo if a single blast is enough to get everybody to full health.

  • You’re in staff and weapon swap is available: staff #5, blast with staff #3, weapon swap, blast with warhorn #5
  • You’re in staff, weapon swap is on cd, but CA is available: staff #5, blast with #3, enter CA, blast with CA #3, then keep healing from CA
  • You’re in warhorn, weapon swap & CA are available: weapon swap, staff #5, blast staff #3, enter CA, blast CA #3, then keep healing from CA
  • You’re in warhorn, weapon swap with quick draw is available but CA is not: weapon swap, quick-draw staff #3, wait a couple seconds, staff #5, blast #3

Condition Cleansing

One aspect of druid healing that I think is underrated is its condi cleansing. With glyphs providing an endless supply of light fields that can be blasted for area condi cleanse, you can chain together a pretty impressive condi cleansing sequence. Consider the following:

  • Glyph of Empowerment -> lesser seed of life (light field; cleanse 1 condi)
  • Staff #3 to blast light field (cleanse 1 condi)
  • Weapon swap
  • Quick-draw warhorn #5 to blast light field (cleanse 1 condi)
  • Wait until warhorn #5 is about to be available again
  • Glyph of Rejuvenation -> lesser seed of life (light field; cleanse 1 condi)
  • Warhorn #5 to blast light field (cleanse 1 condi)
  • Enter CA
  • CA #3 to blast light field (cleanse 1 condi)
  • CA #2 (light field; cleanse 2 condis)
  • Exit CA
  • Weapon swap
  • Staff #3 to blast light field (cleanse 1 condi)

Much like the water field from staff #5, you need to be careful with seed or life placement in order to be able to blast the light fields. Without worrying about placement, the lesser seeds of life from glyphs and seed of life from CA #2 offer a decent amount of cleanse on their own, though. In fact, it’s enough for most fights without requiring additional thought or specific, deliberate action.

Crowd-Control (CC)

Lots of bosses have defiance bars that need to be broken quickly to prevent bad things from happening. Druids have lots of ways to pitch in! The easiest and most obvious is through your pets. I almost always have electric wyvern in one of my pet slots, and if a group’s having problems with break-bars, I’ll throw a rock gazelle into the 2nd slot. CA #5 is great for helping with breakbars as is CA #3. So, a particularly strong combo is to enter CA, quick draw #5, then #3, then #5 again. You can cast your pet ability while this is happening, too, for a large amount of CC.

Other notable CC skills:

  • Glyph of Tides for knockback (or pull, when used from CA)
  • Entangle for a long immobilize
  • Stone Sprit can be sacrificed (Quicksand) to immobilize
  • Staff #4 for a short immobilize
  • Axe #3 for chill

Pets

My default pair of pets is currently iboga for DPS–and another immobilize–and electric wyvern for CC. Replace iboga with tiger to generate a ridiculous amount of fury (use ability off cooldown) or rock gazelle if more CC is needed.

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