Kae's Guide to Resto Raid-Healing: Part 4, Gear

Resto Druid Stats and Gearing

In the previous section, I covered specs and glyphs. Now we will go into further detail on stats and what sort of gear you want to look into.


The stat priorities are such:
  1. Spellpower. Spellpower, spellpower, spellpower.
  2. Spirit (spellpower and regen) and Intellect (mana, crit, and mp5)
  3. Haste (up to softcap, around 856 at 80 for 1-second GCD)
  4. Mp5 (if you have mana problems and can't get spirit)
  5. Crit (in most cases does not apply to HoTs)
  6. Haste (above the softcap)

Intellect and Stamina you will find on any caster gear, and are generally useful.

Crit rating is useful if you need to cast nourish and swiftmend regularly, and also helps with NS+HT, the final hit of lifebloom, and the initial hit of regrowth.

Haste rating is used by resto druids to lower their Global Cooldown (GCD) to the 1-second limit.  Any haste beyond this softcap will not reduce your GCD any further, but will reduce the cast time of spells such as regrowth, healing touch, revive, and the offensive spells wrath and starfire. Your softcap will vary depending on what haste buffs you can rely upon in your party/raids. I have made charts that you can use to determine what your GCD is based off of your raid buffs, talents, and haste rating, which you can view here.

Hit rating is completely and totally useless in healing. Any item with +hit on it is meant for non-healers. Raw stats may make an item an upgrade, but do not take a +hit item from a caster dps if you're only intending to use it for healing. I may joke about hit being useful for when the tanks try to dodge my heals, but I assure you, I am only joking. Hit rating does not in any way counter Line of Sight (LoS) problems ;)

Gems and Enchants:
It is generally a good idea to gem for socket bonuses.  When it comes to yellow sockets, use your own judgment on whether to go with the haste rating or the intellect bonus: it will depend on how frequently you find yourself going OoM vs. how much you need to meet that haste softcap.

When it comes to enchants, use spellpower whenever it is available.  For those items that do not have a spellpower enchant option,
  • Helm: Spellpower + Mp5 (if you need the regen) or + Crit (if you do more than just raid heal)
  • Shoulders: Spellpower + Mp5 (if you need the regen) or + Crit (if you do more than just raid heal)
  • Back: Haste as necessary to reach your softcap
  • Chest: +10 stats
  • Legs: Spellpower + Spirit tailoring armor kit
  • Boots: Spirit; alternatively you may choose the Stam + Run Speed


Cloth vs Leather:
Don't ignore cloth when looking for healing gear, and this includes badge purchases. Pick the piece for its caster stats, not for the gear type: some badge loot for offkit resto items is better as cloth than as leather due to crit vs haste, or having spirit. That said, it sounds like Cataclysm will actually punish us via mastery losses if we equip cloth (rather than our leather), so keep that in mind for the future.

These are equipped in our "ranged" socket. Unlike most classes, druids cannot use any ranged weapons, including wands. Instead, we get idols that provide spell-specific bonuses. You want the idol that will provide the biggest boost to your most-used spell: currently, that is Rejuvenation. Idols are available as emblem/badge purchases.

Staff vs MH + OH:
The disparity between druids using a staff vs using a 1-hand dagger/mace with an offhand item is dependent on itemization and availability.  Currently, most 10-man raiders will use staves, while 25-man raiders have good offhands available in their raids' loot tables so will use a MH/OH combo.  In most cases, a staff's combined stats will not be as good as a MH/OH combo, but each druid should decide based on what they have available to them and the stats they can find on each weapon/OH.

It is best to avoid click-use trinkets as a resto druid, unless they are a mana-related use.

Haste click-uses or procs are out of the question as you want to have a stable and steady GCD: if you find any trinkets like this, such as the Egg of Mortal Essence, ignore the haste effect when comparing it to other trinkets. The only time a haste click-use may prove useful are when you have not reached the softcap yet and you need to spam nourish at a tank. Crit-based procs will also be of situational usefulness, since HoTs do not crit.

Starting Gear:

When prepping for the current raiding content, badges and heroics are your best places to look for gear, especially if resto is your offspec. Beware of pugging raids until you feel comfortable with your healing UI and spell use. If you have access to better weapons/gear in your own guild raids, by all means, use them: this is especially the case for those who are mainspec moonkin and may have exceptionally good moonkin gear that is better than the resto badge purchases.

Emblems of Triumph:
You can get 4-pc T9 with these badges, as well as a 5th offkit peice for shoulders or helm. Pick up the Band of the Invoker, Heartmender Circle, and the healing Idol. Don't forget to check out cloth items when looking at a badge vendor for offkit pieces: sometimes they are more appealing than the leather version, such as with the Frost Badge cloth spirit/haste belt. If you can hit up VoA regularly, you can pick up the T10 or T9 gloves/leggings from Toravon and Koralon, respectively (most pugs will not continue to the lower bosses from there).

While the Blessed Cenarion Boots may be a while out from your being able to craft due to the Primordial Saronite involved, there are other items you can have crafted for you, such as:

iLevel 200 - 232 Weapons:
These will be among your most difficult peices to determine. In general, your best options are a combination of one-hander and offhand item. The best offhand available to ten-strict raiders is actually the Shriveled Heart from heroic Halls of Reflection, however, and sometimes you will just find a staff that is a major upgrade over your MH/OH combo, so it's not uncommon to see resto druids with staves (I use one, myself).

A decent starter staff is the Staff of Draconic Combat from heroic Oculus. Normal HoR and PoS have 219 caster staves. From there, you can start looking into MH/OH combos with the Shriveled Heart paired with Mariel's Sorrow from ToC5 heroic, Torch of Holy Fire from Naxx25, Surgeon's Needle from heroic PoS, Blade of the Silver Disciple (or Sunreaver's) from ToC10, Guiding Star from Razorscale in U25, or even Honed Fang of the Mystics from Ony25.

iLevel 200 - 232 Trinkets:
Some very nice trinkets you can pug for or purchase include (highlighted are my favorites):
Your best options are actually from raids, unfortunately, particularly 25-man versions. Ulduar 10 has a couple nice trinkets such as Sif's Remembrance and Spark of Hope, if you can find a group to collect them. ToC10's trinket is worth more as a shard.

Now, go forth and Wild Growth the world! ...or something. :)