Before you read anything else, read my From Retail to Classic guide. Even if you aren’t coming from Retail it has good tips!
I have seen some guides out there that tell you that if you wanna put out big numbers you should go with as much +healing as you can get. Maybe if you are super high end and kill everything in 12 seconds that might work. For the rest of us, I suggest you go for stats. Having a large mana pool and decent mana regeneration is essential.
As I write this Molten Core is current content, and I am wearing mostly my Teir 1 (Cenarion Set.) Yes, the set bonuses are underwhelming. But the set gives me loads of stats, some resistances, and enough +healing that I can put up very competitive numbers. You could absolutely get more +healing on other pieces, but I don’t think it’s worth the stat loss.
If you’re deep resto, get T2 and keep it as long as you can. Yes you can get more +heal in AQ40 gear, but the set bonus that gives your rejuvenation an extra tick is downright godly. Full rejuv the tanks, rank 5 rejuv the raid, win.
Anyone who tells you there are BIS healing list doesn’t understand healing. Healing is very variant based on the people you are healing and who your fellow healers are. Get a feel for your own raiding group and choose accordingly.
Instead of a BIS list, it’s best to just choose items based on your current stat priority:
Primary Stats: As far as stats go, it’s pretty easy: If you are going OOM, you want more intellect. If you aren’t going OOM, you want more +healing.
Seconday stats: Spirit (or Mp5) and Stamina. Raid relevant resistances.
Spec and Spells
There are three major schools of thought here for spec. First I will tell you what I do, then I will tell you about the other popular choice.
Deep Resto: I go with a deep resto spec. I go 12/0/39 but any spec where you reach the bottom of the restoration tree can be considered deep resto.
For my points in the balance tree, I choose all of these solely because I PVP and I find they help me with my PVP play style. Certainly these are subjective and you could adjust for what you think is best. None of these matter for deep resto.
In the resto tree I skip subtlety and I often pay for it on fights like Garr or Major Domo if anything gets loose, it always comes directly for me. But generally I trust my tanks. I also skip the feral talents because I never use theses skills, and Improved Tranquility because Tranquility is pretty week for raiding.
What to Cast: I tend to keep both regrowth and rejuvenation ticking on all the tanks all the time, swiftmending if their health drops and reapplying when they get low. I raid heal with rank 5 rejuvenation (use 4 if you’re under geared and have less mana), and on the rare fight supplement this with rank 3 or 4 healing touch. In a real emergency I use Nature’s Swiftness and a full rank healing touch.
Moonglow: The main idea here is to get down to Moonglow which reduces the mana cost of your healing spells by 9%. You can take a different path down the balance tree, depending on your play style. Then you put your other points in the resto tree to get as much bonus healing as you can on your healing touch.
What to Cast: Spam rank 4 healing touch all fight.
Regrowth Spec: The idea of this is to get down the moonkin tree to Nature’s Grace. With Regrowth talented to crit, you get this effect a lot and can basically use regrowth (ranked down, usually 4) as though you’re a paladin casting flash of light. It’s not very mana efficient because you’re often wasting the HoT part of regrowth but it’s fun to play and very effective if you don’t OOM. Try to keep T2 five piece with this spec.
What to Cast: Mostly rank 4 regrowth
Which do I choose?: If you are the only resto druid in your raid (or the other druids are moonglow & regrowth) I would highly recommend deep resto. Having HoTs consistently rolling on the tanks with the ability to swiftmend or nature’s swiftness in an emergency is great! And blanketing the raid with rejuvenation is *amazing* raid healing.
If you already have a deep resto druid in your raid, I would suggest going moonglow or regrowth. Because only one rejuvenation and one regrowth can be active on a player at a time, if you both hot the tanks you’re just overwriting each other and wasting mana. Work together with the other druid and have a plan. I raided for awhile with a guy who took all the regrowth, while I took all the rejuvenation. Just don’t overwrite each other 🙂