Hello and welcome to the first of what will be many posts regarding Resto Druid changes in the upcoming expansion. Now that Blizzard has opened the door on a few of the classes, Druid being one of them, I think we’ll start to see the flow of information increase dramatically in the coming weeks and months.

You can find a full Druid tree here already filled out to what I would take from the information that I know. I’m not going to go over the whole thing, as quite a bit of it is unclear without the proper context. Also, quite frankly, the tree is stuffed. The 16/60 build, quite frankly, I think is going to be pretty much THE best raiding spec possible, hands down. Nature’s Splendor, which increases HoT duration has been moved down to tier 4, making 16 points in Balance needed IMO.

There’s one interesting point in Tier 3 of Balance. Two points really don’t do very much for Resto, at all. So I put one point to pick up the new Solar Beam skill. This could have good uses in both PvP AND PvE. I think having an additional interrupt in a group is never a bad thing, even if it’s not what you’re used to doing. So I took it.

On the Resto side, there’s really 60 points worth of talents that are worth taking in my opinion, and that’s pretty much the entire tree, short of Improved Tranquility and a few PvP talents. But a few talents stand out, both for their own abilities, but as well as possibly a hint at the greater vision for Resto Druids (and healing as a whole) in Cataclysm.

Naturalist:Now also decreases casting time of Nourish by up to .5 seconds. Does this mean the base casting time of Nourish will be increased? Or will this basically stick Nourish at the GCD cap forever.

Empowered Touch:Now refreshes the duration of Lifebloom on casting Nourish.

Efflorescence: Regrowth crits put down a “healing fire” in the direct area, healing for 30% of the amount of the regrowth each second for 7 seconds.

Those two abilities combine really tell us how Resto tank healing is going to work. And I’m actually thinking it’ll be not even just viable, but in some encounters it’ll be greatly desired. (Fast smaller hits as opposed to slow bigger hits). Here’s how the rotation will work: Cast your stack of Lifeblooms on the tank. No need to slow-roll, just one two three. Then your Rejuv. Every few seconds, cast Nourish to restack the Lifeblooms, when the target starts to get low, Regrowth to fish for a crit (It has +50% crit if the target is under 25% health), and let Efflorescence do its job to bring the tank(s) and even the melee back up to full. Keep Rejuv up as necessary.

We haven’t seen the numbers yet, but it seems very solid in theory. As an exchange for it, our raid healing capabilities will probably..I don’t even want to say diminished. I just think that Rejuv will be pushing out similar numbers at 85 than it does at 80. Just you know..larger life pools. And slower damage coming in. We’ll still be great raid healers, but not brokenly so.

So that’s v0.1 of the Cataclysm Resto Druid spec. It looks good to me so far. But I’m expecting nerfs. Lots of nerfs. Because it almost looks in some ways too good right now.