Resto Druids seem to be looking pretty good after the drop of the Warlords of Draenor Alpha patch notes.
Innervate has been completely removed, so Resto Druids will no longer have a spell and they can use for matter return on themselves or others. Blizzard has said that they have adjusted the mana cost of Resto Druid healing spells to compensate for the change. It is worth noting that Mana Tide totem has been given the same treatment that Innervate originally was given, where it really was only beneficial to the casting Resto Druid, and Hymn of Hope has been removed as well.
Tranquility is being changed to be a resto druid only spell. So Druid tanks and DPS will no longer be able to cast the spell themselves. How Tranquility works is also being adjusted, however, the adjustment seems to be a change to simply remove the raid environment and lag issues.
Tranquility now heals every Party and Raid member within range every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. It no longer places a periodic effect on each target. The total amount of healing it generates in Raids should be approximately the same as before this change.
Symbiosis is being removed from the game. Resto Druids symbiosing a Resto Shaman for Spirit Walker’s Grace was pretty popular, as it gave Druids the ability to cast Tranquility on the run. However, the loss will likely be felt more significantly by other raid members who were benefiting from Symbiosis perks.
Nourish has been removed as part of Blizzard’s plan to remove those fast low-cost heals. Here is how they see heals for either efficiency or throughput.
Druid Higher Efficiency: Healing Touch, Rejuvenation, Efflorescence
Druid Higher Throughput: Regrowth, Wild Growth
Because of the nature of Resto Druids with hots, and they are not affected to significantly by the change to cast times. However, Wild Growth now has a 1.5 second cast time, up from its previous instant cast.
Most Resto Druids were using the cliff added in patch 5.4, where Efflorescence was attached to wild mushrooms rather than Swiftmend, so the change has been made permanently without a Glyph spot being wasted.
Swift Rejuvenation has been removed, as Blizzard found the passive was making it too strong in raids where the Druid was hotting everyone with Rejuv, and they didn’t like how Druids were utilizing haste because of this change.
Nature’s Vigil has been changed, to increase the single target gains while reducing the AOE healing.
Nature’s Vigil, while active, increases single-target damage and healing caused by healing spells by 16% (down from 25%), and all single-target damage spells also heal a nearby friendly target for 35% of the damage done (up from 25%).
Druids are definitely the healing class that has been changed the least. Because the majority of their spells are instacast hots, they weren’t affected by the change that saw so many healing spells go from being instacast to having a 1.5 second cast time. Of course, these are only the Alpha patch notes so we could see some significant changes between now and launch.