This is a compendium of information on raiding as a Resto Druid. It summarizes well-known points of Resto play, and serves as a starting point for discussion of healing in Cataclysm. While there's a lot of room for discussion, people should be generally familiar with the contents of this post before replying on this thread.
The article is supplemented by the attached spreadsheet, TreeCalcs, which helps give numerical context to things and is a useful tool for evaluating gear and talents.
In an ideal world, you'd be able to take all 44 of these talent points: Natural Shapeshifter, Naturalist, Heart of the Wild, Master Shapeshifter, Improved Rejuvenation, Living Seed, Revitalize, Nature's Swiftness, Nature's Bounty, Empowered Touch, Malfurion's Gift, Efflorescence, Wild Growth, Nature's Cure, Gift of the Earthmother, Swift Rejuvenation, Tree of Life, Nature's Grace, Nature's Majesty, Moonglow, and 2/3 Furor.
Unfortunately, in practice you have to drop 3 points somewhere to make a real spec. The choice is mostly up to you, but here are some candidates:
Nature's Swiftness: this talent is a classic, but these days when a full HT is only 10-15% of a tank's max HP, it's just not the lifesaver it used to be. Still being stuck on a 3-minute cooldown makes it quite lackluster.
Nature's Cure: ask your healing team if they want their Druid/Shamans to talent into magic dispel ability. Since the whole dispel system was recently revamped, there's no widespread standard here.
Furor: If you are comfortable with your mana situation and frequently find yourself with mana to spare, this is a place where you can spare two points.
Efflorescence: This has been heavily nerfed since the beta. On favorable fights (clumping and AoE damage), it still adds a respectable amount of healing, but on some fights it is quite useless. If you plan to use two Resto specs for raiding, having one with and one without Efflorescence can be a nice option.
Living Seed: If you do choose to drop Efflorescence, you are left with 3 points in Living Seed, which is a somewhat weak talent. You might drop these to add in anything else you like which is not on the original list (such as Perseverance or Nature's Ward).
Nature's Bounty: If you don't find yourself using Regrowth heavily, this is a good place to drop some points.
Gift of the Earthmother: Similarly, if Rejuvenation is your least-used spell, this could be another option.
Beyond these, I would include all the talents in the above list.
A few more mathematical facts I just want to keep here for the people who are interested:
The following all stack additively: Gift of Nature, Improved Rejuvenation, Blessing of the Grove, Genesis, Empowered Touch, Glyph of Rejuvenation. All other effects (notably Tree of Life, Master Shapeshifter, and Symbiosis) stack multiplicatively.
Gift of Nature: doesn't seem to affect some things: Swiftmend, Wild Growth, and the Lifebloom bloom. Unclear whether this is intended.
Symbiosis: When a Lifebloom stack is refreshed (whether manually or by Empowered Touch), the entire stack gets the Symbiosis bonus as long as a non-Lifebloom HoT was on the target at the moment of refresh.
Gift of the Earthmother: the Rejuv proc is not affected by Symbiosis. The size of the proc increases by 25% for each 25% total haste you have (rounded up).
Omen of Clarity: Has a 3.5/60 = 5.83% chance to proc on spellcast (check this). Among healing spells, is only consumed by Healing Touch, Regrowth, and Swiftmend. Lasts 8 seconds now, down from 15 in WLK.
Efflorescence: Because it's based of the size of the underlying Swiftmend, it double-dips from some buffs: Master Shapeshifter and the Tree of Life bonus, and crit/mastery generally.
Wild Growth: The base heal decays with each tick, but all extra healing from spellpower is equal across the ticks.
Moonglow: Mana cost is rounded down after multiplying. Applies after [Shard of Woe]-type effects.
Mark of the Wild: does not stack with Blessing of Kings.
Minor Glyphs: [Glyph of Mark of the Wild] can save a bit of mana if you have to rebuff people during a fight, but Mark is a very cheap spell now. Other than that, no Glyphs affect our combat mechanics.[Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth] can prevent you from being embarrassed with no reagents, and saves an inventory slot to boot. [Glyph of Dash] might occasionally be of some use. So, fortunately, you should have no trouble making room for the all-important [Glyph of the Treant].
Horde: Troll is best, since it gives Berserking. Tauren gives no healing benefit. Alliance: Worgen is best, since it gives 1% crit (Darkflight is also a nice perk). Night Elf gives no healing benefit. In both cases, the difference is very minor.
Intellect: Intellect provides 1 spellpower and 0.00154% to crit per point. With Mark of the Wild, Heart of the Wild, and Astral Leather Specialization, it provides 1.169 spellpower and 0.0018% crit (555points per 1% crit, a bit under 1/3 of a crit rating). Similarly, with these talents, one point of Intellect increases your maximum mana by 17.53 (19.28 with 2/3 Furor), and your regen from Replenishment, Revitalize, and Innervate correspondingly. These things together make Int the best stat for both HPS and mana.
Spellpower: Intellect, without the talent bonuses, crit bonus, or mana gains. Basically a weaker form of Intellect that only appears on weapons and trinkets, but is still good.
Spirit: Improves your innate mana regen. Specifically, one point of Spirit gives 0.00836*SQRT(Int) MP5. Spirit can outpace Int for the purpose of mana regen on longer fights, especially in the presence of Mana Tide. But unlike Int, Spirit gives no throughput gain at all.
Haste rating: 128.05 haste rating gives 1% spell haste. This reduces the cast time and GCD of all of our spells, to a minimum of 1 second GCD (there is no effect on Rejuvenation, which automatically has a 1 second GCD from talents). It also causes our HoT's to tick faster and potentially gain extra ticks. A particularly important value is the amount of haste required to make Rejuvenation gain a 5th tick, which 915 haste rating (assuming a 5% haste raid buff). TreeCalcs can give you a complete list of haste breakpoints for each HoT.
Critical strike rating: 179.28 crit rating gives 1% to crit. Crit heals do 1.5 times the healing of non-crit heals (1.545 with a Revitalizing meta). As of 4.0, all healing effects are able to crit. Due to its greater itemization cost and weak bonus, crit adds significantly less throughput than haste for all spells besides Rejuvenation).
Mastery rating: 179.28 mastery rating adds 1.25% to our Symbiosis bonus. The value of this depends greatly on your particular spell usage and healing technique. If more than around 30% of your spells are affected by Symbiosis, this will tend to give more raw throughput than crit rating.
Generally, Intellect is far better than all secondary stats. You will always favor gemming and enchanting Intellect (see below).
Healer epics have Intellect, Stamina, spellpower in the case of weapons, and 2 out of the 4 secondary stats: crit rating, haste rating, mastery rating or Spirit. Reforging allows you to change 40% of one secondary stat on an item into another secondary stat that's not already present. When planning what to equip and reforge, keep the following in mind:
The amount of Spirit you need depends entirely on your own judgment of your mana needs. More mana is generally valuable though--we can no longer spam our highest-powered heals all the way through a fight, and having more mana available allows you to use them more often.
For all spells besides Rejuvenation, haste is the best throughput stat. The more you use Rejuvenation, the weaker haste gets.
And you should also be aware of haste breakpoints for your HoT's--for example Rejuvenation gains a 5th tick at 915 haste and Wild Growth gains a 9th tick at 2004 haste--so that you can reforge up to these marks if you're close to them. TreeCalcs will give a complete list. Remember to exclude temporary haste from trinkets when checking for haste breakpoints.
Mastery varies greatly in value depending on what you're doing. In ordinary raid healing situations, especially in a 25-man, it will affect a small percentage of your heals and generally be a very weak stat. But your tank heals benefit from it quite a bit, so anytime you are healing a tank heavily, it can be strong.
Always choose an item of higher ilvl (and if possible, higher socket count) in each slot. Having more Int is more valuable than choosing between different secondary stats.
The end result is that we stack Int as much as possible, and all of the secondary stats are to some degree situational. The safest and most general choices are Spirit and haste. The main exception to this if you are in a heavy tank healing role (or perhaps raiding 10-mans exclusively), when you might look at Mastery more seriously. If you're expecting to have to solo-heal (or nearly solo-heal) a tank in some progression encounter, I'd consider reforging to heavy Mastery.
[Core of Ripeness] can be especially valuable when you have a Mana Tide totem in your group. Save its activation for whenever Mana Tide is down--ask your Shamans to make a Mana Tide macro so you'll always notice it immediately. When used in concert with Mana Tide, this trinket provides more mana than any other trinket except for [Shard of Woe].
Sometimes you simply want to activate a trinket on cooldown (for example if you have no Mana Tide). Here's a macro you can stick into any of your spells to do so without spamming error messages or sounds:
14 is the bottom trinket slot. A handy trick is to keep this macro on some spell, say Rejuv, and to put Core of Ripeness in the bottom trinket slot when you don't have Mana Tide, and in the top trinket slot when you do (so that in that case you can use it manually instead).
Leatherworking gives the best bonus currently: 130 Int to bracers in place of the usual 65 haste.
Engineering is a bit unusual. Synapse Springs give an average value of 96 Int, which is more than the 80 Int from most of the professions below. But temporary Int buffs during the fight don't increase your total usable mana pool the way that 80 passive Int does. On the other hand, you can recover this difference by timing your Innervates during the Synapse uses. The result is: --For throughput purposes, Engineering gives slightly more on average than other non-LW choices, but it's not a consistent bonus. --For mana purposes, Engineering can be better than other choices, but this requires you to sync Synapse uses with mana-increasing spells. Decide whether you prefer Engineering based on these two factors. A macro similar to the one given above for trinkets can be used for glove tinkers--the glove slot is number 10.
Tailoring is similar, in that it gives an Int proc. Lightweave Embroidery gives 580 Int for 15 seconds, 20% proc on spellcast, 50 second cooldown (check this). The average benefit is around 170 Int, minus the 50 Int you'd normally have on your cloak. The result is similar to Engineering, but with the drawback that you can't control the proc to easily time it with Innervate.
Beyond that, Jewelcrafting, Blacksmithing, Alchemy, Enchanting, and Inscription, all provide roughly equal gains. Alchemy: Mixology (with your [Flask of the Draconic Mind]) will give you 80 Intellect (confirm this). Alchemy also allows you to use [Mysterious Potion], which gives a bit of HP, although the mana return is more uncertain. Jewelcrafting is the next best. 3 [Brilliant Chimera's Eye] in place of 3 [Brilliant Inferno Ruby] gives 81 Intellect. Blacksmithing is similar. An extra socket each in your wrists and gloves, each with a [Brilliant Inferno Ruby], gives 80 Intellect. Enchanting: 40 Int to each ring gives 80 Intellect. Inscription: 130 Int/25 haste to shoulders in place of the Therazane enchant gives 80 Intellect.
The remaining professions are weaker: Herbalism now gives a haste cooldown via Lifeblood. At 480 haste for 20s every 2 minutes, it averages out to 80 haste. Skinning gives 80 crit rating. Mining provides minor survivability benefits, but no healing gain.
It's important to not waste time between casts. This is an easy way to lose quite a lot of healing over the course of a fight without realizing it. This section contains a bit of information that you should know about spell targeting, timing, haste, queueing, and the GCD.
By default, a heal targets your target, if it exists and is friendly. Otherwise, if you have Auto Self Cast activated (Interface->Game->Combat), it will target yourself. If not, you will get the dreaded "blue hand" asking you to choose your target.
You can control targeting priority using macros. For example, if you want to heal your target's target if your target is hostile:
Most healers use mouseover macros of some variety (either with Clique (see below), or with keyboard binds, or both). The basic form of a mouseover macro is this:
/use [@mouseover, help] Rejuvenation
You can any combination of click-casting and keybinds to heal effectively, so long as you don't use the "blue hand." But if you've never used mouseover functionality of any kind (either click-casting or mouseover keybinds), I recommend you try it at least for a while. Though some good healers stick with the "old fashioned" target-and-cast setup, that requires two inputs instead of one for each heal. You should try both before deciding.
First, recall that the client processes events when you release the key. Keep that in mind for learning your timing. Some mods have options to change this if you like (e.g. Clique).
Cataclysm introduces a new ability queueing system, similar to the single-spell queue in WLK but more consistent and more customizable.
When you send a spell command to the server, if your character is unable to cast immediately (typically because it's still casting or GCD-locked from your last spell), the server will see if you become ready to cast within a certain short window. If you do, it will begin the cast immediately. You can set the length of this window with an interface option called "Custom Latency Tolerance." You want to set this value to a high enough amount that you can always press the next spell key comfortably before the current spell finishes, and never have a gap between casts. But you don't want to set it too high, because you can't change your mind after you queue a spell, so your reaction time is effectively slower if you "lock in" each spell a long time before it begins casting. Experiment and find something you're comfortable with.
We spend a large portion of our time casting instants, so you want to get very comfortable with the rhythm of your GCD spark. If done perfectly, each GCD begins as the previous one ends, with no visible gap.
This section is a summary of basic principles--detailed discussion of various healing techniques and spell usage will be largely be the focus of the discussion thread.
Rejuvenation: Though we no longer blanket the raid the way we did in WLK, this spell is in many ways central to our healing style. It does very high amount of healing, is actually quite efficient, and it enables Swiftmend and Symbiosis. Because it is an expensive instant, it can burn your mana quickly if you start spamming it--you must break that habit from WLK. But whenever you can cast a Rejuv that will not be mostly overheal, it is an excellent choice (how to know when this is, of course, is not easy, and is one of the hallmarks of good healing). In addition, you will often maintain Rejuvenation on a tank who's taking any significant amount of damage (not only for the HoT, but to give your Lifebloom a Symbiosis bonus). In weak gear, it's hard to use Rejuv much due to the cost, but this changes once you have more mana available.
Wild Growth: This remains an excellent spell all-around. The 7s duration means it functions more like a reactive heal than a true HoT. It will automatically target the 5/6 lowest-HP people within range (not necessarily including the target). Because the radius is now so high (30y), you can often just cast it on anybody and get a good result. Make sure to cast it anytime an AoE effect hits some people in the raid. In heavy damage situations you'll use Wild Growth on cooldown. Even though it is expensive, it does more than enough healing to be worth it. Wild Growth is unusual in that in can be targeted on a hostile unit and will still apply to the lowest-HP raid members in range of that unit. Notably, Wild Growth also activates Symbiosis on the targets, so in a heavy raid damage situation where essentially everyone needs healing, you can consider favoring those targets for the next few heals (in other situations, you should still heal based on who needs it the most, rather then squeezing out a few extra % from Symbiosis). This effect will be even more pronounced in 10-man.
Lifebloom: You want to keep this rolling on a tank at virtually all times. It is a strong, cheap HoT, has a very fast tick rate to help stabilize the tank, activates Symbiosis on all other heals on the tank, and gives you frequent Revitalize and Malfurion's Gift procs. Try to get used to the timing of refreshing this on the last tick without breaking your casting rhythm, both with Lifebloom itself and with Nourish/HT.
One important technique for your repertoire is to stack Lifebloom on multiple tanks using Tree of Life form, and then refresh those stacks using Nourish or HT. By doing this, you can keep multiple Lifeblooms rolling even after Tree ends. In particular, Malfurion's Gift will give you a lot of Clearcasting procs so you can use HT for the refreshes. A good way to heal multi-tank fights that require less raid healing (all of this refreshing does eat into your raid healing time).
Nourish: The Druid's cheap heal. Put simply, you cast this when you're not casting anything else. Gauge your mana consumption to know when you need to try to work in more Nourish, and when you can afford to keep using more expensive heals such as Rejuvenation. The tank is always a good target for Nourishes in spare time because of the free Lifebloom refresh.
Healing Touch: Has the same cast time as Nourish, but is less efficient and much larger. A typical use is to top off a tank who needs a direct heal. It has less use in raid healing, because it's somewhat squeezed out by other heals (Nourish for a small heal, Rejuv for an efficient large heal, and Regrowth for a fast large heal). It is a good option on Clearcasts, however, whenever you don't need the fast heal from a Regrowth. Combined with Nature's Swiftness, it provides an emergency instant heal which is somewhat stronger than Swiftmend. You'll usually use it with Swiftmend when you need two consecutive instant heals on someone. Macro for this:
(You can replace the @mouseover with whatever target you like). Note that this will cast both spells at once if you're still, but you'll need to press the macro twice if you're moving.
Regrowth: The Druid's fast, inefficient direct heal. When people in the raid need immediate healing to avoid death, use this (also use Swiftmend if it's available). Whenever a Clearcast procs, you can more liberally throw a Regrowth on anyone in the raid who isn't topped off. Regrowth has another important use during Tree of Life, discussed below.
Swiftmend: A strong instant heal on a short cooldown. One of our best spells. Always be vigilant for people at low HP on whom you might use this. It's great for helping stabilize a tank anytime you see them sit low for more than a GCD, or making sure any raid member is safe while your HoT's do their work. You can Swiftmend another Druid's HoT's (if you're using the Glyph this doesn't interfere with them at all), so you want your raid frames to show who's Swiftmendable.
Efflorescence: I'm listing this separately from Swiftmend because you tend to think of it differently. If your Swiftmend is off cooldown and you see a clump of people below full HP, quickly Swiftmend any one of them. Clumps of people are not easy to recognize, but raid frames are starting to add tools to help with this. Becoming familiar with fights to know which AoE effects are ripe for Efflorescence can help a lot. Even though Efflorescence has been nerfed since the beta, a nice clump of people who need topping off is something to keep an eye out for.
Clearcasting: Not a spell, but deserves an entry. Managing Clearcasting well greatly improves mana longevity. When Clearcasting procs, you want to cast either a Healing Touch or a Regrowth as your next spell (in particular, avoid using a Clearcast proc on a Swiftmend, which essentially wastes it). A Healing Touch should generally be your first thought--it is both longer cast and more healing than Regrowth, generally making more effective use of the Clearcast. The tank is a good target; and HT on him for a free heal and LB refresh is never a bad option. If, however, people in the raid are in need of a quick heal, a Clearcast is a good chance to throw a Regrowth on them as well. In particular, if you want to use a Swiftmend or Efflorescence on a raid member soon, a great use of a Clearcast is to set up that Swiftmend with a Regrowth. This way you avoid paying for an expensive Rejuvenation.
Tree of Life Form: In addition to the 15% healing bonus, this has three effects on our healing spells:
Lifebloom: now castable on any number of targets. This is handy since Lifebloom does moderate healing and is very cheap. In a fight where you don't need Tree for other purposes, shifting to cast primarily Lifebloom for 30 seconds lets you use ToL as a very good mana cooldown.
Regrowth: now instant cast. Not a throughput gain since Regrowth is a 1.5 cast anyway, but this allows use while moving and also gives you much quicker reactive healing. Because of all the Lifeblooms you use during Tree of Life, you get a lot of Clearcasting procs from Malfurion's Gift, and can turn each one into a free instant Regrowth. [Next patch: the Regrowths will also refresh the Lifeblooms, making this combination even better.] If many people in the raid need healing quickly, shifting to cast instant Regrowths can help hit people who need the most healing immediately. Be careful though, as this can be expensive. Still use a good amount of Lifebloom when people aren't in danger of death.
Wild Growth: now targets 2 extra people. Simply makes WG slightly better to use even than it ordinarily is.
Also remember that in fights with short-term burn phases, you can shift to Tree and do quite a respectable amount DPS with Wrath. As as final note, in my experience, I tend to use ToL form at fixed times each encounter (once I've seen the fight enough times to have a plan), rather than in much of a reactive way.
Tranquility: This spell is very strong now, and outputs massive amounts of healing during its channeling time. Due to the new smart targeting mechanics, it's basically self-working. Can easily save people from dying if you mash it quickly when the raid takes a lot of damage. Since the cooldown only allows you to use it once per fight, you're unlikely to use it preemptively, but sometimes your healing team might set up a cooldown order with Tranquility and Divine Hymn for certain heavily-damaging abilities.
Rebirth: Our most unique contribution to the raid. The most important issue is to avoid wasting it, especially now that the raid can only use a limited number per attempt (3 in 25-man, 1 in 10-man). First, make sure to coordinate with other Druids in your raid using macros or Vent so two of you don't cast on the same target. Second, people love to accept the resurrection as soon as it appears and die to something immediately. It can be good to warn them if it's a bad time to accept, and Glyph of Rebirth provides further insurance. Here's a macro that casts Revive instead of Rebirth if you're out of combat, and also alerts your raid if Rebirth is used:
There is currently a bug which occasionally prevents you from casting Rebirth even before the 3-per-encounter limit is reached. It seems the best way to avoid this is to wait until combat ends during any wipe before releasing.
Innervate: Remember that Glyph of Innervate has no effect if you cast this on yourself. If you have multiple Resto Druids in the raid, Innervating each other is a better idea than Innervating yourselves.
Thorns: This spell is quite strong now, and can be useful on tank especially in an AoE or threat-sensitive situation. But generally the other Druids in the raid will use this first--ours does less damage, and it is also quite an expensive spell.
Remove Corruption: Unlike the old Remove Curse, this is now castable even on people who don't have a cleansable debuff. You might have to coordinate with your healing team a little so people don't waste GCD's on duplicative cleansing.
Barkskin: Remember that this doesn't use the GCD, so you can cast it almost anytime without disrupting your healing. It should be on an easily-accessible bind, and you should make it second nature to hit this instantly when you foresee a threatening amount of damage coming.
I'm not going to say too much about UI; it's largely a personal issue. The only major point specific to Resto Druids is that we can move continuously while casting many of our normal spells. You want to have a control setup that allows you to be proficient at moving and casting independently--experienced Druids get very comfortable doing this. But it's a matter of practice more than anything else.
You need some kind of raid frames. Grid, Vuhdo, Healbot, and Shadowed are all in use currently. You can find all of them at typical addon sites. Choosing between them is up to you. Whichever you use, you want to have it set up to show you at least the following:
Each raid member's HP (including pets)
Which of your HoT's are on which targets (particularly Rejuvenation)
Which raid members are in range
Which targets are Swiftmendable
Debuffs you can remove (Curses/Poisons/possibly Magic)
Customizable debuffs for important boss abilities
Which players are being targeted by mobs
Which players have incoming heals from other healers
Notifications for when a player is resurrected, offline, or has the Spirit of Redemption buff (all important to make sure you use Rebirths wisely).
A few other UI tips specific to Resto Druids: --Since we use instants so much, you want to have some kind of prominent indicator for your GCD. The Quartz (below) GCD spark can be put anywhere; right next to your raid frames is a good option. I use a mod to keep mine right on my mouse pointer ( GCD - Addons - Curse ). --Now that you usually only have Lifebloom on one target, it's good to have a timer somewhere outside your frames. I keep one just above my raid frames, so I can see when I need to refresh by looking in one prominent place, regardless of whom it's on. --A UI tip that applies to anyone, but is too important to omit. In whatever buff mod you use (e.g. Elkano's or SBF), make a central and very large buff indicator (i.e. a substantial portion of your screen), that contains only those critical boss debuffs that require immediate reaction to prevent a death or wipe. The goal is to grab your attention and make it impossible to not notice immediately when you get one of these debuffs, no matter where on the screen you're looking. People who do this are far less likely to be the one who wipes the raid to a stupid mistake, and that is more important than any amount of healing technique.
Clique: If your raid frames don't inherently support click-casting (Grid, for example), this is a simple, popular mod for setting it up.
Quartz: as a primary caster, you should have a proper cast bar. This is an excellent one.
TreeCalcs is my Resto theorycraft spreadsheet, attached to this post. It will show you exactly how much various stats/talents/glyphs affect your current setup, and lets you experiment with different spell combinations. Compared to a DPS class, you're not going to be leaning purely on a spreadsheet to make gear choices, but it's important to have a concrete, accurate numerical sense of how much each stat or talent affects your various spells.
1) Input your gear, gems, enchants, and reforges on the front page. The basic rule is that any light-blue box is a dropdown menu where you can choose something. The sheet will automatically black out any enchant/gem slots that don't exist, and will highlight any inactive socket bonuses or meta gems in red. 2) On the second page, input your talents, glyphs and buffs. Again, light blue boxes are menus where you can enter your setup. Don't modify the pink boxes, which are the stats inherited from the front page--these are shown so you can see the stat weights (see below). You can also set some parameters about how you use your spells in the purple boxes.
3) Basic results are in green boxes. You can read your overall DPS and net mana use in the "main results" box (these are also copied to the front page so you can easily see how they change when you change gear). Other green boxes show your haste breakpoints, the HPET and HPM of each of your spells, and the healing breakdown of all your spells (also shown in the pie chart). 4) Advanced results are in the blue boxes. These require the use of data tables, which you have to recompute manually by pressing F9 (Windows) or Cmd-= (Mac). These include: a) next to each stat, buff, glyph, and talent, the amount of HPS and MP5 derived from that particular thing. For stats, it shows the benefit of having 1 more of that stat. For talents and other bonuses, it shows a) if you have no points in the talent, the value you would gain from one point, b) if you have points, the value you currently gain from those points (i.e. the amount you would lose by dropping them). b) next to the spell table, the amount by an additional stat point improves each individual spell.
Again, as a healer you are not expected to simply gear for the highest raw output the way a DPS player is. But in particular, the HPET/HPM comparisons of all your spells, the marginal throughput/mana effects of various stats/talents are very valuable.
I've uploaded a second copy of the sheet without the tables. This will work in OpenOffice and everything will work besides the advanced outputs. Might not do this every time, but will try to occasionally until I find a better solution.
Below is a preliminary listing of the items that you can obtain without having to step foot into a raid instance. They are grouped by armour type and in descending order of item level but, as usual, this is not meant to be a BIS list. Such lists are extremely difficult to formulate because so much depends on your raid size, healing assignment and current level of haste with respect to break points.
I have excluded PvP obtained gear and crafted items with Resilience. While they may fill in temporarily, there is always a better item that can be found elsewhere.
By request, I've included items oriented more towards Balance.
That said, some rough pointers are:
1. Higher item level is generally better because Int is by far the best attribute and it increases with more powerful gear 2. Helms with a meta socket are better than those without it. Obtaining a meta socket should be a priority. 3. Keep haste slightly above break points. If you drop below then your HPCT and HPM will decrease. 4. Mastery is generally more attractive if you heal 10 player content or are assigned to tank heals.
It is worthwhile to note that greens are comparable with (or even surpass) ilvl 277 by the time you get to Twilight Highlands. Unlike previous expansions, it is extremely unlikely that you will want to be wearing any of your WotLK gear when you begin raiding and doing so will probably put you at a large disadvantage.
[Camouflage Bio-Optic Killshades] obtained from Engineering. With appropriate Cogwheels, this item is comparable to Tier 11 raid items. [Cluster of Stars] obtained by spending 2,200 Justice Points in your capital city. This is the only other pre-raid helm with haste. [Cowl of Rebellion] drops from Vanessa Van Cleef in Deadmines (H) [Willowy Crown] drops from Ascendant Lord Obsidius in Blackrock Caverns (H). No spirit so it may not be useful. [Helm of Reorigination] is a reward from the quest Doing It The Hard Way from Blackrock Caverns
Note that there is no specific Enchant Staff type spell in Cataclysm, all weapons can have the same enchants. Coupled with the +100 Int to off-hand, it appears as if Staves will have lower total Int but more Spir - at least in the first Tier.
Note also that a ilvl 346 Off-Hand is buyable with Justice Points or craftable and 346 1H Maces are craftable. That raises the bar on raid entry level weapons to pretty much 346 blue.