Glyphs should be discussed next because they may have a significant effect on your healing strategy. This is where you’ll really be forced to make a choice between tank and raid healing, since they’re glyphed quite differently.
Raid healing: Raid healers have some flexibility on which glyphs they choose. These are your major choices.
Glyph of Swiftmend – Almost every resto druid has this, and with good reason. With Glyph of Swiftmend, said spell will no longer remove a HoT on the target when it’s cast. Swiftmend is a powerful spell you’ll want to use often, and having to replace a HoT every time you use it is a pain. You’ve got better uses for those GCDs and mana.
Glyph of Wild Growth – A popular choice for raid healers. It adds an extra target to your Wild Growth spell, so that it affects up to six raid members instead of five. In 25-man raids this can be very handy; in 10-man raids you’re less likely to have six people within 15 yards of your target, but if there’s pets in there soaking up the spell, it can still happen.
Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation – This is kind of an odd one. It makes your Rejuvenation spell affected by spell haste. Therefore, it will tick faster (depending on your haste, possibly much faster) and for a shorter duration (possibly much shorter). Because this greatly changes your workhorse spell, it will have a significant effect on how you heal. I’ll discuss the strategy considerations below. In short, this is a powerful glyph, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and you may prefer to skip it.
Glyph of Innervate – With this glyph, Innervate gives you an extra 45% of your base mana pool whenever you use it – regardless of whether you use it on yourself or someone else. If you find yourself having to Innervate often, you’ll get a lot of bang out of this glyph. Eventually though, as you gear up and improve your mana regen you should outgrow it.
Glyph of Rejuvenation – Makes your Rejuvenation tick for 50% more when its recipient is below 50% health. They don’t have to be below 50% health when the spell is cast to get the bonus, just when the tick lands. This isn’t nearly as good as it sounds. If you’ve got raid/party members below 50% health you generally shouldn’t just be sitting around waiting for Rejuv to top them off – they need to be brought back up pronto. As a result, you don’t get very many Rejuv ticks that actually give the glyph a chance to work. Because this is such a weak glyph, I would only consider it if you’ve already glyphed Swiftmend and Wild Growth, don’t want the Glyph of Rapid Rejuv and don’t have any mana problems. Even then, I’d consider glyphing Nourish instead, just in case you end up having to tank heal unexpectedly, or even Rebirth.
Tank Healing: A tank healing druid really only has one glyph slot to play around with – the other two are pretty much set in stone.
Glyph of Swiftmend – As useful as this is for raid healers, it’s indispensable for tank healers. You’ll be using Swiftmend often and you don’t want it to take HoTs off the tank just when her health is dipping and she needs them the most.
Glyph of Nourish – The other indispensable tank healing glyph, this makes Nourish 6% more powerful for every one of your HoTs on your target. Since you’ll routinely have at least three HoTs on the tank, this glyph will make Nourish 18% stronger nearly all the time when used on a tank. This is in addition to the 20% bonus that Nourish intrinsically gets when used on a target with one of your HoTs on it. Add it all up and you’ve got yourself a pretty tidy direct heal to throw around when your tank(s) start taking real damage.
Glyph of Lifebloom – Adds one second to the duration of Lifebloom. This sounds weak, and it is. But if you’re slow-stacking Lifebloom on the tank, it’s frustrating to accidentally let it bloom when you didn’t want it to because something else came up requiring your attention and you didn’t have time to refresh it. You’d be surprised how big a difference an extra second makes in preventing this control-sapping annoyance. This is really more of a convenience glyph than anything else – it makes managing Lifebloom significantly easier (and slightly less mana-intensive) so you can angst over other things instead.
Glyph of Regrowth – Makes Regrowth 20% more powerful when cast on a target that already had Regrowth ticking on her. This applies to both the direct heal and HoT portions of the spell. Since Regrowth is such an important direct healing tool while levelling, this glyph makes a lot of sense for a levelling druid. At 80 Regrowth becomes less important and the glyph loses much of its luster. It can, however, get a new lease on life in the third slot of a tank healing build. The HPS boost is small, but is roughly competitive with that provided by Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation and comes with virtually no effort or mana cost so long as you remember to refresh Regrowth on the tank before it wears off.
Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation – As a tank healing glyph, this basically makes your Rejuvenation spell more powerful, providing a modest bump to your HPS. Whether this is better or worse than what you’d get from Glyph of Regrowth depends on your haste – somewhere around 25% spell haste or so, Glyph of Rapid Rejuv starts providing better HPS. On the other hand, you’re faced with the inconvenience of having to refresh Rejuvenation more often, so whether it’s worth it for the small HPS gain is up to you.
Glyph of Innervate – Tank healing can be mana-intensive. If you’re having trouble keeping the ol’ blue bar happy, Glyph of Innervate might help.
Other Major Glyphs: These aren’t likely to make it into your final glyph setup but are worth mentioning.
Glyph of Rebirth – Makes the recipient of a Rebirth spell come back with full health instead of the small amount they normally would. Occasionally your Rebirth will be wasted when someone you bring back is re-killed before you and the other healers can top them off, and this glyph might be worth using on fights with heavy raid damage just to make sure that doesn’t happen. Most of the time, though, it shouldn’t happen often enough to warrant spending a glyph to prevent it. Note that it doesn’t increase the mana a character comes back with, just their health.
Glyph of Healing Touch – This glyph changes the nature of Healing Touch quite a bit. It halves the cast time and healing effect, and decreases the mana cost by 25%. This turns it from a slow, efficient heal to a fast, inefficient one. Since fast heals are really what druids lack when levelling, glyphing Healing Touch fills a gaping hole in their toolbox. Once they hit 80 though, almost nobody keeps this glyph around – Nourish is just as fast and powerful, but is cheaper, gets stronger if there’s HoTs on the target, and, thanks to talents, has a higher crit chance. Other than for certain specialized PvP builds, I don’t see any use for this glyph at 80.
Minor Glyphs: Our minor glyphs have negligible effects on gameplay so which ones you choose are really just a matter of personal preference. For completeness I’ve listed the ones that might be of interest to a resto druid.
Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth – Removes the need for a reagent to cast Rebirth. Saves money and bag space – always nice.
Glyph of the Wild – Halves the mana cost of Gift of the Wild and Mark of the Wild. We’ve all popped into random dungeons already missing some mana for whatever reason, tossed a Mark on everyone and their pets like good little trees, then found ourselves dangerously low on mana as the tank fails to wait for us to drink and makes the first pull. Glyph of the Wild will make that particular source of indigestion a thing of the past.
Glyph of Dash – Dash is a Cat Form ability that increases your movement speed significantly for 15 seconds. This glyph reduces its cooldown from 5 minutes to 4 minutes. Dash can be handy for getting around dungeons quicker, so reducing its cooldown isn’t a bad thing.
Glyph of Aquatic Form – Increases your swim speed by 50% while in Aquatic Form. Getting around faster in water isn’t exactly a crucial ability, but it’s nice to be able to explore the seas at a decent clip.