Welcome to the wonderful world of being a tree. In this post, I will attempt to shed some light beneath the leaves and find out what goes on in the murky depths of those branches. As always, the wonderful fellows at Elitist Jerks have provided far more technical information than I could possibly cover myself, so here's some light reading for anyone who wants to get the full in-depth look at how Restoration Druids work. This post has been rewritten for the 3.0 patch and will continue to be updated as needed.
** THIS IS A DRAFT **
Elitist Jerks: Raiding as a Tree
I. Frequently Asked Questions
V. Gear, Enchants, Consumables
VI. Spell Rotations
I. Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does a Restoration Druid do?
A: Restoration is the healing talent tree of the Druid class. It features a variety of powerful healing over time (HoT) spells, plus some direct and AoE heals. The Restoration Druid's strength is in being able to keep HoTs constantly ticking on one or more targets, buying time for direct heals to top off any damage spikes. It's also great for fire-and-forget healing, such as when a raid is taking steady, predictable AoE damage. It also has some of the best burst healing capability in the game, albeit on a significant cooldown.
Q: What does a Restoration Druid bring to a raid?
- The most powerful and versatile HoT (Healing over Time) spells in the game.
- The strongest instant cast direct heals in the game (Swiftmend, Nature's Swiftness + Healing Touch).
- An AoE HoT (Wild Growth) with no cooldown and a channeled AoE group heal on a fairly large cooldown (Tranquility).
- The ability to heal effectively on the move, particularly in situations with a great deal of AoE damage.
- The ability to resurrect dead players in combat every 20 minutes (Rebirth), plus a standard out of combat resurrection (Revive).
- The ability to [practically] refill the mana bar of a single caster every 6 minutes (Innervate).
- The best overall raid buff (Mark/Gift of the Wild).
- Increases healing received by all party/raid members (Tree of Life Aura). This does not stack with other similar class abilities.
- The ability to cure Poison and Curse debuffs.
- Weak at reactive healing and has no ability to prevent incoming damage on a target.
- Mana efficiency suffers when forced to direct heal through large amounts of incoming damage.
- Relies on cooldowns to react to burst damage, which can leave gaps in coverage if cooldowns are not available.
- Relies on HoTs applied to the target; if a lot of them expire at once, it seriously reduces healing output until they can be refreshed.
- All Restoration spells are now usable in Tree of Life form.
- Tree of Life no longer has a movement slowing effect.
- Tree of Life Aura now grants a 6% increase to healing received and is no longer based on Spirit.
- The cooldown of Tranquility has been reduced to 5 minutes from 10.
- Lifebloom's spellpower coefficient has been reduced and mana cost increased.
- Druids now have an out of combat resurrection spell (Revive).
- As part of the overall changes to game mechanics, there is no longer a separate healing power stat on gear; all gear has been converted to spell power. Healing spells now have a base 1.8 coefficient multiplier to make up for the loss.
- Similarly, spell haste rating, spell critical strike rating, and spell hit rating have been merged with their melee counterparts, to reduce the diversity of itemization.
A: HoTs (especially Lifebloom, covered in detail later) are incredibly effective at mitigating damage spikes. If a HoT is on a tank, and the tank takes damage, the HoT will tick and heal him whether or not anyone reacts in time to land a direct heal. With a variety of HoTs ticking at different rates, the tank effectively has an additional pool of health to draw from to keep him alive.
Example: A boss has a 2 second attack speed, and a nasty instant attack. The boss hits the tank for 20K in the space of less than a second. If a heal doesn't land in time, the tank could die to the next hit. Lifebloom ticks every second, and so the tank is guaranteed at least one tick of its heal before taking another hit from the boss, and possibly two, plus ticks from any other HoTs. That means anywhere from 700-1600 additional health to buffer the next hit, buying time for a direct heal to land.
Moreover, when raid members are taking predictable but not catastrophic damage, the Druid can drop HoTs on them and forget about those players as their life bar gradually fills back up.
Q: What roles can a Restoration Druid fill in a raid?
A: Druids are capable of filling any healing role: main tank, offtank, spot healing, AoE healing, etc. Each role emphasizes a different set of abilities, covered below.
As there's already a thread for Balance Druids, I will cover here only those spells that are typically used by a Druid in a healing role. As of 3.0, all healing spells including Remove Curse may be cast in Tree of Life form, plus Barkskin; therefore there is rarely if ever a need to leave Tree of Life form during an encounter. Although I'll cover it separately, remember that Tree of Life form reduces the mana cost of Regrowth and all HoT spells by 20% while active.
3 sec cast (2.5 sec talented) direct Nature heal.
Healing Touch is the largest basic direct heal in the game. It's also the one healing spell you will almost never see used in a raid. That's because it's so slow that it's very difficult to use effectively with a ton of other direct heals flying around. By the time HT lands, the target is either topped off or dead. However, when paired with Nature's Swiftness (see below), it becomes an incredibly powerful instant heal, albeit on a 3 minute cooldown. Another use of HT is when you can anticipate a large incoming burst of damage (for example, a boss' cast bar) and time your big heal to land right after the attack hits.
2 sec cast direct Nature heal, 21 sec HoT (ticks every 3 sec)
Regrowth is half direct heal, half HoT, with the advantages of both but a correspondingly high mana cost. It is more efficient than Nourish if you do not already have HoTs on the target, making it a good raid healing tool, and it's also good to throw into your rotation during tank healing for the extra HoT effect. The concept is that you get a relatively quick "save" and a very long duration followup HoT that can either tick the target back to full or buffer against future damage. The HoT can also be Swiftmended.
Instant cast Nature HoT, 12 sec duration (ticks every 3 sec)
Rejuvenation used to be the bread and butter HoT before BC. Now it takes second fiddle to Lifebloom. The nice part about Rejuvenation is that the tick is huge - higher by far than Lifebloom or Regrowth. The even nicer part is that you can Swiftmend it for an enormous instant heal, making the combination of Rejuvenation and Swiftmend extremely powerful. When you're tank healing, put up Rejuvenation whenever you can between rolling Lifeblooms. When you're raid healing, Rejuvenation is cheaper than Regrowth to toss around, but takes longer to deliver its effect. There is also a deep Restoration talent that gives your Rejuvenation ticks a chance to restore mana, rage, energy, or runic power to the target.
Instant cast Nature Hot, 7 sec duration (ticks every 1 sec). Stacks up to 3 times. When the duration expires or it is dispelled, delivers an instant direct heal to the target.
Lifebloom is no longer as overwhelmingly strong in 3.0 as it was in BC. There are two main reasons: first, the coefficient was reduced and mana cost increased; and second, Wild Growth is generally superior for AoE healing. However, it's still extremely powerful due to the fact that it ticks every second. What this means is that you can absolutely guarantee that your target will take at least one or two ticks before receiving any more damage. Also, the fact that Lifebloom's HoT effect stacks means that you can "roll" it by building up a 3-stack and only refreshing it when it's about to expire. This makes it the highest HPS HoT by far and very mana efficient over a long duration.
1.5 sec cast direct Nature heal, increases effect by 20% if you have a Rejuvenation, Regrowth, or Lifebloom effect on the target.
Nourish is the new spell Druids receive at level 80, and it occupies a very interesting niche. Essentially, it makes up for the lack of a fast-casting direct heal that other classes get, such as Flash of Light, Flash Heal, and Lesser Healing Wave. Like those (except for FoL), its base mana efficiency is fairly low. What makes it unique, however, is that if you already have a HoT on your target, the effect is dramatically improved. Nourish is intended to be used primarily in a main tank healing situation where you must keep a single target up at all costs. You load up your HoTs first (including Regrowth), then spam Nourish until you need to refresh a HoT or the target requires burst healing from Swiftmend. In a group healing situation, it's still useful because it's faster and costs less mana than Regrowth, but the net healing delivered is also smaller.
(Talent) Instant cast AoE Nature HoT, 7 sec duration (ticks every 1 sec), affects up to 5 raid members within 15 yards of the target, effect starts high and gets lower as the HoT continues.
This is a brand new talented AoE healing tool that was added to the Druid arsenal in 3.0. It's designed to compete directly with Circle of Healing and Chain Heal, and uses the same mechanic of preferentially targeting the most wounded raid members in its area of effect. It delivers less immediate healing than CoH but has a greater total effect. Wild Growth is your key spell when the raid is taking AoE damage. It also allows you to very quickly cover all the tanks with a HoT, albeit a weak one, allowing you to concentrate on spot healing the ones that are taking the most burst damage. The fact that it ticks every second makes it an excellent complement to Lifebloom.
(Talent) Instant cast, consumes one Regrowth or Rejuvenation effect on the target to deliver the total amount of the HoT as instant healing.
This is one of the neater tricks in the Restoration Druid's arsenal. When you need instant healing on a target, cast Regrowth or Rejuvenation on them and then cast Swiftmend. They'll receive instant healing for the full amount that the HoT would have delivered had it lasted the whole duration. This does not count healing already done, so it's just as powerful on the very last tick as it is on the first. Swiftmend allows Druids to compensate for burst damage, especially on tanks. If you maintain HoTs on the tank as part of your standard rotation, and the tank takes a big hit, just Swiftmend it and go back to your business. See under Rejuvenation for some other nice uses.
Self-targeted, channeled AoE Nature HoT in a 20 yard radius, lasts 8 seconds, ticks every 2 seconds. 5 minute cooldown.
Tranquility is without question the most powerful AoE heal in the game, delivering huge ticks of health to your entire party over 8 seconds. The killer is the cooldown, making it highly situational - in fact, you'll find yourself casting it more often in a 5-man party than in a raid, unless things go completely to hell. If you do need to cast it in a heavy incoming damage situation, use Barkskin first to avoid pushback.
(Talent) Instant cast, makes your next Nature spell with a cast time under 10 seconds instant, 3 minute cooldown.
Nature's Swiftness exists for one primary reason: to allow you to cast Healing Touch instantly. There are several standard macros that can assist you with this (see here). Yes, you can use it with Regrowth or Nourish, but that's not nearly as sexy.
Instant cast, dispels one Poison effect instantly and dispels an additional Poison effect every 2 seconds for 8 seconds (Nature school).
This is a very basic cleansing ability, and comes into use quite often. The ongoing cleanse is great in that it frees you up to cast more spells without worrying about the target taking additional debuffs for the duration. Where you only ever expect a single Poison effect to be cleansed at once, you may consider downranking to Cure Poison, as it's slightly cheaper to cast. Balance Druids cannot cast this spell in Moonkin Form, but they can cast Remove Curse.
Instant cast, dispels one curse effect on a friendly unit (Arcane school).
This is exactly what it says. When Curses are used by bosses, they tend to be very nasty, so removing them will be one of your top priorities.
Instant cast, increases Intellect/Spirit-based mana regen by 400% and allows full regeneration while casting for 20 seconds, 6 minute cooldown.
Innervate pretty much refills the mana bar of any raid-buffed caster, unless they have really abysmal Spirit regeneration to begin with. When you have Innervate, the five second rule no longer applies and you can freely cast while regenerating mana at the maximum rate. You may wish to coordinate your use of Innervate with the raid leader(s) to make sure it's going to whoever needs it most.
Instant cast, reduces all damage taken by 20% and prevents spell pushback for 12 seconds (Nature school). 1 minute cooldown. Usable when stunned, incapacitated, feared, or asleep.
This spell is much improved from the old days, when it used to increase the casting time of all your spells. It's basically designed for two purposes: to allow you to reduce incoming damage when you can anticipate it coming (especially from effects that stun or incapacitate you and prevent you from healing yourself), or to prevent spell pushback when you really can't afford it. The latter's principle benefit is to allow you to channel Hurricane or Tranquility without risking pushback. Do not forget about it.
2 sec cast, returns the target dead player to life with large amounts of health and mana, requires a reagent, 20 minute cooldown.
Druids are the only players that can resurrect another party member in combat. Soulstones are preemptive - they depend on the person it's cast on dying. Shamans can self-rez every hour, but only you can do it to someone else without prior notice. Coordinate with your raid leader when deciding who to raise, since at best you'll get to do it once per fight.
10 sec cast, returns the target dead player to life, can only be cast out of combat.
Druids finally got an OOC rez in 3.0. Like any other rez, it's only usable out of combat, but the great thing is that you're actually able to assist with wipe recovery, especially in 5-mans where you may be the only healer. Expect to get DI'd more often.
Tree of Life
(Talent) Shapeshift. Transforms the Druid into the Tree of Life, increasing healing done to all players in the Druid's party or raid by 6%. When in the Tree of Life, the Druid may only cast healing spells and Barkskin, and the mana cost of all healing over time spells is reduced by 20%.
When you're raid healing, you want to be in this form whenever possible. It has amazing benefits both to you and to the raid. First, all your HoTs are cheaper to cast, which is never a bad thing. Second, your entire raid gets increased healing taken. (This does not stack with similar abilities from other classes or with itself.) You can also take the Improved Tree of Life talent to gain an armor bonus and additional healing spellpower from Spirit.
The Restoration tree is not very subtle. There is an obvious set of core talents that directly benefits your raid healing. There are additional talents that have situational use, such as the ones that improve your Healing Touch or Tranquility. Then there are a set of Balance talents that are directly complementary to your healing and are highly recommended. A full raid Restoration build will not be able to spare any talents for Balance DPS or in the Feral tree. There is no good reason in 3.0 to try to achieve the "Dreamstate" build, as it's pretty much obsolete and you sacrifice many of the efficiency advantages of the Restoration tree, but I'll include it just in case.
Raid Restoration: Core Build - This build uses 64 of 71 talent points; the other 7 can go wherever you want.
Raid Restoration 80: Dreamstate - I can't even recommend this build with a straight face; you end up skipping Tree of Life in order to max your critical Healing Touches, and still skip most of the useful DPS talents.
A review of the key Restoration talents follows.
The Balance tree has been significantly reworked in 3.0, and you'll find quite a few core healing talents placed over here, making it worthwhile to spend at least 11 points. Whether you spend any more than this is a matter of taste, but past the core talents there's a steep falloff in healing utility. If a talent is not listed here, it's worthless for healing.
Genesis - 5% increase to the effect of all your over-time spells. While not as powerful for the points as Gift of Nature, it's 5 points you have to invest to get deeper in the tree and still provides a decent benefit.
Moonglow - A flat 9% reduction to the mana cost of your most common healing (and damage) spells. For 3 talent points, and considering its place in the tree, this is a far better investment than Tranquil Spirit.
Focused Starlight - You'll spend 2 more points here to boost your crit by 4% with several core spells. There's some great synergy here with Living Seed.
Nature's Splendor - Increases the duration of all your HoTs (except Wild Growth). This not only causes them to deliver more total healing (as much as 25% more in the case of Rejuvenation), but extends your cast cycle and allows you to fit in more spells before having to refresh your existing HoTs. It's the single best reason to delve this far in the Balance tree.
Note: going any deeper in the Balance tree is not recommended, but for the sake of completeness, here are your targets if you should decide to go this far. Any other talents you take on the way are completely irrelevant to healing.
Nature's Grace - Whenever you critically strike with any spell, your next spell casts 0.5 sec faster. The problem with this talent is that it's now 3 points instead of one, so despite its lower position in the tree, it's kind of a waste of points considering the limited benefit. It is worth investing in for a crit-based Healing Touch build, though, as it helps mitigate the slow casting time.
Celestial Focus - The only effect you might be interested in is the increase to spell haste.
Lunar Guidance - 12% of your Intellect adds to spellpower. This is a powerful talent but too deep in Balance to be useful in a core healing build.
Dreamstate - 10% of Intellect becomes mp5. This is the only reason to delve this deep into the Balance tree and its primary value is in that, since you're skipping the deeper mana efficiency talents of the Restoration tree, you're able to make it up by boosting your mana regen from Intellect.
Improved Mark of the Wild - An excellent investment of 2 talent points and necessary to get lower in the tree. Forget Furor; it's worthless to you.
Nature's Focus - This completes the 3 points to get to Tier 2, and is valuable in its own right, because pushback is especially critical to avoid when healing.
Furor - This talent has absolutely zero use for a raiding Restoration Druid.
Naturalist - Oddly enough, this talent is skippable for raid healing. That's because you should seldom be casting Healing Touch in a normal rotation.
Subtlety - 30% passive threat reduction for all healing spells. This talent is another vital one, as healing threat is a bigger issue than it may appear at first, especially when your HoTs get to ticking all over the place. The dispel resistance is mainly useful for PvP.
Natural Shapeshifter - While a 30% mana cost reduction to shapeshifting may not look all that great on the surface, this talent is necessary to get down to Master Shapeshifter, which is very useful.
Intensity - 30% of Intellect/Spirit-based regen while casting. This talent is absolutely critical to any healing build, as you'll be stacking a ton of Spirit.
Omen of Clarity - Passive chance to proc Clearcasting on any melee attack or spell cast, making your next damage or healing spell/ability cost no mana, rage, or energy. This is a great longevity talent - pick it up.
Master Shapeshifter - The part you care about is a 4% bonus to healing done while in Tree of Life form. Is it necessary? No. But it's certainly a good investment.
Tranquil Spirit - At first glance, a 10% reduction to Healing Touch, Nourish, and Tranquility cost looks great. But considering that you can get a 9% reduction from Moonglow (in the Balance tree) to spells you use a lot more often, it's a terrible waste of points.
Improved Rejuvenation - 15% bonus to your basic HoT. Get it, as you must have it for Improved Regrowth.
Nature's Swiftness - Your next Nature spell with a cast time under 10 seconds becomes instant. This combo allows you to deliver an instant Healing Touch every 3 minutes. Macro it and keep it handy for emergencies. See above for more info.
Gift of Nature - Improves all healing done by 10%. It's a solid core talent that you should not skip.
Improved Tranquility - Reduces Tranquility cooldown by 60% and threat by 100% at max rank. Due to the group restriction, Tranquility isn't as great to use in raids as it is in 5-mans. Optional.
Empowered Touch - Increases Healing Touch's bonus from spell power by 40%. Even given its low cost, this is an optional talent.
Improved Regrowth - +50% critical effect chance to your Regrowth. This talent dramatically increases the up front heal from Regrowth and gives you a reliable source of Living Seed procs.
Living Spirit - Increases your total Spirit by 15%. Spirit is a core stat for both healing power and mana regen. Don't skip this talent.
Swiftmend - Instantly consumes a Regrowth or Rejuvenation effect on the target to deliver healing equal to the total potential amount of the HoT. The details of this spell are coverered above under Abilities, but this is a great investment of a talent point; don't skip it.
Natural Perfection - Increases spell critical strike chance by 3% and reduces damage taken by 4% for 10 seconds when you are the victim of a critical strike (stacks up to 3 times). This talent is oriented towards PvP, but the extra crit can help you serve up Living Seed procs. Optional.
Empowered Rejuvenation - Increases the spell healing coefficient of your HoTs by 20%. You live and die by your HoTs, so get this talent.
Living Seed - Your critical heals place a Living Seed on the target which heals for 30% of the original effect the next time that target takes damage. Basically this is a one-shot Prayer of Mending that procs from your crit heals. It's great to combo with Improved Regrowth and makes crit increasingly valuable in your arsenal.
Replenish - Gives your Rejuvenation ticks a chance to restore mana, rage, energy, or runic power. This talent looks great on paper but in practice its actual net benefit is kind of low. Consider it optional.
Tree of Life - See above for the details of this key talent.
Improved Tree of Life - Increases armor bonus of Tree of Life by 100% and 15% of your Spirit adds to healing spellpower. A very solid talent, this makes you less squishy and allows your best stat, Spirit, to give an even greater benefit.
Gift of the Earthmother - Reduces the global cooldown of Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, and Wild Growth by 30%. This talent dramatically increases your ability to spam these spells on multiple targets by increasing the rate at which you can cast them. It stacks with haste, but remember that there's a minimum 1 sec GCD no matter how much haste you get.
Wild Growth - See above for the description of this spell.
Note that these stat evaluations are based on the standard raiding spec given above.
Intellect - Intellect is useful to boost your mana pool and also, since 2.4, because it increases your Spirit based mana regeneration. Many mana regeneration effects in 3.0 are based on a percentage of your maximum mana, so the bigger your pool, the better the effects.
Spirit - Spirit is also extremely valuable. It gets boosted by your talents, it gives you insane amounts of mana regeneration, and it increases your healing while in Tree of Life. Try to get as much as possible.
Spell Power - Get it, for the obvious reasons.
Mana per 5 seconds - Mana per 5 is itemized in such a way that, point for point, you get more base regen from a given amount of mp5 than you do from an equivalent value in Spirit. However, Spirit has additional value to you from talents, such that you'll probably want to take it over mp5 when you have a choice.
Spell Haste - Spell haste increases the rate at which you can cast spells. It does not increase the rate at which your HoTs tick, however, making it a secondary preference.
Spell Crit - Critical heals are valuable specifically due to the awesome Living Seed talent. You'll find that a lot of itemization in 3.0 includes crit among other useful stats. Don't gear specifically for it, but don't pass it up either.
Stamina - Gear for Stamina to the level required by the content you're attempting. In most cases, raid drops will provide more than enough, although crafted gear may not.
Armor - Armor is mostly irrelevant to raiding, even given the bonus from Improved Tree of Life, but can be useful in solo, 5-mans, and PvP. The best thing about leather spellpower gear is that other casters are unlikely to roll or bid on it, so you can pick it up cheap.
Spell Hit - You aren't a DPS caster, so don't worry about spell hit. You may wish to build a separate Balance set, though, in case you want to switch.
V. Gear, Enchants, Consumables
Tier 7: Coming soon
Tier 8: Coming soon
Head - TBD
Shoulders - TBD
Cloak - Haste.
Chest - Stats or Spirit.
Bracer - Spell Power.
Gloves - Spell Power.
Legs - TBD
Feet - Spirit.
Weapon - Spell Power
Rings - Spell Power (enchanters only)
If you need the socket bonus, use the recommendations below; otherwise socket exclusively for Spell Power and Spirit.
Red socket - Spell Power
Yellow socket - Spell Power/Int, also Spell Power/Haste.
Blue socket - Spell Power/Spirit
Meta socket - TBD
Glyph of Healing Touch (Req. lvl. 15) - Decreases the cast time of Healing Touch by 1.5 sec., the mana cost by 25%, and the amount healed by 50%.
Glyph of Innervate (Req. lvl. 40) - Your innervate ability now has an additional 20% strength mana regeneration effect on you, in addition to the effect on your primary target.
Glyph of Lifebloom (Req. lvl. 64) - Increases the duration of Lifebloom by 1 sec.
Glyph of Rebirth (Req. lvl. 20) - Increases the amount of health on a character brought back to life via Rebirth by 100%.
Glyph of Regrowth (Req. lvl. 15) - Increases the healing of your Regrowth spell by 20% if your Regrowth effect is still active on the target.
Glyph of Rejuvenation (Req. lvl. 15) - While your rejuvenation targets are below 50% health, you will heal them for an additional 50% health.
Glyph of Swiftmend (Req. lvl. 40) - Your Swiftmend ability no longer consumes a Rejuvenation or Regrowth effect from the target.
With only 3 to choose from, you have to make some hard choices. The Healing Touch glyph is kind of redundant once you get Nourish, so I'd say to forget about it. Innervate = more mana, but with enough Spirit the base effect should be more than enough to keep you at full. Lifebloom is very nice; it gives you more duration which frees up more GCDs. Rebirth is very situational. Regrowth is fairly powerful as long as you remember to make use of it, but again Nourish occupies the direct heal niche better. Rejuvenation is awesome for 5-mans when you are the only healer; for raids it won't tick all that often. Lastly, the Swiftmend glyph is another one I'd recommend as it removes the timing element.
So, in my opinion, I'd probably take Lifebloom, Swiftmend, and Innervate, Rebirth, or Rejuvenation for a raid healing build.
Food - Spell Power and mp5 food both work well, depending on whether you need max healing or max longevity.
Elixirs - Spirit and Spell Power work pretty well together.
Flask - The +125 spell power flask is awesome.
Note that oils and drums are no longer usable in WotLK.
VI. Spell Rotation
Your spell rotation depends entirely on how many people you will be healing. When you are tank healing, the primary objective is to hold full HoTs on your assigned tanks, throwing direct heals and Swiftmends where needed. When you are raid healing, you're more interested in anticipating and preventing damage spikes, and topping people off with HoTs. A HoT timer addon (such as DoTimer) can help immensely with timing your casts.
Single tank: Front load your HoTs as much as the aggro mechanics of the fight will permit. At the very least, start off with Rejuvenation and possibly Lifebloom, then cast Regrowth both to buffer any initial damage and to get the additional HoT. At this point, your rotation depends entirely on how much damage the tank is taking. If there isn't a lot of spikiness, just keep up a full Lifebloom stack, maintain Regrowth and Rejuvenation, and use Swiftmend if a big hit comes in. If the tank is eating massive damage, you'll need to spam Nourish as much as your HoT rotation will allow, holding Swiftmend and NS+HT in reserve. The greatest danger to a single tank healing strategy is that there will inevitably come a time when your HoTs start expiring and you have to choose between direct heals to keep the tank alive and refreshing your HoTs so you can sustain healing in the future. This requires precise timing and planning ahead and is probably the most intense form of healing.
Multiple tanks: Hopefully you have support in the form of direct heals so you can focus on maintaining your HoTs, but your basic plan is to keep Rejuvenation and Lifebloom up on the tanks always, and use Regrowth and Swiftmend as needed to keep spikes under control. Nourish can be used, but the more tanks you have to pay attention to, the greater the risk of losing a stack of Lifeblooms. Consider Wild Growth as an additional HoT if you can sustain the mana cost. As always, hold your NS+HT in reserve in case a tank is in imminent danger of dying.
Raid healing: You'll want to try to anticipate where damage is coming next, either by watching the boss' target or by looking for targeted AoEs, aggro alerts, or similar effects. The goal is to begin casting HoTs (particularly Wild Growth and Lifebloom) before the targets take damage, or as soon thereafter as possible. You may occasionally use a Regrowth to top off someone who got hit particularly hard (and the combo of Regrowth + Swiftmend is very effective). Rarely will you use a Nourish or Healing Touch.