Druid - Alacrity Support Healer

Part of the current metagame

Our curator decided this build is in the current metagame regardless of rating. The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great

Focused on: HealingSupport and Utility

Designed for: Raids

Expansions required: Heart of Thorns builds

This build was last updated on October 11, 2022 and is up to date for the October 4, 2022 game patch.

Overview

Healing Druid is a support build that provides its subgroup with Alacrity Alacrity, 25 stacks of Might Might from , healing, frequent condition cleanse, and permanent Fury Fury and Regeneration Regeneration. It can inflict good amounts of CC, high Vulnerability Vulnerability, and tons of utility from various pets and utility skills.

One of Druid's strongest features is the ability to provide the majority of its healing from long range via Staff and Celestial Avatar, only needing to return to the group every ~25s to activate spirits for Alacrity Alacrity. This makes it excellent at handling mechanics without losing effectiveness, and makes it easy to support the tank when it's off-stack.


Skill Bar

Fanged Iboga
Electric Wyvern
Axe/Warhorn
Staff
Utility


Weapon Variants

  • Longbow provides , a short cooldown and easily accessible knockback. On bosses where pushing or CC is important, you should swap out Staff and use to help your squad.
  • Offhand axe can replace Staff for more DPS if you don't need the defensive utility. It also provides for pulling adds on certain encounters.


Pets Variants

You will mainly be bringing these pets to fights:

  • Fanged Iboga Fanged Iboga is the highest DPS pet, which also inflicts good CC with its pet skill . This is the pet you will have out most of the time.
  • Electric Wyvern Electric Wyvern and Rock Gazelle Rock Gazelle deal mediocre DPS but provides very strong CC from their pet skills, and . You should have one of these as your secondary pet and swap to it if CC is needed.
  • Jacaranda Jacaranda is the second highest DPS pet and the pet with the highest cleave damage. It also has an immobilize in , useful if more soft CC is needed.

In certain situations, you might also find these pets useful:

  • Red Moa Red Moa provides Fury Fury with its pet skill , useful if you're struggling with fury uptime.
  • Jungle Stalker Jungle Stalker provides Might Might with its pet skill , useful if you're struggling with might uptime.
  • Wolf Wolf provides AoE fear, useful if your group is having trouble with adds (e.g. on Escort towers).
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear provides for extremely condition-heavy fights.
  • Fern Hound Fern Hound provides Regeneration Regeneration if you have difficulty keeping it up.
  • 24px White Tiger is your only source of Aegis Aegis. As this pet teleports around randomly during its attack, it is strongly recommended to keep it on passive to be sure that the boon hits your group.


Spirit Variants

Spirits provide pulsing boons around them in addition to Alacrity Alacrity when their active skill is used. Three spirits are required for permanent Alacrity Alacrity uptime.

  • provides Regeneration Regeneration and sustained healing to 10 people in a huge radius. This keeps them from dying, sustains their bonus, and rapidly fills your .
  • provides Might Might and pulsing Chill Chill when activated.
  • provides Protection Protection, which again keeps your squadmates from dying and sustains their bonus.
  • provides Fury Fury and a small amount of CC when activated.
  • provides Vigor Vigor.
  • provides an emergency resurrect that can affect up to five people, including yourself.


You will want for the easiest Might Might generation. You will generally want to take for your generation. Depending on the fight, many commanders will also expect and .


When not to bring spirits: On many encounters, Druid is expected to bring utility skills to deal with mechanics, for example for knockbacks or for a stun break. In these situations, you will not be able to bring every spirit as a solo Druid and will need to replace one of your spirits. Alternatively, you may realize that some of your spirits aren't doing anything and wish to replace them with other utility skills like .

You need a minimum of three spirits to maintain Alacrity Alacrity, so be careful not to swap out more than two utilities.


Other Skill Variants

Healing

  • is a good alternative to on condition-heavy fights (e.g. Slothasor, Xera). If you take this run .


Utility

  • provides a short cooldown AoE knockback and is the cornerstone of many raid boss strategies.
  • provides instant vulnerability and 300 breakbar damage, useful on bosses like Samarog where CC is important.
  • provides an AoE stun break, useful for saving your subgroup on bosses like Slothasor.
  • is a strong safety net for inexperienced groups.
  • - Stability Stability with


Elite

  • on fights where the immobilize is needed.
  • provides pulsing Stability Stability, making it more reliable than if you don't need the shorter cooldown. It also works as a ranged res while in Celestial Avatar.


Template Code

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Specializations


Trait Variants

  • if running .
  • if you don't need the safety buffer of .
  • to increase your DPS a tiny bit in experienced groups on low pressure encounters.
  • to carry inexperienced groups that are going down a lot.
  • in fights with boon corruption where the Stability Stability from might be corrupted into Fear Fear.
  • if you are using a heal skill other than . does not trigger , limiting its usefulness.
  • if you don't need to provide Might Might. This will allow you to spam massive heals on the group.


Specialization Variants

Marksmanship

With the loss of the unique buff from , it is much more viable to bring Marksmanship instead of Skirmishing. This traitline offers boons from , extra CC from and a lot of vulnerability from the combination of and .

  • On some specific bosses, you will need to use to push and can't afford to have the projectile be intercepted. In this case you can take .


Wilderness Survival

If you're far off on your own kiting a mechanic, you can run Wilderness Survival instead of Skirmishing for more personal survivability. You can also consider traiting in Druid.


Equipment

Head
Harrier
Shoulders
Harrier
Chest
Harrier
Hands
Harrier
Legs
Harrier
Feet
Magi
Backpiece
Magi
Accessory
Harrier
Accessory
Harrier
Amulet
Harrier
Ring
Harrier
Ring
Magi
Axe
Harrier
Warhorn
Harrier
Sigil
Sigil
Staff
Harrier
Sigil
Sigil
Rune
x6


  • Remember to also get a longbow with the same sigils as your staff.
  • The gear above is designed to cap boon duration when using +100 concentration food. If you are not using such food, you can switch some of the magi pieces to harrier.
  • Thanks to , cleric stats would provide more healing power than magi, but this will put you at 1159 toughness which may interfere with tanking.


Consumables

Food


Utility


Usage

As a Druid you wear many hats in a raid encounter. This is your priority during fights, from highest to lowest:

  1. Stay alive
  2. Do mechanics
  3. Rescue teammates low on health
  4. Maintain boons and healing on your squad
  5. Maximize your DPS


Boons

Your main job for most of the fight is maintaining 25 stacks of Might Might on your squad. As a Druid you are uniquely equipped to do this with . At the start of the fight, and any time is available, you should go into and do the following might sharing rotation:

  • while standing in your squad
  • Other skills off cooldown until your group hits 25 Might Might
    • Spam throughout - it has no cast time so you can cast it in the middle of other skills' cast times
  • Timed correct, will explode shortly after , healing teammates and granting you astral force for your next


In addition to spamming you will want to spam on your warhorn. This will top off your subgroup's Might Might and Regeneration Regeneration, and grant Fury Fury to your Chronomancer who can then sustain it with . You can if you have trouble with boon uptime (see "Quick Draw" below).

Combined with the passive pulsing might from , you should have no trouble maintaining 25 might on your squad.


Healing

Healing is the secondary role you provide to your raid squad. Many new Druid players focus excessively on healing their teammates and camp Staff for the whole encounter. In reality, you don't need to do this as Regeneration Regeneration and your rotation are enough to take care of random damage and keep people topped off. You only need to swap to Staff if you need emergency healing or utility.

Healing becomes important when mistakes or mechanics cause your teammates to get dangerously low on health. As a support healer, it's your responsibility to keep them alive, top them off, and maintain their bonus. You can provide burst healing in any of the following ways:

  • Go into and spam and
  • Activate or
  • Drop a water field on your allies with or , and then blast it with or

A combination of these should be sufficient to heal your team back up to full. Make sure to turn on "Thick Party Health Bars" in your options so that you can see who needs healing at a glance.

If your teammates still go down after you babysit them and drop all your healing on them, that's on them, not you. Make a judgment call on whether it's worth putting yourself in danger to revive them, or popping your to give them a second chance.


Quick Draw

is a very useful trait that provides a safety buffer for both your boons and healing. Every 9 seconds, this trait will activate after you Weapon swap Weapon swap or enter/leave , and it will reduce the cooldown of the next skill you use that has a cooldown. This is usually going to be or . This extra buffer is great for new Druids or for chaotic fights where you can't keep up a regular rotation.

has a 9 second cooldown, so get a feel for the timing or keep an eye on your skill bar to see if is active. It's better to autoattack for a few seconds rather than accidentally waste on inconsequential skills.

also won't trigger if you are in the middle of a skill cast when you , so remember to finish your cast animations.


Mechanics

As a utility support class, Druid is often called upon to do specific raid mechanics. These are varied and highly encounter dependent. Ask your commander what they want you to do in any given fight.

  • Entangling: On many bosses, Druids are asked to bring to immobilize or clear adds. An example is on Gorseval where you have to keep 4 spirits from reaching the center. Generally this boils down to pressing when your commander tells you to.
  • Pushing: Druids have 2 reliable knockbacks in and , which means they usually have the responsibility of handling knockbacks ("pushes"). An example is on Soulless Horror where you will be asked to push Tormented Dead far away from the main group. If asked to do this, position carefully and have your pushing skills ready when the time comes.
    • If there is a risk of your getting intercepted then you should run the "Marksmanship Pushing Variant" traits listed above.
  • Kiting: As Druids can heal and support from range, they are sometimes asked to stand apart from the main grop to keep a specific mechanic away. An example is on Sabetha where you may be asked to stand further away to kite flak. In these scenarios, you should run as many spirits as possible, drop them all on your group at the beginning, then go to your kiting spot and stay there while dropping heals on the main group. You won't be expected to maintain might (although it's obviously a nice bonus if you can).
  • Healing Through: Some advanced strategies rely on ignoring mechanics by having the Druid heal through heavy damage. This generally involves saving and then spamming and .


CC

You can help with breakbars using any of the following skills:

  • or or
  • or
  • from
  • Swapping to staff or with traited
  • (not recommended as you generally need this skill for other mechanics)


General Tips

  • If you don't need it for Alacrity Alacrity, you can save for when people are most likely to go down.
  • Place your spirits where all your squad members will be in range of them. This is important if you will be constantly moving (e.g. on VG).
  • provides Chilled Chilled and Weakness Weakness, which will be a DPS increase for many classes due to traits like , , and . Always use off cooldown if possible.
  • If you need to cleanse conditions, use . The light field can be blasted with or . If you need a lot of condition cleanse take and . can also cleanse certain conditions like chill and immobilize.
  • Use , , or if you need to immobilize things. In dire situations you can use (not recommended).
  • blocks projectiles, which is relevant for certain encounters like Cairn.
  • Your pets are dumb and can take damage from enemies and mechanics. Swap them out if they're about to die.
  • can be used to blind adds.
  • If you have nothing else to do, maximize your DPS and astral force generation by spamming axe/warhorn skills until you need to heal or do your boon rotation again.


Encounter Specific Tips

Spirit Vale

Vale Guardian Toggle
  • This fight puts a lot of pressure on the tank, so make sure you keep them healthy.
  • Bring for seeker control. You can use to knock them away and to immobilize them.
  • If you're healing through greens, save your for it - not having it up right after a green circle will likely lead to a raid wipe.
  • In inexperienced groups is really useful for saving people who get ported.
  • If you get ported use to quickly dash back.
Gorseval the Multifarious Toggle
  • The tank will be standing a short distance from the main group, so make sure you tag them with your healing and .
  • Pop your spirits during the split phases so that they will be up for the next boss phase.
  • Bring to immobilize the Charged Souls. With high group cleave, you can immobilize them very near the center and have your power DPS cleave all the Charged Souls down.
  • If you are delaying breakbars, be prepared to spam healing through the breakbar phase so that you can heal your DPS through the retaliation. It's ok to camp in for this section as there isn't any other damage pressure and your will refill your astral force during the split.
Sabetha the Saboteur Toggle
  • Keep an eye on the squad members doing cannons and be prepared to refresh their Might Might when they come back.
  • can be used to blind the adds so they don't knock your teammates into the flamewall.


Salvation Pass

Slothasor Toggle
  • can be used against slubling projectiles.
  • You can bring for an AoE stun break.
Matthias Gabrel Toggle
  • Bring for condition cleanse.
  • can be used for projectile destruction but be careful of accidentally destroying Bloodstone Shards.


Stronghold of the Faithful

Siege the Stronghold (Escort) Toggle
  • On this fight Druids are normally asked to babysit Glenna. Try to remain as close to the group as possible without putting Glenna in danger. If you can't get close, you can still leave Glenna for short periods of time to stack might with and .
  • Use , , and to keep wargs immobilized.
  • can be used to blind trash.
  • You can bring for an AoE stun break.
  • You can bring Wolf Wolf to fear mobs as an emergency measure. If you aren't escorting Glenna, you can use it to fear mobs when you go up to the towers.
Keep Construct Toggle
  • On this fight Druids are normally asked to push the orb into the rifts. Just go around with your Staff and position so that your autoattacks will hit it into each rift.
  • Make sure you have ready for the burn phase.
Xera Toggle
  • This fight puts a lot of pressure on the tank, so make sure you keep them healthy.
  • Bring for condition cleanse.
  • can be used to blind adds.
  • Due to the very high damage pressure in this fight, a healer should always be on the main platform. If you're solo healer this means you should always go back down if you get ported. If there are two healers, decide who is going back down if both get ported.


Bastion of the Penitent

Cairn the Indomitable Toggle
  • You can kite on this encounter without dropping Alacrity Alacrity if you're good
    • Make sure to use all your spirits at the start and dash to the group to use them all again every time there are greens
    • Use a mixture of Celestial Avatar, dodges, the special action key and to keep yourself alive
  • Don't be afraid to camp in and spam healing if the group needs it.
  • You should always take one agony, as you can heal and buff from range, and you can always heal yourself if you get low.
  • Use for mobility.
  • In inexperienced groups is really useful for saving people who get ported.
Samarog Toggle
  • You can bring for immobilizing Rigom and clearing spears.
  • is great here, as it provides good CC and allows you to knock Rigom into Samarog during the split phase.
  • If a breakbar is coming up, you should save for CCing with and healing the fixated squadmate.
Deimos Toggle
  • The puddle kiter takes heavy damage after blocking Deimos's Mind Crush attack, so watch out for this and make sure you keep them healthy. In Deimos CM this will apply to the entire squad.
  • Make sure your pet is on the squad, otherwise the Sauls might fixate on it and not come to the group.


Hall of Chains

Soulless Horror Toggle
  • This fight puts a lot of pressure on the tank, so make sure you keep them healthy.
  • Fanged Iboga Fanged Iboga is strong here as Soulless Horror takes a lot of damage from confusion.
  • As the Druid you are normally tasked with pushing Tormented Dead. To do this you need to equip a longbow and , and use the "Marksmanship Variant" traits above with .
    • When a Tormented Dead walks into the group, do your first push with , wait until the tormented dead is close to half health (often after being hit with a necromancer's ), then do your second push with and knock it to the edge of the arena.
    • If using pets like Electric Wyvern Electric Wyvern or Rock Gazelle Rock Gazelle, it may be wise to keep them Passive as they can interrupt your knocks on the Tormented Dead.
  • , and your blast finishers to cleanse conditions.


Ratings

This build has a rating of 5 stars based on 5 votes.
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5 stars
OfficerAndyGentleman gave this build 5 stars • November 2022
Despite the removal of multiple powerful unique buffs, druid remains an excellent and versatile healer and boon provider. Requires a little more effort than mechanist, but has much more ability to fine-tune to fit individual encounters.
5 stars
Chinkeeyong gave this build 5 stars • September 2018
The premier raid healer and the cornerstone of most common raid strategies. You can't go wrong with a Druid.
5 stars
Narth gave this build 5 stars • October 2016
This guide gives a lot of great details for any new Druid. This build should become the standard healing druid build for most raid groups unless you're running a speed comp. Personally, I found the zerker Druid build to be too low on healing since the recent balance patch and found this build to work as a good replacement for both myself and my raid group! I really do think for the majority of gw2 raiders that this build is in the current meta.
5 stars
Gale gave this build 5 stars • September 2016
Solid starting point for entry-level Druids or teams that require stronger healing. It's a tad overkill in a double-Druid meta but it's still a viable alternative by providing a forgiving safety net.
5 stars
Yiwll gave this build 5 stars • September 2016
Good healing, and extremely useful for high damage-inflicting fights.

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