Druid - Boon Support Healer


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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: HealingSupportUtility.

Designed for:

Expansions required:

GW2 Heart of Thorns logo.png
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Information

Healing Druid is a meta-defining support build that provides multiple damage buffs to 10 players including Frost Spirit.png Frost Spirit, Sun Spirit.png Sun Spirit, and 25 stacks of Might Might with Grace of the Land.png Grace of the Land. It also provides healing, CC, Glyph of Empowerment.png Glyph of Empowerment, Spotter.png Spotter, permanent Fury Fury and Regeneration Regeneration, high Vulnerability Vulnerability, and tons of utility from various pets and utility skills.
One healing Druid is standard in every raid squad, with some squads running an extra Druid or other healer for safety. Experienced Druid players can consider running the build variants Druid - Boon Support Condi DPS or Druid - Boon Support Power DPS, which sacrifice healing to squeeze out more DPS.
This guide is focused on raids. For the fractal version see Druid - Boon Support Healer (Fractal).

Skill Bar

Juvenile Fanged Iboga.png
Juvenile Electric Wyvern.png
Axe/WarhornHealingUtilityElite
Staff

Weapon Variants

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

Pets

You will mainly be bringing these pets to fights:
In certain situations, you might also find these pets useful:

Spirits

Spirits are unique Ranger summons that buff 10 players in a large radius around them. As they can affect an entire raid squad they are extremely powerful and almost all of them provide great benefits to a raid comp.
  • Sun Spirit.png Sun Spirit provides Vigor Vigor and a ~5% increase to your squad's condition DPS.
Most raid commanders will expect a Frost Spirit.png Frost Spirit and Sun Spirit.png Sun Spirit in their squad. You will generally want to take Water Spirit.png Water Spirit for your Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar generation. Depending on the fight, many commanders will also expect Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature and Stone Spirit.png Stone Spirit.
Coordinating spirits: If there's another Ranger in the squad, you should coordinate spirits with them before the fight so that you cover all spirits between the two of you. This is usually done by pinging the spirits on your skillbar in chat. If you're the only Ranger then filling your skillbar with spirits is usually a safe choice.
When not to bring spirits: On many encounters, Druid is expected to bring utility skills to deal with mechanics, for example Glyph of the Tides.png Glyph of the Tides for knockbacks or "Protect Me!".png "Protect Me!" 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 Glyph of Empowerment.png Glyph of Empowerment.
You can swap out Stone Spirit.png Stone Spirit in groups that don't need help surviving, Sun Spirit.png Sun Spirit in groups that mainly deal power damage, or Frost Spirit.png Frost Spirit in groups that mainly deal condition damage.

Other Skill Variants

Healing Skills
Utility Skills
  • Glyph of Empowerment.png Glyph of Empowerment is an extremely strong damage increase for any power DPS in your subgroup and is the default go-to if you have a free slot.
  • Glyph of the Tides.png Glyph of the Tides provides a short cooldown AoE knockback and is the cornerstone of many raid boss strategies.
  • Storm Spirit.png Storm Spirit provides instant vulnerability and 300 breakbar damage, useful on bosses like Samarog where CC is important.
  • "Protect Me!".png "Protect Me!" provides an AoE stun break, useful for saving your subgroup on bosses like Slothasor.
  • "Search and Rescue!".png "Search and Rescue!" is a strong safety net for inexperienced groups.
  • Glyph of Equality.png Glyph of Equality or Glyph of Alignment.png Glyph of Alignment if you don't need anything else.
Elite Skills

Specializations

Variants

Marksmanship Pushing Variant

On some specific bosses, you will need to use Point Blank Shot.png Point Blank Shot to push and can't afford to have the projectile be intercepted. In this case replace Skirmishing with Marksmanship so that you can take Lead the Wind.png Lead the Wind. Moment of Clarity.png Moment of Clarity will also provide increased CC from skills such as Storm Spirit.png Storm Spirit and Lunar Impact.png Lunar Impact.

Wilderness Survival Kiting Variant

If you're far off on your own kiting a mechanic and aren't able to grant Spotter.png Spotter to your DPS, you can run Wilderness Survival instead of Skirmishing for more personal survivability. You can also consider traiting Primal Echoes.png Primal Echoes in Druid.

Equipment

Ascended Head (Medium).png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Shoulders (Medium).png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Chest (Medium).png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Hands (Medium).png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Legs (Medium).png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Feet (Medium).png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Back.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Accessory1.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Accessory2.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Amulet.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Ring1.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Ring2.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Axe.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Ascended Warhorn.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Superior Sigil of Transference.png
Superior Sigil of Water.png
PvE weapon swap.png
Ascended Staff.png
Harrier stat icon.png
Superior Sigil of Transference.png
Superior Sigil of Water.png
Superior Rune of the Monk.png6x
Superior Rune of the Monk
Healing Infusion.png18x
Healing Infusion
Remember to also get a longbow with the same sigils as your staff.

Consumables

Food
  • Delicious Rice Ball Delicious Rice Ball
    Delicious Rice Ball.pngDelicious Rice Ball
    Nourishment (30m):
    Food.png100 Healing Power+10% Healing Effectiveness (Outgoing)+25% Magic Find during Lunar New Year
    Consumable
Utility
  • Bountiful Maintenance Oil Bountiful Maintenance Oil
    Bountiful Maintenance Oil.pngBountiful Maintenance Oil
    Nourishment (30 m):
    Potion.pngGain 0.6% Outgoing Healing Increase for Every 100 Healing PowerGain 0.8% Outgoing Healing Increase for Every 100 Concentration+10% Experience from Kills
    Consumable

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 Grace of the Land.png Grace of the Land. At the start of the fight, and any time Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar is available, you should go into Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar and do the following might sharing rotation:
In addition to spamming Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar you will want to spam Call of the Wild.png Call of the Wild 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 Signet of Inspiration.png Signet of Inspiration. You can Quick Draw.png Quick Draw Call of the Wild.png Call of the Wild if you have trouble with boon uptime (see "Quick Draw" below).
Combined with the passive pulsing might from Frost Spirit.png Frost Spirit, 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 Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar 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:
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 Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature to give them a second chance.

Quick Draw

Quick Draw.png 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 Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar, and it will reduce the cooldown of the next skill you use that has a cooldown. This is usually going to be Call of the Wild.png Call of the Wild or Lunar Impact.png Lunar Impact. This extra buffer is great for new Druids or for chaotic fights where you can't keep up a regular rotation.
Quick Draw.png Quick Draw has a 9 second cooldown, so get a feel for the timing or keep an eye on your skill bar to see if Quick Draw.png Quick Draw is active. It's better to autoattack for a few seconds rather than accidentally waste Quick Draw.png Quick Draw on inconsequential skills.
Quick Draw.png Quick Draw also won't trigger if you are in the middle of a skill cast when you 24px Release Celestial Avatar, 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 Entangle.png Entangle 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 Entangle.png Entangle when your commander tells you to.
  • Pushing: Druids have 2 reliable knockbacks in Glyph of the Tides.png Glyph of the Tides and Point Blank Shot.png Point Blank Shot, 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 Point Blank Shot.png Point Blank Shot 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).
    • If you're so far away that you're out of Spotter.png Spotter range, consider running the "Wilderness Survival Kiting Variant" traits listed above.
  • Healing Through: Some advanced strategies rely on ignoring mechanics by having the Druid heal through heavy damage. This generally involves saving Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar and then spamming Lunar Impact.png Lunar Impact and Cosmic Ray.png Cosmic Ray.

CC

You can help with breakbars using any of the following skills:
  • Lunar Impact.png Lunar Impact
  • Fang Grapple Fang Grapple or Lightning Assault.png Lightning Assault or Head Toss Head Toss
  • Point Blank Shot.png Point Blank Shot or Path of Scars.png Path of Scars
  • Storm Spirit Storm Spirit
    1Activation.png
    20Recharge.png
    Storm Spirit
    Spirit. Summon a storm spirit that grants nearby allies a chance to apply vulnerability when attacking.
    Storm Spirit.pngStorm Spirit (6s): 75% chance to apply vulnerability on hit.
    Vulnerability.png3Vulnerability (10s): 3% Incoming Damage, 3% Incoming Condition Damage
    Targets.pngNumber of Targets: 5
    Duration.pngEffect recharge: 10 seconds
    Duration.pngDuration: 60 seconds
    Radius.pngRadius: 1,000
     Forward arrow blue.png 
    Call Lightning Call Lightning
    20Recharge.png
    Call Lightning
    Spirit. Your storm spirit sacrifices itself to generate a powerful blast of electricity.
    Damage.pngDamage: 353
    Daze.pngDaze: 3 seconds
    Targets.pngNumber of Targets: 5
    Radius.pngRadius: 240
  • Swapping to staff or Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar with Primal Echoes.png Primal Echoes traited
  • Glyph of Equality.png Glyph of Equality
  • Glyph of the Tides.png Glyph of the Tides (not recommended as you generally need this skill for other mechanics)

Miscellaneous Tips

  • If running Glyph of Empowerment.png Glyph of Empowerment, you should spam it off cooldown, unless your teammates are busy and can't make use of the buff, or a burn phase is coming up which you should save the buff for.
  • Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature only lasts for 60 seconds and has a very long cooldown. Save it for the phases 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).
  • Winter's Bite.png Winter's Bite provides Chill Chill and Weakness Weakness, which will be a DPS increase for many classes due to traits like 24px Superior Elements, Modified Ammunition.png Modified Ammunition, and Exposed Weakness.png Exposed Weakness. Always use Winter's Bite.png Winter's Bite off cooldown if possible.
  • If you need to cleanse conditions, use Seed of Life.png Seed of Life. The light field can be blasted with Lunar Impact.png Lunar Impact or Ancestral Grace.png Ancestral Grace. If you need a lot of condition cleanse take Healing Spring.png Healing Spring and Trapper's Expertise.png Trapper's Expertise. Vine Surge.png Vine Surge can also cleanse certain conditions like chill and immobilize.
  • Use Entangle.png Entangle, Jacaranda's Embrace Jacaranda's Embrace, or Vine Surge.png Vine Surge if you need to immobilize things. In dire situations you can use Natural Convergence.png Natural Convergence (not recommended).
  • Sublime Conversion.png Sublime Conversion blocks projectiles, which is relevant for certain encounters like Cairn.
  • Always cast another spirit before Sun Spirit.png Sun Spirit. This is so that when you see the other spirit expire, you can manually activate Solar Flare.png Solar Flare just before Sun Spirit.png Sun Spirit expires for extra damage.
  • Your pets are dumb and will take damage from enemies and mechanics. Swap them out if they're about to die.
  • Seed of Life.png Seed of Life 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

Dark-icon-raid.png Vale Guardian
  • This fight puts a lot of pressure on the tank, so make sure you keep them healthy.
  • Bring Entangle.png Entangle for seeker control. You can use Glyph of the Tides.png Glyph of the Tides to knock them away and Entangle.png Entangle to immobilize them.
  • Pop your spirits during the split phases so that they will be up for the next boss phase. If the tank plans to rotate around the arena, place your spirits near the center so that your squad can still benefit from them while on the move.
  • If you're healing through greens, save your Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar for it -- not having it up right after a green circle will likely lead to a raid wipe.
  • In inexperienced groups "Search and Rescue!".png "Search and Rescue!" is really useful for saving people who get ported.
  • If you get ported use Ancestral Grace.png Ancestral Grace to quickly dash back.
Dark-icon-raid.png Gorseval the Multifarious
  • The tank will be standing a short distance from the main group, so make sure you tag them with your healing and Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar.
  • Pop your spirits during the split phases so that they will be up for the next boss phase.
  • Bring Entangle.png Entangle 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 Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar for this section as there isn't any other damage pressure and your Water Spirit.png Water Spirit will refill your astral force during the split.
Dark-icon-raid.png Sabetha the Saboteur
  • Keep an eye on the squad members doing cannons and be prepared to refresh their Might Might when they come back.
  • Seed of Life.png Seed of Life can be used to blind the adds so they don't knock your teammates into the flamewall.
  • Place Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature in the last 25% phase.

Salvation Pass

Dark-icon-raid.png Slothasor
Dark-icon-raid.png Matthias Gabrel
  • Bring Healing Spring.png Healing Spring for condition cleanse.
  • Save Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature for the 60% phase so that you can share stability to counter Downpour knockdowns.
  • Sublime Conversion.png Sublime Conversion can be used for projectile destruction but be careful of accidentally destroying Bloodstone Shards.

Stronghold of the Faithful

Dark-icon-raid.png Siege the Stronghold (Escort)
  • 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 Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar and Call of the Wild.png Call of the Wild.
  • Use Entangle.png Entangle, Jacaranda's Embrace Jacaranda's Embrace, and Vine Surge.png Vine Surge to keep wargs immobilized.
  • Seed of Life.png Seed of Life can be used to blind trash.
  • You can bring "Protect Me!".png "Protect Me!" for an AoE stun break.
  • You can bring Juvenile Wolf Juvenile 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.
Dark-icon-raid.png Keep Construct
  • On this fight Druids are normally asked to push the orb into the rifts. Just go around with your axe and position so that your autoattacks will hit it into each rift. Your Chronomancers will help you by pulling the orb.
  • Make sure that your pets are set to Passive, otherwise they might push the orb out of the arena.
  • Make sure you have Glyph of Empowerment.png Glyph of Empowerment and Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar ready for the burn phase.
  • Save Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature for the first and third burn phases.
Dark-icon-raid.png Xera
  • This fight puts a lot of pressure on the tank, so make sure you keep them healthy.
  • Bring Healing Spring.png Healing Spring for condition cleanse.
  • Seed of Life.png Seed of Life 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.
  • Coordinate with your tank about where they're going to be tanking, so you know where to place your spirits ahead of time.
  • During the pre-event, you should summon and instantly pop your spirits on each island.
  • Make sure your pet is on Passive so it doesn't attack the orbs during the orb pushing sections.
  • Some squads will require you to bring Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature for the buttons in the pre-event. Use it to resurrect your button crew when the Bloodstone Shard has around 30% health remaining - this should give them enough time to kill it and then leave buttons before they get downed a second time.
  • Pop your spirits during the split phase so they will be ready for phase 2.
  • During phase 2, try not to have Juvenile Fanged Iboga Juvenile Fanged Iboga out, as Confusion Confusion will be converted to Retaliation Retaliation if Xera stands in a shard field.

Bastion of the Penitent

Dark-icon-raid.png Cairn the Indomitable
  • Ask your commander if they want a kiter. Adding a kiter makes the fight slower but much easier. If there is no kiter then Cairn's autoattacks will be hitting everyone and you will be under a lot of pressure to keep your teammates alive.
    • If you trust your squadmates not to get ported, you can stand just a short distance away from Cairn and "kite" without necessarily having to stand on the edge of the arena.
    • If you're kiting on the edge of the arena, use the "Wilderness Survival Kiting Variant" traits above and just afk in staff. You can easily use Ancestral Grace.png Ancestral Grace, Sublime Conversion.png Sublime Conversion, your dodges, and your special action key to dodge every set of shards.
  • Don't be afraid to camp in Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar 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 Ancestral Grace.png Ancestral Grace for mobility.
  • In high DPS groups Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature can be used to share stability and ignore greens.
  • In inexperienced groups "Search and Rescue!".png "Search and Rescue!" is really useful for saving people who get ported.
Dark-icon-raid.png Samarog
  • You can bring either Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature for stability, or Entangle.png Entangle for immobilizing Rigom and clearing spears.
  • Storm Spirit.png Storm Spirit is great here, as it provides high CC and instantly refreshes vulnerability after each breakbar.
  • If a breakbar is coming up, you should save Celestial Avatar.png Celestial Avatar for CCing with Lunar Impact.png Lunar Impact and healing the fixated squadmate.
  • Point Blank Shot.png Point Blank Shot is useful for pushing Rigom during the split phase.
Dark-icon-raid.png Deimos
  • The tank 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 Passive, otherwise the Sauls might fixate on your pet and not come to the squad.
  • Sublime Conversion.png Sublime Conversion can block the projectiles from Demonic Tears.

Hall of Chains

Dark-icon-raid.png Soulless Horror
  • This fight puts a lot of pressure on the tank, so make sure you keep them healthy.
  • Juvenile Iboga Juvenile 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 Glyph of the Tides.png Glyph of the Tides, and use the "Marksmanship Pushing Variant" traits above. When a Tormented Dead walks into the group, do your first push with Glyph of the Tides.png Glyph of the Tides, wait for the Scourge to use Epidemic.png Epidemic, then do your second push with Point Blank Shot.png Point Blank Shot and knock it to the edge of the arena.
  • Use Healing Spring.png Healing Spring, Seed of Life.png Seed of Life, and your blast finishers to cleanse conditions.
  • Be careful of placing Spirit of Nature.png Spirit of Nature as the Stability Stability will be corrupted into Fear Fear if anyone accidentally touches a boon corrupt zone. Consider running Invigorating Bond.png Invigorating Bond for this.
Build rating - 5 stars
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4 Ratings
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.

1 More Rating
5 stars
Yiwll gave this build 5 stars September 2016

Good healing, and extremely useful for high damage-inflicting fights.

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