I’ve been seeing a lot of demand for a guide to the Resto Druid Artifact, G’Hanir, the Mother Tree. This guide will outline my artifact trait paths. For those not yet in the know, you acquire Artifact Power (AP) to give power to your weapon. You acquire it everywhere in the world – quest rewards, mob drops, dungeon rewards, etc. The AP you gain unlocks traits on your weapon. In a way, it’s similar to the old talent trees, although it’s more like the talent system from Path of Exile (ie more of a talent web) with alternate paths to get to where you want to go.
You can re-roll if you change your mind, but it basically costs you as much as it would have to upgrade that level. Because of the way the cost ramps up, the earlier you make your mind up, the better. Leave it too much alter than artifact level 20, then depending on your Artifact Knowledge rank you might just be better off persevering (you’ll fill all the slots in the end anyway).
If you are only interested in following a picture guide, then here you are (click to enlarge). Otherwise, I hope you continue to read on.
|Option 1: Dungeons & Long Term Gearing||Option 2: Get in and raid ASAP|
Maxing your artifact: The numbers
To max out your weapon at level 34 (there is progression beyond that, but 34 is when you’ll take all available traits), you’ll need to acquire 5,216,130 artifact power. The amount required really ramps up. Here’s a really intimidating graph.
The problem with this graph is that because the scale is so huge thanks to the numbers required at the end, it doesn’t really represent what will happen in the first 20 or so levels when the choice is really important. Here’s a zoom of the graph in the earliest 20 levels.
Here are a few key numerical factors to keep in mind:
- Going straight to a major (gold) trait via the shortest path costs:
- 3,250 AP (Dreamwalker)
- 4,625 AP (Power of the Archdruid)
- 5,500 AP (Tranquil Mind)
- The shortest possible path to unlocking 2 major traits is Dreamealker > Tranquil Mind (or vice versa) which costs 33,450 AP (level 16)
- The shortest possible path to unlocking 3 major traits is 276,270 AP (level 23)
- The major traits are really good, but it’s not necessarily to abandon everything else to get them. Sometimes, taking that shortest route means that the next best traits take longer to unlock.
The ideal path
It’s absolutely fine to pick the path you think is best and work towards it, whether you agree with me or not. If you change your mind earlier (before around level 20) it’s not actually too much of a penalty to re-roll. That said, there are mathematically superior options if you want to biggest bang for buck early, and those options depend on the content you’re running. Note that both content paths described below will unlock the 3rd major trait at the same time (level 26). The images below were taken using WowHead’s artifact calculator (and then adding some sweet markups with MS Paint).
Content 1: Typical Dungeon Gearing
This path is for people who are looking to gear up the old-fashioned way by going into heroics, and then mythics, and then once you have the item level, stepping into either Mythic+ or raids. The most advantage goes to Mythic+ focused players. The idea with this build is to turn the Mastery bonus up to max. Wild Growth is expensive, but when playing up the Mastery boost you’ll find you’re far more efficient.
Content 2: Quick Raiding Readiness
This path is for people who just want to get in and raid ASAP. Maybe your guild is motivated to help you gear up quick and get in, and you need more immediate performance at the cost of a slight delay to some lower priority throughput talents. It puts a greater emphasis on mana regen. Funnily enough, the major traits are still unlocked in the same order. It is an option to skip Dreamwalker and go straight Tranquil Mind (via Armor of the Ancients from Essence of Nordrassil). Tranquil Mind is probably the best which is probably the out-and-out best talent for raiding. Doing this will save you a significant 138,650 AP wait for Tranquil Mind so exactly how worth it this is to you will be determined by your Artifact Knowledge rank.
These choices may receive further explanation in a future blog post, so if you do have any questions, please let me know by emailing me – email@example.com!
Generally, you’ll want to socket any relic with the highest item level. The relics increase the item level of G’Hanir, and therefore its stats. This is usually a pretty significant advantage over any single tier of Artifact Trait available.
In saying that, I do have a rule of thumb where if it’s within 5 relic item levels, I’ll at least consider the bonus and won’t make the change if it’s super bad. Generally when you’re getting close to max iLvl, you’re going to want relics that enhance throughput, because throughput trumps all. Until you reach that point, however, it’s perfectly fine to prioritise mana regen/cost reduction relics.
You are blessed with great restorative powers, Druid, but I will rip you all apart in the end!
– Archdruid Glaidalis