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The Druid class is intended to be protector of the wilds, defender of the
great balance, and preserver of life, but unless you’re playing
on an RP server, I somewhat doubt that you truly plan on doing anything
aside from laying some major smack down on everything from mobs, when
leveling, to other players in the arena, to bosses in raids.
Let not the (relatively) low population of Druid’s sway you
from your interest. Druid’s are one of the most fun, inventive,
and overall powerful (overpowered?) classes in the game, and for good
reason considering how the class is designed.
Creating a Druid is akin to saying you want to have your cake and eat
it too, only with icing on top, and perhaps a couple bowls of ice-cream
on the side. But
all joking aside, Druids have the ability to tank, DPS either
from a range or in melee, and play the role of main or backup healer,
all packaged into one little (or not so much if you happen to be Tauren)
Before 4.0 - About the only downside would be relative boredom and
slaving away mashing the Wrath key (a fairly weak ranged nuke
at low levels) from 1-10 before proceeding to then mash the maul key
(your main bear form attack) for another 10 or 20 more.
Post 4.0 - Druids now get cat form at level 8 and can start their
career of ripping and clawing the opposition. Bear form comes at level
15 and you're now a pretty good tank, in addition to being a healer
and ranged and melee DPS.
Druids possess many advantages and almost nonexistent disadvantages
once you’ve reached high levels, but before that... things
can get really hairy at times, excuse the pun.
However not all things are difficult, if you can manage to get a leveling
buddy things will come much easier, given that you could play the role
of healer at least for a short period of time while they bring the damage. Additionally,
almost immediately upon gaining cat form you’ll
notice a marked increase in both damage and overall mana efficiency. Kill
a few mobs, drop out of cat form to put up some heals on yourself, return
to killing, etc.
Before Cataclysm the choice of race for a Druid was a difficult one: Tauren or Night
This difference is largely visual as opposed to bringing any actual
advantage to either, although I will say that Tauren do push ahead
of night elves with 5% more health as opposed to night elves useless
stealth (we get this with cat form already.) Unfortunately, the Tauren
have amazingly ugly cat form looks to make up for the increased health.
Cataclysm will allow the Worgen and Trolls to become Druids.
- Can periodically move quickly (does this stack with Druid travel
- Increased crit chance
- Reduced duration of curses and diseases (Are you listening,
'locks and DKs?)
- Increased skinning speed and skill
- Berserking increases attack and casting speed.
- Regeneration doesn't matter with your heals.
- Damage increased Vs beasts, all 5 million of them, which is nice
- Increased crit chance with bows and thrown weapons, which you'll
- Reduced duration of movement impariing effects, useful for most,
but your shapeshift is a far superior "break free" ability.
As far as Druids go one of the most popular tradeskills
happens to be Herbalism,
generally to be combined with Alchemy for
viable cash making on the auction house or simply to provide guildies
with the potion/elixers/flasks required to run dungeons/raids. Cataclysm
potions/flasks/etc will likely be quite lucrative for some time. Pick
a ton of herbs and go for it.
Potions can augment your many abilities with constant health
regeneration, greater tanking capabilities, and become quite the life
saver at times.
However if you’re looking to purely make some money, as opposed
to crafting items in the long-run, Herbalism works very well,
especially with the release of Wrath of the Lich King & Cataclysm. Combine
this with another gathering skill such as Mining or, more often, Skinning.
It makes for a mean money maker combo and you’ll
likely never be left wanting for more gold except for perhaps for that
expensive top level purple gear on the AH.
Even though you have your own heals the first
aid skill can come in handy from time to time, especially at lower
underestimate the benefits of a free heal. It's pretty much a free skill
to level with all the cloth drops and it does have the occasional use.
Generally speaking, the crafting skills are very expensive to level. If you have lots
of gold already then go for it, otherwise wait until you do.
If you want to make your own gear? Take Leatherworking and Skinning.
Tradeskills for the End Game
Currently the Engineering and Leatherworking professions
give the best DPS gain, but make sure you have access to lots of
gold first. You'll need it. Each profession has certain
self-only abilities/items/spells which give benefits that classes without
those professions won't see. The skills here are ranking in order of
value to casters, Cats and Bears might have slightly different priorities.
- Engineering: Synapse
Springs gives 480 Int, which works out to about 12 seconds out of every
60, for roughly 96 Int on average. Since Int is Spellpower this has
it's uses. Flexweave
Underlay (a parachute) and Grounded
Plasma Shield (Cata. only, this is a damage absorbtion shiled) are further
cool engie perks.
- Leatherworking: 130 Int/Agi/Str or Stam to bracers.
Tanks & PvPers might like Charscale
Leg Reinforcements while melee DPS might go for Dragonbone
- Jewelcrafting is the next best. 3 [Brilliant
Chimera's Eye] in place of 3 [Brilliant
Inferno Ruby] gives 81 net Int gain, similar gems are available (in
Cataclysm) for the other stats.
- Blacksmithing provides an extra socket each
in your wrists and gloves, each of which can take a Brilliant
Inferno Ruby (or appropriate other gem, which gives a net of 80
- Alchemy: Mixology will give you 80 Intellect.
- Enchanting: 40 Int to each ring gives 80
- Inscription: 130 Int/25 haste to shoulders
in place of the Therazane enchant gives 80 Intellect. There
are similar inscriptions for tanks and DPS.
- Tailoring: Lightweave
Embroidery gives 580 spellpower for 15 seconds, which works
out to a DPS equivalent of around 60 Int, once all procs and stuff
are accounted for.
- Herbalism now gives a haste cooldown via Lifeblood.
At 480 haste for 20s every 2 minutes, it averages out to 80
Haste is useful for every build.
- Skinning gives 80 crit rating, useful
for tanks and DPS, but probably less useful than primary stats, given
how things scale in Cataclysm.
- Mining provides minor survivability benefits,
60 Stam, which is useful for Druid tanks and for PvP, but the skill
provides no DPS gain.
abilities cover a lot of ground, this
is exactly where the druid class differentiates itself from all others:
of abilities designed to be utilized by the various forms, and sometimes
outside of all shape shifting possibilities.
Much like a Warrior,
Druid’s will find their capabilities both
enhanced and hindered based upon which form they’re currently
using (much like the various Warrior or Death Knight stances,) making
proper preparation the key to effectively combating various opponent
types, whether player or monster.
Overall the experienced Druid gains the instinctive insight of when,
where, and how to use his vast arsenal of abilities, making them nigh
invulnerable to any combination of attackers and deadly
despite any apparent disadvantages.
This huge variety of capabilities also makes the class rather difficult
to pley well.
Caster Form – Humanoid
The standard caster, or humanoid, form for druids is the form you’ll be
using for everything from ranged caster style damage and nuking to playing
the healer and supporting everyone else in your party.
Caster form is obviously the only one available to you from 1-7, often coming
into a general lack of use until first instancing/doing either battlegrounds
or raiding at 80, either way I’d consider it underpowered unless heavily
augmented by gear for healing or damage.
Still useful at all times, due to not being classified
as a beast like all other forms. The beast forms make them vulnerable to Scare Beast and
various other attacks against beasts. Humanoid form also allows you to
look pretty as opposed to looking like a wild animal. Unless you're Tauren.
Cat Form – Level 8 (was level 20, before 4.0)
Cat form is the Druid’s first step on the
road to melee DPS capabilities, giving us a massive increase in burst
damage, damage over time, and kill speed efficiency as we finally gain
the ability to grind for lengthy periods of time without stopping.
Additionally, this form grants you the ability to stealth, very much like
a rogue, as well as possessing a sprint like ability and various stealth-opener
attacks that allow you to very quickly burn down the opposition.
Cat form is immensely useful in making the druid a fast leveler
compared to the slower speeds granted by the other forms.
Bear Form – Level 15 (previously level 10)
Bear form represents a large increase in our survivability,
massively boosting armor and health to levels matching that of Warriors
and Paladins early on.
Gaining this form becomes possible at level 15 and used to require
the completion of a specific Druid class quest line gained from your
respective trainer at either Thunder bluff or Darnassus. This
also opens up travel to the moonglade, via teleportation, making it
a viable stop for training whenever you level. With 4.0 the quest is
completely optional, though you may want to do it for the XP and for
the teleport spell.
Prior to 4.0 there was an "upgrade" to Dire Bear form
at level 40. With 4.0 pretty much all things scale with your level
and Bear Form is no exception, therefore there is no longer
a Dire bear form.
Here's a complete walkthrough of the (old) Druid bear form quests,
Druid and for the Horde
Travel Form – Level 16
With the 3.2 patch this form was changed to be learned at level 16,
Travel form is an ever useful speed increase that, despite
what you might think, is never fully replaced by either the level 30
mount or the 60 epic speed mount, this form being key to any PvP strategy
due to its massive increase in maneuverability over normal players.
This makes Druids ideal flag carriers in the Battlegrounds.
Very prevalent in Warsong Gulch and Eye of the Storm due to the capability to carry
the flag while in travel form, much like shamans. However, this remains undispellable
unlike the Shaman's Ghost Wolf.
Aquatic Form – Level 16
Aquatic form used to be gained from a somewhat
long quest line, made available starting at level
16. However, many Druids choose to put this off and complete it at
a later time, due to the form's relative uselessness at most times
and the travel time involved. Currently the quest is optional as the
abilitiy is trained like any other ability.
Aquatic Form improves swim speed by 50% and allows for underwater
breathing. Pick this up before hitting up areas such as Stranglethorn
vale, where underwater quest chains begin to appear.
Flight Form, Swift(Epic) Flight Form – Level 60, 70
Druids are quite lucky to gain a flight form equal to the flying
mount. This form also comes at a
fairly cheap trainer price and does not require you to train the flying
skill itself to use this.
However, to obtain the upgrade form, Swift Flight Form, you’ll need
to train your riding skill up to 300 and complete a quest chain, requiring you
to spend practically the same as any other player for your epic mount.
The upside is that flight forms can be activated while falling, and any other time,
instantly, as long as you’re not in combat, making it somewhat more viable
than mounting up.
With the 3.2 patch Flight Form can be learned at level 60.
Moonkin Form – 10 Points in Balance
Moonkin form is gained by placing your 10th point into the
balance tree, gaining the ability to shift into Moonkin much
like you would any other form, such as bear or cat form. However
Moonkin also has greatly differing abilities: rather than add whole
new spells, it instead greatly augments armor and damage casting capabilities.
Essentially Moonkin could be considered the mage or warlock
form, granting us enough Spell Haste (5% to both us and the entire
party) and damage to become a reasonable threat from a distance, whether
it be grinding, raiding, or PvP.
Although the uses of Moonkin form for leveling are debatable, it’s become
a staple raiding class, commonly there being at least one or two per raid.
Tree of Life Form – 30 Points in Restoration
Tree of life form is gained by putting 30 points into the Restoration
granting you an admittedly silly looking, yet extremely effective,
healing form which lasts for 30 seconds (since 4.0.) It
increases armor by 120%, the effectiveness of all healing spells
by 15%, and enhances some other spells.
It's a good form to change into for emergency healing and has a 3 minute
Note: For a more in-depth
look at leveling a Druid, including builds, specs, and tips, check
out our Druid
Leveling Guide. For an actual path to get from 1 to 85 fast see
our guide recommendation,
Leveling a druid varies for every player, unlike many classes. How
enjoyable you find the experience is almost entirely based upon personal
capabilities at controlling the numerous, and sometimes tricky, abilities
and combos that make up a druid.
However, when looking for leveling speed, Feral will most definitely
come out on top, Balance in second, although gaining slightly
post-40, and finally Restoration - a distant third, given that it only
benefits healing aside from the first talent (furor.) However, if you're
a team plaer and are doing most of your leveling in teams (ie: dungeons,
battlegrounds) then Resto is quite viable as a leveling build.
Feral druids are focused on becoming Rogue and Fury Warrior like in that they burst
through mobs in a whirlwind of flashing claws or death anbd destruction, stopping only
to throw on a few HoT’s
(Heal over time) before shifting back into cat form and moving onto the next group.
Downtime is almost nonexistent the more you progress past 20, firmly
becoming nonexistant past 40+, as you gain some of the massively
damaging attacks that define feral druid and cat form DPS. Bear
remain largely unused for leveling aside from making getaways or possibly
Alternatively, should you have a few leveling partners, tanking can
be quite an enjoyable experience as well. Bear form easily gives you
the capability to hold threat while whoever you’re teaming
with beats the offending mobs down.
The great thing about Feral is that in a single build you gain tanking and solo DPS viability,
allowing you to easily make the transition from solo-killer to a group player.
See our Druid
Leveling Guide for builds and specs on leveling a Feral Druid
and see our Feral page
for more general info on that spec. If you need to get leveled fast
then see below.
Leveling as Balance is the second option when setting yourself along
the path to 80 (or whatever your goal happens to be.) I personally
selected balance as my build of choice when leveling my first druid
to 70. I found it more fun to play a unique hybrid caster as opposed
to another rogue clone with heals.
Balance has some immediate problems when compared to Feral, notably
damage to mana efficiency and, by connection, the ability to kill effectively
for any great period of time. However, Balance makes up for this
by being quite capable of root and spell kiting bosses that are otherwise un-defeatable.
Stacking up as much damage gear, and good gear in general, is key to
being viable as Balance. Without this you’ll be immeasurably weakened when compared to all
other build types, even restoration, so I wouldn’t
suggest this as your first character.
Balance is also good support for a group of players leveling together, giving you the
ability to deal out the damage and remain in reserve for heals when needed.
See our Druid
Leveling Guide for builds and specs on leveling a Balance Druid.
If you need to get leveled fast then see below.
Restoration leveling is an exercise in patience and exasperation, you gain virtually
no improved solo capabilities while improving your already powerful healing capabilities
to pointless levels, as far as soloing is concerned. Only consider this build if you plan
on dedicated teaming.
The upside would be that you provide massive aid to any team you happen
to join and, if instancing regularly is your thing, it actually comes
in quite handy and sets you apart from any other Druids you might encounter.
Just remember, this is the hard road and if you have the cash you could always stay Feral or Balance
and respec for instance runs as needed.
If you have 1o gold and are level 30+ you can pick up the dual
from your trainer and have one build for Feral and another for Resto.
See our Druid
Leveling Guide for builds and specs on leveling a Resto Druid
and see our Restoration page
for more general info on that spec. If you need to get leveled fast
then see below.
Gear, Stats, and Numbers
Gearing woes will plague you throughout your career as a Druid. A constant
requirement will be that of possessing nigh three complete suits of armor if you wish to
truly utilize all your possible roles, sometimes even four.
As far as Feral is concerned... Strength, Agility,
and lastly Intellect will
be your defacto order of priority, generally balancing your mana to be a certain
percentage of your life at any time as more mana = more heals = more life
Basic Stat Priorities
This will change when the hotfixes, bug fixes, tweaks, nerfs, and
buffs settle dow a few weeks after Cataclysm. For now this is a good
place to start.
Melee DPS, Leveling
- Agility (Stam if leveling)
- Everything else
- Resilience if PvP
- Reforge everything into Mastery
- Int - only if casting often enough to be worth it.
- Spirit - no value
- Strength - Ok, but Agi is better.
- Resilience if PvP
- Reforge everything into dodge.
- Int - only if casting often enough to be worth it.
- Spirit - no value
- Strength - Ok, but Agi is better.
- Hit - the "Balance of Power" talent (Balance) gives you hit rating
equal to the spirit on your gear. If you take this talent then
spirit on gear is useful, otherwise skip Spirit.
- Agility, Str - no value
- Stam for PvP
- Resilience for PvP
Note - at low levels we recommend that you stack Stamina until survival
is no longer an issue (which will be different amounts for different
people.) If you're doing low level PvP (or any PvP) you'll want a lot
more than otherwise.
In a PvE environment, if you're DPS and have a good tank, then you
don't need much Stam.
Stat Conversions at Level 85
Numbers are rounded off.
- Dodge - 176.7 rating per 1%
- Hit - 120.1
- Spell Hit - 102.45
- Crit - 179.3
- Resilience(Player Damage Taken) - 276.12299 per 1% reduction
- Haste - 128
- Expertise - 30
- Mastery - 179.3
Cat form notes:
- At low gear levels (below t7) Agility > Strength > Crit > Haste > Hit/Expertise > Arp > AP
- Hit and Expertise rating at not very important at these levels
unless you find your misses to be disrupting your atttack rotations.
So: If you feel you're missing too much get Hit, otherwise skip it
Are Druids viable in PvP? I think enough of us have had our butts kicked by Druids
to know that that is a silly question. Druids are very viable in PvP, any PvP.
As always, move points around to reflect your team and your abilities/preferences.
For all the dirty tricks, including how to kill (or help your partner(s) kill)
anything treat yourself to a PvP Pwnage guide. It will show you everything you
need to know to rule even more at pVp. Click
here and get yours now.
Cat form DPS prority list: If you're new to raiding don't worry about doing it all
right the first time. Practice makes perfect and Druids need lots of practice. Fortunately, they're
powerful enough to be desirable, which means you should have the chance to get all the practice you
need. Start with points 1 thru 5 and work up from there.
- Keep up Savage Roar - SR buffs everything. It doesn't matter how many Combo Points (CP) you use
for SR, just keep it up.
- Keep up Mangle - M buffs youir bleeds and Shred
- Keep up Rake
- Use Shred for CP regeneration (remember, that points 2 and 3 are more important) - note: never
Shred without applying Mangle and at least one bleed.
- When at 5 CP and Rip is not up, use Rip
- When below 30 Energy, use Tiger's Fury (TF)
- Use Clearcast Proccs (from Omen of Clarity) for Shred
- When at 5 CP and Rip and SR are running with 8 seconds (might be longer, depending on your gear)
or longer each, use Ferocious Bite (FB)
- When Rip and SR will drop at nearly the same time (with less than 3 seconds difference),
try to recognize it early. Then use SR with a small amount of CP to desynchronize both
- Use Berserk only at high energy, (but not higher than 85) not directly
after TF, and as often as possible. If you will get Hysteria, or some boss mechanics will enhance
your damage, save it for these situations.
Now, if you can afford to level your tradeskills... Several tradeskills have useful self-only buffs.
- Inscription - the Shoulder Enchant adds 64 AP over anything else in game. Also has a few
Bind on Pickup (BoP) off hand items that can be useful.
- Blacksmithing - Two more sockets for gems - that's a lot of gold for two sockets.
- Enchanting- Ring Enchants - Two rings = 64 AP
- Jewelcrafting - Some nice BoP gems
- Leatherworking - A nice wrist enchant adds 64 AP
- Mining - 50 Stamina
- Skinning- 32 crit rating
- Cooking - lets you cook up a number of foods with significant buffs to various stats.
The Enchants should be easy to find on the Auction House.
- Major Glyphs - Moonfire, Insect Swarm, Starfall.
- Minor Glyphs - Included, but none are raid significant.
Moonkin Stat Prioroty:
- Hit rating to the 263 cap (237 with Draenei in group) - Talents will provide most or all of this,
so short of level 83 bosses you don't need to gear for it.
- Haste Rating to the soft cap (401 with the Wrath of Air Totem running, 585 without.)
- Spell Power
- Haste rating (to the hard cap)
- Crit rating
A few, generally useful, macros
- This one puts you into your cat form and prowls
# show Prowl
/cast [nostance:3] Cat Form; [stance:3, nostealth] Prowl
- This one will use Rake on your opponent, but it you're stealthed
it will use Pounce instead.
/cast [nostealth] Rake; [stealth] Pounce
- One click snare breaker. This should return you to your original form. Occasionally
useful for leveling or PvE, very useful for PvP.
/cast [stance:1] !Dire Bear Form; [stance:4] !Travel form; [stance:3] !Cat Form;
- One button switch to the correct travel form for land, sea, or air.
/stopmacro [stance:5, flyable]
/stopmacro [stance:2, swimming]
/stopmacro [stance:4, noflyable]
/stopmacro [stance:4, combat]
/cast [flyable, nocombat, noswimming] Flight Form
/cast [noswimming] Travel Form
/cast [swimming] Aquatic Form
Gaze of the Somber Keeper
Crown of Unbridled Magic
Helm of the Majestic Stag
Fallen Sentry’s Hood
Helm of Anomalus
Tattered Glacial-Woven Hood
Symbol of Redemption
Amulet of Dazzling Light
Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape
Shroud of Moorabi
Disguise of the Kumiho
Cloak of the Fallen Cardinal
Mantle of Revered Mortality
Silent Spectator Shoulderpads
Mantle of the Extensive Mind
Grim Lasher Shoulderguards
Mantle of Deceit
Mantle of Inconsolable Fear
Chestguard of Broken Branches
Robes of the Cheating Heart
Lunar Eclipse Chestguard
Raiments of the Titans
Royal Moonshroud Robe
Embrace of Madness
Egg Sac Robes
Cuffs of the Trussed Hall
Cuffs of Winged Levitation
Handlers Arm Strap
Bindings of the Depths
Bindings of Yearning
Wristguards of Subterranean Moss
Ancestral Sinew Wristguards
Royal Moonshroud Bracers
Gloves of Token Respect
Handwraps of Surrendered Hope
Gloves of Glistening Runes
Sterile Flesh-Handling Gloves
Grotto Mist Gloves
Gloves of Dismal Fortune
Essence of Desire
Handwraps of Resonance
Muddied Crimson Gloves
Suspiciously Soft Gloves
Marwyn’s Macabre Fingertips
Gloves of Distorted Time
The Confessor’s Binding
Sash of Blood Removal
Belt of Dark Mending
Belt of Vivacity
Sash of Phantasmal Images
Cord of the White Dawn
Belt of Arctic Life
Sash of Jordan
Binding Of the Tranquil Glade
Braid of Salt and Fire
Belt of the Living Thicket
Skirt of the Old Kingdom
Leggings of the Haggard Apprentice
Breeches of the Caller
Kilts of the Forgotten One
Leggings of the Ruins Dweller
Opposed Stasis Leggings
Leggings of the Snowy Bramble
Leggings of Lost Love
Boots of Transformation
Footwraps of Teleportation
Boots of Wintry Endurance
Slippers of the Holy Light
Boots of Septic Wounds
Sandals of Crimson Fury
Enchanted Wire Stitching
Titanium Spellshock Ring
Band of Channeled Magic
Etched Loop of the Kirin Tor
Ring of the Darkmender
Signet of Hopeful Light
Oath of Empress Zoe
Band of the Invoker
Band of Enchanted Growth
Spectral Seal of the Prophet
Band of Guile
Signet of Purity
Darkmoon Card: Illusion
Nevermelting Ice Crystal
Tome of Arcane Phenomena
Spark of Life
Talisman of Troll Divinity
The Egg of Mortal Essence
Bone Gloem Scapula
War Mace of Unrequited Love
Gavel of the Fleshcrafter
Hammer of Purified Flame
Handbook of Obscure Remedies
Tome of Salramm
Faces of Doom
Staff of Draconic Combat
Staff of Sinister Claws
Staff of Wayward Principles
Blood Boil Lancet
Idol Of Awakening
Idol of Flaring Growth
Idol of the Black Willow
The level 70 gear
list below represents what is likely going to be the maximum amount
of Spell Power and mana regeneration gear possible to prepare you for
raiding as a Restoration Druid. Not all of it is required,
just recommended to make it as easy as possible on both you and the
raid. The list is for people who wish to try the level 70 raids and/or for those who
don't yet have Wrath of the Lich King.
Druid 1-85 Leveling
Now that you're on the way to becoming a lean, mean, killing machine
you should consider a full blown leveling guide for your 1-80 (or 85)
blast. Why? It will save you many days of in-game time and will also
save a good deal of frustration, even if you already know many or most
of the quests. With Cataclysm you'll be able to cruise through
the new levels, get to 85 ASAP, and get into all that new end-game
Our recommended leveling guide is Zygor's
Guide. Zygor's automates the whole 1-80 (or 85) path (automatically
updating as you complete tasks and quests) and is like having an
expert helping you every step of the way. Pick your starting point
and the guide automatically updates and advances as you complete
quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically, and includes all the
important quest info.
Grab your copy of Zygor's
Leveling Guide, here