Druid Core Abilities

The core abilities of a Druid consists of three single-target and one multiple-target mage-like damage spells; four single-target and one multiple-target priest-like healing spells; a Cat Form containing basic damaging special moves similar to a rogue; a Bear Form yielding armor and health similar to a Warrior; poison- and curse-cleansing spells; and a range of utility spells like various travel forms, crowd control, and a nice group buff. Spending Talent points in the Talent trees allows Druids to specialize their play style as they see fit.

  • Balance Druids specialize in their assortment of damage spells and special abilities including an additional Moonkin Form, turning them into an efficient ranged spellcaster that is somewhere between a mage and a shadow priest in play style in the equivalent of plate armor. They lack true AoE capabilities but excel at nuking single targets as well as providing effective off-healing and crowd control support for their group or raid. The Burning Crusade brought the Balance tree enough power to make a properly geared balance Druid decent competition with the pure caster classes for top DPS position.
  • The Feral tree enhances both of the Druid's melee forms, allowing them to tank and melee DPS more efficiently. The Talents in this tree usually enhance both forms equally and specialization into one of the two roles depends mostly upon gear. Feral Druids are effectively a Warrior and a Rogue with the ability to heal themselves to boot. Lack of downtime between fights and flexibility in their armor and DPS are their strong points.
  • Restoration Druids take points in improving their assortment of healing spells and also in special abilities including an additional Tree of Life Form. Their resurrection spell Rebirth is the only resurrection spell that can be cast in combat, offset by its 20-minute cooldown. With Patch 3.0.2, Druids get the "regular" resurrection spell Revive, now making them viable main healers for 5-man instances. Restoration Druids have by far the best heal-over-time spells of all healing classes, effectively allowing them to continue healing while incapacitated. In addition, the mobility offered by their heal-over-time spells makes them especially effective in PvP. This together with their excellent mana efficiency and in-combat resurrection ability makes them an effective, albeit unique healing class.

A properly specced and geared Druid is capable of fulfilling any of several roles in a group. Druid players need to be aware that this versatility also bears a danger - it may be difficult to keep focused when gathering gear. Also there can tend to be a great deal of doubt on the part of other players that a class can actually be as flexible as it is possible for Druids to successfully be, hence they are not always welcomed in groups as they should be, though Burning Crusade and Blizzard's official endorsement of the Druid as one of their 'tapped' tanking classes has helped legitimize the Druid class as something other than a healer to the populace in many ways. Indeed, it is not uncommon at all for a Feral Druid in a group or raid to vary their role from encounter to encounter, moving from Main Tank, to Off-Tank, Melee DPS to Healing, and do them all successfully. It is even possible for these role changes to happen over the course of a single fight; however, a character's inability to change armor pieces in combat means the Druid must usually pick which role they will primarily act in before each encounter.

The ability to spec to completely different roles makes Druids a smart and flexible class choice: if you are tired of performing one task, you need not create another character to fulfill another role; you simply respec to a new one at little cost and considerably less effort.

Druids are quite an uncommon class. Many find them difficult to level, while others proclaim them the best soloing class in the game. Moreover, since the Druid population is extremely low, there have been fewer examples of a well-played Druid for other players to have experience of and emulate. In order to truly fulfill a hybrid role, Druids require several complete sets of gear above and beyond any resist sets that most classes will possess. This is always expensive in time, bag space, and gold. Unlike most other hybrid classes, a Druid does not begin as a true hybrid with some abilities in each of their domains, instead they acquire utterly new branches of ability when they advance to certain specific levels. Thus a Druid is only complete at comparatively high levels. This can make the very early game for the Druid more difficult than for other classes. However, once mastered, the Druid is one of the most formidable classes in the game with much to contribute to any group, and can be extremely rewarding and enjoyable to play.

Another nice feature about playing Druids is their ability to travel faster. Druids do not need to buy a flying mount (though they are still required to purchase Journeyman riding skill); instead they gain flight form through Druid trainers. Artisan riding skill is required to start the quest chain for the epic flight form.

  • Through a quest at level 14, Druids gain their aquatic form allowing them to breathe and travel at a 50% increased speed underwater.
  • At level 21, two Talent points can be put into Feral Swiftness making the cat form 30% faster than normal running speed (Dash can boost this for 15 sec, up to 70% at lvl 65).
  • At level 30, travel form is gained, which is 40% faster than normal run speed. Though it would appear to be obsolete now that patch 2.4 made mounts obtainable at level 30, travel form can be cast in combat, making it a great escape tool when things go bad.
  • At level 68, Flight Form becomes available in Outland. This form is just as fast as a normal flying mount, but has the additional advantage of being an Instant Cast spell, allowing the Druid to gain flight in situations other classes cannot. A example of this would be to avoid falling damage (if not in combat) by shifting to flight before hitting the ground. It is also available earlier than other classes.
  • After purchasing Artisan Riding (5000g) and completing a quest chain, Druids gain Swift Flight Form which is as fast as an epic flying mount (again with zero cast time).
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