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Druid Guide, Part One

By James Wood on January 02, 2009 | Guides | Comments

Druid Guide, Part One
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Druids happen to be one of the most diverse classes WoW has to offer. They can heal, they can sneak, they can tank and they can cast painful Nature spells. They’re jacks-of-all-trades, but masters of none. It also means that they’re a really annoying class to kill and can go through a few dungeons all on their lonesome.

Druid Races

Like it or not, Horde and Alliance each only have one race that can be Druids. Each has their own skins for Cat and Bear Form, so anyone can identify allied and enemy Druids (as if the names in red and green weren’t enough).

Night Elves vs. Tauren

Night Elves Tauren

+1% dodge

+5% health

Stationary Stealth / Improved Mobile

+15 Herbalism

Stealth

2-second stun

2% Nature spell hit reduction

2% Nature spell hit reduction

50% ghost speed

Tauren for the win, I say. The 5% health boost alone makes the cows much better Druids than Night Elves. The Night Elf dodge rate doesn’t do very much in combat and the increase in ghost movement speed certainly doesn’t do them any good if they’re alive and kicking.

There is one noticeable change. Nature resistance is no longer actual resistance but just a reduced chance to hit. Now you take full damage from Nature spells. Ouch. I’d rather have the resistance stat, thank you very much.

Druid Skills

Balance

Balance spells to Druids are like Elemental spells to Shamans. It turns the Druid into a spellcasting machine, tossing green lightning and lunar fire.

Barkskin

Mana Cost: None
Casting Time: Instant
Range: Self
Duration: 12 seconds
Cooldown: 1 minute
Special: Usable in all forms and while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep

Acquisition and Effect Table

Level Effect

44

20% damage reduction and immunity to spellcasting delay by damage

Available any time and in any form, this spell pulls the punch out of damage done to you and makes spellcasting that much easier. It’s cooldown makes it available for most PvP conflicts, giving you enough time to burn your enemies or save your friends.

Cyclone

Mana Cost: 8% of base mana
Casting Time: 1.5 seconds
Range: 20 yards
Duration: 6 seconds
Special: One target only. Target is invulnerable during effect.

Acquisition and Effect Table

Level Effect

70

Immobilizes target

More crowd control, but this has more use against players than monsters. Six seconds means a lot more to people than monsters since the latter tend to have so much HP that you couldn’t kill your primary target before the other one decides to join the fun.

Entangling Roots

Mana Cost: 8% of base mana
Casting Time: 1.5 seconds
Range: 30 yards
Special: Damage-breakable

Acquisition and Damage Table

Level Damage

8

20 Nature Damage with root over 12 seconds

18

50 Nature Damage with root over 15 seconds

28

90 Nature Damage with root over 18 seconds

38

140 Nature Damage with root over 18 seconds

48

200 Nature Damage with root over 24 seconds

58

270 Nature Damage with root over 27 seconds

68

351 Nature Damage with root over 27 seconds

78

423 Nature Damage with root over 27 seconds

This is the way to tell your enemy to shoo. Root them, run away, then cast Starfire. If Starfire doesn’t break the roots on the first go, you’ll have at most 23.5 seconds to cast another Starfire to compound your enemy’s pain.

Faerie Fire

Casting Time: Instant
Range: 30 yards
Target: Enemy
Duration: 40 seconds
Special: Target cannot stealth or turn invisible.

Acquisition, Mana Cost and Effect Table

Level Mana Cost Effect

18

8% of base mana

- 175 armor

30

8% of base mana

-285 armor

42

8% of base mana

-395 armor

54

8% of base mana

-505 armor

66

7% of base mana

-610 armor

76

7% of base mana

-1260 armor

It’s mana-efficient and lasts longer than a DoT, making it more effective against stealthed characters than anyone else. But if you have the time and mana, stack this with other armor-reducing spells during dungeon raids to help out all those physical classes.

Force of Nature

Acquisition Requirement: 40 points in Balance Talents, 1 point in Force of Nature talent

Mana Cost: 12% of base mana
Casting Time: Instant
Range: 30 yards
Duration: 30 seconds
Cooldown: 3 minutes

Acquisition and Effect

Level Effect

50

Summons 3 treants to attack enemies

The treants, despite their low damage and susceptibility to AoE death, are surprisingly annoying to everyone. Spell interrupts are enough to get on everyone’s nerves… and give the druid enough time to put Starfire on someone.

Hibernate

Casting Time: 1.5 seconds
Range: 30 yards
Target: Enemy Beast or Dragonkin
Special: Damage-breakable

Acquisition, Mana Cost and Duration Table

Level mana Cost Duration

18

8% of base mana

20 seconds

38

8% of base mana

30 seconds

58

7% of base mana

40 seconds

Crowd control, period. There’s at least one or two beast types hanging around in most dungeons and taking them out of combat always makes a difference. Just be sure to yell out which beast you’re putting to sleep before one of your trigger-happy comrades decides to take a shot at it.

Hurricane

Casting Time: Channeled Spell
Range: 30 yards
Target: Area, Enemies only
Duration: 10 seconds

Acquisition, Mana Cost and Effect Table

Level Mana Cost Effect

40

91% of base mana

100 Nature damage per second + 20% attack speed slowdown

50

91% of base mana

142 Nature damage per second + 20% attack speed slowdown

60

91% of base mana

190 Nature damage per second + 20% attack speed slowdown

70

81% of base mana

303 Nature damage per second + 20% attack speed slowdown

80

81% of base mana

451 Nature damage per second + 50% attack speed slowdown

Before Typhoon, this was the only true area-of-effect spell that Druids had. Unfortunately, this spell eats so much mana and can be broken with enough hits that it’s not very worthwhile if you’re fighting alone. With a tank that can hold all the aggro, dropping the crowd’s attack speed by 50% buys you both a lot of time.

Warcraft houses are surprisingly sturdy against the weather

Innervate

Mana Cost: 4% of base mana
Casting Time: Instant
Range: 30 yards
Target: Friendly
Duration: 20 seconds
Cooldown: 6 minutes

Acquisition and Effect Table

Level Effect

40

Spirit * 4 and full mana regeneration while casting

Healers will love you if you cast this spell on them. It's a group-preserving spell, especially if your healers have trouble coping with all the damage that's being done to their healing targets.

Insect Swarm

Acquisition Requirement: 20 points in Balance talents, 1 point in Insect Swarm

Casting Time: Instant
Range: 30 yards
Target: Enemy

Acquisition, Mana Cost and Effect Table

Level Mana Cost Effect

30

9% of base mana

3% reduced accuracy + 144 Nature damage over 12 seconds

30

9% of base mana

3% reduced accuracy + 234 Nature damage over 12 seconds

40

9% of base mana

3% reduced accuracy + 372 Nature damage over 12 seconds

50

9% of base mana

30 seconds

60

9% of base mana

3% reduced accuracy + 744 Nature damage over 12 seconds

70

8% of base mana

3% reduced accuracy + 1032 Nature damage over 12 seconds

80

8% of base mana

3% reduced accuracy + 1290 Nature damage over 12 seconds

Insect Swarm becomes an essential part of your combo, as you'll later find out. This spell is quite cheap and comes with damage-over-time like Moonfire, but the real kicker is that anyone with the improved version of Insect Swarm will take more damage from Wrath spells.

You'll often find yourself casting Insect Swarm, then Wrath for an offensive combo, so don't miss this unless you want to spend the entire battle casting Entangling Roots before Starfire.

Moonfire

Mana Cost: 24% of base mana
Casting Time: Instant
Range: 30 yards
Target: Enemy

Acquisition and Damage Table

Level Mana Cost

4

7 - 9 Arcane + 12 Arcane over 9 seconds

10

13 - 17 Arcane + 32 Arcane over 12 seconds

16

25 - 31 Arcane + 52 Arcane over 12 seconds

22

40 - 48 Arcane + 80 Arcane over 12 seconds

28

61 - 73 Arcane + 124 Arcane over 12 seconds

34

81 - 97 Arcane + 164 Arcane over 12 seconds

40

105 - 125 Arcane + 212 Arcane over 12 seconds

46

130 - 154 Arcane + 264 Arcane over 12 seconds

52

157 - 185 Arcane + 320 Arcane over 12 seconds

58

189 - 221 Arcane + 384 Arcane over 12 seconds

63

220 - 258 Arcane + 444 Arcane over 12 seconds

70

305 - 357 Arcane + 600 Arcane over 12 seconds

75

347 - 407 Arcane + 684 Arcane over 12 seconds

80

406 - 476 Arcane + 800 Arcane over 12 seconds

The mana efficiency on this spell is terrible. As nice as it is to have a DoT to break stealth and as nice as it is that this spell is instant, it should be used only in instances where the enemy might escape.

To be continued in Part II...

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