Druid: aDPS + Burn Guide

Introduction

Updated: 12/17/21 for the Terror of Luclin Expansion

This guide will discuss how damage spells combined with activated abilities will make up your burns and lesser burns. It will also serve as an intro to DPSing.

Druids have an AA Ability, Group Spirit of the Great Wolf, to worry about for their group’s aDPS and personal DPS. It is also important to understand how other classes’ aDPS abilities affect your burns and general DPS. I strongly recommend you read the following aDPS Guides as supplements:

In raid groups, your Enchanter should be coordinating most aDPS. Clicking a whole bunch of personal DPS abilities at the same time may not do much for you if you’re not timing them at opportune times.

aDPS Basics

You provide aDPS for your group via two ways.

Nightchill Aura (lvl 118) – adds a cold-based damage proc to damage spells cast in group. This aura needs to be recast periodically as it is not permanent.

Group Spirit of the Great Wolf (AA Ability) – lasts 4 minutes. Reduces mana cost of spells, increases the crit chance of DD and instant duration heal spells, increases crit strength of DD spells, and mana regen.

aDPS Received During Burns

When you see a call in raid for a “FULL BURN,” you will notice the following aDPS buffs rolling out on you and other casters:

  • Ranger in the raid TB/MGBing their Auspice of the Hunter on the raid.
  • Druid (you) in group applying Group Spirit of the Great Wolf
  • Enchanter in group applying Illusions of Grandeur

… and then you launch into your burn routine discussed in a little bit.

Auspice, Group Wolf, and IoG combined alone will raise the chance for direct damage spells to land critically by 100%. Auspice and IoG combined alone will raise the chance for damage over time spells to land critically by 100%.

Crit Chance Rates

Understanding your crit chance rates will help you better plan your personal burns and dps in the presence of certain activated abilities. Your goal is to also keep the highest amount of crit chance rate possible.

Passive Crit Chance Rates

Completing certain passive damage AAs and DoN progression, grants you with the following innate chances to crit with direct damage spells (DDs) and damage over time spells (DoTs).

CLASS DD CRIT CHANCE DOT CRIT CHANCE
Druid 58% 56%

Activated Crit Chance Rates (from AAs)

Now that you know what your personal passive crit rate chance is for your spells, you should familiarize yourself next with what certain activated abilities do to extend those crit chance rates further.

CLASS ABILITY DURATION REFRESH TIME DD CRIT CHANCE DOT CRIT CHANCE
Druid Group Spirit of the Great Wolf 4:00 min 07:30 min 12% none
Druid Spirit of the Great Wolf 4:00 min 07:30 min 18% none
Druid Spire of Nature 1:30 min 07:30 min 24% none
Druid Destructive Vortex 1:00 min 13:00 min none 10%
Enchanter Illusions of Grandeur 2:00 min 12:00 min 13% 13%
Enchanter Spire of Enchantment 1:30 min 07:30 min 09% none
Ranger Auspice of the Hunter 1:36 min 09:00 min 33% 33%
Bard Fierce Eye 2:12 min 03:00 min 15% 15%
Bard Spirit of Vesagran 2:00 min 03:00 min 12% 12%

Fun with Math

So what happens when you run Ranger’s Auspice, Enchanter’s IoG and Druid’s Group Wolf together?

DD Crit Chance Rate:

33% + 13% + 12% = 58% from these three abilities alone

If you take your passive DD crit rate chance of 58% and add it to this figure, you will be at 116%, over the 100% cap.

DoT Crit Chance Rate:

33% + 13% + 0% = 46% from these three abilities alone

If you take your passive DoT crit rate chance of 56% and add it to this figure, you will be at 102%, just slightly over the 100% cap.

Activated AA Abilities

Here is a glance at all activated AAs used in aDPS, burns and personal burns.

Group Spirit of the Great Wolf

  • Increases DD crit chance rate, DD crit strength, mana-reduction, etc
  • 04:00 min duration
  • 07:30 min reuse

Spirit of the Great Wolf

  • Increases DD crit chance rate, DD crit strength, mana-reduction, etc
  • 04:00 min duration
  • 07:30 min reuse

Distant Conflagration

  • Twincast up to 18 Remote Nukes
  • 10:00 min duration
  • 20:00 min reuse

Improved Twincast

  • Twincast up to 21 damage spells
  • 02:30 min duration
  • 15:00 min reuse

Destructive Vortex

  • Increases DoT crit rate chance by 10% and crit strength
  • 01:00 min duration
  • 13:00 min reuse

Nature’s Fury

  • Increases base damage of DD spells by 52%
  • 02:00 min duration
  • 20:00 min reuse

Spire of Nature

  • Increases DD crit rate chance by 24%
  • 01:30 min duration
  • 07:30 min reuse

Full Burns Use Long Timer Abilities

Your main full burn abilities are:

  • Distant Conflagration
  • Improved Twincast
  • Destructive Vortex
  • Nature’s Fury
Nature’s Sweltering Wrath

This section pertains to burning with an Enchanter in group (applicable to both raid and group settings). You can see what an Enchanter does during a Full Burn to coordinate better with them by viewing their aDPS burn order here.

Nature’s Sweltering Wrath

During a burn, you’re Enchanter will hit their Illusions of Grandeur ability. After IoG is up, you must land Nature’s Sweltering Wrath on the mob. Your enchanter will be leaving about a 4 second gap after IoG until they hit Chromatic Haze. It is imperative that you land Nature’s Sweltering Wrath during this gap before they hit Chromatic Haze.

The biggest damage comes from Chromatic Haze eating up the DoT tick portion of NSW and NOT the nuke component. There is a several million damage loss if this is done incorrectly.

Chromatic Haze

This is an enchanter activated AA ability you need to know about as it affects your burn directly. CH increases the base damage of 2 direct damage spells by 390% and their crit chance to land by 100%.

Although it explicitly states in the description that it affects direct damage spells, it cannot differentiate NSW as it contains both a DD and DoT portion. The ticks off the NSW dot do far more damage than the initial nuke component.

Full Burn

Whether playing a Balanced or DPS setup, you can fast /mem swap in and out of more damage spells as needed prior to a burn. Dedicated Hot Bars MUST be used for efficiency as well as a couple of social keys. This is my setup as an example:

The two social keys you want to be concerned with for the full burn look like this:

We have to use social keys to instantly activate multiple abilities at the same time since you can’t sit there clicking everything one by one.

Note: Your debuff assignments may slightly alter what is shown below.

Pre Burn

  1. Silent Casting (AA)
  2. Distant Conflagration (AA)
  3. BP Click (clicky item)
  4. Blessing of Ro (AA)
  5. Season’s Wrath (AA)
  6. Forceful Rejuvenation (AA) (if NSW is on cooldown)

Full Burn

  1. Wolf Social Key (Group Wolf + Focus Arcanum + Grp Announce)
  2. Burns Social Key (ITC + Destructive Vortex + Nature’s Fury)
  3. Nature’s Sweltering Wrath (before Enchanter CH activated)
  4. Nature’s Fire (AA nuke weave-in during GCD)
  5. Sunpyre
  6. Nature’s Bolt (AA nuke weave-in during GCD)
  7. Horde of Duskwigs
  8. Nature’s Frost (AA nuke weave-in during GCD)
  9. Chill of the Dusksage Tender
  10. Tenebrous Sunray
  11. Composite Winds
  12. Nature’s Fire (AA nuke weave-in during GCD)
  13. Remote Sunbolt
  14. Nature’s Bolt (AA nuke weave-in during GCD)
  15. Winter’s Wildblume
  16. Nature’s Frost (AA nuke weave-in during GCD)
  17. Bloody Roar

You’ll continue using any nukes as they refresh off cooldown and re-apply any DoTs accordingly in between once they wear off for the duration of your burn.

Take note that NFW will wear off as soon as you complete step 16. I usually will re-apply it at that point, but I didn’t want to confuse anyone reading this. If you’re too mana strapped to keep re-applying NFW as it expires, then at least try to do so with GoMs.

Weave in AA Nukes During GCDs

AA Nuke abilities are being weaved in between spells to DPS during GCDs only. Since they take 15 seconds to refresh, you most likely won’t be able to use them again until after you land Composite Winds. This is why they are spaced out in the manner I listed them.

Why Distant Conflagration Precedes ITC

Distant Conflagration will only twincast your Remote nukes. By hitting DC before ITC is on you, your ITC procs will not be used by the remote nukes. This means you can twincast remote nukes for 14 times and still be able to use the other 20 twincast procs from ITC for something else – yielding you a total of 39 twincast procs! Woo-hoo!

Wolf Priority

If we were to compare aDPS from just activated abilities alone between Enchanters and Druids, the most constant crit chance rate and crit strength for DDs comes from Group Wolf. This impacts nuking classes like Magicians and Wizards (and even you) quite a bit on long fights.

IoG vs Group Wolf

Illusions of Grandeur

  • Increases crit chance rates by 13% for DDs and DoTs
  • Increases damage dealt by critically-landed DD spells
  • Increases damage dealt by critically-landed DoT spells
  • Lasts 2 minutes
  • Re-used every 12 minutes

Group Spirit of the Great Wolf

  • Increases crit chance rates by 12% for DDs only
  • Increases damage dealt by critical DD spells only
  • Reduces mana cost of spells
  • Lasts 4 minutes
  • Re-used every 7:30 minutes

There will only be a 3:30 min gap of no Group Wolf if you take into consideration that the reset time for the ability starts when you activate it.

But… What About the Burn?

Here’s the deal – Group Wolf shouldn’t be treated as just a “Full Burn” ability. While it is ideal to time it promptly on beginning event burns or perhaps burns that may happen only a few minutes into an event, you and you group lose so much more damage by holding back on using it. It is the only aDPS ability that lasts 4 minutes.

If you’re raiding a long event, and the ability doesn’t happen to be up near the end for another round of burns, all other classes in your group will simply have spires or some other personal abilities they can activate to well then makeup for not having your Group Wolf.

As far as you are concerned, if you don’t have Group Wolf active, you’ll certainly have Self Wolf active on yourself.

Always Group Wolf

Unlike Enchanter IoG – a true full burn ability with a long reuse time, there is generally no logical reason to ever hold Group Wolf over a minute. This is why you want to use it for constant aDPS and not just for burns.

Make sure you discuss your intentions with your group, or whomever is coordinating aDPS in advanced. There can and will be times where this will not be the case. Enchanters should use a GINA trigger to keep track of your Wolf refreshes and they can plan around them as well.

Self Wolf

Now that you understand the importance of Group Wolf, you’ll want to ensure a wolf ability is always up. Both Group and Self wolf do a lot for you if manage to always have one of these abilities up at all times.

Group Wolf and Self Wolf

Both group and self wolf last 4 minutes and can be re-used every 7:30 minutes. That means you are left with a 30 second overlap if alternating between these two abilities properly. This is where you need to be careful since Group Wolf does not overwrite Self Wolf. If you click Group Wolf while Self is still on for the remaining 30 seconds, you’re screwed since you’ll have no wolf at all on you for 3:30 min.

I tackle this problem as follows:

1. Group Wolf first (as it has priority for group aDPS)

2. The moment I see that I have 30 sec left on Group Wolf, I will immediately overwrite it with my Self Wolf. It pays to have a trigger for this. It’s available as part of my GINA trigger package.

I’ve shafted myself so many times in the beginning by accidentally running Group Wolf while still having Self Wolf on. This resulted in having no wolf for 3:30 min on myself. If you have trouble keeping up with this, then just wait for the respective wolf to fully expire and then use the other one.

Personal Burn

Personal burns are basically when full burn, long-ability timers are not running. They are also known as lesser burns.

Self Wolf > Spire of Nature > Twincast

Spirit of the Great Wolf

  • Increases crit chance rate for DDs to land by 18%
  • Increases crit damage strength of DDs by 110%
  • Lasts 4 minutes, can be re-used every 7:30 minutes

Spire of Nature

  • Increases crit chance rate for DDs to land by 24%
  • Lasts 1:30 minute, can be re-used every 7:30 minutes

Twincast (Spell)

  • Twincast any DoT and DD spell
  • Lasts 18 seconds, can be re-used every 5:00 minutes

I generally like using my spire along with twincast while my self wolf is active as it gives me a 42% crit chance rate for DDs combined. Factoring in my 58% passive crit chance rate for DDs, I’ll be at exactly 100% total crit chance rate for DDs.

Note that Twincast (Spell) won’t always align perfectly with the other abilities upon refresh. Use your judgement if you want to time your abilities and TC for a specific part of an event.

Unfortunately, Self Wolf and Spire will only affect crit chance rates for your DDs and not your DoTs. There isn’t much you can do for DoTs and that’s where Bards come into play. They will fill in some of the crit chance rate gaps for DoTs.

Summary + Tips

There are a TON of abilities Druids use. The good news is that there is not a whole lot to really think about beyond Group Wolf on the aDPS front.

Your group’s Enchanter should realistically coordinate aDPS with you or plan around you. Your Enchanter should also be on the same page as you when it comes to your NSW casts during full burns. There is no excuse here.

Tips

1. Use ITC as a “gage” for event duration. ITC has a 15 min cooldown. Most casters, including Enchanters, plan their abilities around ITC. They’ll know if they should hold next burns for ITC, or just finish the event off with whatever is up if there is not enough time to wait for ITC.

2. Destructive Vortex, which has a 13 min cooldown, will be back up before ITC by 2 min. If the event looks like it will be over before ITC is back up, then you may as well use DV and any other burn or lesser-burn abilities.

3. Enchanter IoG refreshes every 12 minutes. Chromatic Haze refreshes every 10 minutes. These are their main abilities you care about from them.

4. Don’t forget about your Twincast Spell. It can be re-used every 5 minutes.

5. ALWAYS WOLF, and pair the right abilities with it.

Help! My Enchanter Sucks!

It’s not fun to lose millions DPS because of a stubborn enchanter wanting to hit their IoG together with CH. I’ll give them a few passes at first, but I will come to a point where I will /tell Raid Leader “Give me a new enchanter.”

Accept No Excuses – I play a raid enchanter as a main, so you heard it from me first, folks! Yes, I can debuff, mez and do all the other crap in between without neglecting my aDPS burn for my group – and my druids, especially.

Make an NSW Social Key

You can help a new enchanter on raids to properly time their Chromatic Haze to activate after you land NFW during your burn.

Please keep in mind that the aDPS world does not necessarily revolve around you though. If you are way too slow on casting NFW, then the rest of the group will suffer from not getting CH soon enough. Enchanters cannot and should not wait if you are too delayed on landing your NFW. That becomes your burden.