Druid: DPS Guide

Introduction

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

Druids have some of the best burst DPS in current content. Don’t be surprised to see one make top 10 DPS on some raid events. This guide is largely geared towards raid druids. You will rely on splash healing abilities of clerics and shaman during events while healing groups with group heal spells in between as needed.

I’d like to thank Lisard and Scornfire from the Silent Redemption raid team on Cazic-Thule for teaching me the initial organization of Hot Bars. I modified what I have been taught further with what has worked best for me.

A GINA Trigger Package is available, and it’s a must-have to keep up with DoTs and burn refreshes, among other things.

DPS Setup

You’re going to be rolling with every DoT and nuke that makes sense here!

DPS Spell Lineup

  1. Twincast
  2. Soothesceance
  3. Chill of the Dusksage Tender
  4. Lunarush
  5. Survival of the Unrelenting
  6. Nature’s Sweltering Wrath
  7. Sunpyre
  8. Horde of Duskwigs
  9. Composite Winds
  10. Remote Sunbolt
  11. Winter’s Wildsblume
  12. Tenebrous Sunray
  13. Bloody Roar

Gem 12 may differ based on your debuff assignments. Depending on the raid event, I may switch to Clotavida instead on Gem 3 as well.

Organization = More Damage & Healing

You should dedicate at least 5 hotbars to DPS and heal properly. Unlike other classes that I play, I don’t use multibinds at all on my druid. I find them to be a hindrance if I’m always stopping to consume a GoM proc with specific spells.

 

 

Cures

There will be certain raid events where you will have no choice but to ditch Chill of the Arbor Tender for a single-target cure spell, if Radiant Cure alone won’t cut it. Keep in mind different events may slightly alter your spell setup.

Fast-Swapping Spells

In general, my fast-swapping gems for buffs and aura are gems 3 and 12. If I die, for example, I will fast swap those two gems for Skin and and Mask of the Arbor Tender. I need to also be concerned with fast-swapping into a Sum: Warder spell to get mana back with “boo boo.”

Mana Management

Mana management becomes crucial once you start DPSing.

Mod Rods

Always make sure you have one with three full charges before an event starts.

Sum: Warder

You better summon “boo boo” every 5 minutes to get some mana back! I usually start using it once I hit about 80 percent mana, and then every 5 minutes as it’s available for re-use!

Ask a Cleric for Quiet Prayer

When I see myself at around 70 percent mana that’s when I start asking a cleric for “QP.” You can only get QP every 5 minutes. It helps to see what clerics are around and create social keys in advance sending them tells for it.

Group and Self Wolf

If you ALWAYS have a wolf up, you will always have a reduction in mana-cost for spells you cast as well as increased mana regen! I can’t stress this enough.

Gift of Mana

Gift of Mana procs should be used for spells that cost ridiculous amounts of mana (ie: Nature’s Sweltering Wrath). An Enchanter in group will periodically proc group GoMs for you as well.

Sustained DPS

Sustained DPS generally involves all your AA nuke abilities with one or two nukes in between. GoMs can be used on NSWs.

General Sustained DPS

  • Nature’s Fire
  • Remote Sunbolt
  • Nature’s Bolt
  • Winter’s Wildblume
  • Nature’s Frost

This an ideal rotation since you are pacing yourself well by just clicking each ability/spell in exact order as it pops up. You’re also remote nuke healing any tank that has aggro on the respective mob you are DPSing.

AA Nuke Abilities

AA Nukes are used in sustained DPS and as weave-ins during burns.

Your Three AA Nuke Abilities

  • Nature’s Fire – fire nuke
  • Nature’s Bolt – magic nuke
  • Nature’s Frost – cold nuke

Understanding AA Nuke Abilities

As a quick synopsis, this is how AA nuke abilities work (at max ranks):

  • All cost 4700 mana
  • All have a base damage of 60,000 points
  • All take 0.5 sec to cast
  • All have 15 sec re-use and don’t share the same cooldowns
  • All can deal critical damage and affected by luck
  • Not affected by any mana preservation/buffs
  • Not affected by worn foci items
  • Not affected by GoMs and do not proc GoMs
  • Not affected by any Twincast abilities/spells

During Sustained DPS

I previously discussed how they are used in sustained DPS rotations. You’re just clicking things one by one in order order while waiting on cooldowns.

Weave-in DPS for Spell Global Cooldowns

This is a bit different than sustained DPS and mainly relates to when you are burning with Twincasts or ITCs.

First, let’s discuss what a Global Cooldown (GDC) means. Upon finishing a spell cast, you’ll notice all your spell gems greyed out and unusable for 1.5 sec. This is everyone’s GCD in game.

All activated AA Abilities are exempt from the GCD. Since your AA nukes take 0.5 sec to cast, they are used (aka “weaved-in”) while cast-able spells are on GCD during burns for extra DPS. Keep in mind that AA Nukes don’t twincast.

Burning

Burning of any sort (full or personal/lesser) usually involves twincasting spells. I went over the full burn order in greater detail under the aDPS + Burn Guide.

Pre Burn

  • Silent Casting (AA)
  • Distant Conflagration (AA)
  • BP Click (clicky item)
  • Blessing of Ro (AA)
  • Season’s Wrath (AA)
  • Forceful Rejuvenation (AA) (if NSW is on cooldown)

Full Burn Overview

  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.

Apply All DoTs

Since many of your DoT spells cost so much mana, you can’t keep repeatedly using them without GoMs if you don’t want to run out of mana. The exception is when you are twincasting during a burn. After you activate all pertinent AA abilities for burning, you want to apply ALL DoTs first.

Full Burns Use DC + ITC

Improved Twincast is preferred to use during your Full Burns where an Enchanter is also using IoG and Chromatic Haze. I know some classes like to lead with the regular Twincast Spell instead, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for a druid.

Considering that you are also running Distant Conflagration for Remote nukes and are at your Enchanter’s mercy for IoG and CH, you don’t want to “wait” to cast things with a regular twincast spell buff ticking down, and that’s why.

Personal/Lesser Burns Use Twincast (Spell)

The Twincast Spell buff only lasts only 18 seconds. Since you’re clicking far less things and not using ITC nor DC during a personal burn, you are making more quick use of it here. The idea is to immediately start applying DoTs and then nukes as soon as Twincast is up and running. Basically, similar principle to the full burn. For this reason, I prefer using Twincast with Self Wolf and Spire.

Second Round of Burns

In the case of second round of burns, you won’t have much choice but to use whatever you happen to have up in combination with an Enchanter’s IoG.

Composite Winds

You may have noticed by now that Composite Winds has only been mentioned for burning/twincasting. That’s not to say you can’t use it beyond that, but it’s just a huge mana drain and not viable enough like remote nuking.

Composite Winds has a base cost of 13125 mana and takes one minute to refresh, which is why it’s simply difficult to sustain it on cooldown beyond burns. Only bother with it for burns/twincasting.

Chill of the Dusksage Tender

Cold-based DoT and a staple of many DPS setups.

  • 4th most powerful DoT
  • Highest mana-cost spell
  • Longest duration DoT, lasts about 2 min with foci
  • Upon expiration, triggers a 2nd, much stronger DoT
  • Trigger DoT lasts about 30 sec with foci

You do NOT want to re-apply Chill until the trigger DoT happens. Failure to do so will simply refresh the initial weak DoT with no trigger DoT taking place. This results in a lot of damage loss for such a mana-expensive spell!

Surrounding Issues and Debates

There’s been a lot of complaints and debate surrounding this spell.

1. I’ll be blunt that if you can’t manage this spell properly, then you are better off keeping up a different spell, a heal, or a 2nd roar in place of it in your spell gems.

2. You’re taking up a precious buff slot on a mob while other classes with better DoTs (like necros) may complain of buff-lockage on raids.

3. At most, you may see a 60k DPS total from using this spell, but on average it can be more like 45k.

If you take all of these things into consideration, my best advice is to probably stay away from using Chill if you have a lot of other DoTing classes on the raids. If you are seeing mobs getting repeatedly buff-locked or hearing complaints from other classes, you may be better off not using this spell altogether.

In cases where there are heavy fire-resistant mobs or in exp groups where you are not competing for buff slots, then I don’t see a reason not to use it in those scenarios. Use your judgement here.

Debuffs

It’s worth talking about debuffs again and now how to properly apply them since they do something for your own spells, too!

Debuff Order On Burns

This really depends on the number of druids on a raid, among other factors, and why it’s difficult to always give concrete examples of it. This information is not set in stone as a result, but the general idea is as follows:

  1. All druids will most likely use Blessing of Ro at the start, regardless if the debuffs don’t stack, due to the heal component and initial fire and AC debuff to just slap it on fast. After Blessing of Ro:
  2. One druid can SW in the beginning.
  3. Second druid can Primal Frost in the beginning.
  4. Druids can then either Sunray or Moonbean after all initial DoTs are applied depending who is assigned to what on either of these spells.

SW, combined with enchanter tash and shaman malo, will take care of most of what DPS classes need for beginning burns. Plus, don’t forget that you need to be swift with your NSW to get it in before your Enchanter’s Chromatic Haze lands on you. That’s why it’s OK for sunray and moonbeam to take a lesser priority in spell cast order.

Season’s Wrath

Increases the damage that your target takes from cold and fire spells by 16 to 25% for 1 min. It also has a 1 min re-use time. The boost is important enough that you want to make sure it’s on the main mob before casting NSW during a burn.

Being that SW has a 1 min refresh, you won’t be able to keep it up all the time on other mobs. Where as Blessing of Ro has a 6 second refresh and can be applied on multiple mobs one by one.

One Roar or Two?

Roar spells are magic-based. My cast counts of Roar tend to be a little lower than my other nukes. Choosing when to keep one up vs two depends on a combination of personal preference and some logic discussed below.

Not Affected by Season’s Wrath

Season’s Wrath increases fire and cold damage a mob takes by 17 to 25%.

Winter’s Wildblume edges out a second/lower level roar in damage comparison with SW on. If using two Roar spells one-by-one, you won’t be using Winter’s Wildblume as much on cooldown.

Roars Refresh Longer

Since Roar spells take 9 sec to refresh and take longer to cast, using two of them may result in less fire nukes being used off cooldown. I generally like keeping all my nukes on cooldown (especially remote nukes), but that’s my opinion.

Cold Resists

You might keep up two Roar spells if dealing with bad cold resists. In this case, you won’t be using Nature’s Frost AA nor Chill of the Arbor Tender spell. The cold component of Winter’s Wildblume will be resisted as well.

Fire Resists

In cases of heavy fire resist mobs, that’s where it makes sense to use two (or even three) Roar spells in conjunction with Remote Moonchill instead.

Special Augs

Gear matters are best left for other Druid pros to discuss, since I don’t have the time to keep up with it in my guides. However, there are two very important augs that you want to grab from the CoTF expansion. These are the Splinter of Potency and Bixie Summoner’s Stone augs.

These are incredible mana-saving augs for DPS spells. They will save you far more mana in the long-run than current augs that only add a set amount of mana to your mana-pools.

Your Sunpyre, Horde and Remote spells are all Conjuration-based spells. NSW and the rest of your DPS spells in your lineup are all Evocation-based spells.

Here is an example of what just one spell alone costs with and without the Splinter of Potency aug equipped. Note: The values shown also take my worn mana preservation focus into consideration.

The fact that I am saving over 500 mana alone on just one spell cast gives you a very good idea on potential total mana-savings throughout the course of a raid event or group mission.

Bixie Summoner’s Stone

Info here: https://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/item.html?item=113767

Splinter of Potency

Info here: https://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/item.html?item=114620