Druid: General Guide

Introduction

Updated: 12/16/21 for the Terror of Luclin Expansion

This is a general guide to go over the basic duties of a Druid. There are several ways to play a druid. For the most part, we will discuss abilities and strats that pertain more to balanced (and some dps druids) here. The other guides will tackle the specifics of all playstyles.

In short, what you need to be concerned with in the early phases is the following:

  • Always using your self and group wolf abilities on cooldown
  • Debuffing
  • Mastering your instant duration heals and healing AAs
  • And, finally, DPSing as reasonably allowed depending if you’re a main healer in an exp group or a caster group healer on raids.

Since you are a utility and priest class, you’re priority is always to save your group’s life first. Keep that in mind.

Spell Lines

These are spell lines to acquaint yourself with. Some of these as well as other ones will be discussed more in depth in other chapters.

HP Buffs – This is your skin line of spells. Skin stacks with cleric symbol/hp buffs. Not only do skin buffs increase HP, but they also increase mana regeneration.

HP Regen – Your line of buffs that increase hit point regeneration. You’ll also want to maintain this buff on group/party members.

Damage Shield (DS) – Druid DS is second to a mage’s DS. If there is no mage around, you should DS your group. DS causes damage to mobs that strike you.

Damage Over Time (DoT) – Druids get quite a few DoTs. There are cold, fire and magic based DoTs. Some of these additionally have debuff components built into them that lower particular resists (cold or fire) as well as AC.

Direct Damage (DD) – Pure nuke spells that can be of the cold, fire and magic-based variety. Magic-based “Roar” nukes additionally have a built-in stun component.

Remote DDs – These are a special line of nukes that also reflect back a heal to the mob’s target. Remote nuking is a staple of balanced and dps druids.

Root – Immobilizes a mob in place. Great for crowd-control if there is no mezzing.

Snare – Slows the movement speed of a mob. Also great for solo-kiting mobs!

Calm/Lull – Can only be used outdoors. A great assistive-pulling tool. It lowers the aggro radius of a mob, making it easier to pull single mobs.

Charm – Can only be used on animals. Controls a mob for a short period of time, and you can DPS with it.

Fear – Can only be used on animals. Great for fear-kiting with a snare on a mob.

Self + Tank Buffs

In addition to skin, there are other buffs that should be maintained.

Self Buffs

Mask of the Duskage Tender (lvl 120) – Spell that is your self mana regen buff.

This gets replaced with Wildtender’s Unity AA at max ranks

Preincarnation (lvl 80) – Spell that grants you a chance to not die, making you invulnerable for a short period of time.

The spell is replaced with an auto-granted AA Ability.

Tank Buffs

Fervent Growth (lvl 117) – Temporary max HP booster. Note that shaman also get this spell. Primarily used on warriors or yourself (if you’re squishy).

Bulwark of the Reptile (lvl 119) – Short duration buff to throw on tanks. When the tank is struck in combat, it will apply a debuff on the mob, lowering its attack power and AC, and healing the tank back.

Swarm of Fireflies (AA Ability) – Applies Firefly Guardian Spirit buff. A life-saving ability where if the tank drops below 40% health, it will instantly heal them with a large heal plus apply a strong HP regen buff.

Bear Spirit (AA Ability) – A very short duration buff, usually best for anticipated damage (ie: as the tank engages a named, or if the tank’s defense wears off).

Bear Spirit will increase the tanks maximum HP (similar to Frenzied Growth), increase AC and increase chance to dodge melee attacks.

Debuffs

There is no excuse to not use the first two debuffs in exp groups at least. They are fast casting AA Abilities that are mana-FREE.

Blessing of Ro (AA Ability)

Lowers attack, fire resistance and AC. It also heals the mob’s target. It is both a debuff and heal spell all in one.

Season’s Wrath (AA Ability)

Increases the damage mob takes from cold and fire spells.

Sunray & Moonbeam Line of Spells

Tenebrous Sunray (lvl 116) – lowers fire resistance and AC on a mob, also contains a small DoT.

Onyx Moonbeam (lvl 119) – lowers cold resistance and AC on a mob, also contains a small DoT. Usually assigned to a separate/second druid to cast.

On raids, each of these spells are usually assigned to one druid a piece. As a solo druid, I will usually use just the sunray line.

Primal Frost

This is a lvl 119 spell with a strong attack value decrease component. One druid can be assigned to applying this debuff on raids.

Say NO to Vortex of Ro!

I’d like to get this one off my chest early. I really HATE this AE AA ability. I understand why new druids think they should use this at first on multiple mobs, but please realize the following:

  • Entirely blocks Blessing of Ro, and you can’t take advantage of its healing component.
  • It does not mitigate damage tanks take, it only lessens the AC of mobs by an extremely small margin (and by far less than BoA)

Leave any and all AE-debuffing to enchanters and shaman instead. Avoid this AA ability altogether.

Healing

Most Balanced and DPS druids are primarily concerned with instant duration heal spells. Other spells are discussed in the Healing Guide.

Instant Duration Heal Spells

These are spells that heal a chunk of hitpoints right off the bat upon landing.

Soothesceance (lvl 120) – Fastest-casting heal spell with a 12 second cooldown.

Adrenaline Spate (lvl 119) – Semi-fast casting, largest heal spell with a 15 second cooldown. Also applies a damage absorption rune to the target.

Clotavida (lvl 117) – A regular heal with a mediocre/slow cast time. It has a 2 second cooldown. Typically used for spam healing.

Lunarush (lvl 120) – Main group healing spell with a 6 sec cooldown.

Survival of the Unrelenting (lvl 118) – Fastest-casting group heal spell but with a 1:30 min cooldown. This spell only works well (heals for a greater amount) if you have any party members that are below 55% health.

Healing Basics

Ideally, for single-target healing in exp groups, you want to do the following:

  • Adrenaline Spate on cooldown
  • Spam Clotavida

And use all other heals reactively as needed.

Activated Healing AAs

Regardless if you heal or DPS more on a druid, heal AA Abilities are used often. Many of these are FREE heals that you can activate in between spell casts. These should all go on a dedicated Hot Bar along with the other AA tank buffs discussed:

Convergence of SpiritsThe “holy-shit” instant heal ability. It has an 8 minute re-use. It’s a single target instant large heal, increases AC for 18 seconds and triggers a large DS on the player. I try to reserve this for a tank that’s about to go splat.

Blessing of TunareThis is a Druid’s only “splash” heal ability that can be re-used every 5 minutes. Heals all allies within a 75 foot radius of whatever you have targeted. In exp groups, I may resort to using this if all my other group heals are on cooldown.

Wildtender’s SurvivalThis one does use mana. It casts the highest rank of the “Favored” line of group heal spells. Keep in mind that these spells work best if any group member is 55 percent or below health. The great thing about it is that it does NOT share the same timer as the memmed Favored spell.

Spirit of the WoodThis is a strong group heal-over-time. Can be re-used every 9 min. It is usually used with TB or MGB on raids.

Nature’s Boon – A stationary healing ward healing all players nearby.

aDPS + Wolf

aDPS stands for assisted damage per second. Your aura and group wolf are not only great for your own spells but are also considered aDPS for your group. You want to try and make use of these things as much as possible.

Aura

Icerend Aura (lvl 113) – The only aura you’ll keep up that adds cold damage procs to group’s spells.

Group Spirit of the Great Wolf (AA)

1. Reduces the group’s mana cost of spells
2. Increases the chance of group’s DD and heal spells to crit.
3. Increases the crit strength of group’s critical DD spells.
4. Increase the group’s mana regeneration.

Spirit of the Great Wolf (AA)

This is a self-only Wolf which does everything that the Group version does but by higher percentages/values.

**Warning: if you hit Group Wolf with Self Wolf on, Group Wolf will not overwrite your Self Wolf. However, Self Wolf will overwrite Group Wolf.

Always Use a Wolf

Besides added DPS, don’t neglect the fact that both of your Wolf abilities reduce mana cost of spells and increase your healing power.

DPS + Burn Basics

Druids can do considerable burst damage. The number of DoT and nuke spells you keep up depends on how much healing you intend to do. However, there are some damage spells and abilities worth using no matter what.

Opening DPS

For when you’re not burning.

  • Nature’s Sweltering Wrath
  • … then any other DoTs you have up

**Note: You can weave-in AA nuke abilities while spells are on global cooldown. More on this is discussed in the DPS Guide for thorough understanding.

General Sustained DPS

Encompasses AA nukes with two nukes in between.

  1. Nature’s Fire (AA Ability)
  2. Remote Sunbolt (lvl 118)
  3. Nature’s Bolt (AA Ability)
  4. Winter’s Wildbrume (lvl 118)
  5. Nature’s Frost (AA Ability)

When you proc Gift of Mana – re-apply Nature’s Sweltering Wrath as needed.

Burn Basics

When burning, a twincast spell/ability is typically being used. Depending on mana pool, this may also be the time to use Composite Winds (dicho spell) as well. The general idea is the following:

  • Distant Conflagration
  • Blessing of Ro
  • Season’s Wrath
  • Group Wolf
  • Improved Twincast + Destructive Vortex + Nature’s Fury
  • Nature’s Sweltering Wrath
  • … all other DoTs you have up applied
  • Composite Winds
  • … all other nukes you have up

And re-apply dots while ITC is still going. Keep nuking on nuke refreshes.

This is the watered-down version of what a burn looks like at least in an exp group setting. It’s thoroughly explained with a few more additions under the aDPS + Burn Guide.

The regular Twincast spell (lvl 85) will most likely be used with a personal wolf and your spire for a “lesser” or “personal” burn while ITC, DV and NF are on cool-down. Still the same principle of applying DoTs first and then nuking as nukes come up off refresh.

Calls + Rezzes

Battle rezzes can save the day!

Call of the Wild (AA Ability)

This is an autogranted ability. This is also your “Battle Rez” ability.

The ability will call back the deceased player to their corpse with a 0% rez,and regain 20% of their mana and endurance. It has a 2 minute re-use time. The player will be able to get a 96% rez on the same corpse later on.

Staff of Forbidden Rites (Item Clicky)

This is another useful tool for battle rezzing. However, it is granted from completing a series of raids or as a raid drop. Any Druid serious about raiding will work on getting this item. It will click-cast a 90% resurrection and has a recast delay of 30 seconds. Two battle rezzes are better than one!

Rejuvenation of Spirit (AA Ability)

This a regular 96% resurrection spell that can only be cast when out of combat.

General Spell Lineup

This is a Balanced spell lineup that’s perfect for exp grouping and main healing.

  1. Twincast
  2. Sootheseance
  3. Adrenaline Spate
  4. Clotavida
  5. Lunarush
  6. Survival of the Unrelenting
  7. Nature’s Sweltering Wrath
  8. Horde of Duskwigs
  9. Sunpyre
  10. Composite Winds
  11. Remote Sunbolt
  12. Winter’s Wildbrume
  13. Bloody Roar

You can probably use Clotavida to fast swap into any buff as needed. I left Fervent Growth off the list because it situationally depends on the tank you have. Shadow Knights will have it blocked by their own self-buffs, for example.

General Gameplay

Using the Balanced setup, here’s a general scenario to go through some game-play that can apply to exp grouping or even some raiding.

Buff Routine

  • Group Skin, Group HP Regen, Group DS (if no mage)
  • Apply your self-buffs (Mask, Preincarnation)
  • Apply a reptile buff to tank
  • Swarm of Fireflies on tank
  • Put up your Aura
  • Set a Main Assist
  • Bear Spirit on main tank right before they rush engage (if named/boss).

Debuff/Engage Routine

  • Blessing of Ro – AA Ability
  • Season’s Wrath – AA Ability
  • Group Spirit of the Great Wolf – AA Ability

Heal Routine

  • Adrenaline Spate – for large single heal on cooldown
  • Viridavida – for spam heals in between

Lunarush – for group heals

Anything else as emergency heals.

DPS Routine

Apply DoTs first.

Then use the general sustained dps order

  • Nature’s Fire (AA Ability)
  • Remote Sunbolt (lvl 118)
  • Nature’s Bolt (AA Ability)
  • Winter’s Wildbrume (lvl 118)
  • Nature’s Frost (AA Ability)

Snare

You can use your Entrap AA ability to snare a mob for 14 minutes if no other snarer is present in group.

Charm

Can be fun in long exp group grinds if you have an animal-type mob to charm.