View Full Forums : Inheriting a druid, please advise.

01-16-2008, 03:34 PM
Allow me to preface this by saying I'm not in any way new to WoW and have 3 lvl 70 characters. I have a raiding hunter in Black Temple, retired resto shaman and PvP shadow priest.
An old roommate is giving up WoW as a New Year's resolution with a 70 mage and 56 druid, and he was kind enough to have already payed 6 months out on his account.

I now plan on leveling this druid for arenas, but missed out on the bulk of the leveling and have a few questions and concerns. The main things I need to find out are :

1. What are the primary attacks and strategies for Dire Bear and Cat forms?

2. What are effective rotations of said attacks?

3. Please go into detail about the peculiarities of arena healing as a druid.

4. Any other useful tips and tricks are welcome.

Thanks in advance, everyone.

01-16-2008, 05:11 PM
Cat: If solo: mangle...mangle...mangle...did I mention mangle? rip @ 5 combo pts

Bear: are you really dps'ing in bear? Mangle & Maul

2. Everyone has their own strategy for tanking ( if that's what you are inquiring about ) for cat dps, mangle, shred, rip @ 5 combos

3. LoS, keep hots up, and liberally shift to travel form to keep LoS and kiting the opposing team

01-17-2008, 06:08 AM
Hallo new druid :D

Welcome to our druid grove :>

Ooh, this looks like a post I can really get stuck into :> I will address your points one by one. I'll try to cover the main areas but obviously it's a big subject, I think this should be plenty to get you started.

1. What are the primary attacks and strategies for Dire Bear and Cat forms?

Bear Form

There are loads of cool tricks with druids, and bear druids are no exception. I'll try to talk through each ability I might use in bear form, and why it's good for bears.

Your big damage move is Mangle. It's arguably the most satisfying ability to use as a feral druid.

angle does direct damage, and although it can crit pretty hard (similar to Mortal Strike), it has reduced aggro in bear form. This is because if the full aggro modifier was applied to Mangle it would be very unbalanced.

angle is useful for the damage, and it's also useful to generate what we call "snap aggro", that is, a large chunk of aggro right at the start of the fight to ensure the mob will stick with you, regardless of any early mage crits or whatever.
angle increases the damage from bleed effects - useful for many classes, but particularly for cat druids. If you have a cat druid in your party and you are tanking, let them know you will do mangle for them, and that they can save all their energy for shred (we'll come to that later).

Lacerate is a good move to use if you're tanking something that will take a long time to kill, such as a boss or any mob with a large amount of health. You can build it up to 5 stacks, and this will cause the mob to take a lot of bleed damage.
If you're tanking 2 or 3 mobs, you can keep lacerate on all 3 of them, and this results in quite a lot of damage. Mangle also increases the damage of lacerate, because lacerate is a bleed effect.
Lacerate also has a very very small direct damage component, typically it will hit for less than 50 damage. This is so that you still have a spammable aggro move to use on mobs that are immune to bleed effects. However, lacerate is slightly less effective on bleed-immune mobs because a lot of the aggro it generates comes from the bleed component.
Generally a mob with 5 stacks of lacerate and mangle up will stay on you until it dies. It really is a lot of aggro.

aul is a move which is "on next hit", so when you press the maul button it's like you're queuing up the maul for the next time you do a normal attack. Then, instead of appearing as white damage, the attack appears as yellow damage with some more damage added, and a lot of aggro.
aul should only be used when you have plenty of rage, as it gimps your rage generation a bit (you don't get rage from your next swing, and you're spending 10 rage instead of gaining rage).

Swipe and to an extent Demoralising Roar are good abilities to use if you are tanking 3 or more mobs.
Swipe especially is great aggro, and by constantly changing targets within a large pack of mobs, and thus getting your swipes to hit them all, you can effectively hold aggro on them all - to the point that mages and warlocks can aoe them down without you ever losing aggro (provided they are patient enough to wait 10 seconds first).

Feral Faerie Fire is a great move for gimping rogues in pvp, and pulling mobs to you in pve. You can also use Moonfire and then immedietely shift to bear form, and this has the advantage that the resulting damage-over-time is subjected to the bear form aggro modifiers.

If you're going to be tanking a large number of mobs, and they are in a tight pack before the pull, Hurricane is also an effective way of clocking up some early threat on them. A few ticks is usually enough to cover your healer for the first 30 seconds. Don't let the mobs hit you in caster form!

Feral Charge is a great move for rescuing healers in trouble, it also has a spell school lock component, similar to a rogue's Kick ability. Charging a priest while they cast a holy spell such as greater heal, will prevent them from casting holy spells for the duration of the charge (4 sec).

If you're tanking and **** is hitting the fan, the mobs are all over the place ganking your healer and your rogues, sometimes the best thing to do is shift to caster form, activate Barkskin, and use Tranquility. Tranquility heals your whole party (provided they're within 30 yards) for heaps and heaps, even when you're not in healing gear. It's great for keeping everyone alive when they have mass aggro. It also generates tons of aggro for you - so when you're done tranqing, chances are most of the mobs will be back on you anyway. Shift to bear form smartly.

Frenzied Regeneration is a move you should use when you suspect your healer is going to struggle to keep up with the damage. It's a very bad idea to use frenzied regeneration if you are low on rage, or the rage you are generating is coming in slow.
Frenzied Regen costs 100 rage in total. If there's no rage left in you, it won't heal you. If you use it and then run out of rage, you risk losing aggro on the mobs you are tanking.
Frenzied Regen also generates healing aggro which is subjected to the bear modifiers, so if rage is no object it's a good way to help you get aggro on lots of mobs at once.

Finally, Enrage. Though it seems a bit counterintuitive, enrage is best used _just_ as a mob starts hitting you, rather than 10 seconds prior to pulling. By lowering your armor slightly, it increases the damage you take from the first hits (this is no problem as you start on full health), granting you more rage and thus allowing you to generate more threat.
In the middle of a fight if you find you are having to wait for rage to use more abilities, it's a good idea to use enrage.
If you are very low on health, or your healer is oom, it's a bad idea to use enrage.

Cat Form

If you want to succeed as cat dps, the two most vital talents are mangle and shredding attacks. Assuming you have these, here's how to use cat abilities:

Shred is your big nuke move. A large percentage of your damage will come from shreds. It's similar in mechanic to a rogue's backstab ability - it can be used out of stealth, but it requires you to be behind your target.

angle in cat form replaces Claw. Mangle does more damage than Claw, for less energy, in every situation. Remove Claw from your action bars.
angle increases bleed damage by 30%, it also increases the damage your Shred ability does, by 30%. Therefore, try to make sure mangle is up when you are shredding.
The mangle debuff lasts for 12 seconds.

Rip is the best move to use for raid-style dps. Rip is bleed damage, and so is increased 30% by Mangle.
Rip is also a highly effective move in pvp against plate wearers, as the damage is not mitigated by armor. However, resilience mitigates bleed damage to an extent. The damage difference between a 4 combo point rip, and a 5 combo point rip, is negligble. I wouldn't recommend use rip with 3CP or less.

Ferocious Bite is a good move for finishing off an opponent that is nearly dead.
Specced correctly, ferocious bite can crit for a very large amount of damage, and with 5 combo points it will be the most damage you can do in a single move.
If you are using it in a raid-dps situation, on a mob that is immune to bleed effects (meaning you can't use rip), only use ferocious bite if you a) have 5 combo points, and b) have 35, 36, or 37 energy. Any more and it's more efficient to just wait and do another shred instead.

Always use Feral Faerie Fire when you're doing cat dps. Although bleeds ignore armor, shred doesn't, and neither does mangle or your white damage. It's free to cast and only 6 seconds cooldown - you can do it while waiting for more energy. I always use FFF prior to mangling/shredding.

Pounce! is a cool cat move. Similar to cheap shot, it also has a bleed component. It can only be used from stealth. It's effective against plate wearers and rogues.

Ravage is like rogue ambush - you need to be stealthed and behind your target to ravage. It's not as energy efficient as mangle/shred, however if your opponent has very little health left it's a good way of destroying them without giving them any chance at all to fight back.

Tiger's Fury is a good move to use if you have a lot of energy stored up (say, after being feared) and you are "wasting" ticks of energy. It's also a good move to use just before you pounce or ravage your target. It costs 30 energy. If you time it, you can get a tick of energy immedietely after using tiger's fury, thus when you attack, you are doing so from 90 energy instead of 70. Getting this timing just right is known as getting a "perfect pounce".

As a general cat strategy, it's important to remember that constant dps isn't essential in the same way as tanking and healing is, and therefore you are ideally placed to play hybrid.
Try to be one with the battlefield; see the mobs, the tank, the healer, the health bars, the mana pools. If you see something amiss, fix it. Tank nearly dead, healer CC'd? Heal the tank. Tank dead? Take over. **** hitting the fan? Tranquility. Mob trying to heal itself? Maim it. And so on. Don't be tempted to be one of those druids that "only goes cat". You are capable of so much more than that, don't deny yourself the true beauty of playing feral druid.

2. What are effective rotations of said attacks?

Bear Form

Right, whap a healing over time on yourself, then CHARGE into the nearest pack of enemies. They will all hit you, instead of your rogs. If you're lucky, a healer will spot that you are taking damage and keep you up. Meanwhile the rogs laugh and play and stab everyone.
Bears are joyous things to heal - so easy to keep up, and they charge around like mortal strike warriors. There are few things as hilarious as running around a battleground with 15k health and 20k armor, charging from person to person, critting mages with maul/mangle combos for 2500 and 2500 damage. That's right bitches, I can hurt you, and you can't hurt me!

If you're not getting any healers, run out of the pack of enemies until you're no longer being attacked, then shift out and heal yourself.


Tanking 1 mob: As you approach the mob, faerie fire, enrage, mangle (for snap aggro), demoralising roar, lacerate x 3, mangle, lacerate until 5 stacks, maul/mangle, then just spam whatever you like after that. The mob isn't going anywhere.

Tanking 2 mobs: Faerie Fire one, charge the other to immobilise it. Mangle the FF'd mob, do a roar, then bash the mob you charged and start lacerating both mobs. Get both to x 5, but remember to look at which mob the dps is killing first, and pay more attention to that one.

Tanking 3 mobs: Throw a healing over time on yourself before running in, demoralising roar, FF the middle mob, then just hammer on the swipe key.
That's it. They'll stick to you.

Tanking more than 3 mobs: Tell your party you'll need a little extra time to get aggro. Hurricane-pull if they are tightly packed already, otherwise cyclone one, moonfire another, another, until they are getting close, then shift to bear.
Demoralising Roar first, if you are immedietely taking heavy damage (and getting loads of rage) blow frenzied regeneration. Start spamming swipe, but every few seconds change target, such that over time you hit all the mobs in the group.
Save feral charge in case a mob peels away from the pack and runs at your healer or whatever.

Cat Form

For solo grinding:
Don't bother to stealth - it's faster to just run between each mob manually. Just spam mangle, and bite them when they're almost dead. You should be able to steamroll through most mobs your level. When you get injured, shift out to caster form and heal yourself.

For raid dps:
Start with FF - always. Mangle first, then immedietely start shredding. Try to get 5 combo points before your mangle runs out, and then wait. You should now have 5CP, and mangle has run out. Wait until you have 70 or 80 energy, then rip and immedietely mangle.
Rip and mangle both last 12 seconds. Therefore, by doing it this way, your rip is guaranteed to be subject to mangle for the entirety of its duration.
Now get 5CP again while your rip and mangle are up. When they fade, rip/mangle again, then continue shredding, repeat, etc.
This is the optimum rotation for cat form raid dps.

For pvp:

Here's a sample stunlock for pvp and duels:

Tigers Fury
"Perfect Pounce"
Bash and auto attack
Bear Mangle

The "..." bits indicate where you would wait a moment for energy to tick up, or cyclone to wear off.

3. Please go into detail about the peculiarities of arena healing as a druid.

It's imba.
Watch out for poisons, keep a cure poison on yourself if you can afford to/remember to.
Cast rejuvenation and lifebloom on yourself and run around pillars in travel form. Remember to heal your partner too.
Never use tree form - you can be banished by warlocks and the speed reduction nerfs you completely. If you're fighting dispellers and you need to innervate, do it somewhere private so they don't take it off you immedietely.
If you're being mana drained and you can't cure it yourself, shifting to bear or cat form stops you losing further mana. Cat form and bear form both make you immune to mana drain.

That's about it..

4. Any other useful tips and tricks are welcome.

1. Once you hit outland, start building different gear sets. Ideally you should have 5 - tank, feral dps, balance dps, healing, pvp. Different stats are needed for each of these roles.

2. Get an addon like Item Rack or Outfitter to help with changing gear swiftly.

3. Get swift flight form - it's the best thing in the whole game, period.

4. Experiment with all specs. It helps you understand the class better, and knowing one tree thoroughly helps when using the others.

5. Druids in bear/cat form count as beasts. They cannot be sapped like humanoids, however hunters can use Beast Lore, Fear Beast, other druids can Hibernate you, etc. Druids in a shifted form are also immune to polymorph. The act of shapeshifting frees you from entangling roots, frost nova, etc. Feral druids specced correctly have 15% stun and fear resistance. Your strength is in your speed and your unstoppable-ness.

6. Hang out with the friendly druids here at the druid grove ! :> we are here to halp :>

7. Read Alamo ( This is the druidic bible. Ask any druid here, we all worship him. In the beginning, when ferals had no innervate and deshifting triggered the global cooldown, there was darkness. The plight was documented by the mighty Alamo and lo! He showed us the way. The way into the light ! And for this we are eternally thankful.


01-17-2008, 12:27 PM
Thorough, well done guide, Annikk. Simply wonderful for those new to playing the class instead of... *trying* to kill them in 2s and 3s.

I move that we sticky this to these forums, as it's extremely helpful and intuitive.

Can I get a second?

01-17-2008, 12:28 PM
I'd like to second that.......THAT was a fantastic post.

GJ Annikk :clap:

01-18-2008, 04:15 AM

01-18-2008, 06:35 AM
I want to have Annikk's kittens. <3

Raging Epistaxis
01-18-2008, 07:29 AM
Cubs? Pups? Chicks? Saplings? Gosh, so many options with a fellow druid. ;)

Excellent post. Thank you very much.

hmm. If I can find a similar treatise on Balance, I may have to go Boomkin.

01-18-2008, 08:07 AM
Thanks guys. It really wasn't that great though :P Just some disorganised jumble I spammed while work was quiet. I'm afraid I wasn't able to go into much detail on resto as I've only been resto once, for about 6 hours. Perhaps some other druid can help with that :>


01-18-2008, 10:42 AM
I've only been resto once, for about 6 hours. :>

LOL - That fun, huh?

01-18-2008, 10:45 AM
There is a nice Resto (treeform) write-up over here. (

01-18-2008, 11:38 AM
I've done resto and feral. I like both, but I will admit that feral is in my heart and soul. I've put a ton of time and effort into being feral. I did resto for about a month. It was fun and I was good at it, but I hated that I couldn't really solo effectively.

01-18-2008, 11:55 AM
I did resto for about a month. It was fun and I was good at it, but I hated that I couldn't really solo effectively.

Ya. So true.

01-18-2008, 01:38 PM
Is resto any better at "faking it" as dps with the converted items now? Now that you get 1/3 +spell damage does that play out well enough to give you soloability?

01-18-2008, 03:52 PM
LOL - That fun, huh?

Resto spec was a lot of fun tbh :> I changed over because we arrived at Prince Malchezzar in Karazhan lacking healers. We were getting really close to killing him, and someone suggested we use guild bank money to pay for respecs for me and an enhancement shaman to spec resto.

I was raid leader at the time, so when a lot of people expressed support for this idea I ported moonglade and threw together a cookie cutter resto spec.

Back in Karazhan, we had to re-clear the trash to get to Prince Malchezzar. On one pack, I asked the hunter to pet-pull some mobs down to us.
The hunter's pet was a really nice white tiger called Snowchild, and everyone liked it because it had a habit of rescuing healers when they got aggro from a mob. Anyway, Snowchild was running away from the mobs down a ramp, and got hit from behind and became dazed.
I saw that Snowchild was about to die, so I ran forward and did trinket, rejuvenation, swiftmend, rejuvenation, caster form, nature's swiftness, healing touch - at this stage having around +1800 healing (plus whatever particular +heal modifiers applied at the time). This was like massive overheal - Snowchild lived of course, but she had taken a lot of damage, and i pulled a lot of aggro...

Yep. I sacrificed myself to save the hunter pet. I did it for science and I'd do it again !

Instant heals are really satisfying, there's no doubt about it. The whole idea of healing over times is so cool as well; if you get stunned, your healing doesn't falter - the hots continue to tick away on your party. No CC or even death can prevent all your hots from continuing to tick, provided the beneficiary doesn't die or get dispelled. It's insane. A really cool variation of healer role.

And yet, after the raid I had to respec back again. Feral is just too central to who i am as a druid, I couldn't bare (haha) to be without my forms, and my many jedi tricks and multitasking. When I apply to guilds, I always tell them I am devoutly feral, and it's true - I cannot see myself ever changing this preference. Resto was great fun, and a really good insight into that side of the class, but i would miss being feral far too much if I changed.

Is resto any better at "faking it" as dps with the converted items now? Now that you get 1/3 +spell damage does that play out well enough to give you soloability?

Can't say much about the damage in healer gear, but resto spec shouldn't imply an inability to farm effectively; This is one of the big misconceptions people seem to have. When I was resto spec, I tried out my [feral] damage gear just to see how badly I was nerfed.
The damage was a lot lower, however it was nevertheless enough to be a significant contribution in raids, and certainly enough to solo farm effectively.
Instead of using your +healing items, why not have a set of +damage items, or a set of feral dps items. Then you can just swap into your cat suit or h00t suit whenever you want to farm.

A generality has been quoted on this forum many times: for druids, Skill > Gear > Spec.
(ie spec is the LEAST important factor)
A resto druid in good balance or feral dps gear can solo without problems. :>


01-18-2008, 04:58 PM
I can farm solo with my feral set on. It gets me by. Takes longer, but on the upside - I can sure heal myself during battle. :thumbsup: