[Guide-Gameplay] Vanilla WoW Druid guide – talents & thoughts

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This is not really a complete guide but here are some tips and thoughts on gear, talents and tanking when playing druid in vanilla.

  1. Druid BiS gear list
  2. Resto PvE/raiding standard spec (also called deep resto)
  3. Optimal bear tank spec
  4. Hybrid – ready offtank / gimped healer
  5. Resto advanced raiding (with variations)

I’ve gotten some questions for recommended specs and here are my two coppers on what I use and what I’ve used before. 🙂
These are my opinions and the ones I’ve been using. I’m sure there’s room for improvement or even more situational adjustments. Please feel free to give your advice or input!

 

Druid BiS gear list

Here is a vanilla druid gear spreadsheet listing all the gear in vanilla for healing, bear tanking and cat dps. It does not take set bonuses into account. The only thing lacking is moonkin.

druid gear

 
 

Resto PvE/raiding standard spec (also called deep resto)

http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#0zLZZxEcqeqio
1deep resto

This is the standard spec for beginners raiding that most people use. Just fill out all the healing and place 5 trash points in balance for Nature’s Grasp. It’s nice to be able to instant root and travel form away from attackers. Another option might be Furor or Enrage for solo play.

When healing as a druid with Swiftmend you can consider using this macro as a replacement for Rejuvenation. It will cast Swiftmend if you already have Rejuvenation up on your target.

REMEMBER! You need to already have targeted your ally before casting in order for this to work. For more macro options and tips check my macro thread.

Rejuvenation/Swiftmend combo macro

/run c=CastSpellByName m=0 for i=1,40 do if(strfind(tostring(UnitBuff("target",i)),"Spell_Nature_Rejuvenation"))then m=1 end end if m==0 then c("Rejuvenation(Rank 10)") else c("Swiftmend")end

Faerie Fire/Insect swarm combo macro

/run c=CastSpellByName function b(k)for i=1,16 do if strfind(tostring(UnitDebuff("target",i)),k)then return 1 end end end if not b("e_FaerieF")then c("Faerie Fire(Rank 4)")elseif not b("e_InsectSw")then c("Insect Swarm(Rank 1)")end

 

Optimal bear tank spec – for 5 man/10 man / raid off tank

http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#0zLV0oZxxxscMdtV0b
2beartank
This is THE best tanking spec for bear IMO. In order for swipe to keep AOE aggro you need Feral instinct. If one of them runs away from your AOE use Bash, Growl or Feral Charge to stop them.

The most important stat to boost in bear is armor. Put 5 points in Thick Hide.
Primal Fury will keep your rage high and help you spam Swipe even more.

In order to maximize the possible proc rate for Omen of Clarity (It also procs on Swipe!), strive to have 3 mobs in range for max proc rate.
Because you don’t have any sunder armor like warriors (lacerate doesn’t exist in vanilla) your main threat building ability is Maul (this gives most threat, especially crits) press tab to alternate this between mobs, swipe is not enought if you have warlocks dotting up all mobs or dps focusing on single targets.

An important trick before pulls to keep threat on group pulls is to put HOTs on yourself or your allies who are doing AOE for aggro transfer. This means maxrank Regrowth followed by a maxrank Rejuvenation.

Another trick is to follow the HOTs with a Hurricane on the group before pulling, this can be a bit risky though as you’ll be very close to running out of mana. And without mana… no bear form :>

Example group pull rotation:

  1. Use Regrowth followed by a quick Rejuvenation on yourself
  2. Go Bear Form (get 10 rage from Furor)
  3. Use Enrage to get +10 more instant rage, build a bit more if you need. Pull with Faerie Fire (Feral)
  4. Cancel Enrage if it is still ticking. (Use my macro below)
  5. Use Demoralizing Roar or wait until all mobs are close to you.
  6. Queue a Maul on your current target, use a Swipe.
  7. Tab to change target and Swipe again (swipe can hit max 3 targets, this will increase the likelihood of hitting 3 other targets of the group) and queue another Maul.
  8. Now begin rotating Faerie Fire tab to next mob, Maul, Swipe, Faerie Fire, tab to next mob, repeat somewhat.
  9. Because Faerie fire feral has a longer cooldown than auto attack (6sec), you will have to skip that step sometimes in your rotation. If you have <15 rage skip swipe on the next rotation.

I cast Faerie Fire (feral) in a macro that auto targets your closest enemy (if you don’t currently have a target) while also enabling auto attack (if you are not already auto attacking). You can learn how to make such a macro here: https://nirklars.wordpress.com/wow/vanilla-wow-macros/
It requires you to place the attack ability from your spellbook on an actionbar and call that action bar from inside the macro so it’s not just a copy and paste. Overall it will look something like this:
Faerie Fire Feral tanking Macro

/run if GetUnitName("target")==nil then TargetNearestEnemy() end if not IsCurrentAction(25) then UseAction(25) end CastSpellByName("Faerie Fire (Feral)(Rank 4)")

When tanking keep spamming Faerie fire feral whenever you can, this is important as it is not only completely free but also causes threat, even more in combination with Feral instinct.

Please note! The reason for speccing into Improved Enrage is because quick pulls or an instant free +10 rage pot while tanking. HOWEVER! Never forget to always remove the buff while taking hits! (The quickest and easiest way to do this is by using a macro that casts Enrage on first press and removes the buff on the second press) You don’t want to waste the time moving your mouse and click it while tanking.
Enrage macro

/script local i=0 g=GetPlayerBuff while not (g(i) == -1) do if(strfind(GetPlayerBuffTexture(g(i)),"Ability_Druid_Enrage"))then CancelPlayerBuff(g(i)) end i=i+1 end CastSpellByName("Enrage")

Once you’ve gathered up on max damage mitigation gear you can downgrade gear with high +str or +hit for extra threat gear. Reflect damage causes good extra threat (as long as you can keep the target) For example Naglering vs Thrall’s Resolve.

 

Hybrid – ready offtank / gimped healer

http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#0ZxxxscMzxVxf0xo
3readyofftank-gimpheal
Fortunately its cheap to respec on Kronos (capped at 5 gold) so this spec can be avoided 🙂

Lack of warriors or healers? Then this spec would help back on retail. It’s the jack of all trades but master of none spec but it gives basic tanking, mana regen while casting and panic heal with nature’s swiftness.
Keep in mind that you will have to carry half your bank with you in order to shift gear between fights.
 

Resto advanced raiding

When you’re raiding and have fellow druids in the raid its important to not overwrite their heal over time spells (HoTs), Faerie Fire or innervates. If you lack any addons with custom raidframes showing hots its a good idea to use a macro for this. Faerie Fire is important to have up on raid bosses. Don’t use the similar macro with insect swarm though. It is not worth wasting a raid debuff slot for Insect Swarm.

REMEMBER! You need to already have targeted your ally before casting in order for this to work. For more macro options and tips check my macro thread.
Rejuvenation overwrite prevention macro

/run m=0 for i=1,40 do if(strfind(tostring(UnitBuff("target",i)),"Spell_Nature_Rejuvenation"))then m=1 end end if m==0 then CastSpellByName("Rejuvenation(Rank 10)") end

Innervate overwrite prevention macro

/run n=0 for i=1,40 do if(strfind(tostring(UnitBuff("target",i)),"Spell_Nature_Lightning"))then n=1 end end if n==0 then CastSpellByName("Innervate")end

Faerie fire overwrite prevention macro

/run m=0 for i=1,40 do if(strfind(tostring(UnitDebuff("target",i)),"Spell_Nature_FaerieFire"))then m=1 end end if m==0 then CastSpellByName("Faerie Fire(Rank 4)") end

The following specs are viable once you have more +healing (300 to 400 or more I would say) and +spell crit. You sacrifice Swiftmend, Nature’s Focus and Subtlety for Nature’s Grace and Moonglow in the balance tree.

http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#0zLbIMVsZZxxckIq
4advanced-raid-heal-b

The mandatory parts in the Arcane tree (red) are the 12 points for Nature’s Grace, Moonglow, Nature’s Reach, Natural Shapeshifter and Improved Thorns. How you spend the remaining 12 points to reach these are optional (green) depending on which instance you’re doing. Natural Shapeshifter is important to reduce mana for removing movement impairing effects or emergency shifting to bear form.

druid raid healing options

Nature’s Grace low rank Healing Touch spam macro

/run i=0 m=0 c=CastSpellByName while not (GetPlayerBuff(i)==-1) do if (strfind(GetPlayerBuffTexture(GetPlayerBuff(i)),"Spell_Nature_NaturesBlessing")) then m=1 end i=i+1 end if m==0 then c("Healing Touch(Rank 2)") else c("Healing Touch(Rank 3)") end

Now why would you want to use this? It certainly won’t help you with tank healing, the healing is too low. It is however very mana efficient and useful for raid healing, especially if you have a lot of +healing gear. Combine this with Emergency Monitor in CT_RaidAssist and spam it on those long boring fights.

The casting time for Rank 2 is 1,5 seconds long, the same as the global cooldown for all spells.
The casting time for Rank 3 is 2,0 seconds long. Using this macro it will automatically cast rank 3 instead of 2 with 1,5 cast time when Nature’s Grace procs.

Options for the remaining 12 points in the advanced raiding spec

a) When you have mana to spare (trash in BWL with Nature/Arcane weakness) you can help DPS for quicker runs.

b) Rooting is very useful in outdoor instances like ZG and AQ. Omen of Clarity helps out if you’re too lazy to respec when solo grinding.

a) raid option - bwl nature arcane b) druid raid healing options 2

Options for even more mana efficiency

a) Tranquil Spirit 3/5 + Improved Rejuvenation 3/3
Mandatory if you have the full T2 set (the longer duration rejuvenation bonus is awesome)

b) Tranquil Spirit 5/5 Improved Rejuvenation 1/3
Can be considered instead if you don’t have the full set and is the one assigned to Healing Touch spam instead of hots.

a) tranquil 1  b) tranquil 2

These are my thoughts about vanilla dudus, have a great time gaming in vanilla! /cat
Sandsten scratches you.

sand

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