The druid is a shapeshifting, hybrid class and also one of the most versatile classes in the game. As with other hybrids, druids need to specialize in a single role for the best results. Due to their need to shape-shift to fulfill roles, they can only perform one role at a time; they must switch between the different shapes to adapt to changing situations.
A properly specced and geared druid is capable of fulfilling any role. Druid players need to be aware that this versatility also bears a danger — it may be difficult to keep focused when gathering gear. In order to truly fulfill a hybrid role, druids require several complete sets. This is expensive in time, bag space, and gold; however, the ability to spec to completely different roles makes druids a smart and flexible class choice.
Another nice feature of druids is their ability to travel faster. See the skills section below for more information.
- "We are the preservers of the balance, now and forever, as Malfurion lies in the Dreaming. Never forget this."
- - Kal of Dolanaar
Druids are keepers of the world who walk the path of nature, following the wisdom of the Ancients and Cenarius, healing and nurturing the world. To druids, nature is a delicate balance of actions in which even the smallest imbalance can create storming turmoil from peaceful skies. Druids draw their power from this natural energy, using it to change their shapes and command the forces of nature. Traditionally, druids chose the path of a specific animal totem. Since the invasion of the Burning Legion, however, most druids have undergone a number of reforms, including encouraging the study of magic from all totems. Druids who do this are known as druids of the wild.
- Main article: Druid (lore)
Cenarius is the patron entity of all druids. However, each group of druids has its own special patrons and some even have the ability to transform into a being that looks like their patron. Many druids take on an animal companion based on their patron.
According to tauren mythology, Cenarius instructed them first in druidism as recounted in their myth, Forestlord and the First Druids. With the release of Wrath of the Lich King, it is strongly suggested that tauren were most likely the first students of Cenarius, as accounted for by a 10,000+ year old immortal tauren druid by the name of Xarantaur. There is still debate whether this character is considered canon, but Xarantaur suggests in the game that while he and his brethren were taught directly by Cenarius, his fellow druids forgot their lessons over the years; this would imply that current tauren druidism is relatively new, learned from the night elves.
As it stands, the night elves lay claim to the first druid with Malfurion Stormrage. He is not only considered the most powerful known druid in Warcraft lore, but is also considered one of the most powerful characters on Azeroth. Malfurion led the night elves through the War of the Ancients and the long years that followed.
With the creation of the World Tree Nordrassil, the kaldorei druids were bound to Ysera and her realm, the Emerald Dream, in which they spent centuries of their immortal lives. The Cenarion Circle was formed as the governing society of druids, based in sacred Moonglade. Locked in slumber in their barrow dens for generations, the druids awoke to meet the threat of the Burning Legion during its recent invasion. After Archimonde's defeat, the druids chose to remain in the waking world to help rebuild their shattered lands. The Legion's attack left a terrible scar on the natural order and the druids sought to heal it.
The night elf druids were recently joined in the Cenarion Circle by the tauren druids. Neither participate in the Alliance/Horde conflict, but coexist peacefully within the Circle. Druids belong to many other different organizations or types including the Cenarion Expedition and the Druids of the Claw, Talon, Wild, Fang, Antler, Grove, Scythe and Pack.
Druids come and go as they please, and their goals typically have little to do with the "civilized" world. Unaffiliated with any specific government, the primary druidic organization on Azeroth, the Cenarion Circle, answers to no one save itself. The highest rank that a druid can have is that of archdruid, and there are only a few archdruids on Azeroth. At the moment the Cenarion Circle's leader is Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage, also widely considered to be the first mortal druid on Azeroth.
- Strengths, Abilities, and Underlying Motivations
Through their deep connection to life and nature, druids are able to take on an unusually large variety of roles. Probably a druid's best-known role is that of a healer. Druids are justly famed for their ability to restore life, cure poisonous wounds, and remove curses. Indeed, restoring and protecting the planet is one of the top priorities for all druids. Still, to regard a druid as merely a healer is a dangerously simplistic assumption that has led to the defeat of many an unwary foe.
Druids' empathy with the creatures of the wild also allows them to shapeshift into the forms of other animals. For example, a wounded druid whose magical energies are running low might abruptly take on the form of a bear in order to better withstand further injury. Alternatively, the druid might shift into the form of some large cat, sneak up behind an enemy, then pounce and deliver a fierce flurry of melee attacks. Even the deepest oceans can be explored by druids, who can simply shift into an aquatic creature, allowing them to stay underwater as long as needed.
Until the end of the Third War, druids periodically visited the Emerald Dream to monitor the ebb and flow of life on Azeroth. Today such a visit has become more difficult due to Nordrassil's poor health.
Druids possess a deep understanding of the way in which all living things depend upon one another. Whenever this delicate equilibrium is disrupted, the druids work to restore the balance. To that end, druids can use their connection with the Emerald Dream to exert a calming influence over animals, even forcing some into a temporary state of hibernation. Just as the druids can wield peace and somnolence, however, they can tap into the fury of nature itself. Terrible storms respond to their call, thorns sprout from their skin to wound their attackers. Even previously harmless roots grow from the soil at greatly accelerated speeds in order to entangle foes.
For obvious reasons, druids thrive in the wild outdoors. Inevitably they lose some of their effectiveness when they are forced to endure separation from the natural environment. What good is a cleansing rain when a druid cannot even see the sky? How are roots to capture a foe who is standing atop a high tower? Such cases clearly require a druid with the imagination to consider new strategies and the flexibility to carry them out.
- See also: Druid sets
Druids do not use shields (although in bear form their armor is so high it were as if they were), and do not dual wield. Off-hand items may be used by druids. Druids receive a 5% bonus to their primary stat when wearing all leather armor. It is uncommon to find two-handed maces with agility on them, so most feral or guardian druids use either staves or polearms.
|Alliance ||Horde ||Neutral ||Combat |
- Main article: Druid races
The druid class can be played by the following races:
Before the demon hunter became available, the druid class was the most limited class concerning races. Only two races per faction can become a druid. The worgen and troll races were added in the expansion. Demon hunters can only be two races (blood or night elves).
The Druid's most notable ability is shapeshifting into different forms.
- Cat Form
- Bear Form
- Moonkin Form
- Incarnation: Tree of Life
- Travel Form
- Flight Form
- Treant Form - Form only available with Tome of the Wilds: Treant Form
For all forms, the following applies:
- The druid is immune to polymorph in all forms except the default, humanoid form.
- Druids can be sheeped in humanoid form if caught off guard for the full duration. (Cannot shapeshift out of it)
- Shapeshifting also breaks all movement-impairing effects (like Slow or Hamstring) except the 3-second daze that can proc when one is attacked from behind by a melee attack.
- Depending on the form, the druid is considered either humanoid (Caster and Moonkin), beast (Travel, Aquatic, Bear, Dire Bear, and Cat), or elemental (Tree of Life); and thus is vulnerable (or immune) to different spells. This also applies to being tracked.
- Shapes are not buffs or magical effects, thus they may not be dispelled.
While shapeshifted into Bear, Cat, Aquatic, Travel, or Flight Form:
- The Druid is considered a beast.
- Mana regeneration still continues at the same speed as out of the form.
- Weapons and armor with a "Chance on hit" effect as well as "Chance on hit" enchants will proc.
- Weapon DPS and weapon +damage enchants have no effect, however, armor enchants and armor pieces such as that boost weapon damage work. The bonus damage from Weightstones and Sharpening Stones also work. Weapon enchants that boost stats such as Attack Power and Agility rather than weapon damage also work.
- Items with an "Equip: When hit ..." work in forms.
In Moonkin form, the druid is considered humanoid, and while still immune to Polymorph and similar spells, can be affected by other abilities targeted at humanoids such as Sap.
Tree of Life is considered an elemental and thus vulnerable to elemental-dependent spells such as Banish.
If you shapeshift while wearing any disguise, you will notice that your form buff will remove the disguise buff. This is because of problems caused by the two buffs when they were allowed to stack. Blizzard didn't like the bugs that were made through these effects stacking even though they were used to have fun most of the time. Items like the Noggenfogger Elixir were then changed to not stack with Druid forms so that it would not cause any future problems.
As of Patch 5.0.4, some vanity shapeshift items will work while mounting (such as moonkin form) but others will be removed upon shapeshift.
Druids can change their Cat Form and Bear Form design at any time by visiting a barbershop; night elves, worgen, and trolls by changing their character's hair color, and taurens by switching skin tones. Since there are more hair colors and skin tones than unique form designs, some colors and tones will produce the same designs. The hair and skin colors chosen will, in most cases, correspond to the colors seen in the design of each form. Some similar colors that may share a particular cat texture will not necessarily share the same bear texture.
- Druid forms depending on race
Also note that you can pickup a minor glyph that will change the color of your fur each time your shapeshift.
Specialize in damage spells and an additional Moonkin Form, turning them into an efficient ranged spellcaster that is somewhere between a mage and a shadow priest in play style, in the equivalent of leather armor. They excel at nuking single targets as well as providing effective off-healing and crowd-control support. With the Wrath of the Lich King expansion providing them effective AoE damage, they are now on par with any of the other casting classes provided they are skilled.
- Stat priority
- Critical Strike / Versatility
|Moonkin Form (2)||54|
Enhances the druid's abilities in Cat Form. Cat Form specializes in bleeding the target. They have stealth abilities similar to a rogue, and bring versatility to the raid group.
- Stat priority
- Critical Strike
|Omen of Clarity||48|
|Tiger's Fury (2)||52|
|Ferocious Bite (2)||66|
|Mastery: Razor Claws||78|
- Stat priority
- Versatility / Mastery
- Critical Strike
|Mastery: Nature's Guardian||78|
|Mark of Ursol||80|
Healers. Restoration druids have some of the best heal-over-time spells of all healing classes, effectively allowing them to continue healing while incapacitated. In addition, the mobility offered by their heal-over-time spells makes them especially effective in PvP.
- Stat priority
- Critical Strike
|Omen of Clarity||48|
- Note: Players technically start in Feral spec; if a player chooses another specialization at level 10, the following are removed: Feral Instinct.
|Glyph of Stars||All|
|Glyph of the Cheetah||All|
|Glyph of the Doe||All|
|Glyph of the Feral Chameleon||All|
|Glyph of the Forest Path||All|
|Glyph of the Orca||All|
|Glyph of the Sentinel||All|
|Glyph of the Ursol Chameleon||All|
- and are logical choices for any leather armor wearing class (and mail armor wearing as well). This allows crafting decent armor as one levels and various augments.
- can be useful for druids with less-healing specializations who need quick potion heals and various buffs from elixirs and flasks. This profession is also good all around for making money and supplying guild runs.
- provides ingredients for and . This profession is also good all around for making money.
- is good for any less-healing specs for non-combat health regeneration and provides good buff foods.
- is good for any less-healing specs for in-combat health regeneration and low downtime regeneration. For healing specs it saves precious mana for heal spells.
- is good for leveling cooking.
- While before the Burning Crusade expansion most druids were healers in the end game, new itemization and talents have made druids of any specialization viable in end-game and raids.
- Entangling Roots gives druids the ability to provide reliable crowd control on melee targets.
- There is no class better at healing over time than restoration druids. In raid encounters where there is a lot of movement and cast times are often interrupted, a druid is quite effective in healing due to the instant-cast nature of their HoTs, enabling spells to be cast on the run. In arenas, resto druid teams are particularly feared by many due to the druid's ability to quickly cast HoT's on both partner and self, and the ability to keep out of harm's way with Travel Form, effectively kiting most opponents.
- Guardian druids can fill the core role of tanking well. While Warriors have significant advantages on some raid bosses, guardian druids have the unique flexibility to switch from tanking to melee DPS on demand. They often tank bosses or mob groups where more tanks are required, and then change form and gear to DPS on bosses where only 1 or 2 tanks are required. It is also possible during a single fight, if the add they are offtanking dies.
- Feral druids are expected to bring utility while still providing reliable damage over time bleeds. Many cats are able to hit high damage meters while still being able to battle resurrect or tank small adds if needed.