|Instance grouping guide|
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The Druid in Instances
As a Druid
- You will usually be expected to be the primary Healer, or Tank if you are Feral spec. Druids can also DPS as Cat Form or Moonkin Form, and are often expected to cover emergency heals while in this role.
- Know your role in the party and stick to it. If you're healing, don't go into bear form and pretend you're a tank. Don't switch to cat form and try to follow the rogue in on scouting missions.
- Use your forms wisely. A druid who stays in one form for the entire duration of the instance should really be playing a specialized class. If you are healing, go bear if mobs aggro to you, but don't hold the aggro. If you are tanking, you can help top off health between fights while main healers regen mana. If you are doing DPS, you can help all around. It takes experience to know when and how to best use your forms and it is what distinguishes the druid class.
- Be prepared for every role you can take. Always carry both your DPS and healing gear with you. In case someone in your party drops out and you have to take a different role, you should not be unprepared for it.
- If you are scouting, be ready to let yourself get killed rather than drag a bunch of angry mobs directly into the party.
- Be prepared to Innervate a healing Priest or Druid. Paladins and Shamans can use it, but won't benefit nearly as much.
- If a wipe is imminent try to cast rebirth on a party member who can rez, if this happens, the reborn party member should wait until after the battle, then resurrect and then rez the rest of the party. Also, casting rebirth on the main tank might effectively prevent a wipe. However keep in mind who is soulstoned so you don't waste your rebirth for naught.
- After a wipe you might be able to sneak back in, past respawned mobs, and revive the party. You will want to inform your party of this plan so they don't release and come in at the entrance.
- Bring reagents for Rebirth and Gift of the Wild! If you have Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth, you do not need reagents for Rebirth.
- Put Mark of the Wild or Gift of the Wild on your party,.
- Put Thorns on the tanks to help them keep aggro; never put thorns on healers or other squishies. Thorns should ONLY be on the tank, and not you (unless, of course, YOU are the tank).
If you are tanking
- Swipe hits all the targets around you (360 degrees!) and creates a fantasic amount of aggro against multiple targets. If you have the Primal Fury talent, each hit has a chance of giving you an extra 5 rage from a crit!
- Bash will stun an opponent for 4 seconds (on Rank 3) and having the talent Brutal Impact will improve this by 1 second. This is good to break spellcasting, or prevent too much damage on you. Remember, however, that a stunned opponent does not hit you, and you will gain less Rage!
- Demoralizing Roar creates a small amount of aggro and de-buffs nearby enemies; use it to reduce the attack power of the mobs. If a warrior is present, her Demoralizing Shout will override your Demoralizing Roar (Confirm if true for 5/5 Feral Aggression ?).
- Faerie Fire is FREE to use in Bear form and can be used to pull mobs at a range. Casting the spell will also generate a small amount of aggro on the mob, and since it's free to use, spam it whenever possible. It is also not affected by Global Cooldown. If you use Tab to change targets, make sure you don't pull another mob (other than the mobs you are attacking).
- Know how Growl functions, "Taunts the target to attack you, but has no effect if the target is already attacking you." Growl has NO effect if the mob is on you already.
- Use Growl to pull mobs off squishy party members, especially the healer.
- Feral Charge is great for going after mobs who are attacking your healers. Use Feral Charge followed by Growl to hold their aggro. **See above**
- As of Patch 3.0.2 the cooldown for Challenging Roar has been reduced from 10 minutes to 3 minutes so it is an easier option for gaining aggro on everything when the fight gets out of hand. Only for emergencies.
- Maul is good for keeping aggro on a single target; Swipe is better for keeping aggro on multiple targets.
- If you are taking a lot of hits and losing health, hit Barkskin and Frenzied Regeneration to reduce incoming damage and turn your rage into health over a ten second period. Works great in emergencies. It is a good idea to write a macro that informs the party when you do this.
- If you are cat form/off-healer
- Make sure to watch other party member health bars, if the party suddenly takes a lot of damage or the main healer runs out of mana, your priority will switch to healing. Shift back into cat form when things are more under control. Tranquility is ideal since it's gigantic and you won't usually need the mana for other things.
- Be careful about standing behind enemies to attack, in some cases, you may end up in aggro range of enemies further on.
- In cat form, you will play similarly to a rogue. See the Rogue instance grouping guide for some tips. Remember, though, that you do not have a vanish ability, and have less stuns.
- If you are Balance (Moonkin form) DPS
- You will be putting out a lot of damage, so you will likely be causing a lot of threat. If you pull aggro off the tank, stop casting, drop into Cat Form, and use Cower to lower your threat; you'll have to stop casting for the tank to pull aggro off of you, so you might as well lower your total threat in the meantime.
- It is argued if a balance druid should spam Starfire or Wrath. At a high level you will probably want to look up a researched spell rotation, but if you just follow Eclipse procs and keep your dots up, you'll be fine until hard content.
- You have some very good CC abilities available; Entangling Roots is useful to stop a mob from running (only works outdoors before Wrath of the Lich King, so its use is limited to outdoor instances such as Zul'Farrak), Hibernate is excellent if you're facing Beasts or Dragonkin (it's the ONLY CC available against Dragonkin, save for a Hunter's Freezing Trap), and Cyclone is good for stopping a mob that gets pulled of the tank and starts running for a softer party member (it only lasts for 6 seconds and is subject to diminishing returns, so it's not reliable as a primary CC ability).
- If you are at level 50 or above, you can have Force of Nature. This spell grants you 3 treants that will fight for you for 30 seconds, and they spawn at a location you choose just like an AoE spell. As of Patch 2.4, they no longer attack CC'd targets, so there's no need to worry about them attacking the wrong targets. They will run to you once all enemies within 10-20 yards are dead or not attackable for any reason and continue to protect you through the spells duration. The treants may split up and attack multiple enemies, but will usually focus on one target at the time.
- If you're in a group with a weak healer, it's wise to stay in Caster form and not Moonkin form as you will be required to heal quite a bit while doing damage. Let the main healer focus on healing the tank and heal the rest of the party yourself. You need to find a balance between healing and dps here that works fine and doesn't burn your mana bar down too fast.
- As far as Innervate is concerned as a balance druid: You always cast it on the main healer if it's needed. If the main healer is doing just fine and you're running low on mana, then it's ok to cast it on yourself. Keep in mind that you should always see how the main healer is doing mana-wise as you can prevent a wipe by casting Innervate on him/her.
- Cast Faerie Fire on every mob. It will make melee classes do more damage, and the extra damage from the tank can help them keep aggro.
- If you are the Main Healer
- Watch your mana carefully. Druid mana usage is fickle, especially Lifebloom with it's complex return per mana spent.
- Heal over time spells are good for early heals, as they cause little threat and keep health up slowly without overhealing.
- Pay attention to how you are specced and glyphed; it's okay to spec into strong HoTs or into direct heals, just use your strong suit!
- Learn to stack multiple heal-over-time spells on the tank (Regrowth, Rejuvenation, Lifebloom), renewing them as they expire.
- If you have the mana available and are not in tree of life form, extra Faerie Fire spells spread around do not hurt. Make sure to be careful with aggro and mana if adding support this way.
- Don't shift to a damage dealing form unless you are very, very sure than no one will die during that time.
Working with a Druid
When grouping with a druid let him/her know before the instance starts what role he will be needed for. Some druids are Feral (Warrior / Rogue hybrid) specialized, others are Restoration (Priest hybrid) specialized and yet others are Balance (Mage/Warlock ranged spell DPS hybrid) specialized and this can be a huge problem if you need him to be the main healer or tank/dps. The group will thank you if the druid knows what is needed of him.
Elitist Jerks balance druid theorycrafting / testing thread: