Druid Talents


EDIT: Not yet updated for Warlords of Draenor. On my to-do list.

Below, you’ll find a quick review of the new Mists of Pandaria talents for druids! Some talents warrant more discussion for certain specs; I’ll mention them where appropriate in that spec’s guide page. My recommendations are what I would pick for an unknown situation; obviously, you’l want to tailor your talent selection to fit your needs.

One note: Macroing certain talents/abilities together (Nature’s Swiftness+HT, shapeshift+Wild Charge) isn’t working as intended at the moment. You can’t use both together, you have to temporarily delay the second ability, so you’ll need a /castsequence macro.

Level 15:

Feline Swiftness Displacer Beast Wild Charge
Adds a passive 15% speed increase across the board. This pushes your default movement speed to 115% and Cat Form to 144% (25%* 15%), or 155% with the boot enchant (25% * 15% * 8%). Note that Feline Swiftness does NOT stack with the PvP set bonus. (They keep going back and forth on this.) Good for PvE,  Changed in 5.2 to give you a speed boost, instead of putting you into Prowl. Good escape talent for PvP, but not really recommended for PvE.
Adds a charge dependent on form, with a shared 15 sec cooldown. Great for gap closing (feral, guardian) or opening (everyone else). Here’s all the different ones:

  • Unshifted: Leap to a friendly target. (Right now, this INCLUDES Wild Mushrooms.)
  • Cat: Leap behind target + 3s daze.
  • Bear: Charge target + 4s immobilize.
  • Moonkin: Disengage-type effect, hops backwards.
  • Aquatic: Short swim-speed boost.
  • Travel: Hops forward.

Recommended for all specs for PvP; good choice for PvE.

Level 30:

Nature’s Swiftness Renewal Cenarion Ward
All kinds of awesome, especially for Guardians since they can instarez without fear of taking a bad hit out of bear form. All specs can use it for a quick Healing Touch burst heal on themselves or a friendly target. Does not play well with Predatory Swiftness for Feral; if you have both buffs up, the next spell will use both. Recommended for all specializations. Very simple; every 2 minutes, get a 30% selfheal. NS+HT is better, but a bit more complicated to use; this is an easy solution. Guardians, especially, may want it since it burst heals for more than NS+HT. Situationally recommended for Guardian druids or any druid that doesn’t want to mess with Nature’s Swiftness macros. A short duration, powerful HoT that triggers on damage. Doubled in strength in 5.2, which makes it much more useful than it was previously. Situationally recommended for Feral and possibly Restoration druids.

Level 45:

Faerie Swarm Mass Entanglement Typhoon
A ranged snare. Useful for casters, who want to keep people away. Recommended for Balance/Restoration druids; situationally recommended for Guardian druids who need to kite a single target.  Root all the things! If you’re getting low on health, pop this and run away. For group content, can be used to root an add pack before it pulls (or before it gets to your healer, more importantly). Recommended for Guardian/Feral druids. Harder to aim than Mass Entanglement, but more fun. Can be used as a ranged interrupt, sorta. Situationally recommended for all specs in encounters with ranged enemies or in areas with high cliffs.

Level 60:

Soul of the Forest Incarnation Force of Nature
The passive rotation helper. Requires zero thought (except for Restoration), which is a VERY GOOD THING for raiding when you’re trying to worry about other stuff. Recommended for Feral. 30 seconds of being more awesome. Good for any fight that only has 1-2 times [of burst damage/healing needed; combos well with Nature’s Vigil. Recommended for Restoration and Guardian. Trees! (no, not those kind of trees.) The summoned treants do damage and use an additional ability depending on spec. Guardian treants taunt, Feral treants stun, and Restoration treants heal. Recommended for Balance.

Level 75:

Disorienting Roar Ursol’s Vortex Mighty Bash
Not terribly impressed with this; Mass Entanglement or Typhoon offer better AoE options, since the 3 sec disorient length is so short. Can give Guardians a bit of a breather on trash packs, though. Situationally recommended for Guardians. Unfortunately, you cannot suck enemies off a cliff with this. You CAN (sorta) position them for a Typhoon, but that’s just funsies, really. Seriously, the talent is cool in theory but an 8 yard radius on the effect is too short. Even if you place it PERFECTLY, they’ll still be out of it in about three seconds…so, a 50% AoE snare for three seconds. Yeah. Not recommended. There’s nothing Mighty about it (it’s just the old Bash, now usable in all forms) but a 5 sec stun is nothing to sneeze at. Recommended for all specs.

Level 90:

Heart of the Wild Dream of Cenarius Nature’s Vigil
Achievement unlocked: Longest In-Game Tooltip! This monstrosity has two parts, the passive buffs (+6% to stam/agi/int) and the on-use. Overall, the passive buff is roughly comparable to Nature’s Vigil in terms of overall DPS, but the role switch is very situational. Recommended for feral/balance. Like HotW, this talent has two parts; a healing buff when you use a damage ability, and a damage buff when you use a non-instant healing ability. This is generally useless for guardian/resto, and potentially useful for balance/feral. Numbers are still being tweaked, though. Situationally recommended for advanced balance/feral players. Get a damage or healing buff, and have some of your numbers become other numbers! Er, right. Anyway, the 20% bump is nice for burst DPS or healing fights (syncs well with Incarnation and Berserk for Ferals, for example) but I generally prefer HotW. The 25% added damage/healing isn’t significant enough to matter much. Recommended for guardian/resto.
 Posted by at 2:24 pm

  17 Responses to “Druid Talents”

  1. Just for those that do not know, the 15% movement speed from Feline Swiftness also applies to Travel Form for 161% movement speed. Also it does stack with the PvP 4p setbonus, resulting in 185% movement speed for travel form.

    Aquatic and flight forms are not effected by the talent.

  2. I have done a lot of Beta testing, both as Feral and Guardian. There are some talents that look bad on paper but when combined with other talents and glyphs they become happy surprises. Below I have added some details I have found:

    Tier 1

    Feline Swiftness:
    This talent looks cool, but really isn’t as impressive for Feral in specific. The built in 15% Cat form speed boost does stack with boot enchants. This gives us 123% movement. I just don’t see many PVE, and no PVP folks who would want to give up the charge for just a 7% boost. Talking with Arielle he feels that Bears don’t really need charge that often, and passing up the boot enchant to get more stats might be more recommended.

    Resto and Boomkin are a tossup, but I think that Wild Charge will end up getting the most use, but that is only me guessing.

    Everyone agrees Displacer Beast is fail.

    Tier 2
    Natures’s Swiftness:
    For Feral, I love it. Because we not only get the 30% bonus from the talent we also get the boost from the Cat Form Glyph (20% more healing). Guardian for 10 man is also really strong. With the massive nerf to FR we now expect that for the first tier all Guardians are going to glyph it (lose all healing, but gain 40% healing for 6 seconds). Lining both of these up makes for a great “Oh S!” button.

    Again talking with Arielle he thinks this spell is useful for Guardians for mechanics like Impale where we take high predictable unavoidable damage. A mouth full I know.

    Cenarion Ward:
    Surprisingly a good Bear talent. Because of the 30 second cooldown its really awesome for smoothing out constant medium damage. Just like Natures Swiftness this will also be boosted by glyph’d FR (I think). Also makes for a good Cat leveling talent when combined with Cat Form glyph.

    Agree with everything you put.

    Soul of the Forest:
    This ends up bring kind of a weak Cat talent. Though it looks solid, unless we see some major changes to our combo point generation or energy regen this just won’t help much. The reason is we are so tight on the rotation that we often don’t use 5 point finishers for SR, and only for Rip every 20 seconds or so. The amount of energy returned per minute is at best the cost of one shred. As we get to higher tiers this may become better then it is now…then again so might Incarnation.

    Unless they can cheese the encounter with Force of Nature this is the must have talent for Bears. With the removal of the cooldown for Mangle for 30 seconds Bears can crank out Rage at a high rate. This ensures that FR and SD can have close to 100% uptime (alternating of course). The burst is a nice benefit, but for any raiding bear, 10 man or otherwise this is a defensive cooldown.
    For Cat it’s great for burst IF used with TF, Berserk, and only used while Berserk is active. This talent when combined with Berserk is powerful on the pull and sub 25% because of the boosted combo points at the start of the fight, and because we don’t need to have 5 combo points to refresh Rip at the end of the fight. If the fight takes longer than 6 minutes we will likely end up only making use of Ravage during the 15 seconds of Berserk for the middle of fight usage unless we have a Spine like burst section.

    Force of Nature:
    Amazing for Feral PVP due completely to the 5 second stun once a minute. For raiding they put out an energy free ~650 dps gain on a raid boss if used on cooldown. Not very useful for burst as the only do about 60-70k damage depending on your luck with crits. However if used on cooldown they are decent. The AI is still stupid, and it’s kind of a pain to try and put them down when you are in the big melee ball. Their damage is not modified by SR, TF, or any external buff that I have found. They scale only on our attack power…and kinda badly at that.

    Agree with everything here.

    Heart of the Wild:
    Spot on. The stat boosts are the default unless the fight dictates otherwise. I did some testing with Arielle and with some guildies. Bear cat does about 30% less damage then Feral while active. The only on use situation for either Feral or Guardian I see is “Oh S! tank died” or Off tank Tranq.

    Dream of Cenarius:
    With the recent addition of the Predatory Strikes procs being usable in forms Dream becomes a really amazing talent for PVP and PVE survival fights. With a PS proc this ability is always up because we are always using our damaging abilities. This means a 30% + 20% (glyph of cat form) HT every proc. This talent also stacks with the Natures Swiftness HT (30% + 30% +20%). The down side is the PS proc heal or NS doesn’t give us the boosted next attack. I had visions of the next Rake after every Rip being buffed. Oh well. Situational for Feral in PVE, but likely the GoTo for Feral PVP. This is also why this talent recently went from 70% heal to 30%. All values are multiplicative of course but still very cool.

    Natures Vigil:
    I don’t think that we will ever use this for Feral or Guardian unless paired with Berserk. As a Guardian the healing counts for all 3 mangle hits which is pretty powerful, and I am pretty sure that the healing is buffed by glyphed FR again (which will be easy to use during Berserk). With Cat I don’t see us taking this unless we have Incarnation as well. The buffed Ravages for a Spine like burst is pretty powerful, and the heals would be great for the melee ball (also buffed by Cat Form Glyph). Still situational. HotW is still the GoTo because of the stat buffs.

    Other than our two CC tiers and Displacer Beast I really like how flexible our talents are and with their interactions. Both Displacer and Soul of the Forrest are kinda useless for any situation (Feral and Guardian anyway) but at least the other two options aren’t bad.

  3. I haven’t played the beta so all my comments are from a Cata perspective. Once MoP hits I could easily change my mind. Also, these are from the perspective of a player at level cap, not leveling.

    As an experienced PvE and PvP Resto Druid here are my thoughts:

    Tier One: Wild Charge is a no-brainer for PvP. CC is central to PvP and being able to leap or shift to bear and stun is a big deal. For PvE I think that Feline Swiftness is better than Wild Charge but only by a cat’s whisker. Either is acceptable.

    Tier Two : For PvP Nature’s Swiftness is better because insta-cyclone. I think that the choice in PvE is much closer but I think in the end I’d chose NS simply because of the flexibility it provides.

    Tier Three: This is a tough choice because all three of them could be justified in PvP. I prefer Mass Entanglement, especially for Battlegrounds. For PvE I agree with Faerie Swarm.

    Tier Four: This is another difficult one to judge because I just don’t know enough about MoP fights to tell. I can see all of them being useful depending on exact mechanics. I’d probably start with Incarnation out of habit but keep an open mind. I could see Force of Nature being really OP in PvP if opponents are forced to kill the trees to stop them from healing.

    Tier Five: Agree. Mighty Bash is the clear choice here. I can see uses for the Vortex in PvP but only situationally, if your three second number is correct.

    Tier Six: Honestly, can’t think of any real use for Nature’s Vigil. Dream of Cenarius vs HotW is going to be a pure number crunching exercise for PvP. No clue as to which will win out. For PvE HotW is clear choice.

    In short, I basically agree with your decisions with only a quibble here and there.

  4. I found Cenarion Ward great for leveling as feral, especially with the 30sec CD. That plus barkskin was usually enough to get me through most things.

    I took Renewal for my guardian spec because I look at it as another CD while tanking. Personally I prefer to have more
    oh shit” buttons. I think it would be more effective than Natures Swiftness in this context, less GCD requiredm, less chance of dying. However I can see Cenarion Ward being a good tanking tool with its short CD. Have yet to try it out though.

    I found Ursol’s Vortex only really usefull when used in conjuction with Typhoon. Excellent for kiting.

    I have only recently hit level cap on the beta. I have chosen heart of the wild, but yet to use it in action.

    Great talent analysis, keep up the good work :)

  5. […] completed the guide page for the Mists of Pandaria druid talents, located here. Feel free to check it out and comment as you see fit; I’ll be revising it as talents change […]

  6. Really interesting post. Thanks Alaron! Also thanks to Tinderhoof for adding some more points that I wasn’t aware of. For example: taking Feline Swiftness will give you 130% in Cat Form, however instead going Wild Charge + Cat + boots = 123%. I would have to agree that 7% run speed isn’t as good as an immediate charge to start attacking the target. Looking at how small a gain is for cat on Soul of the Forest, I will probably go with Incarnation. How does this build look?


  7. What are the DPS differences between Soul of the Forest vs. Incarnation for cat pve dps? Tinderhoof since you’ve done some testing…any light into this? Thx

  8. In PTR Felline Swiftness + Cat form gave you 132%, not 130% :)

    And after that they’ve anounced that Cat form will give 25%, not 15% movement speed increase.

  9. It’s foolish to think that Dream of Cenarious isn’t useful. It’s an ability that buffs any talent from level 30.

    • Not sure what you mean specifically, though I’ll agree with you that it’s now more useful (due to buffs) than when I wrote this originally. I’ll be doing a pass through everything a week or two before launch to update everything to a release version.

  10. The next healing spell is increased by 30%. Every talent from level 30 is a healing spell.

    Cenarion Ward and Nature’s Swiftness can be used on other raid members, increasing their usefulness over Renewal.

    These also benefit from Nurturing Instinct. With only self buffs, a Nature’s Swiftness buffed Healing Touch heals me for over 45k. Empower that with another 30% from Dream of Cenarious. I’m not sure what you mean that it isn’t worth “changing my rotation up for.” I use melee abilities. It’s buffed by melee abilities. That simple.

  11. I have found that the Treants do provide 20% dmg reduction. I know alot of people disagree but in the tool tip is said that they also defend nearby allies.. a taunt will taunt them off me and not really assist nearby allies plus i have checked on WOL and on average raid aoe dmg is ALOT less while trees are active as opposed to when they are not. So It has been tested and i will continue to use them. if you would like to check the logs for yourself the guilds name is ante meridiem US – Stormrage Alliance

  12. […] a broader discussion, see the Druid Talents page. (not yet updated for […]

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