What spec should I use to level my Druid?
That’s on the spec options page.
What weapons and armor should I wear to level my Druid?
A list of BOA gear for each levelling spec is here: BOA gear for Druids
For information on normal gear, visit the Druid levelling gear page.
Which glyphs are best for levelling my Druid?
Levelling glyphs are listed on the Druid levelling gear page.
How should I solo?
First, you’ll need to choose a spec.
If you’re questing as resto or balance, you’ll start off with only Wrath – simply Wrath your target down. Once you get Moonfire at level 4, you should Wrath – Moonfire – then Wrath until your target dies. At level 7 you’ll get Entangling Roots, which will allow you to keep your target at a distance for a while, so that you can kill mobs at range. You’ll get Starfire at 8; start with Starfire (longest cast), root the mob before it reaches you, Moonfire, then wrath until the mob dies. If roots break and he gets to you, recast roots and step away to finish casting, or use Thorns to help finish the job. At level 20 you can also use Insect Swarm, and you can work this into your rotation (particularly for longer fights).
Ferals – refer to Restokin’s levelling guide.
Regardless of your spec, you can also toss a Rejuvenation on yourself before the mob reaches you, to act as a buffer when you start taking damage. Don’t forget to keep Mark of the Wild up, too, when you get it.
When do I get my different healing abilities?
Here’s a quick summary of when you will first train each of your abilities.
This is just a very short summary to tell you when your healing abilities will be available; for a full list of abilities and how to use them effectively, visit the Healing Abilities page or the Other Abilities page.
(t) = talented abilities. Talented ability levels are an indication of the earliest that you can obtain these talents.
Healing in dungeons
Apart from questing, if you’re leveling as resto, you’re likely to be spending a lot of time healing dungeons. Here are some low level dungeon healing strats, in no particular order. Some strategies may only apply to later dungeons when you have access to certain abilities.
- Always take plenty of water to dungeons – you will need to drink a lot, especially if your party takes a lot of damage.
- If you can, take mana potions too. They can save the day. Make sure you always keep the strongest ones in your bag.
- Learn First Aid and don’t be afraid to bandage your party instead of using your heals, in an emergency. I always try to conserve mana for the tank (and myself). If a DPS has taken damage, I top them up with a bandage, rather than using my mana. Just remember that you can’t bandage someone who is still taking damage, so if they still have aggro or if they have a ticking debuff, a bandage won’t work.
- Buff your party with Mark of the Wild.
- Buff your tank with Thorns also (don’t put Thorns on yourself or other party members except the tank – if they pull aggro, you don’t want Thorns making things worse). Either do this just before the pull, or give your tank a few seconds to establish aggro, or the act of casting Thorns will make the mobs aggro onto you.
- Start with a Rejuv before the tank pulls IF your tank is ok for aggro (best not to do this on pulls with large numbers of mobs that can’t all be picked up by the tank in a hurry). If aggro is a little shaky, wait a few seconds before you start healing. You’ll want at least a Rejuv up and ready to Swiftmend. If you can, quickly sit and drink before he runs in, so that you can then run in with full mana. At later levels, you can start with a full stack of Lifebloom on the tank before he runs in – but again, be wary of doing this on pulls with many mobs, as HoTs ticking on the tank will cause the mobs to aggro onto you if your tank cannot damage/aggro all of the mobs quickly. Use your judgment – a pally tank a couple of levels higher than you and in heirloom gear will probably cope better with aggroing mobs than a warrior tank a couple of levels lower and in normal gear, for example.
- Fill in the gaps with Nourish. Try to get a feel for how much it lands for, and wait for the tank to be missing that much damage before you heal him, so that you aren’t wasting mana by overhealing. At later levels, when you get Malfurion’s Gift, you can use Omen of Clarity procs to cast free Healing Touches or Regrowths instead of Nourish.
- If your party takes damage, you can use Rejuvenation to top them up a small amount, or you can use Regrowth or Nourish to top them up if they are missing a chunk of health. Or, as mentioned above, you can use a bandage on someone who is no longer taking damage. At late levels, Wild Growth can be used to top up several people a small amount, or you can use Tranquility on your entire party, for powerful group healing.
- Mana gets a lot easier at 28 when you get Innervate. But before then (or even after), if you happen to get a bear tank of 28+, don’t be afraid to ask for his Innervate! It will help the group move faster.
- Once you get Barkskin at 58, use it whenever you pull aggro or you think you might pull aggro. It will reduce damage and prevent pushback while you heal – which could save the day. Get into the habit of hitting Barkskin whenever you get aggro or something bad happens. Later in your druid life it will be one of your most valuable abilities – so learning to use it on autopilot will really help you later.
- Don’t stand in melee range to heal. You will get aggro much more easily in melee range than if you stand back (also, mobs sometimes cleave or do AOE attacks, so you don’t want to be in close).
- If you do aggro something, never run away from the tank – run towards him, so that he can pick up the mob and save you! If the tank has to chase you, he probably won’t be able to get the mob off you.
- If you are playing with a DK or Pally tank, and you get aggro, look for their AOE on the ground and try to stand in that OR make sure you stand with the AOE between mobs and you. Any mob that runs to get you will step onto the AOE and should then go to the tank instead. Always try to position yourself in a way that mobs will have to run across the AOE to reach you.
- If you do have aggro and you need the mob to stop hitting you so you can continue to heal, hit your Nature’s Grasp spell, wait for it to root the mob/s, and then take a few steps away to continue healing. You can also do this to step away and bandage, if you are low on mana. Nature’s Grasp and a bandage has saved my life many times.
- It may be tempting to use Entangling Roots on a mob to help out – but remember that if you root a mob next to someone, the mob may "remember" who was near it and may attack that person once your roots break.
- Don’t forget to look for poisons, curses and magic debuffs on your group and remove them promptly.
- Nature’s Swiftness paired with Healing Touch is a life-saving ability. Swiftmend is also extremely useful and on a fairly short cooldown. Don’t think you have to “save” these for a special occasion – if someone is missing a lot of health, top them up fast with these instant spells.
What if I’m feral – how will I heal dungeons?
The difference between feral-specced healing and resto/balance-specced healing is that you will be lacking potency, mana regen, and some life-saving abilities like Nature’s Swiftness and Swiftmend. Other than that, all of the abilities are the same, so healing isn’t much different, and healing dungeons as feral spec up until level 30 is not difficult. You will still be using Rejuvenation, Regrowth and Nourish as your heals – they just won’t be as strong, and you’ll need to drink a lot more in between pulls.
The important thing is that you build yourself a resto healing set as you go along, so that you can at least increase your mana pool, spellpower and regen as much as you can.
Make sure you always take plenty of mana potions and water, because you will use more mana than a resto or balance specced healer, and it can get you into trouble if you have to spam heals.
I’ve levelled a druid from 10-48 doing mostly PvP and dungeons. In PvP I’ve found that feral or resto are your best specs to help your team get the win; balance doesnt do near enough damage at low levels for you to kill enemy flag carriers. As feral you can do a lot of damage in cat form and carry flags in bear form; if you prefer resto, ask your team for a designated flag carrier (preferably a tankier class like a warrior, pally, or another druid) and stay with them. Keep them alive as best as you can while rooting the enemies trying to kill your flag carrier.
Do you have more tips for druids who want to level in Battlegrounds? Please let me know so that I can add your tips or links (full credit will be given).