Which race should I choose for my druid?
One of the most common questions asked (for any class) is “which race is best?”
For PvE healing, Worgen and Troll druids have nice perks (crit and haste) compared to Night Elf and Tauren druids, so if you are looking to maximise your performance, you should choose Worgen or Troll.
Really, though, there is no “best” race for a druid. Just as professions have been balanced over time to give comparable benefits, races and racials also offer similarly attractive benefits, so that players do not feel obliged to stick to certain race/class combinations. This gives you more freedom to pick the race that you want to play – not the one that everyone says is “best”.
Here are some things to help you decide which race is for you.
- Do you prefer the Horde, or the Alliance? I started as Alliance, but felt a strong pull towards the Horde side. This is one of the biggest decisions that you’ll need to make when creating your druid (don’t worry; you can always faction change later through Blizzard’s paid faction change service).
- Are aesthetics important to you? Do you want to look like a lithe elf, a powerful Tauren, a wiry troll or a fearsome Worgen? If you would like to see what your feral and other forms will look like, and what colour combinations are available, visit the Druid forms by race page.
- What about RP (roleplaying)? Do you need to relate to your character? Do you want to be a servant of Elune, or wandering nomad, or an elegant Worgen in human form, struggling to hide a dark alter ego? Flavor is important when choosing your druid’s race.
- What will be your main focus? PvE or PvP? Some races have racials that suit PvP well (but can be useful in PvE) and vice versa.
- Will you be a healer, a damage dealer, a tank, or a combination? For example, Taurens have a bonus to stamina, which is a good stat if you want to be a tank later on. Worgen have a passive +damage bonus, which would be good if you want to be a damage dealing player (either in PvP or PvE).
Choose the race that you want to play, not the one that everyone says is “best”.
Don’t let a PvP flavoured racial convince you that a race is a poor choice for PvE and vice versa. Similarly, your choice of race might have +damage bonuses and you plan to be a healer – but remember, you will have access to dual specs and may want that damage bonus sometime!
While all races have useful abilities, some lend themselves more to one side or the other – but that doesn’t mean that you have to stick to certain races for certain roles. Similarly, some racials may be mediocre or even useless for us – but don’t let that sway you if you really want to play that particular race. Unless you are playing for a super hardcore raiding guild, it won’t matter too much.
Here’s some information on each race and associated racial abilities.
Horde Druid races
Tauren (shu’halo in their native language of Taur-ahe) are huge nomadic creatures who live on the grassy, open plains of Mulgore in central Kalimdor. Tauren are large, muscular humanoids and bovine in appearance, complete with hooves and horns. They stand anywhere from six and a half to nine feet tall and weigh anywhere from 400 to 700 pounds. Their immense bodies are covered with fine, short fur that ranges in color from black to gray to white to red to brown to tan and any mottled combinations or variations thereof. After generations of nomadic existence, the tauren have recently made permanent settlements in Mulgore and the Barrens. More information on Tauren here.
- War Stomp : 0.5sec cast – Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8yds for 2sec. 2min cooldown. (Great for PvP)
- Endurance : Base health increased by 5%. (Good for tanking)
- Cultivation : +15 bonus to Herbalism, plus you also pick herbs very fast. This is great for levelling, but it’s also fantastic when coupled with herbing in Flight Form – swoop down, pick your herb, and you’re outta there!
Led by the cunning Shadow Hunter, Vol’jin, the Darkspear trolls now make their home in Durotar along with their orcish allies. Their village, named after their fallen tribal elder Sen’jin, lies along the eastern coast of the harsh, rocky land. As part of the Horde, the trolls have extended their loyalty to the mighty Tauren, but they have little trust for the manipulative undead, whom they believe will visit only misery and strife upon their allies. It is not explicitly known what they think of the blood elves, but since the elves are addicted to and freely practice demonic magic, it is likely that the trolls do not think much higher of them than they do of the Forsaken. Darkspear trolls have skin colors that range from pale, ghostly blue to bruised purple to sickly green. Male trolls are hunched over in WoW and generally have long, protruding tusks that grow from under their upper or lower lip. Male trolls also have rather long noses and very messy, matted hair. Female trolls, on the other hand, stand up straight, have rather small or squashed-in noses, and usually have hair in a wild updo or strewn across their breasts in thick braids. More information on Trolls here.
- Berserking : Increases your melee, ranged, and spell haste by 20% for 10 sec.
- Regeneration : Increases health regen by 10%. Allows 10% of normal health regen in combat. Great for levelling.
- Beast Slaying : 5% damage bonus when fighting against beasts. Great for levelling, near pointless for end-game.
- Dead Eye : Expertise with ranged weapons increased by 1%. (Druids cannot use bows so this does not benefit a troll druid.)
- Da Voodoo Shuffle : Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%. (This has limited usefulness for us – we can already shift out of most snares and movement impairing effects.)
Alliance Druid races
For ten thousand years, the immortal night elves cultivated a druidic society within Ashenvale Forest. Then the catastrophic invasion of the Burning Legion shattered the tranquility of their ancient civilization. Led by the Arch-Druid Malfurion Stormrage and the Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind, the night elves rose to challenge the demonic onslaught. Aided by the newly arrived orcs and humans, the night elves succeeded in halting the Legion’s advance and defeating the demonlord Archimonde. Though victorious, the night elves were forced to sacrifice their immortality and watch their beloved forests burn. In the aftermath, Malfurion and Tyrande helped their people rebuild their shattered villages. Slowly the elves began to adjust to their mortal existence. Such an adjustment was far from easy, and there were many who could not adjust to the prospects of aging, disease, and frailty. Seeking to regain their immortality, a number of wayward druids conspired to plant a special tree that would reestablish a link between their spirits and the eternal world. Among the twilight boughs of the colossal tree, the wondrous city of Darnassus took root. However, the tree was not consecrated with nature’s blessing and soon fell prey to the corruption of the Burning Legion. Now the wildlife and even the limbs of Teldrassil itself are tainted by a growing darkness. Night elves are imposing in stature, males being on average 7 feet tall. Males are very muscular, with broad chests and shoulders. Female night elves are lithe and curvaceous, yet still muscular and strong. The race’s prominent eyebrows, long pointed ears and natural aspects imply a feral grace. Skin tones range from pale white to blue or even ruddy red, and their hair ranges in color from bright white to woodland green to lustrous black. More information on Night Elves can be found here.
- Shadowmeld : Slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Any threat is restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect, 2 minute cooldown. (This is a fantastic ability – it is basically a mob reset button. Pulled too many? Run to a fairly safe spot, Shadowmeld, and they will all reset. Can also be used with flight form for quick getaways.)
- Quickness : Increased your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 2%.
- Wisp Spirit : Transform into a wisp upon death, increasing speed by 75%. (Often mocked as a racial, you really miss it when you don’t have it. Makes corpse runs slightly more bearable.)
- Elusivesness: Reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Shadowmelded.
The worgen are a race of feral wolf-beasts whose very name inspires fear. Theories regarding their history abound, yet the worgen’s origins remain steeped in mystery. Records indicate that the worgen existed for a time in Kalimdor. In fact, more recent evidence suggests that their true origin might have a connection to the night elves and a secretive druidic order from Kalimdor’s distant past. Yet until new evidence comes to light, this information remains speculative.
The worgen’s first verified appearance in the Eastern Kingdoms has been traced back to the Third War, when the archmage Arugal utilized the wolf-beasts as a weapon against the Scourge. Arugal’s weapons soon turned against him, however, as the curse of the worgen rapidly spread among the human population, transforming ordinary men and women into ravenous, feral creatures. Arugal adopted many of the worgen as his own and retreated to the former mansion of Baron Silverlaine, the estate now known as Shadowfang Keep. The curse, however, was not contained. It persisted in the lands of Silverpine and extended even into the fabled walled nation of Gilneas, where the curse rapidly reached pandemic levels. There are those among the Gilneans, however, who cling to hope. Many believe that a cure for the worgen curse may exist, although others have nearly given up, fearful that if the barricades should fall, their humanity will be lost forever. More information on Worgen can be found here. Racials:
- Darkflight : Activates your true form, increasing movement speed by 40% for 10 sec. (2min cooldown) Not bad – another sprint effect. Handy at low levels expecially.
- Viciousness : Increases crit by 1%. (passive) This used to be a damage increase, but changing it to crit benefits all specs. As our HoTs can now crit, this makes Viciousness a useful racial for us.
- Aberration : Reduces Shadow and Nature damage taken by 1%. (passive)
- Flayer :
+15 to skinning, and increases skinning speed. (passive) (If you plan to use your druid as a leather farmer, this is valuable.)
- Two Forms :
Turn into your currently inactive form. (1.5 sec cooldown)
- Running Wild : This is the Worgen “mount” – instead of riding on a mount, you simply drop to all fours and run extremely fast. This scales with your riding skill.