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Druid Tanking Rotation and Tips

Posted on: Mar 03, 2011 | Author: Garona

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Tanking Rotation and Tips for BearsDruid Tanks work in a very similar way to Warrior tanks. When in Bear Form you will have a Rage bar that builds up rage during combat. Many of your abilities require rage t0 be used so it’s important you can build up rage quickly at the start of the encounter. If you struggle to generate rage at the beginning of an encounter there are a few things you can do to help:

  1. Use a [Great rage Potion] on the pull to instantly acquire rage.
  2. If there are lesser mobs before your main group pull use them to generate a small amount of rage before you pull by attacking them just before you pull.
  3. Use [Enrage] to generate instant rage on the pull. Only do this if you know for sure you can handle the extra damage from the group you are pulling as it increases your damage taken by 10%.

Why should I be in Bear Form?

Bear form not only allows you to use many of your tank specific abilities but it also provides you with a whole lot more benefits which make bear form absolutely essential for tanking. [Bear form] provides 10% extra stamina, 120% extra armor contribution from gear, causes Agility to provide you with Attack Power (generating much more threat), prevents you from being Polymorphed and therefore losing your adds and finally increases your threat generation significantly overall. A tank should never be out of Bear Form during an encounter with only two specific exceptions:

  • You are not currently tanking anything (and do not need to currently tank anything) and someone needs a battle res (preferrably someone important only such as a healer or another tank) and you have no other methods of ressing the player.
  • You are not currently tanking anything (and do not need to currently tank anything) and someone needs an Innervate (preferably only for a healer).

Removing Bear Form in any other situation is highly reckless and can result in you getting flattened and wiping your group.

Druid Bear Rotation for Single Targets

  • Use Mangle as soon as you have enough rage. Keep using it whenever it cools down.
  • Keep demoralizing roar up on your target.
  • Keep Faerie Fire up on your target at 3 stacks unless someone else in your raid is doing this for you.
  • Lacerate to 3 stacks.
  • Dump excess rage by using Maul.
  • If lacerate is at 3 stacks, debuffs are refreshed and mangle is unavailable, pulverise and re-apply lacerate to 3 stacks.

Druid Bear Rotation for Multiple Targets

  • Use Mangle on your primary target as soon as you have enough rage.
  • Use Swipe and Thrash on every cool down as soon as they become available.
  • Use Demoralizing Roar and keep it up throughout the encounter.
  • Start tab selecting through each mob and apply Lacerate and mangle as much much as possible in between using swipe and thrash.
  • Dump excess rage using Maul.

Why use Demoralizing Roar?

[Demoralizing Roar] is one of the most important aspects of your rotation and must be kept up at all times on both single and multiple target rotations. This ability reduces your incoming damage and if kept up at all time will basically mean you take 10% less damage overall constantly. Unlike other tanking cool down abilities that reduce damage, this one can be used at all times and will make healing you significantly easier. This is even more important considering the stage of the expansion we are currently in as gear means balancing mitigation and avoidance are a top priority for all tanks.

Why Apply Lacerate to other Mobs?

Using Swipe and Thrash on their own to hold threat on multiple mobs will nine times out of ten prove unsuccessful, particularly with over geared DPS players in your group or raid. Use mangle on your primary target (Skull) to ensure you keep threat but in the meantime while the DPS are nuking skull, it’s important to start building as much threat as possible on the other mobs ready for when the skull dies. This will prevent DPS from pulling mobs from you as soon as skull dies or as soon as they open up with AoE abilities. If you use Lacerate on each mob in the encounter in between using Mangles, Swipes and Thrashes you will get a very strong threat build up and 98% of DPS players will not be able to pull anything from you regardless of which creature they attack next.

Movement and Threat

Sometimes a particular boss or encounter will force you to move your tank and your targets constantly. Minor movements out of painful AoE’s are usually easy to handle but constant kiting (such as Throngus with his mace equipped in Grim Batol) can cause you to have threat problems as most of your abilities are short range. To help avoid this, make sure the target has a full 3 stacks of lacerate on them as well as 3 stacks of feral faerie fire, these will continue to tick and give you threat even when you are not close by to the target. Taunt the boss if you lose control and take a moment to stack up your abilities again before you continue kiting or you will only end up losing aggro almost immediately after your taunt.

Reduce your Damage During Movement

To prevent taking unnecessary damage while moving invest in a movement speed enchant on your boots. This will help you quickly get to your new location. In addition to this try not to turn your back to enemy creatures as you will take much more damage if they are behind you at any point. Try walking backwards to keep your targets in front of you and move out of harmful effects. If you are taking excessive damage try using your damage reduction abilities such as Barkskin, Frenzied regeneration and any Trinkets you may have. If you see a healing circle on the ground move into it and make sure the melee DPS can also stand in it when stood behind your target.


Druid Tanking in Cataclysm 4.0.6

Posted on: Feb 16, 2011 | Author: Garona

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This guide will take you through the information you will need to know to get your druid tank ready for raiding in Cataclysm patch 4.0.6. It also provides notes for dungeon only tanks and those that need to switch out to feral cat dps sometimes during a raid.

Talent Builds

The talent build for a feral druid tank is pretty straight forward. There are some minor variations to consider but for the most part as a basic tanking talent build you need to make sure you have the Elitist Jerks approved 0/31/6 build.

The spare points in the restoration tree are pretty straight forward as these are the only real beneficial talent points when looking at the Restoration or Balance tree. You may wish to consider [Perseverance] but it is highly likely that you’re going to want the extra threat from [Master Shapeshifter] especially as you first start out as a tank.

The four points found in [Brutal Impact] and [Feral Aggression] can be removed if you require to form the following 0/31/6 or similar build for tanks that need to swap out to feral cat on occasion during a raid.

Prime Glyphs

There are only three glyphs that can affect you in bear form so there is no room for different selections for your primary glyphs. Each of these glyphs affects your threat/damage only.

[Glyph of Berserk]
[Glyph of Lacerate]
[Glyph of Mangle]

Major Glyphs

There are a few Major Glyphs to choose from for a druid tank, there are two glyphs that I recommend as essential for raiding tanks from the list below. The first is [Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration] which converts your Frenzied Regeneration ability into one that no longer turns your rage into a HoT but increases the effectiveness of healing on you by 30%. The chances are your tank healers are going to be getting much more powerful heals out on you than your HoT could ever give you so this is a good survivability glyph despite the HoT sacrifice.

For dungeon runs however, you may wish to give this glyph a miss as your HoT may be more useful in a tricky situation when you can’t depend on your healer all the time.

The second glyph is [Glyph of Rebirth] which is useful for unique raid situations. In many cases you may find that you can actually get a Rebirth off on a target while not tanking periodically especially if you are in cat form instead for a particular boss fight anyway. This is particularly useful if you have no warlocks in your raid to Soul Stone a raid member but if you can complete a Rebirth, being able to select who you want to resurrect and bringing them back at 100% health is more much convenient for any raid.

[Glyph of Faerie Fire]
[Glyph of Feral Charge]
[Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration]
[Glyph of Maul]
[Glyph of Rebirth]

For a dungeon only tank you may prefer to ensure you have [Glyph of Feral Charge] and [Glyph of Maul] in your selection so that you have better AoE tanking abilities and can always charge into every mob group to open combat.

Minor Glyphs

The following minor glyphs are the only three selections that can possibly affect you in combat. They are not essential but they are recommended for raiding bears as opposed to other vanity glyphs.

[Glyph of Challenging Roar]
[Glyph of Dash]
[Glyph of Mark of the Wild]

Statistics for a Bear

One of the most important stats for a bear is Agility which is unique to this tanking class. Agility provides Dodge, Attack Power and Crit so helps to stack your tanks avoidance and threat at the same time. Unfortunately it no longer provides armor so does not contribute to mitigation any longer.

As a druid tank you will be unable to stack parry and therefore dodge is invaluable for a druid tank. Although no gear comes with dodge attached to it, you can reforge haste on gear to dodge and Agility also provides dodge for your tank so you will stack up quite a bit in general.

You will need both crit and mastery to fully benefit from and improve your Savage Defense procs. These two stats work a little complicated with each other so it’s always best to consult a spreadsheet before doing anything drastic with these stats. You should find you gain crit quite naturally through gear upgrades due to the amount of Agility on your gear. As a general rule of thumb you shouldn’t need to reforge for crit.

The following is a general rule of thumb for stats as a bear but the order is somewhat debatable:

Armor > Agility > Dodge > Mastery > Stamina > Crit > Haste > Hit

The only immovable stats are the fact that avoidance (agility and dodge) and Mitigation (Mastery) will always be better than Stamina since we need to rebuild these stats from scratch again. No tank in cataclysm should be stacking for pure stamina!

It’s important to note that mobs no longer suffer parry hasting, so Expertise is less viable as a mitigation stat in Cataclysm and generally not needed unless your threat is very poor. You may wish to gain 8% hit however particularly if you are often on interrupt duty in your raid.

Gemming

With the above advice on stats in mind we can deduce the following gemming guidelines for a druid bear:

Red Sockets: [Delicate Inferno Ruby]
Yellow Sockets: [Adept Ember Topaz] or [Polished Ember Topaz]
Blue Sockets: [Shifting Demonseye]

Meta Socket: [Austere Shadowspirit Diamond]

Enchants

Some of these enchants have alternatives which can be used on a case by case basis. You will need to examine your dodge (avoidance), threat and mitigation levels in order to properly decide upon the right selection. As a rule of thumb, for a starter tank you will always prefer agility or dodge over stamina where possible and you may prefer armor above all unless your threat is too low.

For tanks that need to switch out to Feral Cat sometimes during raid encounters, you may wish to prefer Agility enchants across the board which will improve threat, avoidance and mitigation for your tank as well as damage for your feral cat.

Head: [Arcanum of the Earthen Ring]
Shoulder: [Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz]
Back: [Major Agility] or [Protection]
Chest: [Greater Stamina] or [Peerless Stats]
Wrists: [Dodge] or [Major Stamina]
Hands: [Glove Reinforcements] or [Heavy Savage Armor Kit]) or [Greater Mastery]
Legs: [Charscale Leg Armor]
Feet: [Heavy Savage Armor Kit] or [Assassin's Step] or [Major Agility] or [Earthen Vitality]


Resto Druid Level 85 PVE Builds

Posted on: Dec 14, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Restoration Druid Builds

As a restoration druid you may already know very well how flexible a healers talent build can be. Many people adapt and play with their talents builds as restoration in order to fulfill their specific needs. This post will guide you few some of the build choices available and what they are used for.

Resto 10/0/31

This build concentrates on raid healing duties with some tank support. The main abilities this build boosts are Rejuvenation and Regrowth as well as heavily concentrating on mana regen. This build is a good choice when you are raid healing as a resto druid but may be considered a little weaker in heroics or for tank healing. It is also a good choice if you are having mana issues.

Resto 8/0/33

This build is more balanced between raid healing and tank healing but does not provide any mana regen. It is best to use this build if you do not suffer from mana issues in intensive encounters. If you are comfortable with your mana this build is excellent to provide an all round healing experience but does not include magic dispelling capabilities.

Resto 7/0/34

This build is also recommend for players who are not currently suffering mana issues. This build is balanced to provide both raid healing and tank healing abilities but with no personal mana regen. However, this build does include the raid mana regen buff Revitalise as well as adding Magic dispel to your remove corruption ability. This makes this build perfect for raids where the balance of classes is uncertain in every raid.

Resto 8/2/31

This build has a strong mana regen focus but sacrifices useful extra abilities such as magic dispel and Nature’s Swiftness.

Resto 8/2/31Recommended Starting Build

This build cuts back on some of the talents that have a smaller impact in order to create a build that provides aspects of raid healing, heroic healing, raid utility and some mana regen. It a great starting point if you are unsure what would be most suitable for your restoration druid yet and is an all round good build for most situations.

Which Build is Best?

None of these builds should be considered best of them all. Some people may prefer a slightly different arrangement of talent points to suit their healing style or their guild healing needs. If you are just starting out, I recommend you start off with the  Resto 8/2/31 build and then tweak it as you discover what you need out of your resto druid. Unlike DPS classes who have a clear set path for maximising damage, healing is much more complex and individual so don’t be afraid to test out your build and change a few point locations.


Resto Druid Rotation Patch 4.0.1

Posted on: Nov 20, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Resto Druid Rotation and Spells

Firstly there usually isn’t a considered “rotation” for resto druids like you see with DPS classes. Healing will depend on the situation and requirements of your raid in most situations. However, this guide can help you through the process of picking and choosing spells in an encounter and hopefully stop those pesky DPS classes from dieing too much.

Resto Druid Role

Nothing much has changed in Patch 4.0.1 with regards to resto druid roles. You can adapt your talent build and glyphs to some extent to tailor your role in a raid but for the most part resto druid are designed to be strong supportive raid healers and extra hands on tanks. Most of the resto druid abilities are Heal over Time spells which means we will be mostly dealing with preemptive healing rather than reactive healing. This also means you will not be as strong as other classes when it comes to keeping up tanks or fast on the spot healing in general although good players can be quite competent in these roles.

If you are new to the life of a resto druid it’s a good idea to start with the basics, to master your rotation and spell priority and then start practicing more complex factors to your rotation as you become more comfortable with your druid.

Main Healing Spells or Abilities

[Rejuvenation] This is the resto druid’s main spell in raids. If you are operating correctly in a raid you should expect to see Rejuvenation as the most commonly used spell on the meters. This spell should be aimed firstly at tanks then on anyone taking damage or due to take damage especially if dot based and finally anyone expected to take damage within the raid for example melee DPS. If you have any spare time during a raid, throw Rejuvenations at anyone who doesn’t have one yet.

[Wild Growth] This is our group heal and our main way of coping with group damage in a raid. It has a very short cooldown so for heavy damage encounters it can be used almost constantly on every CD. It is often also used a reactive group heal and for topping up a group. Wild growth automatically targets the 5-6 people with the lowest HP but they must also be within range of the druid so make sure you are in a central location to those that need the heal the most. This often means melee clusters or centrally in the ranged area. You can now target the heal onto another player to set up a new radius for the heal around that person instead of yourself.

[Nourish] This is a cheap but slow heal mainly used if you’re in a tight spot and need a reactive heal without using up too much mana. However, with our large mana pools at level 80 it’s not likely you will need to use this heal.

[Regrowth] The better version of Nourish. This heal will complete a very quick reactive heal on your target especially useful if they are near death or a HoT won’t cut it. It then applies a HoT afterwards to ensure that pesky DPS stays alive. Regrowth is used on tanks coupled with Rejuvenation and also as a reactive and protective heal throughout the raid.

[Healing Touch] This spell is generally not used on it’s own as it’s very slow to cast and uses up a lot of mana. However it is a very powerful heal and very useful when used in conjunction with Nature’s Swiftness (NS) which makes it an instant cast. This heal is best used on tanks that are taking too much damage such as from soft enrages or general infrequent abilities. It can also be used to heal others in trouble but without Nature’s Swiftness you’ll find other healers beat you to the punch. NS has a 3 minutes cool down so it’s a good idea to save it for tanks and sticky situations.

[Lifebloom] This spell places a small heal over time on the target and gives them a small heal when it is removed or finished. This HoT becomes particularly powerful when stacked (up to 3 times) making it a very strong HoT which is especially useful for tank healing. When used in conjunction with rejuvenation and regrowth on the tank resto druids become very powerful tank support healers.

[Swiftmend] is now a Restoration specialisation. This spell provides a small instant heal on players that already have one of your HoT’s on them. Since you should be popping HoT’s left right and center this shouldn’t be a problem. Coupled with the glyph that allows you to use swiftmend without consuming the HoT buff this is a very good reactive heal for tight spots. It has a 15 second cool down so can be used frequently throughout the encounter on anyone with low health.

Tree of Life

[Tree of Life Form] replaces our ability to shape-shift into trees as standard during an encounter and is now a 30 second duration spell with a 3 minutes cool down. This cool down improves our healing in general as well as improve a few select healing spells in a specific way:

Lifebloom – Now cast-able on any number of targets.
Wild Growth – Now affects up to 2 additional people.
Regrowth: Now instant cast.

This means Tree of Life form is particularly useful when the entire group starts taking insane damage, when tanks start getting flattened or just in general when healing is tight. You will only be able to use this once or twice during an encounter so it’s best to save this spell for when you need it. If you know the encounter should have no need for it, you can pop it at the start of the fight and lifebloom your little wooden heart out and then again when it’s cooled down.

Tank Rotation

If the tanks are taking a lot of damage in general or if you are on tank duty use predictive heals:

Keep all HoT’s active on the tank at all times. You may also wish to throw some HoT’s on the off tank in your spare time.

For serious tank damage use reactive heals in addition to your predictive heals:

Group Healing

General rule of thumb:

  • [Rejuvenation] on all targets taking damage especially DoT based damage.
  • [Rejuvenation] on all targets you expect to take damage soon.
  • [Regrowth] on targets with low health and possibly taking damage.
  • [Swiftmend] on anyone with low health or in need of a top up on every cool down.
  • [Wild Growth] as necessary or when you predict group damage.

For intensive healing:

  • Same as above but with [Wild Growth] on almost every cool down with intensive HoT placement in between.
  • Use [Tree of Life Form] for emergencies.
  • Use Tranquility in emergencies.

Adapting your Rotation

The above rotations are just general guidelines for you to follow. Do not be afraid to adapt your rotation as necessary, this can be on a per fight basis or even mid-flow. As you progress with your druid healing skills you will learn to adapt and tailor your druid healing experience in your own way to fully develop as a raiding healer and become a valuable asset to anyone’s team. Remember that while your mana supply is copious at Level 80 this will all change at Level 85 in Cataclysm so be prepared for future mana management.

Tree Healing Calculator

To help you get to grips with your tree and your healing capabilities you may wish to try out one of the many Druid Healing calculators. Tree Calcs displays estimated HPS for a variety of standard rotations, estimated OOM time and mana regen expenditure and requirements. This can help you see how minor changes to your druid could affect your healing throughput and more. More information on this useful tool can be found at TreeBarkJacket.


Concise Resto Druid Guide in Patch 4.0.1

Posted on: Nov 13, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Resto Druid Guide 4.0.1As some of you may know I usually talk about rogues, but I do have a resto and tanking druid I am very fond of and today I want to share with you all the basics you need to know to get your resto druid up to date with patch 4.0.1 as a healer.

Talent Build

As a healer, talent trees can be subject to opinion on a variety of specific talents so do not be alarmed if you see variations of this talent build in WoW. If the idea of healing in patch 4.0.1 seems a little daunting, this talent build is good place to start, the build is recommended by Elitist Jerks and provides a good basic starting ground for any healer.

Resto Druid Build 2/0/34

Remember that this build is not set in stone and you can play with some of the talent points to tailor the build to your own druid needs. If you are looking for some level 85 talent builds to aim for a brief look at the RestoDude’s Druid Guide can help to offer you some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of various homemade talent build varieties.

Healers have alot more freedom with thier build than DPS classes, so slight tweaks to your build can help you to improve mana regeneration, strengthen group healing, tank healing or much more. Start with the above recommended build and see how it feels for you.

Glyphs

Prime Glyphs:
[Glyph of Rejuvination]
[Glyph of Lifebloom]
[Glyph of Swiftmend]

These glyphs are quite obvious, there isn’t much choice for healer druids in terms of healing glyphs. The only other option is [Glyph of Regrowth] which so far has shown to be quite weak overall however it could be considered as a situational tool.

Major Glyphs:
[Glyph of Wild Growth]
[Glyph of Innervate]
[Glyph of Rebirth]

Again there isn’t that much to choose from with healing glyphs for the Major slot either. Other options include [Glyph of Thorns], [Glyph of Barksin] or [Glyph of Healing Touch] but these are very situational dependant. Thanks to the new glyphs system however you’ll be able to switch out glyphs on a per fight basis so make sure you learn these for later use when needed. Ideally you do not want to replace your [Glyph of Wild Growth] with these options so swap out either your Innervate glyph if you are comfortable with mana or your Rebirth glyph.

Minor Glyphs:
[Glyph of the Wild] – To reduce mana spent when casting re-buffs mid battle on ressed targets.
[Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth] – So you are never caught without when your BR is needed and saves you a few pennies and bag slots too.
[Glyph of Dash] – When you need to be somewhere in a hurry.

The only real glyph you must have here is [Glyph of the Wild] for healing purposes as it reduces mana spent when getting someone back up into the fray as quickly as possible. The others can be considered optional but since there isn’t much else to choose from with the minor glyphs it’s a good selection to go for. You may wish to store [Glyph of Aquatic Form] for those times when you need to get around water faster but at the moment that’s not necessary or helpful for raiding.

Gems

Gemming as a resto druid in patch 4.0.1 remains quite simple. First of all the gemming rule of thumb is:

Red Sockets[Brilliant Cardinal Ruby] (Red Gem)
Yellow Sockets[Reckless Ametrine] until haste capped (Orange Gem)
Blue Sockets – 1 x [Nightmare Tear] (Prismatic) if your meta gem requires it otherwise use [Brilliant Cardinal Ruby] (Red Gem)

For meta gems use either [Insightful Earthsiege Diamond] if you have mana issues or [Revitalising Skyflare Diamond] for more throughput if your mana is fine. If you are using the [Insightful Earthsiege Diamond] and you need to use a [Nightmare Tear] to activate the blue socket bonus, make sure it is in the highest blue socket bonuses you have available.

Haste Cap and Reforging

The haste cap for druids is now 1016 haste rating. You will need to make sure you continue to gem [Reckless Ametrine] in yellow sockets until you reach this value. You may also need to reforge your gear to add some extra haste to reach this value. You will likely not have many mana issues anymore so reforging spirit is probably your best bet. You can also reforge spirit to Mastery depending on your rotation play style. If you continue with a rejuv heavy method you should consider giving Mastery a miss overall for now.

Consumables

Continue using [Flask of the Frost Wyrm] for flasks, [Runic Mana Potions] during mana intensive encounters and spellpower buff food such as [Firecracker Salmon] or your raid fish feasts.

Enchants

The current accepted best enchants for a druid healer are:

Tier 11

One final note to leave you with is the new Tier 11 set design that has recently been introduced to us. The Male Druid and Female Druid tier 11 sets have been revealed to us and yes, they have wings! Finally a druid set I can love. Also it seems we will be reverting back to class based tier sets so no more sharing our tier with rogues. So something to look forward to there (as if Cataclysm wasn’t enough!). These sneak previews originate from the wonderful folks over at MMO Champion.

Next Week: Rotations and Healing Calculators!