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New Druid 61-80 Leveling Guide

Class Quest

Prior to the newest expansions release there was a class quest at 70 that was handed out by Loganaar in Moonglade for you to receive your epic flight form. This quest line which starts with ‘Morthis Whisperwing’ and ends with ‘Eternal Vigilance’ granted you Swift Flight Form, but this is now trainable at 71 once you purchase the appropriate riding skill.

Balance

I want to start the meat and potatoes of this week's article a little differently than the other level specific guides we have done, I usually start with Feral and lose steam by the time I hit the other specs, so this week I shall show some love to the Boomkin.

61-80 is where this talent tree really begins to shine. You are finally able to delve deep enough into the spec to start to see some incredible power. Still strongest against melee, Balance comes into its own against casters as well in this range, thanks in no small part to amazing critical strike damage. Our rotations become even more important now with the introduction of Eclipse, essentially this talent allows your Wrath spell to do 10% more damage after you land a critical strike with Starfire, and conversely it gives you a 60% chance of increasing your crit chance on Starfire when you critically hit with Wrath. The effect lasts 15 seconds and has a 30 second cooldown. This talent is most deadly in raids but it is also hugely effective in the solo game as well, it won’t set up the cycle of increased damage like it does on a boss mob, however it will provide you with some serious DPS on your enemies.

Our rotation isn’t drastically different from the last article, but its much more powerful now with eclipse. With a melee mob we will start by rooting the mob in place then start stacking our DOTs. If you have spec’d into Improved Faerie Fire, launch it first. Next we will add Insect Swarm and then Moonfire to complete the DOTs. Now it’s time to blast away with Starfire. The damage from the nuke will most likely break your root spell, but if you can manage, get a Wrath off immediately after the Starfire and then reassess the mob. If your foe is at less than 20% life remaining one to two more blasts of Wrath should finish the job. If not, reapply your root and refresh your DOTs. If you’re up against a caster the rotation will be similar. You can elect to skip the initial root as they will stay at range against you until they run out of mana. If they still have greater than 50% health once they close in to melee range then go ahead and apply your root and refresh the DOT stack and nuke them into submission. I didn’t find too many mobs throughout the leveling process that lasted that long however unless they were either elite or several levels above me. With multiple mobs or bad pulls you have several options to deal with the situation. If you don’t have the ability to cast a traditional root on the mob (you're getting too much pushback from the throng of angry baddies) then this is a perfect time to cast your reactive root spell Nature’s Grasp to get some distance from one of your opponents. Once you have lowered the mobs health a bit via DOT stacking and some direct nukes, its time to whip out Hurricane and bring them down quickly. Keep in mind that your arsenal of heal over time spells can be the difference between a stellar win and a humiliating defeat. Stack them up and get back into Boomkin form.

Feral

The king of the hill continues to get better with every single level. Our rotation will be similar as the other level ranges – whatever you prefer. There is no one “best” rotation for feral but there are some new twists to the rotation I went over last week.

In most cases you will perform most of your combat in cat form, ideally sneaking up behind your prey and initiating combat the smart way, getting in the first shot. If you can manage to sneak up on your opponent, open with a pounce and then hit them with a quick shred, now you can open up your attacks to continue adding combo points. I personally recommend hitting every mob with Faerie Fire (Feral) to reduce their armor, it’s a great way to increase DPS and with a 30 yard range it is a great tool for pulling a mob that can’t effectively be singled in stealth mode. There is no one true rotation that every druid follows as I mentioned in our first look at soloing, however I have some general rules that I use to maximize my DPS and minimize my downtime. If you are facing a caster mob that is going down quickly go with your least expensive opener, for 41-54ish (can be sooner depending on your spec choices) use Claw, stack four or five combo points and then finish with Ferocious Bite. If you are facing a beefier melee mob that has the stamina of Foreman and the upper cut of Tyson, stack up your 4-5 combos, one of which needs to be Rake, and then slap a Rip on them, repeat your 4-5 points and then finish with Fero Bite, remember that all of your finishing moves are increased by attack power and combo points.

Now that we have advanced deeper into the tree we add Mangle - Cat as one of our main lead attacks. Its high damage and ability to increase damage from bleed effects is amazing. My personal rotation once combat was opened was Mangle x2, Rake x2 to get me to a 5 stack then hit with a Ferocious Bite. Remember not to spam these abilities but allow about 50% of the energy they use to return before hitting the next ability. This rotation against the vast majority of the mobs was the most efficient for me, usually resulting in a kill shot on the finisher. The main beef added to this tree was some handy get out of jail abilities. Last time I recommended going to bear form if you had multiple mobs beating on you and that it would be a slow road but you would win the fight. Now it’s very possible to remain in cat form and win or in the dire need to become a dire bear, it’s a much quicker fight. Swipe (Cat) allows you the same functionality of bear form but with much higher damage. I like to use swipe after stacking up bleeds quickly and then triggering Savage Roar the increase in DPS really makes quick work of them. In bear form Lacerate and Berserk add a high DPS component to the already formidable survivability of bear form. Berserk gives your Mangle - Bear the ability to hit up to 3 targets and removes its cooldown for 15 seconds. The deciding factor for me was usually the damage output of the mobs I was fighting, if you're going down faster than a pint on St. Patrick's Day then pop into bear form trigger Enrage and Frenzied Regeneration and go to work.

Restoration

I have railed on tirelessly against this spec for the solo minded player since the first guide and I still mostly stand by that position. With recent spell power changes that went live back with the 3.0 patch Resto druids have had an easier time soloing. While this change was mostly beneficial to level capped characters that were doing daily quests or farming, it does allow a solo player to level up with a deep resto build. Your best bet is going to be “Balance druid light” mode which will give you some of the pop, but none of the sizzle. Rooting your opponent and stacking your DOTs followed by nuking the crap out of them will be your best bet. You do have a shape shift option available to you in this spec, however it's tree form and you can only cast healing spells. Unfortunately most mobs in this game don’t take much damage from heal spells, so go ahead and stay in your default form and hope for the best. The advantage to this spec choice is that you can keep yourself alive for a ridiculously long time and some mobs may chose to simply fall over dead from boredom and allow you to loot them. If you enjoy this style of play I would really suggest a hybrid build with more balance abilities and allow you the awesome heal power that you desire (there are a million PUGs wanting you to heal for them you selfish prat).