Druid Leveling Guide

Druid Leveling Guide
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 20, 2024
  • Updated: May 20, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Druids are the only class in World of Warcraft that is capable of playing any role in the game: tank, healer, melee DPS, or ranged DPS. For leveling, a Feral build will allow you to efficiently solo quest as a cat while being able to get quick dungeon queues as a tank. The Balance tree is also an option for those who prefer caster DPS.

In this guide, we’ll go over helpful tips, where to spend your talent points, what to look for when gearing, effective use of your abilities, and other general advice to make the leveling process as smooth and easy as possible!

Pros

  • Unparalleled utility with stealth, sprint, crowd control, healing, and defensives
  • Druids can fill any role in a group, so you can easily get into dungeons
  • Travel Form, Aquatic Form, and Flight Form make getting around a breeze

Cons

  • Lots of abilities that are only useable in specific forms can make the class a little overwhelming

General Leveling Tips

Whichever specialization you choose, Druids excel at questing in the open world, where their shapeshifting can help them get around quickly and their utility comes in handy in a variety of ways. If you’re Feral, you’ll also be able to easily find a spot in dungeons as a tank, which you can transition to seamlessly without needing to change your talent build.

Stat Priority

Feral

  • Agility
  • Mastery
  • Critical Strike
  • Haste

Balance

  • Intellect
  • Haste
  • Mastery
  • Critical Strike

Rotation

Feral

Feral DPS mostly comes down to Swipe spam for multiple targets or Mangle spam for single targets, with some cooldowns thrown into the mix.

  1. Cast Thorns before the pull for tough enemies or if you are pulling multiple mobs, and go back into Cat Form.
  2. Cast Faerie Fire if the enemy will live for more than a few attacks or to pull from range.
  3. Cast Tiger’s Fury on cooldown if you are below 40 Energy.
  4. Cast Berserk on cooldown when Tiger’s Fury is down.
  5. Cast Swipe if you’re fighting multiple targets.
  6. Cast Mangle to apply the debuff to a single target.
  7. Cast Rake to apply the debuff to a single target if the target will live for the full duration of the DoT.
  8. Cast Shred if you’re able to position yourself behind a single target.
  9. Cast Mangle otherwise.

Balance

As a Moonkin, you’ll focus on putting your DoTs on your enemy/enemies and then finishing them off with Wrath and Starfire according to your current Eclipse buff.

  1. Cast Thorns before the pull and on cooldown.
  2. Cast Faerie Fire if the enemy will live for more than a few attacks or to pull from range.
  3. Cast Starsurge on cooldown.
  4. Cast Moonfire on all targets to apply/maintain the buff (unless the target is near death).
  5. Cast Insect Swarm on all targets to apply/maintain the buff (unless the target is near death).
  6. Cast Starfire while you have the Eclipse (Lunar) buff.
  7. Cast Wrath otherwise.

Talents

Feral

cataclysm feral druid leveling build
cataclysm feral druid leveling build order

This is a Feral DPS build, but you will still be perfectly capable of tanking dungeons while leveling without having to re-spec. There are some talents you could take to make yourself tankier, but they aren’t mandatory.

Balance

cataclysm balance druid leveling build
cataclysm balance druid leveling build order

This build hits all of the important talents for maximizing your damage as a Moonkin. You can freely add or drop many of the talents in the Balance tree according to what feels better to you, but we recommend taking all of the 1/1 talents since those abilities are either core to the build or provide powerful utility.

Glyphs

Prime

Feral

Balance

Major

Feral

  • Glyph of Thorns
    This glyph will nearly double the uptime of your Thorns, which will let you do a lot of passive damage when you’re solo or tanking.
  • Glyph of Faerie Fire
    Faerie Fire is useful for pulling enemies at range, and this will make it even better for that purpose.

Balance

Minor

  • Glyph of Dash
    This glyph will let you use Dash more often which makes a big difference when you’re running around and questing in the open world.
  • Glyph of Aquatic Form
    There are lots of situations in the open world where Aquatic Form will make your life so much easier, and this glyph makes it even better.

Equipment

Druids are able to use Staves, Daggers, Fist Weapons, and One- & Two-handed Maces. You should always try to use whichever weapon gives you the best stats, and remember to use an Off-hand item if your primary weapon is One-handed.

Weapon upgrades will often be the biggest damage increase while leveling. Weapons are your primary source of Attack Power or Spell Power, and will be a big boost every time you upgrade.

Druids can use Cloth and Leather armor. At level 50 they gain Leather Specialization, and from that point on you’ll want to wear exclusively Leather in order to benefit from the buff to your primary stat.

Professions

Your professions won’t really affect the leveling process much, but if you want some useful passive bonuses, you can go with gathering professions like Herbalism or Skinning. These will be easy to keep up with while leveling and also offer the best gold-making potential. You can also opt to start working on any crafting professions that you want to use at endgame.

Druids make excellent gatherers since they can pick herbs or skin beasts while shapeshifted. At higher levels this will allow you to fly from node to node without having to stop and mount up again.

Useful Macros

There aren’t many super important macros for leveling, but there are some that are nice to have.

Instant Dash

This macro will instantly put you in Cat Form and cast Dash.

#showtooltip Dash
/cancelform [noform:3]
/cast [noform:3] Cat Form
/cast Dash

 

About the Author

Luxrah

I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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