- Author: Oxykitten
- Date: November 14, 2021
- Expansion: WoW Classic
Welcome to our druid leveling guide for WoW Classic: Season of Mastery! Druids are one of Azeroth’s most unique classes, using their shapeshifting abilities to suit the needs of their group. Druids are extremely versatile and often referred to as ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ Shapeshifting allows them to deal damage, tank, or heal; while they are not as good as other classes at fulfilling these roles, this versatility makes druids fun to level and play.
Since restoration druids don’t deal much damage, and balance druids do not use mana efficiently, the best way to level a druid is through the feral specialization. Dealing damage in shapeshifted forms means a druid can reserve their mana to heal themselves between encounters. The result is a playstyle similar to that of a rogue, but with spells and healing to back it up and reduce downtime while leveling.
Druids are one of the easier classes to level, at least past level 20. However, there is still plenty to learn to make the leveling process easier and smoother; all of that will be covered in this guide, including playstyle, talent build, and gear prioritisation.
Pros to leveling a Druid
- Easy to level.
- Feline Swiftness and Travel Form increase movement speed at early levels.
- Excellent soloing capabilities thanks to Bear Form and Healing Touch.
- “Jack of all trades,” able to contribute to questing groups or dungeons in multiple roles.
- Not dependent on gear or weapons to succeed.
Cons to leveling a Druid
- First 10-20 levels can be tough without Bear Form and then Cat Form.
- Lower damage output than pure damage-dealing classes.
- “Master of none” means druids are not very desirable in raids at level 60.
- Getting powerful gear doesn’t make much difference to leveling speed.
General Leveling Tips
In Classic, leveling is no small feat, and you will spend a significant amount of time getting to level 60 – even in Season of Mastery! You can shorten this duration with some of the following tips, but your biggest focus should be on having fun. This ultimately comes down to picking the right class for your desired gameplay, but it also means taking time to enjoy the journey.
Picking a class is a huge commitment, but the versatile druid gives you a taste of several different combat roles, and it’s a great choice if you’re feeling indecisive.
Here are some helpful tips to make the leveling process simpler and hassle-free:
- In Season of Mastery, quests give significantly boosted experience points compared to Classic WoW. This makes focusing on questing and finding the best questing zones for your level and faction very important for reaching level 60 in good time. Our WoW Classic Alliance and Horde leveling guides give a detailed look at all the useful quests in each zone; while you won’t need to do all these quests in SoM, I recommend sticking to the zones suggested in those guides.
- Try to fight enemies one at a time. It can often take you several seconds, or even a minute or two just to kill one enemy. When you throw another into the mix, you’re receiving double the damage while having double the health pool to clear through! This is a quick recipe for death, so pull slow and steady!
- Make sure to fight enemies and do quests that are close to your level. Too low level and they will give few experience points; too high level and they will be too difficult to beat in good time.
- Grouping up is almost always beneficial. Even though druids make fantastic soloing classes, they’re perfect for any group. Grouping up will allow you to tread into much more dangerous areas and quickly dispatch of targets with focused fire from multiple characters.
- Don’t run out of food and water! You will have some passive health and mana regeneration from spirit, but it won’t be enough to keep you sustained. There’s nothing worse than running out of mana when you don’t have water and you’re nowhere near town.
- AddOns like Questie help you find quest objectives; these are very helpful to level faster but can also feel less immersive than finding things on your own.
Druid Specific Gameplay Advice
- Druids have two buffs they can use: Mark of the Wild increases your armor, stats and spell resistances while Thorns deals damage to anyone that attacks you. Both are helpful and should be kept up at all times.
- Use your mana sparingly; heal yourself between encounters and stay shapeshifted to deal damage while regenerating your mana. The more mana you regenerate, the less downtime you’ll have from stopping to eat and drink.
- When healing yourself, you should use Healing Touch, as this is more mana efficient than Regrowth or Rejuvenation.
- When traveling between locations, quests, or even monsters, you’ll always want to use Travel Form for quicker movement speed. If you know you can benefit from the full 15 second duration, use Dash whenever it is available for even quicker traveling speed!
- Your combo points only stick to one enemy. Make sure you use them before switching targets, otherwise you’ll have wasted them.
- If you only want to pull one enemy, but there’s another close nearby, use Entangling Roots or Hibernate to keep one at bay! You can also use the Nature’s Grasp talent to have this naturally applied to an enemy that attacks you.
- Interrupting spells isn’t easy as a druid. You’ll need to switch to Bear Form and use Feral Charge or Bash, both of which have cooldowns.
Although stat priorities are not ideal for determining what the best gear is at level 60, gear while leveling is simpler, and you can’t go wrong by picking up any gear upgrades with the relevant stats for your class. Generally, as a druid you want to be looking out for any gear with Agility, Strength, or Stamina on it. The stats are ranked and described below:
- Agility – Your strongest stat. Agility increases your attack power in Cat Form, and your critical strike chance in all forms. It also increases your dodge chance.
- Strength – Each point of strength increases your attack power by 2.
- Stamina – Your next best stat is going to be stamina. This increases your max health, allowing you to soak more hits and giving you extra time before needing to cast a heal.
- Spirit – This will increase your out-of-combat health and mana regeneration, which means less downtime eating and drinking. This indirectly increases your leveling speed.
- Intellect – You’ll also want intellect, but it isn’t as important as any other stats above. This will increase your maximum mana pool, allow you to cast more spells. Most of your time will be spent in Cat Form though, making mana much less important.
Keep in mind that Agility, Strength, and Stamina are all close in value; for example, while you should value an item with 1 agility more highly than one with 1 stamina, you should value an item with 2 stamina more highly than one with 1 agility.
- Single Target (Cat Form): Faerie Fire(Feral) (keep applied) > Claw to 5 combo points > Ferocious Bite
- Multiple Targets (Bear Form): Demoralizing Roar > Maul
Your rotation will change as you level up and gain new abilities. If you don’t have an ability yet, simply omit it from your rotation and remember to use it once you’ve learned it.
Prior to level 10, you can only use spells in your humanoid form. Deal damage with Wrath, and use melee attacks when low on mana. You can use Moonfire early in an encounter as well for a little bit more damage at the cost of more mana. Stop to heal yourself, eat or drink if need be.
From level 10 to 20, you’ll want to use Bear Form and attack enemies with melee attacks. Use rage on Maul if you have one or two targets, or Swipe if you have three or more targets.
From level 20 onwards, you’ll want to use Cat Form. Pull with Faerie Fire (Feral). Use Claw until you’ve generated 5 combo points or your enemy is about to die; whichever comes first. Then, use Ferocious Bite.
If you have multiple targets on you, you’ll want to switch to Bear Form and cast Demoralizing Roar to take less damage, then follow the standard Bear Form rotation.
- 10-19: 5 points Ferocity > 5 points Feral Instinct
- 20-29: 2 points Feline Swiftness > 1 point Feral Charge > 3 points Sharpened Claws > 3 points Predatory Strikes > 1 point Blood Frenzy
- 30-39: 1 point Faerie Fire (Feral) > 2 points Savage Fury > 1 point Blood Frenzy > 1 point Improved Shred > 5 points Heart of the Wild
- 40-49: 1 point Leader of the Pack > 1 point Nature’s Grasp > 4 points Improved Nature’s Grasp > 4 points Natural Weapons
- 50-60: 1 point Natural Weapons > 1 point Omen of Clarity > 5 points Furor > 3 points Natural Shapeshifter > 1 point Improved Shred
Regardless of what role you want to play at level 60, you’ll have a much better time leveling as feral. There are a couple of different options for filling in the talent tree. The option shown above is the easiest, and involves focusing the feral tree right from level 10 to get Feline Swiftness as soon as possible; movement speed makes a massive difference to your leveling speed.
Since druids don’t learn cat form until level 20, one option is to start in the balance tree to get Natural Weapons, which will increase your melee damage. However, this requires paying to reset your talents at level 20 to get Feline Swiftness. Then, some druids will get feral talents from level 20 to 31 and reset their talents again at level 32 to get Feline Swiftness *and* Omen of Clarity. However, I recommend staying in the feral tree as this saves gold and still provides valuable talents, such as Faerie Fire (Feral).
Abilities to Train
Choosing which abilities to train can save a lot of gold during the leveling process. I will divide abilities into “Must Have” and “Should Have.” Other abilities not mentioned can still be useful but if you want to save gold are not necessary.
“Must Have” abilities:
- Healing Touch
- Wrath (up to level 10)
- Mark of the wild
- Entangling roots (rank 1 only)
- Bear form
- Faerie fire
- Hibernate (rank 1 only)
- Rebirth (rank 1 only)
- Cat form
- Ferocious bite
- Shred (only if grouping up)
- Travel Form
“Should have” abilities:
- Moonfire (up to level 10)
- Demoralizing roar
- Tiger’s Fury
- Challenging Roar
- Bear Form: There’s only one really important class quest to complete, the one that gives you Bear Form! You’ll unlock access to this at level 10 and you’ll want to complete it immediately. Until level 10, you’re restricted to casting spells in humanoid form. Bear Form, despite the limited damage it offers, is still stronger than trying to cast spells. With Bear Form you gain your first shapeshifting form, giving you your first taste of what the class is all about!
- Aquatic form: at level 16, the aquatic form questline is unlocked. Aquatic form doubles your swim speed, which can be quite useful. However, the quest chain is quite long, so if trying to level quickly it is probably worth skipping until later.
- Druids can use cloth and leather armor. Leather will provide a slightly better physical damage resistance, but your main priority is to pick equipment that provides you with useful stats as outlined in the “stat priority” section.
- Weapons do not change the damage dealt in form. Therefore, the DPS, damage, and swing speed on any weapon you find is completely irrelevant to your leveling (past level 10). However, weapons often have strong stats on them too; look out for weapons with agility, strength, stamina or attack power.
- Leatherworking gear is especially useful for druids. You can craft several pieces as you level up that have plenty of agility. When you get to higher levels, you can craft things like Wolfshead Helm, great for giving you energy/rage when swapping into a form (Note: at level 60, this is the best available helm for Feral DPS in the game). You can also craft Devilsaur gear, great for giving you an extra edge in the last few legs of leveling! Note that you don’t need to be a leatherworker to equip these pieces, so getting someone else to craft them for you is an option as well.
Professions definitely aren’t a requirement to level, and in fact will make leveling slower. However, they can make the process much more enjoyable. Not only do they give you a break from the typical grind of questing and killing, but they can offer you substantial equipment and consumables. If you take the time to level your professions, your character will be much stronger overall. Not only that, but professions are a great way of making gold, something that becomes quite important if you want to purchase a mount!
Here are some great professions to train while leveling a druid:
Herbalism – Gathering professions are particularly strong on druids as Feline Swiftness and Travel Form let you move between nodes more quickly than others while leveling. Herbalism is a great choice for making gold or leveling alchemy.
Skinning – The easiest profession to level, skinning can be done alongside leveling as you skin beasts you’ve killed for quests. The leather you’ll acquire can be used to level leather working, or sold on the auction house. However, because skinning is so easy and common, the gold earned from it in the early stages of SoM will likely be lower than the other gathering professions. The exception tends to be Devilsaur Leather; druids can kill devilsaurs in Un’Goro Crater, whose leather is valuable to craft the Devilsaur set.
Mining – Mining is the most difficult gathering profession to level, as mining nodes are generally few and far between, and often located around the borders of a zone rather than in questing areas. In addition, Track Minerals cannot be used at the same time as Find Herbs, making herbalism and mining a tricky – but very profitable! – combination. Mining is generally a great source of gold once you invest a lot of time into it.
Alchemy – Probably the easiest crafting profession to level. Using herbs to create potions can give you strong buffs, or can make you a lot of gold. In the late game, buying cheap herbs on the auction house and selling expensive potions is one of the best ways of making gold in the game. Alchemy is often paired with Herbalism.
Leatherworking – Leatherworking is a decent profession to have for any leather-wearing class. You can make several pieces of gear to make yourself stronger while leveling. You can also create armor kits, which can give you an extra sense of security and tankiness! However, leather working can be quite expensive to level, and these items can be made for you by other leatherworkers. They can make quite a lot of gold early on by crafting Devilsaur sets, Hide of the Wild, and Molten Belt, but this demand falls off quite quickly once most players have reached level 60. Leatherworking is often paired with skinning.
Engineering – Engineering can be expensive to level, and is not often thought of as a druid-like profession. However, while leveling, engineering can be used to craft a number of bombs and gadgets that are useful to kill mobs, or run away from them. More importantly, engineering is a lot of fun to play around with. At level 60, engineering is by far the best profession to make your character stronger in both PvP (using special trinkets and helmets) and PvE (using goblin sapper charges and gnomish battle chickens). Engineering can also be profitable by buying cheap materials on the auction house to craft and sell goblin sapper charges at a markup.
Enchanting – Enchanting can be slow and expensive to level. It can be quite profitable if you get rare formulae, but needing to be online to sell your services makes it less flexible than other crafting professions. Still, every guild needs at least one enchanter for its raiders to access free enchants. Additionally, enchanting unlocks Smoking Heart of the Mountain, a fairly strong trinket for a Feral Tank in early phases of the game. For a lot of players, leveling enchanting to craft the trinket and then dropping enchanting for another profession will be a good option.
Overall, everyone should choose the professions they are the most interested in. To level as fast as possible, skip professions entirely. To make a little bit of gold on the side while leveling, gathering professions are easy and useful. To commit to making your character stronger, or making more gold at level 60, crafting professions are strong.
Keep in mind while you can only have 2 major professions at any one time, you can unlearn professions and change to different ones. This means you can level with two gathering professions to make gold and buy a mount, then change to crafting professions at level 60 to make your character stronger.
Thank you for taking the time to read our Druid leveling guide for Season of Mastery. I hope it was helpful, and if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below, or find me as Oxy on the Druid Classic discord.
higher level enemies give less experience? is that right?
Got that fixed, thanks drus!