Classic Druid PvP Guide
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Druid in a PvP environment in WoW Classic, with a focus on Battlegrounds but also including World PvP and Dueling. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses.
Druids are the jack of all trades, but master of none. This is especially true in WoW Classic PvP, but being "the master of none" is not necessarily a bad thing for a Druid. Druid's versatility and ability to adapt to any situation is what makes them incredibly strong in PvP, and actually best in certain situations where that ability to shift between roles is critical. All of the specs are viable in PvP, but Restoration is the most commonly played due to its strong healing over time spells, control spells, and an ability to kite that no other healer has. In fact, for competitive battlegrounds, Restoration Druids are the preferred flag carriers in Warsong Gulch. You can succeed as a Druid in PvP with any spec, but it is important to focus less on your actual specialization, and more on the many tools that Druids have in their toolkit.
There are a nearly unlimited number of Druid builds for PvP, ranging from Feral-Resto hybrids to pure Boomkin builds, named for their enormous Starfire crits. This guide will cover a common build for each specialization, but do not be afraid to try out new things, experiment, and create your own builds.
While Balance Druids are not really viable in PvE, they can be quite fun in PvP. There are two common variations to the build, both focusing on different things.
The first build is a full "Boomkin" build, where the goal of the build is to secure the target long enough for you to get full Starfire casts off, which has insane burst potential. You kite around while healing through instant-cast spells like Rejuvenation, using Entangling Roots and Nature's Grasp when you can to keep them controlled long enough to get Starfire casts off. Due to your Vengeance talent, Starfire has incredible burst potential if it crits, which can potentially surprise someone with the burst, even killing them from relatively high health.
This build picks up everything important in the Balance tree, including talents such as Moonkin Form and Improved Starfire, which some other builds choose to skip. The main goal of this build is to maximize your Starfire crits to allow you to burst down your opponent after kiting them around and letting your damage over time spells tick. Moonfire and Insect Swarm are still staples in this build as with any caster Druid build, and will provide a constant source of damage while you run around. A great tip for this build is to plan your setup carefully; if you try to cast a Starfire without the proper control and setup, chances are it will get stopped somehow. Control your target first with Entangling Roots, an Engineering grenade, or have another person help you out.
2.2. Balance/Resto Hybrid
Unlike the "Boomkin" build, this build chooses to take a more defensive and controlled talent setup as opposed to focusing on the burst potential of Starfire. This build instead will use Wrath when you can cast, which deals less damage, but has a much shorter cast time. The main focus of this build is to kite around, healing yourself and playing defensively in Dire Bear Form while your Moonfire and Insect Swarm slowly chips away at the target's health. You can use Wrath when you are able to stand still and cast, but be careful of your Mana and your health. The key to this build is playing defensively, so do not be afraid to jump into Dire Bear Form if a melee is on top of you to mitigate damage further. The key reason that you go into the Restoration tree here is for Nature's Swiftness, which makes your next Nature spell instant. This is best used with Healing Touch for a strong heal when you need it and do not have the option to cast, or with Entangling Roots to root an enemy while you run away.
Restoration Druids are not the best healers for pure healing, but they make up for it with their incredible defensive capacity. As a Restoration Druid, you fill two main roles in battlegrounds; flag carrying and base defending. Through form-swapping constantly between healing (base) form, Dire Bear Form, and Travel Form, you can run, tank, or heal, depending on what the situation requires. Rejuvenation, Regrowth, and Healing Touch will be your primary healing spells, with Healing Touch being your biggest heal, but should only be used when you are confident that you can get a cast off. Nature's Swiftness is one of your most powerful talents and spells, allowing you to instantly cast your next spell when used. Combine this with a Healing Touch to get a strong heal off while on the move, or to instantly use Entangling Roots on someone chasing you. Swiftmend can provide some strong burst healing as well, but should be saved for when you need it and you do not have the option to stand still and cast.
Feral is the one Druid spec that is melee instead of caster based. Most of your time will be spent in either Dire Bear Form or Cat Form, either playing defensively or trying to burst a target down. You deal reasonable damage in Cat Form with Shred, Rake, and Rip. A common playstyle is to open from stealth with Pounce to stun the target, put your bleeds up, then switch to Bear Form to tank and deal auto attack and Maul damage, while your bleeds get them low. Feral is also great at countering kiting, since shifting in and out of form removes all roots and slows. You should not have any problem staying on top of a ranged DPS that is trying to kite you, since you will also be faster with Feline Swiftness and Dash. You also have the option to drop out of Cat Form to heal when you need to, allowing you to recover after a poor trade. Keep track of your Mana though, since shifting forms repeatedly can be quite Mana-intensive, and if you get caught outside of form without enough Mana to switch back, it could mean death.
4. PvP Gameplay Tips for Druids
4.1. Playing Against Melee
Dire Bear Form is your best counter to melee. Keep bleeds or DoTs up on the target, keep heals on yourself, and spend lots of time kiting around in Bear Form, which will lower your damage taken substantially. You can also easily kite most melee with Travel Form and Nature's Grasp, allowing you to run away while rooting attackers. Get away, heal up, and reset.
4.2. Mana Usage
Remember that the 5-second rule is something to pay attention to. Your Mana will not start naturally regenerating until 5 seconds after casting a spell that costs Mana, meaning you should try to use your Mana in bursts. If you are going to heal yourself, heal yourself to full quickly before taking a break from casting while you either kite around or go back into a form. Your Mana will continue to regenerate while in a form, so spending time in one of your forms while waiting for your Mana to regenerate is a great choice.
Lots of Druids commonly do not make enough use of Prowl, especially when they are not playing Feral. Prowl is an excellent stealth tool, and is incredibly useful as any Druid spec. If you are making use of Prowl and paying attention to your surroundings, you should rarely have to take any fight that you do not want to take.
5. Consumables for PvP as a Druid
Consumables are an important part of PvP in Classic. While they are not required, and especially as a Druid you can win fights without them, they definitely will give you the edge in fights. If you use as many consumables as possible all the time, you will quickly drive yourself bankrupt, but having some of the more important ones in your bags for when you really need to win an important fight is highly recommended. Some of the most important consumables for PvP are listed below:
- Major Healing Potion
- Major Mana Potion
- Heavy Runecloth Bandage
- Limited Invulnerability Potion
- Free Action Potion
- Living Action Potion
- Invisibility Potion
- Swiftness Potion
- Magic Dust
- Clutch of Foresight
- Wail of the Banshee
Noggenfogger Elixir is also a popular consumable used for PvP. When you drink it, it will do one of three things: make you smaller, turn you into a skeleton, or cast a slow fall spell on you. The shrink effect can be useful to make it harder for players to see and target you, and the slow fall can allow to jump off high places and not die, while attackers will not be able to follow.
Engineering is a powerful profession for PvP. There are many consumables and trinkets that are very strong in PvP, which is why Engineering is such a common profession for PvP-focused players. Some of the useful consumables and items from Engineering are listed below:
- Arcanite Dragonling
- Dense Dynamite
- Goblin Sapper Charge
- Goblin Land Mine
- Dark Iron Bomb
- Iron Grenade
- Thorium Grenade
- 15 Jul. 2019: Page added.
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