Druid Leveling 4.1 — 10-20

Presumably you have reached level ten and spent your first talent point responsibly (you have, haven’t you? Maybe this will give you some encouragement). I’m going to assume you’re rarin’ to get back to the leveling grind, so without further ado, let’s address the next ten levels.

Levels 10 through 20 will help you flesh out your druid in regards to his/her chosen spec. Healers will gain more potent heals, balance druids and kitties will add more attacks to their arsenal, and bears will begin to come into their own on the tanking scene. Though it seems like a long haul, the next ten levels will fly by in seconds, so hold on and try not to get carsick.

Level 11:

No new spells. Whether you decided to spec resto or balance, you rotation still hasn’t changed much. You should be using starfire to pull (recall that its longer cast time makes it difficult to get off when you’re having your face beaten in) and entangling roots to keep mobs at bay. Apply moonfire for the DoT and wrath until dead. Kitties will mangle and rake things to death, using ferocious bite if you have 2-3 combo points and the mob isn’t dead yet. Regardless of spec, things seem to die faster and easier if you’re in cat form. If you find yourself having difficulty casting things to death, give cat a try.

Level 12:

Your utility as a healer just skyrocketed. Both Regrowth and Revive will be handy tools once you begin dungeon crawling (if that tickles your fancy). Regrowth is also a top contender in high level healing, because of its HoT effect, which couples nicely with Swiftmend. More on that later. For now, use regrowth if you’re in need of a fast burst of healing, perhaps if you find yourself outnumbered while questing. Revive’s utility will kick in later, once you begin grouping with others.

Level 13:

Nothing new here, either. Continue on.

Level 14:

Carry on. Nothing here but the final push to level 15, and the dungeon finder.

Level 15:

Oh thank God. Finally. If you’re anything like me, you just spent 14 levels bouncing and twitching and fiddling because you wanted to be running instances, not running around questing. If you’re anything like me, you have a disturbing obsession with leveling via the dungeon finder. If you’re anything like me, you just heaved a huge sigh of relief, mentally high-fived yourself, and blew a big fat raspberry at your quest log.

Level 15 brings with it several very important additions to a druid’s arsenal, most notably of which is bear form. Not only have you unlocked the dungeon finder, but you can also queue as a tank. If you plan on leveling as feral, this is a very happy day. If you don’t, well, you have one more pretty form to fart around in.

But before we start discussing bear form in any depth, let me first advise you this: don’t tank yet.

No, seriously. Don’t. You have a very limited array of abilities afforded to you, none of which offer AoE threat. Your first foray into a dungeon as a tank will be a nightmare (unless you are ridiculously pro, but if you were you would not be reading this). Mobs will peel off you left and right, you’ll fight everyone and their grandma for aggro, and you’ll end up pulling your teeth out within ten minutes. Take a chill pill and put tanking on the back burner until level 18, when you will gain Swipe and your troubles will be (mostly) solved.

But now, bear form. Bear form is the tanking form. If you tank, you will be in this form. Do not touch cat form for tanking. Do not. Any tank who tries to sell you the “cat form is better for trash DPS” or some such line is full of bullshit and should be shot. Got it? Okay. Bear form comes equipped with 3 abilities right out of the box: Demoralizing Roar, Growl, and Maul. Roar is a debuff that affects all targets nearby with a damage reducing spell. It’s key to reducing incoming damage when you’re being beat to death. Growl is a taunt. If something is not attacking you and you want it to be, use Growl. Maul is your standard “threat” attack. Use maul when you have enough rage in order to keep the target focused on you.

It’s all very simple, and as such is quite limited right now. Again, I don’t recommend you queue as a tank until level 18, but if you’re super pro or super brave (or super stupid), you will be using the above three abilities to manage threat and keep people alive. Best of luck.

You also learn the spell Teleport: Moonglade. It’s use is also limited, but a creative druid knows he can use it as a sort of second hearth stone for free and limitless access to northern Kalimdor (which is invaluable in some circumstances).

I’m going to go on a quick tangent here for those of you who are dungeon-hungry and give a brief explanation of what your “rotation” should look like while in a group.

Restoration: Druid healing is about preventative measures, not last minute mega-heals. Keep Rejuvenation rolling on the tank while he takes active damage. If he’s taking more damage than Rejuve can negate, hit him with Nourish. Use Regrowth sparingly; it’s a major mana hog. It should only be used when you need a very fast, powerful heal. Use Swiftmend as an “oh shit” button when someone is about to bite the dust and you need to pop off something instantly. Swiftmend requires the target in question to have a Rejuve/Regrowth HoT on them; and that’s why we keep Rejuve on that tank at all times.

Balance: Keep Moonfire up on the target and spam wrath. That’s…pretty much it. Most trash will die too quickly for your DoT to really take effect, but it’s good practice and doesn’t hurt you. Change it up with Starfire if you want, but Wrath is faster, which is a bonus considering trash will die in seconds. Use Starsurge on cooldown. Want a faster queue time? At this level you’re perfectly capable of healing, and no one in Ragefire Chasm gives a damn if the healer is actually a boomkin.

Bear: Like we talked about above, you’re at a disadvantage in the tanking arena. Most low level DPS don’t give a damn if you have aggro or not, and will pull at random with no regard to your efforts, so be prepared to fight for threat. A bear needs rage to generate threat, but cannot generate rage if he is not being pummeled. Growl to get initial aggro, then use Mangle for quick threat and Maul when you have sufficient rage. Use Roar when you have several mobs on you just to keep their damage down. Pray.

Kitties: Mangle. Mangle. Mangle. Manglemanglemanglemangle. Rake, if it looks like your target will live longer than five seconds. For bosses, apply Mangle, then Rake (since Mangle increases the damage of any bleed on the target, and Rake is a bleed), then Mangle until you have a few combo points, and Bite.

Level 16:

Travel form and Aquatic form. Travel form saw more use in the early days of WoW, back when your first mount didnt come until level 40 and you had to traverse the world on foot. Now it’s a tad less useful, seeing as four levels from now you will purchase your first mount. But that’s still four levels you don’t have to spend running on foot. Aquatic form increases your swim speed, which is marginally useful if you find yourself needing to swim a great distance. It also allows you to breathe underwater, which in my opinion is its greatest asset. I mostly use it as a breath refresh when killing things under water.

Level 17:

Nothing new here.

Level 18:

Swipe! Swipe is your only multi-target threat tool while tanking, and will be for a long time yet. Use it when you have more than one mob attacking you. If you’ve been holding off on tanking since level 15, now is the time to change that. Good luck!

Level 19:

Nothing new here, either. Keep pushing for level 20.

Level 20:

You made it! In addition to getting your first mount, you’ll also earn yourself a few new spells to play with.

Insect Swarm will now be added to the rotation if you’re a balance druid. Keep both Insect Swarm and Moonfire active on your target.

Omen of Clarity is a passive spell that will sometimes trigger from your attacks or spells, allowing you to cast/attack once for free each time. Handy for any spec.

Rebirth is the druid’s signature ability (although now those stinky Death Knights have it too). It allows you to bring a fallen comrade back to life while still in combat. Use it to bring back someone of importance; don’t waste it on a DPS who stood in the fire. If things go haywire and people are dying, a well-timed, well-aimed battle rez can save the group. Tanks and healers should be your priority.

A Journey to Moonglade

Druids receive their first class-specific quest at level 20. Speak with a druid trainer in your capital city to acquire “A Journey to Moonglade” and use Teleport: Moonglade to get there. Speak with Loganaar when you arrive and accept the quest “The Circle’s Future”. You will be required to step foot in Shadowfang Keep if you want to complete this. The rewards are two very nice staves, itemized for any spec. Hit up the dungeon finder and good luck. You will need to kill Lord Walden (the fourth boss) for his elixirs. The sinew can be looted off the undead at the start of the instance, and the wood is found just inside the courtyard area after the first boss as well as inside the kitchen area just beyond.

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About Sylvestris

Gamer, nerd, book worm, baker.

Posted on May 24, 2011, in Beginner Guides, Tips and Tricks and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Another great article. I look forward to these levels. Also great to hear about bear tanking and when it’s alright to do so. I tried it once at 15, and I think that’s why I’m re-rolling now. Looking forward to the rest of the series. Hope you enjoy my ramblings!

  2. Thankyou for this post, I am a big fan of this site would like to go on updated.

  1. Pingback: Bear Tanking for Absolute Beginners « Trees-Per-Second

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