Pre-5.0.4 druid talent analysis

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Druid talents, perhaps more than those of any other class, serve to drastically change the character and playstyle of the class. Druids can be called a very weak class with very strong talents. For example, a Resto druid's feral utility is very, very weak; with a respec that same druid suddenly becomes a powerhouse in melee. This makes druids a very fun class to play since the druid's gameplay, be it tanking, melee DPS, spell DPS, or healing, can easily change with a respec. Therefore, it is important to understand not just the relative value of each talent but the way in which your build will affect your desired gameplay.

Each talent is listed with its maximum talent point investment. Notes may be included in the analysis where lesser investments are common or useful. Talents in this list are organized by tier. With each talent, notes are given for three styles of play: soloing, raiding and player versus player (PvP). Soloing advice applies more or less equally well to all styles of solo play, such as leveling, doing daily quests at the maximum level, farming trade materials, and sometimes soloing your way through old instances. Raiding advice also applies to 5-man dungeons and high-stakes, group-oriented, player versus environment (PvE) combat in general.

Note that "nothing special" doesn't mean that the talent is or isn't valuable in a particular situation, merely that there aren't any special benefits unique to that playstyle. Nature's Grace, for example, is great talent - it gives you a good amount of haste, fairly often - but it's great for all balance playstyles equally for obvious reasons, so it says "nothing special" because there isn't really much to say about it.

For historical information on what talents were like before Patch 4.0.1, see Pre-4.0.1 druid talent analysis.

Talent Trees In General

Balance is the offensive spellcasting tree. It will lead to a ranged magical DPS gameplay similar to that of a Mage, Shadow Priest or elemental Shaman. The unique thing about balance druids is the Eclipse mechanic: balance druids have a secondary resource bar that moves from right to left until it fills up and then back in the other direction. When the energy bar has recently hit one end and is moving towards the center (called being in a Solar Eclipse or a Lunar Eclipse), one kind of damage is buffed significantly. So, basically, this system encourages druids to switch from nature-based damage to arcane-based damage every time they cast half a dozen or so spells.

The Feral combat tree concentrates on melee power through the druid's cat and bear forms. Ever since patch 3.0.2, the talents have allowed more ability to focus on either Bear or Cat form, so you can sub-specialize in this tree. Bears generally play like protection-specced warriors and cats generally play like rogues. It is a very popular multi-purpose tree for soloing, leveling, raiding and PvP. The Feral tree is the only Druid talent tree that does not give an additional shapeshifting form.

Restoration talents improve a druid's healing capabilities, add a few new healing spells, and the Tree of Life form. Restoration druids tend to have a game experience similar to that of a Restoration Shaman, Holy-spec Paladin, or Priest. They are very good raid healers and a popular PvP healer thanks to their many Heal over Time effects. This tree has additional talents that complement both the Feral and Balance trees, so almost every druid will take at least a few talents here.

Balance (as of Patch 4.0.3)

[Nature's Grace]

3 points: You gain 15% spell haste after you cast Moonfire, Regrowth, or Insect Swarm, lasting 15 sec. This effect has a 1 minute cooldown. When you gain Lunar or Solar Eclipse, the cooldown of Nature's Grace is instantly reset.

  • Increases haste for 15 seconds on a 1-minute cooldown. Balance druids can shorten that cooldown, but many resto druids will find this worth taking as well.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special. Haste means fewer spells getting interrupted and generally quicker kills.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special.
    • PVP Utility: Nothing special.
  • Bottom Line: For 3 points, this is a good talent.

[Starlight Wrath]

3 points: Reduces the cast time of your Wrath and Starfire spells by 0.5 sec.

  • Lower cast time equals higher DPS and less likely to be interrupted.
    • Solo Utility: Good for solo, reduces time spent killing mobs.
    • Raid Utility: Lower cast-time equals higher DPS. A must-have.
    • PvP Utility: Essential; in PvP the faster casting time is even more important so you can get interrupted less and down players as fast as possible.
  • Bottom Line: A must-have talent for balance druids.

[Nature's Majesty]

2 points: Increases the critical strike chance with spells by 4%.

  • It's a cheap way to up DPS considerably. Also is useful to some resto druids.
    • Solo Utility: Should be a no-brainer.
    • Raid Utility: A cheap but effective boost to DPS. Nothing more needs to be said.
    • PvP Utility: Crits make the damage spiky and less predictable, which is always a good thing in PvP.
  • Bottom Line: Useful for all balance druids, and some resto druids will find it worth taking as well.

[Genesis]

Requires 5 points in Balance Talents
3 points: Increases the healing done by your periodic spells and by Swiftmend by 6%, and increases the duration of your Moonfire and Insect Swarm by 6 sec.

  • Increases all damage-over-time and heal-over-time effects. This increases the duration of [Moonfire] and [Insect Swarm] by a full 50 percent, which reduces the amount of times you have to cast them to get the same effect.
    • Solo Utility: Probably a little less valuable; your DoTs will often not last their full duration even without this talent. It's still a flat increase in almost all your healing spells though.
    • Raid Utility: The Swiftmend bonus can be ignored as balance, but the boost to Moonfire and Insect Swarm is impossible to pass up.
    • PvP Utility: Probably a little less valuable for balance druids in PvP, but still worth thinking about.
  • Bottom Line: Useful for all balance druids, and some resto druids will find it worth taking as well.

[Moonglow]

Requires 5 points in Balance Talents
3 points: Reduces the Mana cost of your damage and healing spells by 9%.

  • Probably even more useful for restoration druids than balance druids, but still worth considering for them as well.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: It's hard to say how important this will be with Cataclysm gear levels, mana costs, and mana regeneration rates. It might be essential or might only be useful on a handful of specific boss fights with abilities similar to General Vezaxx.
    • PvP Utility: Mana efficiency isn't that important in PvP, but it's still useful, get it if you want it.
  • Bottom Line: Very nice for resto druids, but for balance druids it will depend on playstyle.

[Balance of Power]

Requires 5 points in Balance Talents
2 points: Increases your Nature and Arcane spell damage by 2% and increases your spell hit rating by an additional amount equal to 100% of your Spirit.

  • The main talent for raiding moonkins to improve their chance to hit.
    • Solo Utility: Not great. Most mobs in soloing are your own level or lower. Still, the flat DPS increase to Nature and Arcane is nice, and it can't hurt to improve your chance to hit higher level mobs just in case one catches you.
    • Raid Utility: Absolutely essential. You have a base 17% chance to miss a ?? level raid boss. The chance to hit from Balance of Power is effectively a flat DPS upgrade, and spending two talent points for a 4% DPS boost is a good bonus. Chance to hit isn't a bottomless pit: there's a limit to how much is useful. However, if this talent puts you over that limit, then just use Reforging to turn the extra Spirit into something you need more.
    • PvP Utility: Probably not worth it. In equal-level PvP, the base spell chance to hit is 96%. With 4% from BoP, any hit on your gear is wasted.
  • Bottom Line: Essential for raiding, filler at best for other playstyles.

[Euphoria]

Requires 10 points in Balance Talents
2 points: While not in an Eclipse state, you have a 24% chance to double the Solar or Lunar energy generated by your Wrath or Starfire when they deal damage. When you reach a Solar or Lunar eclipse, you instantly are restored 16% of your total mana.

  • The main mana regeneration talent for balance druids, it also helps you get into Eclipse states more quickly.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special. Mana regeneration means less time spent sitting around and eating and drinking.
    • Raid Utility: Very important. A healer will probably need your [Innervate] more than you do, so this might be your only way of getting mana back.
    • PvP Utility: Mana regeneration isn't so important, but getting to Eclipse states more quickly probably is.
  • Bottom Line: Most important for raiders, but other balance druids will find some use for this as well.

[Moonkin Form]

Requires 10 points in Balance Talents
1 point: 13% of base mana, Instant Cast. Shapeshift into Moonkin Form. While in this form your Arcane and Nature spell damage is increased by 10%, the armor contribution from items is increased by 120%, and grants 5% spell haste to all nearby friendly and raid targets within 100 yards. The Moonkin can not cast healing or resurrection spells while shapeshifted. The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of Movement Impairing effects."

  • Increases your survivability slightly, increases your spell damage done greatly, and, of course, is this talent tree's defining shapeshifting ability.
    • Solo Utility: Very nice. Sure, it's impossible to heal in this form, but there's usually no need to do so, and it's always possible to shift out and heal if necessary. Normally you can nuke a mob, root it, and go back to nuking it and kill it either before it reaches you or just after. And if you don't feel like bothering with roots or get adds without warning, the extra armor will reduce the damage you take.
    • Raid Utility: The flat increase to your spell damage is great, of course, and the 5 percent spell haste this form offers your entire raid will give a significant DPS boost to all casters and a decent boost to most healers as well. In addition, like all shapeshifting, this removes movement impairing effects. That doesn't include stuns or fears, and it also doesn't work on some unique boss abilities, but it's still useful.
    • PvP Utility: Excellent! Survival is essential in PvP so the armor boost is a substantial gain vs. melee opponents. A 5% boost to haste for yourself and group members helps overall damage. This form will significantly boost your ability to defeat any melee class, although it’s far less useful against magic classes that can ignore armor. Remember that this form will ensure that your enemies can pick you out as a balance druid easily and plan accordingly, even in raid sized battlegrounds.
  • Bottom Line: Hallmark talent of the Balance tree. It's hard to imagine any reason a balance druid wouldn't get this talent.

[Typhoon]

Requires 10 points in Balance Talents
1 point: 36% of base mana, 30 yd range, Instant cast, 20 sec cooldown. You summon a violent Typhoon that does 1298 Nature damage to targets within 30 yards when in contact with hostile targets, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 sec.

  • This is a cone AoE spell that knocks back an opponent in addition to dealing damage, which is useful for interrupting spellcasters and gaining distance from melee. A [Glyph of Typhoon] can remove the knockback, making it more useful for PvE but much less so for PvP.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special; the knockback can buy you some time to escape hostile monsters. Helps the most when you pull adds, but beware because this spell can pull adds itself.
    • Raid Utility: Not very useful. Knockbacks can be an annoyance for everyone else in your group or raid. Should only be used with extreme care in situations where the instant damage is useful and positioning and tank threat are not an issue, e.g. finishing off a large pack of non-elite trash. Beware of pulling another pack of mobs with the fairly long and wide range. If used correctly, this can be used to throw mobs back to the tank, making it useful at times.
    • PvP Utility: Very good. It can be highly enjoyable, knocking enemy players off of bridges and cliffs, and does decent damage. Typhoon can also act as an interrupt for nasty spells, having the advantage over [Cyclone] of being instant-cast; however, its effectiveness is limited by the cooldown. The cooldown is usually not a problem in anything but PvP.
  • Bottom Line: Essential in PvP, optional otherwise.

[Shooting Stars]

Requires 10 points in Balance Talents
1 point: You have a 4% chance when you deal damage with your Moonfire or Insect Swarm to instantly reset the cooldown of your Starsurge and reduce its cast time by 100%. Lasts 8 sec.

  • [Starsurge] does more damage and costs less mana than both [Starfire] and [Wrath] and benefits from both eclipse states. The only reason to have anything besides Starsurge in your rotation is the cooldown. Well, this talent gives you a chance to get rid of the cooldown; compared to that, making it instant-cast is just a bonus. Note that if this talent procs while you are casting one Starsurge, this talent will apply to the next one, letting you cast two back-to-back.
    • Solo Utility: Decent but not outstanding. You'll usually open with a [Starsurge] and the fight will usually be over before this procs. However, the occasional extra, instant-cast Starsurge will make things go a little quicker and could save your life if you run into trouble.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special. Just some good quick damage in the form of a big nuke.
    • PvP Utility: Hard to say. Instant-cast Starsurges are even more important for PvP than for other playstyles, but on the other hand, DoTs are less important and get dispelled more often. This will probably go off rarely but be an absolute life-saver when it does.
  • Bottom Line: Get it.

[Owlkin Frenzy]

Requires 1 points in [Moonkin Form]
Requires 15 points in Balance Talents
3 points: Attacks done to you while in Moonkin form have a 15% chance to cause you to go into a Frenzy, increasing your damage by 10% and causes you to be immune to pushback while casting Balance spells. Lasts 10 sec.

  • An odd talent; it buffs your damage but requires you to get hit, which casters generally don't want to do. Note that it can be triggered by almost anything that damages you. Some people have reported proccing it off bonfires.
    • Solo Utility: Very helpful. You shouldn't be getting hit too much if you keep the mobs rooted, but some people don't bother with roots when soloing and even if you do, sometimes you will pull some adds or your roots will break early, and this will make it easier to finish the fight.
    • Raid Utility: Situational. Ideally in a raid/dungeon, you should not be getting hit, but you may pull aggro occasionally especially in fights with adds and it can proc from many AoE attacks, making it useful against certain bosses.
    • PvP Utility: Incredible. You'll be getting hit a lot, and immunity to pushback will mess up some opponents. Unfortunately many classes are able to silence/interrupt in other ways.
  • Bottom Line: Highly recommended for soloing/pvp, but for raiding, it's hard to say. It may be worth just one or two points for the occasional free proc off AoE.

[Gale Winds]

Requires 1 point in [Typhoon]
Requires 15 points in Balance Talents
2 points: Increases damage done by your Hurricane and Typhoon spells by 30%, and increases the range of your Cyclone spell by 4 yards.

  • Increases the damage done by your Nature-type area of effect spells, and also increases the range of one of your crowd control abilities.
    • Solo Utility: Augmented Hurricane helps you kill multiple mobs efficiently, which can help grinding a bit.
    • Raid Utility: Situational. Cataclysm raiding requires less AoE than Wrath did, but there will still be times when you can cut loose with [Hurricane] on multiple mobs, and this will help with that.
    • PvP Utility: Hurricane isn't useful at all in PvP, but the damage increase to Typhoon and range increase to Cyclone could be worth it.
  • Bottom Line: If you find yourself frequently using Hurricane and/or Typhoon, this is a good place to spend a couple points.

[Solar Beam]

Requires 15 points in Balance Talents
1 point: 18% of base mana, 40 yd range, Instant cast, 1 min cooldown. You summon a beam of solar light over the enemy target's location, interrupting the enemy target and silencing all enemy targets under the beam within 5 yards while it is active. Solar Beam lasts for 10 sec.

  • An interesting spell; it's a balance druid's best interrupt ( [Cyclone] has a casting time, and [Typhoon] has a knockback but doesn't actually lock the victim out of casting) and one of the only area-of-effect silence abilities players have. Note that in patch 4.0.3 it seems to be buggy and works unpredictably, although that will hopefully be fixed in later patches.
    • Solo Utility: Somewhat useful on caster mobs. One spell interrupted is one more spell they don't hit you with.
    • Raid Utility: Situational at best. The one-minute cooldown on this makes it almost useless for interrupting abilities designed to be interrupted. On the other hand, if there's a caster loose, this is a good way to make them both stop casting for a few seconds and come closer to their current target.
    • PvP Utility: Essential. Even if it's buggy, it's still an instant-cast, area-of-effect silence.
  • Bottom Line: Essential for PvP, and for only one point, it's probably worth getting for most other playstyles as well.

[Dreamstate]

Requires 20 points in Balance Talents
3 points: When you cast your Innervate on yourself, you regain an additional 30% of your total mana over its duration.

  • This greatly improves your [Innervate], but only if you cast it on yourself. Situational.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special. When soloing, this talent isn't very important, because you can stop and drink whenever you want.
    • Raid Utility: Situational. In most raids, the healers will probably need your [Innervate] even more than you, and so this talent would be wasted. If you ever do cast Innervate on yourself, though, it will give you 50 percent of your total mana on a 3-minute cooldown, which is basically all you could possibly need.
    • PvP Utility: PvP tends to be burstier and normally offers plenty of opportunities to drink. Can safely be skipped.
  • Bottom Line: Situational for raiding. Coordinate with your guild's healers beforehand.

[Force of Nature]

Requires 20 points in Balance Talents
1 point: 12% of base mana, 40 yd range, Instant cast, 3 min cooldown. Summons 3 treants to attack enemy targets for 30 sec.

  • The treants act like summoned pets for their duration. By default, they attack the mob you have the most threat with, but a pet bar will pop up allowing you to control them and tell them to attack a different target if you want. They do a respectable amount of damage and only take 10 percent of damage from AoE. Note that they don't have any taunt effect like some summoned pets.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special. Good for extra damage on elites or a group of multiple mobs. No taunt effect means that they won't pull mobs off you if you're overwhelmed, but on multiple mobs if you open with a Moonfire or Insect Swarm on one enemy these guys will pull it off you and finish it off while you take on the rest. Even if you don't do that, the extra damage these do might kill your enemies before they can kill you.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special. A nice DPS boost.
    • PvP Utility: Very useful. In addition to the DPS boost, they also cause spell pushback on casters they're attacking and daze people who are running away.
  • Bottom Line: Worth it. The treants can noticeably increase your overall DPS and, in PvP, your survivability as well.

[Sunfire]

Requires 20 points in Balance Talents
1 point: When in Solar Eclipse, your Moonfire spell will morph into Sunfire.

  • This lets [Moonfire] benefit from Solar Eclipse as well as Lunar Eclipse. Sunfire is exactly the same as Moonfire, even benefitting from the same glyphs, except for the type of damage it deals.
    • Solo Utility: Useful, but not essential for soloing.
    • Raid Utility: A small DPS increase, but a cheap one as well. Take it.
    • PvP Utility: Not a bad talent to have.
  • Bottom Line: Worth it. You will be casting Moonfire frequently, and you will be in Solar Eclipse about a third or so the time. It's not all that big a DPS increase, but for 1 point, why not?

[Earth and Moon]

Requires 20 points in Balance Talents
1 points: Your Wrath and Starfire spells apply the Earth and Moon effect, which increases spell damage taken by 8% for 12 sec. Also increases your spell damage by 2%.

  • This effect triggers when you tag a mob with [Wrath] or [Starfire], your two main damage spells.
    • Solo Utility: Not as useful as in raiding, but still a good choice.
    • Raid Utility: This will increase your DPS as well as everyone else doing spell damage to the mob you hit with Wrath/Starfire. On the other hand, note that it does not stack with Curse of Elements and a few similar effects. If you consistently raid with the same group of people and it includes multiple people who produce these effects, one of you may be able to skip it. The 2 percent damage is present whether you're the person who applies the debuff or not, though.
    • PvP Utility: Very good for PvP, especially battlegrounds.
  • Bottom Line: Highly recommended, especially if you are this far down the tree. A flat increase in DPS for yourself and everyone else attacking your target.

[Fungal Growth]

Requires 1 point in [Force of Nature]
Requires 25 points in Balance Talents
2 points: When your Treants die or your Wild Mushrooms are triggered, you spawn a Fungal Growth at its wake covering the area within 8 yards, slowing all enemy targets by 50%. Lasts 10 sec.

  • This talent creates a slowing effect like Frost Trap.
    • Solo Utility: If you get in trouble and if you place your mushrooms just right, this could help you escape. However, note that it's not very useful while leveling: druids don't get [Wild Mushroom] until level 85 and it's hard to control where or even if your treants die, so chances are slim this growth will be in a useful place.
    • Raid Utility: Situational at best. Very few raid encounters need to slow down groups of mobs at all, and other classes have better ways to do it. But wild mushrooms can be placed up to five minutes in advance and triggered at will, so this might have some use.
    • PvP Utility: Great. Wild mushrooms are already invisible booby traps, and with this talent they also slow down their victim, making them a sitting duck.
  • Bottom Line: Great in PvP, probably not worth it otherwise, but you never know.

[Lunar Shower]

Requires 1 point in [Sunfire]
Requires 25 points in Balance Talents
3 points: When you cast Moonfire, you gain Lunar Shower. Lunar Shower increases the direct damage done by your Moonfire by 45% and reduces the mana cost by 30%. This effect is refreshed and amplified when you move, stacking up to 3 times. Effect lasts for 3 sec.

  • An interesting effect; it buffs your instant-cast nuke, but only while moving. And it stacks, so after a few seconds, this will increase the direct damage of [Moonfire] (or [Sunfire]) by 135 percent and decrease the casting cost by 90 percent. Spamming Moonfire nonstop still doesn't do as much damage as your usual rotation, but this now makes it worth spamming while moving.
    • Solo Utility: Basically useless since you shouldn't be spamming moonfire anyway. Unlike some abilities, Moonfire cannot be cast on mobs that are behind you. So you can cast one Moonfire while running towards them to pull if you want (although that's not the optimal way to pull), and then two or three more as you and your target charge toward each other, but once they're behind you you can't cast it any more. And for the same reason, you can't use this while running away.
    • Raid Utility: Situational. On fights that don't require movement, this does nothing. On fights that require frequent movement, on the other hand, this will massively increase your DPS.
    • PvP Utility: Great. You're always moving in PvP.
  • Bottom Line: Essential for PvP, probably worth it having while raiding even though it won't be used all that much, probably not worth it for soloing.

[Starfall]

Requires 30 points in Balance Talents
1 point: 35% of base mana, Instant cast, 1.5 min cooldown. You summon a flurry of stars from the sky on all targets within 40 yards of the caster, each dealing 369 to 427 Arcane damage. Maximum 20 stars. Lasts 10 sec. Shapeshifting into an animal form or mounting cancels the effect. Any effect which causes you to lose control of your character will suppress the starfall effect.

  • Probably the only AoE that deals damage over time but isn't channeled. The range is huge, which is a double-edged sword; it means you have no control over pulling adds you might not want. Each fallen star used to cause splash damage but that effect was removed in Patch 4.0.1, nerfing the AoE effect of this. It is still very useful in some situations though.
    • Solo Utility: Very helpful if AoE grinding.
    • Raid Utility: Situational. When you are raiding, you really, really, really don't want to pull adds unexpectedly. But when it's safe to use this, it's an instant-cast spell with a relatively short cooldown that does a fair amount of damage. On boss fights with no adds and no risk of pulling aggro this should be used every time the cooldown is up.
    • PvP Utility: Very good. Does damage to everything around you, and you can continue casting, capping a flag, etc.
  • Bottom Line: A good talent for every spec but you have to be smart about when to use it.

Feral (as of Patch 4.0.3)

[Feral Swiftness]

2 points: Increases your movement speed by 30% in cat form and increases your chance to dodge while in cat form and bear form by 4%.

  • Keystone talent. For cat form: this speed upgrade works while stealthed and indoors and stacks with some speed buffs, such as the 15% speed increase from the Sanctuary PvP set, which can put you very near the non-epic mount speed. This talent also improves your survivability in both forms.
    • Solo Utility: Fantastic. While levelling you'll move faster, which means you'll level faster. The speed buff for travelling long distances isn't that important, but it will make stealth a viable way to save time by skipping unnecessary fights. The survivability means you'll pop out to heal less frequently.
    • Raid Utility: Excellent for tanks. Two points for 4% dodge? Hell yeah. Not as important for cats, but still useful on any fight which requires movement, which is most of them.
    • PvP Utility: Moving faster while stealthed in BG's is extremely useful since players fidget and wander even when they don't know you're about to ambush them. The dodge is also handy.
  • Bottom Line: A must have for nearly any feral build.

[Furor]

3 points: Gives you a 100% chance to gain 10 rage when you shapeshift into Bear Form, and allows you to keep up to 100 of your Energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form, and increases your maximum Mana by 15%.

  • A good general ability that other specs will consider as well as ferals.
    • Solo Utility: OK, you've just shifted out, healed yourself, and are ready to shift back. What now? Well, if you have this talent, instead of starting with an empty energy/rage bar, you can use special move or two right away. Also helps your mana in moonkin form.
    • Raid Utility: When raiding, ferals will shift forms less often than when soloing or in PvP, but it's still useful because when you do, you need to get back to dps or tanking right away. Bears can also use this for an instant rage bonus if their rage bar is empty. Balance and resto druids, meanwhile, will like the flat bonus to mana.
    • PvP Utility: Fantastic. Druids shift all the time in PvP, to escape roots and snares, to break a polymorph, to do an insta-heal. That 10 rage or full energy bar comes in damn handy when you return to feral form.
  • Bottom Line: Essential for PvPing ferals. Pretty good for soloing and raiding ferals. Kinda nice for balance and resto druids.

[Predatory Strikes]

2 points: Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 50% on targets at or above 80% health. Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to make your next non-instant Nature spell with a base casting time of less than 10 sec. become an instant cast spell and cost no mana.

  • Cat talent. Your Ravages become almost certain to crit if you use them as an opener, and after a fight your next healing spell can be instant and free.
    • Solo Utility: This makes it possible to kill mobs more or less continuously. Ravage your target, generate another point or two with Mangle like usual, use any finishing move, pop out to heal yourself which will probably be free and instant, and move on to the next.
    • Raid Utility: Less important. Ravage can only be used once per fight, and if everyone is doing their job then a cat shouldn't need to heal. In tight fights, though, this will let you take care of healing yourself a little, freeing the healers up to take care of other people.
    • PvP Utility: Great. See "solo", and then consider that healing is generally even more important in PvP.
  • Bottom Line: Definitely worth it for soloing and PvP. Optional for raiding.

[Infected Wounds]

Requires 5 points in Feral Talents
2 points: Your Shred, Ravage, Maul, and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target. The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 50% and the attack speed by 20%. Lasts 12 sec.

  • This makes your basic attacks debuff the target's movement speed and damage.
    • Solo Utility: Useful but lackluster. It decreases the damage you take and gives you a better chance of getting away if necessary. The thing is, druids already have quite a lot of ways of reducing damage (or healing it) and of getting away. This also allows you to kite while [Rip] and [Rake] tick away, which may be situationally useful.
    • Raid Utility: Essential, the attack speed decrease means less damage on your tank or yourself if you happen to be it. Careful, it can hamper kiting if you start Mauling right away. Note that many if not all raid bosses are immune to the movement speed slowing effect. This is skippable in cat specs; most tanks have the ability to cause a similar effect on their own.
    • PvP Utility: Essential, the speed decreases allow kiting and make you take less damage.
  • Bottom Line: Great for PvP and for raiding bears, but raiding cats and druids who mainly solo will find this to be situationally useful at best.

[Fury Swipes]

Requires 5 points in Feral Talents
3 points: When you auto-attack while in Cat form or Bear form, you have a 15% chance to cause a Fury Swipe dealing 310% weapon damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 3 sec.

  • This talent gives you a proc for a substantial amount of damage. Primarily a cat talent, but bears may find some use for it.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special.
    • PvP Utility: Extra good here, where bursty unpredictable damage is more important.
  • Bottom Line: a very good dps talent.

[Primal Fury]

Requires 5 points in Feral Talents
2 points: Gives you a 100% chance to gain an additional 5 Rage anytime you get a critical strike while in Bear Form and your critical strikes from Cat Form abilities that add combo points have a 100% chance to add an additional combo point.

  • A must-have for any feral druid. For Cat Form, this talent is essentially the [Seal Fate] talent that rogues get. For bears, there are all kinds of tricks you can use (Swipe (Bear) on lots of mobs, for example) to turn this into a bottomless pit of rage.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special, though it makes a pseudo-stunlock possible with fast combo point generation and [Maim]. In Bear form, you can AoE farm certain mobs for rep and cash using Swipe and this talent.
    • Raid Utility: The aggro you can generate with this talent and some other typical talents is unholy. The extra combo points raises your DPS considerably—not only do you get to [Rip] faster, but you reduce the number of wasteful Mangles you need to use to keep the debuff up while you [Shred].
    • PvP Utility: Finishing moves like [Ferocious Bite] and [Maim] are raw burst DPS and control, so the fast combo point accumulation helps a lot. Rage is another story—it's feast or famine anyway whether you have this talent or not.
  • Bottom Line: This is a must-have.

[Feral Aggression]

Requires 5 points in Feral Talents
2 points: Increases the damage caused by your Ferocious Bite by 10% and causes Faerie Fire (Feral) to apply 3 stacks of the Faerie Fire effect when cast.

  • For cats, this gives a decent increase in dps to a finishing move. For bears, this gives a full stack of [Faerie Fire] in one cast instead of three.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special. You'll usually be soloing in Cat form and finishing with Maim. Even if you use [Ferocious Bite], +10% to a move you use once per fight at most is a bit weak.
    • Raid Utility: For bears, it's good, and becomes very good it they're the only feral around. For cats, it depends on whether Ferocious Bite is the preferred finisher, which has changed from patch to patch and is always situational anyway.
    • PvP Utility: Ferocious Bite is very useful as a source of burst DPS in PvP, and Faerie Fire is a decent increase in dps.
  • Bottom Line: For raiding bears, almost definitely. For everyone else, maybe.

[King of the Jungle]

Requires 10 points in Feral Talents
3 points: While using your Enrage ability in Bear Form, your damage is increased by 15%, and your Tiger's Fury ability also instantly restores 60 energy.

  • Two damage-increasing abilities now increase your damage even further.
    • Solo Utility: You'll notice its usefulness while grinding.
    • Raid Utility: Essential if you dps, useful if you tank.
    • PvP Utility: Must have.
  • Bottom Line: While the damage increase from [Enrage] is only situationally useful, the buff to [Tiger's Fury] makes it essential for any druid who does any dps at all. Take it.

[Feral Charge]

Requires 10 points in Feral Talents
1 point: Teaches Feral Charge (Bear) and Feral Charge (Cat). Feral Charge (Bear) - 5 Rage, 8-25 yd range, Instant, 15 sec cooldown. Causes you to charge an enemy, immobilizing them for 4 sec. Feral Charge (Cat) - 10 Energy, 8-25 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown. Causes you to leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 sec.

  • This imitates the Warrior's [Charge] ability and the Rogue's [Shadowstep] ability, and serves the same purposes as both: to close distances before the enemy can do anything about it.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special. Not essential, but it can make grinding go faster.
    • Raid Utility: Good when tanking. Mobs with knockback or who change targets can be quickly charged and taunted back into control. Also a very effective way to catch runners or pull a mob off a healer. Feral Charge (Cat) will allow you to get back into the fight in the correct position to continue dps after any kind of knockback or fear has happened.
    • PvP Utility: Fantastic. Use it to interrupt hostile spellcasters. To catch that hunter who is trying to kite you. To root an enemy flag carrier. As a kind of "bear sprint" when carrying the flag yourself. Cat form now allows you to slow that opponent down and puts you in a great position to open up your damage. Use to get behind someone who is casting a big spell at you, you'll end up behind them and the cast will fail.
  • Bottom Line: It's just one point, and a great power for many situations.

[Stampede]

Requires 1 point in Feral Charge
Requires 10 points in Feral Talents
2 points: Increases your melee haste by 30% after you use Feral Charge (Bear) for 8 sec, and your next Ravage will temporarily not require stealth for 10 sec after you use Feral Charge (Cat), and cost 100% less energy.

  • For bears, this gives them a substantial increase to dps right at the start of a fight, assuming they opened with a feral charge. For cats, it lets them use an additional Ravage for free.
    • Solo Utility: Not all that great. You will rarely solo in bear form so you will rarely get the haste. This does allow cats to open with both [Pounce] and [Ravage], though, giving them extra combo points and a little extra damage without being hit back, so it's a decent bonus.
    • Raid Utility: For bears, a little extra haste after a Feral Charge means a little extra aggro at the start of a fight, which is always nice. Cats will rarely use Feral Charge in a raid, but it happens now and then, and when it does it will make a ravage free.
    • PvP Utility: Very nice in cat form. Being able to sneak up on an opponent unnoticed and open with a large attack or stun tips the odds in your favor.
  • Bottom Line: Great for cats, pretty good for bears.

[Thick Hide]

Requires 10 points in Feral Talents
3 points: Increases your Armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 10%, increases armor while in Bear Form by an additional 33%, and reduces the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%.

  • This is the primary tanking talent. The armor increase is respectable and it is your only way to reduce the chance to be critically hit.
    • Solo Utility: Decent. Bear form is already pretty tough, so it's skippable if you don't spend much time in bear form. The bonus is especially noticeable for soloing elite mobs, which is usually done in bear form.
    • Raid Utility: Essential for bears. Even cats who don't normally tank may put points into this so that they can shift forms and tank for a few seconds in an emergency.
    • PvP Utility: Also excellent. You'd think a bonus like this wouldn't be noticeable, but it is. It's great for fighting melee classes, helps to tip the balance in your favor.
  • Bottom Line: Essential to tanks, doesn't do anything for cats' dps, but still worth thinking about just because of the situational use.

[Leader of the Pack]

Requires 15 points in Feral Talents
1 point: While in Cat Form or Bear Form, the Leader of the Pack increases critical strike chance of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 5%. In addition, your melee critical strikes in Cat Form and Bear Form cause you to heal for 4% of your total health and gain 4% of your maximum mana. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 sec.

  • Excellent talent. Crits are always good, of course, and with [Primal Fury] you're getting free Rage/Combo Points out of it, and the healing is a nice bonus.
    • Solo Utility: Besides the obvious point that crits are always good, the healing and mana restoring on this will take care of all your healing needs. If you choose to solo in bear form, the self-healing from this will keep you topped off. If you choose cat form, this probably won't keep you topped off by itself, but the mana will let you heal freely in between fights.
    • Raid Utility: This is why feral druids are loved by melee DPS groups. It's great for you, great for them.
    • PvP Utility: Also great. Crits = burstiness, and PVP is all about bursty damage. In battlegrounds you'll find fewer of your party members are close by though.
  • Bottom Line: Take this talent.

[Brutal Impact]

Requires 15 points in Feral Talents
2 points: Increases the stun duration of your Bash and Pounce abilities by 1 sec, decreases the cooldown of Bash by 10 sec, decreases the cooldown of Skull Bash by 50 sec, and causes victims of your Skull Bash ability to have 10% increased mana cost for their spells for 10 sec.

  • This improves basically all your stuns and interrupts. For some, the increased duration on Bash makes it just long enough to get a [Healing Touch] off and shift back. For others, it's a crutch and you can get a heal off anyway. In instances, stuns have situational value (e.g. if the healer goes down) but the value of an extra second of stun per pull is minimal.
    • Solo Utility: As above, the main use is for self-healing, however, the combination of [Shredding Attacks] with this one makes for an excellent opener.
    • Raid Utility: Low. When stuns are needed in raids, the mobs needs to be stun-locked, which druids can't do. Even with this, other classes are better at interrupts. It may still be useful if those classes aren't available, though.
    • PvP Utility: In PvP, stuns rule, mostly as interrupts, but also to get self-heals off, or to escape.
  • Bottom Line: Essential for PvP. Situational for soloing and raiding.

[Nurturing Instinct]

Requires 15 points in Feral Talents
2 points: Increases your healing spells by up to 100% of your Agility, and increases healing done to you by 20% while in Cat form.

  • A talent that makes your heals in full feral gear better. It won't make you anywhere near good enough to heal for a group in feral gear and spec, but if you run into trouble and need to heal yourself this talent will help with that a lot.
    • Solo Utility: Probably the main use of this talent.
    • Raid Utility: The spell power increase is trivial; the spells you cast would be much better, but this doesn't increase your mana pool so you can still only cast a few. The Cat Form bonus is a nice helping hand to the healer, however.
    • PvP Utility: This talent may improve your survivability greatly depending on your play style. For example, you can drop heal over time spells on yourself, then shift to cat form, and your heal over time spells will gain the 20% bonus. This, combined with the agility bonus, can make for some very powerful self-heals. The 20% Cat Form bonus also stacks with Leader of the Pack.
  • Bottom Line: Useful, especially for soloing and leveling, but never essential. You might even consider investing points into [Naturalist] in the restoration tree instead.

[Primal Madness]

Requires 3 points in [King of the Jungle]
Requires 20 points in Feral Talents
2 points: Tiger's Fury and Berserk also increase your current and maximum energy by 20 during their durations, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generate 12 Rage.

  • These three dps-increasing abilities now increase your dps even further.
    • Solo Utility: Nice but not necessary; the vast majority of encounters while questing/farming/whatever can be handled just fine with your usual rotation.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special. A good-sized dps increase.
    • PvP Utility: Dealing more damage is always nice, especially if it's bursty like this.
  • Bottom Line: Nice to have for dps.

Survival Instincts (druid ability)

Requires 20 points in Feral Talents
1 point: Instant, 3 min cooldown. Reduces all damage taken by 50% for 12 sec. Only usable while in Bear Form or Cat Form.

  • Patch 4.0.1 standardized cooldown-based damage reduction for tanks across all tanking classes. This used to increase current and maximum HP, but now provides a simple percentage damage reduction. Unlike most other tanking classes' cooldowns, though, this can be used while dpsing as well.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special. Druids already have several "panic buttons" for when they get in trouble, but this is one of the better ones.
    • Raid Utility: Awesome as an emergency button when tanking and it'll give your healers a chance to heal you before it disappears. Must have.
    • PvP Utility: Useful as an emergency button in PvP, could be the difference in winning an arena match or not, if you and your last remaining opponent are near death.
  • Bottom Line: It's one point. Whether you're tanking or in PvP this can save your butt.

[Endless Carnage]

Requires 20 points in Feral Talents
2 points: Increases the duration of your Rake by 6 sec and your Savage Roar and Pulverize by 8 sec.

  • Increases the duration of one bleed effect, one autoattack-damage-increasing effect, and one crit-chance-increasing effect. Basically, increases durations.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special.
    • PvP Utility: Crits make your damage burstier, which helps make you less predictable and harder to fight.
  • Bottom Line: Probably better for cats than for bears, but [Pulverize] is a bear ability as well, so this will help tanks hold aggro.

[Blood in the Water]

Requires 25 points in Feral Talents
2 points: When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target.

  • Cat ability only. It makes finishing off enemies quicker and easier.
    • Solo Utility: Low. When soloing, you will rarely use [Rip], and even if you do you will rarely run out its duration.
    • Raid Utility: In a raid, if you're using cat form at all, this is a talent that you must have. The final 25 percent of a boss's HP often takes the longest to remove in the average encounter, because by then cooldowns have been spent and careless people have died and stuff. This will let you go crazy with Ferocious Bite without wasting time refreshing Rip, and if you die as well it will increase the duration of your last Rip, whenever that was.
    • PvP Utility: Maybe great, maybe just situational. If your target is below 25 percent, if you have a Rip on them, if you manage to use a Ferocious Bite and if that doesn't finish them off, this talent will almost guarantee that the Rip will do it. But how often does that happen?
  • Bottom Line: This is a great talent for DPSing on raids, and may be a good talent in PvP as well.

[Rend and Tear]

Requires 25 points in Feral Talents
3 points: Increases damage done by your [Maul] and [Shred] attacks on bleeding targets by 20%, and increases the critical strike chance of your [Ferocious Bite] ability on bleeding targets by 25%.

  • A substantial damage increase on a few abilities.
    • Solo Utility: Low. As with Blood in the Water above, bleeds are less important in soloing.
    • Raid Utility: Very good, it increases your threat generation and/or gives your most powerful attack a flat dps boost.
    • PVP Utility: Bleeds are good in PvP because they ignore armor; they should usually be applied. In addition to increasing some of your damage against bleeding opponents, the Ferocious Bite crit chance increase makes it a superb PvP talent. Combine with [Feral Aggression] for maximum burst.
  • Bottom Line: Raiders should get all 3 points, PvPers should weigh the advantages of putting in all the points versus other talents.

[Pulverize]

Requires 3 points in [Rend and Tear]
Requires 25 points in Feral Talents
1 points: 15 Rage, Melee Range, Instant, Requires Bear Form. Deals 120% weapon damage plus additional damage for each of your Lacerate applications on the target, and increases your melee critical strike chance by 3% for each Lacerate application consumed for 10 sec.

  • Bear talent only that does substantial dps. Requires careful monitoring of how many Lacerate effects you have on which mobs.
    • Solo Utility: Situationally useful at best; how often do you solo in bear form?
    • Raid Utility: A good dps increase.
    • PvP Utility: Nothing Special.
  • Bottom Line: Probably good extra dps for bears.

[Berserk]

Requires 30 points in Feral Talents
1 point: Instant, 3 min cooldown. Your Lacerate periodic damage has a 30% chance to refresh the cooldown of your Mangle (Bear) ability and make it cost no rage. In addition, when activated this ability causes your Mangle (Bear) ability to hit up to 3 targets and have no cooldown, and reduces the energy cost of all your Cat Form abilities by 50%. Lasts 15 sec. You cannot use Tiger's Fury while Berserk is active. Clears the effect of Fear and makes you immune to Fear for the duration.

  • This substantially increases dps in both forms. In addition to raw numbers, for tanks it also lets a major aggro-generating ability hit multiple targets.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special. Useful for nuking down a group of mobs.
    • Raid Utility: Awe inspiring. In cat form your dps is roughly doubled by this alone, not counting all the trinkets and activated abilities you will probably want to use at the same time. When tanking it allows you to spam that mangle and generate tons of threat on 3 targets at once, and gets rid of those pesky boss or mob fears.
    • PvP Utility: Excellent, finally a way for druids to counter fear and boost their dps to unholy levels, almost an automatic death sentence against cloth wearers.
  • Bottom Line: If you go deep into the Feral tree, there is no reason not to get this.

Restoration (as of Patch 4.0.3)

  • Note: Soloing for this section is primarily concerned with Balance and Feral specced druids investing a few points here, as it is generally not the best idea at all to solo as a Restoration druid, and as of as Patch 4.0.3 it's not possible for Balance and Feral druids to put points in this tree below tier 2.

[Blessing of the Grove]

2 points: Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 4% and the direct damage of your Moonfire by 6%.

  • This provides a slight increase to one common healing spell and one common damage spell. Note that the damage increase to Moonfire is only to the direct damage portion, though, not the damage over time effect.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special.
    • PVP Utility: Probably better for PvP balance druids than for anyone else; Moonfire is already a big part of their damage, especially with the Lunar Shower talent, and this increases it further.
  • Bottom Line: Probably very good for PvP. For other specs, it's a minor boost to two bread-and-butter spells. Decent filler if you need filler, but you probably won't.

[Natural Shapeshifter]

2 points: Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 20% and increases the duration of Tree of Life Form by 10 sec.

  • Shapeshifting is expensive so cutting costs on it will help your mana supply. But, how much this discount is worth it depends on your play style. And increasing the duration of Tree of Life (see below) is also very nice.
    • Solo Utility: Useful for all specs. Solo players shift fairly often, so this discount will add up.
    • Raid Utility: Raiding feral and balance druids hardly ever shift—your gear and strategy will have you doing one thing in one form. So you won't see much benefit here at all except to unlock [Master Shapeshifter]. Raiding resto druids, on the other hand, shift once every three minutes now that Tree of Life is on a cooldown.
    • PvP Utility: PvPing druids shift all the time, repeatedly and spastically, especially feral and balance druids. You shift as the situation changes, you shift to break snares, you shift to escape vulnerability to other attacks. This discount is gargantuan for the PvP druid, especially ferals who won't have a big mana pool to burn.
  • Bottom Line: Whether this talent is worth it depends on your play focus. This is a major boon for Balance and Restoration; lower mana costs for shapeshifting means more mana is available when you go into Moonkin or Tree of Life Form. Also, this talent unlocks [Master Shapeshifter] which is a great bonus for Restoration, Boomkin, and Feral Druids.

[Naturalist]

2 points: Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch and Nourish spells by 0.5 sec.

  • Decreases the casting time of your two big direct heals.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal. Resto druids don't solo much, feral and balance druids rarely need to heal in the middle of fights, and when they do heal over time effects are usually better choices than these.
    • Raid Utility: Pretty good for healing. Druids are the healing class that focuses the most on heal-over-time spells, but even so it can be useful having direct heals, and these two points probably provide a bigger boost to your direct heals than anything else. Again, feral and balance druids rarely need to heal and when they do they prefer heal-over-time effects.
    • PvP Utility: Hard to say. Interrupts and pushbacks are something every caster has to fear in PvP. Reducing the casting time of spells significantly reduces the amount of itme your spells will be interrupted or pushed back. On the other hand, reduced casting time or not, any casting time at all means they can be interrupted, and druids have several healing spells of varying utility to choose from that are instant-cast and therefore have no such risk.
  • Bottom Line: Almost definitely worth it for raiding resto, probably worth it for PvP healers, probably not for anything else.

[Heart of the Wild]

3 points: Increases your Intellect by 6%. In addition, while in Bear Form your Stamina is increased by 6% and while in Cat Form your attack power is increased by 10%.

  • A former feral talent moved to Tier 1 of another tree so anyone can get it, because it helps all druids. It probably does slightly less for cats than for moonkin, bears and healers, but it's useful for all of them.
    • Solo Utility: Nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special.
    • PvP Utility: Nothing special.
  • Bottom Line: A percentage buff to your core stat. It helps every playstyle and every build. All druids should think very strongly about taking it.

[Perseverance]

Requires 5 points in Restoration Talents
3 points: Reduces all spell damage taken by 6%.

  • Situational.
    • Solo Utility: Reduced damage taken is reduced damage taken.
    • Raid Utility: Bear druids will probably want this to help tank caster mobs. For everyone else, it's situational at best; it's better to avoid most damage entirely than mitigate it a little bit.
    • PvP Utility: This playstyle for which this talent is probably best. 6 percent off every spell cast on you by enemies is very nice.
  • Bottom Line: A simple talent that reduces damage taken. Useful when you can't otherwise avoid it.

[Master Shapeshifter]

Requires 5 points in Restoration Talents
Requires 2 points in [Natural Shapeshifter]
1 point: Grants an effect which lasts while the Druid is within the respective shapeshift form.

   * Bear Form - Increases physical damage by 4%.
   * Cat Form - Increases critical strike chance by 4%.
   * Moonkin Form - Increases spell damage by 4%.
   * Tree of Life/Caster Form - Increases healing by 4%.  
  • This talent provides an upgrade for any spec and form, making it a good talent no matter which way you want to go.
    • Bear Utility: Increases damage, which is good for killing mobs while soloing or players while PvPing, but most importantly generating threat in raid situations.
    • Cat Utility: Cats are crit-based, making this a very nice crit chance increase for cat-specced druids for soloing, PvP, and raiding.
    • Moonkin Utility: Same as bear form, increases all damage done, which is useful for all aspects of the game.
    • Tree of Life/Caster Utility: A flat increase to healing done, you can't beat that.
  • Bottom Line: A good talent for whatever spec you decide on. It provides a good upgrade for everything. It's probably easiest for tanks to give this up if they want to spend points elsewhere, because they are interested in stamina and damage mitigation more than dps, but even they can appreciate the increased threat this brings.

[Improved Rejuvenation]

Requires 5 points in Restoration Talents
3 points: Increases the effect of your Rejuvenation and Swiftmend spells by 15%.

    • Solo Utility: Minimal. See above about soloing as restoration.
    • Raid Utility: Very nice. You'll be casting this spell a fair amount and 15% is a lot of healing. With the Swiftmend boost, this also helps one of your "direct" heals.
    • PvP Utility: The spell is useful for heals on the run, but again, maybe not useful enough to blow points on.
  • Bottom Line: If you are going to be doing healing in raids or going deep into the Restoration tree, definitely get it.

[Living Seed]

Requires 10 points in Restoration Talents
3 points: When you critically heal a target with Swiftmend, Regrowth, Nourish or Healing Touch spell you plant a Living Seed on the target for 30% of the amount healed. The Living Seed will bloom when the target is next attacked. Lasts 15 sec.

  • This talent makes your direct heals, when they crit, give a moderate bonus heal when it's next needed.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: An amazing talent. You will be casting [Swiftmend] and [Nourish], [Regrowth] and [Healing Touch] a lot. Every time they crits, you'll get an extra bit of healing done.
    • PvP Utility: Very good. For PvP you will most likely have a lot of crit built up already anyway, this will feed off of that.
  • Bottom Line: A good place to put some extra points once you've done your build.

[Revitalize]

Requires 10 points in Restoration Talents
2 points: When you periodically heal with your Rejuvenation or Lifebloom spells, you have a 20% chance to instantly regenerate 2% of your total mana. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 sec. In addition, you also grant Replenishment when you cast or refresh Lifebloom. Replenishment - Grants up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 1% of their maximum mana per 10 sec. Lasts for 15 sec.

  • A mana regeneration talent and one of the many sources or the Replenishment buff.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: Replenishment was nerfed in Patch 4.0.1, but it's still much better to have than not have. And the mana regeneration for yourself will probably add up to quite a lot over the course of the fight.
    • PvP Utility: Mana efficiency isn't that important in PvP, but this doesn't hurt.
  • Bottom Line: Very good for raiding. Probably optional but worth considering for PvP as well.

[Nature's Swiftness]

Requires 10 points in Restoration Talents
1 point: Instant, 3 min cooldown. When activated, your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 sec. becomes an instant cast spell.

  • This mostly includes heals, but will also work with roots, [Hibernate] and [Wrath] (among others). Instant cast lets you avoid spell interruption, cast on the run, and get a spell off now.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal. Well, if any deep resto talents mattered for soloing, this would be one of only three.
    • Raid Utility: Damn useful. Some call it a crutch, but in raids the main tank is always a bad run of crits away from an emergency. Druids don't get emergency management spells except through talents, and this is a great way to save the day. A good idea is to make a macro with this and [Healing Touch].
    • PvP Utility: Again, incredibly handy. Instant heals while flag running, fighting, etc. are an awesome source of a "free extra life". Also, popping an instant [Hibernate] on a flag running druid is a rude way to bring their feral career to a screeching halt.
  • Bottom Line: If you're this far into Restoration, get this talent. One of the best in the game. Even non-healers can find lots of opportunities to use this.

[Fury of Stormrage]

Requires 10 points in Restoration Talents
2 points: Reduces the mana cost of your Wrath spell by 100%, and when you deal damage with your Wrath spell you have a 12% chance to cause your next Starfire to be instant cast within 8 sec.

  • This interesting ability substantially improves a resto druid's dps. It makes one main nuke spell completely free 100 percent of the time as long as you just have two points in this talent, and gives you a proc with a pretty good percentage chance that makes the other nuke instant-cast.
    • Solo Utility: Not worth it. As good as this is, you won't want to make an entire playstyle around it. It is the only talent in the Restoration tree that seriously improves DPS (not counting [Incarnation: Tree of Life], but see below for more on that). You could solo your way through the game with this and the few other DPS talents attainable with 31 points in the resto tree by spamming [Wrath] for free on everything you see and throwing out a [Starfire] when this procs and healing yourself in between, but you'd struggle a lot if you ever do any non-solo content and you'd be bored silly.
    • Raid Utility: Situational. Many fights have natural lulls in damage dealt as parts of the mechanics, and a lot of damage can be avoided by smart, well-prepared players. When that happens, normally the healers would top people off and run around in circles regenerating mana, but with this talent they would have the option of contributing DPS. Alternately, if a raid is running up against an enrage timer, having a healer contribute DPS might be the edge the raid needs.
    • PvP Utility: Probably quite nice. In addition to the flat numbers, there's the surprise factor: when people see a druid in caster or Tree of Life form, they expect heals, not fast, cheap damage. Again, this won't make a resto druid's DPS competitive with other classes or specs but it will be a lot more than they normally do.
  • Bottom Line: Good for PvP healers. For raiders, it's situational at best. More specifically than that, it's hard to say. Wait and see.

[Nature's Bounty]

Requires 15 points in Restoration Talents
3 points: Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth spell by 60%, and you have a 100% chance when you critically heal with Healing Touch and Nourish to reduce the remaining cooldown of your Swiftmend spell by 0.5 sec.

  • This makes one of your core healing spells better, and makes two other healing spells shorten the cooldown on one of your "panic buttons".
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: Nothing special. More crits on Regrowth are very nice. The Swiftmend cooldown reduction will be hard to notice, but if you're casting any Healing Touch and Nourish at all then you're in a situation where every second counts.
    • PvP Utility: Almost definitely worth using. Of your healing spells that have a casting time, Regrowth has the shortest casting time among them. Making it crit almost constantly is a very nice way to get more healing out of it.
  • Bottom Line: Worthwhile for any dedicated healer.

[Empowered Touch]

Requires 15 points in Restoration Talents
2 points: Increases the healing done by your Healing Touch and Nourish spells by 10%, and causes those spells to refresh the duration of your Lifebloom on targets.

  • An interesting talent. The increase to Healing Touch and Nourish is moderately useful; both spells get used at least a bit as the situation requires. The Lifebloom-refreshing portion of this talent requires care to use right because sometimes you want to refresh the spell but at other times you want it to expire.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: Always nice, and very nice in some situations.
    • PvP Utility: Nothing special. Taking the time to cast direct heals in PvP is dangerous.
  • Bottom Line: Worth getting if you have the points to spare.

[Malfurion's Gift]

Requires 15 points in Restoration Talents
2 points: Whenever you heal with your Lifebloom spell, you have a 4% chance to cause Omen of Clarity.

  • [Omen of Clarity] is a very nice way to cast spells for free and save mana. This gives you more of them.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: Great for mana management.
    • PvP Utility: Nothing special. Mana regeneration is less important in PvP than in raiding but is always nice for any playstyle.
  • Bottom Line: Patch 4.0.1 has made mana regeneration more important and more difficult for all healers. This will probably help greatly with that.

[Efflorescence]

Requires 20 points in Restoration Talents
3 points: When you heal with your Swiftmend spell you also sprout a bed of healing flora underneath the target, healing all nearby friendly targets within 8 yards for 30% of the amount healed by your Swiftmend over 7 sec. Healing effectiveness diminishes for each player beyond 6 within the area.

  • This ability applies a heal over time effect to an area on the ground. It appears as a glowing green circle on the ground and players standing in that circle get healed for a moderate amount.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: This rewards smart groups. The problem here is that for years, raid mechanics have trained people to run out of intermittent glowing patches on the ground as quickly as possible, and this (along with [Holy Word: Sanctuary] and [Healing Rain], two healing abilities for other classes also added in Patch 4.0.1) uses intermittent glowing patches on the ground for healing. Many raiders will see this patch and run out of it purely by reflex after years of getting killed by similar-looking effects from bosses such as Grobbulus and Professor Putricide. The best of the best will adapt and soak up a lot of healing for free from this effect, but for people in pick-up groups and guilds that are still learning new fights, this might cause a lot of confusion.
    • PvP Utility: Hard to say. Swiftmend is good in PvP and this makes it even better, but there's so much moving in PvP that you can't count on your allies remaining in the circle for the full duration.
  • Bottom Line: Mainly a raiding talent but probably of some use in PvP as well.

[Wild Growth]

Requires 20 points in Restoration Talents
1 point: 27% of base Mana, 40 yd range, instant cast, 10 sec cooldown. Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 15 yards of the target for 2863 over 7 sec. The amount healed is applied quickly at first, and slows down as the Wild Growth reaches its full duration.

  • The resto druid's preferred area of effect heal. [Tranquility] is channeled and has a long cooldown, and Efflorescence heals for less than this even if everyone does get inside the circle. This, though, has no casting time and heals up to five people (seven with Tree of Life) for a respectable amount.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal. Again, you won't be this far down the tree with a solo build.
    • Raid Utility: A very nice talent. This is a instant cast, less powerful [Tranquility]. The only problem with it is that with a high mana cost, it prevents you from spamming nothing but this.
    • PvP Utility: Definitely useful if you're this far down the tree. Good for healing groups of teammates while fighting on a flag or node.
  • Bottom Line: A very good talent, adding one more instant HoT to your arsenal. Mana cost is heavy, but not as heavy as casting Rejuvenation on five people. Use it sparingly when a group is getting AoEd and you'll see the huge benefit.

[Nature's Cure]

Requires 20 points in Restoration Talents
1 point: Empowers your Remove Corruption spell to also remove a magic effect from a friendly target.

  • Once upon a time, druids had separate spells that removed curses and poisons. [Remove Corruption] removes both of them. With this talent, it removes magic effects as well.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: Variable. One of the many changes in Patch 4.0.1 was a revamp of the buffing/debuffing system. Now more classes can remove more debuffs than they used to, but doing so costs more mana than it used to and if there's nothing to dispell the spells will still be cast and consume mana rather than producing an error message. The point is, players need to be smarter about dispelling than they used to; mana will be wasted if multiple people take it upon themselves to remove debuffs. If there's already someone else in the raid who can and will dispell magic effects then a druid will not need this. On the other hand, though, for one single point it's probably worth getting this just in case.
    • PvP Utility: Unlike in PvE above, there's very little downside; PvP has even more curses, poisons and magic effects flying around and even fewer people trying to dispell them.
  • Bottom Line: Definitely worth it for PvP healers. For PvE healers, it's probably worth getting this talent just in case even though it might not be used much.

[Nature's Ward]

Requires 20 points in Restoration Talents
2 points: Whenever you take an attack while at or below 50% health, you have a 100% chance to automatically cast Rejuvenation on yourself with no mana cost.

  • Free, automatic self-healing is always nice. Note that this talent will make Swiftmend truly instant-cast on yourself, without even needing to use a cooldown on a HoT first.
    • Solo Utility: minimal.
    • Raid Utility: Most damage to raiders other than the tanks in most raid encounters can be avoided. But there are still lots of encounters with unavoidable AoE, and lots of times you'll get hit anyway because you're a few seconds too slow. If you want a safety cushion for those times, this talent would be a great one.
    • PvP Utility: Probably essential.
  • Bottom Line: A very good talent. In theory almost all the damage to the healer can be avoided, except in PvP, but in practice it's very nice to have a bonus that doesn't require using a global cooldown or anything on yourself.

[Gift of the Earthmother]

Requires 25 points in Restoration Talents
3 points: Increases the healing done when your Lifebloom expires by 15%, and causes your Rejuvenation spell to also instantly heal for 15% of the total periodic effect.

  • A very nice little bonus. The benefit of the Lifebloom increase is variable, because sometimes want to keep on refreshing your Lifebloom rather than let it expire. The increase to the Rejuvenation effect is a nice bonus, but not enough to actually replace your direct heals. Despite that, this is a good-sized buff to two spells that you cast a lot.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: Hugely important. Lifebloom is a druid's most mana-efficient healing spell. Rejuvenation is our only instant-cast healing spell without a cooldown. Therefore, they both get cast a lot, and this makes them both quite a bit better.
    • PvP Utility: See above.
  • Bottom Line: Very nice if you have the points free for it.

[Swift Rejuvenation]

Requires 25 points in Restoration Talents
1 points: Reduces the global cooldown of your Rejuvenation by 0.5 sec.

  • The base cooldown for spells is 1.5 seconds. This gives Rejuvenation a cooldown of only 1 second, a difference that seems small but can add up greatly in high-pressure situations.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal.
    • Raid Utility: Great. Druids are traditionally the raid healers. While Cataclysm has shaken up all roles, that will still probably be true to a degree. With this talent, if you are quick with your trigger finger you can cast Rejuvenation on everyone in a 10-man raid in the same amount of time it would take you to get only six people without this talent. In addition, it decreases the time before you can cast Swiftmend on a target without any HoTs on them.
    • PvP Utility: Same as above. You rarely need to spread it around so much but you need to cast a Swiftmend or other healing spell even more.
  • Bottom Line: A very good talent.

[Incarnation: Tree of Life]

Requires 30 points in Restoration Talents
Requires 1 point in Wild Growth
1 point: 6% of base Mana, Instant cast, 3 min cooldown. Shapeshift into the tree of life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 120%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarily enhanced while shapeshifted. Lasts 30 sec. Enhanced spells: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Entangling Roots, Wrath

   *Lifebloom: allows an unlimited number of Lifebloom targets.
   *Wild Growth: allows an extra two targets to receive WG.
   *Regrowth: instant-cast.
   *Entangling Roots: instant-cast, damage increased by 200%.
   *Wrath: cast-time reduced by 50%, damage increased by 30%.
  • This is more or less unique. Patch 4.0.1 turned this into a healing equivalent of the warlock's [Metamorphosis] ability. Instead of changing forms to get an increase in damage and new abilities, it gives an increase in healing and improvements to existing abilities. While each healing class has an ability on a cooldown that buffs healing throughput, this is probably the most complicated and the one that makes the biggest difference. This is also the only druid shapeshifting form with a cooldown.
    • Solo Utility: Minimal. Sure, it grants armor and two of the abilities it enhances are DPS-related, but this has a three-minute cooldown so you still can't use it much for soloing.
    • Raid Utility: The cooldown is definitely a nerf compared to the old version of this spell, but a three-minute cooldown is short enough to be used more than once on most boss fights and once on all but the easiest trash mobs. The question becomes, then, how to use it, and there are plenty of options: spamming instant-cast regrowths would burn through your mana very quickly but keep anyone alive; spreading around Lifebloom and Wild Growth even more widely than usual would heal the whole raid, instant-cast Entangling Roots could control an unruly add indefinitely, and buffed Wrath would provide a lot more DPS than most healers could achieve. Which one of those you will use this for would have to depend on the fight.
    • PvP Utility: The cooldown really hurts; resto druids no longer have plate-like levels of armor the way moonkins do. On the flipside, this greatly buffs the damage and casting time of Wrath and Entangling Roots and makes Regrowth instant-cast, allowing massive and quick (but not very mana-efficient) heals.
  • Bottom Line: No longer an indispensable, always-on ability for resto druids, but still good and definitely worth investing in for a dedicated healer.

See also