Druid > WoWNov 21, 2015 8:00 pm CT

Shifting Perspectives: Legion Beta Druid abilities, spells and talents plus Affinity details revealed

Updated

Welcome to Shifting Perspectives, Blizzard Watch’s (semi-)regular column for druids of all specs. We’re still working on hiring permanent Druid columnists. No, really.

Wowhead has datamined a massive amount of data from the Legion beta client and us Druids are getting a further look into what’s in store for us. Not only are we getting a preview of many of the talents we will have to choose from, but we get to see what abilities come with our Affinity forms. Spoilers of data that will likely change multiple times before the Legion expansion launches after the jump!

New Affinity Talent details

Balance Affinity

Passive: Astral Influence – Increases the range of all of your abilities by 5 yards.

You also learn:

You get the damage and armor increase of Moonkin form, a DOT, the two Astral Power generator nukes and the big Astral Power spender nuke that increases the damage of your other two nukes. That’s a decent kit for an off-spec but it still needs at least one AOE to really be effective. It can’t be Starfall otherwise this would be almost the full Balance spec. Some kind of pared down Hurricane would be welcome.

Feral: Cat players may want a back up damage dealing spec for encounters where their melee abilities aren’t useful or where they would be taking too much damage in melee range. Plus, that extra range passive is great for a melee class. Unfortunately, AOE damage is one of the main weaknesses of the Feral spec and this Affinity does nothing to help fill that gap.

Guardian: When not tanking, this could be a great way to still contribute to damage though I suspect most bear druids will pick cat or tree for their off specs.

Restoration: Tree druids will likely pick this Affinity over the others. Though there is rarely time they can step away from healing or divert mana into damage, when that opportunity arises they can contribute to the fight at range.

Feral Affinity

Passive: Feline Swiftness – Increases your movement speed by 15%.

You also learn:

With this Affinity, you get two abilities to build up combo points (a single target plus an AOE one) and two finishers: one that applies a bleed and one burst damage dealer. No stuns, no interrupts, just straight up damage.

Balance: I don’t see many Moonkin taking this Affinity unless they see it as a way to continue to do damage when they are out of mana, assuming their mana regens while they are in this form.

Guardian: I see this as the Affinity of choice for bear druids. They are used to fighting as melee and the passive run speed increase will be a great help while chasing down adds as a tank. Though some bear tanks not interested in shifting may take Resto Affinity strictly for its passive healing bonus.

Restoration: Some tree druids may take this for the passive, but when it comes to a damage Affinity, Balance wins out.

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Guardian Affinity

Passive: Thick Hide – Reduces all damage taken by 10%.

You also learn:

This is a hell of an off-tank kit. The taunt, single-target damage, AOE damage, armor buff, and health regen will see you through some sticky situations.

Balance: This Affinity acts as a great emergency form when the player gets an add on them that won’t go away. Who needs to wait for a tank to peel it off when you can just tank the thing yourself? This will also appeal to Moonkin players that like to solo for the same survivability reasons and those that remember when Moonkin could tank (sorta) back in the day.

Feral: Good for off-tanking since the cat druids are already in melee range and the passive doesn’t hurt either. I see many Feral druid opting for this Affinity for utility and survivabilty.

Restoration: While the idea of being able to tank pesky adds may be appealing, most Tree druids will opt for the Balance Affinity.

Restoration Affinity

Passive: Ysera’s Gift – Heals you for 4% of your maximum health every 5 sec. If you are at full health, a random nearby injured ally will be healed instead.

You also learn:

A HOT, a moderate heal with a small HOT, and an instacast emergency big heal with a 30 second cooldown. That about covers it. Would it be too much to ask for an AOE heal? Likely, yes. But this still make for an effective emergency healer.

Balance: I see this as the primary choice for Moonkin. Not only does the passive help their survivability, but already being ranged lends themselves to switching into emergency healing mode when the fight goes south.

Feral: While the passive is appealing, cat druids that are looking to shift will likely go Balance Affinity for ranged damage as needed or Guardian Affinity for survivability.

Guardian: This may be the primary choice for bear tanks for the passive alone. Being tanks, they aren’t likely going to be able to shift into another form mid-fight anyway so the passives are key.

wow-legion-druid-class-preview-night-elf-header

Spells, Talents, and Glyphs (not necessarily in that order)

I’m not going to go over the changes to abilities that were covered in the official class preview, but touch upon the new talents that surfaced in the datamined list.

Major Glyphs are gone. Minor Glyphs remain and you can use as many as you want (of the ones that don’t conflict with each other.) I suspect many of the Major Glyph enhancements will be incorporated in the new talent system.

Wowhead has a Legion Druid talent calculator with new talents dropped in. Keep in mind these may not be all of them, they may not be in their final form, and we may not have seen everything about the abilities they interact with. Also, we don’t know which talents are in the same row. Also, some of these may have already been cut.

Balance

Balance Druid talent calculator can be found here.

L15 Talents:

  • Shooting StarsMoonfire and Sunfire ticks have a chance to call down a falling star, dealing (21% of Spell power) Arcane damage and generating 5 Astral Power.
  • Warrior of Elune: Your next 2 Lunar Strikes have no cast time. 45 second cooldown.
  • Starlord: When your Solar and Lunar spells are empowered, their cast time is reduced by 50%.

All three of these are strong. Shooting Stars is a passive Astral Power generator. Warrior of Elune not only provides solid burst damage, but both those Lunar Strikes generate Astral Power which will put you close to pulling off your big nuke, Starsurge. And with Starlord (c’mon, Starlord, man) Starsurge not only makes your Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath 30% stronger, but cast 50% faster!

L30 Talents:

  • Renewal: Instantly heals the Druid for 30% of maximum health. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Displacer Beast: Teleports the Druid up to 20 yards forward, activates Cat Form, and increases movement speed by 50% for 4 sec.
  • Wild Charge: Fly to a nearby ally’s position.

Renewal seems a no brainer here.

L45 Talents:

  • Feral Affinity
  • Guardian Affinity
  • Restoration Affinity

See above.

L60 Talents:

  • Mighty Bash: Invokes the spirit of Ursoc to stun the target for 5 sec. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Mass Entanglement: Roots your target in place for 20 sec and spreads to additional nearby enemies. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Typhoon: Summons a violent Typhoon that strikes targets in front of the caster within 15 yards, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 sec. Usable in all shapeshift forms.

These seem like solo talents, so pick your favorite.

L75 Talents:

  • Soul of the Forest: Increases the damage bonus from Lunar and Solar Empowerment by an additional 15%.
  • Incarnation: Chosen of Elune: An improved Moonkin Form that increases all your spell damage by an additional 15%. Lasts 30 sec. You may shapeshift in and out of this improved Moonkin Form for its duration. 3 min cooldown.
  • Stellar Flare: Burns the target for (39% of Spell power) Spellstorm damage, and then an additional (156% of Spell power) damage over 24 sec. Stellar Flare benefits from both Lunar and Solar Empowerments, consuming 1 of each.

The passive 15% damage increase to Lunar and Solar Empowerments (which you gain each time you cast Starsurge) is nice, but the emergency button of Chosen of Elune and the fact that it applies the 15% bonus damage to all spells is very tempting. Stellar Flare looks like a great chunk of damage, but not sure it measures up to the other two in terms of damage output.

L90 Talents:

  • Stellar Drift: Increases the radius of Starfall by 30%, and the damage dealt by 20%. Additionally, while you are inside the Starfall you can cast while moving.
  • Full Moon: The damage dealt to the primary target of Lunar Strike is increased by 25%.
  • Nature’s Balance: You align to the power of the Moon and Stars so your direct damage spells reenergize your damage over time effects. Your Lunar Strike extend the duration of Moonfire by 6 sec. Your Solar Wraths extend the duration of Sunfire by 4 sec.

Stellar Drift’s ability to move while casting could be a lifesaver in a raid depending on the radius, Full Moon + Soul of the Forest + Warrior of Elune or + Starlord gives new meaning to pew pew pew! Nature’s Balance meshes well with Shooting Stars for longer DOTs that provide more steady Astral Power.

L100 Talents:

  • Collapsing Stars: Burns the target for (1000% of Spell power) Spellstorm damage, and then an additional (400% of Spell power) damage per second until your Astral Power is exhausted. Replaces Celestial Alignment.
  • Astral Communion: Generate 75 Astral Power, 1 min cooldown.
  • Blessing of the Ancients: Gain a Blessing of the Ancients, activating or swapping between one of the two following beneficial effects:
    • Blessing of Elune: Increases Astral Power generated by Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike by 50%.
    • Blessing of An’she: Grants 3 Astral Power every 2 sec.

Collapsing Stars is the showcase nuke for Moonkin and is going to be hard to pass up. However, Astral Communion can instantly power a Starsurge or two or multiple Lunar Strikes to feed into the Full Moon talent combo listed above. Also, if you take Astral Communion, you retain Celestial Alignment. Blessing of the Ancients with the Blessing of Elune option can also feed into a Lunar Strike build that will herald the return of the Galactic Space Chicken of Destruction.

Overall, it looks like you can talent for strong burst damage, strong sustained damage, or a mix in between. I predict a fast-casting, high-damage Lunar Strike pew pew pew build is going to get popular once the numbers get crunched.

Feral

Feral Druid talent calculator can be found here.

L15 Talents:

  • Predator: The cooldown on Tiger’s Fury will reset if a target dies with one of your Bleed effects active.
  • Blood Scent: Your melee abilities in Cat Form have a 10% increased critical strike chance on targets with a Bleed effect.
  • Lunar Inspiration: Moonfire is now usable while in Cat Form, generates 1 combo point, deals damage based on attack power, and costs 30 energy.

Predator looks like the standout to me. The constant flow of extra Energy provided by Tiger’s Fury can help immensely especially in an AOE situation where you can use Thrash to put the bleed on multiple enemies and then spam Swipe with the extra Energy as they die.

L30 Talents:

  • Renewal: Instantly heals the Druid for 30% of maximum health. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Displacer Beast: Teleports the Druid up to 20 yards forward, activates Cat Form, and increases movement speed by 50% for 4 sec.
  • Wild Charge: Fly to a nearby ally’s position.

No strong opinions here. Take what works for your playstyle.

L45 Talents:

  • Balance Affinity
  • Guardian Affinity
  • Restoration Affinity

See above.

L60 Talents:

  • Mighty Bash: Invokes the spirit of Ursoc to stun the target for 5 sec. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Mass Entanglement: Roots your target in place for 20 sec and spreads to additional nearby enemies. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Typhoon: Summons a violent Typhoon that strikes targets in front of the caster within 15 yards, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 sec. Usable in all shapeshift forms.

And extra stun never hurts, especially a 5 second one. Mighty Bash is the stand out here.

L75 Talents:

  • Soul of the Forest: Your finishing moves grant 4 Energy per combo point.
  • Incarnation: King of the Jungle: An improved Cat Form that allows the use of Prowl while in combat and causes Shred and Rake to function as if stealth were active. Lasts 30 sec. You may shapeshift in and out of this improved Cat Form for its duration (3 mins)
  • Bloody Slash: Strike all nearby enemies in a flurry of blood slashes, inflicting 954% Physical damage to each. Awards 1 combo point. Maximum 3 charges. Replaces Swipe. 15 sec recharge.

All of these are solid, but Bloody Slash may be the AOE burst damage cat druids have been dreaming off. With three charges, but 45 Energy per activation, you may have to rely on the level 15 Predator talent to fuel it faster.

L90 Talents:

  • Sabertooth: Your Ferocious Bite extends the duration of Rip by 2 seconds per combo point spent.
  • Jagged Wounds: Your Rip, Rake, and Thrash abilities deal the same damage as normal, but in 33% less time.
  • Elune’s Guidance: Immediately gain 5 combo points and an additional 1 combo point every 1 sec for 5 sec. 45 sec cooldown.

Another tough choice. While Jagged Wounds speeds up the damage of your bleeds, it also means you’ll need to be constantly reapplying those bleeds. Elune’s Guidance sets you up instantly for a finisher and, five seconds later, another finisher and with a relatively short cooldown, you’ll be using it every time it pops.

L100 Talents:

  • Savage Roar: Finishing move that increases physical damage done by 40% while in Cat Form. Lasts longer per combo point
  • Bloodtalons: Casting Healing Touch causes your next two melee abilities to deal 30% additional damage.
  • Moment of Clarity: Omen of Clarity now lasts 7 sec, instead of 1 cast

Savage Roar is very, very hard to beat. Especially if you open with Elune’s Guidance so you can instantly activate a full duration Savage Roar. Moment of Clarity is appealing in that you can spam your basic attacks at no energy cost for 7 seconds, but I’m not sure that makes up for missing out on an early fight 40% damage boost. The only interesting thing about Bloodtalons is that cat druids will still have Healing Touch in cat form.

As it stands, I see most Feral Druids picking up Elune’s Guidance to get a Savage Roar up immediately, then Predator for the Energy to spam attacks with Bloody Slash replacing Swipe. Some players may opt for Jagged Wounds over Elune’s Guidance figuring the sustained damage from faster bleeds is worth waiting to get Savage Roar going.

troll-druid-resto-header

Guardian

Guardian Druid talent calculator can be found here.

L15 Talents:

  • Brambles: Sharp brambles protect you, absorbing and reflecting up to (Attack power * 0.2) damage from each attack.
  • Pulverize: A devastating blow that consumes 3 stacks of your Lacerate on the target to deal 420% Physical damage, and reduce damage taken by 15% for 12 sec.
  • Blood Frenzy: Lacerate also generates 1 Rage per stack, each time it deals damage over time.

Three solid talents, but Blood Frenzy generating additional Rage is hard to beat.

L30 Talents:

Gutteral Roars almost seems like a utility glyph. Wild Charge still seems like the best pick to help out a teammate getting thrashed or quickly get out of a ground AOE effect.

L45 Talents:

  • Balance Affinity
  • Feral Affinity
  • Restoration Affinity

See above.

L60 Talents:

  • Mighty Bash: Invokes the spirit of Ursoc to stun the target for 5 sec. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Mass Entanglement: Roots your target in place for 20 sec and spreads to additional nearby enemies. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Typhoon: Summons a violent Typhoon that strikes targets in front of the caster within 15 yards, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 sec. Usable in all shapeshift forms.

Mighty Bash. NEXT!

L75 Talents:

  • Soul of the Forest: Mangle generates 5 more Rage and deals 15% more damage.
  • Incarnation: Son of Ursoc: An improved Bear Form that reduces the cooldown on all melee damage abilities and Growl to 1.5 sec. Lasts 30 sec. You may freely shapeshift in and out of this improved Bear Form for its duration.
  • Galactic Guardian: Your damage has a 5% chance to trigger a Moonfire, and Moonfire also reduces the damage that enemies deal to you by 5%.

All of these are strong in different ways. We’ll have to see how these play out in beta, but I have a feeling that as appealing as discobear is with Galactic Guardian, the first two will see more play.

L90 Talents:

These three also look strong, but the deciding factor here may be Guardian of Elune due to the additional healing to Frenzied Regeneration which already has crazy good healing.

L100 Talents:

  • Rend and Tear: Lacerate also increases your damage dealt to the target, and reduces your damage taken from the target by 2% per stack.
  • Lunar Beam: Summons a beam of lunar light at your location for 8 sec. Every 1 sec, the beam will heal you for 0, and deal (100% of Attack power) Arcane damage to enemies. 1 min cooldown.
  • Bristling Fur:  You bristle your fur, reducing all damage taken by 40% for 3 sec. 30 sec cooldown.

A part offensive/part defensive talent, a signature discobear talent (and another self-heal to add to your toolkit), and the talent that may help you survive that huge hit from the boss usually takes you down. Good luck on these choices, Guardians.

Restoration

Restoration Druid talent calculator can be found here.

L15 Talents:

  • Verdant Growth: Increases the critical strike chance of your Regrowth by 40%, but no longer does any healing over time.
  • Cenarion Ward: Protects a friendly target for 30 sec. Any damage taken will consume the ward and heal the target for (879.9% of Spell power) over 6 sec.
  • Germination: You can apply two Rejuvenations to the same target. Rejuvenation’s duration is also increased by 3 sec.

Germination has long been a favorite of mine and will be popular because it feeds right into our new Mastery. Unforunately for Verdant Growth (which is the Glyph of Regrowth in talent form) it removes Regrowth’s synergy with our Mastery so it has a huge downside.

L30 Talents:

  • Renewal: Instantly heals the Druid for 30% of maximum health. Usable in all shapeshift forms. 2 min cooldown.
  • Displacer Beast: Teleports the Druid up to 20 yards forward, activates Cat Form, and increases movement speed by 50% for 4 sec.
  • Wild Charge: Fly to a nearby ally’s position.

Renewal is a great self heal and Wild Charge can get you out of harm’s way very quickly. Renewal still seems like the winner.

L45 Talents:

  • Balance Affinity
  • Feral Affinity
  • Guardian Affinity

See above.

L60 Talents:

  • Mighty Bash: Invokes the spirit of Ursoc to stun the target for 5 sec. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Mass Entanglement: Roots your target in place for 20 sec and spreads to additional nearby enemies. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Typhoon: Summons a violent Typhoon that strikes targets in front of the caster within 15 yards, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 sec. Usable in all shapeshift forms.

I like Typhoon for the knockback personally. Your mileage may vary.

L75 Talents:

  • Soul of the Forest: When you cast Swiftmend, you gain Soul of the Forest. Soul of the Forest reduces the cast time of your next Healing Touch by 50%, or increases the healing of your next Regrowth or Rejuvenation by 100%, or increases the healing of your next Wild Growth by 50%.
  • Incarnation: Tree of Life: Shapeshift into the Tree of Life, increasing healing done by 15%, increasing armor by 120%, and granting immunity to Polymorph. Functionality of Rejuvenation, Wild Growth, Regrowth, and Entangling Roots is enhanced. You may freely shapeshift in and out of this form for 30 sec, at which point the shapeshift expires. 3 min cooldown.
  • Cultivation: When Rejuvenation heals a target below 50% health, it applies Cultivation to the target, healing them for (108.4% of Spell power) over 6 sec.

I really like the idea behind Soul of the Forest. If you’re casting Swiftmend it’s likely because you’re in an emergency situation and now your other heals are suddenly empowered to deal with that. It’s only limitation is the 15 second cooldown on Switftmend which can be talented down to 5 seconds with two charges (see Prosperity below). On the other hand, I’ve grown to love Incarnation: Tree of Life. It’s a lifesaver when a fight goes sour. I think I will have to experiment with both. Sorry, Cultivation.

L90 Talents:

  • Prosperity: Reduces the cooldown of Swiftmend by 5 sec and it now has 2 charges.
  • Inner Peace: Reduces the cooldown of Tranquility by 60 sec.
  • Profusion: When you have Rejuvenation active on three or more targets, the cast time of your Healing Touch spell is reduced by 10%.

Prosperity is a must if you are picking up Soul of the Forest above, but Inner Peace dropping our massive raid heal cooldown from 3 mins to 2 is awfully hard to pass up. Profusion is just the Glyph of Rejuvenation in talent form. Bleh.

L100 Talents:

  • Moment of Clarity: Your Omen of Clarity now affects the next 3 Regrowths.
  • Stonebark: Reduces the cooldown of Ironbark by 15 sec, and it increases healing from your heal over time effects by 20%.
  • Flourish: Extend the duration of all of your heal over time effects on friendly targets within 60 yards by 10 sec.

Three Mana-free casts of Regrowth could be handy, but so is a straight up 20% bump to HOTs. And then there’s Flourish. The extra 10 seconds on all nearby HOTs is huge, but the proximity restriction may be an issue on larger raids. however it really shine in 5-man groups. Some experimentation is in order to see what works best.

Overall, Resto talents are not too exciting, but that’s because we’re already in a pretty good place. I’m interested to see how some of these play out in testing.

Other changes that have surfaced (and may or may not survive Beta) include Mark of the Wild limited to only one player at a time, Revive bringing back all dead party members, and Stampeding Roar no longer removing roots and snares. Also, Thorns is back!

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