Druid talents (WoW)  


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Druid Tank Talent Analysis

Hello, this is not a comprehensive guide to Druid talents. It only focuses on talents relevant to Druid tanking and Off Tanking roles. Cat form DPS will not be anything more than a minor factor in the logic and reasoning behind this analysis. We will start with Balance, then move on to Restoration then the goodness of the Feral Tree. This will be a bare bones essentials build at the end with several extra points to spread around for personal preference or utility in other areas.

Balance Tree

First Tier

Nature's Grasp

This is a one point talent that seems pretty good. It grants a percent chance, starts at 35% improvable with more points, to cast Roots on attackers. While this seems to be a good thing and is most all instances are indoors so the talent wont proc, ever. So from a tanking point of view this talent is a waste of points.


Well that sums up the Balance tree for tanks. You can pretty much avoid it if you are focusing on the tank aspects of the class. While Natures Grasp does have a lot of use for PvP and even solo play for the purposes of tanking it can and should be avoided.

Restoration Tree

First Tier


This 5 point talent gives you a 20% chance per point to have 10 rage when you shift into bear form or 40 energy for cat form. This is an awesome talent. Having that 10 rage can with other talents give you the rage to Maul or coupled with Enrage enough to Mangle to start a pull. This is a strong tanking talent, for both main and off tanks.

Improved Mark of the Wild

This talent will improve you Mark of the Wild buff by 7% per point. This ends up being an extra 159 Armor, 8.75 all Resistances and 4.9 to all stats at level 70 with a 5 point investment. For the points you spend it is not worth it as the points are needed elsewhere. The strength of this buff is weak compared to many others. Avoid taking this talent.

Second Tier


This talent increase physical damage by 2% per point up to 5 points. This will result in a 10% damage increase to all bear and cat attacks. This should excite you and you should spend the full 5 points here. More damage is always welcome.

Nature's Focus

This talent helps prevent interruption for some healing spells. You are tanking not healing so skip and save points.

Natural Shapeshifter

Reduces mana spent changing forms by 10% per point up to a 30% reduction at max points. As the shapeshift spells into bear and cat forms both cost 35% of your personal maximum mana I will assume a mana pool of 4310 in full tank gear. This gives a cost of 1055 compared to 1508 without the talent. That is a good amount of mana especially since bears have very small mana pools. This talent is useful but finding room for the points can be a challenge. I will definitely give this a stronger recommendation to off tanks who are more likely to be shifting forms more often. A good talent but not essential to a bear tanking spec.

Third Tier


Gives you an extra 4/7/10 rage [1]instantly[2] when popping Enrage. This makes Enrage give more rage and faster rage. A very strong bear talent but again not considered essential to tanking. More a matter of preference and point availability. That being said once you have it you get used to it and switching back to not having it will seem painful.


Spells threat reduction and dispel resistance. Avoid this one as well. You are in feral form melee attacking not casting spells. Save it for the trees and chickens.

Omen of Clarity

This is the reason we go into the Restoration Tree. Has a proc chance on melee attacks that causes your next ability that costs mana, energy or rage to be free. Take this talent. It helps and adds greatly to our TPS. Helps in both bear and cat forms. The free attack is great especially if it crits as that will proc other feral talents giving you more rage. More rage is good, you want more rage. So take this talent.

Fourth Tier

From this point on there is nothing really valid to help a tanking role; whether it be main or off tanking.


The Restoration Tree has far more tanky goodness than the Balance Tree. The Furor(5/5) will help you to start pulls with rage. Naturalist(5/5) will help your TPS by increasing physical damage, always a good thing. The increased rage given by Furor will only further complimented by Intensity(3/3) by pumping up the amount of rage you gain from Enrage. The Omen of Clarity(1/1) is great also as it allows for rage free attacks, typically Maul as it is a rage burner. The essentials of the Restoration Tree are 5/5 Furor 5/5 Naturalist and 1/1 Omen of Clarity. Intensity and Natural Shifter are good but non-essential talents so we will keep them in mind as we continue. So we have now spent 11 points out of our 61. Now we get to the meat of tanking talents. They are of course found in the Feral Tree.

Feral Tree

First Tier


Reduces the cost of Maul, Swipe, Rake, Claw and Mangle by 1 unit per point up to 5. Mangle, Swipe and Maul make up 3 of the 4 attacks you will mainly use as a tank. Rake is a cat ability that isn't used that much. Mangle also is the cat ability that out right replaces Claw in that form. 5 points here is the start of any feral build. Take them they make you a better and more efficient tank by making some of your core attacks cheaper to use.

Feral Aggression

For tanking this increases the power of Demoralizing Roar. The talent increase the amount of enemy AP reduced by 8% per point. This means it goes from a 240 reduction to a 336 point reduction in AP. This seems big but it really isn't. The impact is minimal. The points can be better spent elsewhere. A decent talent at best.

Second Tier

Feral Instinct

Core tank ability. Get all 3 points. Increase your threat by 15%. This is a huge increase as it combines with the innate bear form threat enhancement to truly allow bears to tank. If you don't have these 3 points don't tank.

Brutal Impact

A 2 point talent that increases the duration of your Bash(bear) and Pounce(cat) abilities by .5 seconds per point. This gives an extra 1 second of stun time with 2 points. A good talent for trash and soloing. Doesn't work on bosses or some really nasty mobs. A good talent but not required by any means as Bash is mainly used for the interrupt and not the stun. Don't grab it unless you have the points and want the extra stun time. More beneficial for solo play really.

Thick Hide

Very strong place to dump 3 points. The armor increase of 10% for 3 points may seem small. But it has insane synergy with the bear armor multiplier. The math ends up pushing the armor adjustment to 550% of caster form armor in Dire Bear form. The beauty of scaling. In other words, this talent is part of the tanking core.

Third Tier

Feral Swiftness

Increases Dodge by 4% with both points. Take both as this is pure avoidance. Which bear tanks need in dodge as we can't block or parry. Dodge, insane amounts of armor and health is how we survive and manage to tank. Unless you have insane gear take this talent. Very good way to spend 2 points.

Feral Charge

Warriors have Intercept we have this. Gives you an ability to charge an enemy that is 8-25 yards away, root and interrupt them for 4 seconds and usually get aggro back. Not required but much like Intensity 3/3 you get very used to it when you have it on your bar.

Sharpened Claws

Plus 6% crit chance. Take it. Don't even think about not taking it if you are a feral druid. It is good alone but is the requirement for a truly awesome talent. Part of the core tank talent set.

Fourth Tier

Shredding Attacks

Causes Lacerate and Shred to be cheaper. Lacerate is a good, fairly cheap highish threat ability that is our version of a Warrior's Sunder Armor. You don't get it till level 66 so if you do take this don't start with the points till level 64. The Shred cost reduction is mandatory for filling our role as off-tank/DPS, since 1/4th to 1/3rd of our DPS in cat-form is from Shred.

Predatory Strikes

Take this talent as it gives you a AP increase of 150% of your level or 105 AP at level 70. It is also a requirement for another core talent so you don't have a choice but to spend 3 points in this talent.

Primal Fury

The other reason you took Sharpened Claws is to get this talent. For a measly 2 points you now gain 5 rage or an extra combo point when ever you crit. You should be critting a lot by the way. With Swipe you can theoretically crit 3 times and gain back 15 rage. This talent is too much feral goodness not to take as it has great synergy with crits and the feral life is a high crit lifestyle. Take this talent, both points.

Fifth Tier

Savage Fury

Increases your Mangle damage... in cat form. The Claw increase is unimportant once you get Mangle and the Rake is blah to as Rake isn't used that much as it scales poorly. Not essential for tanking. Great for solo play and cat form DPS though.

Feral Faerie Fire

Causes you to be able to pull from a distance. So for that reason alone you should take this if you want to tank. Has a nice armor debuff also. A border line core talent. What the heck, lets put this into core talents, the pulling ability and debuff are definitely worth the 1 point.

Nuturing Instinct

Gives you a bonus to heals received in cat form and bonus healing for your heals based on agility. More of a solo utility talent not really very tank centric, so we pass on this one also.


At this point we have 22 talent point and need 3 more to get to new stuff. From a purely tanking perspective Feral Charge and Shredding Attacks make the most sense to add. The intercept is really convenient and the cheaper Lacerate is good. The some of the other talents have good utility like Savage Fury or Brutal Impact but this is about minimal needed for maximum tank efficiency. The Feral Charge is too good to pass up and the Shredding Attacks has a greater impact on bear form efficiency so we take them. With extra points at the end you can go back for Savage Fury or Brutal Impact but for now they are on pass. They are near the top of the list for things to get with extra points though.

Sixth Tier

Heart of the Wild

The reason we took Predatory Strikes has arrived. When given the full 5 points you get a 20% stamina increase in bear form and a 10% AP increase for cat form. In addition, you get a 20% increase in intellect. This is great as bears need all the stamina they can get to survive as long as possible through crushing blows. A core ability take all 5 points.

Survival of the Fittest

To become uncrittable you need 490 defense or you can spend 3 talent points and only need 415 defense. The 3% crit reduction is huge so this is required for bear tanks. As a kicker you get +3% all stats just to make sure you spend the points.

Seventh Tier

Primal Tenacity

Gives 5% resistance to fear and stun mechanics per point up to 15%. Not a required ability but the added fear resistance is very nice to have. Comes down to extra points at the end and where you spend them.

Leader of the Pack

For 1 point you give yourself and all party members an extra 5% crit. That is to good to pass up for 1 point and the crit helps proc Primal Fury, which will give you more rage , which will help you keep threat, which is what a tank does. Core feral talent plus it leads to Mangle so you have no choice.

Improved Leader of the Pack

The 2 points can make you come in second place on healing meters. You and party members gain 2 or 4% of your total health on melee or ranged crits. Not a core talent but it can help take a little load off your healer and in solo play can greatly extend time between heals.


Again we need 1 more point to go on. For the this analysis I will put the point in Savage Fury as it will give increased cat damage by 10% and all tanks need some solo time. Whether for farming mats, dailies, quests or DPS/Off-tank jobs. Only the 1 point though as this is a bare bones core tank talent analysis.

Eighth Tier

Predatory Instincts

Plunk down another 5 points. The increase of 2% per point to crit damage is great as feral damage is very crit influenced. Also grants at 5 points a 15% (3/point)chance to avoid AoE attacks. This is great as many bosses have a nasty AoE that deals a lot of damage. Grab it the added damage is good and we need the points for Mangle. While we could go back dpown and spend them elsewhere, they have a greater impact on tanking viability here than anywhere else.

Ninth Tier


This defines a feral druid. The attack causes cats to remove Claw from their bars. It is your primary threat generator. It causes Lacerate to deal more damage. It has great synergy with all bleed effects to be exact. This is the best talent ever. Take it or I will fight you.


The above talents give us either increased rage generation, damage, mitigation or crit. All of these combined actually have a strong synergy with each other. The lower talents mix and help boost higher ones and vice versa. While I have framed the reasoning in the mind set of tanking they are all also very valid for cat DPS play as well making the feral tree extremely versatile.


Well thats it in a nutshell. The basics of how to spec for feral tanking. The 0/41/11 talent build will give you 9 points to play with and an extremely solid basis for tanking or off tanking anything. With the remaining 9 points you can individualize for your specific play style.

What I Did

For me personally the 9 points went as follows: 1 in Savage Fury to make it 2/2 for increased solo play and the occasional times I get to DPS. 3/3 in Primal Tenacity as I hate being feared and I have noticed a difference having the talent. 2/2 Improved Leader of the Pack, I routinely come in 2nd place on healing meters and cause everyone except for affliction locks and other that rarely crit, to follow; plus it is a great help in solo play. 3/3 Intensity for that extra rage in a pinch or to start a pull. The Intensity coupled with Heart of the Wild also lets me heal content I wouldn't be able to otherwise.

This page last modified 2008-08-16 05:32:16.