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Though Druids are a hybrid class, the differences between builds of the same specialization tend to be fairly minor because of the great amount of must-have talents embedded inside each tree. The 3 trees are Balance, which improves the druid's ranged DPS, Feral, which improve the druid's animal forms, allowing him to Tank or Melee DPS effectively, and Restoration, which improves the druid's healing abilities.
For the purpose of classification within this article, builds which have less than 41 points in any one talent tree have been classified as hybrid. Otherwise, the ordering within each section is in descending number of points in the primary talent tree. Each build has its advantages and disadvantages, and there is no "best" build within each tree except in cases where you have a firm idea of what you want your Druid to do. For example, a tanking build that puts points into Thick Hide is clearly superior to a build that dismisses the talent. Despite this, it is ultimately up to the individual decide which talent build is most suitable to their chosen play style.
When raiding, opting for a more traditional, non-hybrid raid build is likely to be a necessity as it will allow you to maximize your contribution to the raid, whether your role is DPS, tank, or healer.
Please note, the talent builds listed below are out of date. Patch 4.0.1 (now live) has changed the talent trees. You now have 41 talent points at level 85*.
Balance is the casting DPS tree of the druid. Using nature and arcane magic the druid fluctuates the forces of nature in its favour.
PvE Balance + Glyphs (31/2/3)
The main goal of tree is to increase damage and mana pool of druid. Thats the reason not to spec into Owlkin Frenzy and Gale Winds, these are PvP specs.
PvE Balance (32/0/4)
Another build removing fungal growth (pvp talent that is unable to be fully utilized yet) Use this build if you don't have problems with mana. (Maximum DPS build sacrificing mana regen)
Pure PvE Balance (31/2/3)
This build removes Fungal Growth, Owlkin Frenzy, and Gale Winds in favor of straight damage and mana pool talents.
Feral Tank (0/38/3)
Good tank build with glyphs. Infected wounds was selected for damage reduction. By reducing speed of attack, the tank takes less damage. Feral Agression reduces target of Faerie Fire (feral)'s armor by 12% which will increase damage and as such threat generation. Improved Skull Bash for the 50 second cooldown reduction to be a valid interrupt. Endless carnage will increase the buff that Pulverize gives you by nearly double; increasing your crit chance by up to 9% thus increasing damage and threat. I chose to not go into the restoration tree (Natural and Master Shapeshifter), as the primary gain for this is a 4% physical damage increase at the loss of 3 total talent points. Which have better uses.
Feral Tank (0/35/6)
|Purpose||Dungeons or Raids|
Slightly different build for a different play style. Same talent build as previous but with the Natural Shapeshifter and Master Shapshifter talents selected instead of the Feral Agression and Endless Carnage talents. Also, I felt that the Minor Glyph of Unburdoned Rebirth would be of more use than the Dash Glyph. (Incase of a wipe(or bad healer), the tank can resurect and keep going :))
Feral pvp (0/33/3)
Build for cat playing, bear when in trouble. A basic BG spec.
The Restoration tree empowers the druid's heal over time spells (hots) and their other generic healing spells. The specs listed below are for end-game only. For leveling specs, locate yourself to the WoW Druid Forums. For healing tactics and information, see Druid tactics/Restoration.
Basic Resto (2/0/34)
Takes all of the talents that improve healing throughput. If you find that you have mana problems then reinvest points from Nature's Majesty and Blessing of the Grove in to Revitalize and Furor.
Optimizes talents & glyphs for powerful quick & simple healing and mana conservation.