Friday, August 13, 2010

Infrequently Used Abilities

Last night I rediscovered my love of Nature's Grasp on my druid. Every minute you can root the next 3 things to hit you in place within 45 seconds of each other. Can keep it up almost all the time and the only cost is a global cooldown. Personally I haven't used it since tanking the adds for Ignis in Ulduar, it was quite handy to have them rooted in the flames so I didn't take unnecessary damage standing there with them. It was only one charge back then and now it has 3.

So last night I found another use which takes full advantage of the 3 charges. Locking down zombies on Dreamwalker. It was rather amusing to see a pair of them rooted together while ranged blew them up. I could totally see a situation where 3 were running around and could be rooted quickly, it was only 10 man though so 2 is about as many as are up at a time. The other thing that is handy about Nature's Grasp is that is can proc Omen of Clarity for a rage/energy/mana free next ability. Cats have lots of global cooldowns to waste while waiting on energy, so popping Nature's Grasp in your spare time can potentially provide a free shred. Other specs wouldn't benefit enough to even think about it.

Another easily forgotten ability druids have is power shifting, which is a misnomer these days unless you are a bear really low on rage. Back in the good old days a feral druid could shift into the form they are already in specifically cat form and use the Furor talent in the resto tree to trade some mana for energy. For bear it still works to grab some rage if you have none, but it isn't terribly useful except for maybe right before a pull. Anyway the second benefit of power-shifting which is still quite relevant today is shifting breaks any slow or snare effects. It's basically the gnome racial without a cooldown.

Any druid worth their salt will have a macro to "shift" into whatever for they are currently in and use it to break snares. It is invaluable in many boss encounters like the freezing in place on Hodir and more recently the slowing effect of ice bolts on Dreamwalker.

/cast [stance:1] !Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] !Aquatic Form; [stance:3] !Cat Form; [stance:4] !Travel Form; [stance:5] !Tree of Life; [nocombat,flyable] !Swift Flight Form; !Travel Form

There is the macro in case anyone needs it. If you are a boomkin change 'Tree of Life' to 'Moonkin Form', they both share a stance number. If you are dual specced Tree/Chicken then you can do something like this...

/cast [stance:1] !Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] !Aquatic Form; [stance:3] !Cat Form; [stance:4] !Travel Form; [stance:5,spec:1] !Tree of Life; [stance:5,spec:2] !Moonkin Form; [nocombat,flyable] !Swift Flight Form; !Travel Form

Flip the spec numbers if your primary and secondary specs are reversed.

Basically this macro flips you into whatever for you are already in, but if you are in caster form for some reason it will flip you into either flight form or travel form depending on if flying is available. If you don't like the caster form behavior you can change it to whatever you like, perhaps to just shift into your preferred form...

/cast [stance:1] !Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] !Aquatic Form; [stance:3] !Cat Form; [stance:4] !Travel Form; [stance:5,spec:1] !Tree of Life; [stance:5,spec:2] !Moonkin Form; !Tree of Life


/cast [stance:1] !Dire Bear Form; [stance:2] !Aquatic Form; [stance:3] !Cat Form; [stance:4] !Travel Form; [stance:5,spec:1] !Tree of Life; [stance:5,spec:2] !Moonkin Form; !Cat Form

Nothing slows down a druid! Except maybe stuns or incapacitates.

Things should get interesting in Cataclysm since healers will be the only druids not in a form 100% of the time and hence can be affected by polymorph (unless they do end up removing a druid's immunity to polymorph in forms altogether in which case it won't matter). The other weakness of not being in a form though, which I haven't seen discussed, is losing the ability to power shift out of snares or slowing effects. The new tree form is a slowing effect in itself right now to add insult to injury. So resto druids would have to flip to one of their feral forms and back to remove a snare which is pretty lame.

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