Gingerspyce and faithful companion Snarl from Sarlona here. Hail High Lords! I’ve had several people ask me about my pure druid caster/healer/quasi-tank build lately so I thought I’d post it because it doesn’t seem like there are very many druids out there and many that aren’t playing them to their potential. Also so I don’t have to type it all up each time in little chat-sized bits! I get the impression from a lot of DDO’ers that they think druids are rather hum drum, when I think they’re just not realizing how to get the most out of their nature-loving avatars.
For over 6 years I’ve exclusively played casters and healers. Across 7 toons I’ve played cleric Radiant Servant and Divine Disciple to cap, favored soul to cap 10 times, sorc 8 times (including all savants), wizard to cap 5 times and a bard healer to cap 3 times. I’m on my 8th druid life and it has turned out to be my favorite caster and healer class by far! Built properly, a caster/healer druid can solo heal any quest and any raid, can crowd control nearly any EE end game mobs and can tank all raid bosses. This is a party-centered build but is also great for soloing all elite heroic quests and solo epic hards with no problem and nearly all EE’s (2 EE's that I struggle with are EE GOP and EE Terminal Delirium due to beholders, though I am refining my strategy and hope to have a solo EE soon for GOP lol). So here’s my build which is designed to be a fun and exceptionally valuable part of an EE questing or raid party, as it provides excellent healing and crowd control, good casting dps, front line supportive melee dps and good tanking ability (read: very surviveable and versatile).
This is a very newbie-friendly and first-life friendly build and also good for people that just want to knock out a druid past life as a caster. I’ve included a bit of how-to and other information here for players that are newer to druid, even if you're not interested in making this exact build. I regularly monitor and update this post and I have a Youtube channel with dozens of videos that are dedicated to supporting the build
This is a pure 20 druid caster-focused build. If you are looking for a melee wolf build, I recommend my guildie's Woodchipper druid/fighter/monk build.
1st: Augment summoning (for fun, swap at L14 for Heavy Armor Proficiency)
Human bonus feat: Maximize
2nd (druid): Wild Shape: Wolf
3rd: Extend Spell (for longer buffs and Body of the Sun, swap at L20 for SF: Evocation)
5th (druid): Wild Shape: Bear
6th: Empower Spell
8th (druid): Wild Shape: Winter Wolf
9th: Quicken Spell
11th (druid): Wild Shape: Dire Bear
12th: Shield Mastery
13th (druid): Wild Shape: Fire Elemental
14th: Feat swap Augment Summoning for Heavy Armor Proficiency (use Blue Dragon Plate)
15th: Improved Shield Mastery
17th (druid): Wild Shape: Water Elemental
18th: Completionist (or Heighten Spell)
20th: Feat Swap Extend for Toughness any time before L21
21st: Epic Toughness
24th: Spell Focus: Evocation
26th: (Epic Destiny Feat): cold spell power
27th: Empower Healing
28th: (Epic Destiny Feat): Elusive Target
29th: (Epic Destiny Feat): Deific Warding
30th: Intensify Spell
30th: (Legendary Feat): Scion of the Plane of Earth [why did I choose Earth?]
Self buffed and ship buffed, this feat set, along with gear and past lives (all listed below) gives the following resting stats, which do not count temporary buffs, pots, metas, debuffs, etc...
HP: 1668 in Stand Against the Tide stance (1848 Vigor of Battle stance)
Earthquake DC: 66
Cold spell power: 493 (in winter season)
All my stat tomes are +5, wisdom and con are +7.
True neutral. Druids must be some form of neutral and there isn't much advantage of one form of neutrality over another. If you are splashing monk in a druid build then you must be lawful neutral. Druid cannot be multiclassed with Paladin, because paladin must be lawful good.
Starting: STR 8, DEX 8, CON 18, INT 10, WIS 18, CHA 10. Increase wisdom every time when leveling.
For a 32pt build: 8,8,18,8,18,8
For a 28pt build: 8,8,16,10,18,8
Max Spellcraft, Intimidate, Concentration, Balance. UMD at least high enough for no fail raise scrolls, remaining points in Heal. Why UMD? ...Raise Dead and Resurrection scrolls, Teleport and Greater Teleport Scrolls and wands of Protection from Evil, Shield, Knock, etc.
Racial (human): Human Versatility: Spell Power Boost, Heroism, Greater Heroism, Focused: Conc+intim (maxed), Self-Sufficient: Heal+Repair (1/3), Skill Mastery, Human Adaptability: Wisdom, Human Greater Adaptability: Constitution, Human Versatility: Save or Defense Boost, Improved Recovery line to top.
Druid: Only spend points in Season’s Herald. Start with Beguile and Wax and Wane lines and work all the way up, maxing out both lines. Strength of Solstice, Crown of Summer, Spring’s Resurgence (maxed), Season’s Greetings 1/3, wisdom x2, Negotiator (maxed), inherent line at bottom to Hierophant, Efficient Metamagic: Maximize, Autumnal Susurrus (maxed). Alternatively, at low single digit levels you will mostly be meleeing so can spend points in Nature’s Warrior side and respec to Season’s Herald at about L5. If you like using Season's Greetings regularly and want to max it out then draw points from Negotiator or Spring's Resurgence or Autumnal Susurrus.
Click on the enhancement graphic to see notes about why not to take the other Season's Herald enhancements.
HEROIC PAST LIVES
Sorc, Sorc, SORC!! Best past lives for caster druid are sorc for bonus to evocation spells and extra sp. Most druid spells or at least the ones you care about most are evocation. Sorc is the only heroic past life that is important to caster druid unless you are going completionist.
Don’t waste time getting past lives of druid unless you are a big fan of the wolf companion. I have 3 past lives of Druid (each giving summons and wolf +2 to all stats for a total of +6) and even with Augment Summoning (making it +10 to all stats) the wolf is not viable for endgame EE content (BOOH!!). Although I will say it was a blast leveling a wolf with +10 to all stats… he was getting intelligence runes lol. But it makes me very sad that I can’t have my wolf out for EE content or raids. Elite Shroud is the highest level raid I will bring my wolf out for. Wolf is fine to have out for EN and EH questing. Check out my Solo EE Maze of Madness video to see how the wolf performs in EE content.
My current PL's are 3 sorc, 3 druid, 3 fvs, 3 cleric, 3 barb, 3 wlk, 2 arti, plus 1x the rest for completionist.
EPIC PAST LIVES
4 stances: Colors of the Queen, Energy Criticals, Brace and Skill Mastery. Focus on getting 3 each of these EPL's first, which will grant Epic Completionist and open your 4th twist of fate! After you get these, focus on additional martial epl's for bonus AC. Ginger now has all 36 epic past lives.
ICONIC PAST LIVES
Stance: Shadar-kai. PDK Iconic Past lives are great for added PRR and Shadar-kai for dodge and auto-incorporeality at low health! My current IPL's are 3 PDK, 3 Shadar-kai and 3 Morninglord. Bladeforged IPL's (+5% fort each) are very unnecessary because a druid in elemental form gets a +100% racial bonus to fortification, which puts you well over 200% fort at end game.
Unyielding Sentinel! I originally used Shiradi Champion when druids first came out. I switched to Primal Avatar when it was released because it was a little better for the tanky style of play and I would switch to US when tanking raids. With the U21 changes to US, it's pushed me over to use it all the time. The updates to Sentinel give big bonus to HP, Renewal, +150% threat generation (w/melee attacks and spells!), bonuses to con and AC and you get immunity to being knocked down while using Stand Against the Tide stance. US also gives extra sp and other goodies. You can also check out the forum discussion on epic destinies for a caster druid for other ED ideas.
TWISTS OF FATE
I'm experimenting with new twists to get my Earthquake DC a little higher for Legendary Elites...
1. Draconic Incarnation Energy Burst (cold)
2. Divine Crusader Empyrean Magic
3. Magister Evocation Specialist
4. Magister Unearthly Reactions
5. Divine Crusader Interrogation
This combination requires Epic Completionist and 30 fate points. Some other twists to consider, especially while amassing fate points and working through destinies for the first time include:
- Tier 1: Endless Faith, Constitution, Wisdom, Primal Avatar Rejuvenation Cocoon, Draconic Perception
- Tier 2: Consecration, Fey Form, Precise Evocation, Damage Reduction, Legendary Shield Mastery
- Tier 3: White Dragon Heritage, Echoes of the Ancestors: Draconic Incarnation, Evocation Augmentation
GEAR (end game)
Goggles: random gen. wisdom +14 with insightful evocation +2 [ideally wis +15, insightful evocation +2, insightful wis +6]
Head: Sightless (slotted with Draconic Soul Gem and Sapphire of Crushing Wave Guard)
Neck: Epic Torc of Price Raiyum de II (slotted with spooky wis +2)
Trinket: Epic Litany of the Dead (slotted with strength +8 and Dexterity +8)
Cloak: Mysterious Cloak (slotted with good luck +2 and insightful wis +2)
Belt: Belt of Braided Beards (slotted with Sonic Resistance 40 and Armor Agility +2)
Quiver: Quiver of Alacrity
Ring1: Epic Sage's Ring (slotted with Feather Falling)
Ring2: Circle of Malevolence (with Eldritch Resistance Ritual and slotted with protection +8 and Golem's Heart)
Hands: Gauntlets of the Arcane Soldier (slotted with Greater Evocation and Greater Conjuration)
Bracers: Legendary Greensteel (T1: +28hp/+22 con skills, T2: +151sp/+11 cha skills)
Boots: Epic Ship Kickers (slotted with blindness immunity and insightful con +2)
Armor: Shadow Dragonplate Shadow Guardian 30/60 DR (with Alchemical Eldritch armor ritual, slotted with Globe of True Imperial Blood and False Life 40)
Shield: Dethek Runestone (with Eldritch shield ritual, slotted with combustion 138)
Weapon: Thunderforged Scimitar with Evocation +6, Glaciation 150, 17% universal spell lore (slotted with Meridian Fragment and insightful cha +2)
GEAR (end game non-raid suggestions for those that don't like to raid)
Goggles: Epic Sage's Spectacles**, Epic Glimpse of the Soul*, Epic Shadowsight, Epic Intricate Field Optics, Epic Four Eyes, Cannoneer's Goggles
Head: Epic Halcyonia*, Epic Eloquence*, Epic Minos Legens*, Mythic Minos Legens, Epic Mushroom Cap
Neck: Epic Sage's Locket**, Epic Lion's Mane*, Epic Pendant of Quiet Movements*, Necklace of Mystic Eidolons
Trinket: Epic Token of the Proven*, Epic Shamanic Fetish*, Epic Eagle's Eye* (if going for 6 or 2 piece set bonus), Broken Music Box, Magestar, Epic Kardin's Eye, Legendary Planar Compass
Cloak: Epic Guardian's Cloak**, Epic Cloak of Flames*, Mysterious Cloak, Epic Cloak of Night, Epic Ghost-Waking Cloak, Epic Jeweled Cloak, Epic Phiarlan Mirror Cloak
Belt: Epic Belt of Thoughtful Remembrance*, Epic Belt of Seven Ideals
Rings: Epic Sage's Ring**, Epic Guardian's Ring**, Epic Laurel Helix*, Epic Ivy Helix*, Lantern Ring, EE Ring of Shadows
Hands: Epic Fanged Gloves*, Iron Mitts*
Bracers: Epic Barbette's Bracers*, Epic Inferno Bracers*, Epic Armbands of the Silenced Ones*, Epic Bracers of Wind*, Epic Ethereal Bracers*, Mysterious Bracers
Boots: Epic Boots of the Innocent*, Epic Ship Kickers*
Armor: Shadow Dragonplate Shadow Guardian 30/60 DR (This can be crafted with unbound ingredients)
Shield: Epic Shield of Tireless Aid*, Epic Demonic Slab*, Epic Stone Wall, Epic Wall of Wood
Weapon: Thunderforged Scimitar with Evocation +6, Glaciation 150 (up to tier 2 with these stats can be crafted with unbound ingredients) or epic TOEE crafted water weapon
Note for newer players: *items are a relatively easy farm. **items are guaranteed in end rewards. As of update 29, randomly generated loot is much better, so there are lots of great options to use in place of raid loot.
Heavy wood shield w/invulnerability ASAP. Ring of Elemental Essence for early on. 3 or 5 piece chrono set and Goggles of Time Sensing can be fun for a druid for a few levels. House C challenge items: Cloak of Flames and Bracers of Wind are awesome for druid because they cover spell power and crit chance for 2 of a druid’s primary elements: fire and electricity, plus they have lots of other goodies like blur, fire absorption, dodge, Heightened Awareness and Haste guard! Get heroic versions (starting with L7 versions and upgrade them as you level) and epic versions of each. Can use random or crafted leather armor early on and Swampscale Armor or Imbued Darkleaf Banded Armor if available, which are the only medium (and heaviest) armor option for druid at L8-13 other than crafting using a hide armor blank from the Hammer and Chain in the harbor. Use Heavy Blue Dragonplate starting at L14. Wall of Wood and Epic Wall of Wood (you won’t keep these at endgame so normal versions will suffice and easier to find and much more affordable). Torc is awesome if you’re a TR; even your caster/healer druid can and should be in the middle of combat, taking lots of hits and generating lots of SP! Vibrant Purple Ioun stone (upgraded) is also very nice for any caster to have big sp at L5! Shamanic fetish is also a nice teen level trinket. A Greensteel lit II scimitar or Alchemical scimitar is very nice to have, if not available other scimitars/sickles/daggers to consider while leveling are Swailing Blade, Thunderstorm, Royal Scimitar, Flint, Guardian of Liturgy, Skiver, Threnalian War Dagger, Ornamental Dagger, Sacrificial Dagger, Icerazor. Some of these old school weapons have been updated with slots and can be augmented to make decent for their levels. For cold spell power use a crafted item or slot on weapon. Epic leveling weapon and trinket options include L24/26 version of t-forge scimitar and epic shamanic fetish. Alternatively, you can use Agony dagger from web and Planar Focus of your choice until endgame
For more suggestions about first-life heroic leveling gear, see my video series: A Beginner's Guide to the Gingerspyce Pure Druid Caster/Healer/Quasi-tank Build on my Youtube channel. The graphic below is a list of the gear that I used during the Beginner's Guide video series. It is a little dated but remains mostly relevant to a first lifer. One important change is that I am now recommending the use of heavy (blue) dragonplate instead of medium. As of update 29, many of these items can be replaced by randomly generated loot, which is now much better due to the new loot system.
For suggestions about TR leveling gear, see my video series: TR Guide to the Gingerspyce Pure Druid Caster/Healer/Quasi-tank Build. The graphic below is a list of gear that I used during my final life in the TR Guide video series.
I've added this armor section due to the U23 "Armor Up" changes. I am now recommending Heavy Blue Dragonplate at level 14. Taking Heavy Armor Proficiency prior to the Shield Mastery feats is a much more advantageous PRR option if dragonscale armor is available. There aren't any heavy armor options for druid before level 14 and there are very few medium armor options prior to that point. A couple lower level medium armor options include Swampscale Armor and Imbued Darkleaf Banded Armor. You can also purchase basic hide armor from the House K and harbor armor vendor and use it as a crafting blank.
Epic Dragonplate options prior to end game include Vault of Night Epic Red Dragonplate at L20, Cormyrian Green Dragonplate at L23 and Flawless Blue Dragonplate at L25. I recommend Heavy Armor Proficiency for any non-evasion caster druid build, as the bonus to PRR is worth the feat and it opens up using the big 30/60 DR option on Shadow Dragonplate at endgame.
Scalemail of the Celestial Sage is an excellent end game medium armor option for druid and you can actually get slightly higher PRR and MRR (by replacing Heavy Armor Proficiency with Damage Reduction epic feat) plus the Celestial Scalemail has a bunch of other goodies compared to heavy Shadow Dragonplate, at a loss of the 30/60 DR and ghostly that are on the shadow armor.
I'm including a special section for shields because druids can only use non-metal shields and there are only about a dozen named shields that are not metal. Here are some that don't suck: Wharfrat's Plank, Carved Bone Shield, Death's Door, Shield of Tireless Aid, Alchemical shields (crystal version), Wall of Wood, Epic Wall of Wood, Kobold Admiral's Tiller, Madstone Aegis, Epic Shield of Tireless Aid, Dethek Runestone, Celestial Oak. A few more are listed on DDOwiki HERE. If you are interested in using a Tower shield for a druid, you can use an Alchemical (crystal) tower shield, Madstone Aegis, Epic Stone Wall or Epic Demonic Slab. Heroic level tower shield options include Guardian Mantle, Madstone Shield, Stone Wall and Demonic Slab.
Endgame collar: Thunderforged Wraps slotted with Meteoric Star Ruby, Ruby of Good, Con +8
Endgame armor: Flawless Shadow Dragonplate with Shadow Guardian 30/60 DR slotted with Resistance +8 and PRR +16
Epic leveling collars: Grave Wrappings (L20), Epic Thrall of the Fire Temple (L22), Ivy Wraps (L22-24) or Antipode (L23)
Epic leveling armors: Epic Stinkpelt's Hide (L20), Epic Duelist's Leathers (L20), Epic Red Dragonplate (L20), Cormyrian Red Dragonplate (L23) or Flawless White Dragonplate Armor (L25)
Heroic leveling collars: Thrall of the Fire Temple (L7), Vampiric Stonedust Wraps (L12), Ivy Wraps (L15-17), Thaarak Wraps (L18)
Heroic leveling armors: crafted leather armor with Invulnerability for low levels, White Dragonplate Armor (L14)
You can convert any handwraps to a collar at a Device Workstation (located in House C and Eveningstar).
Stay away from Alpha Wolf and Growl, they just draw extra aggro to your wolf, increasing the likelyhood that he will die and you will lose sp and hp. Flanking II is a pre-requisite for Opportunistic Bite, Striding II is a pre-requisite for Lupine Onslaught, Cunning IV and Instincts IV are pre-requisites for Evasion II. For more information about wolf surviveability, see this post. Here are the enhancements I use:
An overview of some druid spells:
Druids get 6 offensive spells as spell-like abilities, which is a major sp saver. They have a SLA for each element (fire, cold, electric and acid) as well as a SLA that does light damage and another that does damage based on alignment (Word of Balance). In addition, this build uses Rejuvenation Cocoon and Renewal, which saves even more sp on healing, and Consecration and Energy Burst are inexpensive AOE dps.
Produce Flame slow to reach its target and not efficient to maximize and empower, but for 6 sp, an unmaximized, unempowered Produce Flame does decent damage when you want to spam a ranged attack. Produce Flame is also an SLA so max and empower the SLA version for free! Regular spell has cooldown time of 1 second so blast away! Not good to use on mobile targets, but good for stationary and slower mobs and great to include the SLA as part of your regular attack pattern. Also great for charging up Empyrean Magic. There is no save against Produce Flame.
Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping Cold are the best damage-over-time spells in the game, imo, because they are a lot faster than arcane and divine DOTS. With only a 3 second cool down time you can rapid fire them on multiple mobs. While leveling, keep your cold spell power maxed and cast on a mob then keep moving, knowing it will be dead in about 8 seconds. Druid DOTS don’t triple stack as traditional DDO DOTS, but both Creeping Cold and GCC stack with each other. Sadly they do not stack with other druid DOTS (don’t know if this is working as intended). Use water elemental form (take at L17), with Mantle of the Icy Soul (a 9th level buff that slows and debuffs mobs that are hit by your cold spells). There is no save against Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping Cold. BUG: Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping cold overwrite other casters' Niac's Biting Cold.
Call Lightning (evocation) at low to upper teen levels you can one-shot mobs. You get Call Lightning as a 6sp spell-like ability (all SLAs Maximize and Empower for free). The regular spell has a 2 second cool down time so can rapid fire and can one-shot many heroic mobs faster than other casters can instakill them! Faster casting than wiz/sorc Lightning Bolt and strikes from the sky so never misses due to a mob moving out of the way. Keep your electric spell power maxed, easy with Bracers of Wind.
Body of the Sun (evocation) WOWOW! This spell is like a dream come true and at L13-19ish is fun and extremely powerful, as it basically turns you into a walking firewall! Doesn’t maximize or empower and does about as much dps as a firewall for less SP and moves with you. To add gravy on top of that, it’s a buff so can be extended! Make sure to take fire elemental form first at L13 and take water elemental at L17. As with firewall, BotS loses effectiveness at higher levels. For sick dps cast firewall and BotS!
Wall of Fire and Ice Storm (evocation) a druid can do nearly as much dps as a cold or fire sorc! In water elemental form, Ice Storm will have an added debuff and slowing effect on mobs when using Mantle of the Icy Soul buff. There is no save against Ice Storm.
Freezing Spray cast on mobs so they take 25% more damage from cold spells- great for named and raid bosses!
Sleet Storm not a uniquely druid spell but deserves a special mention. This is an excellent crowd control spell but is exceptionally annoying to your party if they don't have Freedom of Movement. Druids are the only class that has both Sleet Storm and FOM on their spell list so just give your party FOM and learn to love Sleet Storm! There is no save against Sleet Storm.
Finger of Death don’t do it, it’s a trap!! As casters we see FOD and go “OOOOH I NEEDS THAT!!” But on a druid it doesn’t make sense to spend resources to try to make FOD effective. Stick with Call Lightning at low to upper teen levels and Creeping Cold and GCC at higher levels. Don’t spend resources on necro or spell penetration on ANY druid build. Druids only have 2 spells with spell penetration checks: FOD and Word of Balance. Neither are important enough to invest in spell penetration.
Fires of Purity druids get a weapon buff! Great for party members if no arti is present. Don’t cast on yourself unless fighting mobs that are vulnerable to fire because it overrides Crown of Summer weapon buff (from enhancement line). Must be in fire ele form to cast, so cast on party first, then switch to water ele and buff self.
Mass Regenerate best mass healing spell in the game!! Use it and love it!! Heals stat damage and neg levels too! Endgame ticks for 400+ on a non-crit (on self with 90 healing amp). Fast casting so already ticks twice by the time a Mass Heal would finish casting. If your entire party needs a bigger burst than that, throw Mass Regenerate and Mass Greater Vigor back to back.
Snowslide sprint attack spell that freezes your enemies. Use in winter wolf form when you need to get somewhere fast! Does a burst of movement 2x as far as a favored soul’s wings plus 8 seconds of super fast movement. Great for leaping over long distances. Also lets you pass through mobs so great for getting out of crowds when trapped.
Storm of Vengeance (conjuration) 9th level AOE spell that does electric and acid damage. Long cooldown of 1 minute, but you get an SLA version too at L18 so helps to make cooldown less of an issue. Excellent to chew down large groups of mobs. There is no save against the acid damage, which is the primary damage of SoV.
Creeping Doom (conjuration) A very nice spell that I overlooked for a long time. Acts as an AOE DOT. Slow to reach its target but great for including in your close range large group AOE attack routine (Ice Storm, SOV, etc.) and will tick for 200ish poison damage every 2 seconds for 15 seconds.
Fire Trap (abjuration) and Fire Seeds Trap (conjuration) If you feel like you need extra bang beyond the regular AOE attack routine (Ice Storm, SOV, etc.) then these are nice to drop at your feet for added AOE dps when fighting large groups of mobs.
Earthquake (evocation) provides some of the best EE crowd control in the game. It is a L8 spell, so you get at L15, just in time for Gianthold elites. Great for kiting or intimidating large groups into and coupling with Ice Storm. For very large or tough groups of mobs, throw Earthquake, Ice Storm and Sleet Storm (give your party FOM or they hate you) and watch your enemies trip, stumble, fall, or slow to a crawl (from Mantle and Beguile) as you and your party obliterate them. Throw Storm of Vengeance on top of that to provide more AOE dps. Use Sunburst SLA to blind them too! Sunburst is also evocation, so the blinding effect hits a lot on druids with good evocation DCs. Turn off Maximize and Empower for Earthquake. The extra damage isn’t worth the extra sp cost, it’s the knock down ability that you care about most. An Earthquake DC of 50+ is good enough to be effective in EE's. I ran at mid 50's prior to u29 and could bring down most mobs almost no-fail except EE Shadar-kai Assassins, evasion archers and winter wolves. See What Makes an Effective Earthquake DC? for more information.
Update 29 Legendary content: The bar for an effective legendary elite Earthquate is significantly higher than needed for epic elites. Legendary elite u29 content appears to need a DC in the 70's to be effective. With a buffed Earthquake DC of 67, I am dropping some of the mobs some of the time. Don't forget that you can stack your Earthquakes for multiple knockdown procs. You can read more about legendary Earthquake DC's HERE.
The way I like to play this build is to run ahead of the party, grabbing aggro of a bunch of mobs at once, laying down Earthquake, Ice Storm, Sleet Storm, SoV and Sunburst and hack away from inside your own personal hurricane! Cast Mass Regenerate to keep you and party healed, or rejuvenation cocoon for self. If it gets too intense just turtle-up with your shield for a few seconds while your AOE spells and party chew them up or jump out of the fray if needed.
Starting at L20ish, water elemental should be default form. Keep Mantle of the Icy Soul on you at all times. Sadly this is lost when switching forms, but it’s easy to stay in water ele form for more effective cold spells! In addition to buffing your spells (and debuffing the opposite element spells), ele forms provide +100% racial bonus to fortification and natural poison immunity (+10 resist to magical poison), immunity to sleep, paralysis and stun. Druid elemental forms are the same as sorcerer elemental forms.
Traditional healers may find an awkward adjustment when healing on a druid. Other healers wait for the damage to occur and then heal their party. Druids are a little different with their heal-over-time spells (vigor and regeneration). In a sense, you are healing in front of the damage instead of after the damage. You don’t wait for your party to be half down like you might with Mass Heal. Instead, you wait for a smaller amount of damage, then throw Mass Regenerate, which will tick for 400+ on a non-crit with this build (on self with 90 healing amp). At first I was upset that druids didn’t get mass cure spells like cleric and favored soul (they have in pen and paper D&D), but I have come to love healing on a druid so much better than cleric or favored soul, as the HOT spells are amazing for filling in the gaps that are between a traditional healer’s spells. Druids do however get all the single target healing spells Cure Light Wounds through Heal, as well as all single and mass target HOT spells. Unmaximized and unempowered vigor can be very efficient low-cost healing during heroic levels, just have to be proactive and stay ahead of the damage. Use cure spells and Heal for bigger burst of healing as needed. Spring’s Resurgence is also huge at lower levels, as it gives an immediate burst of healing as soon as a player falls below 50% health. It’s cheap to cast and can be a lifesaver in traps or against hard hitting mobs. Get used to regularly casting this on yourself and party members. When tanking groups of mobs or torc’ing up you can effectively use Spring’s Resurgence to keep yourself healed. Useful in epic levels as well. With cocoon twisted in and Renewal from US destiny, you can do a lot of your healing with these SLA's and save most of your mana for offensive casting. Renewal ticks for 300+ on self on a non-crit (with 90 healing amp).
This build provides good self-healing tanking ability. Use cold DOTS to generate hate. Use intimidate to pull back mobs and bosses if they are pulled away from you. I have used this build to successfully tank all bosses on EE, although I would not advise you tank high-end EE bosses with a first life version of the build. Can tank heroic elite at-level demon queen, Stormreaver, VOD and all TOD bosses for bravery bonuses.
Temple of the Deathwyrm: can tank dragon and kuldjarghs simultaneously on EE. Kuldjarghs will keep you torc'ed up enough to spam your spells on the dragon. Tank TOTD in fire ele form with Body of the Sun. If someone pulls the dragon too far away from you, quickly change to winter wolf form and use Snow Slide to burst through the kuldjarghs and chase the dragon down and pull back. To hold aggro, use Body of the Sun, Wall of Fire, Storm of Vengeance, Sunburst, Sunbeam, Word of Balance and Produce Flame. During final beatdown, stay in winter wolf form so that you can quickly move around with Snow Slide as needed to keep the dragon centered.
Fire on Thunder Peak: With the level cap raised to 30 and the new feats, I can once again stay toe-to-toe with the EE dragons even when then have the +400% artifact overdraw buff. They are hitting me so hard though, that I suspect without all the hp and prr past lives, it would be considerably more difficult and would recommend anyone using this build that doesn't have all those past lives to just kite the dragons for the final phase of the raid. Click HERE to see a video of Gingerspyce tanking EE Fire on Thunder Peak.
Have fun building your caster/healer druid, I hope you enjoy this build and feel free to send me a tell if you’re on Sarlona!
Demonstration of build solo EE Don't Drink the Water with narration
I have a video series that demonstrates the first-life effectiveness of the build. All the videos are narrated and in each video I go over what the gear, spells, feats and enhancements look like for the level range I'm doing. This series will be valuable for anyone that is new to druid and interested in any kind of druid caster/healer. For the project I made a new toon "Scaryspyce" and through level 20 I solo everything on elite, including some of the most difficult heroic content, without using any ability tomes, store pots/buffs, hirelings, green steel or raid loot.
Check out the series on my Youtube channel at: A Beginner's Guide to the Gingerspyce Pure Druid Caster/healer/Quasi-tank Build
I also have TR guide video series to the build that I did as I worked through my "final" life (prior to warlock). Similar to the first life series, all the videos are narrated and in each video I go over what the gear, spells, feats and enhancements look like for the level I'm doing except now it is showing what gearing and performance is like after many lives.
Check out the series at TR Guide to the Gingerspyce Pure Druid Caster/Healer/Quasi-tank Build
Some of my other videos and series:
Voodu Warlock: A Pure Warlock Enlightened Spirit Tank Project
Gingerlocks: Gingerspyce's Warlock Lives x3!
Favored Soul Evoker True First Life Project
How to find Garamol in the Subterrane and get your Icy Raiment
How to Craft a Green Steel Item and Use the Crafting Planner
Over 250 quest and raid guides, crafting tutorials and much more at my DDO Youtube channel