Wherever you go in Azeroth, you’ll find vibrant wildlife growing. Even in the most desolate locations, life finds a way to bloom. But sometimes, it requires a guiding hand to thrive. Thankfully, the Druids stand vigilant over the wilds.
Druids are the guardians, nurturers, and (if need be) enforcers of nature. Utilizing their connection to the Emerald Dream, Druids can take on the form of various beasts to wield their primal abilities against foes. Given the sheer diversity of wildlife found on Azeroth, it should come as no surprise that Druids can take on literally any role.
As the only class capable of both ranged and melee DPS, healing, and tanking, Druids are truly the most versatile class in the game. However, only a handful of races have a strong enough connection to nature to become a Druid. So which race is the most suited for wielding nature’s power? Who can boast having the greatest connection to the wilds? Who embodies the feral strength of the beasts of Azeroth?
Today, we’ll be taking a look at the best races for Druids in WoW: Shadowlands. We have iconic Druid options for Alliance and Horde players alike, and will be covering all types of gameplay.
Let’s get started!
Looking for more WoW tips and tricks? View all our World of Warcraft guides.
Best Race for PVE Druids
As mentioned earlier, Druids can take on any role. It’s best to know what roles you want to specialize in before creating your character. However, if you want to dabble in everything, we recommend going Kul Tiran or Troll for their all-around versatility.
Best Race for Feral Druids
For those on the prowl for blood, you’ll want your blows to hit as hard as possible. You’ll shred your enemies’ health bars in the blink of an eye time and time again.
Alliance: Night Elf
As the progenitor race of Druids, Night Elves reign supreme as the best race for Feral Druids for one simple reason — Shadowmeld. For most classes, Shadowmeld is only used to drop threat when you accidentally aggro a mob you’re not supposed to.
Feral Druids, however, can use it to quickly re-enter stealth and use an enhanced version of their abilities. Line this up with your major burst cooldowns and procs to deal a devastating blow every two minutes. Since you can’t usually re-enter stealth once combat begins, this is a huge boon to the Feral spec.
Alternatively, you can also help reposition/control adds by quickly swapping into Bear form, taunting an enemy into the ideal spot, then dropping aggro with Shadowmeld. Just make sure your tank is ready to re-pick up aggro! While not ideal for your DPS numbers, clearing the encounter is more important.
Additionally, the Quickness ability grants an extra 2% move speed (and dodge chance, but if you’re tanking hits as Feral, it’s probably over). Since Feral Druids are often tasked with handling mechanics that require rapid responses, even the most minute speed boost is appreciated.
Finally, Touch of Elune grants a 1% boost to either haste or crit chance, depending on whether it’s night or day. This is dependent solely on the server time (switches at 6 AM and PM, respectively). Ideally, you’ll have crit as a Feral Druid, but this isn’t very controllable given that most guilds raid at night. You’ll have to make do with whatever you have.
As for the Horde, the Tauren are the best race for Feral Druids thanks largely to their Brawn passive. It provides an extra 2% output to your critical hits and heals, which helps prioritize crit as your most important secondary stat.
While it may not sound like much, a 2% damage boost is pretty major for a racial ability. It definitely puts Taurens ahead of all the other Horde races for Feral Druids. Just note that if a patch down the road reworks the secondary stat priority for Feral Druids, Taurens might no longer be the best choice (but this is rather unlikely).
On top of that, the extra stamina you get from Endurance is rather nice for helping your healers keep you alive just a bit longer. After all, dead DPS don’t do damage.
Speaking of which, your War Stomp serves as an excellent emergency stun for when you have to deal with multiple enemies or your other interrupts are on cooldown. Given how some fights require a constant string of CC on the enemy, having an additional stun in your arsenal is always appreciated. Especially since it’s only on a 1.5 minute cooldown timer and is an AOE ability.
Best Race for Balance Druids
If you’re more about that ranged caster life, you’ll want to be churning out spells as fast as possible to take advantage of your empowered eclipse states. Especially when you activate your major offensive cooldown — Celestial Alignment.
Alliance: Night Elf
Unfortunately, the Alliance doesn’t have a fantastic choice for Balance Druids. None of the playable Alliance races for Druid come with any haste boosts except Night Elves — during the night, at least.
If you’re playing between 6 PM and 6 AM server time, you’ll get the 1% boost to haste from Touch of Elune. Otherwise, it’ll be a 1% boost to crit chance. If you’re raiding, this is probably good news for you, as most guilds prefer to meet up at night after everyone gets home.
Unlike with Feral Druids, Shadowmeld is mostly used only to drop aggro. If you time it exceedingly well, you might be able to cancel an ability that an enemy is targeting you with. However, there’s a decent chance they’ll just start casting it again at you or some other ally unexpectedly.
The Trolls are, without competition, the best race for Balance Druids by far. This is all thanks to Berserking provide such a substantial boost to haste that no other race can compare.
For ten seconds, you have a staggering 15% boost to your haste. Activate this alongside Celestial Alignment and laugh maniacally as you fling spells with the speed of a gatling gun and the firepower of an RPG. Conveniently, both abilities have a three-minute cooldown, so you should always use them in tandem whenever you need heavy burst damage.
Best Race for Restoration Druids
For those inclined to healing, you’ll want to ensure your own survival and being able to pump out heals as fast as possible to keep your team alive. You might have to step in and handle mechanics that the DPS are usually responsible for!
Alliance: Kul Tiran
All the available Alliance races perform similarly as Restoration Druids. It largely comes down to your preference on what utility racial abilities you want. To that end, we recommend Kul Tiran due to their innate survivability.
While versatility isn’t a Restoration Druid’s priority stat, it still reduces incoming damage and boosts outgoing heals. Incidentally, the Kul Tirans’ Brush It Off ability grants a 1% boost to versatility, and even heals 2% of all damage taken over four seconds.
You can even help out with repositioning or interrupting crucial mobs with your Haymaker. You may want to save it for some breathing room in case an enemy starts wailing on you, though.
Once again, the Trolls shine as the best race for Restoration Druids thanks to Berserking. Being able to immediately pump out major heals when your group is taking massive damage is critical.
We strongly recommend saving Berserking for phases in a fight where you expect heavy damage. Pairing it with some of your major healing cooldowns will make certain pain points a lot easier.
Additionally, Da Voodoo Shuffle comes in use on rare occasions where you get slowed and can’t afford to pause your healing to shapeshift into another form. While 20% reduction to slows isn’t much, that one second difference might be what keeps you alive.
Best Race for Guardian Druids
If you want to be as meaty as possible and take hits directly to the face, the Guardian Druid is for you. That, or if you ever wanted to be a bear. Either way, survival and regen is the name of the game.
Alliance: Kul Tiran
It should come as no surprise that the incredibly resilient and versatile Kul Tirans are the best race for Guardian Druids. As we previously mentioned, their Brush It Off ability makes them one of the best tanking races on the Alliance side.
Versatility is already their most desired secondary stat, making them take less damage and heal more off their own abilities. While a 1% boost might not sound like much, you’ll see a rather noticeable difference if you’re stacking versatility.
Plus, Brush It Off will have you recover 2% of all damage taken over four seconds. This synergizes well with your playstyle, as the Guardian Druid is all about damage mitigation and health regen. You’re the tank, after all!
As a plus, you can also use Haymaker in any of your Druid forms. Use it to reposition stubborn mobs or interrupt enemy casts when your CC abilities are on cooldown.
Horde: Highmountain Tauren/Troll
Highmountain Taurens also possess a 1% boost to versatility from their Mountaineer ability. However, instead of healing a portion of damage taken, they flat out reduce a bit of incoming damage with Rugged Tenacity.
Additionally, their active racial ability, Bull Rush, charges you through any enemies in front of you and knocks them all prone. The ability can be used in any of your Druid forms, effectively granting you a very strong follow-up to your Feral Charge. Use it whenever you need to keep enemies locked down in place or to interrupt multiple casters.
Alternatively, you can go Troll if you’re looking to play other specs as well. Berserking is still a very good ability for Guardian Druids — the higher your haste, the lower the cooldown on your defensive and rage-generating abilities.
Plus, the Trolls’ Regeneration ability actually comes into use for Guardian Druids, as it boosts your health regen by 10%! Given that all of your self-sustain comes from your abilities regenerating health, this synergizes incredibly well with Guardian Druids.
Finally, Da Voodoo Shuffle sees the most use on Guardian Druids. It’s rather common for the tank to be slowed during a fight, and you can ill afford to shift forms and cleanse the slow without getting one-shot. Naturally, the less time you spend being slowed, the better.
Best Race for PVP Druids
Utility is everything in PVP. Being able to negate the enemy’s momentum at a crucial juncture can be the difference between victory and defeat.
Alliance: Night Elf
In most cases, we’re going to have to go with the Night Elves as the best race for PVP. Once again, this is because of Shadowmeld. If you’re Feral, a stealth-empowered ability can easily kill most low health enemies and is of obvious value.
Even if you’re not playing Feral, Shadowmeld has tremendous value in PVP if you can master the timing. The most common use is forcing a target break on your enemy. That way, if they’re mid-cast, they’ll have to re-target and start casting the ability again.
If you get the timing absolutely perfect, you can not only negate an incoming ability (like a Rogue’s Kidney Shot stun), but also put it on cooldown as though it connected. This naturally requires a lot of practice, but allows for some really high-level plays.
You can also quickly pop Shadowmeld to drop combat and fly away in Bird form to avoid getting ganked in the open world.
For the Horde, we have to go with the Tauren as the best PVP race for Druids due to War Stomp. There are countless times your target will pop some ability and escape right before you land the killing blow. Near-instantly locking down everyone around you for two seconds can give you time to finish off your target.
Alternatively, you can simply waste a few seconds of the enemy’s empowered state if they use their major cooldowns. Heck, you can combo it into a Cyclone to render one unfortunate soul completely helpless as you wail on their friend.
The extra stamina from Endurance is also rather nice for survivability, especially if you need to swap into bear form for a few seconds to survive a beating. Plus, never underestimate how much a lucky crit can change the tide of a fight, especially with an extra 2% output from Brawn.
Best Race for Lore Druids
There’s a fair bit of contention between the Night Elves and Tauren as to which race were the first Druids, but it’s a rather minor issue in the grand scheme of things.
The two races have often historically set aside their differences (and factions) to work in tandem to protect the world, with many Druids joining the Cenarion Circle as a neutral faction dedicated to restoring nature across all of Azeroth. Though recent events have shaken the relationship between the two races, their mission remains the same nonetheless.
Alliance: Night Elves
There are few things more iconic than a Night Elf Druid, and for good reason. The Night Elves have always lived in harmony with nature. Their main city is (or was…) built into the roots of the gigantic World Tree Teldrassil!
The first ever official Druid was Malfurion Stormrage. Seeing his promise, the demigod Cenarius chose to impart all of his knowledge of Druidism to Malfurion. He would eventually lead the bulk of the Night Elf society to Druidism following the Sundering. Many of the elves who survived the tragedy blamed arcane magic. With the aid and guidance of Cenarius, the survivors rebuilt around nature and Druidism, forming the Night Elf society we know today.
The Dragon Aspects later created the World Tree Nordrassil to safeguard the newly-formed Well. In exchange for maintaining the tree, the Night Elves would be blessed with eternal lifespans. However, maintaining the tree’s connection to the Emerald Dream required countless minds to travel its boundless pathways.
The Night Elf Druids accepted the burden of maintaining this connection and fell into a deep slumber to enter the Emerald Dream. These slumbers could last for centuries, with only the occasional awakening to reconnect with loved ones or quell a massive threat as a reprieve.
When the Emerald Dream became corrupted by the madness of the Old Gods, many Druids were driven mad or found themselves unable to awaken. For centuries, many of them remained trapped by what had become the Emerald Nightmare.
It wasn’t until the source of the corruption was discovered and purged that the Druids were truly able to awaken. Since then, Malfurion has led the Night Elf Druids to the front lines of Azeroth, defending its lands from encroaching threats such as the Burning Legion. While much has happened since then, few can deny that the Night Elves have the deepest connection to the Emerald Dream, attuning them to nature on a level that few can hope to surpass.
The Taurens’ roots to Druidism begin with their ancestors, the Yaungol. These ancestors lived with the demi-god Cenarius and incorporated a rudimentary understanding of nature magic. This is perhaps where the Taurens’ deeply rooted respect for the land and nature comes from.
This respect has persevered to current times, with the Tauren being known for their spirituality and connection to the land. Yet despite that, true Druidism remained just out of reach of the Tauren people.
It wasn’t until the Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage met and befriended a Tauren named Hamuul Runetotem that things changed. Inspired by the sheer dedication and tenacity of the Druids during the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Hamuul sought out Malfurion to learn more about Druidism. The two struck up a strong friendship, and Malfurion personally taught Hamuul all that he knew.
Hamuul took to these teachings like a newly sprouted seed seeking sunlight. Joining the Cenarion Circle, an organization of Druids that governed their practices, as its first Tauren member, he quickly demonstrated his mastery for communing with nature. In just a few short years, he had earned the rank of Archdruid and could stand by Malfurion’s side as an equal.
Since then, Hamuul has spread the teachings of Druidism to the rest of his people. Many have flocked to learn more, finally having the chance to fully realize their connection to nature. Most Tauren Druids have since chosen to join the Cenarion Circle, maintaining an oath of neutrality despite the formation and subsequent clashing of the Alliance and the Horde.
While tensions would come to a peak with the Horde’s burning of Teldrassil, with some Tauren Druids siding with the war effort, many refused to become embroiled in the conflict and continued to focus on mending Azeroth’s wounds. Amongst those is Hamuul, who continues to focus on healing the scar left in Azeroth by Sargeras’ last ditch attack.
Best Looking Race for Druids
Druids have a lot of animal forms to shapeshift between. Naturally, each race incorporates a bit of their own form and culture into their shapeshifting.
As each race has a unique appearance for their major forms, it mostly comes down to your personal preference. Still, we’ll take a look at what we think are the best looking races for Druids.
Alliance: Worgen/Kul Tiran
Given that you’re already transforming into a beast most of the time, why not add even more of a bestial nature to your looks? The Worgen’s wulven nature carries through to all of their forms.
The savagery and ferocity the Worgen are known for is incredibly prevalent in their melee forms. With a ravenous look about their eyes, they truly seem like beasts ready to pounce and devour their foes. Yes, even their Cat form looks like a mix between a tiger and wolf.
Unfortunately, their Moonkin form isn’t very much different from the Night Elves. Though this is somewhat expected given how questionable a wolf-like owl would look like.
Alternatively, if you’re more interested in forms inspired by Wiccans, with heavy bark armor and glowing blue-green eyes, then check out the Kul Tirans’ forms. They might be a bit chunky, but certainly convey a unique relationship with nature.
Horde: Zandalari Troll
One word — dinosaurs. That’s right, the Zandalari Trolls have a very strong association with the Mesozoic era and Aztec aesthetics, and it shows heavily in their forms.
Each of their major forms are adorned with the golden armor the Zandalari are known for and embody the various dinosaurs found in their homeland. As a plus, these forms are incredibly distinct and unique from the other races’ forms.
Notably, these forms are largely inspired by the various Loa spirits they worship and derive blessings from. Effectively, you’re taking on a form similar to your gods. If you want to feel like a divine beast straight from Jurassic Park, we strongly recommend the Zandalari Trolls as the best looking race for Druids.
Best Race for Druids in Classic WoW, TBC, and WotLK
Druids weren’t exactly known for being power houses in the early days. Very much considered the jack of all trades, master of none, they were largely relegated to the sidelines unless you specialized as a healer.
However, players have figured out ways to make them viable since then. You’ll still need every last advantage you can get, so making the right racial choice is critical. Each faction only has one race available for Druids until Cataclysm, so it mostly comes down to which faction you want to play on.
Alliance: Night Elf
The Night Elves are the only Alliance race for Druids until Cataclysm, which introduced the Worgens. Unfortunately, they don’t have any racial abilities that directly boost their offensive capability.
However, they do have a few abilities that make them ideal for tanking. Quickness is their main one, providing an extra 1% chance to dodge, which synergizes with how Bear tanks survive most hits. WotLK, upgrades this to a 2% chance against melee and ranged attacks.
On top of that, having Nature Resistance helps make certain encounters a bit more manageable, as resistances still play a large role in these eras of WoW’s history. As is the case with Quickness, this ability is upgraded to providing a 2% chance to dodge nature spells in the WotLK era.
Dying and having to run back to your corpse is a time-honored tradition in Classic WoW, and Wisp Form actually makes the run a lot quicker. This lets you spend more time playing instead of running back (at least until you die again).
Finally, Shadowmeld is still incredibly powerful as it is in retail. Though a bit more finicky in Classic, it still allows you to drop combat and re-stealth. Though only Feral Druids will really be able to take full advantage of it. Additionally come WotLK, Night Elves also gain Elusiveness which increases their effective stealth level by one, making Feral even stronger for getting the opener on your enemies in PVP.
As for the Horde side, only the Tauren can be Druids until Cataclysm opened things up for Trolls. In contrast to their Night Elf counterparts, Tauren Druids are built more for taking blows directly to the face.
Their Endurance ability grants them an extra 5% total health, which is quite nice for any Tauren Druids looking to go tank or surviving just a little bit longer in PVP. They also have the exact same Nature Resistance as the Night Elves, so nothing is lost there.
Their only other ability of note is War Stomp, which functions almost exactly like it does in retail. You can stun up to 5 enemies around you for 2 seconds. Though given the lack of diminishing returns in this era of WoW, it’s arguably much more useful as you can keep an enemy permanently locked down. Yes, this includes having an entire group of Tauren can just chaining the ability back to back.
Join the High Ground
And that’s it for our guide on the best races for Druids in World of Warcraft! If you have any thoughts or comments you want to share with us, leave a comment below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more Wow: Shadowlands content!
Related Reading: Best Races for Classes in WoW