Written by inkanddagger
Over the years, I’ve gained a reputation as one of the most experienced wereform Druid players on the realms.
My home is LoD Druid Grove USEast-1, but I played West for a few years and have also had a small presence on Europe. I started back in 2002, so I’ve also played through the various game mechanics changes from 1.08 through the current patch. At one point, I used to receive literally dozens of messages a week asking for build advice, and I still get at least one or two per week. So, after all these years, I’m releasing a short guide on the best builds for PvP/melee vs. melee oriented fury wolves. In the future, I may add information on Fury vs. All/Public duel strategies, but this guide will be centered specifically on dueling other fury wolves, zealers, concentrate barbarians, jabbers, and other melee class characters.
There are numerous setups that will work, and a “cheap” Druid can still compete with very expensive builds (cheap = jalals, botdz, ravenfrosts, and random life shapeshift charms). This guide is by no means 100% comprehensive, but these are the gear choices which have been time tested and proven to work.
Cerebus – socketed with 30ed/60ar/9str/9dex (general melee)
Guillaume’s – socketed with 30ed/60ar/9dex/10min (Best vs other druids, especially those who use rare pelts or jalals – which are both generally weak)
Rare Pelt – Only use a rare pelt if it is 2druid/3fury/2sockets/visionary/high life – if it is missing any of these don’t use it. If it has these, 30ed/18min/9str + 30ed/60ar/9dex/10min it. Look for one with 10% FHR on it if you’re going to use Verdungo’s.
Jalals is useable, but honestly with the other choices it’s practically worthless. It doesn’t do anything better than any other helm. Only use this on a budget, or maybe just keep one in your stash for going into pub games with an eth tomb reaver.
Fort of Chains*
100 life/4 socket Jewelers armors – should be oriented toward stats since this armor is for HP tweaking rather than damage tweaking.
Good choices for jeweler’s armor socketing are 120%enhanced damage/120attack rating/36strength/36dexterity and similar, OR BerBer, 60%ed/120attack rating, 18strength/18dexterity (not prefered because of damage loss, but works well with BotDZ life builds with craft belts – 12k life is achievable like this). 7fhr/30ed/9str/9dex is also usable, especially if you want to go for the 42fhr breakpoint with Steelrends and Cerebus.
*If you decide not to use hybrid runewords i.e. the Fort of Chains, you will need to sub in 7fhr/30ed/9dex/60ar stormshield and 7fhr/30ed/9str/9dext Cerebus. Guillaume’s jewel will stay the same. Belt will become Verdungo’s.
Stormshield with Jewel (30/60/9/9 or 30ed/18min/9dext are best choices)
Stormshield Ber’d if using Fort of Chains
Stormshield Shael for cheaper builds, gains a frame on faster block rate but isn’t usually worth it
Stormshield with Jah can work, but it’s not really any better than ed/stats jeweled Stormshields
Gore Riders – nothing else really works as well as Gores. Go for upgraded if you can.
Highlords. 1.08 highlords if possible (gets you to opponent faster).
Angelics can work on some builds, but you’re a druid, you have high attack rating already.
With a 4 frame weapon*:
I prefer minimum damage.
*you don’t need cannot be frozen with a 4 frame weapon
If you decide to use a botdz or a 5 frame fools weapon, use 1x ravenfrost and one stat ring. 2x Ravenfrost only for the cheap/poor.
Bloodfists with Cerebus or Rare Pelt
Steelrends with Guillaumes (crushing blow intensive setup)
You maintain 42% faster hit recovery breakpoint this way, which is 4 frame Faster Hit Recovery speed. I’ve had some success with 20% FHR as well, so you can use Steelrends with Cerebus, I just don’t always recommend it unless you have top notch other gear and very high life.
Crafted 24 Faster Hit Recovery, 10% Open Wounds, 30 Strength, 80 Life (20+ Strength, 60+ Life is acceptable here) – Fire Resistance is a nice additional bonus
Verdungo’s with regular fort setups
40ias/270+ed/2sockets/fools in any of the following:
Phase Blade: 2x 40ed/15ias jewels
Fanged Knife: 1x Shael. 1x 40ed/15ias jewel
Cryptic Sword: 40ed/15ias jewel, Lo Rune (5 frame per attack, use 1x ravenfrost)
Scourge: 40ed/15ias jewel, Lo Rune (5 frame per attack, use 1x ravenfrost)
Berzerker Axe: 2x 40ed/15ias jewels OR 1x Shael Rune, 1x Lo Rune (I prefer the 40/15ias jewels personally – either is 5 frame per attack, use 1x ravenfrost)
5 frame Fanged Knife: Should be 40 ias with 1x Lo rune (prefer other 5 framers over this one)
(3x 40/15ias + Lo griz caddy is usable with angelics vs conc barbs and some zealers, but BotDZ is generally better)
*BotDZ build uses an Ethereal Spirit Monarch on Battle Orders swap, stats to 146 strength on swap, and then maxes block with BotDZ on main weapon side. This will gain you 40 extra stat points, which is 80 extra base life or more than 400 life after Oak Sage, Battle Orders, and Lycanthropy.
6 Battle Orders Call to Arms, Spirit Monarch
Ethereal spirit monarch for BotDZ life tweak builds
25/20/20 Hellfire Torch
20/20/10 Annihilus Small Charm
37x 3max/20ar/20life Small Charms with 4 frame weapons
9x 45 life shape charms + 10x 3/20/20s OR 36ar/20s with BotDZ/other high damage 5 frame weapons excepting fanged knife (which needs +max instead of extra enhanced damage %)
Strength for Gear, stat to Cerebus/Rare Pelt (or whatever your lowest stat helm is)
Dext for Max Block*
Rest to Vita
Nothing to Energy
Max Werewolf, Lycanthropy, Fury, Oak Sage, Rest to Cyclone Armor and then Twister/Tornado/Hurricane for the rest of the spare points (synergizes cyclone armor and prevents torch kills). Heart of Wolverine is generally bad in most duels because you’ll get put into FHR more often.
*if you have a 4 frame fanged knife, feel free to add dexterity for more damage. A usable build is 100 base vita and rest to dexterity, but this is going to be a glass cannon with only 6500 to 7k life.
When shapeshifting, do this order:
Battle Command, Summon Oak Sage, Battle Command (extra skill level on Oak Sage), Battle Orders, Cyclone Armor, Werewolf.
This is pretty basic. Say !Go over your head, and WALK toward your opponent to maintain max block.
If you press and hold the shift key as soon as you click and start walking toward your opponent, you will stop walking at the edge of your weapon’s range, which can give you an advantage in landing the first hit. However, this only works if your opponent doesn’t know about shifting, since it’s pretty easy to counter.
Here’s a FoC/4 frame phase/24fhr craft belt/Cerebus setup (using 20fhr breakpoint):
Here’s the setup with Guillaume’s/Steelrends (using 42fhr breakpoint):
Damage with BotDZ: