Upon reaching level 44 the druid is awarded the spell Barkskin and very often this spell gets ignored. It��s not very flashy or sexy, many WoW Druids really are not aware of what it does and it��s quickly forgotten. The thing is this spell can be one of the best defensive spells you have when you know what it is and what it can do for you!
Barkskin is an instant cast spell, it��s last for 12 seconds with a 60 second cool down and can only be ��self cast.�� This spell can be used in any Druid form there is (that means caster or humanoid, bear, Dire bear, car, travel, aquatic, flight, epic flight, Tree of Life, Moonkin �C all the forms!) and the effects will be the same no matter the form you happen to be in at the time. The mana cost is minimal and the benefits are huge. Make it a habit to keep Barkskin close at hand when running in combat as it will help you make it through the fight!
There are many benefits to this spell that some may not realize or have simply forgotten. The first and most obvious effect is there is a damage reduction of 20% for the duration of the spell. Did you get that? For 12 seconds all the damage that is thrown at you is reduced by 20%. This is huge! This is a serious buff that comes in handy when things start to get hairy.
The second benefit of this spell is as helpful, if not more so, as the damage reduction. When Barksin is in effect the Druids�� spell casting will not be interrupted when he receives damage. This is a huge help when casting those longer and more mana intensive spells in our books or for spells that require the Druid to channel for the duration. A good example is when you��re casting a Hurricane spell. It��s very easy to attract attention when casting that spell (it might be the big black clouds and the lightning flashes) that results in you taking damage and therefore breaking the spell cast. Throw on Barkskin and you��ll be able to cast the whole spell duration even with a pet chewing on you and a mage throwing fireballs at you. Another good example is when you simply have to get that healing spell off (say Tranquility or Healing Touch). Cast Barkskin first and make sure you can get that spell off!
The third benefit to Barkskin is the ability to cast this spell in all sorts of different states. As Druids we tend to be the target of a variety of crowd control measures. Do not forget you can cast Barkskin when you are stunned, asleep, feared, frozen, trapped, or otherwise incapacitated. Keep this in mind the next time that Rogue comes up behind you, stun locks you and starts going to town. Pop that Barkskin spell!
The fourth benefit of this great little Druid spell only applies if you have at least one point in the ��Brambles�� talent on the Balance Tree. With the Brambles talent, Barkskin has a 5%, 10% or 15% (depending if you have 1, 2 or 3 points in the talent) chance of dazing an attacker on the hit. This is super handy, especially against Rogues in PvP and Arena play.