The enchanted Dryads are the daughters of the Night Elf demigod, Cenarius. The playful, frolicking creatures vaguely resemble centaurs (their cursed cousins), but have bodies more akin to woodland fauns. They are swift and sure and are at peace with all of the children of the forest. Though they abhor unnecessary violence, the Dryads will defend the wildlands of Kalimdor with their lives if need be.
Dryads are popular units amongst Night Elf players because of their two most powerful traits; Spell Immunity and Slow Poison. Dryads innately come with these abilities, so no research is required in order to unlock them. Spell Immunity protects Dryads from spells (including most beneficial ones) and magic damage - essentially making them invulnerable when facing off against Gryphon Riders, Frost Wyrms and Chimaeras, along with most spellcasters.
Slow Poison causes the Dryad's attacks to slowly chip off the unfortunate target's health over time, along with the additional effect of slowing them down slightly. This, coupled with their fast speed and attack rate, allows them to chase down fleeing troops.
Dryads may also learn Abolish Magic, allowing them to dispel any unfriendly spells casted on allied units and beneficial spells on enemy units, essentially countering Bloodlust, Polymorph and Slow.
Focus on the Dryads whenever possible, as they have low health and Unarmored-based armor which makes them particularly suspect to piercing and siege attacks. Artillery units such as Mortar Teams can make short work of them.
Spells and abilities
Abolish Magic (Autocast)
Dispels positive buffs from enemy units, and negative buffs from friendly units. Deals 300 damage to summoned units.
The Dryad was originally called the "Huntress" during development. Concept art showed the unit with a significant amount of detail, including additional armor and foliage in her hair, which couldn't be implemented in Warcraft III due to that game's low polygon count.
Patch 1.22 (06/30/2008)
Increase the experience gain from Dryads to
Level 3 (60xp) from Level 2 (40xp).
Patch 1.17 (09/20/2004)
Abolish Magic no longer auto-dispels hero spells.
Abolish Magic no longer removes positive buffs on friendlies or negative
buffs on enemies when manually cast (it already did this for autocast).
Casters, including Dryads, have had their mana regeneration rates boosted by 30%.
Dryads now have the unarmored armor type. This change was made to further specialize Dryads as melee killers, but allow piercing damage units, such as Crypt Fiends and Archers, to counter them more effectively.