Greetings and welcome to the latest guide for WoW Classic Season of Discovery Phase 2, with a primary emphasis on the Feral Druid within PvP.
I've labeled it as speculation due to the uncertainty surrounding the runes scheduled for the upcoming phase. Thus, our discussion will revolve around the runes speculated on forums and the essential abilities that Feral Druids urgently require for improved playability in PvP.
Feral Druid In Phase 1
Phase 1 was and still is very rough and unfair for Feral when it comes to PvP. We are forced to play every kind of hybrid build with Cat Form kiting and Sunfire spams. But that’s not the cat we want. I mean, we are not even using Feral abilities and Feral talents, so we can’t really consider it as a Feral. On the other side, if you try to use cat abilities as the main source of DPS, we still run the balance tree to get the clarity and pray for it to proc for the instant Shred because it’s unusable with 60 energy and not so good DPS. The only good thing is the Feral talent that allows us to refresh 40 energy instantly whenever we shape-shift, but that’s also limited because of mana problems.
Our other spells are Rake and Shred. Rake has so low DPS even with Savage Roar and Mangle bleed buff, and it costs the same as Mangle but does less DPS. Feral is almost made as a one-ability class in this phase, which I can’t accept.
But before we jump into runes’ prediction and the things we hope we get in the next phase, let’s talk about abilities and talents.
At Level 40, there is some fantastic news for new abilities. We are finally getting our stealth opener ability, Pounce. So, we don’t walk cluelessly around in stealth just to hit a Mangle. Pounce allows us to hit 1 free ability, get 2 combo points, and hit a couple of auto attacks while our target is still stunned. However, we still have energy issues.
Another opener ability we got between Levels 20 and 40 is Ravage, which actually deals with some nice damage but costs 60 energy and doesn’t stun the target. So, we need Pounce to get actual opening damage with these 2 different abilities. Having in mind that with Pounce, we deal with a couple of auto attacks while the target is stunned.
Next, the brand-new ability is finally another combo point finisher called Ferocious Bite. It deals instant damage, unlike Rip, which deals damage over time. However, the use of these 2 is situational, but Rip still remains the best DPS finisher with numbers.
But it’s not always about the numbers in PvP. New levels don’t bring us just attacking potential news but also defensive ones. At Level 40, we are getting Dire Bear Form and Frenzied Regeneration, which boosts our defensive capabilities a lot. A Level 40 Druid with proper PvP items and the talent Survival of the Fittest had some insane HP, like 4,500 health and about 40% to 50% reduced damage. And when we add Frenzied Regeneration on top of that, that makes Druids insanely hard to kill in Phase 2 in Bear Form.
Next to offensive and defensive capabilities, we also have a Cat Form Dash and Travel Form so we can actually close the gap with enemies or kite them and heal. But wait, a lot of shape-shifting also requires a lot of manas. But there is also a solution for that. We are getting innervate at Level 40, which regens our mana on some insane scales, so we can actually shape-shift and heal in the middle of the fight.
These abilities and possibilities bring Feral Druid surely onto another level when it comes to PvP. We are not a one-ability spec anymore.
For talents, we can finally spend our points where they belong - in a Feral tree. Some of the important and matchable talents would be Sharpened Claws, which increases our crit chance in Cat Form by 6%, and Blood Frenzy, which adds another combo point whenever we make a Critical Strike with an ability. This is one of the game-changers and the start of the better times that will come for Feral Druids.
On top of that, this talent will make Druids actually stack agility instead of strength because now we have direct advantages for our Critical Strike, which wasn’t the case in Phase 1. Strength still gives us 2 points of attack power, while Agility gives us 1 point and gives us bonus armor, dodge, and crit. For every 20 points of Agility, we get 1% of critical chance.
The next important talent we are getting is Improved Shred, which reduces its cost by 11 energy. And by the time we hit level 40, we will have a Level 3 Shred with some increased damage, plus a 30% bonus scale from Mangle bleed effect. So prepare yourself in case these crits.
Other mentions would be Savage Fury, which finally boosts our Rake damage and will probably make it worth with Savage Roar and Mangle bonus, like in Phase 1, where damage sucked hard. But this talent also increases the Claw damage, which means our Mangle is getting buffed once again for the same energy cost.
There are also Predatory Strikes and Heart of the Wild for Faerie Fire (Feral), and even Feral Aggres sion in case we decide to go for Ferocious Bite damage.
As I mentioned because there are a lot of variations we can try, and all that still depends on runes we are actually getting in Phase 2. And with runes being mentioned, let’s see what we had on the runes’ wishlist: Eclipse, Berserk and Tree of Life. So, they are more or less aiming for each spec to have their ultimate rune. These 3 would be surely the game-changers in both PvP and PvE.
Berserk would surely make a big difference, especially in PvP, where we could hit 5, 6, or 7 Mangles in a row, which on this damage scale would be probably absurd. While in PvE, Berserk is already decent with DPS, so getting this ability would be a blast. But I don’t think we are getting Berserk in this phase. I think that’s an ability saved for later phases.
Things We Need
Still, it’s not impossible because we don’t know what runes other specs are getting. So, I would rather talk about realistic things that Feral lacks at the moment and the runes that would be nice to get for a much better experience in PvP.
The first thing that comes to my mind, thinking about PvP and PvE, is a Tiger’s Fury. This ability is completely useless at the moment. With a 30 energy cost, this energy cost should be zero, or even better for Feral, would be something like a talent from the Cat called King of the Jungle to make our Tiger’s Fury restore 20, 30, or 40 energy when used and keep the ability damage bonus. That would be a blast in both PvP and PvE, especially in PvP because now we got Pounce opener, and this would lead to instant 3 to 4 combo points in the opener without our enemy moving at all.
While we still talk about offensive runes, I have to mention Primal Gore. This one would be amazing, but I think it’s less likely to happen, and we would probably need to sacrifice one of the other PvP runes we are talking about now if we want to use it. Probably, this one would be used much more in PvE.
The next game-changing rune for PvP would surely be Predatory Strikes. With 5 combo points, we get an instant ability, which we can use either for Entangling Roots to kite or instant healing like Healing Touch. This rune would improve survivability and stability in fights, so we don’t need to constantly shift into Travel Form and waste tons of mana on shape-shifting. I don’t even think this is something unfair when I compare it to the Priest survival ability and damage in Phase 1, which is insane.
And the last thing Feral Druid needs is some kind of slow to control the fight and make Shreds easier to land. A perfect solution could be Infected Wounds with a 50% movement speed reduction debuff from Mangle. But this one wouldn’t be a game-changer to actually waste 1 whole rune on this. For example, a combination of 70% from agility into healing done and a 50% slow on Mangle should be a nice combination for just 1 rune, which would add much more stability in our fights.
Something that could also be considered adding in Phase 2, for example, Apex Predator’s Craving, where our Rip has a chance to proc Ferocious Bite. Because I feel that Ferocious Bite won’t be used much since we have so much bonus bleed damage, and Rip just outperforms it for pure numbers. This free Ferocious Bite damage doesn’t need to be at maximum 5 combo points.
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