Just a short post today to let you all know that the heirloom guide has been updated to be viable in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. All of your old links will still work, for those of you who have linked to it on your guild forums and such. And, for those of you who have not seen the heirloom guide yet, you can follow the link below to see which heirlooms you should purchase for any given character as well as the enchants that I suggest you put on them to even further maximize their strength.
Category Archives: World of Warcraft
When you don’t pay attention to patch notes or explore the game as much as you should, you miss out on things like the fact that heirloom legs have been added to the game!
I will get these added into the primary heirloom guide soon, after I have time to make sure they haven’t slipped in any other heirlooms that I just haven’t noticed yet. We’ve known for quite a while now that there are a number of heirloom rings that have been data mined at the same time the legs first were, so I’m going to make sure those are not included before I edit the original guide. But until that time, here’s your guide for leg armor.
New Heirloom Legs
These heirlooms are going to cost you roughly 1,750g each. I don’t have a character that is Exhalted with a guild right now since I haven’t played in forever, so I can’t confirm the exact costs for those of you who get high enough to get the maximum discount. However, it’s pretty safe to assume they’ll cost you somewhere around 1,500-1,750g. I know gold is easier to come by these days than it used to be, but for those of you who will need to put forth a real effort to save up the gold, there you have it. The requirement to purchase them is Honored reputation with your guild.
You purchase these heirlooms from the guild vendor (I believe), and they require your guild to have gotten the “Working Better As a Team” achievement which is getting every profession leveled up to 600 skill level, which won’t be possible until MoP launches. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning today, right?
These heirlooms are good all the way up to level 85, so we’re sticking with the Cap – 5 thing we’ve been seeing since the introduction of heirlooms. As you look at the table below, note that the stats you see here on my blog are the stats as they appear in-game on a level 85 character. The stats on Wowhead are significantly higher than the in-game version, as is the case with the new Monk staff. So don’t look at the stats there and think they’re mindblowingly great, stick to the numbers you see here or what you see for yourself in the game.
|Burnished Legplates of Might||Plate||+267 Str, +401 Stam, +191 Parry, +156 Hit, +10% Exp|
|Polished Legplates of Valor||Plate||+267 Str, +401 Stam, +178 Crit, +178 Expertise, +10% Exp|
|Tarnished Leggings of Destruction||+267 Agi, +401 Stam, +178 Crit, +178 Haste, +10% Exp|
|Mystical Kilt of Elements||+401 Stam, +267 Int, +178 Spirit, +178 Crit, +10% Exp|
|Stained Shadowcraft Pants||Leather||+267 Agi, +401 Stam, +178 Crit, +178 Haste, +10% Exp|
|Preened Wildfeather Leggings||Leather||+401 Stam, +267 Int, +178 Spirit, +178 Crit, +10% Exp|
|Tattered Dreadmist Leggings||Cloth||+401 Stam, +267 Int, +178 Crit, +178 Haste, +10% Exp|
As you can see, we have Plate legs for both Tanks and DPS but still nothing new for plate casters. We also have Mail legs for both Melee DPS and Caster DPS as well as Heals. Leather legs cover the DPS and Heals well, though there’s nothing particularly tanky available for the Monks and Druid out there. You’ll get by just fine without a tanking stat for your leather legs, but for the sake of covering all the bases there it is. Cloth naturally only has one leg choice and it follows the same pattern we’ve seen with all of the other heirloom armor up to this point, meaning that all of the cloth casters have a piece to turn to but the gear has stats for DPS more so than healers as there is no Spirit available.
Enchanting Heirloom Legs
I’m going to hold off on posting the enchants right now because even though there are a lot of leg enchants that appear to be available for these heirlooms, some of them do have item level requirements that don’t show up on their tooltips. That being the case, I’m going to try to do some more in-depth research on the leg enchants before I go ahead and post the information. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a good place to find the information on those hidden tooltips, so I’m going to have to either experiment in game or find another source online.
For now, just know that your only low level options offer a nearly worthless amount of bonus Armor rating which is decent if you’re going to have a low level twink but otherwise a waste of materials. The higher level enchants offer much better stats, but the drawback of their stats not being in effect until you reach a higher level. So do you want good stats for 25 levels, or do you want crappy stats for all 85? That’s up to you, but I’ll take the good stats for 25.
Collecting More Information
If any of you happens to know specifically of any of the enchants that have hidden item level requirements, I would appreciate the help cutting down the list.
I’ve been itching to blog about something, anything, for over a month now but couldn’t really find a worthy topic to do it on. Today I decided I had a decent enough topic to talk about that it would be worth my time to go ahead and write it down and send it out to the masses, so here it goes.
Today I’m going to cover a little bit of what’s been going on lately in my own gaming world and how that has impacted the blog, and I wanted to address some of the issues that I see right now that will impact my gaming (and by extension my blogging) in the near future.
State of the Blog
When I was playing WoW it was easy to come up with a new topic because there was always a new class, spec or playstyle that I could write about and by the time I got through all of the choices there would be a new expansion or patch that would change things enough that I needed to start all over again. Then SWTOR came along and stole my heart away from WoW and I found myself in a world where people no longer cared about reading leveling guides or getting ideas about how to play a certain class.
With the beta invites being sent out by the hundreds of thousands and the expansion drawing ever closer to going live, I think it’s time to start getting plans for heirlooms in motion.
I know a lot of people will not want to use heirlooms on their monks, especially since the class and expansion are going to be brand new, but I also know that there are a lot of people who really don’t like the leveling process at all who are going to make use of every heirloom they can get their hands on. And you can’t forget the twinks, of course.
This guide is written for those of you who do want to use heirlooms on your Monks, and would like a little direction in which purchases to make, and which enchants to use on them if you feel like maximizing your leveling potential.
As you continue reading, please keep in mind that this guide is aimed strictly at showing you which heirlooms are you best option among the heirloom gear; I am not necessarily saying that you should use these heirlooms exclusively and ignore all other gear. For example, I would never use the Dread Pirate Ring unless I really wanted to level a character quickly because it offers only secondary stats and an experience bonus. I would much rather use rings that provide a bonus to my primary stats that I know I’m going to use. As a guide that covers heirlooms though, I’m going over every slot for which heirlooms exist to say, “if you’re going to use an heirloom in this slot, then this is the one you want.”
Turn the page to find out more…
Part I ~
“Psyn, when are you going to write more leveling guides?”
I’ve heard that question quite a bit lately, along with a few people asking whether or not I’m going to get back to writing leveling guides for WoW, so I figured I might as well answer it on the blog where everyone who didn’t ask could see the answer as well.
I could answer the question in short as, “hopefully soon for SWTOR, and maybe sometime after MoP for WoW,” but to really answer that question I need to explain a little bit about how I go about writing my guides.
Turn the page to find out more…
However, I don’t keep images organized in the same way that other players do, I guess, and I’ve recently made the transition from WoW to SWTOR which throws another little spin on things as the Sixth has been going around the WoW blogosphere up to this point (as far as I’m aware).
So, since I use a more elaborate organisation system, and I have a lot of screenshots from two different games, and the fact that I don’t usually join memes because I don’t like spreading them to other people, I’m putting a Psynister spin on this meme. Instead of giving you the sixth image from my sixth subfolder, I’m going to give you six images from six of my sixth subfolders.
As far as tagging other people goes, it’s not really my thing. So, consider my tags open to the public. If you want to partake in the Sixth, but haven’t been tagged yet – then consider yourself tagged. If you haven’t been tagged yet, and you don’t want to be tagged – then consider yourself tagged anyway!
Playing a Feral Druid
Feral Druids are an odd class to play at low levels. It’s almost like Blizzard tried too hard to make us viable with a limited tool set early on and then slowly trickled in all the other abilities that we actually need to be more than mangle-spammers. In short, if you’re new to playing a Feral Druid be prepared to relearn how to play your class every ten levels because our spells are scattered all over the place.
Feral is also somewhat unique because it’s both a tank spec and a DPS spec at the same time. That also makes your talent choices interesting because some talents benefit both roles while others do only one or the other. You’ll need to decide whether you want to focus more on DPS or on tanking, or if you want to play that middle ground as much as possible.
While playing as a Cat you have the option of using stealth to move around undetected in PvE and PvP, though you don’t get any direct benefit from being in stealth right away. As a Bear you just run up to things and smack things in the face until they’re dead. For most of the leveling process Cat damage is based on bleeds and burst while Bear damage is based on steady, repeated blows that utilize the Bears added survivability to be able to live long enough for those steady blows to win you the fight.
Important Spells & Abilities
I’m going to do the spell breakdown a little bit differently this time around than I have in the past. I’m going to break down the important spells based on which forms you have available to you (Caster/Normal, Cat, and Bear) and also which type of spell it is. Druids are the ultimate hybrid class and even though a LOT of the spells you learn aren’t important to being a Feral Druid I want to cover the ones that are worth noting so that you have a firm grasp of what you’re capable of.
I’m still not listing every single spell (though close to it) as not all spells are useful to every spec.
Note that all numeric values are taken from the level 29 version of the spell for the purposes of this post.
Caster Form (Levels 1-8)
- Wrath (1): Deals 45-49 Nature Damage to the target.
- Moonfire (4): Burns the enemy for 11-13 Arcane damage and then additional Arcane damage over 12 seconds.
I list these spells primarily because this is what you’ll use to level until at least level 8 since you have no forms to choose from until then. However, it’s also important to be familiar with these if you’re going to PvP. As a Feral Druid there’s a lot of crowd control that you can shrug off, but being rooted in place is not one of them. In cases like those, you need to be able to pop out of your feral form to attack with spells. Even as Feral I keep Moonfire keybound an in reach for just such an occasion. I’ll get into more detail on when using Moonfire and other caster spells is a good idea as a Feral even though using these spells pops you out of your Cat/Bear form in a later post directed specifically at PvP.
For leveling from 1-8, you’re basically going to spam Wrath and/or Moonfire until your targets are dead.
Cat Form (Levels 8-29)
- Cat Form (8): Shift into Cat form, causing Agility to increase Attack Power (2:1). Also protects the caster from Polymorph effects and allows the use of cat abilities. Shapeshifting frees the caster of movement slowing effects.
- Claw (8): Claw the enemy, causing 100% of normal damage plus 38. Awards 1 combo point.
- Ferocious Bite (8): Finishing Move causes damage per combo point and consumes up to 35 additional energy to increase damage by up to 100%, and heals you for up to 1% of your total max health for each 10 energy used.
- Rake (8): Rake the target for Bleed damage and additional Bleed damage every 3 seconds for 9 seconds. Awards 1 combo point.
- Mangle (10): Mangle the target for 354% normal damage plus 3 and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 1 minute. Awards 1 combo point.
- Prowl (10): Allows the druid to prowl around (stealth), but reduces your movement speed by 30%. Lasts until cancelled.
- Ravage (22): Ravage the target, causing 664% damage plus 3 to the target. Must be prowling and behind the target. Awards 1 combo point.
- Skull Bash (22): Charge and skull bash the target, interrupting spellcasting and preventing any spell in that school from being cast for 4 seconds.
- Tiger’s Fury (24): Increases physical damage done by 15% for 6 seconds. Requires Cat form. Does not break prowling.
- Cower (26): Cower, causing no damage but lowering your threat by 10%, making the enemy less likely to attack you.
- Dash (26): Increases movement speed by 70% while in Cat form for 15 seconds. Does not break prowling.
- Feline Grace (26): Reduces damage from falling.
In case you haven’t noticed, Druids get a crapload of spells. And these are just the ones that you use strictly in Cat form.
As a leveling Cat the most important spells for you are: Mangle, Rake, Ferocious Bite, Prowl and Ravage. Prowl (stealth) and Ravage are used as openers and with decent gear you can one-shot a lot of quest mobs with Ravage. Especially if you buff your damage with Tiger’s Fury first. Mangle is your spam-attack, Rake is your primary Bleed, and Ferocious Bite is your finisher. We’ll get into more detail about how to use these in the sections below.
Claw is mentioned SOLELY because it’s your only decent attack from level 8-9 in Cat Form. At level 10 you’ll take this off of your bars and never look at this worthless piece of garbage again. This spell only exists to give non-Feral Druids an attack to use while in Cat Form, it’s not meant for you. It costs more Energy than Mangle and does a fraction of its damage, so don’t use this ever again once you reach level 10.
While Skull Bash won’t see much use while you’re leveling, it’s good to stay familiar with it and keep it somewhere easily reachable. You don’t need to interrupt spells from quest mobs, but if you develop that habit now you won’t have to worry about trying to get into the habit when you reach max level where dungeon and raid fights demand interrupts.
Bear Form (Levels 15-29) [jump to tanking]
- Bear Form (15): Shift into Bear form, increasing armor by 120% and Stamina by 20%. Significantly increases threat generation (500%), causes Agility to increase Attack Power (2:1), and protects the caster from Polymorph effects and allows the use of bear abilities. Shapeshifting frees the caster from movement slowing effects.
- Mangle (10): Mangle the target for 88% normal damage plus 93 and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 1 minute.
- Demoralizing Roar (15): Reduce the physical damage caused by all enemies within 10 yards by 10% for 30 seconds.
- Growl (15): Taunts the target to attack you, but has no effect if the target is already attacking you.
- Maul (15): An attack that instantly deals 35 physical damage. Effects which increase Bleed damage also increase Maul damage.
- Swipe (18): Swipe nearby enemies, inflicting 51 damage. Damage is increased by attack power.
- Enrage (22): Generates 20 Rage, and then generates an additional 10Rage over 10 seconds.
- Skull Bash (22): Charge and skull bash the target, interrupting spellcasting and preventing any spell in that school from being cast for 4 seconds.
- Faerie Fire (24): Decreases the armor of the target by 4% for 5 minutes. While affected, the target cannot stealth or turn invisible. Stacks up to 3 times. Deals damage and additional threat when used in Bear Form.
- Challenging Roar (28): Forces all nearby enemies within 10 yards to focus attacks on you for 6 seconds.
Did I mention Druids get a crapload of spell? Here’s the list of the ones strictly used in Bear form.
Bear form is most often used for tanking, but it’s also a strong option for leveling; especially for those of you who enjoy using AoE and fighting multiple mobs at once. All of these spells are important in one way or another. For boss tanking Mangle, Demoralizing Roar, and Maul are your primary spells with Growl getting an honorable mention in case you’ve got some strong DPS in your group. For questing or fighting trash your major spells are: Mangle, Demoralizing Roar, Maul, and Swipe with Challenging Roar and Growl being mentioned again for those DPS that might draw agro in dungeons.
We’ll talk more about Bear tanking later on. For now, know that if you’re going to be bear tanking you’ll make use of basically all of these spells. The least likely spell for you as a tank is going to be Skull Bash since you usually have DPS focused on interrupts, but if you can add yours to the mix then you only strengthen your group.
Healing Spells (Levels 3-29)
- Rejuvenation (3): Heals the target for 70 every 3 seconds for 12 seconds.
- Regrowth (12): Heals a friendly target for 182-202 and another 57 over 6 seconds.
- Revive (12): Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with 35% max health and mana. Cannot be cast when in combat.
- Rebirth (20): Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with 20% health and mana. Can be used during combat.
- Remove Corruption (24): Nullifies corrupting effects on the friendly target, removing 1 Curse and 1 Poison effect.
I wouldn’t ordinarily bother listing healing spells on a guide written specifically for a Tank/DPS spec, but Druids are special.
There’s a method of healing that we call pre-HoT’ing, which is casting Heal over-Time (HoT) spells on your tank before they pull so that you nullify or greatly reduce the amount of initial damage that they take once combat begins. Bears operate off of a Rage mechanic which starts at 0 and fills up during combat. Because of this you can take great advantage of pre-HoT’ing yourself while questing or during dungeons to lessen the load on your healer. If you’re always out of Rage between pulls then you can also make use of your talents for a free 10 Rage after casting your HoT’s to give you a head start in the pull.
The most likely spell for you to use in a pre-HoT is Rejuvenation because it has a longer duration and a cheaper mana cost. Regrowth only lasts for 6 seconds and it’s a front-loaded HoT as well as expensive, so only use it when you know there’s going to be a lot of incoming damage or when you need to top yourself off from the last pull.
Rebirth is mentioned because being able to resurrect someone mid-combat is pretty stinking useful. Revive I mention only because I can’t believe how many times I’ve had people die in pugs and nobody in the group has or has bothered training a resurrection spell. Learn it. Use it. Love it.
Remove Corruption deserves special mention because you can’t use Prowl (stealth) while you have DoT’s on you because taking damage removes you from stealth. You can enter prowl, you just won’t be able to stay in it for more than a second or two. Removing curses and poisons that deal damage can save you a lot of problems when playing as a cat.
Utility Spells (Levels 4-29)
- Thorns (5): Thorns sprout from the friendly target causing Nature damage to attackers when hit. Lasts 20 seconds.
- Entangling Roots (7): Roots the target in place for 30 seconds. Damage caused my interrupt the effect.
- Teleport: Moonglade (15): Teleports the caster to the Moonglade.
- Aquatic Form (16): Shift into aquatic form, increasing swim speed by 50% and allowing the druid to breathe underwater. Also protects from Polymorph effects. Shifting frees the caster from movement slowing effects.
- Travel Form (16): Shift into travel form, increasing movement speed by 40% and protecting you from Polymorph effects. Only usable outdoors. Shifting frees the caster of movement slowing effects.
- Omen of Clarity (20): Your damage spells, attacks, and auto-attacks have a chance to cuase you to enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage or Energy cost of your next damaging or healing spell or offensive feral ability by 100%.
- Faerie Fire (24): Decreases the armor of the target by 4% for 5 minutes. While affected, the target cannot stealth or turn invisible. Stacks up to 3 times.
- Innervate (28): Causes the target to regenerate 5% of their maximum mana over 10 seconds. If cast on self, you regenerate an additional 15% of your maximum mana over 10 seconds.
- Sooth (28): Soothes the target, dispelling all enrage effects.
Thorns is a really cool spell that actually puts out a surprising amount of damage. The bad news is, it kicks you out of bear/cat form to use it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cast it, but it does mean you should generally avoid doing so mid-combat. This is another spell you should be casting in between pulls for extra damage. If you’re not the tank, cast it on your tank between pulls instead of yourself.
Entangling Roots isn’t used much by Ferals in PvE, though it’s pretty common in PvP. In terms of leveling and questing I like to use this when I’m gathering mostly so that when I don’t want to fight a mob I’ll just root them in place, gather my node and then leave. If you’re a Bear that’s pretty much the only time you’ll cast Roots in PvE.
Teleport: Moonglade is a free ticket to your class trainer any time you want it. Moonglade also has a couple of professions trainers (Herbalism and…something else, I think) and a couple of vendors that sell items that often can be flipped on the AH for a decent profit.
Aquatic Form and Travel Form are both great for mobility, and they can both be cast while you’re in combat. They’re fantastic for PvP, and occasionally useful in PvE.
Omen of Clarity is worth mentioning because you’re going to see those two bars of green leaves pop up on your screen from time to time and you might as well know what it means. Omen of Clarity (OoC) essentially makes your next attack or heal free, so you generally want to make use of the OoC proc by casting a spell with the largest Rage/Energy/Mana cost that has the most benefit. For Feral that’s almost always going to be Mangle or sometimes Ferocious Bite in Cat form, though you may also want to use it for a quick Regrowth if you need some emergency healing.
Innervate doesn’t mean much to Ferals since you almost never use mana, but your healers will love you for casting it on them.
And last is Sooth. Sooth is very often overlooked by Druids because you get it at such an early level and yet have virtually no reason at all to use it. For leveling purposes this spell can pretty much be ignored since anything that does enrage on you will likely die within a matter of seconds if you’re attacking it in Cat form. In dungeons you’ll occasionally run into a boss that you can use this on where it’s useful, but it breaks Cat/Bear form so doing so is risky. The main reason why I mention it is because it does have some definite uses in PvP against Warriors and some class pets that have enrages.
Leveling a Feral Druid
- Questing Single Mob Stealth: [Cat Form] Prowl, Tiger’s Fury, Ravage, Mangle, Rake, Ferocious Bite, Mangle spam
- Questing Single Mob No Stealth: [Cat Form] Tiger’s Fury, Mangle, Rake, Mangle x1-3, Ferocious Bite
- Questing Multi-Mob: [Bear Form] Mangle (mob 1), Demoralizing Roar, Maul, Swipe, Maul, Mangle (mob 2), Swipe, Maul
Questing Single Mob
The fastest way to kill things 1v1 is to use Prowl to sneak up behind them, pop Tiger’s Fury for added damage, and then use Ravage for big burst damage followed by Mangle for even more burst. If the mob manages to survive, you follow that with Rake’s bleed effect which is 30% stronger thanks to Mangle’s debuff, and then Ferocious Bite as a finisher. If the mob still isn’t dead, switch to spamming your Mangle attack until the mob is either dead or has 5 combo points on it at which time you Ferocious Bite again and then return to Mangle spam.
Rarely should you ever have to worry about normal mobs surviving through that full rotation as a Feral.
While using stealth is often looked at as the “right” way to play a Feral, it’s not really necessary. It’s perfectly acceptable to just run up to something and Mangle it’s face a bit before using Ferocious Bite to finish them off. This is most effective when you’re in heirloom gear or other good gear for your level rather than a hodgepodge of whites and greens that don’t add Agility.
Using AoE to take down groups of mobs is my favorite way to kill things. This rotation is also what you’ll use when tanking dungeons. Those four spells are the key to tanking form level 15 up to level 69. For that massive stretch of levels there’s virtually no change at all to your rotation for taking. You can assign Mangle, Maul, Swipe and Demo Roar to your 1-4 keys and after hitting Demo Roar once at the beginning of a fight you can spam 1-3 without even looking at your monitor for the rest of the encounter and you’ll do just fine.
The reason why I mention using Mangle on multiple targets is two fold. First, Mangle is your hardest hitting attack so spreading out that big damage will help bring all of the mobs down faster and more evenly time-wise. Second, because Mangle increases Bleed damage by 30% which Maul takes advantage of even though it isn’t a Bleed effect. By default Maul only hits a single target, but with a Major Glyph you can make it hit two targets which is why it’s great for AoE situations.
How to Tank: 29 Feral Druid
Tanking on a Bear Druid is easy while you’re leveling. Before patch 4.3 it was a little bit tougher because Bear Form didn’t get its full defensive bonus until higher levels, but now you get it from level 15 on. To see which spells you’ll be using as a Bear, refer to the Bear Spells section above for a list of all the spells you’ll need to have ready in this level range.
Tanking as a Bear is incredibly simple at early levels. It can be a little bit boring since you’ll be using the same three attack spells over and over as they come off of cooldown, but tabbing through multiple enemies to keep threat spread out over all the mobs can keep it a bit more interesting.
There are three methods of pulling that you can use: body pull, feral charge, and faerie fire.
Body Pulling is simply running into the group of mobs and letting the presence of your toon draw the agro. This is the simplest method of pulling, but also the least effective since it generates no threat at all.
Feral Charge is a bit more effect since it’s a gap closer, meaning you rush right in quickly and get started with combat and threat right away.
Faerie Fire is much like Feral Charge except that the range is longer and you’re not closing the gap any faster than with a body pull.
The most effective way to start a pull is to combine those last to. You do this by casting Faerie Fire on the target furthest away from you, then casting Feral Charge on the mob closest to the center of the pack you’re about to pull (any mob in the cluster will work, though).
Once you’re in range of the mobs your first priority is to cast Demoralizing Roar to reduce the damage of all of those mobs. From there you move on to your damage rotation.
Until you learn Lacerate at level 66 there are only three spells you’ll need to worry about for your damage rotation: Mangle, Maul and Swipe.
Mangle is a solid burst of damage on a single target, with a 6 second cooldown.
Maul is reasonable damage on a single target, with a 3 second cooldown..
Swipe is an AoE attack that hits all enemies within 8 yards of you, with a 3 second cooldown.
You want to try to use Mangle on each target in the pack at least once so that Mangles +30% Bleed damage debuff is on as many targets as possible. The reason for this is that Maul benefits from Mangle’s debuff even though it’s not actually a Bleed effect. Another reason why we’re spreading it around instead of just focusing one target is because you also want to use the Glyph of Maul which makes Maul hit two targets instead of one, so being able to increase Maul’s damage by 30% on multiple targets is just free, extra damage.
Since Maul and Swipe both have 3 second cooldowns, you’ll alternate these a lot, with Mangle thrown in when it’s available.
If you’re facing a boss or a single mob, you can leave Swipe off the list and just use Mangle/Maul as they’re available, filling in the empty spaces with Faerie Fire until you have 3 stacks of it (the max).
Taunts and Drawing Agro
Bears have two taunts, one that’s single target and one that’s area.
Growl has a single target, and an 8 second cooldown.
Challenging Roar hits all mobs within 10 yards, forcing agro (not threat*) for 6 seconds, and has a 3 minute cooldown.
Growl is going to be your primary taunt because of it’s significantly shorter cooldown. The main thing you need to know about taunts, if they’re unfamiliar to you, is that terms of threat a Taunt puts your threat equal to the person who currently has threat. So if their threat is 500 and yours is only 300, your threat meter immediately jumps up to 500 to match theirs. This is important to remember because taunting something doesn’t just instantly guarantee that the problem is going away. Unless you do something to generate more threat on that target than whoever had threat before is continuing to generate on them, you’re going to lose it again.
For example, if a Mage pulls threat on one mob and you taunt it, but don’t do anything else, if that Mage continues to cast spells against that mob he’s going to steal threat again as soon as he reaches 130% of your threat level (assuming he’s at caster range and not melee range, or else it’s only 110%). The way you combat that is to use attacks on that specific mob to generate a significant enough threat lead that you will not lose threat again before the mob is dead.
If you taunt a mob and they’re not close enough for you to just hit them right away to reestablish agro, use other means of generating agro such as Faerie Fire or use your Feral Charge to close in with the stray mob, followed with Mangle to boost your threat back up.
Challenging Roar forces everything in its radius to fight you for 6 seconds no matter what the threat levels are. Even if your threat level is 300 and theirs is 3 million, you’ve got agro for those 6 seconds. The key issue here though, is that this isn’t an actual taunt. A taunt resets your threat level to match whoever had threat at the time, where this spell leaves threat levels where they are an instead just makes the targets ignore everyone else until the spell ends.
In order to use this spell effectively you need to follow it up immediately with as much AoE as you can. That means hitting Swipe, Maul, Demoralizing Roar, and anything else you have to throw at them (like Engineering explosives). As a Bear you generate threat at 5 times the amount of damage that you put out, and no DPS classes near your level should be able to put out 500% of your damage. Certain spells, like Faerie Fire, also generate threat which is not based solely on damage, but you don’t need to know all the math behind those so I’m not going to mention it.
[Note: I’ve had some trouble finding the exact percentages that are used currently for pulling threat. General consensus on twitter was that 110% is correct for melee range threat, while there’s some confusion on ranged being 120% or 130%. I’m not an expert on threat, so if I got the numbers right just let me know and I’ll get it corrected.]
Talent Spec: 29 Feral Druid
- Feral Swiftness 2/2: Increases your movement speed by 30% in Cat Form and increases your chance to doge while in Cat or Bear forms by 4%. In addition, your Dash and Stampeding Roar have a 100% chance to remove all movement impairing effects from affected targets when used.
- Furor 3/3: Grants a 100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shift into Bear form, allows you to keep up to 100 of your Energy when shifting into Cat form, and increases your maximum mana by 15%.
- Fury Swipes 3/3: When you auto-attack while in Cat or Bear form, you have a 15% chance to cause a Fury Swipe dealing 310% weapon damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 3 seconds.
- Primal Fury 2/2: Gives a 100% chance to gain an additional 5 Rage anytime you get a critical strike while in Bear form and your critical strikes from Cat form abilities that add combo points have a 100% chance to add an additional combo point.
- Feral Charge 1/1: Teaches Feral Charge (Bear) and Feral Charge (Cat). Bear – causes you to charge an enemy, immobilizing them for 4 seconds, 15 second cooldown. Cat – causes you to leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds, 30 second cooldown.
This is the spec that I would recommend for level 29, regardless of whether you want to be a Bear tank or a Cat DPS. I have some alternative suggestions down below, in case you like the sound of some of those better for your early leveling. The Feral tree is packed with lots of really cool talents, and depending on what your focus is in game you may prefer one over another.
Feral Swiftness is one of the more iconic talents of the feral spec, allowing you to move faster in Cat form and granting an extra 4% dodge while you’re in a feral form. Increasing your movement speed is often considered a trait of PvP, but it’s a quality of life thing that does have uses in PvE as well. I suggest you spend both of your first points to max this out.
Furor is a stable for every Druid, regardless of spec. For Ferals the main thing is free Rage when shifting into Bear form and not having your Energy drained when shifting into Cat form. It’s a big time saver, and it’s especially useful when tanking so that you’re not constantly having to body pull and start from scratch every time.
Fury Swipes is free damage. Whether that free damage is helping you deal more damage as a Cat, or it’s helping you deal more damage (and thus, more threat) as a Bear, it’s helping no matter what.
Primal Fury is the most changeable talent on my list. It gives you free Rage as a Bear and free combo points as a Cat, which both serve to make you more effective in combat. This is more important for Cats than it is for Bears as oftentimes you can end up with excessive amounts of Rage as a Bear and nothing to dump them into, where a Cat can often end up starved for energy and get better damage on their finishing moves from free combo points without having to spend the energy to generate those points otherwise.
If you’re going for a straight Cat build and you know you have no interest in tanking, then there are a couple of other choices you might want to consider.
Predatory Strikes 2/2 is a good substitute for points from Furor. It will give you an extra 50% crit chance when using Ravage on targets above 80% health, and give your finishing moves a 20% chance per combo point to make your next Nature spell an instant cast and cost no mana. This is very much a PvP talent, but it also adds survivability in PvE by giving you access to free and instant healing or crowd control spells.
All four of the talents on the 2nd tier of the Feral tree are good. Infected Wounds 2/2 causes your primary attack skills to slow the target’s movement by 25% and their attack speed by 10% which is great for survival and PvP. Feral Aggression 2/2 increases your Ferocious Bite damage by 10% and causes your Faerie Fire spell to apply all 3 stacks of FF in a single cast.
- Glyph of Mangle: Increases the damage done by Mangle by 10%.
- Glyph of Tiger’s Fury: Reduces the cooldown of Tiger’s Fury by 3 seconds.
There’s really no question of which glyph is better for you here. Mangle is your primary attack for both Feral forms. The only time I would settle for Tiger’s Fury is if you can’t find or can’t afford Mangle.
- Glyph of Maul: Your Maul ability now hits 1 additional target for 50% damage.
- Glyph of Ferocious Bite: Your Ferocious Bite ability heals you for 1% for your maximum health for every 10 energy used.
- Glyph of Thorns: Reduces the cooldown of Thorns by 20 seconds.
If you’re going to participate in Bear tanking, use Maul. If you’re a crazy cat lady, use Ferocious Bite. If you don’t have heirlooms, use Thorns.
Maul gives you no benefit as a Cat, and FerBite gives you no benefit as a Bear, so if you’re going to specialize in one or the other then don’t go for a glyph that does you no good.
Thorns does a lot of damage for a cast-and-forget spell, but only if enemies have enough time to hit you. If you have fully enchanted heirlooms and you’re slaying things in a couple of globals, then Thorns isn’t useful to you either.
- Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth: Your Rebirth spell no longer requires a reagent.
- Glyph of Aquatic Form: Increases your swim speed by 50% while in Aquatic Form.
- Glyph of Dash: Reduces the cooldown of Dash by 20%.
I’m going to leave the minor glyphs up to you. Personally, I love the Aquatic Form glyph because I hate moving slow and I love taking advantage of water areas in PvP that my opponents cannot. Dash is another favorite of mine since I’m all about moving faster and doing it often. Unburdened Rebirth is first on the list because in practical terms it’s got the most benefit in the long run if you play with other people in your group.
Gearing Up Your Feral Druid
When choosing your gear your top priority is Agility regardless of being a Cat or a Bear. If you’re a Bear tank then your secondary stat is Stamina. If you’re a Cat, then your secondary stat is Agility.
No, that wasn’t a typo.
Other stats that interest you are: Hit, Crit (Cat), Haste, and Dodge (Bears).
You can get some pretty decent Agility gear from the Leatherworking profession at all levels. It’s the one profession I have never maxed on any of my characters, so I don’t wish it upon anyone, but if you know a LW or have on already then you can get yourself some decent upgrades in advance.
If you like to run dungeons, you can get some pretty nice upgrades.
Ragefire Chasm: Chest, Cloak
Deadmines: Cloak, Weapon, Legs
Wailing Caverns: Chest, Belt, Boots, Legs, Gloves, Shoulders
Shadowfang Keep: Shoulders
Blackfathom Deeps: Legs, Bracers, Weapon, Gloves
Stormwind Stockades: Helm (Alliance only), Boots, Legs
Gnomeregan: Rings, Bracers, Chest (Alliance only),
At Cynwise’s suggestion, I’ve decided to put the macros for each class on their own page. For Druid macros, simply click on the following link, or look under the Macros menu at the top of this page: Druid Macros.