Druids 4.1 (And a Feral Druid 4.0.6 Update)

This is a follow-up to a previous series of post including the Druid changes and play style in 4.0.6 and 4.0.3 respectively

Changes for you druids for 4.0.6 (IE Current Live Realms)

Please note that the following is primarily a follow-up to my post “So you want to be a kitty” back a few months ago and includes some updates as to BIS, Gear Gem’s, PvP, and some enchanting alternatives [for the cheap]. I was waiting for EJ to do some kind of update, but it doesn’t look like that’s coming [or the OP post hasn't been updated] you can follow the thread here

Gems

Blizzard Fixed the Meta Gem for feral druids if you can find it:

Meta: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond

Now, with the availability of that cut, we can finally drop the more blue than red act and get straight to the chase. The whole idea is that you are going to want to gem purely for +Agi

Gem Red: Delicate Inferno Ruby

The only time you don’t want to Gem red is if the socket bonus would be +20 Agi or more, if it’s Yellow Gem Agi /  Mastery, if it’s Blue Gem Agi / Hit

Gem Blue:  Glinting Demonseye

Gem Yellow: Sensai’s Dream Emerald

Raiding BIS

Alright, so last time I gave you a breakdown of what the Best in Slot gear pre raiding would be, the following is much the same except all gear is heroic. If there is a non heroic version of the gear you can pretty much just assume to use it, if not stats priorities are Agi > Mastery / Crit > Hit / Haste > Expertise. We will be aiming for 4 Piece tier 11 so that you can get the +AP bonus for using mangle 3 times [and messing up your rotation].

Please note for all of those who would like to track the T11 Buff the name of it is “Strength of the Panther”

A good portion of this is based on the PTR and what Blizzard thought the BIS would be, and some of it is based on research [only a little, I don't want to get to bright-eyed and bushy-tailed]. A big thanks to The Fluid Druid for doing a lot of the math behind this one

Weapon: Malevolence – This one should be more than obvious, it is a +Agi Staff, guess who that’s going too (That’s right, guild hunter for his offset). This drops off of Halfus who I’ve been told is more than puggable

Head: The Heroic Stormrider’s Headpiece which of course drops off Nefarion. If you are feeling cheap and non heroic, there is always Tsanga’s Helm or the Engineering Helm, both of which can be got outside of raids

Neck: Necklace of Strife – This is off Valiona [Tough to get to I know]. If you can’t get your grubby paws on that you can try for Don Rodrigo’s Fabulous Necklace instead [which can be found on the AH]. Note that the BOE sucks.

Back: Cloak of Biting Chill from Maloriak, if you can’t get heroic Dory’s Finery or Viewless Wings both of which are easier to attain

Shoulder: Stormrider’s Spaulders and if you can’t get Cho’Gall down you can always try for Poison Protocol Pauldrons which drops off the far more downable Omnitron Defense system.

Chest: Sark of the Unwatched is technically the BIS here, failing that Morrie’s Waywalker Wrap is considered an acceptable replacement, and of course above the BOE is Stormrider’s Raiment

Wrist: Parasitic Bands is pretty much your only non blue choice here.

Relic: Relic of Golganneth is again pretty much your only choice.

Hands: Double Attack Handguards for the heroic, and if you can’t do that, there are of course the Stormbolt Gloves from your respective faction (for Horde I think it’s Liar’s Handgaurds). The in between here is of course Stormrider’s Grips.

Waist: Dispersing Belt , your fallback here is of course a version of Wind Stalker Belt with a similar stat load out.

Pants: Stormrider’s Legguards for the absolute best of the best, with Maloriaks other pair of pants (Aberration’s Leggings) [in the heroic or non heroic version] or Al’Akir’s Wind Stalker Leggings with appropriate stat load out

Feet: Storm Rider’s Boots from Halfus or Treads of Fleeting Joy

Rings: Lightning Conductor Band and Mistral Circle (In Appropriate Stat Variety). In non heroic Signet of the Elder Council (From Rep) and the non heroic versions of those 2 will work well.

Trinkets:  Essence of the Cyclone and Prestor’s Talisman of Machination are your pretty much dominate options (Tia’s Grace actually beats out a LOT of 359 trinkets)

PvP in 4.0.6

As I said in the 4.0.3 run down, there was a good likelihood that our bleeds were going to get nerfed, and it appears that they were. In addition, our ability to break out of situations was almost handicapped with the removal of our ability to shape shift out of roots AND the removal of Berserks’ ability to remove fear. As it stands, save trinkets, we have no cool downs that will clear roots or fear [Shit sucks captain] as opposed to 4.0.3 where we had both as part of the class.

Furthermore, our damage was shifted from bleeds to more direct damage dealing abilities (Mangle, Shred) in order to compensate. Looking at the State of DPS we have fallen below everything but the pure DPS off specs. I’m not an expert in how things work in World of Warcraft, but I think I can say with some relative safety that we got taken out into the field and beaten with the nerf bat.

Now, after a few suggestions, I would like to add some things to doing the whole PvP thing, in addition to Healing Touch on Nature’s Swiftness Procs, you also have access to using Cyclone [a popular spell] to interrupt spells, or generally irritate someone for 6 seconds.

Your roll has gone from being the damage dealing side to more like a subtlety rogue where the entire point is to simply control members of the opposing team. You have all manner of tools at your disposal to do this (Skull Bash, Hibernate, Cyclone, Roots, Pounce, Maim, Bash[Bear form], etc.). Blizzard in general seems to be pushing Cat form and Feral in PvP out of the picture [for the third expansion running] in favor of Resto again. So for you Feral DPS I apologize, we got half a season to be cool but it looks like our days as a Flavor of the Month class are over.

Other

In other news, the Worgen racial got a small update, so it can now actually be used in addition to Dash and is not completely useless. It gives a 40% increase to speed [as opposed to just 30% to base run speed] so it will now allow you the same speeds that you were getting with dash.

Druids 4.1

Current Patch Notes according to: Blizzard

  • Cyclone duration has been reduced to 5 seconds, down from 6.
  • Efflorescence has a new spell effect.
  • Lifebloom’s bloom effect has been reduced by 20%.
  • Prowl has a new icon.
  • Stampeding Roar’s duration has been increased to 8 seconds, up from 6. The movement speed effect has been increased to 60%, up from 40%.
  • Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.

Talent Specializations

Balance

  • Starsurge damage has been reduced by 20%.
  • Solar Beam is now more responsive when enemies move into or out of it.

Feral

  • Feral Swiftness now also causes Dash and Stampeding Roar to have a 50/100% chance to instantly remove all movement impairing effects from the affected targets when used.

Restoration

  • Gift of Nature (passive) also reduces Tranquility’s cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.
  • Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects.

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Rake is now Glyph of Pounce, which increases the range of Pounce by 3 yards.
Analysis

Ok, first off, it looks like Blizzard wants to apologize for removing our inability to get out of roots by letting Nature’s Swiftness in Conjunction with Stampeding Roar or Dash break them. I’d go out of my way to say this still isn’t enough and Blizzard will hear no end of it from me until my kitty doesn’t get tangled, but whatever.

Stampeding roar has also been buffed, so it is now actually valuable to the feral druid in addition to his party. It also looks like they want to make Pounce more useful [probably as part of a more PvP control environment as I stated above].

Efflorescence is… different (clearly) and appears to be now more aimed at like a smaller wild growth? I’m not really sure I like this change, as it heals for 12% of what swiftmend would have healed for to the 3 targets that are hurting the most. As opposed to before where it just healed for a flat rate to anything in the area. This means once again Druids don’t actually have a ‘true’ AOE heal, we just have 3 (really 2) heals that heal more than 1 target. I’m guessing to make up for this they want Tranquility on a 3 minute cooldown.

Swipe (Bear) got brought up, I think this is to make Tanking as a bear easier at the lower levels [one of the big complaints].

Boomkins got nerfed, Lifebloom got nerfed, Cyclone got nerfed,  there is no other way around that one.

A lot of the spell effects and icons are changing. I’ll keep you posted as my ears hear more.

A quick Update

With 4.1 now live on Servers, I feel the need to let you know about 2 other changes that went live before the final release

  • Berserk is off the Global Cooldown
  • Swipe (Cat)’s damage was doubled
I’ve always felt Berserk should be off the GCD anyway, but now it’s official. Honestly with its fear immunity no longer in effect, it feels like it’s a bit late for that change. the Change to Swipe though is more than key, Feral Druids have just been dragging their feet in the ground on AOE fights and its about time we got a way to actually provide some damage in those. This should be a much welcomed change (and not a nerf! :D )
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One Response to Druids 4.1 (And a Feral Druid 4.0.6 Update)

  1. Bute says:

    I have to agree that all kitties have taken a beating from the nurf bat. I was so excited when I first started playing Cata as feral, topping the dos meters and owning everyone in bgs. Now I am not at the bottom of the dps meter bit I am far from the top. I still so well in pvp….but I think that has more to do with the person not the toon.

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