Feral Weapon Strategies
I wasn’t able to post anything new during the past week. I was very busy both at work and at home. However, I was pleasantly surprised with a number of comments on my post from last weekend. A comment by Val was in response to my experience tanking The Slave Pens. Val is a feral druid also and left some good comments, particularly around staff options. Val recommends picking up Braxxis Staff of Slumber for your feral forms. Then once you hit 65, she recommends heading to Nagrand and completing The Ring of Blood for Staff of Beasts. She also supported my purchase of Warden’s Hauberk and said it would be a good chestpiece for me all the way to 70. While I had socketed it with 3 Bright Blood Garnets for +36 to attack power, Val recommended 3 Delicate Blood Garnets for +18 to Agility. She reasoned the agility would give me extra crits for both Bear and Cat, and increase my dodge in Bear which is good for tanking. Great comments – thanks Val.
As it happened, I was playing Saturday afternoon and involved in some lively guild chat about gnomes being ankle-biters (lol), when I got a whisper from one of our Warlocks. “Hey, could you use this?” The “this” was Braxxis Staff of Slumber! I immediately said yes and was informed it was in the mail to me. How about that? I love my guild!
So now I have a Braxxis and I’ve been thinking about Val’s comments on weapon options for druid feral forms. While Braxxis and Staff of Beasts are nice, it got me wondering what else might be out there. Especially since I’ve long had my eye on Earthwarden since seeing it’s stats in some beta testing reviews. So I headed over to my favorite research site, wowhead, to see what might be available.
So I navigated to the general weapons page, and created a filter for weapons with feral attack power greater than 100. 33 weapons fit this criteria and you can see the list here. There are some good weapons out there, but some that definitely could be taken off the list straight away. Like, I’m not attuning to Naxx at this point to get Atiesh. I’m also not into PvP, so the Gladiator’s Maul also falls off the list. Since we’re looking at tanking weapons, I added a second filter to filter out weapons with no increase to armor. That left me with just 7 options. There are some good weapons in there, two of which are just one handed maces, so check out the list to see if there’s anything you like.
If you’re not looking for armor, but are interested in stat increases, there here are four other list you might be interested in:
I won’t make any attempt to analyze which weapon may be better than others. That is not only a personal decision but also really depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want a straight tanking weapon? Are you looking for a general purpose weapon for all feral forms and casting? Do you want an armor increase or stats increases or both (if you want both, then your choice is easy)?
So, interested in a before and after: Braxxis versus my previous Agamaggan’s Quill? Here’s some screenshots with my Melee and Defenses overviews (with MotW rank 7 active).
Before (Bear left, Cat right):
After equipping Braxxis (Bear left, Cat right):
You can see the results are as expected. A huge increase in armor for Bear and attack power up for both. A 2% decrease in dodge for Bear and .5% decrease for Cat. A decent increase in damage for both forms. Crit change decreases slightly for both forms.
While I like the increases, the 2% decrease in dodge for Bear is unacceptable and is due directly to the loss of stat increases on the Quill. Overall though, the decreases are less than I expected and the attack and armor bumps are very nice. I believe I’ll stick with Braxxis and go looking for new gems to socket in my Warden’s Hauberk. I had previously socketed increases to attack power. As Val mentioned, if I go for agility increases, I bet I can make up that dodge loss.
So there is a good overview of weapon options for your feral forms. Something to chew on at least. And a practical application of comparing two weapons due to my good fortune (and very nice guild), in getting a new Braxxis sent to me.
Next thing I need to start thinking about is a possible replacement for my general Caster weapon. I’ve been carrying around this Staff of Hale Magefire forever. It cost me 175G back in the day, and I still can’t seem to find anything I like better. Any suggestions???