Feral PvE Build – Last 21 Points
In my first and second posts in this series, I gave you some thoughts on how to spend your first 40 talent points on a feral PvE build. I’ve received some positive feedback, even given the basic nature of the overview. I frankly had let this last post slide thinking it was too basic for most of my readers. (Most of the commenters on the site seem like they are mostly upper-levels.) Then I received this E-Mail from Chris:
“I know your pretty busy but I was wondering if you had the 3rd 20 points of the feral build. I’m currently in the second part. Thanks for all the great info.”
Never too busy for a loyal reader, Chris. Before I get started, my lawyers have advised me to once again repeat some key points to keep in mind as you read this series:
- Remember this is a PvE, mainly solo build. We will be examining how to change this build for more focused Instancing and Raiding later.
- I am NOT the ultimate authority on Druid Ferals. Not by a long stretch. Actually, I don’t think anyone is. So, take my posts as one opinion, evaluate, mull over, do your research – then spend your points where you think they should go.
- Have fun! You’re playing, in my opinion, one of the most fun classes in the game. If you’re not having fun, then you’re either taking it too seriously or you should switch classes.
There – that’s out of the way.
You’ll receive your last 21 talent points leveling from 50 to 70. You’ll hit the previous milestone of level 60, and once you hit 58 you can venture into Outland and push on to level 70. More instances are opening up for you, and the mobs and zones you are confronting are the most difficult you will face. With these 21 new talent points, we’ll continue to select good, all-around PvE-centric abilities that tend to benefit you in both bear and cat forms. You’ll be getting some significant defensive abilities in addition to stats and damage plusses. The icing on the cake will be party buffs giving 5% boost to critical hit chance and some free healing to everyone in range in your party.
Sound good – let’s get to work.
Our work in the Restoration tree was completed last time so we’re sticking exclusively to the Feral tree this time around. There’s not a lot of subtlety to what I’m going to tell you here – basically we’re going to select everything under Predatory Strikes, starting with Heart of the Wild.
However, we need 25 points in Feral for HotW, so put one point into either Shredding Attacks or Savage Fury. Shredding Attacks is a rage cost reduction for abilities, and Savage Fury increases damage caused by some cat abilities. We’re only going to be putting 1 point into one of these abilities, so I’m looking for a good return on that investment. For my money, getting a 10% damage increase on three cat abilities is pretty good for one talent point, so I recommend putting your 25th point there. Of course, if Shredding Attacks appeals to you more, there is no good reason not to go there.
Now that we have our 25 feral points, we can move down the tree. Let’s look at the abilities you’ll be selecting and their benefits.
Heart of the Wild: Put 5 points here, no questions asked. This is the ability people say make you “more of a Druid”, as it benefits both feral forms, in addition to caster form. For 5 talent points, you get a 20% increase to Intellect, a 20% increase to Stamina while in bear form, and a 10% increase to Attack Power while in cat form. Note that in Patch 2.3, the increase to cat form was changed from Strength to Attack Power. Make sure to take this into account when evaluating new gear.
Survival of the Fittest: Put 3 points here for two increases. The 3% increase to all stats isn’t much to get excited about, but the real payoff is the 3% reduction in chance to be critically hit by melee attacks. This is a huge reduction to be crit and will pay off big time the closer you get to end game content and the more you instance/raid. With 3 points here, the additional defense you need from your gear to be effectively “crit-immune” in end game raids is significantly reduced.
Primal Tenacity: With 3 points here, you get a 15% bump to your resistance to Stun and Fear mechanics.
Leader of the Pack: With this ability, any party member within 45 yards of you gets a 5% bonus to their crit chance. This affects both melee and ranged. 5% is a pretty significant bonus and most party members I’ve grouped with that weren’t aware of this buff, were very pleasantly surprised. You won’t see this show up on your damage meters numbers, rather everyone’s overall numbers will be just that much higher. An outstanding buff for one talent point.
Improved Leader of the Pack: With Leader of the Pack, we raised our party member’s crit chance by 5%. With ILotP, party members will get free heal of 4% of total health whenever they critically hit an opponent. There are limitations here – the healing effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds, and the healing applied is 4% of your total health at the time you had the crit (not your total undamaged health). I struggled with this talent a bit as 4% healing didn’t sound like much. In the end, I have two points in this talent under the heading of “every little bit helps”.
Predatory Instincts: 5 points here will get you two nice bonuses; 10% increase to crit chance on melee and 15% increase to avoid area effects. Highly recommended.
Mangle: One talent point enables the Mangle ability for both bear and cat forms. Mangle is a melee attack that not only does increased damage (115% for bear and 160% for cat) and adds in additional damage (155 for bear and 264 for cat); it’s kicker is that it increases Bleed damage from Shred and other bleed effects. This means not only your Shred and Lacerate attacks will do more damage, but any other Bleed effect will also. I’m not an expert on all Bleed effects in the game, but I know there are several at your Rogue’s disposal. Mangle is a great ability not only for increased damage but also for threat generation in bear form. Mangle + Lacerate is the standard rotation for aggro-generation in bear form. NOTE: One point here gets you the Mangle talent, then there are three trainable levels for both bear and cat.
My Selection strategy recommendations
You need 25 points in Feral to move into Heart of the Wild and beyond, so your first point can go anywhere you like, although I recommend either Shredding Attacks or Savage Fury.
Once you’ve got your 25 points, fill out Heart of the Wild. You get bonuses to all forms, and I just can’t see moving past it until you have it maxed. With 5 points there, three talents open up: Survival of the Fittest, Primal Tenacity and Leader of the Pack. Use your own judgement as to which could benefit your more (or your party). If you’re grouping a lot, then your party might appreciate Leader of the Pack. However, if you’re getting crit, stunned or feared a lot it might make sense to pick the other two. Personally, I’d pick Leader of the Pack (again, assuming I’m grouping a fair amount). The increased damage should really help your instancing success. From there, I’d go with my three points in Survival of the Fittest.
After Survival of the Fittest, I’d hold off on Improved Leader of the Pack for a while as I don’t feel it’s a strong as some of the other talents. My next point goes into Primal Tenacity. Then again you have a choice. You can fill out Primal Tenacity or move into Predatory Instincts. The question is really whether you want additional resistance to stun and fear or want to increase your critical strike damage bonus. Make your decision, then fill out both on your own schedule until Mangle comes available.
Take Mangle as soon as you can. For one talent point, you get a pretty damage generator, a great threat generator, and an ability that compliments any bleed effect. Don’t forget to visit your friendly local Druid trainer for your three ranks in both bear and cat. After Mangle, fill in whatever is left of Primal Tenacity and Predatory Instincts, then Improved Leader of the Pack.
Here’s the final 61 point build. Have fun!