Feral Druid Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

Are you leaping around batting at the new patch notes with your paws in a confused fashion? Don’t worry – we’re here to help feral druids out in this brave new world of black-and-white bears, and get you up and clawing at Garrosh ASAP.. So, read on, and we’ll get you sorted with your talent build, glyphs, rotation, reforging, stats and gems in MoP / Wow Patch [patchnumber].

Updated [guideupdated] to WoW Patch [patchnumber]

Feral Druid changes in WoW Patch [patchnumber]

We’ve had a damage buff. Not much else has changed.

Feral “Rotation” and Priorities

As always, Feral DPS druids play a lot like rogues, combo points and all. If you’ve not played Feral for a while, though, you’ll be relieved to hear our MoP rotation is less hideously complex than it has been in the past.

Single-target DPS

In summary, we build combo points with Shred (ideally) or Mangle if we can’t be behind the target, then spend them to maintain Savage Roar (bonus damage) and Rip (bleed). We also keep a Rake bleed up.

Always open with Faerie Fire Feral on a new target, and if you can, Wild Charge. Then, in order:

  • Top Priority: If you have any combo points and Rip or Savage Roar are not running, use Rip or Savage Roar.
  • Second Priority: If you have five combo points, use Rip or Savage Roar, whichever will run out first.
  • Third Priority: If Rake is about to drop, use Rake. Otherwise, use Shred if you can be behind the target. If you can’t, use Mangle.

Once the target gets below 25%, use Ferocious Bite instead of Rip.

Feral Druid DPS can get more complicated than this, but these guidelines will serve you pretty well.

AOE DPS

On 3 or more mobs, keep Savage Roar up, use Thrash to keep its bleed running, and otherwise spam Swipe.

Cooldowns

  • Use Berserk and Tiger’s Fury whenever they cool down. Try to use Berserk immediately after Tiger’s Fury, and while on low energy.
  • Make sure to have Rebirth bound for a combat res!
  • Don’t forget Barkskin if something’s attacking you.

Buffs

Remember to cast Mark of the Wild for the party or raid! Cast Symbiosis on a tank if there’s a tank without it – otherwise, cast it on a Shadow Priest.

If no-one else is providing a Weakened Armour debuff, keep Fairie Fire up on the target.

Also, check you’re in Cat form. Seriously. Hitting things with your stick doesn’t do much damage.

Feral Druid Talent Choices

A lot of talent choice is meant to be situational – but here’s a good general-purpose build.

  • Tier 1: Feline Swiftness
  • Tier 2: Ysera’s Gift
  • Tier 3: Typhoon (or “meh, whichever”)
  • Tier 4: Soul of the Forest
  • Tier 5: Mighty Bash.
  • Tier 6: Heart of the Wild – mostly for the passive buff.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Feral Druid

Agility is our most important stat. After that, reforge for Mastery, then Hit / Expertise to cap.

Reforging: Reforge to Mastery. Reforge from Hit or Expertise above the 7.5% cap (2550), then from Haste or Crit Strike.

Gems: Use a Delicate gem in all sockets unless the socket bonus is Agi. In that case, use a combo gem for Haste, Mastery or Crit Strike (or Hit or Expertise if you’re below cap).

Meta Gem: Agile meta gem.

Cat Druid Glyphs

Major: Glyph of Savagery is the only vital one. Glyph of Cat Form is also good. Glyph of Rebirth and Glyph of Shred are both worth considering.

Minor: Whatever you like.

Feral Druid enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulder – Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
  • Cloak – Accuracy or Superior Critical Strike, depending on if you’re at hit cap.
  • Chest – Glorious Stats
  • Wrist – Greater Agility
  • Hands – Superior Expertise
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Shadowleather Leg Armor
  • Feet – Blurred Speed
  • Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel

If you want more kitty info, here you go:

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Firelands Boss Guides: Lord Rhyolith melee DPS tips

Melee DPS players have had a hard time of things in Cataclysm. There’ve been very few fights which were balanced in our favor, and most were downright unforgiving. That’s not the case with Lord Rhyolith. Melee DPS have the hardest job in this fight, but we also have by far the most fun.

If you want an overview of the fight, you can also check out our overall guide to Lord Rhyolith tactics.

It’s all down to you

For most of the fight, Rhyolith won’t do any direct damage to the raid. Instead, he’ll wander casually in the direction of the molten lava at the edge of the fight area. Your job is to stop him from ever getting there. Why? Because if he manages to reach the lava, he’ll take a big refreshing drink of it, then spew it back out as liquid fiery death all over your lovely clean raid. Lord Rhyolith reaching the lava is an almost guaranteed raid wipe.

To stop him reaching the lava, you need to turn him and point him in another direction. You’ll need to constantly adjust his trajectory throughout the fight. It’s not as simple as asking him nicely, though. You can’t even taunt him, or trap him, or slow him. No. What you’re going to have to do is hit his feet to turn him like a badly-behaved kodo. That’s right: you get to steer by spanking. Navigate by nastiness. Guide by goading. Drive by DPS.

Lord Rhyolith actually has three separate unit frames: one for his body, and one for each of his feet. Damage done to his body or feet will be automatically spread evenly among all three of his bodyparts, so you don’t have to worry about DPSing the three bodyparts at the same rate, Mimiron-style. What you will have to worry about is whether you’re applying more pressure to his left or his right side.

 

  • Hitting Rhyolith’s body has no effect other than damage. He’ll keep moving in his current direction.
  • Hitting Rhyolith’s left foot will cause him to turn gradually to the left.
  • Hitting Rhyolith’s right foot will cause him to turn gradually to the right.

There’ll be a new element added to your user interface for this fight: a Direction Guage, indicating Rhyolith’s current heading. The meter can be a bit confusing to read, but it’s actually quite simple. It’s a horizonaltal bar, like an energy bar or a mana bar. If the value of the bar is towards the left (i.e., an energy bar on low energy), Rhyolith is currently steering left. If the value of the bar is towards the right (i.e., an energy bar close to full energy), he’s steering right. The closer to the left or right, the more acute Rhyolith’s current ‘turning’ is. That means that when the bar is 50% full, Rhyolith is neither steering left nor right, and will therefore continue in a straight line.

As melee DPS, your most important job in this fight is to steer Rhyolith so that he never reaches the lava at the edge of the platform. Your raider leader will have assigned somebody to coordinate the direction in which to steer, so you should pay attention to the direction currently being requested (either in /raid chat or via voice comms). If you’re the one doing the ‘driving’, check out uur main guide to Lord Rhyolith tactics to see where you should be steering him.

Insert meme reference here

Good news, everyone! There’s fire on the ground in this fight! Don’t stand in it.

Rhyolith will cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds. This ability has three effects:

  • It has a knockback effect on anybody who’s close to him (which, almost certainly, includes you).
  • It deals fire damage to all raid members. This damage is unavoidable.
  • It creates volcanoes on the ground.

Each Concussive Stomp will create either 2 or 3 volcanoes. Volcanoes occasionally erupt, spreading fire damage among the raid for 20 seconds. Your aim is to steer Rhyolith in such a way that he steps onto the volcanoes. When that happens, they become craters.

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As soon as a crater is created it will spew out Lava streams. Lava streams start at the point of the crater and move slowly outwards in all directions. If you stand in a stream it’ll deal you some fire damage, so … don’t.

After 10 seconds, the lava streams explode, dealing yet more fire damage to anybody who’s stood on them. Once that’s happened, the crater will disappear and be replaced by a lava pool – which, in a shocking twist, is a thing on the floor made of fire that you shouldn’t stand in.

More things made of fire

Lord Rhyolith will regularly summon adds during this fight. They’re not your problem – the tank and the ranged DPS should be dealing with them – but they may occasionally get in your way.

The smaller adds are called Fragments of Rhyolith. They won’t prove much of a worry, unless they take longer than 30 seconds to die. That’s because, 30 seconds after they spawn, they’ll pick a random player to charge at in a clever Suicidal Kamikaze Explosion strategy. The random player might be you. There’s not a lot you can do about it if it does happen, but if a little fiery mob suddenly charges right at you and explodes, taking a big bite out of your health bar, at least now you’ll know why.

The larger adds are called Sparks of Rhyolith. They don’t have such dramatically suicidal tendencies as their smaller cousins, but they do emit AoE damage to everyone around them. The tank will be tanking each Spark away from the raid, probably somewhere at the edge of the platform, so be careful not to guide Rhyolith in that direction.

Getting to Phase 2

Each time Rhyolith stands on a volcano, he’ll lose a bit of his armor. The armor is not just cosmetic – it actually does give him a buff which lowers the amount of damage he takes. At the start of the fight, in full armor, he has an 80% damage reduction – so don’t panic when your uber DPS doesn’t seem to be making a dent!

Once Lord Rhyolith’s health (that’s his hit points, not his armor) reaches 25%, he’ll initiate a short bit of scripted animation, and then move to Phase 2. Just like Shannox and Beth’tilac, the final phase of this fight is DPS race. Your aim is to kill Rhyolith before his slowly-increasing damage kills you.

Although no more adds will be summoned during Phase 2, Rhyolith will still be throwing down Concussive Stomp, which causes knockback. Watch out for this cast – there’s little more frustrating than starting a once-per-fight channeled spell only to have it immediately interupted.

As you might expect, this is the phase to use all your cooldowns, trinkets and potions. There’ll be a lot of raidwide damage heading your way, but hopefully you’ll give as good as you get, and then some.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Beth’tilac melee DPS tips

Wanna hit some spiders? ‘Course you do. One of the first bosses you’ll encounter in the new Firelands raid is Beth’tilac. Melee DPS have a reasoanbly easy time on this fight, but there are still a few mechanics that could trip you up. Here’s our quick and easy guide to Beth’tilac as melee DPS:

Your raid will be split into two groups: one to stay on the ground level and one to climb up to Beth’tilac’s web level. Read our full guide to Beth’tilac tactics to get a detailed breakdown of each group. As a melee DPS, you’ll probably be assigned to the Web Level Group (if you’re not, use the tactics for the Ground Level Group from our guide to tackling Beth’tilac as ranged DPS).

Getting to the web level

At the start of the fight, Beth’tilac will run away to hide on the web level, and additional spiders called Cinderweb Spinners will start to spawn. Initially they’ll appear suspended from the base of Beth’tilac’s web, out of melee range, but your tanks will be taunting these mobs to bring them down to the ground level. If you have a taunt ability (Dark Command, Taunt, Hand of Reckoning, etc) feel free to help out. It’s important to start killing spinners as soon as possible.

A dead Spinner will leave behind a spider’s thread (which takes the form of a thin red line leading from the corpse to the web level). These threads are vehicles, and you can use them to move from the ground level to the web level. Each thread is only good for a single use.

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Your tank and healer should claim the first two threads to appear, but you should grab a thread as soon as you can after that. Do not be overeager here, and make sure that the tank and the healer have made it up before you make the move.

Once you’re on the web level, your job is to DPS Beth’tilac. Watch out for Meteor Burn, during which Beth’tilac drops flaming meteors onto random spots on the web. Each meteor is preceeded by an indicator in the form of a fiery orange circle on the ground, which you should be sure to dodge. Once a meteor has hit, it will leave a small pool of fire behind. You know the rule about fire and the stepping therein: don’t.

Running away

Beth’tilac has an energy bar, called Fire energy, which will slowly deplete over the course of the fight. When it reaches zero, she’ll begin to cast Smoldering Devastation. You need to be on the lookout for that castbar. As soon as you see Beth’tilac begin to cast, run like the wind. You need to head for the hole in the web. It’s bang in the center. Drop down through there to the ground level.

Once you’ve reached ground level, you should temporarilly join the Ground Level Team and help to DPS the various spider adds that will have appeared. Once Smoldering Devastation has finished, Smolderweb Spinners will start to appear in just the same way as they did at the start of the fight. Once again, you should grab them, spank them, and steal their threads. Get yourself back up to the web level as soon as you can (but, as always, let your tank and healer go first).

In total, Beth’tilac will cast Smoldering Devastation three times. You need to jump down the hole in the web every time. After the third Smoldering Devastation, Beth’tilac will move from the web level to the ground level. Follow her down and get ready to pound some spider backside.

Phase 2

Beth’tilac’s descent from the web level to the ground level indicates the start of Phase 2. This is a pure DPS burn phase, just like the last phase of Shannox. Make sure you’re positioned correctly first of all: you should stack up directly behind the boss, with the healers and the rest of the raid. Once you’re there it’s time to break out the big guns: pop every cooldown you have, drink a potion, scream a battlecry, and hope that this time you beat that damn Rogue on the meters.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Shannox – Melee DPS tactics

The first Firelands boss most raids will tackle is Shannox. Melee DPS, frankly, have it easy for this fight, so there’s no excuse not to be on top form. Take a look at our general guide to Shannox tactics, then come back here for specific melee DPS tactics.

Initial positioning

As melee DPS you’ll be focusing all your attention on Shannox himself. Ignore the two dogs unless your raid leader specifically tells you otherwise. Your job in this fight is to avoid Shannox’s Cleave attack, avoid the traps he regularly drops, and hit him with your big weapon of choice – in that order.

Yes, Shannox does have a nasty cleave attack which will hit any target in a 120° arc, so your first priority should be to make sure you’re standing behind him. Your tank shouldn’t need to turn Shannox once the fight starts, so get yourself entrenched right behind his fiery rear end and prepare to do some damage.

Avoid the traps

Your primary task during this fight is to avoid the traps that Shannox regularly drops. This takes priority over everything, even DPS. The traps in this fight look like standard Hunter traps, and are easy to spot.

There are two types of trap. The first is an Immolation Trap, which will burn your lovely shoes right off if you stand in it. It’s not an instant kill, but it throws out some nasty damage, and you’ll have a ‘fire hurts more’ debuff at various points during the fight, so be nice to your healers and don’t stand on the fire traps.

The second type of trap is called a Crystal Prison Trap, and is basically an iceblock. Stand on this nasty little device and it’ll encase you in crystal. You won’t be able to do anything at all until the crystal is shattered. That means that the rest of the raid will have to stop what they’re doing and DPS your prison to free you. The crystals have lots of health, so this is a distraction you don’t need.

There’s another fight mechanic which effectively counts as a third type of trap. When Shannox throws his spear he’ll do colossal damage to anybody standing in the way. If you’re standing in the circle of fire once the spear comes down you’re virtually guaranteed to die. It’s easy to avoid – just look out for the big pillar of fire and make sure you step away from it as soon as it appears.

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The secondary effect of Shannox’s spear throw is lots of little fires that appear on the ground after the spear throw triggers. There’ll be a lot of them, which can be quite panic-inducing the first time you see it, but – like the spear throw itself – they’re easy to avoid. They appear in a spiral pattern, moving outwards from the spear’s point of impact. Just make sure you’re not standing directly on one of them.

Remember – none of these do any AoE damage, so they’ll only ever affect one person. It’s also worth noting that the _Immolation Trap_s and the _Crystal Prison Trap_s can be disarmed by Rogues. Rageface and Riplimb can be affected by the traps, so you normally want to keep them all in place, but occasionally it might be worth disarming a trap which is in an awkward place, or which is in danger of hitting a tank.

The moment you’ve been waiting for

Your aim in this fight is to kill both the dogs when Shannox is at about 35% health. When that happens, he’ll enrage and start to give your tanks a very bad day. That’s your time to shine. Turn the DPS dial up to 11 and pop every cooldown in your arsenal. Burn, burn, burn – you need to kill Shannox before he kills your tanks (and shortly thereafter, you).

This fight is all about awareness. Watch out for the traps and you should be fine.

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Patch 4.2 changes for… Rogues, (Prot and Retri) Paladins, (Feral and Balance)Druids, Warlocks, Death Knights and Mages

With World of Warcraft’s Patch 4.2 looming over us like a tsunami made of pure raid nerf (yes, I’m still a little bitter), it’s time for a great big massive, whopping round-up post. So if you want to know what’s going to happen to your Rogue, Warlock, DK, Mage, Paladin, or Druid, read on!

(AS you can see, we haven’t completed the full set yet. If you know of any guides to class changes, particularly for classes we’ve missed, that we haven’t featured, please do comment below!)

Here goes.

  • Rogues are getting a bunch of buffsbut how significant are they? Top Rosters answers.
  • It’s all change for Druids, with everything including a flaming cat. No, literally, it’s on fire. WoW Insider’s Chase Hasbrouck explains the Feral Druid changes, whilst Grey Matter’s all over the Boomkin alterations.
  • Warlocks aren’t getting as many changes as other classes, apparently, but what they are getting, Skim ‘Locks has coverage of.
  • DKs are seeing some fairly major changes that I know Johnnie’s bouncing up and down about – Daniel Whitcomb at WoW Insider has the analysis, which looks pretty complex.
  • Retridins are seeing some pretty significant buffs, particularly to AOE – about time – and Retpallie’s got the goods there. Meanwhile, tankadins are getting messed around all over the place – Mark Walsh at WoW Insider has a fairly detailed summary.
  • Finally, Mages are also getting a quick going-over, and also a chance to get into a big fight with the rest of their guildies over the caster legendary – Christian Belt’s Arcane Brilliance (at WoW Insider, again) has the goods.So there you go! Again, if you know of a guide to the 4.2 changes for Holydins, resto druids, Priests, Shammies, Warriors or Hunters, let me know below!
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