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Repost: Bearcat Madness

OK, so I (Garnaph) know this is a Resto/Boomkin blog, but it’s about time I posted something that’s pretty hardcore Feral. Blizzard is soon going to split Feral into two separate trees, and what I’m about to say is the reason why. Also, with this being the last tier in which I’ll be able to pull off this trick, this is the perfect time to blog about it.

My raiding team got into P2 madness this week on 10 man normal, in spite of the fact that most of my top raiders are away, and I had to grab guys from the other team (which is also having attendance issues), alts, basically whatever I could find to get a group together. It’s not a kill, but progression is progression, and this was a pretty big deal for us.

Our success came down to a few things. Naturally, the team worked together well, but I’d like to think I pushed everything I could out of my Druid. Arielle and Reesi talk a lot about Bearcatting. Here is why it’s the most OP crap in Wow right now.

That’s me, tanking tentacles when my Pally tank gets an impale, but otherwise staying in cat as much as possible. My gear is optimised for cat, with reforges into stats that are good for both (Mastery, then Crit), with Mastery and Agi enchants, DPS leg enchant, and Assassin’s Step on boots, because I just can’t live without the speed increase in Bear. Oh, and the DPS meta.

Then, I have a spec that’s as pure cat as I can get it, with the vital Bear talents thrown in : Thick HideNatural Reaction, and Pulverize. When I shift bear, everyting works as intended. I had to make sure I took Stampede for Kitty 4pc, and Blood in the Water for 2pc. With 4pc, the kitty rotation is a joke. About to drop Rip? Either 1+CP Bite at under 60%, or pop Tiger’s Fury, get a free Ravage and 2 Shreds with the energy you just got, and you’re good to go for a 5CP Rip. If your target is over 80% health, Ravage is basically a Guaranteed 2CP.

Speaking of tier bonuses, I make sure I’m in bear when we’re on the 4th platform (we do Blue last, so we eat the shard on the last platform), which means my FR 4pc is up as the raid takes the mental burst. 15% health + 30% healing taken (make sure to have the FR major glyph). I also stay in bear when we’re killing the shard, since I don’t want to strain my healers any more than they already are.

So basically, rather than sitting around being useless when I’m not needed as a tank, I push DPS as good as the next guy, which helps to get over the fairly rough DPS check on later platforms, where you start losing haste, dmg done, while having to deal with adds that are increasingly hard to kill, especially once Alexstrasza decides to take a nap.

In spite of the emphasis on cat dps, remember there are times that a bear can push nice AOE. When bloods are about to spawn, I shift bear, autoattack the limb to get some rage, then as they move in range, I pop enrage (15% dmg anyone?), and Swipe-Thrash-Swipe. With the Spellweaver splash damage, plus the Vengeance that you quickly get, this is some intense burst AOE.

Oh, one final tip. Since cats really suffer on target switches, ask your raid leader really nicely if you can stay on limbs, and not have to switch to take down Blistering Tentacles. It makes your life a lot easier, and you push way more DPS, which in the end is good for the raid. Alternatively, just don’t switch, and see if anyone notices :P Being a raid leader myself, I get away with murder sometimes…

Druids are the only class in game with 2 specs in one. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Posted in Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Written By Garnaph

Repost: Feral 4.2 Gear

via Restokin by Garnaph on 7/6/11

 

As with the caster gear list I posted earlier this week, here’s the list of all relevant feral gear (for both bear and kitty).

I’m not going to comment too much other than some first impressions. I’m posting this mostly as a resource and less as my own point of view as to what’s BiS. I’ve noted which pieces have haste, as bears regard it as their worst stat, and as of 4.2 it’s a much better stat for kitty than it used to be.

Note that this does not include any Heroic items. Instance drops, tier pieces, and the vendor relics have HC versions, which are pretty much upgrades on the existing stats.

Also note that the daily reward items are a lower ilvl than the raid drops (365 vs 378), and as such will likely be replaced very quickly. That said, they’re certainly an upgrade over any 359 you came into 4.2 with, so they’re worth mentioning.

For details as to how the new firelands dailies work, read here.

Rep items are obviously from the Avengers of Hyjal faction.

Gloves:

Feet:

Weapon:

Back:

Waist:

Trinket:

Ring:

Relic:

Wrist:

Neck:

Head:

Chest:

Legs:

Shoulders:

Posted in Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Written By Garnaph

The ever-growing world of Heirloom Leveling

I wrote a post back in early WotLK about heirlooms for leveling. However, I keep getting more questions about them, and my list was seriously out of date. So, today’s post will talk about the benefit (and drawbacks!) of leveling with heirloom items, and include a more up to date list of feral (cat/bear) and caster (resto/moonkin) heirlooms available to druids.

Benefits of Heirlooms:

Now, the benefit of most heirlooms is that they increase your experience (XP) rate while leveling. If your goal is to level as quickly as possible, then these items definitely do the trick. When you combine heirloom items with the guild perk XP bonuses (and rested XP!), you get increased rates of leveling. Faster leveling means getting your alt to the end-game faster.

You also get increased stat values compared to what most of the greens & blues drop from quests and instances. For melee classes, getting heirloom weapons can really make you feel much more powerful because they have a large impact on your damage at the earliest levels!

Drawbacks of Heirlooms:

The only drawback of using heirloom items is that you may level too fast. By that, I mean that you basically blow through the new Cataclysm content so fast that you miss all the interesting storyline arcs. You may do the first handful of quests in a zone, and then suddenly the quests are all green/gray and it’s time to move to the next zone. Also, you aren’t being challenged if you always out-level and out-gear the mobs you are killing. So, for people who enjoy the process of doing the lower level quests (or for people who like completing all the quests in a zone before moving to the next one), skipping on the heirlooms could be worthwhile to them.

Heirloom Shopping List

Feral (Cat/Bear) PvE heirlooms:

Caster (moonkin/resto) PvE heirlooms:

Other Heirloom Options:

There are also PvP heirlooms you can get from PvP vendors that have resilience on them. So, if you want to PvP level, or don’t mind trading some stats for resilence, these are great options for people who focus primarily on PvP. Cynwise has some PvP heirloom advice here.

Caster druid leveling can also use the cloth ones: Dreadmist Mantle, and Dreadmist Robe. However, I still prefer using leather over cloth if you have the ability to get the leather ones.

Wowpedia has some more advanced info on heirlooms available here.

Also, if you want help with how to enchant your newly acquired heirloom items, you should check out Psynister’s guide.

Happy leveling!

Posted in Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Leveling, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees

Lissawen’s leveling by lolmanglespam

So, for research needed to keep my leveling guide updated, I’ve been leveling a new druid, who I named Lissawen. She’s a worgen on the same server as my main druid. However, this worgen druid is feral – mostly because I love the Worgen feral forms and I had feral heirlooms that I bought before Cataclysm hit.

This druid is also an herbalist/miner, and I’ve found that I get a ton of experience just from leveling those professions.

One observation I had from leveling from 1 to 29 was that: Multiple heirlooms + guild perks + rested XP = super fast leveling speeds

So, most of the way from 12 to 28 I just spammed a lot of mangle. I tried out other “rotations”, but since I was usually 3 or so levels above everything I was fighting (because I leveled faster than I progressed through quests), most things were dieing in 2 or 3 hits anyway. When I actually fight equal level mobs, I find that opening from stealth & using Ravage ends up being more effective. So, the rotation section of my leveling guide doesn’t seem very useful at the earliest levels.

However, at higher levels  (maybe around the time you hit Outlands), I’m pretty sure doing more than mangle spam is useful. A more complete rotation is probably also more helpful if you don’t have heirlooms.

As I level up my new druid, I’ll be posting more about my adventures in feral cat leveling!

I really do enjoy the new questing zones! I’m having so much fun!

Posted in Druid - General, Feral DPS Cat, Leveling

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