Exploring Wrath as a Druid: A Feral Cat in Borean Tundra

Dan O'Halloran
D. O'Halloran|08.06.08

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Exploring Wrath as a Druid: A Feral Cat in Borean Tundra
I've been poking around Northrend the last few days with my Alliance druid and wanted to share some of my discoveries with other Druids wanting to know what to expect in Wrath. I started in on the quest lines in Borean Tundra, one of Wrath's two entry zones, so today's observations are centered on Cat Druid solo experiences. In the future I'll be soloing Howling Fjord in Balance spec and running instances in all four Druid specs, so I will save those observations until then.

If you have specific questions about Druids in Wrath, leave a reply on this post and I'll see what I can do about answering them. Remember, I'm not level 80 and I won't be raiding in beta, so try to keep your questions to areas I can play in potentially. First impressions, after the jump!

New Feral Cat Talents

Devs promised increased Cat DPS and from what I can see they delivered.

With five points in Rend and Tear, my Ferocious Bite crits over 76% of the time on a bleeding target (and this is without any points in Master Shapeshifter which would push it into the 80% range.) While soloing, if I open with Pounce, not only do I get the stun, but it puts an 18 second bleed on the mob that gives me FB crits for up to 4k damage. Now that number may not be big for your Cat druids in T6, but for my druid in Outland blues, it's a healthy increase. Regardless of your equipment, a 50% increase in crit chance on your biggest finisher is good news for any Druid.

Three points into King of the Jungle gives Tiger's Fury the extra ability to instantly grant 60 energy every 30 seconds. This works wonders with multiple mobs, big opening combos that drain the energy bar and using powershifting plus Tiger's Fury to refill your energy bar from zero to full. Best of all, TF doesn't trigger (and is not affected by) global cooldown so it's great to pop while waiting for everything else to refresh.

And, them there is the crown jewel of the Wrath Feral talents, the 51-pointer, Berserk. It reduces Energy cost of all Cat abilites by 50% for 15 seconds with a 5 min cool down. I haven't played with this one yet as I didn't have enough talent points for it without sacrificing Omen of Clarity until level 71, but I'll have it soon, oh yes I will.

Feral Charge for Cats is another new one. This one is useful and fun. You will literally leap through the air to close the distance between yourself and your target when you activate this ability. I have yet to see the Daze part work (it is Beta, after all), but I've found this useful for not only closing in on ranged dps mobs, but for tagging mobs in front of a surprised Hunter. Bonus points for doing it out of stealth.

New Cat Druid gear

Borean Tundra quests offered some immediate equipment upgrades for anyone in Outland blues and greens. In just two hours, my Feral druid was equipped in Marshwalker Chestpiece, Legguards, Boots and Pauldrons. Say what you want about the stats, but at least I didn't look a clown at a kid's party in my mismatched pre-Wrath gear (the image above is the Marshwalker set minus the Belt.) I also picked up Whalehunter's Gloves, a Scout's Signet Ring, a Talisman of the Tundra and a Writhing Longstaff,

I suspect there are comparable upgrades for those Druids that choose Howling Fjord as their first Northrend zone. There is also nice bits of Resto/Balance gear to choose from if there are no Feral upgrades offered as a quest reward. With the merging of +healing and +spell damage into +spell power, you can easily pick up a great spell set along the way that doubles as both Tree and Moonkin gear.

Health potions, Totem buffs and weapon enchants, oh my!

As promised, potions now work in Feral form. This is phenomenal for soloing cats. Sure we can shift out, pop a potion and shift back, but that's time we spend not shredding opponents. Now we can pop a Health potion without missing a beat. Of course, now we have to deal with Potion Sickness like everyone else, but it wasn't like we got to chain chug potions through a long fight like everyone else either.

Weapon enchants that proc now also work in Feral form. Hello, Mongoose (or Executioner, if that's your style.) Also, Shaman's revamped Windfury totem will work on Ferals. I haven't had a chance to try either of these yet, but will be able to confirm this later in the week.

That's it for now. Next time: instance runs, Balance soloing and more!

EDIT: Fixed Windfury link to revamped entry.
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