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Powershifting mostly killed in Wrath

Eliah Hecht

Anyone who's done much research on Feral druiding, especially cat form, has probably run across the concept of powershifting. Basically, powershifting plays off Furor (a talent that pretty much every Feral druid has) by shifting out of cat form and straight back into it to reset your energy to 40. If you do this at 80 energy, of course, you've just lost 40 energy, some mana, and a global cooldown, and there's no point to that. But if you do it at 0 energy, you've just traded a GCD and some mana for 40 energy, which is often worth it. Powershifting was made even easier in a recent patch with the door opened to macros like "/cast !Cat Form", which shifts you in and out with one button press instantaneously.

This no longer works in the current LK beta build. Now, as explicated at length by blue poster Jimmythenumbers (who we here at WI have never heard of), Furor works by setting your energy to the amount you would have if your energy regen had been working while shifted out, up to a maximum of 40 energy [reworded for clarity]. For instance:

  • You're at 100 energy. You powershift. Your energy is now 40.
  • You're at 0 energy. You shift out, spend 3 seconds healing yourself, and shift back in. You are now at 30 energy, since energy regens at a rate of 10 per second.
  • You're at 0 energy. You powershift. You are now still at 0 energy, since you don't regen any energy in the zero amount of time you are shifted out.
  • You're at 50 energy. You shift out for 5 seconds. You shift back in. You should be at 100 energy, since you gained 50 in that 5 seconds shifted out, but Furor caps your energy at 40, so that's what you're at now.

In each of these cases on the live realms, you would end up at 40 energy.

The explanation for the change is that like downranking, powershifting was never an intended mechanic, and they don't want to have to balance around it. Honestly, I think Furor should be reworked for cats and energy regen should just work while shifted out, like how mana regen works in all forms. If I've been in some other form for a little while and shift into cat form, I should have 100 energy; it's obnoxious to have to wait for it to come back. In fact, it's currently working that way on the beta realms, but Jimmy says it's a bug related to the powershifting removal.

Powershifting does still have one use: clearing movement-impairing effects. But its days as a way to squeeze a little extra energy out of your cycle are numbered. I would expect to see this change go live in the 3.0.2 patch, if they don't decide to reverse it.

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