Shifting Perspectives: Mega moonkin, fabu ferals, and Symbiosis specs

Chase Hasbrouck
C. Hasbrouck|03.26.12

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Shifting Perspectives: Mega moonkin, fabu ferals, and Symbiosis specs
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we discuss how fast to deny hunters Symbiosis in exchange for all those taming attempts.

This is apropos of nothing, but I love how the current Incarnation effect for balance druids simply makes them huge. (For comparison, here's the before image, and thanks to Lissanna at Restokin for the screenshots.) This totally reminds me of the first time I got a Mega Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros, actually. "Yes, I'm just going to walk through everything in the level; maybe I'll pick my teeth with the flagpole."

Sadly, this effect isn't going to make it to live. Happily, though, we've got plenty of other stuff to talk about this week, such as several new glyphs and a mostly complete reveal of Symbiosis.


Wowhead was able to datamine all the glyphs currently in the beta, and there are some interesting ones tucked away. (Check out the full list of glyphs, which also includes screenshots and a video of the new spell effects.) Remember that the prime glyph slots have been eliminated, so you'll only have three major and three minor to choose from.

Glyph of Cat Form Increases healing done to you by 20% while in Cat Form. This is the replacement for the loss of the Nurturing Instinct talent. The same advice applies -- an excellent buff which every feral should consider mandatory for group content. Keep your healers happy, they keep you alive, everyone wins.

Glyph of Prowl Reduces the movement penalty of Prowl by 100%. Even though you essentially never use Prowl in a group context, this is still great for explorers or raid-content soloers who don't want to deal with the trash.

Glyph of Shred While Berserk or Tiger's Fury is active, Shred and Ravage have no positional requirement. A crude but effective tactic used by feral opponents in PvP is to simply keep their back to a wall, denying the druid the ability to use Shred even when the target is CC'ed. This glyph doesn't totally remove the effectiveness of that tactic, but it certainly helps. It probably won't have much of a PvE role, unless raid designers continue to build bosses that can only be attacked frontally.

Glyph of Skull Bash Increases the duration of your Skull Bash interrupt by 4 seconds but
increases the cooldown by 10 seconds.
This makes for a very interesting PvP choice, given the new 15-second cooldown. If I could land it on a guaranteed basis, I'd definitely want the extra interrupt duration. Against an opponent skilled at fakecasting, however, missing an interrupt becomes extra punishing.

Glyph of Claw Your Claw and Mangle (Cat) attacks reduce the movement speed of the target by 50% for 12 seconds. This is identical to Infected Wounds, so this may herald its removal. More likely, however, is that this is simply a fill-in for low-level feral PvPers, since Infected Wounds isn't available until 74.

Glyph of the Chameleon Each time you shapeshift into Cat Form or Bear Form, your shapeshifted form will have a random hair color. Well, it's not quite armor in forms, but it's something. I just wish there was a way I could keep the effect from Kiril's via transmog.

Glyph of the Treant Allows you to shift into Treant Form. OK, we have perma-tree back. Can we stop talking about it now?

Symbiosis details

Through a bit of detective work, Mihir and Ristaccia (thanks to Sunfyre for the link) have pieced together a tentative list of the spells given and received via Symbiosis. As we expected, some of the choices will be more useful than others, and as was the case with Dark Intent, every druid will have to decide whether to prioritize their personal role or someone else's in the raid. Let's look at a few likely candidates for balance and feral druids, understanding that this whole system is going to be fun to balance and may end up being reworked/scrapped in the future. We also don't know how the system will interact with monks.

Balance <-> Mage Druids gain Mirror Image, mages gain Healing Touch. This combo is probably the best personal DPS for a moonkin, but it's almost trollish in its selfishness. Mages beating you on the meters? "Hey, raid leader, I'll switch my symbiosis to the mage so he can help off-heal."

Balance <-> Warrior Druids gain Recklessness, warriors gain Enrage (DPS) or Frenzied Regeneration (tank). This is a pretty effective DPS combo. Recklessness is a pretty potent DPS cooldown, and combining it with Starfall would be impressive for AoE situations. Meanwhile, both DPS and tank-type warriors will be pleased with their gifts. Actually, all the tank specs get a cooldown of some form, so hitting the tank with Symbiosis is a good default choice.

Balance <-> Priest Druids gain Mass Dispel, priests gain Cyclone (DPS) or Tranquility (healer). This is a nice combo for boosting raid healing. The priest gets a Tranquility for when Divine Hymn is on cooldown, and the druid can handle the dispelling duties to let the priest push out more HPS. Strike that; reverse it. Shadow priests will get Tranquility and holy/discipline priests will get Cyclone, which makes much more sense. My apologies for the error.

Feral <-> Death knight Druids gain Unholy Frenzy, DKs gain Wild Mushroom: Plague (DPS) or Survival Instincts (tank). Of all the abilities you can receive, Unholy Frenzy is likely the best single-target DPS booster, as it should sync up well with Berserk. Death knights will likely be pleased as well.

Feral <-> Warlock Druids gain Soul Swap, warlocks gain Rejuvenation. I can swap my bleeds at the touch of a button and Ms. Hot Topic gets to heal herself for a change? For add fights, sign me up!

Feral <-> Warrior Druids gain Shattering Blow, warriors gain Enrage (DPS) or Frenzied Regeneration (tank). While it'd have to be theorycrafted, this armor losss will buff all your melee DPS, not just yours. A likely choice for 25-man raids.

So what are your glyph/Symbiosis plans for Mists of Pandaria? (Personally, I'm thinking about running with the Glyph of the Treant as feral just to screw with minds.) Let me know in the comments!

Looking for the latest and greatest in feral cat druid guides? Shifting Perspectives has the answers! Check out our guide to soloing instances and raids, as well as our top gear recommendations and feral guides to the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple and the Fall of Deathwing.

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