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Elicas

A Grizzly Situation - Feral Druid 1.12.1 (PvE, tanking and DPS) 

107 posts in this topic

Awesome guide, back in 2010 i played druid and it was my main in wrath. After hearing people saying that druids are super underpowered in classic i wasn't thinking about starting as a druid again. But after your guide i have to think it over again! Thanks. Will read this guide one more time when comes time to create a character at Crestfall!

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At early 60 without having any high end dungeon gear it is good to go pure resto 5/0/46, this would be the preferable build for 5man/10man instances, with a better possibility to defuse emergency situations with Swiftmend, and Subtlety will increase your chances of survival significantly.

24/0/27

Now this is the build for advanced raiders with some better gear, i would recommend having +325 healing rate, since critical becomes very valuable with it. It takes away Swiftmend and Subtlety, but gives 9% less mana cost and 0,5s cast time reduce after a spell critical. Subtlety should really not be necessary in 20/40man raids anymore and Swiftmend is worth losing for increased mana efficiency and faster casting speeds from time to time. Nature's Focus and Improved Rejuvenation are no vital talents for raiding, since Healing Touch will be your main spell and you should not take damage very often that disrupts your casts. The Talents I chose to put into Balance before Nature's Grace & Moonglow are not necessarily to be copied (except for Improved Thorns maybe).

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Now someone write one for a tank paladin :P.
(I mean, I can tank with a warrior, but paladin is much better for farming dungeons with low levels and I don't feel like doing both.)

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1 hour ago, Zerocool said:

At early 60 without having any high end dungeon gear it is good to go pure resto 5/0/46, this would be the preferable build for 5man/10man instances, with a better possibility to defuse emergency situations with Swiftmend, and Subtlety will increase your chances of survival significantly.

24/0/27

Now this is the build for advanced raiders with some better gear, i would recommend having +325 healing rate, since critical becomes very valuable with it. It takes away Swiftmend and Subtlety, but gives 9% less mana cost and 0,5s cast time reduce after a spell critical. Subtlety should really not be necessary in 20/40man raids anymore and Swiftmend is worth losing for increased mana efficiency and faster casting speeds from time to time. Nature's Focus and Improved Rejuvenation are no vital talents for raiding, since Healing Touch will be your main spell and you should not take damage very often that disrupts your casts. The Talents I chose to put into Balance before Nature's Grace & Moonglow are not necessarily to be copied (except for Improved Thorns maybe).

Raided with you for a long time Nord, so I know your reading comprehension isn't the greatest, but check the title of the thread a couple of times again and post that in a Resto thread where people after resto stuff might find it! ;):PxD

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2 hours ago, Elicas said:

Raided with you for a long time Nord, so I know your reading comprehension isn't the greatest, but check the title of the thread a couple of times again and post that in a Resto thread where people after resto stuff might find it! ;):PxD

I suspect he was just suggesting that rolling "Feral" is NOT optimal.

After many years of pVanillaServers-Healing I know for sure that I don't like healing Feral tanks at all....especially while gearing up inside the 5men instances.

The point here is really all about "Block" and "Shield". You could say "...but hey, we have dodge"....sure, and a lot of HPs....

Still having to fully drink after every single pull, isn't so fun for the healer and sorry, but that's what you're going to do to heal a feral.

 

Another consideration, about this, is that only a very little part of these rolling feraltanks know what they're doing (and this is probably the biggest problem).

 

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44 minutes ago, mrmr said:

I suspect he was just suggesting that rolling "Feral" is NOT optimal.

After many years of pVanillaServers-Healing I know for sure that I don't like healing Feral tanks at all....especially while gearing up inside the 5men instances.

The point here is really all about "Block" and "Shield". You could say "...but hey, we have dodge"....sure, and a lot of HPs....

Still having to fully drink after every single pull, isn't so fun for the healer and sorry, but that's what you're going to do to heal a feral.

 

Another consideration, about this, is that only a very little part of these rolling feraltanks know what they're doing (and this is probably the biggest problem).

 

At no point did I saw Feral was optimal. Technically, no hybrid is optimal.

An undergeared Warrior and an undergeared Druid are nearly in exactly the same spot survivability wise, the big difference in survivability comes when Warriors hit def cap, which is something we can't do. Until then, there is very little in difference. Just taking pre-raid BiS into account with something like Draconian Defender, you're talking about 40 block native on the shield, block doesn't make that much difference in low levels of gear. In fact, a Druid with no Str gear stacking Stam/Agi will have more avoidance than a similar geared Warrior tank at the same gear level, the issue with Druids is the spikiness of the damage, since we can't reach uncritable and  RNG tends to screw you by taking no damage for ~3hits then taking your whole health bar in 2.

In low gear levels, you'll be drinking after pull, every second pull no matter what the tank is, simply due to the fact DPS takes longer to kill everything, tank is undergeared, healer is undergeared, etc. In high gear levels, Bear tanks actually come out on top, simply since we can wear T3 level armour in a 5man without it impacting our performance or getting rage starved due to avoidance.

Bad tanks are bad tanks, regardless of the class they roll. Vanilla isn't particularly tank friendly in much of its content.

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You can probably come very close to def-cap as a warrior, once DireMaul is open (and no D2 gear).

Last time I geared up a warriortank was on ED...and for sure I was def-capped with blue-items (and no Foror).

 

That non-spiky healing is what every single healer loves. So, maybe, FeralTanks are fine, still your healer (unless he's overgearing the content you're running...in this case 5men instances) will cry rivers.

I know...cause I was always crying with Feral Tanks (and with both non-pre-raid-BiS priest and druid healers).

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1 hour ago, Elicas said:

Just taking pre-raid BiS into account with something like Draconian Defender, you're talking about 40 block native on the shield, block doesn't make that much difference in low levels of gear.

You're forgetting that block pushes crushing blows (150% inc dmg) off the combat table and that's a huge difference from healer perspective.

Note, my point here is not to say bear is not a viable tank for 5man and some raid content or even situationally stronger (eg. Garr) than warrior (mainly T1) but that doesn't change the fact that bears in the era of mp5s rule for healers are a mana sponge.

(My GM and co-tank for nearly half of classic was a bear druid, they were very strong on some fights, quite weak in others, and non-viable at the higher end of raids)

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1 hour ago, mrmr said:

You can probably come very close to def-cap as a warrior, once DireMaul is open (and no D2 gear).

Last time I geared up a warriortank was on ED...and for sure I was def-capped with blue-items (and no Foror).

 

That non-spiky healing is what every single healer loves. So, maybe, FeralTanks are fine, still your healer (unless he's overgearing the content you're running...in this case 5men instances) will cry rivers.

I know...cause I was always crying with Feral Tanks (and with both non-pre-raid-BiS priest and druid healers).

Recently went through it all again on K1, while you can get close to def cap pre DM (which will be out after Ony/MC here, which is an important point for this server) it isn't an easy thing to do, and usually requires sacrificing base stats in order to stack a few select +def pieces.

In nearly every instance, our feral tanked guild 5 mans instead of our warriors simply due to the ease ferals have of picking up groups and speed running instances, in the first few weeks it was a non issue simply due to the fact there are so few tanks about that people are happy to get whatever they can, and after doing the initial ~14 days of gearing you are then good to go with whoever. I think you are possibly mis-remembering how long the spikiness of healing or initial gearing phase lasts.

Note, I have not said anywhere that a Druid should be main tanking raids, beyond a few gimicky encounters (Jin'do for example), however, they are a significantly better Off Tank than having a Fury specced Warrior put on tank gear to pick up one add for the first 20 seconds of a boss fight. Ferals are the undisputed king of the 4th tank spot.

1 minute ago, Roadblock said:

You're forgetting that block pushes crushing blows (150% inc dmg) off the combat table and that's a huge difference from healer perspective.

Note, my point here is not to say bear is not a viable tank for 5man and some raid content or even situationally stronger (eg. Garr) than warrior (mainly T1) but that doesn't change the fact that bears in the era of mp5s rule for healers are a mana sponge.

(My GM and co-tank for nearly half of classic was a bear druid, they were very strong on some fights, quite weak in others, and non-viable at the higher end of raids)

I didn't forget it, but didn't bother putting it into the guide since there is literally no way for us to attain Crushing Immunity, it's therefore not something for us to worry about. While Bears can be a mana sponge, with a group consisting of on level correctly geared and specced players, they are the best 5/10 man tanks in the game, viable 20man tanks, and viable 40 man off tanks.

As I said above to mrmr, I have not said anywhere that a Druid should be main tanking raids, however, they are a significantly better Off Tank than having a Fury specced Warrior put on tank gear to pick up one add for the first 20 seconds of a boss fight. Ferals are the undisputed king of the 4th tank spot.

I've most recently raided with a solid Feral on K1, and he successfully tanked nearly every boss that was released by the time I stopped playing there. Just to break it down by instance;

Onyxia

Phase 2 Whelps

MC

Lucifron, Magmadar, Gehennas, Shazzrah, Geddon, Ragnaros - DPS
Garr - 2 Adds at once.
Sulfuron Harbringer - 2 Adds at once.
Golemagg - 2nd Add.
Majordomo - Flamewalker Elite

We used Claun to pick up multiple adds at once, allowing our first add tank to taunt an extra off him once the first add went down on Garr and Sulfuron. Especially easy for a Feral, who can FF one, charge the second and then tab maul, this allowed us to run and gear only 3 Warrior Tanks, maximising loot distribution.

BWL

Razoregore - Tanking Orcs at one corner.
Vael - DPS into 4th Tank.
Broodlord - Whelp Tank.
Firemaw, Ebonroc, Flamegor - Wing Buffet 4th Tank.
Chrommagus - Decurser and 4th Tank.
Nefarian - Second tank at entrance phase 1, 4th tank picking up undead adds at phase 3.

We used Claun as a tank on every single fight in BWL, in many cases providing a superior job than a Fury in Def gear could provide. For example, a Fury in dps gear can't tank a thing, yet Claun could tank the Orcs in phase 1 Razoregore in his dps set, before transitioning into phase 2 as a DPS, same with Vael, where he would dps until 2 tanks were dead, before going Bear and taunting, saving the 3rd Warrior tank for the 4th transition. On Broodlord we always went for a focussed burst speed kill, Claun would simply gather all the whelps that spawned with swipe & FF, positioning them behind the boss for a quick Blizzard.

AQ wasn't released on Kronos when we left, but he would have continued on as our dedicated 4th tank until Naxx.

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13 hours ago, Elicas said:

Raided with you for a long time Nord, so I know your reading comprehension isn't the greatest, but check the title of the thread a couple of times again and post that in a Resto thread where people after resto stuff might find it! ;):PxD

Yeah mate, my bad i can say i thought it differently like having all specs in one place since most tend to turn to restoration at level 60. Anyway im going to add it as an extra guide even if im not as good to create guides :P

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Updated the OP with the gearing guide for release/DM/AV and the general tips and tricks and beginner info posts now that we can edit stuff for an unlimited time, and asked for those other threads to be deleted so we can keep stuff in one localised topic.

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On 10.7.2016 at 0:21 PM, Elicas said:

Feral Pure Tank 0/35/11 +5 - The pure tank build.

At the risk of starting to annoy you I'd like to know why you chose that build over, say, this:

http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#0x0V0oZxxxscMdtV0b

 

All the following remarks are with group PvE in mind:

1) MotW will always be buffed by a Resto, those points are wasted to get to Insect Swarm. But that can also be cast by a Resto or even a Moonkin (if you have one). You can't reapply while tanking anyway, so it's only good to start the fight. That can also be done by any other cast (Faerie Fire even as bear).

2) You always seem to have Brutal Impact. This is a pure solo/PvP skill in my opinion. What boss isn't immune to stun?

3) Points in Feral Aggression but not Thick Hide? Thick Hide scales with gear, isn't that always a good thing? Is Demoralizing Roar maybe a viable skill for threat on multiple targets?

4) I would use Natural Weapons as a boost to threat generation as well as Omen of Clarity (with a little bit of luck and the Idol you can drop the cost for Maul to almost zero). I'm pretty sure 10 % isn't nothing and you only didn't use it because you hadn't any points left to spend.

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2 hours ago, Murok said:

1) MotW will always be buffed by a Resto, those points are wasted to get to Insect Swarm. But that can also be cast by a Resto or even a Moonkin (if you have one). You can't reapply while tanking anyway, so it's only good to start the fight. That can also be done by any other cast (Faerie Fire even as bear).

2) You always seem to have Brutal Impact. This is a pure solo/PvP skill in my opinion. What boss isn't immune to stun?

3) Points in Feral Aggression but not Thick Hide? Thick Hide scales with gear, isn't that always a good thing? Is Demoralizing Roar maybe a viable skill for threat on multiple targets?

4) I would use Natural Weapons as a boost to threat generation as well as Omen of Clarity (with a little bit of luck and the Idol you can drop the cost for Maul to almost zero). I'm pretty sure 10 % isn't nothing and you only didn't use it because you hadn't any points left to spend.

For some reason that part isn't fleshed out with the part where I pick my actual top choice spec, I'd better amend that now. As to your questions;

  1. From a 'Pure Tank' perspective, increased survivabilty from IS beats out increased threat, especially when we are the top threat generator unless a Warrior is lucky enough to get TF. The fact IS is only applicable for part of the fight is only relevant if you are main tanking. I've regularly played off tank and shapeshifted out of bear to IS and then shift into bear to generate OT threat. Edit: In 5 mans you'll usually be the only Druid to buff MotW as well, depending on your outlook they're either wasted points or invaluable. Still a better choice than anything else if you are trying to get IS.
  2. All of the tank guides take into account 5 man tanking, the stun is incredibly useful on almost all caster trash since we have no interrupt.
  3. It's a +5 spec, you have 5 floating points to spend. If you read the paragraph relating to the spec it exaplains why Thick Hide is probably the best choice for those 5 points. However TH isn't a mandatory talent since there is a hard cap for damage reduction of  21,855  armour, which is possible to reach with consumables in BWL level gear. DR is pretty much shit tier.
  4. Ordinarily yes, and it is part of my favoured tanking spec. However, from a 'pure tank' point of view, survivability > threat generation > else. See point 1.
Edited by Elicas
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7 minutes ago, Elicas said:

I've regularly played off tank and shapeshifted out of beat to IS and then shift into bear to generate OT threat.

Wouldn't it still be better to let a Resto cast that? For him it's only 1 global cooldown.

10 minutes ago, Elicas said:

the stun is incredibly useful on almost all caster trash since we have no interrupt.

You could stop the casting with Feral Charge. If you're too close you could still use the stun, the talent only increases the duration. Another way of handling caster mobs would be cc or letting someone else interrupt (it's group play we're talking about, isn't it?).

13 minutes ago, Elicas said:

It's a +5 spec, you have 5 floating points to spend.

Because you don't have enough to reach and use OoC.;)

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11 minutes ago, Murok said:

Wouldn't it still be better to let a Resto cast that? For him it's only 1 global cooldown.

You could stop the casting with Feral Charge. If you're too close you could still use the stun, the talent only increases the duration. Another way of handling caster mobs would be cc or letting someone else interrupt (it's group play we're talking about, isn't it?).

Because you don't have enough to reach and use OoC.;)

  1. In theory yes. You'd be surprised how many Restos skip IS or don't use it, especially in pugs.
  2. I generally don't trust people I'm doing pug runs with. In theory, tanks wouldn't ever have to use their own CC due to good DPS play. That hardly ever happens outside of organised guild runs though.
  3. ;) 

It's not my preferred spec to run with by a long shot, it is widely regarded as being the 'pure tank' spec though, especially coming from ED. My 'main' tanking build takes OoC and ignores BI, but then I tend to play as a hybrid, not locked into just the one role.

In a perfect world, Mages never miss a sheep, always CS casters, Warriors don't whirlwind CC'd mobs and Rogues know how to focus target and have kick keybound properly. You can't plan around that though, especially as a tank, when many bads will simply lean on you to carry them through. An extra second stun on a runner can mean the difference between a wipe, especially in congested places like Strat living library.

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Good read, raises a question in my mind of where feral dps could be at if they had equal options as rogues or warriors to both increase their "claw" weapon skill and their itemization.

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2 minutes ago, Soyoen said:

Good read, raises a question in my mind of where feral dps could be at if they had equal options as rogues or warriors to both increase their "claw" weapon skill and their itemization.

I imagine it would be close ala WotLK which is where most classes finally got truly competitive. To get to that state would require a game set up that's about as far from Vanilla as you could get.

At minimum, I think we'd need 'claw' skill items, feral AP on more items (and much more of it on the Naxx/AQ weapons), weapon procs working from our feral attacks and more debuff slots so we can add Rip to our rotation. Even then, without Mangle and Lacerate, I doubt our DPS would truly be competitive on the high end.

I just don't think there is a band aid fix for Vanilla ferals though.

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I'm still at the part about effective health but I got a question already.

You calculate effective health using the dmg reduction % from armor. Does that mean the EH is only for physical attacks?

Does that also mean that the more spell damage a mob/boss puts out the less effective armour stacking becomes and the more viable hp crutching gets? Even if the overall physical damage taken increases

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3 minutes ago, Munin said:

I'm still at the part about effective health but I got a question already.

You calculate effective health using the dmg reduction % from armor. Does that mean the EH is only for physical attacks?

Does that also mean that the more spell damage a mob/boss puts out the less effective armour stacking becomes and the more viable hp crutching gets? Even if the overall physical damage taken increases

Effective health literally just means how much total damage you can take before you die. 10k HP doesn't mean you can only take 10k damage. For the purpose of the guide, I worked it out as against physical attacks which is simple since it is health and DR% from armour. You could theoretically work out your EH vs spells by doing the same calculation taking into account your resistances, yes.

The more spell damage a boss does the less effect armour stacking is, correct. However, you'll have to balance the increased hp vs the increased physical damage taken on a per fight basis. Using the example from the guide of a 5k hp tank;

5000/((1-.5=)0.5)=10,000

We know maximum resistance is 315, which gives 75% damage reduction. That gives us;

5000/((1-.75=)0.25)=20,000

You now need to work out if the increased HP is worth the reduced EH vs physical attacks, which is impossible to say due to the fact each boss hits for a different amount, so a blanket statement is impossible.

As a theoretical example, if we spent 10% armour DR to get an extra 1000 HP using the above examples;

6000/((1-.4=)0.6)=10,000
6000/((1-.75=)0.25)=24,000

As you can see, 6000 hp with 40% DR is exactly the same EH as 5000HP with 50% DR against physical hits. 6000HP is significantly better than 5000HP when it comes to resistance fights where you need to have a large health pool buffer, whereas on physical fights it's more important to reduce the incoming damage, rather than just have enough HP to outlast a hit, since you are typically hit every second.

You'll have to do the calculations on a case by case basis.

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Aye, as I thought! Great guide btw. 

Ps; You type hella fast. ;)

 

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1 minute ago, Munin said:

Aye, as I thought! Great guide btw. 

Ps; You type hella fast. ;)

Thanks.

I type for a living ;)

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What do you think of Libram of protection (1% dodge) vs Libram of Constitution(100hp)?

Also, do you have any tips for aoe tanking? I was really struggeling with whelp tanking at BWL suppression.

thanks for a great guide!

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Picked up naglering and speccing imp demo shout. Will report back how effective it is.

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On 9/2/2016 at 0:57 PM, Double said:

What do you think of Libram of protection (1% dodge) vs Libram of Constitution(100hp)?

Also, do you have any tips for aoe tanking? I was really struggeling with whelp tanking at BWL suppression.

thanks for a great guide!

Thanks for the kind words.

Since swipe only hits 3 targets, Demo shout is essentially your only main way of picking up lots of targets at once. Spam it, spam swipe, tab faerie fire.

Whelp tanking isn't really a thing, you should have one or two dedicated Warlocks 'tanking' the whelps with Hellfire and being spam healed. It's simply pointless for a tank to waste the amount of stress needed to pick them all up. Funnily enough, the tank who has the easiest time doing that is actually a Paladin, generally regarded as the worst tank. That's one of the places where they truly shine. As a Bear, you shouldn't really be on Whelp duty. We're the best tanks for Broodlord as well, so you shouldn't be on whelp duty during the boss fight either. That's a raid set up issue. Just concentrate on picking up the elites in the suppression room.

You'll have to decide between 100hp and 1% dodge yourself during the early part of gearing, but by the time we're into BWL and beyond, the 2% dodge beats 200hp in nearly all situations.

The 200hp is static, isn't affected by Prayer or Kings.

2 hours ago, Double said:

Picked up naglering and speccing imp demo shout. Will report back how effective it is.

Naglering is excellent, it's 14th on our tank ring BiS list.

I don't recommend speccing for Feral Aggression. It doesn't increase the threat that Demo Roar does.

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