Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Community Spotlight: Tentative Feral Raiding Specs for 3.1

First, I would like to give credit to of Teeth and Claws. Last week, he put up a post about possible specs for 3.1, found here tentative-feral-raiding-specs-for-3.1. A few days before that I posted my own write-up on Tankspot, found here 3-1-bear-specs. While I had already decided to use that post on tankspot for my weekly tip on patch day, I found his post refreshing because it gave me some more things to think about as far as specs, but there are also some things I disagree with (although some of my disagreements are with the comments left by other people not the poster himself).


Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft is the base spec from which all the templates will work off of.

Survivability build: Slightly different in that you drop imp mangle to pick up Feral Aggression. Threat will be touchy with this spec but it has the advantage of never having mangle and faerie fire overlap.

Max TPS: MSS and partial KOTJ provide the highest sustained TPS with an option for burst threat at the trade off of armor.

Main Tank:
Swaps 3 in FA for imp mangle from the survival build. The 2 points left over are throwaways that you can put anywhere (including shredding attacks if you wanted: see below).

MSS/Imp LOTP: This is my favorite spec to tank 25 with because we always have a frost DK dpsing so there is no need to grab IW. It is also the max TPS spec with ILOTP instead of those 2 in KOTJ.

MSS/IW: (that 1 lose point should be in PP) you can drop imp mangle to pick up imp LOTP and finish PP if you want. Remember, because of how the GCD works, 1 or 2 points in imp mangle for tanking is worthless, so drop all 3 or none at all. I put this up to show how gimp a build with both IW and MSS would be. It would be an interesting comparision to see which gives more threat, 4% damage or 5 expertise.

Imp Mark of the Wild

Is now a mandatory talent for all feral druids. If you have not yet done so, look at what it does now.

Go back in time to LK beta, I wrote this talent off and pretty much said I would never get it. Well I was wrong. I hate not having it especially for progression content, even if it is usually almost all overheal, it can be a lifesaver at the right times (example: getting hit by a spell for 75% of your life then procing the heal giving you just enough to survive the melee hit after the spell).

Shredding Attacks
Dual spec kills ANY REASON for having shredding attacks in a bear build, as I strongly do not believe in the so called "bearcat" spec. Sure, it works, but if I am going to DPS I do not want to gimp myself. If a boss is at 5% and the main tank dies, healers have more problems on their hands than worrying about the new tank not having defensive stance. Ulduar bosses hit way to hard in 25, so while you may get away with it on 10, in 25 you simply will not have the hp to survive 2 hits while wearing dps gear in that situation.

The lone exception is when you have to offtank the first 10-25% then start dpsing, which does not happen in Ulduar that I have seen.

As for KOTJ vs MSS for tanking, I did a comparison a while back. Since it is a 5 point investment, MSS gives you .8% damage per point. In Ulduar things hit to hard to be spamming enrage on cooldown but if you did, per point it would give you an increase of .833% per point. To extend that a bit, if use it every 61 seconds it becomes a .819% damage increase per point. Every 62 seconds gives .806% and every 63 seconds .793%. Thus, if you have even 3 seconds of downtime on enrage MSS yields more benefit without the armor reduction.

As always, all the past weekly tips are viewable here and here.


  1. Thanks for this - I'm having a hard enough time trying to sort out a spec for my main char. It's nice to be able to quickly look and see a pile of well-thought-out specs with various pro's and cons for my druid :)


  2. The lone exception is when you have to offtank the first 10-25% then start dpsing, which does not happen in Ulduar that I have seen.The best example of doing this where it could very well matter is on Iron Council (especially hard mode) where you don't need 3 tanks after the first councilor dies. XT-002 is another good example; there's no need to have two tanks on the fight all the time, just on the 75/50/25 breaks where you likely will need another tank on the random adds. Freya can also utilize this to some degree, similar to how it could be done on KT. Vezax on hard mode is another example; DPSing Vezax hard on the first phase, then picking up the elemental add on the second.

  3. Unless they changed something, on XT you just totally ignore the adds and heal an offtank as it is more efficient to just put all DPS on the boss.

    Even with the change to swipe, druids are still the worst at picking up adds. Vigilance on the main tank and a warrior will have perma-taunt.

    Vezax was EU only so I know next to nothing about him.

    Cannot argue Iron Council. I did indeed overlook that because the is a fight I plan on respecing for anyway, and using neither of my dual specs. I will be using the survivability build for that fight. Also, our DK tanked it in DPS gear on 25 man in blood. You probably do not need tanking talents if you are killing the little guy first.

  4. Thanks for the updates. Yes, I'm having fun playing with different specs last night, just found your article today.

    Was tempted to take 2 tank specs, but I think its too much of a luxury, and rather selfish too. I love MSS; first time I used it for tanking last night, and noticably more damage. I miss having a guaranteed 10 rage when shifting to bear, but I guess I just get used to it. Can you explain how IW stacks with other debuffs. You mentioned frost DKs - can you explain the details re DKs & thunderclap, so I know whether to take this or not? Also, how does Feral Aggression stack with other's debuffs?

  5. Also, our DK tanked it in DPS gear on 25 man in blood. You probably do not need tanking talents if you are killing the little guy first.But he tanked it in tanking gear, no? I'd much rather have a druid who can tank and DPS in DPS gear than a DK who can do the same. That's the real benefit. Especially if you're killing the small one last (I assume that's what you meant).

    On XT, you can't just ignore the adds; they heal him. You could choose not to tank the adds or kite-tank them, but it's a choice.

    Razorscale (before the nerf) was another example, where you tank adds for a while and then can DPS the boss hard at 50%.

  6. On XT, you can't just ignore the adds; they heal him. You could choose not to tank the adds or kite-tank them, but it's a choice.

    What? There are 3 types of adds. The little scrab-bots heal him. They have no agro and just run to the boss. The bombs also run to the boss and blow up when they get to low HP.

    The big adds are tankable and most defiantly do not heal the boss. I had 6 of them on my on our kill the other day they do about 2-3K damage each. During tantrims you need to hit cooldowns but otherwise the damage is minimal.

    As for our DK, no. He offtanked iron council in DPS gear but that was on PTR. On live we use 2 tanks. I take steelbreaker and the warrior gets both the other 2.

  7. All your builds include OOC, may I ask why? While for cat DPS it's a vital talent, I find it useless in tanking.

    Right now I'm testing a build which is basically your survivability with two points taken from OOC and Naturalist placed into Brutal Impact. I find I like to have an interrupt ability which is not constantly on CD when I need it....
    (BTW in my build I also have +3 imp mangle and -3 Ferocity and will revert it, since it doesn't work well).

    Regarding Polar/Sta stuff, as a healer friend told me when I asked if he preferred higher avoidance or higher HP: "avoidance = random, higher HP = sure, go for sure". While I don't go full polar, using the vest+2 JC sta gems helps a lot without killing my TPS.