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Notable Spells and Abilities
(Dire) Bear Form
Casting Regrowth and/or Rejuvenation before shifting to bear form can provide continued healing (as well as the associated threat in group settings) allowing the druid to remain in bear form longer before shifting to heal. Bash or Nature's Grasp can be used to buy time to refresh your HoTs and shift back into bear without taking damage while in caster form. Enrage (druid ability) can be excellent for providing rage before a pull or while a mob is rooted, and is also useful when combined with Frenzied Regeneration providing additional healing.
- Additional attack power based on your level
- A percent bonus to armor rating from items. Armor rating from enchantments and agility is not multiplied.
- A percent bonus to stamina
- A rage bar like a warrior's
A bear's paws attack at a base 2.5 attack speed.
Bears can use several abilities, some akin to other classes, others unique to bears.
- Demoralizing Roar
- Challenging Roar
- Frenzied Regeneration
- Savage Defense
While solo, Cat form is most useful for DPS and avoiding enemies using stealth. Cat DPS is quite akin to rogue DPS, both being based on energy.
In Cat form, you receive
- Additional attack power based on your level
- 1 attack power per point of agility
- 2 attack power per point of strength
- An energy bar like a rogue's
A cat's claws attack at a base 1.0 attack speed.
Cats can use a variety of moves, many similar to rogues.
Travel Form increases movement speed by 40%. This is very handy for running away from a fight, or just getting some distance from your opponent to root him or heal yourself. Try casting Rejuvenation before shifting to Travel Form. It is still useful after getting your mount when you only need to run a short distance (i.e. from the auction house to the mailbox), when running in combat, and when collecting herbs. Travel Form works outdoors only. With the 3 piece set bonus from the Warlord's Sanctuary PvP set, it is possible to improve Travel Form to the point you can keep up with Standard (75 Riding Skill) Mounts! Do note: Many players never use Travel Form relying instead on Cat Form enhanced by 2 talent points in Feral Swiftness, the Cat form benefits (stealth, combat/defense) far outweighing those of the Travel Form (10% faster, greatly reduced mana cost).
Aquatic Form allows a druid to breathe under water indefinitely. Movement speed while swimming is increased by 50%, however you will not be faster than a character on land. Like Travel Form, you cannot cast spells while in Aquatic Form. Also be warned that Hunter pets are actually faster than you are in water. Switch briefly to aquatic form while in under water combat to take a breath without having to surface.
Gear and attributes
- Each point of Strength is worth 2 points of attack power. 14 points of attack power result in 1 additional weapon DPS.
- Each point of Agility increases armor by 2, adds to dodge chance, and adds to critical strike chance. Also increases Attack Power in cat form by 1.
- Agility is preferred over Dodge rating for tanking pieces because druids get more dodge from agility than other tanking classes, and because agility scales with Blessing of Kings.
- Agility is usually preferred over Critical strike rating, because druids also get more critical strike chance from agility than other physical DPS classes. This is less clear cut however.
- Each point of Stamina is worth 10 health, and receives variable multipliers in Bear form (depending on talents).
- Attack Power increases the strength of your attacks in feral forms.
- Each point of Intellect gives 15 mana. It contributes to mana regeneration as of patch 2.4. As a feral druid your intellect is increased by 20%, making this a good attribute for your healing set, but is low priority for your feral set.
- Each point of Spirit increases your health and mana regeneration. This can be important when soloing as it will allow you to heal between fights instead of eating, but is otherwise not useful.
- Feral druids should maintain separate cat and bear sets of gear.
- Cat gear should have a lot of AP, strength, and agility.
- Bear gear should focus on armor, stamina, and agility.
- Collect an up-to-date healing set. Druids are decent healers even if they have no points invested in Restoration. Healers are in such demand that being willing and able to heal will open a lot of doors for you. Some groups may also ask you to off-heal on certain quests or boss battles.
- Cat form is very useful for soloing, but when more than one mob is pulled you will have a better chance of surviving in bear form.
- Using a few Heal-Over-Time spells on yourself and then tanking in bear form will let you solo mobs that are ordinarily very difficult to defeat.
- Nature's Grasp will enable you to back off and cast during a fight.
- Unlike a rogue, you don't have Distract or Vanish, so extra care must be taken when stealthing.
- Prowl is useful for avoiding PvP and escaping when you're being corpse-camped. It's also great for going AFK.
Soloing as a feral is not only feasible but also highly capable of killing even high level mobs quickly.
Start by loading up on as much "... of the Bear" gear and any other STR/AGI/STA gear you can afford close to your current level. This will give you the stamina and DPS required to chew through the mobs. Don't worry about int or spirit because you won't need mana above what your regular base stat gives you. Once you reach about level 55, the most desirable random drops will be "... of the Beast" with all 3 str/agi/sta.
Generally, you'll start each fight from stealth. Until you get Pounce (level 36) you're going to use Ravage (level 32) and before that you'll use Shred (level 22). Pounce the enemy and then Shred them from behind. You should regen enough energy to Shred twice. This should take out a sizeable amount of the mob's health. Sometimes you can get one extra Shred if Omen of Clarity procs, which can be very devastating. Once you've spent the duration of the Pounce stun, switch over to either Mangle or Claw. Once you get to 4 or 5 combo points use Rip if they're over half health or Ferocious Bite otherwise. Make sure to shift out to heal yourself between fights in reasonable measure; there's nothing as humiliating-feeling as dying to a mob when you pulled at low health.
Keep in mind that you'll still regenerate mana while in feral form so next time you swap out you'll probably find a full mana bar waiting for you to just heal up and move on. No food, water, or bandages required. Great for the lazy and cheap people out there!
You can use Farie Fire from a distance to avoid overpulling in crowded areas. If you do accidentally overpull, use one of your crowd control spells or shapeshift to bear and just tank them down. Barkskin can rescue a lot of bad situations either by allowing you to cast healing spells on yourself without suffering any pushback from damage, or by reducing all damage taken in any form.
Group damage dealing
- Main article: Feral DPS guide
Cat form is the source of physical DPS for a druid. It's very similar to rogues in the fact that there's an energy bar present, they're vulnerable to physical damage due to the lack of an armor multiplier, and they put out quite a bit of physical melee damage. Cats and rogues also share "similar" skills. Some examples are:
Before Wrath of the Lich King, cat DPS wasn't very desirable. A hunter or rogue was much more viable for physical DPS. However, since the expansion, cat DPS has dramatically increased.
Get behind the target as soon as possible, the target cannot block or parry your attacks from behind, and this is where you need to be to Shred. Mangle to apply the debuff, apply Rake and then start Shredding. If you are level 75 or above then get Savage Roar up quickly and keep it up as much as possible because it greatly increases your damage. Rip is your best finishing move provided the enemy will live long enough for it to run its course.
For feral druids AoE was fiction until Swipe (Cat) was introduced in 3.0.8. Remember to keep Savage Roar up while swiping.
- Main article: Druids as tanks
Bear form is the form used for tanking by druids. It's very similar to warriors in the fact that there's a rage bar present and you have high armor and high HP. Bears and warriors also share "similar" skills. Some examples are:
- Maul is similar to Heroic Strike
- Demoralizing Roar is similar to Demoralizing Shout
- Survival Instincts is similar to Last Stand
Bears originally tanked by means of massive HP and extremely high dodge rates and armor mitigation (easily being able to hit the armor cap when geared in high end dungeon armor). Blizzard changed this with Wrath of the Lich King. Bonus armor and HP have been reduced from leather items. Weapons, rings, trinkets, and necklace no longer benefit from the armor multiplier in bear form. However additional dodge and armor increase talents have been added, such as the armor bonus added into Survival of the Fittest. The HP of a bear tank is still one of our biggest selling points and tends to be substantially more than that of a paladin, warrior, or death knight.
- Starting in caster form, cast Rejuvenation on yourself to offset damage in early combat (as well as generate threat). Note that it is inadvisable to start the majority of your battles this way, as this can use mana very quickly, leaving unable to switch back into bear form. It is, however, advisable to start boss battles this way once your mana is full.
- Either pull with a ranged spell like Starfire or start in Bear Form pull with Faerie Fire (Feral).
- Use Bash and/or Feral Charge to interrupt enemy casters.
- Let loose with a Demoralizing Roar. If you have it, also cast Faerie Fire (Feral) on at least the highest-level mob.
- Use Swipe or Maul to hold aggro - or, in an emergency, use Challenging Roar (note the long cooldown).
- Use Growl to regain aggro from mobs that decide to go after your party's cloth-wearers.
- If the battle goes over 30 seconds, recast Demoralizing Roar and Faerie Fire (Feral).
- After the battle, switch to caster form to heal yourself, and assist the main healer in healing the rest of the party. (You don't use but do regenerate mana while in Bear Form, so you might as well use it before entering combat.) Do not push your limits with mana regeneration, or you will have no mana left to switch back into bear form.
Extra PvP Tactics
See Druid tactics for general PvP strategies regardless of talent spec.
In PvP feral druids used to suffer from mana issues but since the 3.0.8 patch this issue no longer exists because of the changes to Primal Tenacity. Feral's have very intense burst damage for lighter armor classes and powerful bleeds that ignore the mitigation of heavy armor classes. Druids in general also have multiple types of CC and interrupts at their disposal. These include: