Of all the recent in-game fixes to go through in the last two weeks, this is by far and large my favorite:

Blind (Rogue) is now in the same diminishing returns category as Fear effects, but no longer shares diminishing returns with Cyclone (Druid).

Mana burn got nerfed a bit, 10% mana burned (down from 13%) up to 20% of the priests maximum mana (down from 26%). I will have to wait ~3 hours to see how Guntir reacts to this, but my guess is that he will complain about it at first and decide it isn't so bad. I think he's still feeling the Soul Warding nerf was a step too far, but I don't think it hurts our team as much as other teams.

The reason I don't think we have to worry so much about Mana Burn being less effective and Guntir's mana pool being less efficient is because changes are happening in the game which, in the long run, are actually going to be more beneficial to our comp. Priest+feral has ALWAYS been about longevity; we turtle well, burst well, put out sustained damage well, have two mechanics for returning mana to the priest (and Innervate has been buffed on the PTRs from 400% OO5SR mana regen while casting to "regenerates 450% of the casting druid's mana pool"... that's always 15651 mana over 20 seconds), and we have more peels and CC than every other team. Cyclone, Roots, Fear, Feral Charge, Bash, Maim, and Infected Wounds as a snare means that I can, at the drop of a hat, peel both opponents off my priest, turtle up in bear form, keep their healer in combat, and let Guntir get some drinking off.

None of this has changed, however the circumstances which allow us to do this have changed. That is, we couldn't do this against priest+rogue because the rogue would put out too much pressure to drink and the other priest would never run out of mana either (and he'd just dispel innervate if I cast it). However, now that rogue+priest doesn't mean 2v1 for a minute every two minutes, we can actually play our game a little stronger. If they go for me, we can use Pain Suppression offensively and let me sit in cat form bursting the rogue down, and if they go after Guntir, we can use the fact that Pain Suppression gives all of Guntir's buffs that 60% dispel resist, so we can use Innervate during Pain Suppression and know that it won't get knocked off, making our team better at mana conservation in the long run.

The change to Blind also makes other teams counter rogue+priest a little better. Resto Druid + Warrior teams are making a swing back into the arena, and they are counter-comping poorly organized rogue+priest teams who can't line their CCs up properly on the druid, but losing to well-played rogue+priest every time. If blind and psychic scream share diminishing returns, then we would expect druid+warrior to survive and destroy priest+rogue a lot more than they currently do, as druids are highly susceptible to both, while warriors are immune to fear every 30 seconds. We would expect that a warrior sitting on a priest would probably end up killing the priest before a rogue sitting on a druid in ToL form with Abolish poison up 100% (if they're both getting peels etc).

Which brings us full circle to what I was talking about yesterday. Druid+warrior is going to be the FotM again very soon, I feel, and our team absolutely curb-stomps druid+warrior. If the warrior doesn't get 15 crits in a row on my priest, they won't win. We played a bunch of matches yesterday, and unfortunately only played to one druid+warrior team, but we lost it. Guntir took issue with my comments, but the fact of the matter is this: we need the warrior to stay in my LoS (or easily accessed LoS) in order to win that match. That comp is a cake-walk on Nagrand and Ring of Valor, it's even easier on Lordaeron. On Blade's Edge, it's a bit trickier as the druid will likely do the figure-eight kiting up the ramp and off the side over and over again while Guntir is limping along around a pillar on the bottom. It's less of a concern for us on that map as long as Guntir knocks off Thorns early-on, I won't have any problem pressuring the druid.

The reason, in my humble opinion, that we lost to the druid+warrior team is because the map was Sewers, and we can easily lose LoS on each other around the boxes, which is what happened. The druid came out, got Faerie Fired, I rooted the warrior, and switched to the druid to apply pressure on both (because as a good feral, I had my bleeds up on the warrior... which WILL make roots break early, but Guntir only needed ~4 seconds for MS to fall off). So I'm chasing the druid now and he runs for the other boxes (Guntir started off charged behind one side of boxes) and sits there with me on him. I didn't think too much of the strategy, but it seemed like a dumb one, so I kept laying into him, meanwhile, Guntir was doing the same thing, trying to kite the warrior around the boxes and throw his timing off with PS (27 second cd versus immunity on a 30 sec cd... it makes some sense).

I notice that Guntir is losing the health battle, so I try and Maim the druid, and it missed (rant here: I have 2% hit on my pvp gear... that means <3% chance to miss and it's ALWAYS Maim that misses...) while the druid is casting Cyclone on me. So, I trinket the Cyclone, Cyclone the druid, and run over to Guntir and start casting Cyclone on the warrior who follows Guntir around the corner and breaks LoS... I try to Cyclone him 3 times, but then Guntir catches all 6 Bladestorm crits and dies.

Guntir will tell you that Bladestorm is a bad ability and does no damage. I will agree with this UNLESS there are criticals involved. If any of the 6 crit, then it's a mean ability, if half of the 6 crit, it's an amazing ability, and if all of them crit, it's completely overpowered. Admittedly, the chance of this happening is just so low that it's not really worth talking about, and Bladestorm is plagued with problems (kiting being the best for us)... so meh, we got luck-sacked. It happens to even the best teams. If that Maim lands, I get there about 3 seconds sooner and have LoS long enough to cast the Cyclone, etc etc.

Not concerned. Sewers is a very tough map to coordinate positions on. I think that Guntir and I have a good idea for that map, it's small enough (on top) for him to just bring the warrior with him and follow me and the druid around the map. That way, if Guntir is getting hit by the warrior, I can almost always pull off a Maim-the-druid-Roots-the-warrior combo and be on the druid again before he gets out of Maim. Also, there are some bugs with Charge that we have been exploiting... well they aren't bugs and I guess, technically, we have merely been taking advantage of them. Anyway, if the warrior falls off behind the boxes in the sewers, he can't charge back up until there is a path in LoS and range... so he'll be walking around the corner to get back up, and I can root him down there to really throw off his game. Similarly, Guntir can fall off the side and hug the wall, and the warrior will never get a charge off unless he jumps off and runs backwards, which is a viable strategy, but Guntir can stay on the corner and play the opposite way as the warrior while I wind up an entangling roots on him.

Lots of options against that team. I look forward to more matches against them as we keep climbing. As a side note, I have enough arena points to get my Tier-1 PvP weapon on Tuesday, so that will be an amazing upgrade for me!

Oh, and we curbstomped more priest+ret to gain more rating... this team is stupidly predictable even at the top-tier of play (we beat a 2300 MMR priest+ret team without so much as a sweat). Open on the ret, he's going to save HoF for when he really needs it so build up 3-4 CPs. Back off before the stun ends and pick a side of a pillar opposite Guntir. The pally will pick a side, if he goes after guntir, pop SR and get up a 5pt Rip, then Cyclone his priest as this will force the bubble. If he goes after you, get into bear form expecting a stun, use Demo Roar, and set up a Feral Charge + Bash combo on the priest to let Guntir get off 5-6 Mana Burns... which will either get the pally to focus Guntir, or use Repentance on him. If he used repentance, travel form away (you'll be far enough away that JoJ won't bug you unless he already used it, in which case you just kite away in Bear form and get ready to Feral Charge back to the priest when the pally shows up), if he switches to Guntir, get back in cat form and build up your next SR+Rip. This is where HoF will come into play... you'll be snaring the pally and he'll be losing Guntir who will still be Mana Burning their priest... so he'll HoF himself and HoJ Guntir to get on him... Cyclone the pally (you'll have like 3-4 CPs which will go to SR while he's Cycloned) TWICE. This lets guntir get out of HoJ and if the pally trinkets the first Cyclone, Guntir won't eat all his CDs. Once Cyclone wears off, guntir will have made some distance, so you need to use Barkskin as soon as he turns his winged attention to you (he tried to gib guntir, don't forget) and usually I throw in Survival Instincts to guarantee a no-gib with wings up. Then, I get my SR+5Rip of on the pally, Cyclone the priest (even with the pally beating on you... there's nothing anyone can do, they have no interrupts), get back into cat form and use my remainder energy on mangle+rake+sr, then bust TF+Berserk and watch us win the match. Guntir will walk over and set up a fear-bomb on the priest once Cyclone ends, and even if he's undead, that should be enough time for me to have killed the pally.

I LOVE seeing ret+disc... it just means we're going to get some points unless a miracle occurs. On any map except Ring of Valor, this team is points for us. On RoV, the priest can sometimes get into a position of Repentanced Guntir so he starts throwing Holy Fire, Mind Blast, dots, and everything he can on me because at this point he's losing the match. This CAN be scary... but I try and soak up the Holy Fire knowing that a Mind Blast is coming, Feral Charge to lock out his shadow school, and walk away in bear form until Guntir gets out of CC. This can make the match last longer, but we can usually spread them out enough to win anyway.