I will have a write-up on this, soon; there were a LOT of small changes for Ferals that need to be discussed!

All the baseline Feral abilities have had their costs reevaluated since Ferocity is gone:

* Shred now costs 40 Energy. Down from 50 Energy.
* Swipe (Bear) now costs 15 Rage. Down from 20 Rage. Now has a 6 sec cooldown.
* Swipe (Cat) now costs 45 Energy. Down from 50 Energy. (Yes, the cooldown is only on the bear version)
* Maul now costs 30 Rage. Down from 35 Rage.
* Mangle (Cat) now costs 35 Energy. Down from 45 Energy.
* Mangle (Bear) now costs 15 Rage. Down from 20 Rage.
* Claw now costs 40 Energy. Down from 45 Energy.
* Rake now costs 35 Energy. Down from 40 Energy.

The interesting thing to note here is that Mangle is now 35 energy baseline, and there are no talents increasing the damage done by most abilities by default (Savage Fury, for instance, which is a bummer all its own because that means 20% less damage on Rake). Additionally, Shred has been made 40 energy baseline as well, which means that it is looking fairly strong as the defacto Feral dps button... but I'm going to crunch the numbers here anyway.

Baseline: 230% + 725
Glyphed (10% more damage): 253% + 798
Glyphed + SR: 329% + 1037

Baseline: 225% + 743
Bleeding Target: 270% + 892
Bleed + Mangle: 351% + 1160
Bleed + Mangle + SR: 456% + 1508

Let's look at Damage Per Energy fully ramped up and everything.

Mangle DPE:
(3.29 * X + 1037) / 35 = 0.094 * X + 29.63

Shred DPE:
(4.56 * X + 1508) / 40 = 0.114 * X + 37.7

Okay, so that means that if we do 1000 damage on our paper doll, that Mangle(Cat) is worth about 124DPE and Shred is worth about 152DPE.

Without looking at any more mathematics as it pertains to the system (like Mangle getting used more often which could mean more crits which means more CPs which means more damage overall), we see that Shred wins the DPE race, but only marginally. Keep in mind that Shred requires a LOT more ramping up for full effect whereas Mangle only really requires SR for full damage.

Long-story-short: I really do not know how Feral PvP will play in Cataclysm as of yet... but I'm betting that Mangle will be a decent route since Rip/Rake/White will be doing such a huge portion of our damage. Additionally, if we are focusing on Haste as a primary off-stat, then we can also assume that Mangle may be better overall because it will allow us the fastest CP-gen, which could lead to more FBs (they'll be good in Cata) and therefore better control; hell, even more Maims would be nice.

Also newly added in this patch, the reforging system gets some attention. Essentially, you can remove up to 40% of a given off-stat (haste, crit, expertise, hit, etc) and put it into a different off-stat. So, the examples up on MMO-champion are something like taking out 40% of the haste value of your item and putting it into critical strike rating, and then reforging it again and taking ALL of that critical strike rating and putting it back into haste rating. Currently, there is no means for expressing to a player that a stat has been reforged, so I think the devs will do something about that so that we do not walk around with a piece of gear for 3 months and then one day say "wait... I wish I didn't have all this +hit" and think that you can only remove 40% of the +hit when you actually reforged that gear earlier to remove 40% of its haste and turned it into hit.

The devs still haven't properly implemented Haste->DoT in this build... which is a point of annoyance for me. Additionally, we have the ability to test out Mastery, but I have the feeling that Mastery Rating will not scale our Mastery bonus (+20% Bleed Damage), yet. It is interesting, but if Critical Strike Rating is prominent on our gear in Cataclysm, but Haste and Mastery scale better, then we may be doing a LOT of reforging into those stats. Recall, if you will, The Burning Crusade in terms of what comps were the best: Warrior+Druid and Warlock+Druid because of the sustained damage output and mana-longevity. Well, in Cataclysm, we are starting to see the same deal with Feral+Disc already. Priests will have a lot of means of returning mana to themselves, and while Feral's Innervate is still impotent (and we all hope this does not remain the case), Feral's control and sustained damage has gotten rather higher.

Look at our stats and our play-style. We are, essentially, going to be based around control and bleeds. If we go with the Mangle-centric PvP builds, then we would assume that getting Rip/Rake on a target and swapping would be a pretty strong strategy. Mastery Rating will make our Bleeds that much stronger, and Haste will make our Bleeds that much stronger AND we will regenerate Energy that much faster. In addition, we will have instant-cyclones, Skull Bash at 18y range, and Feral Charge for mobility, as well as Bash for control options. I could very easily see getting a ramped-up Rip/Rake on a target, using the instant-cyclone on the healer, interrupting their next cast with Skull Bash, and following that 5-second lockout with a 5-second Bash... and if you're doing your math correctly, you can follow that Bash with another Skull Bash for another 5-second lockout (if you catch him casting). All told, that is 20 seconds of lock-down on a healer with your amazing Bleeds up on a target. In addition, if you do this right, you can probably even come back with 5cps on the target after the second Skull Bash, have them at or below 25% hp, and hit them with FB to refresh Rip.

It's hard to tell how 3s will play out in Cataclysm, but I am still a firm believer in 2v2 being the best bracket overall; however, if 3v3 becomes less of a "Wrath"-fest, then perhaps it would be a good position for Ferals. Something like BM-Hunter+Feral+Disc sounds like a good team (as I suggested a few posts ago) as you have all the debuffs for casters in PvP: Curse of Tongues (Lava Breath, this is why BM), MS-debuff (Widow Venom), Mana Burn, Spell Cost Increase (Skull Bash + Brutal Impact)... if Cataclysm is going to be all about whittling away your opposing team and keeping slow-steady pressure up the entire match, then this comp has everything. If there's more set-up-and-burn-down involved (not "Wrathing" people down, but setting up CC-chains and killing people), then maybe it would work better with Survival or Marks... too early to tell, probably.