I know it's not Feral, but here's an awesome movie I saw a bit ago... definitely worth watching.

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... cricket ...

Dear lord, there is straight up NOTHING going on. We have not played any more 3v3s since I last posted playing with Merk and hitting 2159... we're just sitting around waiting for him to be less busy with Heroics in ICC. Hopefully, we can grab him today and make a 2200 push...

Okay, so the TR has moved forward to the top 8 and basically shows a few things:

1) Casters are horribly imbalanced right now.
2) Fuck casters

Yeah... I made this point in a GC thread on the boards that was discussing how "OP" MS effects are currently, and while I generally agree that 50% healing debuffs should go the way of the dodo come Cataclysm (and really should have been done away with this expansion), Casters dwarf the imbalance that healing reduction effects present.

How? Well, if healing reduction effects and healing in general were truly overpowered, then we would expect to see plenty of double-healer+Warrior comps coming through in the top8, but we actually see the exact opposite of that; there were ZERO double-healer teams that made it through, Warrior or otherwise. They simply do not exist because the strength of a double-healer team is the fact that double-healer can out-heal TRAINS... but Casters don't train... they GCD people. A healer (or two) cannot heal through 2 spells that land instantaneously and kill the target.

Hopefully, something is done to staunch the craziness that is Casters on Bloodlust... because it has honestly gotten out of hand. Every other queue is against a spellcleave of some variety, and 90% of those matches are won or lost by virtue of whether the opposition landed a GCD-gib on someone. Luckily, a lot of those teams will focus on me instead of Merk or Kyske... which means that if they stun me, I take 30% damage reduction and those gibs are much less likely... and I have Barkskin and Corroded Skeleton Key if things get dicey or Kyske's eating CC or something. We get into trouble when those teams eventually turn on Kyske or Merk and GCD them on the swap... I hate spellcleaves and I hope they nerf Bloodlust into a self-buff only.


We started running Super-Mega-Ultra-Beastcleave (I don't recall if I posted this before now). It is a Holy Pally, Disc Priest (Guntir), BM Hunter, Enhance Shammy, and me (Feral)... we basically pick Lock/Priest and train them to death.
There's not much to say here except that matches are quick and fun, and we'll be making a 2200 run as best we can.


There has been some talk in the forums about the possibility of season 9 starting at some point. I thought that this seemed likely for a while because we have been in season 8 forever now, but Guntir and I had lunch yesterday and we discussed this and he brought up some really good points as to why there likely won't be a s9 that matters:

1) There technically wasn't a season 5 in TBC.
2) Season 4 simply ENDED when 3.0 was dropped because they really couldn't balance anything around the 3.0 changes until level 80.
3) Season 9 would mean another tier of PvP gear... but there isn't going to be another tier of PvE gear... so that would mean PvP gear would be BETTER than PvE gear (iLvL-wise)... and we can't have that.

Therefore, I'm forced to admit that there probably will not be a season 9 until Cataclysm. Though, I feel that this is good... we really shouldn't allow the spellcleaves to continue for another season; they will have had their moment in the sun and after season 8 ends with 4.0, we would expect the changes to make EVERYTHING insane... not just casters.


I hate myself, in case you didn't know. I'm forever a masochist, apparently, and after we actually hit 2200 and I buy my Greatstaff, we are going to try and help Seere hit 2200 to buy his weapon (he's a friend, after all), and then we were going to do something stupid.

What constitutes as stupid?


Yeah... double-healer Feral. We are going to have to get Guntir a Solace or Purified Lunar Dust, but otherwise he already borderlines upon infinite mana in the presence of Innervate... if we put Mana Tide into the equation and another healer to balance out the load, no one will ever oom.

I think I have brought this up before, but this comp is run to some success in the European battlegrounds. They have hit 2600 under this spec and the basic idea is always the same: mana burn the most mana-dependent target, and train them to death. This is essentially how we play 2v2s as-is, putting another player into the mix who has an interrupt on a short cooldown, another CC that doesn't share DR with Cyclone, Roots, or Psychic Scream, Grounding Totem, Tremor Totem, and insane healing to boot... just seems like it would be a worth-while comp.

SURE, matches would take a while and revolve mostly around turn-n-burn nuke-play from both healers during long CC-chains on the opposing healer(s), but we're good at that play-style as-is... so why not, right?


Last note... there have been a LOT of "Disc+Feral HALP" threads on the Druid boards of late, and I often find myself getting sick of reiterating the same strats over and over again to different players. Therefore, I have been toying with the idea of recording some matches and creating a YouTube channel where I can upload them with commentary to show how to handle certain comps as Feral+Disc.

I know I haven't been the biggest on the streaming videos of late... I have been spending a lot of time trying to get the Skype recording into action (unsuccessfully as of this writing) before I started streaming again... it's annoying to only hear me talking and answering questions with Guntir's speech being completely overwritten by blank audio, as it were.

If I get the Skype-recording working as I want it to, I will probably do this and may even start recording 3s matches... or 5s perhaps. The problem is that I don't think that any of these matches show off skill... it's mostly "out face-roll" your opponents and land a kill through heals.

I miss 2s being a valid bracket...

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So Much Crying!

I cannot log into the WoW boards at the moment... which is a REAL shame because there are SO many Ferals being wrong right now. So, instead I am forced to put my responses here rather than flaming them on the boards where they would undoubtedly admit their mistakes and praise my judgment...




Ravage is, for lack of a better description, an ability looking for a niche. Currently, no one really uses Ravage for a number of reasons: it does not do much more than a ramped-up Shred; it requires stealth; it costs as much as Pounce, but has essentially zero utility; it does not apply Infected Wounds... etc. Ravage is the ability that Blizz has neglected for a LONG LONG time and they are aiming to get it back into semi-good graces for Cataclysm.

Blizz has added Improved Feral Charge, for instance, which will allow the Feral to use Ravage for 3/6 seconds after performing a Feral Charge (Cat) without necessitating Prowl. That SEEMS nice at face value, but when you dig a little deeper, it just ends up being underwhelming in almost every scenario. Let's say you are in a PvE environment and FCC comes off CD; okay, now you have to break your rotation, stop white-swinging while you make it 10 yards away, FCC back in (which will take 2 seconds minimum no matter HOW close you were), and now you can get 2 Ravages off if you have 100 energy... which you won't unless you use Tiger's Fury. This is just a bit unwieldy; again, it stops your white swings, you have to run out of melee, use energy to get back INTO melee, use a CD to build up some energy, and drop MAXIMUM 2 of these attacks which will leave you energy starved and perhaps even CP-starved (you MIGHT only have 2 cps when the dust settles).

Blizz has also added Ravage to Infected Wounds' tooltip. This is a nice change because while Pounce provides you enough time to actually hit the target with Mangle/Shred and apply Infected Wounds, Ravage always made it a bit more difficult. Now, you can just open with Ravage and they will be snared... opening the door to openers like Ravage->SR->Rake->Mangle->Shred->Maim which would forgo opening control and ramping damage for opening damage and some decent control via Maim. I could even see this becoming a decent opener on teams like Rogue+Feral+Priest where your Rogue is holding the opponent down and you are free to deal damage at your whim, and perhaps change that Maim finisher to a Rip finisher and keeping full damage output going strong.

Shredding Attacks (though WoWHead's talent calculator doesn't seem to have this, wowtal's and my alpha sources' confirmed) will reduce Ravage's cost by 10 energy as WELL as Shred. While this does not bring Ravage down to Shred in terms of energy cost, having a 50 energy Ravage is definitely better than having a 60 energy one.

Yet, when I look at Ravage, I still see an ability without a niche. Feral Charge (Cat) allowing you to use it? I can see that having some use, but mainly I can see that being a hassle in PvE and nigh-ineffective in PvP given that half the time when I Feral Charge (Cat) someone, I'm usually NO WHERE NEAR THEM when I land, which usually takes 3 seconds of travel time in its own right. Additionally, I simply cannot foresee myself in a situation where I will have 100 energy before I Feral Charge unless it is an opener... which means I can use Ravage ANYWAY (with that small difference being that I have to be behind my opponent to use it whereas Pounce is usable from any direction.

All that being said, I simply cannot see Ravage becoming a PvP-talent... yet... perhaps Blizz will continue sprucing it up for Cataclysm and MAYBE we will see enough buffs to make it usable, but we will have to wait and see.


Ferocious Bite


Ferocious Bite is another one of those abilities that is missing its niche. In PvE, FB has come on a rebirth by way of Armor Penetration Rating being so obtainable and easily soft-capped, now; however, in PvP Ferocious Bite is that one ability which gives us pause before using. Mentally, we all have to say the same thing over and over again: "Will this FB kill my target? If not... we will probably lose this match because my damage output will fall through the basement until I ramp up again..."

That being said, NomNomNom is a much needed and refreshing answer to this dilemma. Yet, so many in the forums are already calling this a "terrible PvP ability" and spouting off such non sequiturs as "if you FB right after a HoT ticks and the target gets to 26%, you have just destroyed your damage output." While I do not necessarily know if that will remain true in Cataclysm, it definitely looks familiar to what we have currently... "if you don't kill 'em with FB, your damage sucks for 10-15 seconds."

However, this is not a CHANGE... this is merely point of fact. Currently, if you FB and do not score a kill, more often than not, you feel the same result. What boggles my mind is that Feral PvP buils (particularly the ones I have posted and small variants thereof) have enough points to pick up NNN without sacrificing ANY dps talents "required" for Feral PvP. It is not as if one must forsake taking Rend and Tear to get this talent; you essentially have 9 points to build with off of a skeleton dps build (keep in mind that that one point in Ferocity is just a place-holder... you have to take 1 more point in Feral somewhere... though it doesn't matter where; essentially, you can get all the Feral dps talents for PvP with 51... the rest are just icing).

End of the day... I am going to be putting in NomNomNom to all my Feral PvP builds, mainly because there are ALWAYS situations where I use FB on someone below 25% hp with Rip about to end and it simply does not kill them. In these scenarios, instead of having "blown my wad" and lost the opportunity to score a kill for 15 seconds, I will have refreshed Rip, still have duration on Mangle, and likely still have a decent duration on Rake... which means I can follow that FB with a fully ramped-up Shred and try again.

NNN allows you to keep pressure going in the red-zone.


Bear Form Survivability


I think Bear Form survivability is going to be strong in Cataclysm. Blizzard tried to separate Bear and Cat a bit in Wrath, and I think that they simply showed themselves that Cat Form is either too survivable, or not enough. Currently, we are in the "not enough" bucket where unless we are stunned without an MS effect up (and are NOT about to get GCD'd by a spell-cleave), we are taking entirely too much damage with little-to-no avoidance and simply getting trained 100-0. In Cataclysm, I expect that Cat Form's innate survivability to be slightly lowered by way of having less dodge overall, less damage reduction while stunned, but much stronger survivability when we are forced into our "D-Stance" of Bear Form.

Again, we will have essentially 9 EXTRA talent points off of any skeleton Feral dps build, so we really do have to look at survivability and utility. I will ALWAYS put 2 points into NomNomNom to keep pressure rolling in the red-zone (as I expressed above), which leaves me seven* talent points to spend.

*- In reality, we actually have 8 talent points because of that 1 extra in Ferocity... it can be moved lower in the tree.

So, the first talents I look for are dps talents; am I missing any dps talents that are going to play extremely strong in PvP? Survival of the Fittest no longer provides bonus stats... so there is no reason to take this; 6% less chance to be critically hit by MELEE strikes just is not very strong for 3 talent points. Brutal Impact MIGHT be a place to put more offense... but it is EXTREMELY hard to tell with the change on the Bash end (it is now 10 seconds off the Bash CD instead of 30 seconds off... lower base time, or is Bash just going to be a 50 second CD now?) I think it is too early to make a decision here but I'm leaning away from it. Fury Strikes seems like a nice PvE talent, but I only see limited extra damage in PvP; again it will have to be tested, but I am leaning away from it (although, it is "free" damage in that your up-time is simply increased by 12% of your white-swing damage every 6 seconds... roughly a 2% damage upgrade but also more OoC procs).

That REALLY only leaves Ferocity, which as I stated before is ONLY 5 extra energy every 15 seconds (from Rake) now... which does not really mean much as a 5-pt talent. Okay, I'm going to put 3 points into Protector of the Pack for another strict 12% damage reduction while in Bear Form. This is extremely nice in terms of survivability simply by virtue of one of our mastery talents being this exact buff, as well. All things considered, we may actually be running around with ~22% damage reduction constant in Bear Form with PotP and 51-pt Mastery Bonus, which would be EXTREMELY strong given that that includes magic damage as well as physical damage... and we have not even discussed armor contributions yet (against melees, Bear Form will be strong - Rogues, Warriors, Enh, other Ferals, etc).

This is the build so far. Notice that we still have 5 talent points to spend. Again, we could talk about dps talents like Primal Madness, which seems to act like an energy-based-last-stand (you gain 6/12 energy for a short duration, then it goes away again) when you use TF or Berserk... this SEEMS okay for 2 talent points, but I just am not sure how strong it will be until I practice with it. At this point, PM is DEFINITELY worth looking into. The only other option for DPS talents is really Improved Mangle... which I simply do not see ever WANTING to take again unless something drastic happens and makes Mangle-spamming worth-while. We are getting so many additional bonuses to Shred (Blessing of the Grove, for instance) that I cannot see Mangle ever being considered "decent" damage again... plus the duration of Mangle on the target is still 1-min, and now Hemo will provide this buff as well... I just would not take it as-is.

Okay, five points to spend, and now I start looking at Perseverance. 10% magical damage reduction sounds EXTREMELY nice since it does not specify a form; sitting in Cat Form and taking even less damage from DKs just seems really strong. Additionally, when you put this into the equation with all the other bear form damage reductions, when you go Bear Form, you are going to have a Mastery Bonus (which I'm calling ~10% damage reduction at the moment... we will have to wait and see what it actually is) damage reduction, a 12% damage reduction from PotP, and a 10% damage reduction from Perseverance. It just LOOKS like Bear Form will be the survival button for PvP in Cataclysm (and I am completely leaving Barkskin off the table because it is another 20% damage reduction every minute... that's a TON of magic damage reduction).

This is the build I am looking at for Beta. It has everything you need to deal damage as Cat effectively, you have some strong burst in the red-zone finally, you can easily keep SR and Rake up, as well as Rip, you have great survivability in Bear Form... and all you really give up is a few edge-case talents like 10 seconds off of Bash or 12 "last-stand" energy during TF and Berserk or being able to Ravage for questionably stronger damage after a FCC... which SHOULD be used as a gap-closer, not a dps button.

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Holy Cataclysm Talent Trees Batman!

Here we go... the Cataclysm Beta talent trees are up for Druids, Rogues, Shamans and Priests. Let's talk about Feral changes... because they're awesome (sort of):

Druid Beta Trees

First thing to notice, Sharpened Claws has been moved to the bottom tier and no longer gives 6% crit. It is now a 2-pt talent and does what Savage Fury used to do (increases Mangle/Rake's damage by 20%). This is fairly nice as it USED to be in a somewhat awkward position in the talent tree. At the bottom tier, you can take it early when grinding a Feral and you will have some decent damage from it... that's pretty nice. On the other hand, it's now a mandatory 2-pt talent at the bottom-most tier and there is another mandatory 5-pt talent there in Ferocity.

You still have to take Ferocity. Five energy off of Rake and Mangle is simply extremely strong. I don't want to get into this TOO much already because it's something that will come up again later in the talent discussion. Let's just say for the first tier, you take 2/2 and 3/5 of one of the other talents, for the moment it doesn't matter which. However, you should notice that Feral Aggression no longer increases the effect of Demoralizing Roar, but instead lowers the cooldown of Feral Faerie Fire by 1/2/3/4/5 seconds. I can confirm that an anonymous source tells me that FFF will become a 3-stack ability which reduces the target's armor by 3/6/9%, and has a 5 seconds cooldown (so bear tanks will probably pick this up to spam FFF to keep the armor reduction up). ALSO, FFF 3/3 will reduce armor by 9%, and I have it from the same source that warrior's Sunder will suffer the same fate: it will only stack 3 times and reduce armor by 3/6/9%... so Feral tanks will bring Sunder in Cataclysm.

That brings us to tier-2. Notice that Shredding Attacks is now in tier-2, and it has been reduced from 18 energy off of Shred to 10-energy off of Shred for two talent points. Is this a nerf!? No, actually the base cost of Shred has been reduced to 50, so this ends up being a buff (40 energy Shred instead of 42). NICE! Feral Instinct is still here and STILL the better option than Thick Hide, so take 2/2 and 3/3 and move on to...

Tier-3 has a lot of familiar faces, but some new ones as well. The first talent you see is Feral Swiftness which hasn't changed; a nice 30% faster movement speed. However, Predatory Instincts (10% more critical strike damage) has been moved down here, but the AoE damage-reduction in Cat Form has been removed (**NOTE** it hasn't been confirmed by any source yet, but I have a STRONG hunch that Cower will be changed to act like Rogue's Feint ability and give 50% AoE damage reduction for the duration of the buff... so we might actually be getting some love in this regard, but being forced to activate it instead of letting it be passive... we'll see).

Also in Tier-3, we have a VERY familiar old face: Feral Charge has been moved back to Tier-3, again. I have no idea what Blizzard is playing at here given that the Feral Kick is noticeably absent from the talent tree and there are mutterings about it being baseline, but I can tell you that Resto will be an interrupting MACHINE again if it has access to a Feral Kick AND Feral Charge(Bear) with interrupt. New to the talent tree on this tier is Improved Feral Charge, which is a 2-pt talent that gives you 30% haste in Bear Form after Feral Charging and allows Ravage to be used OUT of Stealth for 3/6 seconds after Feral Charging. This strikes me as a VERY odd change as Feral Charge (Cat) very rarely takes you to your opponent and Ravage have never really had a place in PvP since TBC.

Ravage has been confirmed by an anonymous alpha-tester to have been buffed significantly over Shred (even better than fully-ramped-up Shred) and has ALSO had its cost reduced from 60 to 50 by Shredding Attacks. Potentially, after a Feral Charge (Cat), one could land two Ravages for some supreme burst damage (if you actually go NEAR your opponent with FCC) followed by TF to continue the train. I will reserve judgment to see how this plays out in practice, but for the moment I am on the fence... I'm leaning AWAY from using Ravage still... but we'll see.

Tier-4 has been graced with Nurturing Instinct which has not changed otherwise and Primal Fury is still here with no changes. There is a new talent at this tier called Fury Swipes(3-pt) which gives your auto-attacks a 4/8/12% chance to trigger an additional auto-attack with a 6-second internal cooldown. This talent seems highly PvE-oriented as it will largely play no role in PvP damage (though it might if burst is no longer king in Cataclysm)... it SHOULD increase a player's ability to proc Clearcasting from Omen of Clarity, however... so it should not be discounted until the maths have been worked out and practice has occurred. It is still a pretty expensive talent for roughly 1 extra attack every 6-10 seconds without the OoC proc factored in... just sayin'...

Tier-5 is probably the most depressing tier yet; it still has Brutal Impact for 2 points, it still has a 5-pt Heart of the Wild, but now it has Survival Instincts (Feral Last Stand) and a 2-pt Predatory Strikes (as opposed to 3 currently). The ONLY addition to this entire tier is that Predatory Strikes does everything that it currently does but instead of increasing our AP by 10% of our equipped weapon (FAP is being done away with after all, this would be tiny), it now has the curious note of "gives your Ravage a 25/50% additional chance to critically strike against targets at or above 90% health." With Pounce and Maim sharing diminishing returns in Cataclysm maybe Ravage IS the opener of choice... or MAYBE an opener like Prowl-FC(C)->Pounce->Ravage->TF->SR->etc is possible. Again, this tier is awful simply because of Heart of the Wild's continued existence AND how bloated it is... this tier costs 10 talent points across with an arguably MINIMUM seven points spent at this tier... I would say that all 10 are mandatory, however.

EDIT: I just noticed something about Tier-5 - Brutal Impact is no longer 15/30 seconds off the cooldown on Bash, it's actually 5/10 seconds off the cooldown on Bash. Maybe Bash's cooldown will have been lowered from 60 seconds to 40 baseline??? Anyway, since Infected Wounds is applied by Ravage, and Ravage has a 50% better chance of critting against a target with >90% hp and Maim and Pounce share DR now, I'm thinking that PERHAPS we could forgo this talent entirely and focus on Ravage as the opener... hmmmmm.

Tier-6 helps with Tier-5's bloat. There is Natural Reaction which is still simply a tanking talent not really worth mentioning in the context of Feral PvP, Survival of the Fittest which is exactly the same except that the 2/4/6% additional stats have been completely removed thus making this a non-Feral-PvP talent, and a new talent called Endless Carnage. Endless Carnage increases the duration of SR and Rake by 3/6 seconds... it is without a doubt the best 2-pt talent Ferals have access to for PvP. It is simple, it is beautiful, and it comes in the sweetest spot in the tree where we can freely pick up and say "thanks" given we just spent 10 points on the last tier.

Tier-7 is COMPLETELY unchanged save for a minor nerf or two and King of the Jungle being moved up here. Primal Tenacity has been nerfed to only provide 15% damage reduction while stunned as opposed to 30%. This seems a bit ridiculous to me given how POOR Feral survivability is currently in the game and how nothing has been announced aimed at improving it... I'm just saddened by that nerf, but I am still hopeful of proper survivability changes. I think that given the mastery bonuses (which I will discuss as well), Bear Form might actually be a form with going into come Cataclysm, but it is still too early to tell. Additionally, King of the Jungle no longer provides ANY mana cost reduction to shapeshifting. Again, it is too early to tell what the aim of this nerf is, but widespread speculation points fingers squarely to all shapeshifting costs being dramatically reduced for Cataclysm.

Tier-8 is a little odd; Protector of the Pack has been moved to the right, but nothing else has really changed (that is, the talent is still the same and it is not a prerequirement for anything else... it's just in a new position). Other than that, Infected Wounds has been lowered to a 2-pt talent, which is nice.

Tier-9 still has Mangle and Improved Mangle with nothing changing on that front (as far as we know; the damage isn't listed on the tooltips any longer so we can't be sure if it has been buffed or nerfed or left the same) and a new talent called Primal Madness has been added. Primal Madness is one of those new talents that has you going "... wait ... wait w... wat?" after reading it. "Tiger's Fury and Berserk also increase your maximum energy by 6/12 during its duration." There are really two schools of thought here: 1) this is a PvE talent that allows you to use TF at 50 energy and have 120 once you can hit buttons again, 2) it acts like an energy-based Last Stand and you GENERATE 20 additional energy which goes away at the end of the duration. Personally, I think the energy-last-stand SOUNDS cool (particularly because that means that TF would give 80 energy initially) and I am hoping this is the actual implementation.

Tier-10 still has Rend and Tear for a 5-pt talent and it is unchanged. However, there are two new talents added to this tier, "Nom Nom Nom" which is unlikely to remain named such and Pulverize. NNN reads "When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 50/100% chance to refresh the duration of Rip on the target." This should read like NNN: "Feral can pressure inside of execute range now." This means that you don't have to choose whether to FB or wait 5 seconds for Rip to fall off when your target is at or below 25% hp anymore... you hit FB, get that burst damage, and your Rip will automatically get refreshed on the target. This is an AMAZING talent for both PvP and PvE Cats... use 2 points here most definitely. Pulverize is a new talent which consumes Lacerates and deals damage based on how many Lacerates were up:

15 Rage
Deals 120% weapon damage plus additional 943 damage for each Lacerate application on the target, and increases your melee critical strike chance by 2% for each application consumed for 10 seconds.

This is a really interesting tanking talent... but I cannot say that I expect it will be much use in PvP. The damage may be strong, but getting Lacerates up is arduous. Neat though!

Tier-11: Berserk is unchanged... yeah I was hoping for "Immune to everything for the duration" as well... but it seems Blizz is still concerned that that would be OP for Ferals but not for BM Hunters... FINE...


Let's talk about MASTERY for a moment. Off to the right-hand side of the talent trees, you will see the mastery bonuses. The first 3 are for Cat Form while the second 3 are for Bear Form.

** NOTE ** The actual mathematics behind these are NOT released... so we can only guess as to what those will be; the following is what I ASSUME will be the case.

Physical Damage % (Cat): This FEELS pretty Feral. What I expect (and this is a HUGE assumption) is that Naturalist will be reworked to NOT have that 10% additional Physical Damage in it. Blizz has confirmed over and over again that they are trying to get rid of these types of talents, and while the Healing Touch cast-time reduction MIGHT be helpful to Restos... Ferals never use it EXCEPT as an instant cast from Predator's Swiftness. Either way, this will scale all our damage output presumably in a multiplicative way... this is a good mastery bonus.

Melee Crit % (Cat): Again, since Sharpened Claws is gone, this is the natural replacement for it. More crit is good given that Rake and Rip ticks can crit in Cataclysm naturally. Not much to say here otherwise.

Melee Critical Damage: Reader James corrected me on this one... I apparently missed Blizz's official word or their word is out of date, but either way, this Mastery Bonus is more in line with Predatory Instincts in that rather than simply giving us some critical strike chance, it actually gives us more damage when we crit. Thank you, James, for the correction.

Bleed Damage % (Cat): I am still rather surprised that this is going to be in the game. We already HAVE a way for Bleed damage to scale... it's called "Attack Power," "Crit," and "Mangle." This Mastery Bonus has ramifications which would lead to EXTREMELY strong bleed damage... which I am fine with, but it seems odd that Blizzard would take Feral this route... it's the route I WOULD take Ferals...

Damage Reduction % (Bear): Oh my... are they seriously giving us natural damage reduction in Bear Form as a Mastery bonus? That is amazing! Okay, let's just say that with 51-points in Feral, this number is around 10% damage reduction... that means that Bear Form is (for Ferals only) like going Defensive Stance for Warriors. HOLY MOLY... I've been asking for this for a LONG time! Well, maybe there WILL be a reason to go Bear Form after all in Cataclysm.

Vengeance (Bear): Okay, we knew this was going to be here... it's the standard tanking mastery secondary bonus. You gain attack power for being attacked... or something. It's not for PvP, it's strictly for tanking; nothing to get excited about.

Savage Defense (Bear): Hmmm, apparently we are losing this as a trained ability and gaining it as a mastery bonus for Bears. This seems only natural as PvP battles will likely go back to being long matches (remember the good old 2s days in TBC?) and they don't want Resto Druids to have access to a defensive shield while in Bear Form. However, this could be a boon for Feral PvP as well given that Bear Form might actually be worth shapeshifting to as a defensive measure in Cataclysm (given the first Bear Form Mastery Bonus)... we might see reasonably strong survivability in Bear Form in Cataclysm... hmmm.


Okay, let's talk builds. I like to play PvP as a DPS class, but bringing support is ALWAYS key.

First Build:

DPS build - This is the primary DPS build... you have what I deem to be all the STRONG DPS talents, plus some survivability talents (4/5 Perseverance for 8% magical damage reduction, SI, etc), and nothing extra.

You might notice that this build does NOT take any points in Ferocity. The reason for this is because while it does lower the cost of Mangle and Rake... both these abilities are going to last a LONG time in Cataclysm. Mangle obviously lasts 1 minute, so gaining 5 energy on that single use per minute does not gain you much. Rake is going to be a 15 second bleed debuff (as opposed to 9 now) so gaining 5 energy every 15 seconds does not seem worth a 5-pt talent. That is basically 1 energy every 3 seconds... in 120 seconds you will have lost ONE Shred from your rotation (at 10 energy a second; assuming 0 haste)... I just can't justify taking this talent at all. 9% more Ferocious Bite damage now that we can actually USE FB in the Execute-window means harder hitting finishers during the burn phase... baller!

Second Build:

Survivability Build: Okay, this build forgoes Naturalist and Ferocious Bite damage in favor of being able to gain some strong defenses from Bear Form. I have already discussed going Bear Form will give a natural damage reduction from Mastery, and we know that Perseverance will reduce magical damage by 2/4/6/8/10%, so we take that and switch around to taking Protector of the Pack 3/3, which gives us an additional 12% damage reduction while in Bear Form. All told, we will be a formidable kill-target in Bear Form given these defenses. I also picked up 5/5 Ferocity so that Swipe spam is still possible to keep Savage Defense up as much as possible (though there are rumors that Swipe will have a CD and do more damage, thus requiring this build to be tweaked slightly to account for that... probably just switch it to this build in that case).

Third Build:

Off the Wall Build: This build is crazy... I know. I take some bottom-tier talents in Balance which really do not affect Feral at all... but in return I get access to that SWEET SWEET AoE silence effect called Solar Beam:

Solar Beam
18% of base mana
Instant Cast
1 minute cd
You summon a beam of light over the enemy target's location, interrupting the enemy and silencing all enemies under the beam within 10 yards while it is active. Solar Beam lasts for 10 seconds.

This is basically Death and Decay with Silence instead of damage... it's awesome. Slightly expensive, but with a 1min CD, you wouldn't have to use it very often and you would be able to regen your mana (hopefully) by the time you needed to use it again. You still have MOST of the damage dealing talents, though are definitely missing some strong ones (or perhaps not... if Naturalist gets changed in favor of the Mastery Bonus, you have basically all of them).

You can bet I will be testing this build out rigorously as soon as I can.


Okay, that's all I got for now. Feel free to ask questions, post comments, and bring up discussions; it's all good.

As a side note, we played some Feral+Warrior+HolyPally last night with Merk and shot up 100 or so rating.

Highlights of the night:

1) Beat a 2400 Disc+HPally+Warrior, and the warrior had Shadowmourne (we outplayed the absolute shit out of them at the end and gibbed that priest).

2) Beat a couple 2400 RMP, RLS, PRS... these actually seem to be our strength at the moment. If we could stop facing Globalcleave teams and get a string of RMP/RLS we would shoot straight up even more.

3) Beat a 2680 African Turtle Cleave team.

4) Lost over and over again to Ele+War+Pally (2550)... we aren't sure what to do about this team... but we only ever played it on RoV... so maybe we'd have better luck against them on Nagrand.

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Okay, we finally ran some of this comp; it's kind of silly how hard you can train some targets. We love seeing Warlocks and Priests... most of those teams are free points (with the sole exception being Rogue+Shadow/Lock+Sham). We picked up Seere after his semester ended and started running some games with him for fun. Again, we are pretty ingrained to our rating at the moment, so it's hard to believe we would go up or down very much. As expected, we played basically nothing but 1800 teams which we, for the most part, rofl-stomped over and over again.

My favorite 1800 team was a priest variant of PHD... which is a terrible comp, in case you were wondering. They would train me the entire game long, and since the majority of their damage comes from the Hunter, I would simply sit on him and try to keep him in range so he could not hit me reliably with nukes. Guntir (on his pally) just pelted Flash of Lights into me, and Seere sat on the Priest and eventually solo'd him down. There is just nothing that this team can do to us... they don't have enough damage output, I can "turn off" their damage by FC(B)'ing the Hunter, then hitting him with Entangling Roots and sitting on the spot attacking the DK, and I can throw Cyclones out when he actually starts making some distance.

We're in talks with a guy named Merkcity. He has been 2500+ in 3s before on his warrior and was dropped from his team (WLD) in favor of adding another spell-caster for that all-too-dominant global-cleave team. He is currently on one of the top10 5v5s teams on our BG, though... so don't feel TOO badly for him. Again, we have been talking to him over the last few weeks and we might end up picking him up for our 3s team to see how high we could climb. Not to talk discouragingly about our previous or current team-members, but it would be extremely refreshing to have a teammate who communicates well and can act correctly without needing instruction from either myself or Guntir.

It's actually quite interesting; Merk has roughly the same paper-doll damage, crit, hit, and hit points as Seere (who is in FULL Wrathful with a T1 weapon), but he has given up ~250 resilience in favor of about 700 ArP (and he's wearing a DBW... not too bad). My guess is that his damage output will be MUCH stronger than Seere's and he will not have given up a HUGE amount of damage reduction from resilience (sure, some... but not a ton). With this in mind, hopefully we can get some games in with Merk today, it would be nice to see how that team plays when the warrior is stellar at his play and dealing tons more damage to boot.

Not a lot to talk about otherwise... sadly we are still in that black hole when we cannot discuss any of the potential changes for Cataclysm and nothing too much is going on in the real game. I applied for the Cataclysm Beta via the essay contest (of course). I do not have high expectations given that my guild is rather small and consisting of mainly alts... but hopefully they won't look into that too much. After all, we DO participate in most the PTRs, provide feedback and bug reports, and we have a few members (me and guntir) who were in the Wrath Beta period... so hopefully they will toss us an early invite to the Cata Beta.

On a personal note: I have been getting fever blisters for YEARS; literally since birth. I was turned on to something called "L-Lysine" by my girlfriend's mother. Lysine is a pill you can buy from just about any drugstore, and the SECOND I start feeling like I might be getting a fever blister, I take one 500mg pill. I follow that with an additional pill every morning until it is gone.

Basically, I was being stupid a month or two ago and thought it was a pimple, let it go, and had a fever blister for 3 weeks. However, I felt one on my lip just two days ago, started my treatment, and it's basically gone today (it probably WILL be gone tomorrow). I just thought I would share this little factoid in the off-chance any of you get fever blisters, canker sores, etc as well.

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