First, let me explain last week because I had planned on writing a post, but I ended up getting a stomach bug that kept me out of commission until Tuesday, and I had so much work to catch up on that I never ended up writing it. I checked up on my analytics and saw that I had huge traffic on Tuesday, and no new post; I can only assume everyone leapt to the conclusion that I had been hit by a bus. Again, sorry to keep you all waiting!

However, on to the good stuff:

Predatory Swiftness now allows your next Cyclone, Entangling Roots, Healing Touch, Hibernate, or Rebirth to be castable in all forms.
I am continuing my trend of blatantly stealing the colors of the MMO-Champion site, which I hope they will not mind (though they stole the white+blue combos and only added the greens as their own, so I cannot see how they would).

Wait, what? Does that really say what I think it does? Predatory Swiftness will FINALLY allow me to cast abilities IN FORM? Thank the devs! As the title suggests -- It is About God Damned Time! Feral is finally moving in the direction for which I have been begging for years and should, after this change, no longer require shapeshifting for anything but breaking roots. In fact, if Blizzard aimed at balancing Feral entirely, they would only need to look no further than removing root-breaking from shapeshifting (again), and switching up the immunities from being shapeshifted. I doubt that this will happen because of the backlash felt from the original rootshifting nerf, but one can never tell with Blizzard.

This change is going to make Feral a lot easier to play well in practice. No more having to time your gcds and movements appropriately, no more trying to Cyclone someone and lag causing you to get a "Not in line of sight" and being caught in caster form, and no more extremely smart Shamans waiting for you to fall out of form to NS-Hex you (while I consider this good play, it was completely unfair when playing against Feral+RSham early in the expansion because I would eat CC after CC with nothing Guntir could do about it and none of them sharing DR).

In addition, it means that Ferals can finally start using Cyclones offensively. I truly feel that this buff will likely result in a Feral nerf in the near future simply because of how strong Cyclone is as a CC. Cyclone was roughly balanced for Ferals in that the 6 second CC was only half-felt because the Feral spent 3 of those 6 seconds actually able to deal direct damage to a target: it would cost a 1.5s GCD to cast the Cyclone, and another 1.5s GCD to shift back into Cat Form, and usually it would require a non-zero amount of time to get back on the target because they were moving away to survive (warriors were the worst with their handful of mobility buttons). Against extremely good teams, I could land a full duration Cyclone and only get 1-2 Shreds on the kill target before the Cyclone ended.

In the 3v3 scene, it would mean that Cyclones had to be used either early or chained with a longer/better CC in order to get enough damage out during the duration for it to matter. For instance, if you are running Kittycleave and you land a Cyclone on the healer, your Warrior is going to continue dealing damage (hopefully a lot) while you are doing the Cyclone position-cast-shift-get-back-in and then you can start dealing damage again. You essentially made the match into a very odd 2v2 for a short duration (3s in the best case) and then a 3v2 for a short duration (3s in the best case). I have seen Warriors solo-kill something before, but not at the upper tiers of play. With this change, we will be better equipped to move toward our CC target, instantly Cyclone them, and Wild Charge (15s cooldown, recall) back to our kill-target and get the most bang for our buck (4.5s of CC plus damage-dealing in the best case).

In fact, in 2s, where Guntir and I spend the majority of our time, this change will play huge in conjunction with all the changes that Priests are getting. It looks, at least at a cursory glance, like Discipline Priests are going to end up playing very aggressively and nuking a lot for healing and supplemental damage. Additionally, the newest talent flip has Guntir potentially picking up Power Word: Solace for mana longevity and low-to-medium-low damage. The idea being that I will be training a healer non-stop with Guntir following me as closely as possible to bring the other DPS with him. I, then, have free range to insta-Cyclone without leaving form to peel for Guntir while he barrages the opponent with Solaces to restore his mana while the opposing healer has to heal afterwards and spend his. We could play the comp as an outlast like we do currently (although, 'currently' means '2-3 months ago') except that Mana Burn has been removed from the game.

On the other hand, Disc has an extremely potent kit of damage-dealing abilities that may end up mattering more in the long run. Holy Fire hits like a truck, and with Evangelism being part of the spec baseline, he will end up getting 20% bonus damage to all his spells almost all the time. I probably sound like a broken record here, but I cannot fathom how Feral+Disc is going to be balanced in MoP for 2s. The change to dispelling coupled with the hilarious amount of CC that Feral+Disc brings to the table is going to make teams hate themselves: Cyclone, Entangling Roots, Psychic Scream, Dominate Mind. None of these share diminishing returns with one-another, a single dispel of one means eating a full-duration of another, and with Cyclone being the undispellable one in the bunch, it will allow us to reset DRs and the dispel cooldown of our opponents.

I am getting very excited for MoP ^_^