[Druid] Feral/Resto PvE Viability
I've started playing some arenas and found that my feral spec isn't working too well with my teams. Basically, I need to shift into a hybrid spec that will let me get off some quick and powerful heals and help burn down a player when needed.
Now, I'd like to maintain a balance between PvP and PvE with these specs. I don't see myself as a main-healer but I certainly shine as an OT / DPS / backup-healer. That said, here are the two specs I am considering:
Again, I do not want to pigeon-hole myself into a pure healing role but I still want to be able to heal well enough if I'm the sole healer on a 2v2 or 3v3 team. I'm not sure if Swiftmend is required for filling this role but that's why I'm here requesting feedback.
Feral DPS Rule #1 no mangle = no DPS
yes, its that important
Decide if you are a raider or PVPer and spec accordingly, you cannot be both and be the best you can be.
IMO don't go so deep into resto, NS is nice for PVP but its so costly for feral dps cos you lose mangle (see rule #1)
True, Mangle has been a staple for Feral DPS and tanking. Heck, many of a Druid's skills rely on Mangle as a debuff (or buff).
However, say I wanted to do some 5-man PUGs and hit up the arena without having to respec, which build would fit the bill? Remember, I would probably be the only healer in the arena yet I'd rather not be a main-healer in an instance.
Is this possible? I know I won't have the perfect build for either situation but I'd like to find one that lets me dabble in both until I really decide to focus on PvE or PvP. I typically play at odd hours so it's hard to be serious in either role.
That said, what's the communities view on Swiftmend? Is it required if I am an arena hybrid healer?
I've only just started to get into PVP in TBC having been a moderate but not hardcore PVPer in WoW 1.0 and have also found playing with a full feral spec, particularly in larger group (5v5 for example) situations to be pretty frustrating. Bear damage obviously isn't stunning, cat's still squishy of course and with a 1/46/14 or similar talent build you've got nothing in the way of healing boosts to play with. Solo wise it's still a pretty strong build of course but teamwork's very much the focus of high level PVP.
If I was seriously focused on PVP exclusively I'd be looking at a 8/11/42 swift build or similar - interuption protection on CC, feral charge and a whole lot of healing potential allowing solid healing combined with a fair bit of flexible harassment of opponents.
Regarding a hybrid build though as you're seeking my inclination's towards a 1/29/31 build, something like (note, rough concept only, details will vary) http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=MzZxhGsfboLZVEIzMq00o . Gives you a fair number of the tanking talents, some tolerable dps solo and a fair bit more healing punch than a 21 resto build - swiftmend really does add a lot to a druid's healing potential plus the other points certainly aren't wasted either.
Personally my focus is still on feral PVE for the moment so I'm simply sticking with a 1/46/14 build and going to work on gear/practice/a team instead, really depends just how you want to spread your focus though, going to have to sacrifice something to get anything.
Half of the best gear is AP+Agi anyway so it doesn't benefit from HoTW, Pred Instincts and Pred Strikes are relatively small as well, but LoTP would be a bit painful to miss out on. With that in mind a 0/30/31 (or 1/29/31 for a bit more PVP utility) build can be quite reasonable, but you will need that mangle-bitch to keep your DPS flowing.
For PvE tanking, I think that Survival of the Fittest is rather important as without you will either lose your crit-immunity or have to stack seriously a lot more defense than desired. It is possible to get both Swiftmend and this talent, but you'd have to miss out a few points on HotW, which is a really powerful talent as well.
Swiftmend can be pretty nice in PVP, but which a build like this (and probably your gear oriented hybrid as well), I think it will become less needed. The beauty of Swiftmend are two things: a) it has a very low cooldown and b) it heals instant, meaning no casting time. There are so many ways in PVP to interrupt someone casting, it will become very hard to do "normal" heals. But there are only few ways to silence someone and usually these have a high cooldown (and short duration) as well, meaning with Swiftmend you can jump around, walk around and do whatever you want and still heal some. That said, with feral gear (or hybrid gear) and not the right talents, your Swiftmend won't heal for a lot, and therefore making it less powerful. I think if you want to have some PVP healing options, NS is enough.
If you have another feral that is applying the mangle debuff then 19 points in feral is really all you need for dps. It won't be as good as with full feral build obviously since you will have less ap and no crit damage talent, but it's still pretty good.
As for tanking, it is possible to get crit immunity even without survival of the fittest, 2 pieces gladiator gear with the +35 resilience bonus helps a lot here, also timelapse shard is a very nice trinket to use for crit immunity. Most of the rings/necklaces/cloaks with high armor have either defense or resilience on them anyway.
For pvp I would probably use something like 8/19/33, you pretty much need the pushback resistance on cyclone for serious pvp. But if you're not that serious about pvp, 1/19/41 is a very good feral/healing hybrid spec for pve.
What are people's thoughts on rolling a hybrid build without Nature's Focus? Dropping it in favor of Imp. Regrowth, which is pretty great in a PvP environment. I guess my ultimate considerations are the new Barkskin, and the fact that being pounded on in PvP to the point where Nature's Focus would even see pay off means you're probably not doing enough to keep distance between you and your attacker.
Something like one of the following:
http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=zzjZxhGsbbZVxIzcq0xo - 8/21/32
http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=zZxhGsfboLZVxIzcq0xo - 29/32
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