Feral Druids and Arena Play.
I focus mainly on 3v3 and 5v5. I tried some 2v2 but I found it quite lacking, i'd rather play my rogue for that.
Druids are one of the least played classes in the game. This has carried over to the arenas also. Last night I had my first matches in 5v5 (done a fair bit of 3v3 already) and we played with a very unorthodox setup (4dps and 1 healer). Our strat was to basically rush down one of their players while tryng to keep our priest alive with fears\hunter traps. We actually did pretty well considering we started off immediately with ranked games with absolutely 0 practice or tactic discussion =).
However, I kind of find a feral druid to be a bit... extra. I find myself playng my druid as I played my rogue (whom I playd for 2 years). I sort of DPS away. All my PvP experience is centered on my rogue. So I would really appreciate some pointers from more experienced ferals on how to break out of this mold. I CAN play my druid as a rogue, but I really think that is just a horrible waste (might as well just get a rogue!) Should I be chain cycloning? cyclone a healer, then rush on a dps and kill them before the cyclone is off? I really am a druid PvP newbie so any advice would be appreciated. Basically what has a feral druid done in your group (or against your grp) that proved to be effective? And what do the ferals out there do that they find actually makes a difference? And please don't reply that he respecced moonkin =/.
p.s. Was thinking about a druid pvp thread being that we are the least played class in the arenas and so when I log in this morning, Lo and Behold! a PvP forum! Good idea really even though the forums have been PvE focussed for so long, almost every hard core raider I know is also in an Arena team =).
When I made this post, 4dps was not a common setup, just an "fyi" =).
Cyclone is really your best skill and friend. Swapping in and out of forms, cycloning one, bear charging another, going cat and helping out your assist train with killing. The problem is you're going to lack DPS if you swap in and out of forms seeing as how it uses up a lot of mana and thus forcing you to have more int on your gear.
The way I see it, and the way feral druids I've played against play, is that they are mostly a CC-kind of class, screwing up the heals etc for the other team, whilst still when needed helping out with the DPS. As said before charging thier healers, cycloning their DPS when someone is about to die, or cycloning thier healers/CC when you're about to kill theirs is the way you're going to be most useful.
On the other hand I don't really find feral druids as useful as resto specced druids in 5v5. We're getting a lot more use out of a resto specced druid with helping out healing and just spamming cyclone the whole fight, making it 5v4 at most times.
This came out as somewhat of a rant but I hope it has shed some light on what you wanted to know.
Thanks for any input =).
It just seems to me that feral druids have no real place in 5v5. I think next time I will try to mix and match my gear: high health and armour and high mana. Then I will play the "interference" game of cyclone/interrupt.
We have a roster of:
So we have the dps even if I am spending my time interrupting via cyclone and feral charge/maim/pounce.
I think I will try to open with a pounce on one healer. Then I will cyclone the other healer. Get some distance from the first and then feral charge when he tries to heal. I will always cyclone the pally if there is one. If there is 2 I will cyclone them in turns and feral charge to interrupt.
Going to need a lot of mana I feel =/.
Has any feral druid done this and found it to be effective? In the general arena thread the best advice for ferals is to respec resto/balance. So surely some top team feral can give some advice, at the very least I will be unexpected! =).
Feral is a great pve spec, but I don't think you can really get too far with it in arena pvp. You lack the control of rogues, and if you're shifting out to cyclone a lot, you may as well pick a spec where you can do something useful inbetween cyclones like healing. I felt much more like an asset and a lot less of a liability when I went restoration.
We have a feral guy on my 3v3 that we do for shits and giggles. We've been experiencing a decent amount of success using the following tactic -- let the feral guy be bait. Have him wear his bear gear and run at the other team in cat. Have him fake a mistake so the other team decides to pwn him. Have him shift to bear and stand around with 15k HP and a zillion armor not dying while the other members of the team kill people.
But I agree, druids in general aren't great for arena, and feral at a serious level is like trying to be a rogue without any of the tricks or control, except you can drop trou and ask to be assist trained by throwing out a cyclone or a baby heal. :/
Maybe I should start to find some moonkin stuff then.
No need to worry about shifting out=/.
Can't believe I am contemplating becomming an owl =/.
So are there any ferals out there who can say they really bring something to their group?
very good feral druid. they also have a video from the pallies viewpoint, u do get to see alot of what the druid is doing. i will try to dig up a link the the video later.
Feral Druids are good for initial burst in the first 5 seconds of assisting someone down.
Beyond that, they are .5 healers (like Elemental Shaman) who interrupt and provide CC in Cyclone. You won't ever be the DPS threat that a Warrior or Rogue is. That's just all there is to it. Your game is support.
5v5 arena seems to be tough for druids of any spec. Speccing Balance doesn't seem to be the answer as Balance druids fare even worse than Feral with regards to being represented on top teams.
Looking through the information on http://www.geekboys.org/arena/index/5/all/all/all/all/ and defining "active" as one of the 5 most active players on a team, the top active druids are:
Rank Player Spec
22 FrostyPoopy 7/11/43
27 Vyn and Pup 8/11/42 and 8/12/41
35 Feoria 8/0/53
37 Lamissa 0/47/14
39 Inv 8/11/42
40 Spoh 8/13/40
43 Plainshoof 1/46/14
45 Smilyfun 0/48/13
50 Stun 0/47/14
56 Diamondtear 12/0/49
61 Fehnris 40/0/21
That gets us to the first Balance druid and is probably far enough to see the trends. 12 Druids out of over 300 players is less than 4% and this sample is biased upwards due to going until I got a Balance druid.
With the exception of Fehnris at the bottom, the druids here fall into basically 3 groups:
5 with 7-8/11-13/40-43 - Resto druids with Nature's Grasp/Control of Nature from Balance and Thick Hide/Brutal Impact/Feral Charge from Feral.
2 with 8-12/0/49-53 - Resto druids that drop the Feral talents of the first group to pick up a few more Balance/Resto talents.
4 with 0-1/46-47/13-14 - Feral druids with a few options. Generally Furor, Natural Shapeshifter, Naturalist, and Omen of Clarity, in one case 1/5 Nature's Grasp. Feral Talents are prety maxed out, although Feral Instinct is generally skipped (1/5).
Looking at the druid summary page on the same site, we see that Ferals 1/46/14 are 23% of all arena druids and 23% of druids on teams over 2100. 8/11/42 are 5.7% of all arena druids and 9.6% of druids on teams over 2100. This backs up the data from the top team druids.
So, it seems the most effective specs for druids in arena are one of those two specs and 8/11/42 seems to be overall the most effective spec.
What it does suggest to me is that I need to focus my build a bit more on PvP and a few talents I can move around. Natural Shapeshifter is not that needed for PvE but essential for PvP. Feral Instinct is essential for tanking, good for BG's, but not that great for arena.
Unfortunately, my own success in the arena is very lacking so I'll stop here and hope we can hear from someone who has been more successful, particularly using a feral build. I can analyze the data, but that doesn't give the insight of someone who has been there.
It is frustrating I feel like I'm running up-hill in attempting to be successful with a druid. Given that even in the week of arenas we had pre-nerf, druids were severely under-represented, Blizzard could reverse the nerfs and Ferals would still be weak in 5v5. Forget Paladin/Warrior -- to get them to 5v5 arena parity with Mage/Priest would take something additional like a Bear Form Maim with an effect similar to Hamstring and/or greatly reduced shifting costs, maybe more.
I run 3on3 with a priest, me and either a rogue or a hunter. I've specced something as weird as http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=MzjZVMGsfbMxkZVxIu0o in order to give the maximum i have to the team, however were i running with just about anything else i would go ht spec with oomkin-form just to spam cyclone from the safety of 400% ac.
You can provide all the statistics that you want, but that doesnt change the fact that your only viable skill in bearform is a 15 second cd with a 4 second duration that is very resistable. Bash is nice though.
Long story short; The only thing you bring to arenas is cyclone, base your build around that.
Unless you are actually doing a lot of dpsing, there is nothing a feral druid provides that a moonkin or resto druid with 11 points into feral can't do. 15% Stun/Fear as well as 15% AE Resist sure help A LOT but so do strong heals/hots and nice dps from the other specs.
I actually do a lot of arena play with my feral druid and sometimes i feel like i'm contributing - however, i'm contributing as a druid, not as a feral druid.
Pretty much everything a feral druid brings to the table is dps (which is hard to use since it requires "squishy form").
As for the resto builds, I find it really shocking to see that naturalist isn't even taken by the top PvPers. I know why of course, but it's still shocking. I'm also surprised more PvP druids don't pick up subtlety for the 30% anti-resist. Hopefully they one day trim the resto tree down so druids can pick up this talent without sacrificing things like natural shifter, or w/e.
I am on a 5on5 team within the 2100 points range as a feral druid.
I do not think it is as bad as people make it out to be.
My team consists off: Warrior/Paladin/Hunter/RestoShaman/FeralDruid
I just will describe my duties as the 0.5 healer within the team and if I feel useful enough.
I actually never get focus fired. It is amazing. The Hunter/Shaman is always attacked first and I never died because I had bad survivability ever due to bearform. Bearform could use some magic mitigation though.
Travelform is not as useful because a feraldruid is usually in the middle of the heat.
->A Druid needs 2 healers to make bearform truly viable. Otherwise its just the "die slower form".
Since I am most of the time free to use my form of choice I take catform on this one. (obviously ;) )
Our Damage is great while we do not do anything else. We can easily stay on a target and provide semi manafree, very high burstdamage.
While featuring 149% speed due to the gladiator set bonus it is simply trivial to shred harmstringed targets. Even if you decide not to blow the mana for breaking the snare, your energy is still regenerating and your damage will be even more bursty. Depleting 3 shreds for 42 Energy for 2700 damage per crit within 4 seconds is simply amazing burst.
While my damage in bearform is lacking I can still charge to a harmstringed target and stay on it because I am simply faster (while harmstringed myself) and my bearform does more damage to your squishy than your warrior does on my 14k armor. Sometimes I simply choose to stay in catform and tank one warrior.
(Having the warrior on myself frees up our hunter to do his shot rotation and that nearly doubles his damage)
-> No meelee class works without snared targets in a group situation.
I got about 6500 mana. Switching to my healer staff I feature roughly 730 addhealing.
You will not out heal anyone as a feralbuild though. I usualy switch to healermode if my paladin or shaman cry "sheeped", "counterspelled" or anything similar into their microphones. I am there to cover the healing for a few crucial seconds. This is also the point where I switch to defensive cycloning.
Tranquility is amazing for that job.
Problem: Druid heals are designed to work over time. So the classes healing style does not support my roll as the emergency healer perfectly. (no NS/Swiftmend)
Usually I can buy the few seconds needed for my healers to recover.
A druid can shut down 2 healers at the same time for about 9 seconds with a combination of bear and cat. One target can always be cycloned.
Usualy I only cyclone healers while
a) I need to shift anyway because of a snare/root/...
b) I just blew my finisher and need energy anyway
c) I feel the target will die
-> all of our CCs need to be maintained.
If I would draw the conclusion at this point I might say, that I am very pleased with my druid.
I usually do not feel like a 2nd warrior would better complement to our group. I do not need to be maintained by a paladin. I do not need blessing of freedom to function.
Harmstring and Mortal Strike are applied already.
And I realy feal far superior to rogues, that can only function until all cooldowns are blown.
Here come the downsides: (warning: contains some QQ ^^)
Shifting kills all the rage and energy you have.
I use Staff of Natural fury and I still pay 590 mana to get into bearform to charge/survive and 590 mana to get back to catform to make damage again.
Additionaly you get a global cooldown after shifting into a form.
That said you can not do CC+Burstdamage like a mage. A mage can wait for a crucial moment, counterspell, AP/Pom/Pyro to do controlled burstdamage while both of his crowd controls are active.
This is also the reason why Resto+Cyclone is officially better. You do not need to switch between primary roles.
Switching to a hot healer with no hots running.
Switching to a rogue without energy.
Switching to a paladin, that can not heal himself.
As a feraldruid you can only fullfill one roll at a time and you are penalized so heavy for switching it is not even funny. All CC spells are simply too short to allow any synergy between forms.
All druid roles work fine within the right condition, but switching between does not.
Honestly, Druids are better as Cyclone bots than they are DPS'ing. What can a Druid offer that a Rogue or Warrior can't do better for melee DPS? Oddly enough, Moonkin Druid have some promise for arenas. You can still heal decently (shifting in and out like a resto Druid would with Dire Bear form) with resto talents, Cyclone, Entangle, and you're looking at a 400% armor modification? I don't understand why more people don't play them. They are incredibly hard to kill with a couple of full healers. A setup like this..
Shaman (Hell, maybe even 40, 0, 21)
That setup above seems brutal.
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