Feral Druid Review - Battle for Azeroth Class Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth State of the Class and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Feral Druids. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Feral Druid community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of Feral.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Feral Druid Guide
Dreamgrove is the discord community for Druids.
is the Feral writer for Wowhead.
Thank you for contributions from
Night, Kota, Life, Kraineth, Hoof Heartd and Zokis
. All of whom can be found in the Feral channel in the Dreamgrove Discord. They all provided some interesting thoughts and other opinions on feral in prepatch.
For more thoughts and discussion on feral itself Myself and Xanzara do a monthly podcast where we talk about all things feral. This can be found on the
With the Battle For Azeroth prepatch now live Feral returns to its former glory. The spec has spent the last patch playing talents which heavily promoted a spammy and high APM playstyle, with the prepatch many of these talents are now less valuable and talents that promote a more thought out and measured playstyle are preferred. While this playstyle may have been preferred by some, many ferals do prefer the slower bleed focussed playstyle of the olden days.
While the core of ferals rotation hasn’t really changed over as much as the last decade (with the exception of additions like
in MOP) the flavour and the way the core rotation feels has varied over time. The core rotation in prepatch continues to be to maintain bleeds while weaving in
’s where you can. With stats and gear as is this shouldn’t be too much of a shock from the feral you’ve been playing in 7.3.5 and Antorus however going further into BFA expect the number of bites you can weave in to drop.
One thing that the prepatch didn’t change is that Feral has several talents that are essentially dead. Talents that don’t really have any situations where they might be a viable choice (outside of enjoyment). While this was something we hoped would improve going into BFA it unfortunately didn’t, however this shouldn’t have too big of an impact other than resulting in some rows being fairly cookie cutter.
The big change in the prepatch was haste applying to bleeds, this combined with a seemingly forgotten passive for feral has skyrocketed the value of haste, as a result haste is by far the best stat for most people, for the prepatch this has led to the significantly increased value of legendaries that were viewed as underwhelming prior to this change. Legendaries like
have become high value legendaries on single target. This high value on haste has resulted in a nice in between point between the high APM playstyle of 7.3.5 and the slower more methodical playstyle of BFA, giving people time to get more accustomed to concepts they may have forgotten or lost practise with such as pooling. Haste applying to bleeds has had some odd impacts, with typically AOE abilities making their way into the Single target rotation, with enough haste and mastery
will begin to out-damage
even on single target, particularly surprising for how underwhelming
is on AOE
There are some concerns that were raised on Beta and on PTR that have made it to live however. AOE is the particular concern with these changes Feral AOE has returned to its rather mediocre state that it has been in before. This is nothing that some tuning can’t fix but whether that will come around is another question. A strong point in 7.3.5 ferals favour was how strong
was even on single target, with it only being around a 3% or so loss. This meant that you could freely choose to take an AOE talent knowing that you wouldn’t sacrifice significant single target in order to get your increased AOE. With
’s ratio in comparison to
dropping significantly this is no longer the case. While
is still the best AOE talent on the row it's no longer the best by such a margin, and taking Savage Roar for a Mythic+ may be a decision to make now if you value the Single Target.
The other major concern that was raised that has made it to live in a somewhat shocking manor is the strength of
is feral’s 3 minute cooldown, over the course of beta it was nerfed from 50% reduced energy cost to 40%. While this isn’t solely responsible for the ability becoming an almost nonexistent cooldown it certainly contributed and in the context of the strength of the ability makes little sense. Over a 5 minute simulation choosing to not use
at all results in a less than 0.5% dps loss, over a 20s simulation choosing not to use
at all results in a 2.4% dps loss.
is more so than ever now an almost non factor in DPS output. While in some ways this is nice in others it has the potential to be worrying. Having played all of 7.3.5 with
which puts a significant value on damage during cooldowns it is nice to not feel so reliant on such a long cooldown, however burst being bad does prompt concerns for bosses where fitting as much damage as possible into a small window is the most important thing.
The last change which while not as noticeable may have had some subtle impacts is the
nerf. Ferals who have gotten used to their previous positionings may now find themselves a few yards out of range of getting the hits in with the nerf of
to 3 yards. This may take some getting used to but it shouldn’t be the end of the world.
Pros of the Prepatch
Not cooldown reliant.
Bleed management is back.
Haste has gained significant value
We retained our strong mobility
Cons of the Prepatch
Burst is weak
AOE is currently undertuned
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