So in thinking about my upcoming runs through the classics, I really started to brainstorm on a potential spec for this. The original series from which I got my idea, spoke of cat and bear specs for various fights and occasionally certain skills/talents that were absolutely essential. So I thought, lets see what I can put together for this.
Part of me thinks, that a lot of this might be very PvP spec-ish, because you’re trying to both maximize survival and damage. Gear can easily be switched out, depending on the needs of the fight, along with back and forth from kitty/bear form, but really looking at the trees and figuring out which talents would best maximize this stuff is an entirely different matter.
I was playing around with this spec, but found myself needing far too many talent points for all that I wanted to put into it. So I thought that I might open up the discussion and see what everyone thought. Yes, it is somewhat self serving, but on the other hand, I thought it might open up an interesting discussion that might be helpful to others.
Looking at the Trees:
The only easily accessable talent in this tree that seems like it might help is Genesis. Depending on the fight, you will be healing yourself some, so the extra 1 – 5% from HoTs seems like it may come in handy. Not saying that this is a must, but I at least wanted to put it on the table.
There are a lot of goodies at the top in this tree. I could potentially see putting up to 18 points in this tree alone, but I have a feeling that that may be bit too much.
The talents at hand:
Improved Mark of the Wild: 2% bonus to all stats along with 300 more armor, 15 additional to each base stat and 22 more to each resist. This is a hard one to pass up.
Furor: This is an interesting talent as well. In many “normal” feral builds, you put 3/5 in this to get to the next row and that’s all. However, I can see putting all 5 points into this. When attempting to solo bosses, you’re going to be shifting out of forms some, whether to heal yourself or to break a snare, or hell, with the limits of our interrupts, switching from kitty to bear to give you more might not be a bad idea either. This gives you a reset. Not committed to it, but definitely an option.
Naturalist: 2 – 10% damage increase from physical attacks. Not too shabby. The healing touch reduction is not huge though. Because if you’re going to be tossing a healing touch on yourself, it’ll probably be after a Predatory Strikes proc.
Omen of Clarity: I’m not entirely sure about Boomkin, but I think this is mandatory in just about every druid build.
Natural Shapeshifter/Master Shapeshifter: I have these in my Kitty build but not my bear. The mana savings are probably more beneficial in this build than others, but I’m still not sure this is worth the 5 talent point investment here.
Cutting before going to the feral tree, because this is getting long.
Probably one of the most unique trees in the game, as it’s actually 2 trees in one. Some for tanking, some for physical DPS, hey, I’m all for it and because they are in the same tree, it gives a lot of flexibility to this build.
Feral Aggression/Ferocity: I’m leaning towards sticking with just Ferocity. I have the feeling that every little bit of Rage/Energy will count in these runs. I can definitely see the benefits of a life saving Ferocious Bite to finish that last little bit of health, but it seems so situational that the points probably have a better use elsewhere.
Feral Instinct: I don’t plan on sneaking by a lot. But when clearing trash, I can see a definite benefit to the 30% boost to swipe. I’m leaning towards no on this on, just due to the limits on points.
Thick Hide: More survivability. It was either this or Feral Instincts. I think this has more general purpose usage.
Feral Swiftness/Survival Instincts/Sharpened Claws: In the theoretical build I’m making while writing this, I need 5 out of these possible 6 points to keep going. Dodge + an “Oh Shit” button + more crits/damage. I’m thinking 6 out of 6 here.
Predatory Strikes: 150% attack power + 20% weapon attack power. And if it procs an insta-cast nourish if needed? Yup. That’s a keeper.
Primal Fury: The extra combo points for the crits are huge for kitty DPS. This one is another one not to pass up.
Primal Precision: The expertise is nice, especially with the lack of expertise on my kitty gear. Along with the energy refund if the finishing move fails to land. I’m still not 100% sure on this one though. In this theoretical version, I think I’m leaving it out. But won’t say it won’t make it after further discussion.
Brutal Impact: This I’m kinda on the fence on. Due to the lack of prowling, pounce isn’t going to be a big help. An interrupt with Bash is useful, but still with a 30 second cooldown, that’s awfully long. It might be easier to switch to kitty get a combo point off and Maim, but you’re still talking 3 seconds + lag to pull that off. If you have enough time to back up and Feral Charge in bear, that may be your most consistent interrupt method. I think I’ll keep it for now.
Feral Charge: Given all that I just wrote on interrupts, yes, I’ll have another please.
Nurturing Instinct: While I’ve never put this talent in any of my normal builds, I think I will here. I know in the writeup I read for Kara, at least one boss was suggested having resto gear on. Well, considering my agility in feral gear, I think this should make up for it some. Drop form, roll 3 lifeblooms, shift back to kitty, and when they bloom the 20% bonus from being in kitty and the healing bonus from my AGI should toss quite a bit of health my way.
Natural Reaction: 6% extra dodge while in bear and a little bit of rage from dodges. Maybe, but leaving it out for now.
Heart of the Wild: 20% more Int for better healing. 10% more health in bear. 10% more AP in Kitty. Yes.
Survival of the Fittest: More stats. Less crits. More armor in bear. Again, yes.
Leader of the Pack/Improved Leader of the Pack: This is huge for this build. On many fights, this lets you not have to stop in heal for much of the fight. Along with the bonus crit. Honestly, I seriously doubt the ability to solo many of these things, without these skills.
Primal Tenacity: Shorter fear, when berserk is on cooldown and 30% reduction to damage while stunned in kitty form. I think I’m going to skip it for now, but it may have it’s uses.
Protector of the Pack: 6% AP increase and 12% less damage in bear form? Sounds good to me.
Predatory Instincts: +10% damage from crits and 30% AoE reduction in kitty? Yes please.
Infected Wounds: The 20% reduction to attack speed has obvious benefits. For melee mobs we’re looking at an approx 20% reduction in damage taken, give or take. Now the movement speed is an interesting bonus. If you need to heal yourself or turn around and feral charge for an interrupt, this gives you a lot of wiggle room on getting away as needed. I think this one is important to have.
King of the Jungle: Reduced cost of shifting forms. Cool. Tiger’s Fury is huge for kitty DPS. Extra damage after enrage is alright, but nothing necessarily to write home about. I think I’ll keep it though.
Rend and Tear/Primal Gore: By my count, I’m at 5 points left to allocate. Skipping these and seeing what ya’ll think on the final 4 or maybe reallocate some over here to get all 6. Only Maul is really of concern on the first 5 points, so I hate to put 6 points into this.
Wow, this has taken me a while to write up. This has to be, by far, the most in depth post I have done and I think I’ve missed quite a few things.
I probably will put Lifeward on my weapon, trying to avoid dropping to heal as much as possible.
Here is where it stands based on what I wrote. But this is an open project for those who are interested. I am most definitely more than willing to change.
Glyphs – Yeah, I hadn’t even thought about those yet. Any specific thoughts?
There are tons of places, that I could allocate those last 4 points. What do you think?