Lately, I have noticed a couple of things about the guild.
- There are almost no feral mains, if any at all.
- A lot of people have said that they plan on maining a Zandalari feral.
I’m not here to discourage anyone, burst any bubbles, or ruin the fun of being your very own dinosaur cat. I’m also not here to make it seem like the best class ever. I will also be the first one to tell you this: despite it being the most fun and unique class, in my opinion, it can and will suck.
This article is strictly based on my own individual experience, and it’s mostly just for fun and to have a chuckle!
In this little write-up, I will go over some of the biggest selling (and ruining) points of being a kitty cat.
So you’ve started your druid, you’ve decided on feral over balance, now what? Well, luckily I have just the steps for you!
- Open up your talents window.
- Select “Balance”
- Hit “Choose Specialization”
There you go! You’re on your way to successfully leveling as feral!
In all seriousness, leveling as feral is one of the worst experiences in game. Because feral is so reliant on having the right stat spread, it’s almost impossible to have a decent spread when you’re constantly outleveling your gear. You feel weak, you never have energy, everyone is yelling at you in your dungeon because you’re doing a third of the second lowest damage.. It’s not fun for anyone involved. Just… go balance and wait until you start gearing at 120 to change your loot spec to feral, then build a good feral set. There will be a bit of a learning curve when you start feralling, but it isn’t bad. Unless you don’t mind being the weakest link, then by all means, go ahead!
You can easily blame you sucking on bad gear and being below max level.
You’re going to want to eat your own eyes out.
Snapshotting, Bleeds, and Talents
This is where the magic happens! Let’s start with talents, then get into the good stuff.
If you don’t know me, I have mained feral from the end of Tomb of Sageras to the beginning of BfA. Before that, I mained a frost mage and beastmaster hunter. During Uldir, I mained a Discipline priest. I am now back to playing feral. The point of listing my class experiences is this: no other class that I have played has had their entire rotation been at the mercy of one or two talents quite like feral. What I mean by this is if you change one talent, you’re probably going to have to change all of them to maximize your rotation. You’re also probably going to have to change your rotation.
Because of this, you’re going to have to probably also learn about 3-4 different rotations, which is just insane to me. But alas, that’s the price you pay for your sparkly new dino-cat hybrid thing. Let me break it down using my own talent builds for different things.
These are my normal talents that you’ll almost always see me running. One thing you should note before you scrawl them down for your Zando cat: These are by no means optimal in almost any scenario. That’s right, I said it. My talents are bad, and I know they’re bad. And I’m not sorry. This is just how I enjoy playing. I can even break it down to exactly why they aren’t good.
Short answer: Snapshotting.
Snapshotting is what sets feral apart from the other melee classes. In layman’s terms, it’s when the game takes a “snapshot” of any buffs, debuffs, flasks, cooldowns, ect that is on you when you put on a bleed. Your bleed stays at whatever power your buffs give it when you put it on until it is reapplied or refreshed.
Long answer: Bloodtalons
Bloodtalons give your next melee ability 25% increased damage for the full duration after you cast entangling roots or regrowth. Because of this, it’s important to only use it on your major bleeds and refresher (rip, rake, ferocious bite). With this build, you don’t have a ranged ability to build up combo points before your bloodtalon buff falls off. How I personally combat that is to ONLY use regrowth right before stealthing and getting ready for the pull and before I need to use rip or ferocious bite. But, it can be a bit tricky to manage 90% of the time, unless you’re paying attention to your combo points constantly.
So how do you make it more optimal?
Change your talents. And your rotation.
Lunar Inspiration allows you to use Moonfire while in cat form. It also gives you a combo point! This makes a good safeguard if you end up having to use your regrowth early and don’t want to waste the buff. You can just spam moonfire until you have the combo points you need! Sounds great, right? Well, it can be. I personally don’t like it because it’s not THAT much more damage. And it’s wasting a few GCDs that could be used on something else. It seems like there’s no winning. That’s where Savage Roar comes into play. For the full description of it, you’ll have to look at the link. I don’t use savage roar, and I don’t like using savage roar, and I refuse to use ravage roar. It’s an extra button, extra combo point spender, and extra pain in the ass. But, it is a great talent to use and, if youre less easily frustrated than me, go for it!
I prepared 2 more talent builds for this, but I think you get the point. Changing talents=completely changing your rotation to maximize each talent’s usefulness.
No matter what talent build you choose, your bleeds are your real damage-dealers. Keeping them as strong as they can be is your #1 priority as a feral.
Let’s revisit snapshotting. I gave you a quick little rundown of what it does, but how do you track it? Luckily, the loveliest Quetzie has an article about it! Since this isn’t a “how to git gud at kat” article, I’ll leave the link to it here. It is full of addons and weakauras that are essential to your scaley new cat toon.
There isn’t much to say about snapshotting, but let me tell you now. It is what makes feral so fun for me. It is ALSO why I want to beat my computer against an 18 wheeler. It’s FRUSTRATING and messing up your snapshots do way more harm than you would expect.
More personal experience story: before I got these weakauras, i did NO damage. At all. I didn’t even know snapshotting was a thing. When I learned what it was, how to track them, and when I needed to cast what, it improved UNBELIEVABLY.
It’s unique! No other class or spec has snapshotting. It takes what would be a very bland and stagnant rotation and turns it into something that will constantly keep you on your toes.
So. Much. Freaking. Micromanaging. You have to constantly be on your toes and aware of everything you’re doing, while also maintaining constant awareness of your surroundings and fights. If you have trouble not running through fire or taking debuffs out, this isn’t the class for you.
As I’ve mentioned before, there is no one set rotation for feral. It depends on your talents, the encounter, whether you’re PvE or PvP, multi or single target, what color the person to your left’s transmog is, the phase of the moon, how many boomies are in your group, ect.
Because of this, the only way to really and truly improve your rotations and git gud at doin’ a dameg is to compare yourself to other ferals at the same iLvL. Sounds doable, right?
Because of all the aforementioned micromanaging, drawbacks, and annoyances that come along with this gig, there aren’t many people that play feral. To make matters worse, there aren’t many who KNOW how to play feral, and there are even less that know how to play it WELL. There is a big list of resources in The Dreamgrove‘s feral channel, but there is a lot of digging through mush to find it.
The only set advice that I have for this is that your best bet is to hop in that channel, chat with some cool cats, find out what will be the best general rotation for you, and hit a training dummy. For a while. Until your fingers get numb and muscle memory starts happening.
You have next to no one to compete to the top.
You have next to no one outside of the Dreamgrove channel to compare your numbers, rotations, and talents to.
So, you’ve gotten past all the bad parts of being a kitty cat. You’re geared. Your stats are as good as they’re gonna get, you guess. You’ve gotten your rotation down. Now, you’ve joined one of Ministry’s esteemed raid teams. Now what?
Well, a lot. First of all, outside of a couple CCs, feral has like, no utility. At all. No stones that give you 30% health or super awesome offheals or anything like that. But, ’tis the life when you decide to get away from the comfort of your Frost Mage and roll Feral Druid because you think the new forms are super awesome sauce!
Another important thing is that you’re VERY squishy with no defensives. As in, something that would normally only drop someone to half health could easily one shot you. Why is this? I don’t know. It could just be the fact that I’m bad, but other ferals seem to have the same difficulties.
With that said, if you play your cards right and REALLY know what you’re doing, you can easily top meters.
Because of how high the skill cap is, it’s VERY hard to get into non-guild groups as a feral. There’s no way to really tell how someone plays their class that has such a steep cap, outside of looking at Raider.io or other sites. And honestly, who has the time for that? Just remember, next time you try to PUG anything, my heart and prayers are with you.
Very high skill cap. You are as good as you push yourself to be! I recommend buying a couple of Reflecting Prisms for break times.
Whoo! This is my favorite part!
So here’s the thing with PvP and being a kitty cat. Much like raiding, you’re either really good or really bad. There isn’t much in between.
Again, there isn’t a whole lot of utility. You have a couple of good stuns (aside from your opener), one which requires combo points, so you aren’t a whole lot of use aside from a healer griefer. You’re also extremely squishy and can EASILY be killed 1v1. Why would anyone want a feral when boomies do more damage and rogues do the same things, but better?
Because you’re freaking awesome.
You’re a 200lb cat that shreds flesh as a hobby. You’re any toon’s worst nightmare. The same as raiding, if you learn your talents and rotations, you’re unstoppable. The only issue is finding someone willing to take that risk and let you in their group.
Or, you can always do what I do, and start your own groups!
You look and feel like a badass every second of the way.
If you do manage to get into a group, you better hope someone on the other team doesn’t have a spray bottle ready when you pounce.
The Transmog Dilemma
If you know me, you know I spend absurd amounts of gold on transmogging my druid to look perfect. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter. At all. No one ever sees it. Ever. Your cat form is your transmog.
If you’re like most people, the only way to change your cat form is to change your hair color.
Most people know this by now, but in Legion, our artifact appearances changed our cat forms!
This is my personal favorite set. You can catch me rocking the purple one 99% of the time!
But who am I kidding? If you’re reading this, you’re most likely considering rolling feral for the Zando appearances. But keep in mind that no one is going to see your transmog either way, so don’t waste your gold!
Unless you’re like me and have to look your best on every occasion.
So much wasted transmog gold.
Yes, feral is very grueling to learn and play. Yes, it’s one of the most frustrating specs in the game. Yes, it’s unnecessarily hard. Yes, you’re probably better off going boomie. No, you shouldn’t let that get in your way.
Remember that this game is about having fun. If you try it and enjoy the extra nonsense that comes along with it, I’ll gladly welcome you into the pack with open paws! You’re a part of a very low minority in WoW, and you’re also a part of one of the most fun and interactive specs. Ferals love other ferals, because there aren’t many of us.
Remember to go to your local shelter and adopt your own Feral today!
Again, this is just to poke fun at my own class. If you want any SERIOUS advice on being a kitkatdrood, find me in game or in Discord, and I will more than happily point you in the right direction. Remember, we all have to start somewhere!