I was looking around the internet for some information on Symbiosis recommendations for Mogu’shan Vaults. To my surprise there was very little information particularly with recommendations for Feral Druids. This prompted me to do some more searching through forums and websites to create a simple guide with recommendations for each boss in Mogu’shan Vaults. These recommendations can be applied to 10 / 25 & LFR, however it mostly depends a lot on group composition as that is the nature of the spell.
Symbiosis has a lot of options available to you and can be difficult to remember. There are a number of tables / charts that show the spells you gain and the spells that your target gains and I have linked some of them below.
The Fluid Druid – http://fluiddruid.net/symbiosis-a-druid-primer/
Fat Boss Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LekZHvuN98s
Symbiosis can be used several different ways. The first and most beneficial method is granting us a personal damage increasing ability. The second way is through granting an ability that benefits the raid, through increased damage, healing or utility. The last way is by granting the target of the spell with an ability that benefits only them. How this spell is used will depend on your raid situation. In LFR it will most likely be at your discretion. In an organised raid it might be your choice or that of the raid leader.
Generally speaking there are only a few Symbiosis targets that are of good usage. Raid wide damage increases comes from a Warrior through Shattering Blow. In Patch 5.2, Shattering Blow now has a 1.5 second cast time to align correctly with the Warrior version of this ability. Moving while casting cancels the spell and if you cast it during Heroism / Bloodlust be careful of energy capping. While it is still the best damage cooldown its usage will be more situational with high movement fights being difficult.
Personal damage increases come from Deal Coil and Feral Spirit, through Death Knights and Shamans respectively. Multi target / target swapping spells come from Soul Swap & Redirect through Warlocks and Rogues. Defensive cooldowns come from Divine Shield & Dispersion from Paladins and Priests. In Patch 5.2, Dispersions had its cooldown increased to 3 minutes from 2. Even with the change it is still the best defensive cooldown from Symbiosis.
Raid utility can be achieved through an additional combat rez from Holy Paladins, an additional raid wide healing cool down from Shadow Priests and an additional raid wide movement speed increase from Arms and Fury Warriors.
This guide is not intended to be a comprehensive look at Symbiosis, but a quick reference point that considers some encounter mechanics while acknowledging the situational usage of the spell to provide recommendations for each boss in Mogu’shan Vaults.
The Stone Guard
A weak spot for Feral Druids is target switching which unfortunately is found in the first encounter in Mogu’shan vaults. Warlocks and Rogues offer abilities to help with switching targets and offset this disadvantage. When Symbiosis is cast on Warlocks, Feral Druids are granted the Soul Swap spell. This allows us to move our bleeds from the current target to another in the same fashion a Warlock could move their dots to another target. Soul Swap is better than Redirect, which movies combo points on your current target to another, because its shorter cool down (30 secs vs 1 min) helps with the dogs which are swapping more frequently than once a minute. But if your raid does not have a Warlock, Redirect works just as well.
Feng the Accursed
There are several options for this encounter. You can gain an extra damage reducing cool down through Dispersion from Priests or Devine Shield from Paladins which help with Feng’s Epicenter spell. However you can already mitigate this with your own damage reductions spells (Barkskin, Survival Instincts), healing (Nature’s Swiftness / Renewal and Predatory Swiftness) and boss mechanics (Nullification Barrier). Since Feng is a single target encounter Shattering Blow from a Warrior provides the best raid wide damage increasing cool down. For the maximum effect, Shattering Blow is best used in conjunction with other cool downs such as Heroism, potions, personal cool downs and encounter mechanics that increase damage done.
Gara’jal the Spiritbinder
This encounter has a tight enrage timer. Shattering Blow will help the entire raid but is only useful if you are not in the spirit world so you can use it. If you do have to go into the spirit world and kill adds (aka target swapping) stick with Soul Swap or Redirect. This really depends on your personal and raid dps for both in and out of the Spirit World. On the outside if your raid dps is good then you could go for utility over damage increases. If your personal dps is good, the adds in the Spirit World could die too fast to take advantage of Soul Swap / Redirect.
The Spirit Kings
This is one encounter where both players can really benefit from Symbiosis. While there is target swapping, it is limited. Soul Swap / Redirect or Shattering Blow are all viable options. The advantage of taking Shattering Blow is the spell the Warrior gains, Stampeding Shout which is basically Stampeding Roar. This movement increase can be really useful for Qiang the Mericiless’ Flanking Orders spell. The downside is that the Warriors spell is on a 10 minute cool down but you should only need it once when used with your own Stampeding Roar plus other raid movement speed increases e.g. Body and Soul.
Soulswap or Redirect is great for Phase 1 and 3 target switching or moving your bleeds from an add to the boss or pylon to pylon. Once again Shattering Blow is useful as Elegon does have a tight enrage. Alternatively taking an extra damage reducing cool down such as Dispersion can help reduce your incoming damage when exiting the Energy Vortex to drop your stacks in Phase 3. Your healers will thank you.
Will of the Emperor
You guessed it, more target switching. Mogu’shan Vaults is not a very Feral friendly raid. If you are assigned to adds then use Soul Swap / Redirect. You really want to convince your raid leader to leave you on one of the two main bosses as much as possible rather than dedicated to adds.This is because if you have a Warrior you can stack Shattering Blow with the Titan Gas mechanic dramatically increasing your raids melee dps. However if you are assigned to adds, Soul Swap can still be useful because the two main bosses share health pools, if you can get your bleeds up on both your dps will dramatically increase.
TIP – When using Soul Swap to get bleeds rolling on two targets, remember to extend your Rip the 3 times and apply a fresh Rake, with Tiger’s Fury or Dream of Cenarius if possible, before switching. This will ensure the strongest spell is active with the maximum amount of time remaining.
What are you thoughts on Symbiosis? Do you think that it is a worthwhile spell? Do you have some recommendations or suggestions that I have not listed here? If so I would like to hear them. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, send me a tweet @Elamari_ or leave a comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.
<Naenae> Proudmoore, US