Patch 5.04 Survival Guide

Tomorrow patch 5.04 drops on live servers. So I will quickly go over some of the major changes for Ferals. Blizzard has a general guide available outlining all the changes taking place in the patch. On to the Feral changes.

1. New talent system. The old talent system is gone. Talents are now independent of your specialisation. Every 15 levels (15, 30, 45, 60, 75 & 90) you gain access to a talent tier, each with 3 options of which you can select 1. We won’t have access to the final level 90 tier until Mists of Pandaria is released on the 25th September and you are level 90.

MOP Talent Tree

The new talent tree. You will have access to a new tier of talents every 15 levels. Each tier has a ‘theme’. For example the 1st tier is ‘cat themed’ are the choices are related to movement. (Image from WoW Head)

2. Druids are getting a forth specialisation Guardian. The previous feral specialisation for bears and cats has been split into two; Guardian is now for bears and Feral is now for cats.

New Spell Book.

A screen shot of the new spell book interface showing the 4 Druid specializations. Guardian is the new dedicated tanking specialization. (Image from

3. As Feral, you will only have access a few healing spells; Healing Touch, Rejuvenation and Tranquility. On live I currently can not heal my self to full without going out of mana. However, on the beta, using only HT and Rejuv, I can heal my self to full in 2-3 casts and not be out of mana. Love this change.

4. Savage Roar has been changed (boo-urns). On live it only increases the damage of your white attacks. With the patch it now increases all damage by 30%. This means that Savage Roar is now your top priority. It also means that we are back to the Wrath style of play.
There is a glyph available to cast the spell with zero combo points for a 12 sec duration, but it costs 25 energy instead. On the beta I used this glyph while leveling and it went ok. As for its use in a raiding sense nothing official has been mentioned, however I did see the glyph mentioned in the latest sim craft. I do not want to see this glyph become mandatory because it will undermine the whole point of the glyph system revamp.

glyph of savagery

The new Glyph of Savagery. It is interesting to note that the tool tip does not say anything about the energy cost. (Image from WoW Head)

5. AOE Rotation – On live our AOE rotation involves only spamming Swipe. With this patch come several changes. Savage Roar will need to be up for your 30% damage bonus. Swipe now requires a target AND generates a combo point on that target. This will be a great help in maintaining your Savage Roar uptime. Swipe also now gets 20% bonus damage against bleeding targets. This bleed is achieved by Thrash, which is now a Feral ability as well as a Guardian ability. So a basic priority system for AOE dps goes like this.

  • Keep up Savage Roar
  • Keep up the bleed debuff from Thrash
  • Swipe

And all the usual stuff, using Tiger’s Fury, Berserk and other DPS talents you have picked. For more information on those talents you can view my previous post.

6. Mangle no longer provides a bleed debuff. It is now just a spell you use when you can not get behind and Shred.

Mangle Tool Tip

The new tool tip for Mangle. Bleed damage is no longer buffed by it. Only use Mangle when you are unable to get behind your target to Shred. (Image from WoW Head)

7. Prime glyphs are gone! Only major and minor glyphs are available. Major glyphs are designed to add flavour or customization to your play style like the Glyph of Savagery I mentioned earlier. Minor glyphs are for cosmetic, funny, quirky things like Glyph of Charm Woodland Creature – Allows the Druid to befriend an ambient creature, which will follow the Druid for 60 min. MMO Champion has a list of the new glyphs.

That is a very quick run down of the Feral related changes coming in tomorrows patch. I would like to hear what your thoughts are on the patch, what you like, what you don’t like, what you think could have been done better / differently. You can post a comment here or send me an email

<Naenae> Proudmoore, US


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