Tips for levelling as Feral

I have a quick announcement before I get into today’s post. I spend a lot of time listening to many podcasts and like to leave comments when I can. One podcast called Tauren Think Tank has a segment called ‘Tell us one thing’. Listeners can send questions into the show for the hosts to answer. I sent them in a question asking “If you could go back in time, to what time would you go?” and they answered it on the show, episode 17. But, Rem who is one of the hosts pronounced my name wrong. He pronounced it as “Ela – marie’. The other host Jules, pronounced it correctly, El-la-mar-ree (it rhymes with calamari). It made me laugh, so if you like WOW related podcasts definitely check out Tauren Think Tank.

Today’s blog post has been inspired by another podcast I listen to called The Training Dummies. In this podcast they talk about all sorts of things you can do as a WOW player to improve your performance. It is focused around raiding and PVE content. In their latest episode (ep 9) they had a listener send an email in and ask about advice for leveling a Feral Druid. With Mists of Pandaria under a month away it made sense to me to do a sort of guide / tips post about leveling a Feral Druid. So let’s dive into it.

Tauren Think Tank
(Image from Tauren Think Tank)

The Training Dummies
(Image from The Training Dummies)

Tip #1 – Savage Roar
With Patch 5.04 Savage Roar has reverted back to what it was in Wrath of the Lich King. It is a self buff that increases ALL damage by 30% including area of effect (AOE) damage. It is a finishing move meaning it costs combo points to use. The more combo points spent, up to a maximum of 5, increases its duration. Because of the 30% damage buff it is important to keep Savage Roar up as much as possible. Here are some tips to help keeping it up.

  • If a creature dies with unused combo points on it, you can use Savage Roar to consume them. But remember to have the dead creature targeted.
  • There is a new glyph called Glyph of Savagery. This allows you use to Savage Roar without combo points giving a 12 sec duration. This is plenty of time to get in and do some decent damage. One thing the tool tip doesn’t mention is that it costs 25 energy to use.

Tip #2 – Commonly used spells when leveling
The spells you would use while leveling are slightly different to when in a dungeon and raiding. In a dungeon or raid when you can get behind the target Shred will be your main combo point generating spell. Shred has another passive bonus doing 20% bonus damage to bleeding targets. Remember to keep your bleeds up; Rake and Rip. When leveling, Mangle will be your main spell because you won’t always be able to get behind your target. Currently on live as of Patch 5.04 Shred and Mangle do equal damage. This is to help off set the positional requirement of Shred.

When leveling you will notice that most creatures die fairly quickly. More often than not, it is faster to simply use your Ferocious Bite finishing move over Rip. Dealing direct damage to creatures with low health will be faster then using Rip and waiting for the damage over time to kick in. Ferocious Bite also has another advantage which I will talk about during Tip #3.

Since Patch 5.04 our AOE rotation has changed as well. I got into the finer points in my previous post, but here is the basic priority for AOE dps.

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

Ultraxion will give you plenty of practice at using Mangle. Jump into Dragon Soul. (Image from WoW Insider)

Tip #3 – Healing and Survivability
When leveling, you will want to have as much ‘uptime’ as possible. Anytime spent healing/drinking/running back to your body is time that could have been spent gaining XP. There are a few ways to maximize your up time through glyphs, talents and spells.

Healing Spells
Since Patch 5.04 it is worth noting that Feral Druids only have access to 3 healing spells; Healing Touch, Rejuvenation and Tranquility. These spells heal significantly more than they did pre patch a much needed bonus for us. When leveling you will be using Healing Touch the most, keep reading to see why.

Predatory Swiftness
This old talent is now a baseline ability. Basically when ever you use a finisher with 5 combo points you get a free heal, specifically Healing Touch. Use this to your advantage, especially since now you when you use this ability you stay in Cat Form. Love that change. It is also good to know that the buff you gain from this ability lasts 8 secs. You don’t have to use it straight away, but it is over ridden by a new one.

Glyph of Cat Form
This glyph passively increases all healing done to you by 20% in cat form. It’s hard to pass up 20% bonus healing. This glyph affects all healing you receive.

Glyph of Ferocious Bite
With this glyph when you use Ferocious Bite you will be healed for 1% of your maximum health for each 10 Energy used. To gain the maximum benefit from this glyph it is best to pool 50 Energy before using the spell. This will give you the maximum healing and maximum DPS.

Glyph of Savagery; An easy way to keep Savage Roar up. (Image fro WoW Head)

Glyph of Ferocious Bite; Free healing for max uptime. (Image fro WoW Head)

Level 30 Healing Talents
Either one of the 3 options is good. They all benefit from the Glyph of Cat Form and have short cool downs which promote high uptime. The Cenarion Ward talent grants you a heal over time spell that only actives when you take damage. It has a 30 sec cool down with a 30 sec duration. When I was leveling on the beta I chose this talent. I found it very useful and worth while. The 30 sec cool down syncs well with Barkskin, which is on a 1 min cool down, very useful together. Nature’s Swiftness works mechanically like Predatory Swiftness except on a 1 min CD. The other option is Renewal, which is 30% of your HP heal, on a 2 min cool down. It is a very powerful option with a short cool down for its output.

These few tips will keep you alive and running while leveling your way through Mists of Pandaria. Remember to keep Savage Roar up, keep healing and keep moving. I would like to hear what your experience was like leveling a Feral Druid previously and after Mists of Pandaria is released. As always any comments and feedback is appreciated. You can leave a comment here or send me an email fileunderferal@gmail.com. Good luck and happy leveling.

~Elamari
<Naenae> Proudmoore, US

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4 thoughts on “Tips for levelling as Feral

  1. Is Glyph of Savagery really worth using? 25 Energy for a 12s buff seems like pretty poor Damage Per Energy. For things like soloing and dungeon/scenario/raid trash do you feel like it is worth trying to maintain your Savage Roar over dumping those combo points into a raw output finishing move?

  2. Thanks for the comment rcpd.

    You are right in that 12 sec is not very long. When I was leveling on the beta I would use it running between mobs or when it dropped off because I wasn’t paying attention mid combat. Energy is far easier to come by then combo points so I had little down time.

    From a raiding standpoint, if you can buff yourself before you enter combat, it means you will have higher DPS output because your first round of combo points will be spend on a Rip rather then a Savage Roar. This is the same as Subtley Rogues getting healers to heal them pre-combat for combo point generation, it allows them to use a Slice and Dice and/or a Recouperate before engaging.

    I don’t know how much we can take away from this, but the latest Simcraft (31st August) is using the Glyph of Savagery. Whether something like this only applies to the top 1% of progression guilds or can be applied to all raiders is yet to be seen.

    http://simulationcraft.org/504/Raid_T14H.html#Druid_Feral_T14H

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