Tier 14 Review – Guest blog by Heroic raiding Feral Jaymz

Hello fellow Ferals!

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Elamari has asked me to do a guest post, and I very happily agreed. So I should probably introduce, and give some background on myself.

My name is Jaymz (pronounced James), I am a former Veteran of Apotheosis on Eldre’thalas where we accomplished 8/16 H in T14, 8/8H in T13, 7/8H T12, and 7/13H T11. At the time of this writing I am 11/12 normal T15 (which is how far I had gotten before leaving Apotheosis).

Today I’m going to do a brief boss by boss recap of Tier 14. Giving some detail of my thoughts for the bosses I have Heroic experience with. I’ll discuss Talent, Glyph, and Symbiosis choices. As well as any Feral specific tips or issues I encountered. Here is a link to the talent and glyph setup I usually run. I’ll only make mention if these choices changed. So… on with the recap!

Jaymz Talents

My regular talent set up. Wild Charge, Nature’s Swiftness, Typhoon, Soul of the Forest, Mighty Bash and Dream of Cenarius.

Mogu’shan Vaults – 6/6 Heroic

Stone Guardians

  • Glyphs – Survival Instincts / Ferocious Bite
  • Talents – HotW (Progression) or Dream of Cenarius
  • Symbiosis – Soul Swap

With 4 dogs active in 25 man this fight was a royal pain. Most wipes are totally out of your control. We 3 tanked it, and had our Boomkins and Hunters handle the tile painting. Despite my early doubts, using Soul Swap to move bleeds was extremely helpful. I took Heart of the Wild for our first couple attempts but quickly changed back to Dream of Cenarius. Not having to “paint” meant the fight was basically the same as it was on normal with just more damage going out. Stay alive and this fight is pretty simple, hence the Ferocious Bite or possible Survival Instincts glyph choices.

Feng the Accursed

  • Glyphs – Ferocious Bite
  • Talents – Typhoon
  • Symbiosis – Ghost Wolves or Shattering Blow

Excellent melee fight, we were mostly able to sit on the boss. Quickly killing adds is the key change from normal mode. I found the timing of when adds spawned lined up nicely with a DoC buffed Rip on the boss and Thrash on the adds. Having Typhoon was a nice plus. I took Ghost Wolves and Ferocious Bite Glyph here for the minor amount of healing they give. I tried Shattering Blow on several attempts but am not a fan of the energy cost; however when timing it correctly it was / is the better choice.

Gara’jal the Spirit Binder

  • Glyphs – Survival Instincts
  • Talents – Nature’s Swiftness
  • Symbiosis – Ghost Wolves or Shattering Blow

Another fight that isn’t much different from normal, it was in essence a tank and spank. On the occasions I did venture into the Spirit Realm, I made sure to enter with either a Predatory Swiftness proc up or Nature’s Swiftness off CD so that I could help top myself off quickly. Defensive CD’s again were key here if you had Voodoo Doll.

Spirit Kings

  • Glyphs – Shred
  • Talents – Feline Swiftness or Wild Charge, HotW
  • Symbiosis – Redirect or Soul Swap

This was a fight I hated, especially on Heroic. If you had to be on interrupt duty for this fight, I am sure you probably hated it more than I did. Based on normal mode I knew to take HotW for progression and get Redirect so that I could quickly switch from boss to boss (our Boomkin stole the Warlock). I think using Redirect was actually more helpful despite having two bosses in front of you multiple times. Glyphing Shred was basically mandatory. This was probably the most difficult fight, for me personally, of the tier. The fight itself wasn’t hard; I just had trouble getting any decent dps on this fight and still living. Wild Charge to get back to boss quickly was helpful but you could take Feline Swiftness to overall move faster.

Elegon

  • Glyphs – Survival Instincts
  • Talents – Feline Swiftness Nature’s Swiftness
  • Symbiosis – Soul Swap or Dispersion

This was one of my favourite fights. Mostly because seeing HUGE Rake and Rip ticks make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I changed from Wild Charge to Feral Swiftness due to how buggy floating bosses are. Getting a DoC buffed Thrash up just as the Sparks spawn was the key to high dps. There were times I would Rip with less than 5 combo points (on Elegon) in hope of triggering a PS proc for that Thrash.

The timing was perfect for a Soul Swap to move bleeds over to the Protectors when they spawned. On the rare occasion I couldn’t get Soul Swap I would take Ghost Wolves, Dispersion, or Divine Shield. Smart resetting of your stacks and (if required) soaking a Protector explosion makes glyphing Survival Instincts a huge benefit to your raid team.

Will of the Emperor

  • Glyphs – Survival Instincts
  • Talents – Feline Swiftness, HotW
  • Symbiosis – Dispersion or Divine Shield

Unfortunately due to the nature of this fight I was Guardian Spec and tanking Strengths. We used tank spec people so that the Courage would not target our main tanks and allowed a little more time for DPS to bring them down. Using Symbiosis on a Paladin was extremely helpful. I did get some attempts in as a Feral, and I took HotW, glyphed Survival Instincts, and put Symbiosis on our Shadow Priest, while still tanking Strengths. Sadly, that strategy ended up not being as helpful as I had hoped. If you are doing this fight as a Feral, glyph Survival Instincts! You (and your Raid Leader) will thank me later. This fight was the toughest for my raid group. It’s a fine balance between managing adds and getting enough damage on the boss. We wiped over 100 times before we finally got it, and boy was the victory that much sweeter.

Jaymz - Cutting Edge achievement

Feat of Strength for defeating Heroic Will of the Emperor

Heart of Fear – 2/6 Heroic (Blade and Wind Lord)

Imperial Vizier Zor’lok

  • Glyphs – Stampeding Roar
  • Talents – N/A
  • Symbiosis – Ghost Wolves or Shattering Blow

Basically the fight was a “live long enough and the boss dies” type of fight. Glyphed Stampeding Roar for moving between platforms and Ghost Wolves Symbiosis for dps.

Blade Lord Ta’yak

  • Glyphs – Shred
  • Talents – Wild Charge, HotW
  • Symbiosis – Ghost Wolves or Shattering Blow

There was not much difference between heroic and normal mdoes. The added mechanic allowed Druids as a whole to help out via Stampeding Roar, but the basics of the fight remained the same. This was the first fight where the constant spinning of the boss to cast random things on random people really started to get under my skin.  Glyphing Shred was helpful, but it was still annoying. After some discussion with Jasyla, our healing lead and GM, I decided to use “SUPER TRANQ” at the end of the first run in phase 2. Again, Ghost Wolves were chosen for the minor healing. Using Wild Charge to instantly get back on the boss after Unseen Strikes and at the end of the tornado run was a huge help.

Garalon

  • Glyphs – Ferocious Bite (Normal) & Survival Instincts (Heroic)
  • Talents – Wild Charge, Dream of Cenarius
  • Symbiosis – Soul Swap (Normal) & Dispersion (Heroic)

We had some very good attempts on Heroic but ended up not getting a kill before the T15 release. On most of our attempts I was allowed to stay on the boss (if you’re on legs Feline Swiftness might be better, though you can Wild Charge to them without triggering Crush). I kept DoC so that the healing I was going to be doing to myself and the tanks anyway, would buff my damage. I used Dispersion, glyphed Survival Instincts and Barkskin to help reduce the Crush Damage.

On Normal I used Soul Swap and moved my bleeds to the legs from the body whenever I was inside one of the buff circles, looking at logs after these fights always gave me that warm fuzzy feeling. This boss seemed to be kind of buggy also, he would randomly turn around for no apparent reason, mostly on heroic, but occasionally on normal as well causing many “WTF!” moments. If he does that to you RUN! Get out from in front of him pronto!

Wind Lord Mel’jarak

  • Glyphs – Survival Instincts
  • Talents – HotW or Natures Vigil
  • Symbiosis – Shattering Blow

Unfortunately, I only got to kill this boss on Heroic once or twice so I wasn’t able to really work out which talent choice I liked best. I suspect I’d have ended up with HotW, but found that Natures Vigil was actually pretty good for this fight on Heroic, based on our strategy. This fight really depends on what your assignment is. I was a backup interrupter, and never had to back anyone up (I love my fellow melee). So I simply got my Feral AoE rolling, spammed Hurricane, then back to Feral AoE with Berserk, while keeping bleeds on my kill target. After many of the previous fights where Feral dps wasn’t “top of the meters” compared to other classes, this fight really fell right into our strengths. I took Shattering Blow and made sure to co-ordinate with our Warriors to make sure we had a good length of time where the boss was debuffed after the adds died. I really felt this was a huge benefit since we had 2-3 Warriors.

Amber Shaper Un’sok

  • Glyphs – N/A
  • Talents – Wild Charge, Dream of Cenarius
  • Symbiosis – Soul Swap

Normal mode – Being in a construct was fun, Wild Charge or Skull Bash to get back on boss after knock-back. Soul Swap to move bleeds off the constructs below 20%, so that interrupts are covered. Major advantage to DoC on this, IMO, for killing oozes away from the bosses feet without asking a healer to watch you.

Grand Empress Shek’zeer

  • Glyphs – N/A
  • Talents – N/A
  • Symbiosis – Ghost Wolves or Shattering Blow

All the fun here went to ranged and heals. Use defensive CDs when the shields blow. For add phase, run when fixated (but NOT near where you’re stacking the traps for the big adds), AoE and multi Rake your heart out on the little adds, just don’t kill them all before it’s time.

Terrace of Endless Spring – 4/4 Normal

Protectors of the Endless

  • Glyphs – Survival Instincts
  • Talents – Nature’s Swiftness
  • Symbiosis – Redirect

Redirect to move combos to the next kill target. No point in multi-doting. Elite version was, IMHO, way too easy.

Tsulong

  • Glyphs – Dash
  • Talents – Feline Swiftness, HotW
  • Symbiosis – Ghost Wolves

Clear stacks when appropriate and kill boss during night phase. For day phase, pop HotW and spam some heals. Make sure you are in front of him (with the healers). Be sure to interrupt and kill adds when not healing.

Lei Shi

  • Glyphs – Stampeding Roar
  • Talents – Wild Charge
  • Symbiosis – Ghost Wolves

Hated this fight! Thrash when Lei Shi hides. Stamp Roar during “Get Away.” Charge, Dash, Skull Bash are also good for that as well.

Sha of Fear

  • Glyphs – N/A
  • Talents – Wild Charge
  • Symbiosis – Redirect

Soul Swap doesn’t work on adds unless you’re behind them which means you’re already beating on them, so Redirect wins. Charge to get to them asap after the wall comes down. On normal this fight was a bit of a let down as the final boss of the tier, at least to me. It was just really boring and repetitive with no “special” feel to it as most end tier bosses usually have.

Sha of Fear

Sha of Fear. The final boss of the tier. Defeating this boss on Heroic grants the title “Fearless”. A feat few guilds have achieved.

Overall I felt this tier was generally fun and entertaining. There were some fights that were just horrible for melee and especially us Ferals (Spirit Kings, Garalon, Lei Shi). While still having a few fights where we could basically tunnel the boss and go to town on our rotation (Feng, Gara’jal, Wind Lord). I think this was a very good first tier for the expansion and judging from my early experiences with T15 I expect that I will enjoy the raids the rest of this expansion.

I hope that my thoughts on the fights will help anyone still working on them. Or if you’ve moved on into T15 maybe I’ll have given you an idea that might help you progress in Throne of Thunder (Hey Displacer Beast is actually good, I swear). Either way, thanks for reading.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Elamari for asking/allowing me to write this post, it was a fun experience. I’d gladly do it again. If any of you would like to contact me direct for thoughts, comments, or questions feel free to do so. You can find me on Twitter @DuridJaymz. I also tend to lurk around on The Fluid Druid forums quite a bit (Jaymzhendo).

Again, thanks for reading and HAPPY RAIDING!!!

/wavebye

2 thoughts on “Tier 14 Review – Guest blog by Heroic raiding Feral Jaymz

  1. Pingback: Player suggested changes to Druids | File Under Feral

  2. Pingback: Looking for Feral Druid Guest Blogs | File Under Feral

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