Legion Feral Druid Talent Review

The long awaited Legion talent guide is finally ready, for your enjoyment. While most of the post contains my personal views, there are some clear winners in terms of throughput, calculated by members of the community. I’ve put those as my recommendations. There are also some good guides discussing the changes as a whole in greater detail at:

On with the show!

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Legion t1 talents

  • Predator is a passive ability that resets the cooldown of Tiger’s Fury when a target dies with a bleed effect on it.
  • Blood Scent is a passive ability that grants 10% crit strike against bleeding targets.
  • Lunar Inspiration allows Moonfire to be used in Cat Form, costing 30 energy and generating 1 combo point.

Predator strikes me primarily as a PVP, leveling or 5 man dungeon talent. These are the times where a target is going to be dying the most frequently.
A bleed effect should always be active on your target, so the talent becomes as passive 10% crit buff.
Lunar Inspiration is the same as it’s current iteration, likely to pull a head on encounters with 2-3 long lived targets.

The addition of more throughput talents is welcomed, but I find this tier lack luster. The Predator talent belongs in the PVP talents. The only upside from a design standpoint, is that the choice between simplicity and complexity. Blood Scent is the set and forget talent and Lunar Inspiration offers another dot to manage.

Recommendation: (Updated 4/9/16) Lunar Inspiration is recommended as the best throughput talent. However Blood Scent is acceptable for less complex rotation or in high AOE situations or if you take the Incarnation talent. The difference in dps is minor.

Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Legion t2 talents

  • Renewal is a self heal for 30% of your hp on a 2 minute cool down.
  • Displacer Beast is an active ability that teleports your 20 yards forward, activating Cat Form, and granting a 50% increase in movement speed for 4 seconds.
  • Wild Charge is an active with different affect based on your shape-shift form. In Cat Form you leap behind the target dazing them for 3 seconds.

Renewal remains unchanged going into its third expansion. Which is surprising as I thought it wasn’t selected often. It’s appears to be the odd talent out on this tier. Granted that healing and movement are not direct primary throughput (dps), it hardly seems comparable. Also Feral’s have other healing options so it’s not worth sacrificing a movement option for healing.
Between Displacer Beast and Wild Charge I prefer Wild Charge. It’s the closest to the old Feral Charge which was great for moving between targets, has a shorter cool-down, and does not break stealth. That said, Displacer Beast is used by a lot of players as a ‘get out of danger’ card and has the advantage of not needing a target.

Recommendation: Player’s choice. However DB or WC is a better use of utility.

Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

legion t3 talents

  • Balance Affinity increases the range of all of your abilities by 5 yards and grants you Moonkin Form, Starsurge, Lunar Strike, Solar Wrath, and Sunfire.
  • Guardian Affinity reduces all damage taken by 10% and grants you Mangle, Ironfur, and Frenzied Regeneration.
  • Restoration Affinity heals you for 3% of your maximum health every 5 seconds. If you are at full health, a random nearby injured ally will be healed instead (basically the current Ysera’s Gift talent). You are also granted Rejuvenation, Regrowth, and Swiftmend.

At first glance it looks like Guardian Affinity will be the way to go. It basically grants off-tanking capacity in a pinch. Similar to what Feral was like before it was split into Feral / Guardian. However Balance Affinity might see some niche usage in encounters where the target is out of melee range. It also affects your melee attacks making it easier to hit targets moving around and/or target switching. I don’t see Restoration Affinity seeing much use in PVE as the game values on-role throughput over utility in 99% of situations.

Recommendation: Player’s choice. Moonkin or Guardian will serve you the best.

Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Legion t4 talents

  • Mighty Bash is an active ability that stuns the target for 5 seconds with a 50 second cooldown.
  • Mass Entanglement is an active ability that roots the target in place for 20 seconds and spreading to nearby targets, with a 30 second cooldown.
  • Typhoon is an active ability that knocks back all targets 15 yards in a cone in front of you, dazing them for 6 seconds, with a 30 second cooldown.

This tier is purely personal choice. I’ve enjoyed having both Mighty Bash and Typhoon. Having to chose between the two is a tough choice. So I might end up alternating frequently.

Recommendation: Player’s choice.

Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

legion t5 talents

  • Soul of the Forest is a passive ability that causes your finishing moves to grant 12 energy per combo point spent.
  • Incarnation: King of the Jungle is an active ability that replaces Berserk, and in addition to Berserk’s other bonuses, allows the use of Prowl in combat, and causes Shred and Rake to deal damage as though you were in stealth. Lasts 30 seconds, up from Berserk’s 15 seconds.
  • Savage Roar is a finishing move, costing 40 energy, that grants you 25% increased damage for its duration. Duration is dependant on the number of combo points spent as follows:
    • 1 point = 8 seconds
    • 2 points = 12 seconds
    • 3 points = 16 seconds
    • 4 points = 20 seconds
    • 5 points = 24 seconds

Soul of the Forest grants 60 energy every time you use a 5 combo point finishing move. That’s the same amount of energy as Tiger’s Fury. Fantastic for smoothing out the rotation, but you have to be careful not to energy cap.
The best thing about Incarnation is that because it replaces Berserk, you have one less spell to keybind, and it’s now off the global cooldown (GCD). Otherwise it operates basically the same as it has done.
Edit Note – Incarnation is NOT off the GCD. Even though it replaces Berserk which is off the GCD, Incarnation is still on the GCD.
Savage Roar is now a talent. It’s duration is shorter and it costs more energy making it the talent requiring the most management. It’s important to note that the the energy cost is always the same regardless of how many combo points were spent to cast it. That’s why you should aim to only cast it with 5 combo points to maximise energy usage.

Recommendation: (Updated 4/9/16) Savage Roar is currently the best throughput talent.  If you have trouble managing Savage Roar, pick Incarnation. Soul of the Forest is not recommended.

Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

legion t6 talents

  • Sabertooth is a passive ability that causes Ferocious Bite to always refresh the duration of Rip.
  • Jagged Wounds is a passive ability that causes Rip, Rake, and Thrash to deal their damage 33% faster (same damage, over a shorter duration).
  • Elune’s Guidance is an active ability that instantly grants you 5 combo points, as well as 1 combo point every second for 5 seconds. 45 second cooldown.

Sabertooth is much like the tier 13 2pc bonus from Dragon Soul. Get a super powerful Rip up, and keep it up for the whole fight. Basically removing Rip from the rotation. And you don’t have to cast a 5cp, 50 energy Feroicous Bite either, a 1 combo point Ferocious Bite will refresh it, which is great for keeping bleeds up on multiple targets.
The shorter bleed durations with Jagged Wounds increases the effort required to maintain them. This can leave you resource starved and really favours proper energy management (read energy pooling), which is a play-style some players are not fans of. When combined with the Savage Roar talent, the rotation can become very punishing, if a Rip or Savage Roar drops off.
Elune’s Guidance is meant to be an answer to Feral’s problems with target switching; long ramp-up time. This will allow you to use several finishing moves in quick success either for Rip’s on multiple targets, or Ferocious Bite’s in quick succession of priority adds. However, when not in these situations it’s throughput is diminished.

Recommendation: Jagged Wounds provides the best dps throughput currently.

Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

legion t7 talents

  • Brutal Slash is an active ability that replaces Swipe. It has 3 charges with an 18 second recharge time. Costs 20 energy and generates 1 combo point.
  • Blood Talons is an active ability that causes your next Heal Touch casts to make the next two melee abilities deal 40% increased damage for their full duration. Lasts 30 seconds.
  • Moment of Clarity is a passive ability that causes Omen of Clarify to affect the next 3 Cat Form abilities (up from 1), and also permanently increases your maximum energy by 30.

Brutal Slash is only going to be good when there are lots of adds, like Tectus.
Blood Talons is the same as it is currently. It’s stood the test of time, going into its third expansion.
I really like the extra maximum energy from Moment of Clarity. I used to look at Rogues who got extra maximum energy from PVP gear and wanted Feral’s to have something similar and now we do. Also because Moment of Clarity is passive, it gives players a choice to how complex they want their gameplay to be.

Recommendation: Bloodtalons. You know it, you love it. Current best throughput talent in this row.

Final Thoughts – Pros
Some interesting talents here. Even though there are some clear choices in terms of throughput, I would really like to see the other options balanced so that we can chose a talent to fit out play-style and not be penalised.
I feel that the talent tree offers a good mix of complexity. Players can choose how complex they want their game-play to be. This is good design.
There are also some really tough choices in the utility tiers; Mighty Bash vs Typhoon and Wild Charge vs Displacer Beast. This is again good design. You want player’s to recogonise the advantages and disadvantages of each talent and think about their choice, rather than following a cookie-cutter build.
I also like the direction taken with the affinity talent tier. Heart of the Wild and Nature’s Vigil attempted to give the class some hybrid utility through various means, resulting in weird usage and the longest tooltip in the game of a period of time.

Cons
After playing for a while, I really miss Faerie Fire. It was great at pulling mobs from ranged, and in Bear Form it did damage. The damage from FF was really useful for soloing some old content. There is also some weird things happening with the pandemic mechanic and Jagged Wounds. Stay tuned for updates on this.
I also feel weaker. I feel like I’m not doing as much damage as before. This isn’t unexpected though. It’s common during the expansion pre-patch for damage not to be balance, because it’s balanced around being max level. And in the case of Legion, it will also be balanced around having our artifact weapon.

Update 4/9/16 – After playing with Savage Roar I can’t say that I’m enjoying it. The reduced duration and increased energy cost means that a lot of resources are spent to keep it up. One combo point gives 8 seconds, which is no where enough time to get up a 5 combo point Rip and then refresh Savage Roar. This issue of high-intensity micro-management is compounded two fold by the Jagged Wounds talent (reduced bleed duration) and Lunar Inspiration. I would like to see either the energy cost decreased or the duration increased by about 4 secs at each stage. The damage component will likely need to be decreased to compensate for a change as I’ve suggested.

What do you think of the talents? Do you like the choices in complex vs passive talents? Do you prefer the old talents? What would you change if you could? Let me know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or like and comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

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3 thoughts on “Legion Feral Druid Talent Review

  1. Pingback: Legion Pre-expansion Patch Survival Guide | File Under Feral

  2. I just wanted to say that these posts are extremely helpful, and that reading your posted info on the legion alpha to date has greatly helped me solidify my choice in being a feral Druid main. You are awesome and I really enjoy reading your posts. Not only are they very well written but that are actually very informative and I like that you not only just list of mechanics and tooltip but also give your personal opinions on talents and how they affect play style. One thing I agree with that you seem to stress is that more complicated doesn’t necessarily equal more fun. I’m a fan of the changes to savage roar and that I can select a few talents to make the energy cap and regen feel and play much more fast paced almost like a rogue. Keep up the amazing work and I’ll definitely continue reading. You are an inspiration to feral Druids everywhere.

    • Hi Mauo

      Thank you for your kind words. Since I leave all the math/theorycrafting kinda stuff to the experts, I tend to focus communicating that information to the wider player base. My own opinions or commentary is meant to be “value add”. I also like to touch on the hard to quantify things, like raid awareness etc. Even though it’s just my opinion, I try to back them up with what the consensus within the community is. So that they carry weight. Anyone can make a blog and say what ever they like. I want mine to be a good quality and respected source.

      ~Elamari

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