Feral Druid Talents and Glyphs
In this article we’ll be going over the available talent choices for Ferals, as well as glyphs, and different specs that will fit your specific needs. We’ll go in depth into each talent by comparing them to others and how your choices can specifically affect your abilities and playstyle, as well as explaining why you wouldn’t pick up a certain talent.
Because the Feral talent tree is unique in the fact that it caters to both a Physical DPS and Tanking spec in a single tree, a lot of choices can be difficult or misleading, especially with a lot of talents to pick but only 41 talent points. I’ll help navigate you through to pick out the best spec for you and your team.
Feral Combat Talent Tree
[Feral Swiftness] – A must have for PVP, this talent gives us a good portion of our speed advantage. This talent only affects us while we are in Cat Form, but also works while we are Prowling. However, this talent doesn’t stack with other speed increases like Minor Speed Boot Enchants, Dash, or Stampeding Roar. This does, however, stack with the 4-set Feral PVP bonus.
[Furor] – The utility of this talent allows us to take advantage of shapeshifting and using abilities outside of our Feral Forms. Because of this talent, we will naturally regenerate our energy outside of Cat Form. When we go back into Cat Form, we’ll immediately be able to use any of the energy we’ve saved up, unlike other Druids who don’t get this talent and have to start generating energy from zero. A similar effect is done for Bear Form, allowing us to have Rage immediately available to use abilities like Feral Charge or Bash.
[Predatory Strikes] – The highlight of this talent is the utility of getting a [Predator's Swiftness] buff, allowing us to instant cast abilities like Cyclone, Entangling Roots, or Healing Touch. Because it’s a 20% chance to proc per combo point, using a finisher with 5 combo points will guarantee a Predator’s Swiftness proc. The utility of this proc is so important that sometimes it’s necessary to gamble at 2-4 combo points with abilities like Savage Roar just to try and get the proc.
[Infected Wounds] – Built into most of our abilities, Infected Wounds is the Feral snare as well as having a built-in Thunder Clap. While this ability will typically be applied very easily on our kill targets, it’s important to know that applying Infected Wounds on other targets such as Priests trying to Psychic Scream are important too. Quickly swapping targets and using Mangle will instantly apply Infected Wounds and slow the target.
[Fury Swipes] – This talent is one of the first talents we can decide to pick up or skip out on, provided we need talent points elsewhere. Putting more points into this talent doesn’t increase the damage of the proc, but only increases the proc chance. Many Feral specs vary on how many points are put into this talent.
This ability hits harder while you have the [Savage Roar] buff.
[Primal Fury] – A must have ability that drives our combo point generation, as well as Rage generation. This talent is responsible for giving us 2 combo points when we critically hit. While it may seem like a good idea to go for raw crit just because of this talent, Feral crit levels in PVP are high enough where other stats are far superior.
[Feral Aggression] – This DPS increase talent is often debated to pick up or not. This talent will instantly apply three stacks of Faerie Fire (Feral). This can be useful for your physical abilities, and especially the abilities of your team mate if you play with another physical damage dealer. 3 stacks of Faerie Fire grants roughly 3.4% damage increase on a Plate target. While there are stacks of Faerie Fire building up, the number of stacks don’t matter in regards to Dispel. A single Dispel will remove any and all stacks of Faerie Fire.
The Ferocious Bite portion of this talent is rather lackluster, especially after the 4.0.6 patch causing Shred and Mangle to have similar damage to Ferocious Bite. This is not the main reason why you would pick up this talent.
[King of the Jungle] – This talent causes [Tiger's Fury] to also grant 60 energy when you use it, allowing us to setup big burst around this cooldown. With this talent, you never want to use Tiger’s Fury when you have 30 or more energy, because the extra energy gained will be wasted.
This also increases the damage of all your Bear Form abilities while using [Enrage] by 15%. This becomes extremely useful when you have a large amount of [Vengeance] or while under the effects of [Berserk] in Bear Form.
[Feral Charge] – This is our biggest mobility talent giving us two separate abilities for Bear and Cat Form. This talent is modified by Stampede.
[Stampede] – Because Feral Charge is so great, this talent is great by giving us more benefit from an already awesome ability. Bear Form gains haste while Cat Form allows the use of Ravage.
Some Ferals only put one point into this talent. The reasoning being is theoretically you want to be using Bear Charge over Cat for the shorter cooldown and root component. In this respect, the benefit Stampede gives to Feral Charge (Bear) is lackluster.
However, having a single point in this talent will still allow you to use Ravage. Although no longer free, it will cost 30 energy, plus the 10 energy from Feral Charge. This option is basically if you feel you need pull a talent point somewhere else, and this would be one of the last talents you pull it from.
It’s important to note that the Stampede proc in Bear Form will be immediately removed when you leave Bear Form. Also, in regards to macros, the Ravage used with the Cat Form Stampede proc is a different spell than the Ravage you use while Prowling, and you will want to use [Ravage!] with an explanation point when writing the macro.
[Thick Hide] – As a primary tanking talent, this is not something that most Ferals pickup for PVP. Because this talent requires 3 points to complete, it is quite expensive. Many classes have ways to bypass armor, or are not affected by it at all.
However, for Feral flag running in Rated Battlegrounds, this talent is a must.
[Leader of the Pack] – Our party passive buff ability gives and increased 5% melee and spell critical chance. This talent also heals periodically heals us for 4% of our maximum health and 8% of our maximum mana.
This talent allows us to easily regenerate mana, even when shifting a lot or casting lots of spells. It’s important to realize this when healing, because it tends to eat a lot of mana. Hitting targets around you like pets or totems will give mana back with the Leader of the Pack proc.
Also, it is possible to remove this buff temporarily. Many teams identify a Feral Druid by the Leader of the Pack buff on your partners. You can right click the buff off yourself and remove the benefit from everyone on your team. This is useful if you wish to conceal your spec to opposing teams in arena as a form of a surprise. The Leader of the Pack buff will instantly come back the moment you leave and reenter Bear or Cat Form.
[Brutal Impact] – This talent affects our Pounce, Bash, and Skull Bash abilities. The important aspect of this ability is that it causes our interrupt [Skull Bash]/[Skull Bash] to have a respectable 10 second cooldown.
This talent also adds a component to Skull Bash by applying a debuff on the target when Skull Bash is used. This debuff increases the mana cost of the target’s abilities by 10%, and is always applied, regardless if Skull Bash interrupted a spell or not. However, this effect really isn’t significant.
[Nurturing Instinct] – As an absolute must for PVP, this talent increases the healing received while in Cat Form and also increases the capability of our own heals based on Agility.
This talent doesn’t work while in Bear Form or Caster Form. However, you can cast HoTs on yourself, like [Lifebloom] and [Rejuvenation], then immediately go into Cat Form. The HoTs will then gain the 20% increased healing benefit while you’re in Cat.
Trinket procs that give Agility, as well as other enchantments, while directly affect healing. This is important to consider when trying things like weapon swaps for healing, and choosing the 130 Agility enchant over a spell power enchant. Because the Agility translates one to one to healing power, more often than not an Agility enchant will be superior to a Spell Power enchant.
[Primal Madness] – This talent further empowers the King of the Jungle talent. With Tiger’s Fury and Berserk, your maximum Energy is increased by 20, but you also gain 20 energy during the buff. The catch is that this energy is on loan, and you will lose that extra energy once the buff expires. That single point makes this talent not so attractive.
[Survival Instincts] – Similar to Shield Wall, Survival Instincts is our big defensive cooldown. However, unlike Shield Wall, this ability doesn’t penalize our damage in any way. This ability is best when used preemptively before burst, or to protect yourself while performing your own burst, allowing you to extend out a bit.
[Endless Carnage] – The duration of [Rake], [Savage Roar], and [Pulverize] are all increased by this talent. The highlight of this talent, though, is Rake. Rake receives an extra two ticks which is huge, especially since we are often peeled from our targets. This also allows Rake to be worthwhile in spreading around to multiple targets.
[Natural Reaction] – While this is intended as a tanking talent, this has great use for PVP. Bear Form is our defensive form, but only gives us increased armor and health. This does nothing for spell damage, or against classes that can ignore our armor.
With Natural Reaction, Bear Form becomes a powerful tool when needing to go defensive. This talent is highly recommended in situations where you are going to be focused or even swapped to. The only time I wouldn’t recommend this talent would be for some situations in 2v2 where damage is low and manageable. Otherwise, I feel this talent is a must.
[Blood in the Water] – The concept of this talent is to give Feral Druids a pseudo “Execute.” However, this is strictly for PVE where Ferals are able to make full use of this talent. If you are Ferocious Biting a player at 25% to the point where refreshing Rip is going to be beneficial, you’re doing something wrong.
[Rend and Tear] – This talent is an important talent increasing the damage of Shred and Maul on bleeding targets. To maximize your damage, be sure to have Lacerate, Trash, Rake, Rip, or even Pounce bleed on the target. Ferocious Bite also have a very high chance to critically hit with this talent.
[Pulverize] – Strictly a Bear Talent, Pulverize eats [Lacerate] and converts the number of stacks taken into a Critical Strike buff. The intention of this talent is for tanking Bears to have increased Crit to better proc [Savage Defense].
However, in PVP, Crit is not an issue. Plus, we typically don’t stay in Bear Form long enough to make use of Pulverize. Removing Lacerate is also counter-productive since Lacerate gives the chance to proc [/spell]50334[/spell].
The Pulverize buff is also removed immediately when leaving Bear Form, so there is no way to carry the buff over into Cat Form.
[Berserk] – Our 41 big burst talent. While in Bear Form, we have a chance to get a Berserk proc which instantly takes [Mangle] off cooldown and makes our next Mangle cost no Rage. Lacerate has a 50% chance to proc Berserk, so spreading Lacerate on multiple targets will increase the amount of procs you get.
While in Bear Form, using Berserk completely removed Mangle’s cooldown for the duration, and also causes Mangle to hit up to three targets. This is great when going against multiple targets that are on you, like when flag running in Rated Battlegrounds. This can also be useful against pets like Enhancement Shaman’s [Feral Spirit] or Balance Druid’s [Force of Nature].
While in Cat Form, this causes all of our abilities to cost 50% less energy. The best use of this is while having a full Energy bar.
Restoration Talent Tree
Because there are only a few talents that a Feral Druid would be concerned with in this tree, we will only be covering these.
[Natural Shapeshifter] – Even with extremely low mana, this talent makes it possible to shift back into a form. This talent coupled with Leader of the Pack mana procs allows us to shapeshift without having much concern of our mana level. This talent is a necessary pickup for Master Shapeshifter.
[Heart of the Wild] – Another talent that gives multiple benefit to all of our forms. Aside from the obvious buffs, this talent helps us get into the second tier of Restoration.
[Perseverance] – Definitely something to consider for a defensive minded Feral. This talent works on some sort of level against every class and spec minus Warriors and other Feral Druids. This talent is great if you find yourself going against teams that have a lot of spell damage, like Wizard Cleave teams, but can be completely ignored if you are going against a lot of melee cleaves. This is a kind of talent that I am constantly moving points in and out of to fit my needs.
[Master Shapeshifter] – Finally, the last talent that is sought out in the Restoration Tree. This passive talent is similar to Heart of the Wild by applying various buffs while in a form.
[Glyph of Berserk] – One of the most common Feral choices, this Glyph increases our Berserk by an extra 5 seconds, making the grand total of Berserk 20 seconds. Having a larger burst window helps a lot when you need it.
[Glyph of Lacerate] – This glyph is strictly for Bear tanking for the sake of getting more Savage Defense procs.
[Glyph of Mangle] – Because there is a Mangle for both Bear and Cat forms, this glyph has an increased benefit. Mangle is used as the main attack in Bear Form, and can potentially be used as the main attack as well in Cat Form.
With mobility of Ferals being cut down in 4.0.6, it has become increasingly difficult to have uptime on targets, especially having the opportunity to use Shred. Using Glyph of Mangle helps ease the damage difference, but promotes more of a “Manglespam” playstyle. It’s important to realize that even with this glyph, Shred is still superior damage, and should always be used over Mangle when you have the ability to do so.
[Glyph of Rip] – Rip is one of our highest damage contributors, and in PVP, one of our most important abilities that help keep presence on a target even while we’re not on it. This is one of the best glyphs for a Feral, especially when combined with Glyph of Shred.
[Glyph of Shred] – By lengthening Rip, we do more damage but also have an easier rotation on our target. Because we will have to spend less time and combo points in keep up Rip, we’ll have more options to use other finishers like [Maim] or [Savage Roar].
[Glyph of Savage Roar] – Because there is less stress on keeping Savage Roar up in PVP, this glyph doesn’t see much time or give significant benefit.
[Glyph of Tiger's Fury] – This glyph really isn’t great in my eyes, but I’ve seen many other Ferals using this. With three seconds off the cooldown of [Tiger's Fury] you would be able to use this ability sooner, potentially giving you a damage increase.
However, the way I see it in PVP is that you almost never use Tiger’s Fury on cooldown. In fact, I personally believe that in many cases it’s better to save this cooldown for a few seconds to get solid burst, because either you’re trying to pool energy, assist with your team mate, or waiting out an opponent’s cooldown.
Even without that, there are many times it will be impossible (or stupid) for you to use Tiger’s Fury on cooldown. We can constantly be peeled, having the cooldown come back up on us, which also causes our energy to naturally regenerate to near full. Since it’s wasted energy to use Tiger’s Fury above 30 Energy, you’re going to have to spend time dumping Energy first.
This is absolutely a PVE glyph where a Feral will be playing at extremely low energy levels and will have the opportunity to use the cooldown immediately as it comes up.
[Glyph of Barkskin] – Most melee have very low Crit chances, and this glyph nearly negates the base Crit of these classes. This is beneficial since Crits tend to give added benefit to melee, so preventing additional procs while needing to avoid damage (because you popped [Barkskin] in the first place) is definitely a plus.
[Glyph of Entangling Roots] – This glyph reduces the cast time of [Entangling Roots] by 0.2 seconds (currently the tooltip is incorrect). This glyph isn’t terribly significant, but can make a difference when casting on something getting away from you or running line of sight. Since we often find ourselves in roots ourselves, we have the option of hard casting, so this glyph does see some use.
[Glyph of Faerie Fire] – The usefulness of this glyph can sometimes be at the level of the Entangling Roots glyph. Having an extra 10 yards will allow you to keep healers in combat, or to more easily stop their drink. This can also help snag Rogues who try to run off by keeping them out of Stealth.
[Glyph of Ferocious Bite] – Because Ferocious Bite always converts extra energy into extra damage, some may wish to only Ferocious Bite with the base cost which would cause them to consider this glyph.
The bottom line is, however, that this glyph really doesn’t help at all. Even though many times you want to Ferocious Bite as close as you can to 35 Energy (the base cost), having the option to convert the extra Energy for a kill or hard hit is something you still want access to. This glyph does not give any sort of damage benefit whatsoever.
[Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration] – This glyph can seem a little misleading to look like a good glyph, but when you apply it to an actual scenario you’re realize how much it’s not meant for PVP. [Frenzied Regeneration] converts Rage into health, but with the glyph it no longer does that. Instead, you now take 30% increased heals.
Now what the issue is that once you get to a point where you’re forced into Bear Form, then feel the need to use Frenzied Regeneration the reason is probably that your healer is interrupted, silenced, or controlled in some way to prevent him from healing you. In this case, you won’t be receiving heals to take advantage of the glyph, making it pointless to have this glyph in the first place.
[Glyph of Maul] – Another tanking glyph, but this one is actually useful for flag carriers in Rated Battlegrounds. While focused, you generate a lot of rage, and will typically have multiple targets on you. On top of [Vengeance], Maul will hit fairly hard, so having it cleave to a second target will help increase your damage to wipe and opposing force.
Specs and Glyph Combinations
This spec maximizes damage, focusing more on scenarios in 2v2 where defense isn’t as high of a priority and it’s easier to Shred.
This is a spec for 3v3 when playing in a comp where I can remain offensive, and typically not the focus target. I drop the point in Primal Madness and a single point in Fury Swipes to pick up Natural Reaction.
Even though you’re mostly offensive with this spec, there are times where your healer is controlled and you are swapped to. Spending the two points into Natural Reaction is practically necessary in a 3v3 situation where you have to avoid damage from multiple sources.
In this spec I try to go a bit more defensive by trying to pick up Perseverance. From here, moving the right points can be a little tricky. Because I play with a Warrior who will want full benefit on my three stacks of Faerie Fire on demand, I retain the points in Feral Aggression. If you play with another class, then Faerie Fire might not be as important for you, so you can take a point out to complete Perseverance. You can choose the leave the remaining point in Feral Aggression, or move it over to Fury Swipes.
This is a spec that I don’t commonly use due to the fact that the bracket I play in is full of melee cleaves. If we go against Wizard teams or stuff like RLS that want to sit on me, I will swap specs.
The most defensive spec for Bear Form flag carrying in Rated Battlegrounds. This spec assumes you will never be in Cat Form (aside from stealthing in to grab the flag), and you are sitting in Bear Form all game holding the flag. The single point in Stampede can be moved to Pulverize if you feel it’s more useful.
This spec also swaps in Glyph of Lacerate and Glyph of Maul.