Feral Druid Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis
On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.1 changes for Feral Druid affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.
Feral Druid Patch 9.1 Changes Overview
For this section of the guide, we will go over all of the important changes for Feral Druids going into Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands. A full list of changes to the entire Druid class can be found on our dedicated page below. For an additional list of content coming in Patch 9.1, you can also check out our Patch 9.1 Overview page.
Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1
No changes have been introduced for Feral Druids in the base kit.
Talent Changes for Patch 9.1
No talent changes have been introduced for Feral Druids in Patch 9.1.
Legendary Changes for Patch 9.1
Every Covenant has been given access to a Legendary exclusive to it, enhancing the effects of your given Covenant ability:
- Kyrian: Kindred Affinity grants you and your partner 5% of a given secondary stat (or 100 Mastery rating) depending on their Covenant selection. When your bond is empowered, this increase is doubled.
- Necrolord: Unbridled Swarm gives each tick of Adaptive Swarm a 60% chance to split into two when it jumps between targets.
- Night Fae: Celestial Spirits reduces the cooldown of Convoke the Spirits by 50%, and reduces the channel time to 3 seconds while only casting 12 spells. It also has an increased chance to trigger Feral Frenzy.
- Venthyr: Sinful Hysteria extends the duration of Ravenous Frenzy by 0.2 seconds each time you gain a stack, and when the effect ends you gain 2% damage dealt and 1% Haste per stack present for 5 seconds.
Kyrian's new option, should you be playing it, is likely to be a strong pick to empower your partner, especially paired with some of the new Soulbind options.
Necrolord does improve the Cleave/AoE gap that Adaptive Swarm has, but unfortunately just does not keep up with alternative options that fill that same role while also being more flexible.
Night Fae saw a very powerful last-minute buff at the onset of the patch, and as 9.1 has gone on has clearly shown it is absolutely worth the craft for any fight where you can capitalize on the cooldown reduction. It also pairs excellently with Soulbind buffs, making it a premier Legendary craft for Night Fae players.
Venthyr provides one of the stronger new options that enhances the Ravenous Frenzy ability even further, but puts you onto a very fixed 3-minute cooldown cycle so it will require you to plan out a fight in advance to make good use out of the Legendary.
Feral already has a strong leaning toward playing Night Fae solely because of how well it can make use of Convoke the Spirits windows, and as Celestial Spirits is the strongest Covenant-specific Legendary available, this only cements that further. While Venthyr is interesting, it simply cannot compete in the same way when it overlaps with Frenzyband, and Kyrian has some unique power for buffing your raid but the individual loss by changing Covenants is arguably too much.
Conduit and Soulbind Changes for Patch 9.1
There are no changes to Conduit options for Feral in the current 9.1 build.
Every Covenant will get access to one additional Potency slot for starters, alongside one of either Endurance or Finesse based on your path for every Soulbind. Additionally, all Covenants will be gaining access to new Soulbind-specific traits depending on your selection.
We have listed all of the abilities with a DPS impact below.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Soulglow Spectrometer — Causes you to apply a damage buff on the first target you hit in combat which stacks by 1% every 3 seconds, up to 5% and expiring after 15 seconds. This can only be active on one target at a time, and the cycle will begin anew when it expires.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Effusive Anima Accelerator — Causes your Kindred Spirits to deal Arcane damage over 8 seconds, split between all enemies within 12 yards of your current target. For every target hit, the cooldown of Kindred Spirits is reduced by 4 seconds, up to a maximum of 20 seconds at 5 or more targets hit. The cooldown reduction alone gives this a lot of potential for AoE situations, and the extra damage is just a free bonus on top.
- Pelagos — Better Together — grants a 40 Mastery rating buff for 1 minute to you and an ally when you move within 3 yards of them. You can only be affected by one buff at a time. This is free damage and also has benefits allowing you to share the buff to another player in your group.
- Pelagos — Newfound Resolve — Occasionally spawns a "Doubt" unit near you while in combat. Turning to face it despawns the enemy and grants you 12% increased Agility and Stamina for 15 seconds. Currently this is expected to be at a 1 RPPM (so roughly 3% average Agility), making it an extremely good end trait.
- Kleia — Light the Path — Causes your Valiant Strikes Soulbind Ability buff to also grant 0.25% Critical Strike per stack. It also causes its heal effect to grant you and the target you heal 5% Critical Strike for 12 seconds. Due to the 1-minute lockout on generating stacks after it triggers, this is fairly weak (especially considering the newly improved alternatives) but does provide benefits to allies.
- Emeni — Pustule Eruption — Causes Fleshcraft to grant you 9 pustule stacks. When you take damage or get healed, they blow up for a small amount of damage to nearby enemies. This damage is respectable, but not particularly strong and relies on you using Fleshcraft on cooldown to optimize, which is not usually ideal for defensive tools.
- Bonesmith Heirmir — Carver's Eye — Grants you a Mastery buff when you hit a target above 90% health, which lasts 5 seconds and stacks up to 5, and refreshes its duration when you generate a new stack. Each individual target you generate a stack from, however, has a 10-second lockout before another stack can trigger, meaning you need multiple enemies to stack this.
- Bonesmith Heirmir — Mnemonic Equipment — Causes your attacks on targets below 35% health to deal 3% extra damage over 5 seconds. This is really weak compared to alternatives because of the limitation on target health and overall gain, despite it being on a strong Soulbind tree.
- Plague Deviser Marileth — Kevin's Oozeling — Causes your Adaptive Swarm casts to spawn an Oozeling to attack your target. This deals minor damage and increases the damage you deal to its target by 2%, and lasts for 8 seconds after being spawned. The uptime just is not there to keep this competitive with alternatives numerically, and does not help an already weak Soulbind choice.
- Niya — Bonded Hearts — Causes your Grove Invigoration procs (both from casting Convoke the Spirits and the RPPM effect) to increase the Mastery granted by all stacks present by 50% for 5 seconds if you are close to non-Night Fae allies when triggered.
- Dreamweaver — Dream Delver — treat this as a flat 3% damage to targets if you are active on them, with a small ramp up.
- Korayn — Wild Hunt Strategem — When you hit a target above 75% health, you gain a 1-minute buff. If you then attack an enemy below 35% health, this buff will be consumed and increase your damage to sub-35% targets by 5% for 10 seconds.
- Nadjia the Mistblade — Fatal Flaw — improves the Thrill Seeker effect by causing it to grant either Critical Strike or Versatility by 20% (depending on your highest rating) when the Euphoria Haste effect ends for 10 seconds. This is just a flat boost to improve uptime, increasing the time spent with bonus stats.
- Theotar the Mad Duke — Party Favors — grants an item with a 1-hour cooldown that grants either 3% Agility or a random secondary stat with a 4-hour duration. This is fine, but the buff is removed if you swap Soulbinds making it a bit awkward if you ever want to change it up or you get a bad stat from the item.
- General Draven — Battlefield Presence — Increases your damage done and reduces damage taken by 1% for every enemy within 5 yards of you, up to 3%. In any multi-target situation this is an excellent pick based on the average power level of most Soulbind traits, but unfortunately is on a tree that is currently low-value.
The biggest ones to look at are both Night Fae due to it already being the dominant Covenant pick, and also surprisingly Kyrian that serves as an outlier gaining more in the Soulbind department than any other Covenant.
Starting with Night Fae, the power of Convoke the Spirits is so condensed that the benefit from Bonded Hearts has no RNG, and makes the burst even more potent, so will make an already good tree even better. Other trees, however, did not get much of an improvement. Kyrian, on the other hand, have good gains both with Pelagos and especially Forgelite Prime Mikanikos, as the potential to combine Effusive Anima Accelerator and even the Deep Allegiance Conduit can make Kindred Spirits way more flexible in terms of its cooldown window, especially considering the new legendary option.
Unfortunately for both other options there is not much in the way of appealing changes. Thrill Seeker rarely lines up with strong cooldown windows and Fatal Flaw does not really improve that consistency due to the long duration of both Berserk and Ravenous Frenzy. Necrolord has some already good Soublinds, but none of the new options improve them to the same degree as other Covenants.
Anima Power Changes for Torghast in Patch 9.1
There are no changes to Druid Anima Powers in Patch 9.1 so far.
- 01 Nov. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
- 17 May 2021: Page created with initial information.
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