Feral Druid Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis — Shadowlands 9.0.5
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 Druid changes can be found on our dedicated Patch 9.1 Druid Changes page. This page is an active work-in-progress and will be updated as new content is added to the PTR. These changes are not live yet.
For a specific list of changes for the entire patch you can check out the Patch 9.1 overview page.
Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1
Currently no major changes have been introduced for Feral Druids in the base kit.
Talent Changes for Patch 9.1
So far only PvP talent changes have been added to the 9.1 PTR builds:
- Wicked Claws allows your Infected Wounds effect to stack up to 2 times, and each application reduces healing by 12% per stack. Also allows for stacks to be generated via Rip.
- Ferocious Wound now can only stack to 2 times (down from 3).
- Rip and Tear has been removed.
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, channel time and number of spell casts of Convoke the Spirits by 50%. Also increases the 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.
Currently some of these have potentially interesting options. Necrolord is now given the opportunity to get more applications of Adaptive Swarm out with a fairly high chance on the split effect, which addresses the core problem of the base ability having few AoE applications up front. Kyrian option could be quite powerful given that it is also buffing an ally, and with some new Soulbind options might be the one most likely to see use of the four.
Night Fae is one that seems like it might see some use depending on fight timers, which will decide whether or not it actually gains value by allowing for better synced up damage windows or not. This is a lot harder to evaluate because it depends on where the difficulty lies in a given encounter, but has potential. Sinful Hysteria on the other hand seems a bit awkward to make use of given that the final punch as it ends will require you to delay Berserk to overlap with it, and delayed burst windows usually are not that desirable.
Feral already has some good Legendary options available, which makes some of these hard to place. The overlap between, for instance, Frenzyband and Celestial Spirits as options to allow you to line up cooldowns better is something that might just kill the new options, but the Necrolord and Kyrian at least provide unique benefits not available elsewhere. The hard part is that they need to be enough to trump the benefits of having access to Convoke the Spirits by playing Night Fae, which remains to be seen right now.
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 a consumable item that gives 3% Agility or secondary stats (at random) for 1 hour, with a 1-day cooldown to collect. This seems unlikely to make it into the game, especially because you can use the item and swap Soulbinds after.
- 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.
- 17 May 2021: Page created with initial information.
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