Feral Druid Patch 9.2 Changes Analysis and Tier Set Thoughts
On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.2 changes for Feral Druid affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.
Feral Druid in Patch 9.2: Eternity's End
This page will go over how the changes in Patch 9.2, Eternity's End, will affect Feral Druids, specifically how the changes might impact its playstyle, best Legendary choices, and Covenants. If you are simply interested in what the current changes are for Druids in Patch 9.2 in general, you can instead read our full list of changes to the entire Druid class on our dedicated page below. For an additional list of content coming with Patch 9.2, you can also check out our Patch 9.2 Overview page.
Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.2
Unfortunately Patch 9.2 has come with no changes to the core toolkit for Feral Druids, however some new system changes are impactful to your decision making.
Feral Druid Talent Changes in Patch 9.2
Much like the base specialization, there have been no direct Talent changes made in PvE or PvP for Feral, and none of the new systems coming cause a strong deviation from what was being used in previous patches.
Feral Druid Tier Set in Patch 9.2
Within the new Sepulcher of the First Ones raid that will be coming in Patch 9.2, every class will once again earn pieces of a gear set that is uniquely class-themed with its own two-piece and four-piece bonuses for every specialization. For Feral Druid, these set bonuses are:
- Feral Druid 2-Piece — each Combo Point you spend reduces the cooldown of Berserk / Incarnation: King of the Jungle by 0.5 seconds.
- Feral Druid 4-Piece — whenever you enter Berserk / Incarnation: King of the Jungle, you apply a Bleed effect for high damage over 10 seconds to all nearby targets, dealing reduced damage above 8 enemies hit.
Feral Druid Tier Set Thoughts
Feral's bonuses both go in the direction that is not necessarily the best for the more niche-oriented specializations in Shadowlands — that being that they focus on shoring up weaknesses rather than emphasizing strengths.
The 2-piece creates a strange situation where it either potentially grants significantly better Berserk timings (or extra uses) if a fight allows it or is entirely useless, and will require you to know in advance rather than being a plug-and-play benefit. That said, Berserk is a strong cooldown and has some options with Legendaries to enhance this further.
The 4-piece accompanies the 2-piece by adding even more value to the Berserk button press, and giving Feral access to some burst AoE that is currently lacking in the kit. Unfortunately late in the 9.2 PTR cycle this was heavily nerfed, and brings very little single-target while not being that powerful in AoE.
Paired together, it results in a slightly higher emphasis on your Berserk burst windows, but even combined these bonuses are on the very weak side.
Covenant Changes in Patch 9.2 for Feral Druid
This patch brings no changes to the current Covenant and Conduit balance for Feral, but remember that Patch 9.1.5 did open up the option to freely switch Covenants. Unfortunately, because nothing has changed (aside from the Legendary situation discussed below), Feral is likely to remain in the same situation it has for all of Shadowlands, with Night Fae remaining the dominant selection.
Legendary Changes in Patch 9.2 for Feral Druid
Patch 9.2 introduces the ability to equip both one of your class Legendary options and the Legendary granted to your chosen Covenant at the same time. For Druids these powers are as follows:
- Kyrian — Nerfed in Patch 9.2, Kindred Affinity now grants you 6% (down from 8%) additional stats based on your Kindred Spirits partner's Covenant when bonded, and doubles this effect when you activate the ability. Both of these effects also apply to your partner, but now at 50% effectiveness.
- Necrolord — Unbridled Swarm — grants your Adaptive Swarm a 60% chance to split into two separate applications each time it spreads.
- Night Fae — Celestial Spirits — reduces the cooldown of Convoke the Spirits to 1 minute, but reduces the cast time and number of spells cast by 25%. It also increases the chance of triggering Feral Frenzy each cast.
- Venthyr — Nerfed in Patch 9.2, Sinful Hysteria — Each time you gain an application of Ravenous Frenzy its duration is increased by 0.1 (down from 0.2) seconds, and causes the effect to linger 5 seconds after the buff expires.
The way this is accessed is via the new reputation provided in Zereth Mortis granting you the Unity Legendary Power; when equipped, it will always switch to the Covenant-appropriate effect each time you swap, enhancing the flexibility of your Covenant choice.
Double Legendary Implications for Each Covenant
With it explained that any combination of Covenant Legendary Power and regular Legendary Power can be used in Patch 9.2, it now opens up some combinations and potential synergy. For Feral however, with Covenants remaining as they are remember that since Night Fae is already the only Covenant with a Legendary strong enough to be a first pick, it only stands to gain more than all others. Below we will look at each individual Covenant in the context of all of the 9.2 systems.
Kyrian has already defaulted into being a more supportive Covenant, and the main advantage of the extra Legendary is allowing you access to this while not sacrificing quite as much personal power. However, you will still be giving part of that power budget to boost up an ally and no Feral-specific Legendary drastically improves by being paired with this, and exists in a hard to quantify space depending on the strengths of your partner. That coupled with the nerf to the boost it grants to your partner in Patch 9.2 makes this loss significant enough to hurt the Covenant's value quite a lot.
Necrolord only has one distinct pairing which is with Circle of Life and Death, allowing you to cycle more quickly between Adaptive Swarm casts and potentially spread it even further. This however fits a quite small niche of extended AoE with DoT effects.
Night Fae already provides a premier Legendary option right now with Celestial Spirits, so they are effectively getting a free pick of options to pair it with. When considering the set bonuses, Frenzyband may allow for some very powerful cooldown windows so long as they can be aligned without much waste.
Unfortunately for Venthyr, this Legendary was nerfed (likely due to the power of Balance Druids in Patch 9.1), and the set bonus directly causes a desync with Berserk. Frenzyband has the potential to alleviate this but considering the Covenant was not particularly desirable previously, it is unlikely to outpace the alternatives.
- 20 Feb. 2022: Cleaned up ready for Patch 9.2 launch.
- 15 Jan. 2022: Page added with initial thoughts and information.
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