Feral Druid DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Feb 03, 2019 at 12:06 by Wordup 70 comments

Welcome to our Feral Druid guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. Here, you will learn how to play as a Feral Druid in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

1. Feral Druid Overview

Feral, the Melee DPS specialisation for Druids, forms its core gameplay around balancing two separate resources whilst also leveraging those to apply powerful Bleed Damage over Time effects on targets. In terms of single target DPS, Feral is powerful and can often shine in these situations. When it comes to multiple target situations, Feral can perform well due to increased targets to apply Bleed effects too, and has large-scale AoE tools to contribute well with.

2. Patch 8.1 Changes for Feral Druid

Feral has received some adjustments to the specialization, alongside some talent tree changes, along with some small Azerite changes.

2.1. Base Changes

  • Mastery: Razor Claws Icon Mastery: Razor Claws now applies to all finishing moves as well.
  • Rip Icon Rip duration now scales with Combo Points, and now costs 20 Energy.
  • Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite now no longer refreshes Rip Icon Rip duration baseline.
  • Shred Icon Shred damage increased by 20%, but now only deals 30% increased damage when stealthed.
  • Maim Icon Maim Energy cost has been reduced to 30, and damage increased by 50%.
  • The bonus modifier to Haste rating has been removed.

2.2. Talents

  • Jagged Wounds and Blood Scent have been removed.
  • Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge is now no longer on the Global Cooldown.
  • Sabertooth Icon Sabertooth has been moved to the level 15 tier, now increasing Rip Icon Rip duration rather than refreshing the debuff.
  • Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar moved to the 75 tier, and now increases Energy regeneration when active by 10%, and the damage bonus has been reduced to 10%.
  • Two new AoE talents have been added to the level 90 tier, Scent of Blood Icon Scent of Blood and Primal Wrath Icon Primal Wrath.

2.3. Azerite

3. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Feral Druid

Feral remains largely intact, with very few changes being implemented aside from some systems alterations with how some stats and mechanics operate.

  • Berserk Icon Berserk now only reduces Energy costs by 40%, and is now on the Global Cooldown.
  • Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury now lasts 10 seconds and only grants 50 Energy.
  • Your Bleed effects (Rake Icon Rake, Rip Icon Rip, and Thrash Icon Thrash) now deal damage faster based on your Haste.
  • Dash Icon Dash has been reduced to a 2-minute cooldown, and is down to a 60% movement speed bonus for 10 seconds.
  • Bear Form Icon Bear Form has been reduced to a 25% Stamina gain, but the Armour increase has raised to 220%.
  • Hibernate Icon Hibernate and Soothe Icon Soothe return as baseline spells.

4. Feral Druid's Strengths

  • Solid single target damage
  • Very high mobility and flexibility in a raid environment
  • Solid AoE options available on the 90 talent tier
  • Strong low target cleave achieved through maintaining DoTs on multiple targets
  • Flexible talent choices allowing for advantages in different fight archetypes

5. Feral Druid's Weaknesses

  • Can require ramp-up to reach full damage on priority targets
  • Gameplay relies on pooling and smart resource management, and can be punishing
  • Can be hampered by enemies dying too early before your Bleeds deal their full damage

6. The Viability of Feral Druids in the Current Patch

The 8.1 Feral changes appear significant enough to allow for a more versatile gameplay loop that could help with some of the issues that have hindered it since launch. The same multi-DoT capabilities remain, and utility is favourable for a lot of situations. How significant the 8.1 changes are however remains to be seen in Battle of Dazar'alor.

7. Changelog

  • 03 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Page added.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Updated for Season 2 with Battle for Dazar'Alor gear.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 20 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated with additional notes.
  • 20 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Changed to Critical Strike consumables to reflect new priorities.
  • 15 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated stat priority after reviewing new APL info.
  • 15 Dec. 2018 (stats page): Updated with new APL information regarding new stat priority.
  • 15 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated to include new information regarding talent usage trends in Patch 8.1.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Additional notes on some altered traits.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for patch 8.1 talent changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): Updated for Patch 8.1 with disclaimer about information being unclear currently.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): Updated to change note regarding Mastery and Finishing Moves.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for patch 8.1 with disclaimer about information being unclear currently.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Patch 8.1 talent recommendations.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Patch 8.1 talent changes.
  • 12 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated with gearing paths and Uldir item recommendations.
  • 05 Sep. 2018 (talents page): Altered note regarding Soul of the Forest to indicate it being more competitive.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for preliminary Uldir release.
  • 02 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for preliminary Mythic+ launch.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated to indicate Thrash usage in single target.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated Sabertooth to be a recommended option.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated to show Thrash should be maintained in single target.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Changed to Bloodmallet charts for Outer Ring.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated weapon enchant simulations for Gale-Force Striking buff.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added absent Azerite traits.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page created (empty for now) in preparation for the eventual Uldir release.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page created.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page created.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page created.
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (addons page): Added Hekili to the list as a regularly updated rotation aid tool.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (simulations page): Updated racial simulations with Raidbots profile.
  • 22 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Altered trinket section to indicate direct damage trinkets are performing better.
  • 17 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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