Feral Druid PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.1.5)
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.
1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Feral Druids
Feral Druids excel at having sustained spread pressure. With great mobility, they are able to keep their bleed damage on multiple targets. You will focus on maximizing damage and relentlessly focusing down an enemy as much as possible. Feral Druids have some utility in their toolkit, being able to heal teammates and root enemies in their place.
1.1. Strengths of Feral Druids
- Strong sustained damage
- Multiple mobility spells
- Strong burst damage
1.2. Weaknesses of Feral Druids
- Cannot do damage when forced into Bear Form
- Very few defensives
- Long burst cooldown
2. Stat Priority for Feral Druids in PvP
The stat priority for Feral Druid in PvP is as follows:
- Critical Strike;
Agility is the best stat in all situations. Mastery is the strongest secondary stat at all times due to it increasing the damage to all of your bleeds and finishing moves. Versatility is the next best stat because Feral Druids have a lot of healing abilities. This increases the overall survivability of both you and your teammates.
3. Azerite Traits for Feral Druids
Azerite traits are unlocked in you helm, shoulders and chest. With each Azerite level in your neck, you get closer to unlocking the center trait in your gear. These traits vary from increasing damage or healing of certain abilities to helping increase your survivability. Depending on what traits you use, it can completely alter your playstyle and what talents you should be using.
3.1. Outer Rings
Below are the best Outer Ring traits.
- Wild Fleshrending
- Shredding Fury
- Battlefield Focus (Alliance) / Battlefield Precision (Horde)
- Untamed Ferocity
- Gushing Lacerations
The most important trait you are going to want to get in all pieces of your gear is Wild Fleshrending. This trait will increase both your sustained and spread damage. Battlefield Precision/ Battlefield Focus will also increases your sustained and burst damage. You should also try to get at least 1 Shredding Fury so you can deal additional damage while Tiger's Fury is active.
3.2. Middle Ring
Below are the best Middle Ring traits.
The Middle and Inner rings are important for additional defensives. Feral Druids are very weak when they are put into stuns. Traits like Ablative Shielding helps drastically. Lifespeed and Earthlink give a minor boost to your damage output.
3.3. Inner Ring
Below are the best Inner Ring traits.
All of these traits give you additional ways of surviving. These are all passive, but are crucial to have.
4. Gear Recommendations
4.1. General Guidelines
In general, Feral Druids want to get trinkets that line up well with Incarnation: King of the Jungle. Because this ability has a 3 minute cooldown, your trinkets can have a passive or on-use effect. The stat you want to be increasing is Agility. The reason you want to increase Agility is because it drastically increases your overall damage output.
Below, we list the items that have these traits.
- Cowl of Righteous Resolve;
- Sinister Gladiator's Leather Skullguard / Sinister Gladiator's Leather Skullguard;
- Sinister Gladiator's Leather Headpiece / Sinister Gladiator's Leather Headpiece;
- Cowl of Fluid Machinations.
- Sinister Gladiator's Leather Mantle / Sinister Gladiator's Leather Mantle;
- Sinister Gladiator's Leather Pauldrons / Sinister Gladiator's Leather Pauldrons;
- Sinister Gladiator's Leather Spaulders / Sinister Gladiator's Leather Spaulders;
- Parrot-Trainer Mantle.
- Grongpelt Vest;
- Vestments of Indomitable Will;
- Sinister Gladiator's Leather Vest / Sinister Gladiator's Leather Vest;
- Sinister Gladiator's Leather Jerkin / Sinister Gladiator's Leather Jerkin;
- Master Dinomancer's Tunic.
4.2. Recommended Items
Sinister Gladiator's Maledict is absolutely the best trinket you can have. The on-use damage and healing absorption is capable of forcing defensives by itself. This can be used by itself or while you are using your burst rotation to force multiple cooldowns out of enemy teams.
Sinister Gladiator's Safeguard is a mandatory trinket if you think the enemy team can swap to you and kill you. This provides and additional defensive for when you drop to low health. If you do not think a team will swap to you and kill you, you can use replace this one with any of the trinkets below.
Sinister Gladiator's Badge is strong for the Versatility and the on-use Agility effect. The 2-minute cooldown lines up well with Incarnation: King of the Jungle, and should be used every time you want to use your burst rotation.
Sinister Gladiator's Insignia has a good amount of Versatility on it and has a passive effect. This effect increases your Agility. This increases your sustained damage.
4.3. Weapon Enchant
Enchant Weapon - Versatile Navigation is the best weapon enchants. The Versatility proc increases your overall damage output and is great if you can line it up with your burst damage. It is also good for when you get put in a stun and a team swaps to you. The damage reduction might be enough to keep you alive.
5. Talent Choices for Feral Druids
|15||✘ Predator||✘ Sabertooth||✔ Lunar Inspiration|
|30||✘ Tiger Dash||✘ Renewal||✔ Wild Charge|
|45||✘ Balance Affinity||✔ Guardian Affinity||? Restoration Affinity|
|60||✔ Mighty Bash||✘ Mass Entanglement||✘ Typhoon|
|75||✘ Soul of the Forest||✘ Savage Roar||✔ Incarnation: King of the Jungle|
|90||✘ Scent of Blood||✔ Brutal Slash||✘ Primal Wrath|
|100||✘ Moment of Clarity||✔ Bloodtalons||✘ Feral Frenzy|
While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.
5.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents
Lunar Inspiration is the best choice in this tier. Feral Druids focus on taking advantage of their spread pressure. Being able to add Moonfire to the list of Bleeds helps their spread damage even more.
5.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents
5.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents
Guardian Affinity is the best choice in this tier. This is a great talent when you are the focus for the enemy team. This greatly improves Feral survivability. If you prefer to have additional healing for you and your teammates, you can switch to Restoration Affinity. This gives you access to spells like Swiftmend and Ysera's Gift.
5.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents
Mighty Bash is the best choice in this tier. This is best because you will usually be on only one target. This will help when you are using your burst cooldowns to get a kill, or as extra crowd control on the enemy team.
5.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents
Incarnation: King of the Jungle is the best choice in this tier. This ability will help you do large amounts of pressure to the enemy team and is a very important cooldown for Feral Druids.
5.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents
Brutal Slash is the best choice in this tier. This gives you more on-demand damage for a low amount of Energy. It also gives you solid cleave damage against teams with double-melee comps. This will help you with spread pressure and swapping between enemies often.
5.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents
Bloodtalons is the best choice in this tier. This talent gives you strong sustained and burst damage potential. It is important to take advantage of this talent to maximize pressure on the enemy team.
6. PvP Talents for Feral Druids
The first PvP talent tier is will give you a choice between Gladiator's Medallion, Relentless, and Adaptation. Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is great for removing crowd control on you that your healer cannot dispel. Feral Druids are also notorious for dying in stuns and this well help you trinket and kite incoming damage.
You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents depending on your team's goal.
Cyclone is a mandatory PvP talent. This gives you additional crowd control that can be used both offensively and defensively.
Ferocious Wound causes 5-Combo Point Ferocious Bites to reduce the target's maximum health by up to 8% for 30 sec, stacking up to 2 times. Ferocious Wound can only be active on one target at once. This makes Ferocious Bite an incredibly important ability and creates a large amount of pressure on an enemy player.
Earthen Grasp makes Entangling Roots no longer dispellable and reduces the target's chance to hit by 80%, but now has a 10-second cooldown. This is a very versatile talent. You can using it when playing against a melee player to stop their incoming damage. You can also use it to prevent the enemy healer from avoiding incoming crowd control.
Savage Momentum makes interrupting a spell with Skull Bash reset the cooldown of Tiger's Fury. This is a good talent to have on small maps or if you will be primarily focusing a caster DPS. This helps with your overall consistent damage. You should replace Earthen Grasp with this talent.
King of the Jungle increases your damage and movement speed by 3%, for every enemy you have Rip active on. This talent works great on larger maps like Tol'viran arena. If you play a team with casters on maps like this you should replace Earthen Grasp with this talent.
Thorns sprouts thorns for 12 seconds on the friendly target. When victim to melee attacks, thorns deal up to 5% of the attackers total health in Nature damage. Attackers also have their movement speed reduced by 50% for 4 sec. This is a crucial talent against teams with double melee on it. Because you will not have much to interrupt, you can replace Earthen Grasp with this talent.
7. Racial Bonuses for Feral Druids
Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.
The passive Troll bonus ( Berserking) is also good for on-demand Haste increase.
8. Playstyle for Feral Druids
Feral Druids have two roles when in an Arena match: use your strong bleeds to apply spread pressure to the enemies and use your utility healing spells to help your teammates. Make sure to take advantage of of the strong sustainable damage that Feral Druids can putout. They are one of the most mobile melee classes and you should use that to your advantage. They can easily chase down targets and kite enemies away from them.
Before we talk about damage, it is important to note the impact a well-timed Cyclone can have on an arena match. Cyclone can be used offensively or defensively.
8.1.1. Offensive Cyclone
This is the most common way you will use Cyclone. This is simply using Cyclone on an enemy healer so you can get pressure on one of their teammates. For example, you will normally use Cyclone after you use Mighty Bash or Maim for crowd control.
One of the best ways to use Cyclone is to use it on your kill target when they are at low health. Cyclone will prevent all healing done to the target. This should normally be done when your team is running out of damage and cannot secure a kill. You should try to follow up with a Cyclone on the enemy healer and continue focusing down your kill target.
8.1.2. Defensive Cyclone
Normally, Feral Druids will be the target of choice for most teams, but there are times where you are not. In these situations, you can use Cyclone on a DPS that is using their offensive cooldowns to stop their damage entirely. If they trinket, you can follow it up with a second Cyclone or Entangling Roots.
8.2. Before Gates Open
Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Feral Druids have two powerful stuns in Maim and Mighty Bash, that can be used on kill targets or the enemy healer. They also have Entangling Roots, which is great when used against melee classes.
You also have Soothe. This dispels all enrage effects on your target. It is very strong against Warriors. You also have Hibernate. This ability only works on Beasts and Dragonkin, but it is great versus Druids that are in their animal forms.
8.3. Offensive Rotation
Feral Druids have something called "snapshotting", which means that if you apply bleeds to an enemy while you have damage buffs active (such as Tiger's Fury or Bloodtalons), and refresh those bleeds with Ferocious Bite, the refreshed bleeds will still benefit from those damage buffs even if they have faded from you in the meantime.
8.3.1. The Opener
The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns.
If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. In the opener, Feral Druids should focus on quickly and applying their bleeds to multiple enemies.
This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.
- Use Regrowth on yourself. This will give you the Bloodtalons buff.
- Use Prowl.
- Use Rake.
- Use Moonfire or Brutal Slash until you have 5 Combo Points.
- Use Tiger's Fury to restore Energy.
- Use Rip at 5 Combo Points.
- Use Regrowth when you get a Predatory Swiftness proc. When you have the Bloodtalons buff, use it when using Rip or Ferocious Bite
8.3.2. Burst Damage
When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.
- Use Incarnation: King of the Jungle.
- Use any on-use trinkets.
- Use Regrowth with a Predatory Swiftness proc.
- Use Prowl.
- Use Rake to stun the target.
- Use Shred or Brutal Slash to 5 Combo Points.
- Use Ferocious Bite.
- Use Tiger's Fury.
- Cast Regrowth with a Predatory Swiftness proc.
- Use Rip.
- Use Moonfire.
- Use Ferocious Bite to refresh Rip or if you are close to killing the enemy.
- If you are not close to killing an enemy, refresh Rake.
8.3.3. Sustained damage
Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.
- Use Shred or Moonfire to generate Combo Points.
- Maintain Rake on the target.
- Maintain Moonfire on the target.
- Use Brutal Slash to deal spread damage and generate a Combo Point.
- Use Regrowth for the Bloodtalons buff.
- Use Rip at 5 Combo Points.
- Use Ferocious Bite to refresh Rip and for single target pressure.
8.4. Defensive Techniques
Survival Instincts is your main defensive cooldown. If the enemy team is starting to focus you, it is important for you to use this before you get stunned. Stuns are the biggest weakness for Feral Druids, so be cautious when playing against teams with multiple stuns. Use this only when you need to, so do not use it too early.
Bear Form is another great ability Feral Druids have. When you see incoming damage on you, it is a good idea to use Bear Form. When using the Guardian Affinity talent, you get great defensive abilities such as Frenzied Regeneration. This is best used when the enemy has used their cooldowns and your team is trying to stabilize your health.
Entangling Roots is a great ability when playing against melee. You can use this to help you or your teammates get distance between them and an enemy.
Feral Druid mobility also helps with survivability. Dash can be used when running after enemies or when you are in trouble. If you are not slowed or rooted, this is effective for kiting enemies.
9. Best Team Compositions for Feral Druids
Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the arena with your team. With spells like Incarnation: King of the Jungle, great mobility, and multiple charges of Survival Instincts, Feral Druids have a very aggressive playstyle, but can also play defensively with Bear Form.
9.1. 2v2 Arena
In 2v2 Arena, you have a few options. Your primary goal is to force multiple defensive cooldowns without using Incarnation: King of the Jungle. You need to be swapping from player to player and maintaining multiple bleeds on them.When you finally force multiple cooldowns or trinket, you can use your burst rotation.
Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:
- Feral Druid + Holy Paladin;
- Feral Druid + Restoration Shaman;
- Feral Druid + Mistweaver Monk;
- Feral Druid + Discipline Priest.
9.2. 3v3 Arena
Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. Your teammate can use their burst rotation whenever they want, but you should save Incarnation: King of the Jungle for when your team has forced multiple defensives. Keep swapping between targets to maintain your bleeds on them. If a team tries to swap to you, make sure to use Bear Form and kite away from players using their burst rotation. It is important to note that your Skull Bash ability has a 13-yard range. This means you do not have to be in melee range to use it and it is also additional mobility.
Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:
- FLS (Feral Druid + Destruction Warlock + Restoration Shaman);
- Jungle (Feral Druid + Survival Hunter + Discipline Priest);
- Ebola (Feral Druid + Frost Death Knight + Holy Paladin).
10. Useful Macros for Feral Druids
Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Feral Druids can benefit from.
10.1. Entangling Roots Focus Macro
- #showtooltip Entangling Roots
- /cast [target=focus] Entangling Roots
If you find that you do not have much room on your actionbars, you can use a focus macro. This is much simpler to use than the arena123 macro. Put an enemy on focus and this macro will cast Entangling Roots on that player while you are still focused on your target.
10.2. Skull Bash Focus Macro
- #showtooltip Skull Bash
- /cast [target=focus] Skull Bash
10.3. Remove Corruption Macro
- #showtooltip Remove Corruption
- /cast [@PlayerNameHere, exists] Remove Corruption
This macro will use Remove Corruption on whichever teammate you put into the macro. It is recommended that you make a macro for both of your teammates.
10.4. Mighty Bash Focus Macro
- #showtooltip Mighty Bash
- /cast [target=focus] Mighty Bash
This macro will use Mighty Bash on whichever enemy you have on focus. Because you will be primarily using Mighty Bash on the enemy healer, you should only need this focus macro.
- 15 Mar. 2019: Updated Tier 7 talent choice.
- 14 Mar. 2019: Updated guide for Patch 8.1.5.
- Updated Tier 6 regular talent.
- Updated burst and sustained damage rotations.
- 09 Feb. 2019: Updated Azerite Traits and Gear Recommendations sections.
- 07 Jan. 2019: Updated guide for Patch 8.1.
- Updated Stat Priority.
- Updated Azerite Traits.
- Updated Gear Recommendations.
- Updated PvP talents.
- Added Cyclone section.
- Updated Burst Rotation.
- Updated best 3v3 compositions.
- 03 Dec. 2018: Added Gear Recommendations section.
- 08 Oct. 2018: Added talent table.
- 02 Oct. 2018: Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
- 27 Sep. 2018: Removed Artifact Traits section.
- Removed Relics section.
- Added Azerite Traits section.
- 12 Sep. 2018: Corrected racial bonuses section.
- 30 Aug. 2018: Updated Stat Priority description.
- 27 Aug. 2018: Updated Air Drops section.
- 21 Aug. 2018: Updated guide for Patch 8.0.1.
- Updated Introduction and spec overview.
- Added Stat priority.
- Updated tier 3 regular talent.
- Added PvP (War Mode) talents and gear sections for the new BfA system.
- Updated Racial Bonuses section.
- Updated Burst Damage and Sustained Damage sections.
- Updated Macros section.
- Removed Gear section.
- Updated Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
- 05 Jun. 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
- 03 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
- Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
- Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
- 24 Jan. 2018: No major changes needed for Patch 7.3.5.
- 12 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for Patch 7.3.2, so only made the following updates:
- Updated "About The Author" section.
- Changed recommended Tier 5 honor talents.
- 13 Sep. 2017: Several updates were made to the guide.
- Changed recommended Tier 5 regular talents.
- Updated burst and sustained damage rotations.
- 09 Sep. 2017: Performed several updates to the guide.
- Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
- Changed recommended Tier 6 regular talents.
- Changed recommended Tier 5 honor talents.
- Updated burst and sustained damage rotations.
- 01 Jul. 2017: Changed recommendation for Tier 4 honor talent.
- 13 Apr. 2017: No changes needed for Patch 7.2.
- 07 Mar. 2017: Guide was created.
- This Week in WoW: April 23rd
- Crucible of Storms Mythic Progress Race Hub
- The Dreadwake Mount Returns to Blizzard Shop
- Patch 8.1.5 Hotfixes: April 23rd
- Noblegarden 2019 (April 22nd - April 29th)
- Upcoming 8.2 PTR Class Changes: April 23rd
- Upcoming Patch 8.1.5 Hotfixes: April 23rd
- Vulpera Coming in Patch 8.2.5?
- Fire Mage 8.1
- Druid Leveling Guide
- Outlaw Rogue 8.1
- Gold Making Q & A Streams
- Gold making: Beginner professions
- Picking a profession in BfA
- BFA Weakauras -- WIP
- Question about WoW hardware requirements