Feral Druid PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Shadowlands / 9.1)

Last updated on Jul 02, 2021 at 11:04 by Mysticall 10 comments

PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Feral Druid, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.

This page is part of our Feral Druid PvP Guide.

1.

Playstyle for Feral Druids

Feral Druids have two roles when in an Arena match: use your strong single target damage to burst enemies in stuns and use your utility healing spells to help your teammates. Make sure to take advantage 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.

1.1.

Cyclone

Before we talk about damage, it is important to note the impact a well-timed Cyclone Icon Cyclone can have on an arena match. Cyclone can be used offensively or defensively.

1.1.1.

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 Icon Mighty Bash or Maim Icon 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.

1.1.2.

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 Icon Entangling Roots.

1.2.

Generating and Spending Combo Points

Before talking about the rotation, it is important to know how to generate and spend Combo Points to maximize your damage as a Feral Druid. As a Feral, you will generate Combo Points and spend them on finishing moves that consume them. Here are the abilities you have that give you Combo Points and when to use them:

  • Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash generates 1 Combo Point each time it is used on an enemy. Because this ability has 3 charges, you should use this as often as possible to quickly generate Combo Points.
  • Rake Icon Rake generates 1 Combo Point and is also one of your primary bleeds. This should be used on as many enemies as possible for spread damage, but is not the best way to generate Combo Points.
  • Shred Icon Shred generates 1 Combo Point, but is not ideal because of how much Energy it takes to use it. With the Regular Talent, Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest, you can potentially use this after using a finishing move.
  • Feral Frenzy Icon Feral Frenzy generates 5 Combo Points. This is a very important cooldown for your burst rotation, as you can use this ability and follow it up with a Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.

Now that you know how to generate Combo Points, here are the abilities you will spending them on:

  • Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite deals more damage based on how many Combo Points you spend on it. This will be your primary ability used for strong single-target damage. Most of the time, your strategy will be to crowd control the healer and burst an enemy DPS player down. This ability will help with that.
  • Maim Icon Maim puts a bleed on the enemy and also stuns them. If your team is lacking stuns, this will be the stun used on the target your team is focusing.
  • Rip Icon Rip is an important bleed that deals more damage over time based on how many Combo Points were spent on it. This should be used if your team's overall strategy is about consistent damage across all enemies, rather than single-target damage.
1.3.

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 Icon Maim and Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash, that can be used on kill targets or the enemy healer. They also have Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots, which is great when used against melee classes.

You also have Soothe Icon Soothe. This dispels all enrage effects on your target. It is very strong against Warriors. You also have Hibernate Icon Hibernate. This ability only works on Beasts and Dragonkin, but it is great versus Druids that are in their animal forms.

1.4.

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 Icon Tiger's Fury or Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons), and refresh those bleeds with Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite, the refreshed bleeds will still benefit from those damage buffs even if they have faded from you in the meantime.

2.

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.

  1. Use Prowl Icon Prowl.
  2. Use Rake Icon Rake.
    • If you are playing Wicked Claws Icon Wicked Claws, this will also apply a healing debuff.
  3. Use Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash until you have 5 Combo Points.
  4. Use Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury to restore Energy.
  5. Use Adaptive Swarm Icon Adaptive Swarm if you are Necrolord to increase the damage of your DoTs on your target.
  6. Use Rip Icon Rip at 5 Combo Points.
    • If you are playing Wicked Claws Icon Wicked Claws, this will also apply a healing debuff.
  7. Use Regrowth Icon Regrowth when you get a Predatory Swiftness Icon Predatory Swiftness proc.
    • You should use it on whichever teammate is the enemy team's target.
  8. If you are using the Feral Frenzy Icon Feral Frenzy talent, use it.
  9. Use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.
3.

Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

  1. Use Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle if you are using this talent.
  2. Use any on-use trinkets.
  3. Use Regrowth Icon Regrowth with a Predatory Swiftness Icon Predatory Swiftness proc.
  4. Use Berserk Icon Berserk
  5. Use Rake Icon Rake
  6. Use Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash to 5 Combo Points.
  7. Use Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury.
  8. Use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.
  9. Use Feral Frenzy Icon Feral Frenzy to instantly generate 5 Combo Points.
  10. Use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.
  11. Use Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash to 5 Combo Points.
  12. Use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.
  13. Use Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash to 5 Combo Points.
  14. Use Adaptive Swarm Icon Adaptive Swarm if you are Necrolord to increase the damage of your DoTs on your target.
  15. Use Rip Icon Rip.
  16. For the remainder of Berserk, you want to get to 5 Combo Points using Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash or Shred Icon Shred and spend them on Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite. Refresh Rake Icon Rake and Rip Icon Rip if you are not close to a kill.
4.

Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available. When you are waiting for your burst cooldowns again, your goal is to support your team with Regrowth Icon Regrowths and Cyclone Icon Cyclones. Keep your bleeds active on as many enemies as possible. When it is almost time to crowd control the enemy healer, save your Energy and Combo Points so you can deal large amounts of damage in a short amount of time.

  1. Use Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash to generate Combo Points.
  2. If you are out of Brutal Slash charges, use Shred Icon Shred to generate Combo Points.
  3. Use Adaptive Swarm Icon Adaptive Swarm if you are Necrolord to increase the damage of your DoTs on your target.
  4. Maintain Rake Icon Rake on the target.
    • If you are playing Wicked Claws Icon Wicked Claws, this will also apply a healing debuff.
  5. Use Regrowth Icon Regrowth on any teammate that is being focused when you get a Predatory Swiftness Icon Predatory Swiftness buff.
  6. Use Rip Icon Rip at 5 Combo Points.
    • If you are playing Wicked Claws Icon Wicked Claws, this will also apply a healing debuff.
  7. Use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.
  8. If you are using the Feral Frenzy Icon Feral Frenzy talent, use it for damage and to generate 5 Combo Points. Afterwards, you can use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite or refresh Rip Icon Rip.
5.

Defensive Techniques

Survival Instincts Icon 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.

Barkskin Icon Barkskin makes it so you take reduced damage from all incoming damage. The important part about this ability is that you can use it while stunned. This is great versus teams that rely on stunning you to kill you and should be used while you are stunned and not in Bear Form Icon Bear Form.

Bear Form Icon 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 Icon Bear Form. When using the Guardian Affinity Icon Guardian Affinity talent, you get great defensive abilities such as Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration. This is best used when the enemy has used their cooldowns and your team is trying to stabilize your health. You can also use Incapacitating Roar Icon Incapacitating Roar to disorient all enemies around you to stop their damage.

Entangling Roots Icon 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. Also note that Entangling Roots is instant when you have a Predatory Swiftness Icon Predatory Swiftness buff.

Feral Druid mobility also helps with survivability. Here are some abilities that will allow you to get away from enemies focusing you:

  • Dash Icon 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.
  • Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge will mostly be used to catch up to an enemy. However, when you are in caster form, it allows you to fly to a nearby ally or leap forward when in Travel Form Icon Travel Form.
  • Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar, just like Dash Icon Dash, will mostly be used to run after enemies. If you are being focused, use this to get away from the enemy team.

For more information about your talents, please refer to our dedicated guide.

6.

Macros

It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.

7.

Changelog

  • 02 Jul. 2021: Updated all damage rotations.
  • 10 Jun. 2021: Updated Sustained Damage rotation.
  • 08 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Rotations to include Covenant Ability.
  • 30 Nov. 2020: Removed outdated Traits and Essences.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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