Thursday, August 12, 2010

Best Feral Tanking Spec in Cataclysm

UPDATE: There is a new Feral Tanking Spec Guide for 4.0.1
UPDATE: Be sure to check out our new Feral Tanking Guide for 4.0.1


Yesterday, I made a post about the problems with the Feral talent tree in Cataclysm.  Today, I will be addressing the less problematic of the two Feral specs by laying out the optimal Feral Druid tanking talent spec for Cataclysm.  Check it out after the bump.

Cataclysm Feral Tanking Spec

Feral Tier 1
Feral Swiftness (2/2):  Two points for 4% Dodge, pick it up!
Heart of the Wild (3/3):  Three points for 10% Stamina, you will want this one as well.
Predatory Strikes (0/2):  This one is only for the cats, so move along.

Feral Tier 2
Infected Wounds (2/2):  A 20% reduction in your target's melee speed will significantly reduce your incoming damage.  Spend two points here.
Fury Swipes (3/3):  More attacks means more damage which equals more threat.  Drop the full three points here.
Primal Fury (2/2):  Blizzard has indicated rage will be harder to come by in Cataclysm, so 2 points here is a solid investment.
Feral Aggression (2/2):  In your Bear Form spec, one of three two point talents will likely end up only having one point.  You may choose to leave Brutal Impact or Endless Carnage or this talent one point shy.  I spent two points here because bears are nearly always in groups and I know that my fellow raid members will appreciate the full armor reduction of my Faerie Fire being up right off the bat.  It buffs my damage and therefore threat slightly as well.

Feral Tier 3
King of the Jungle (0/3):  Reducing your armor while tanking is bad, even if it increases your damage.  Stay away from this talent.
Feral Charge (1/1):  Any good tank values mobility, so spending a point here is an easy sell, especially with...
Improved Feral Charge (2/2): 30% haste for 8 seconds after every charge will really help you build your threat lead.  Spend two points here.
Thick Hide (3/3):  This talent not only increases armor, but also is the means by which bears become immune to critical strikes.  If you want to be a Feral tank, you must spend three points in this talent.

Feral Tier 4
Leader of the Pack (1/1):  For one talent point you give your entire raid 5% extra melee critical strike chance and heal yourself for 8% of your TOTAL health up to once every six seconds.  This talent is amazing.
Brutal Impact (2/2):  Though you can pass up a point in this talent talent, it is worth two points in my opinion.  Being able to Bash more often and for slightly longer is nice, but the real gem here is cutting Skull Bash's cooldown from 1minute to 10 seconds as opposed to 35 seconds with one point.  In essence, you are adding a second, lower-cooldown Charge to your repertoire and as I said before, mobility often separates the good tanks from the great ones.
Nurturing Instinct (0/2):  Not for bears, skip it.

Feral Tier 5
Primal Madness (0/2):  You skipped King of the Jungle, so this talent is off the table.  Regardless, it is not worth your points.
Survival Instincts (1/1):  Any serious tank needs some panic buttons and this is a great one.  Pick it up.
Endless Carnage (1/2):  I choose to leave only one point in this talent, but you could pull a point from Brutal Impact or Feral Aggression to place here.  In my opinion, keeping Pulverize up even without the extra 3 seconds is doable, so this talent was not worth both points.
Natural Reaction (2/2):  This is one of the best tanking talents in the game.  Fill it with your points and be glad you have the opportunity.

Feral Tier 6
Nom Nom Nom (0/2):  This is another cat talent you can skip over.
Rend and Tear (3/3):  On the live realms, a 20% boost to Maul is a substantial damage and threat increase.  In Cataclysm, where Mauls are fewer and farther between, it looses some utility.  For now, however, I would recommend filling this talent with points.
Pulverize (1/1):  This is a new staple Bear Form ability and there is no reason to go without it.

Feral Tier 7
Berserk (1/1):  Being able to break fear is always helpful for a tank.  Also, Berserk is a great snap aggro generator, especially when you are holding three targets.  As rage becomes less plentiful, however, your ability to spam Mangle during Berserk's duration may be reduced.  I would still recommend picking it up.

Restoration Tier 1
Blessing of the Grove (0/2):  Bears are left out of this one.  Skip it.
Natural Shapeshifter (3/3):  You need three points here to get to Master Shapeshifter, so spend them.
Furor (2/3):  You need another two points in the Restoration Tree to get to tier 2, so you may as well spend them here.  There is no reason to spend more than that though.

Restoration Tier 2
Perseverance (3/3):  Feral tanks finally get magic damage reduction!  Do not pass it up.
Master Shape Shifter (1/1):  Extra damage equals extra threat, so a 2% across the board damage boost is well worth a point.
Improved Rejuvenation (0/3):  If you see any need to take this talent, please re-spec immediately.

Feel free to check out my full talent layout on MMO Champion's Cataclysm Beta Talent Calculator.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the optimal Cataclysm Feral DPS build.

Where did you choose to leave your one flex point?  Do you disagree with any of my decisions?  Do you like the spec?  Please let me know in the comments.


  1. a couple things on here are way off, different then the talent trees in game

  2. Yes, sorry for the confusion. There is an updated version of the post available now at:

  3. Feral Tier 3
    King of the Jungle (0/3): Reducing your armor while tanking is bad, even if it increases your damage. Stay away from this talent.

    errrr... it boost YOUR dmg not dmg taken, seriously dude

  4. Berserk increases your damage taken. King of the Jungle increases your damage done WHEN you use Berserk. Using Berserk while tanking is a bad idea in my opinion. That is why I do not suggest it.

    Seriously dude...

  5. ummm dude, KotJ increases damage when you use ENRAGE not BERSERK >.>

  6. Yeah, sorry, that was a brain malfunction on my part. If it increased damage on Berserk I would actually consider taking it. The fact that it buffs damage during Enrage (which increases our damage received) is why I recommend staying away.

  7. I totally agree with you to pick the class that suit or appeals to you.

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