Friday, October 15, 2010

Best Feral Tanking Spec for 4.0.1

Now that we have gone through how to Feral tank in patch 4.0.1, now it is time to make sure our talents are in the right place.  At the moment, there appears to be one clearly superior spec for Feral tanking.  Though there is some room to tweak the talent layout to suit your preferences and play-style, this spec will serve you well in terms of survivability and threat generation.  Find out why I choose these talents after the bump:

Tier One Feral

Tier One is a no brainer as  we have five points to spend and only five places to spend them.  Predatory Strikes is just for cats.

Tier Two Feral

For Tier Two, I recommend picking up everything.  In my opinion, Feral Aggression is the weak link of this Tier, but there is really nothing better to pick up for now.   Ultimately, however, your going to want to reassign these points into Natural Shapeshifter in the Restoration tree so as to open up the second tier of that tree.  For now though, it is impossible to reach Restoration Tier Two, so go ahead and pick this talent up.

Primal Fury is a must have talent for rage generation, especially considering the ridiculous critical strike percentages Feral Druids are seeing in 4.0.1.  Infected Wounds is also necessary as the 20% attack speed debuff goes a long way towards reducing your incoming damage.  Lastly, Fury Swipes increases your damage output which helps you hold agro.  It is not as must have as the other two, but is a worthwhile use of your points.

Tier Three Feral

Obviously, a decent bear cannot live without Feral Charge, especially with the addition of Stampede.  These three talent points not only make you an incredibly mobile tank, but also allow you to front end tons of threat with a 30% melee haste buff.  Particularly skillful Druids can even find ways to Feral Charge multiple times during an encounter so as to get maximum mileage out of the Stampede buff.  Thick Hide also cannot be missed and is necessary for any Druid who wants to tank.

I would encourage you to shy away from King of the Jungle.  Doing 15% extra damage seems like a great use of points, but keep in mind that you will also be taking an additional 10% damage for the duration of Enrage.  Do not give your healers a reason to hate you.  Just skip this one.

Tier Four Feral

Leader of the Pack is as great as it has always been both in terms of a benefit to your group mates and the incidental healing you receive.  Brutal Impact is also a decent place to put points as it dramatically decreases your Skull Bash cooldown while also providing a less striking boost to Bash.  Even so, I would identify Brutal Impact as optional.  Stay away from Nurturing Instinct.

Tier Five Feral

Survival Instincts is an awesome defensive cooldown and a wise use of a point.  Similarly, Natural Reaction is a must have for Feral tanking.  Endless Carnage is not a must have talent, but it does go a decent way to smooth out your tanking rotation.  For now at least, it is a good place to park two points.  Since I wouldn't recommend  King of the Jungle, I can't recommend Primal Madness.

Tier Six Feral

Blood in the Water (formerly Nom Nom Nom) is clearly not for bears and should be skipped.  Rend and Tear and Pulverize, however, are both staple bear talents.  You cannot really afford to skip them over.

Tier Seven Feral

I would hope I don't need to tell you to take Berserk!

Tier One Restoration

Tanks like Stamina and the 10% boost from Heart of the Wild is well worth the price of admission.  Eventually we will want Natural Shapeshifter to get at Perseverance and Master Shapeshifter, but for now the mana cost reduction simply isn't a wise use of points.  Once you hit level 81, I would recommend you respec to pull the 2 points out of  Feral Aggression and place them in Natural Shapeshifter so you can keep moving down the Restoration Tree.

Are you willing to miss out on two Feral Tree points for the next couple months to avoid a respec come Cataclysm?  What is your favorite new bear tanking talent?  Which talent do you miss the most?  Let me know in the comments.


  1. I think the loss of thorns it the biggest thing I will miss. The fact that I have to bust out of bear form to cast something that lasts only 20 seconds now makes it seem so much more tedeious to tank.

  2. I couldn't agree more. Thorns has definitely become more of a tool for Balance and Restoration Druids just because it is highly impractical for Feral Druids to cast it on themselves.

    Considering Restoration Druids will be agonizing over their mana bars and Balance Druids will be hesitant to do anything which isn't reflected on the dps meters, absent a major change I wouldn't be surprised if we hardly see Thorns come 85.

  3. Thorns is going to be used by ferals for initial pulls to get that threat up, especially on AE pulls. Also, don't count out a good boomkin to cast it, basically another form of tricks or MD.

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  5. I agree, thorns is now a pre-pull spell, it helps to throw a heal over time on also before pulling.

    Thank you for the spec by the way.

  6. I don't know about the comment on Nurturing Instinct. True that bears have a good amount of talents to select from (even if some seem to be situational but the situation comes up a good amount) but in terms of progression tanking I think this will be an excellent talent to play around with.

    Currently if I take this talent, 2 pts will jump my Pack heals from ~1.5k up to ~4.5k. Given the new healing model dictates healers are probably going to struggling I for one will be looking to scrounge up points for this talent at 85. From what I can see on gear stats are coming close to doubling which means bears can expect ~9k heals to proc from this if talented (~3k untalented).

    For my 85 spec (using yours as baseline), I will put my points into Perseverence and Master Shapeshifter. Then I think one point will be coming from Brutal impact to give me the 2 I need for Nurturing.

  7. Why do you need nurturing instinct? This is a post about tank specs, not dps specs. NI has no effect what so ever on a bear, so completely useless.

    I for one am struggling what I will do with my spec past 83?

  8. What about glyphs whats best?

  9. tested nurturing instinct. no effect in bear form. increases healing "spell" effects not the proc you get in leader of the pack. waste of talent points. avoid for tanking

  10. Now that Enrage no longer increases damage taken, how do you feel about KotJ (and possibly Primal Madness) now?

    Is it worth taking this talent now? If so, in favour of what other talents would that be?