- Author: Oxykitten
- Date: March 30, 2022
- Updated: March 31, 2022
- Expansion: TBC Classic
Welcome to the home page of our Feral Druid Tank Guide for WoW: Burning Crusade Classic! This guide aims to take an in-depth look at everything to do with Feral Druid tanks; each facet of what it takes to play the class to its fullest will have its own guide and be described in detail.
The scope of this page includes:
- Role and viability of Feral tanks in TBC
- Profession choices
Role of a Feral Tank in TBC
In TBC, Druids have become far stronger tanks than they were in Classic. Feral Druids have both the highest effective health pool (EHP), making them the least likely tank to die, and the highest single target threat output of any tanking class in TBC. In addition to this, Feral Tanks share the same talents as Feral DPS; this means that when they are not actively tanking, Druids can still deal competitive single-target damage.
Because of this, while Ferals are the best single-target tank, they often act as off-tanks simply because Protection Warriors and Paladins still do an acceptable job of tanking a boss, but do very little damage when not tanking. You may then ask, “why bring other tanks at all?” While Protection Warriors are absolutely replaceable in TBC with Ferals, a Protection Paladin’s unparalleled area of effect (AoE, or multi-target) threat capabilities means that every raid brings at least one for tanking trash mobs. It is then more raid DPS to also have the Paladin(s) tank bosses, allowing the Feral to DPS.
Pros and Cons of Feral tanking
Pros of Feral tanking
- Easy to play:
Feral tanks are very easy to play, with a simple rotation and straightforward gearing.
- Great balance of threat and mitigation:
Ferals have both the highest single-target threat output and the highest EHP, making them the best single-target tank.
- Hybrid tank/dps specialisation:
Since Feral Combat is a single talent tree, a Druid can easily pick up all the most relevant tanking and DPS talents, allowing them to tank and DPS at virtually full potential in both roles. This means that on encounters only requiring one or two tanks, an offtank druid can go into Cat Form and deal respectable damage. Furthermore, a Feral can even gear in a way that allows them to do both roles in a single encounter; for example, they can tank an add, then go back to Cat Form and continue DPSing once it dies.
- High tank DPS:
Not only can a Druid do a lot of damage when not tanking, but they do a lot more damage than other tanks while tanking too! Still, the DPS gain of going into cat form is more than another tank gains by going into Berserker Stance, or whatever it is Paladins do when not tanking.
Cons of Feral tanking
- Terrible AoE Threat:
Despite being the best single-target tank, a Feral’s AoE threat is horrendous, with Swipe only hitting 3 targets and frankly not doing enough threat to hold against cleaving warriors, or seeding warlocks. In comparison to Protection Paladins, Ferals are quite hopeless here, making Paladins pretty much mandatory in a raid setting.
- Lack of Defensive Cooldowns:
Unlike Protection Warriors, Ferals do not have any defensive cooldowns like Last Stand or Shield Wall, which can be convenient in response to big damage spikes, or if your healers fall asleep.
- Cannot remove crushing blows:
While Ferals can remove the chance of being critically struck through the use of Defense and Resilience on gear, they cannot remove the possibility of crushing blows (1.5x damage) unless they reach 100% avoidance and become totally immune to melee attacks (which is theoretically possible, but not a realistic aim). However, their high armour and EHP makes crushing blows far less scary on a Druid than they are on Paladins and Warriors, who can usually avoid them through the use of Shield Block and Holy Shield.
- Some bosses should not be tanked by ferals:
Not having a shield means some bosses should not be tanked by ferals. In Tempest Keep, Kael’thas casts Pyroblast which should be absorbed with the shield, [insert link]. If your raid DPS is high, his shock barrier can be broken within the first cast and the Pyroblast can be interrupted, making Feral Tanking just fine. But if your raid DPS is low, a shield-wearer should tank Kael’thas. Additionally, Illidan Stormrage in Black Temple casts a debuff called Shear, which reduces the tank’s maximum health by 60%. It must be avoided or blocked, which a Feral cannot guarantee without 100% dodge chance. While a DPS warrior can go into Defensive Stance and Intervene the Shear off the Feral, this is quite ridiculous and it is simply far better to have a shield-wearer tank Illidan.
In terms of maximising your character’s performance, there are very few professions that provide any value. Do note that it is not mandatory to go for these professions (depending on the expectations of your guild).
Engineering is by far the most impactful profession for Feral tanks, or indeed for any class in the game. The use of Super Sapper Charges and Goblin Sapper Charges allows for a source of threat on multi-target scenarios, a particularly weak point for Druids. When used by most or all players in a raid, they also allow for a massive burst of AoE damage which can help on encounters or simply speed up trash clears. Additionally, these sappers can be used on boss openers to help with snap threat; if your initial Mangle + Maul miss, following up with a sapper allows you to at least have some threat on the boss. There are also 45 Stamina trinkets craftable with Engineering, although these are quickly replaced with stronger trinkets in later phases. Finally, engineering unlocks a number of trinkets and other useful tools that make it exceptionally strong in non-arena PvP, as well as a lot of fun to play around with.
Enchanting allows you to enchant your rings with Enchant Ring – Stats, which provides some value for tanking, DPSing, and PvP. It’s not essential, but is the next best profession available. Additionally, geared feral druids can solo farm King Ikiss in Sethekk Halls, and enchanting allows them to disenchant drops to earn 10 valuable Large Prismatic Shards every hour!
Leatherworking allows the player to craft and use Drums, which provide a very powerful buff to your party. However, only 1 drummer is needed per party, and the drums available in the game before Phase 4 cannot be used in form; this makes Ferals terrible drummers. From Phase 4 onwards, upgraded drums can be used in form and Ferals may want to consider leatherworking, however by this point you probably have a dedicated drummer for your party already.
Jewelcrafting provides a few unique gems, such as the 18 stamina [gem]. This provides minimal value and is not really worth going for.
Overall the best professions for a Feral tank to keep are Engineering and Enchanting.
I hope this guide provides you with all the information you need to make the best out of a Feral Druid. Please navigate to the other pages to get information on gear, rotation, talents, and more. TBC brings out the best in Ferals, showing their versatility as the best main tank and the best off-tank… if it weren’t for those pesky Paladins’ AoE threat!
Thank you for taking the time to read our Feral Tank guide for TBC. I hope it was helpful, and if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below, or find me as Oxy on the Druid Classic discord.