- Author: Oxykitten
- Date: November 9, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Welcome to the home page of our Feral Druid DPS Guide for WoW: Wrath of the Lich King! This guide aims to take an in-depth look at everything to do with Feral DPS; each facet of what it takes to play the class to its fullest will have its own guide and be described in detail.
This overview page will cover the role and viability of Feral DPS in Wrath of the Lich King.
Feral Druid DPS in Wrath of the Lich King
Throughout TBC and Classic, Ferals have been a relatively weak DPS class. While they could deal some serious single-target damage, their total lack of cleave/AoE damage and low raid utility/DPS contribution made them one of the worst DPS classes to bring to a raid. Their best utility was their ability to tank without resetting their talents, so in most ‘serious’ raid environments, Ferals would only have a raid spot if they were needed to tank.
In Wrath of the Lich King, every class is a lot better balanced; some still do more DPS than others, but the differences between them is marginal. In addition, Ferals have been given AoE DPS capabilities, vastly increasing their raid DPS contribution. Because of these changes, Feral DPS in Wrath of the Lich King makes for a solid standalone DPS spec, so don’t worry if tanking isn’t your cup of tea. In fact, Ferals have the potential to top the DPS meter, as long as you execute the difficult rotation well!
Feral Druid DPS Strengths & Weaknesses
- Strong single-target DPS
Like in TBC, Feral druids are capable of doing solid single-target DPS, generally comparable to other melee DPS. Note that all classes are far more balanced in Wrath than they were previously, so the differences between classes should be relatively minimal.
- Strong burst cleave DPS
Feral druids’ most prominent weakness in previous expansions was a total lack of AoE or cleave DPS. This meant that although they could do respectably on a single-target boss fight, their overall raid DPS contribution (when taking into consideration AoE trash packs) was abysmal. This has finally changed in Wrath thanks to swipe. Ferals are now capable of dealing massive cleave damage while they have energy to cast swipe.
- Somewhat hybrid tank / DPS specialisation
While there is more separation between tank and DPS talents than in previous expansions, the specs are still very similar and a Druid tank can do respectable damage when not actively tanking without the need for a respec. This may not have as much value with the introduction of Dual Specialisation, as Blizzard has suggested they will not place any restrictions on where and when you can switch specs (outside of PvP). However, if you prefer to keep your second spec PvP-focused (or Resto/Balance), you can still fulfill tank and DPS roles with your Feral spec.
- Good raid utility
Druids generally have some useful raid utility through gift of the wild, innervate, and rebirth. Ferals specifically also provide Leader of the Pack (although the same buff can be provided by a fury warrior) and Mangle (although the same buff can be provided by an arms warrior). It must be noted that their ability to tank is also good raid utility, though less important in Wrath than it was in TBC. Overall, a Feral brings decent raid utility, but nothing major as other druids or classes in the raid can bring the same benefits.
- Difficult rotation
The feral rotation is complex and can be difficult to execute well. While this is a positive for those who enjoy interesting gameplay, it means that the class’ performance is more player-dependent than other classes; Ferals may therefore perform worse than other classes in casual gameplay.
- Weak sustained cleave DPS
While swipe is a very strong cleave ability, it costs a lot of energy and therefore only provides burst cleave DPS. Once a feral runs out of energy, with berserk and tiger’s fury (with x talented) on cooldown, their cleave DPS drops off massively. This may make their overall raid DPS far weaker in speed run settings, where there is no time to regenerate energy or regain offensive cooldowns between trash pulls.
Feral Druid Utility
Besides their tanking and damage, Feral Druids bring the following raid buffs & debuffs to a raid:
- Gift of the Wild
Completely unique utility that only Druids bring. You only need 1 Druid for it, but every raid will want at least 1 Druid just for this. Feral Druids will almost always take the Improved Mark of the Wild talent, so you may be the one buffing this, unlike previous expansions!
Also completely unique Druid utility. The more Innervates you have, the easier some of the more mana-demanding fights will be for your raid. Similarly to prior expansions, Feral Druids will have a tricky time leaving form in order to use Innervate while main tanking, but many fights have a few moments where you can quickly throw it out.
- Combat Resurrection – Rebirth
Druids are 1 of the 2 classes that possess the ability to resurrect someone in combat, which is always going to be a massive boon for your raid. Every expansion there are more and more methods of wipe prevention, but Rebirth will always be the best among them!
- 5% physical crit (does not stack) – Leader of the Pack
This Feral Druid staple is now raid-wide, though it is no longer unique, as Fury Warriors can bring it as well in the form of Rampage. Feral Druids will generally be the ones bringing this buff as it is a mandatory pick-up on the way to Mangle, with the Druid version also offering the unique Improved Leader of the Pack buff for some nifty raid healing, ultimately saving your Fury Warriors a talent point.
- 30% increased bleed damage (does not stack) – Mangle (Bear)
Every raid will want to bring this debuff, as bleeds are powerful in WotLK. Arms Warriors also bring it in the form of Trauma, but most raids will likely not include an Arms Warrior as they aren’t too powerful in WotLK, so it’s up to you.
- 5% armor reduction (does not stack) – Faerie Fire (Feral)
Every raid will want to bring this debuff. However, Balance Druids will typically be using it due to also having the Improved Faerie Fire talent. Warlocks can also offer it in the form of Curse of Weakness, but doing so can be a significant DPS loss for them, so it’s generally either you or a Balance Druid.
- Reduced attack power (does not stack) – Demoralizing Roar
This debuff is a must-have, reducing boss damage by a good amount. Similarly to previous expansions, Warriors can bring it with Demoralizing Shout & Warlocks bring it with Curse of Weakness. It is very likely that you will be the one applying it however, if you’re tanking, as our improvement talent (Feral Aggression) is slightly easier to grab than it is for Warriors. It’s also okay to forego the improved version usually.
- 20% attack speed slow (does not stack) – Infected Wounds
This debuff is a must-have, reducing boss damage significantly. However, multiple other classes can offer it, so depending on your raid setup you may not need to spend the 3 talent points on it.
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.
Thank you for taking the time to read our Feral DPS guide for Wrath of the Lich King. 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.