- Author: Nevermore
- Date: February 9, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
In this section we will be covering PvP rotation in Wrath of the Lich King and discussing your abilities/spells in further detail.
With how Player-versus-Player combat works in World of Warcraft Wrath of The Lich King, we can only discuss a single-target rotation, since in most cases you will want to focus on a single enemy to demonstrate your prowess.
Player-versus-player requires a bit of a different mindset compared to PvE content; PvP requires fast thinking, fast reactions, and adaptability. Unlike the PvE scenarios, the encounters here are not scripted – you can expect anything from your enemy. However, this does not mean their actions can’t be predictable, depending on their situation at the moment (and yours).
Druids are known for their immense versatility, offering the role of a hybrid class. They can bring massive amounts of damage, crowd control, debuffs, and healing to the table. The Feral Druid is also one of the most powerful assassins in the game, being able to destroy opponents in mere seconds with ferocious tenacity. This specialization brings stealth elements, as well as a massive burst ability to the game.
A Feral Druid can take on several opponents at once, shapeshifting between different forms, allowing for high damage dealt and improved survivability all with the press of a button.
In this section, we will cover the abilities of a Feral Druid, strategies to initiate and control a fight, and how to best utilize the “Line-of-Sight” mechanic.
First of all, we will talk about the trademark of Druids – the ability to shapeshift. Shapeshifting removes movement-impairing effects and offers plenty of versatility. You have access to several forms, each of them fulfilling different roles and offering different bonuses.
The first form that you acquire, the Bear Form, will later turn into the Dire Bear Form – this one can be used in PvP scenarios to maximize your survivability. Bear Form is one of the main two forms which you will use, allowing you to effectively mitigate an enemy’s burst or to offer time for your healing-over-time spells to take effect. The Bear Form provides a larger health pool that can synergize very well with abilities such as the Survival Instincts or Frenzied Regeneration.
The second form that we will talk about is Travel Form, which allows increased movement speed similarly to the Ghost Wolf. It is mainly used to break the line of sight with the target and reset the fight, either by using healing-over-time spells or by eating food.
The Cat Form is your main form for the Feral specialization – you will spend most of your time during a fight in this form. Cat Form allows you to use abilities such as Pounce, Prowl, Shred, Mangle, and many more. In particular, it allows you to blend among the shadows with Prowl, and then tear your opponents to shreds, increasing your attack power by 40, plus agility.
As far as the abilities go, Feral Druid works similar to a Rogue. Their abilities provide combo points that can be used to perform a “finishing move”. Finishing moves are powerful abilities that have different effects depending on the number of combo points that have been expended performing them.
The Feral specialization has two main builds: the Shred build, and the Mangle build. This means that, depending on which build you choose, your main ability will become one of those two. We will split our abilities into two categories – the Cat Form and Bear Form abilities. However, we will also discuss abilities that can be used in both forms, which we will cover separately, after these two categories.
- Shred is an ability that deals instant physical damage and is empowered by bleed effects that are present on the target. In order to perform Shred, you need to be positioned behind the target.
- Mangle is an ability that deals instant physical damage and boosts the bleed effects on the target by 30% for one minute. Mangle can be used in both Cat Form and Bear Form, providing the same effect for both forms. Even if you are specializing in a Shred build, Mangle has to be kept on the target to use its bleed-empowering effect.
Rake is an ability that provides instant damage and places a bleed effect on the target for 9 seconds – you will want to keep this up on the target at all times.
Ravage is an ability that can be used as an opener on the target. It requires you to be stealthed to be able to use it. It provides high damage in an instant.
Pounce is one of your best openers – you can find it used in most rotations. It allows you to set up the perfect murderous combination. Pounce offers a 3-second Stun effect while also placing an 18-second Bleed on the target.
Ferocious Bite is one of the finishing moves available to the Feral Druid. This ability uses up to 5 combo points, dealing more physical damage for each combo point expended. You will want to use this after you apply your Bleeds on the target.
Rip is one of your most powerful finishing moves. It provides a strong Bleed effect on the target that lasts for 12 seconds.
Maim is a finishing move that inflicts Stun on the target, dealing more damage and causing a longer-lasting Stun effect with each combo point expended.
Savage Roar is a finishing move that you will want to perform early in the fight since it increases your damage by 30%. The duration of this ability is based upon how many combo points you expend when you use it, the minimum being 14 seconds and the maximum being 34 seconds.
Feral Charge – Cat is an ability that makes you leap behind a target. It is an extraordinary gap-closer that can be used in order to either chase a target, or to escape from someone chasing you by jumping on another target.
Feral Charge – Bear is an ability that makes you charge to the target and immobilize it for 4 seconds. This ability also interrupts spell casting. You can use it as a gap-closer or to set up a crowd control chain.
Demoralizing Roar is an ability that reduces the attack power of enemies within 10 yards around you. You should use it if you are fighting against melee enemies or hunters.
Frenzied Regeneration is a defensive ability that makes you regenerate a percentage of your health points in exchange for rage points.
Bash is one of the more important abilities of the Bear Form – you will find yourself using it quite often. It provides a 4-second stun that you can use to set up a crowd control lock, to then set up a kill or to disrupt the enemy’s burst abilities.
Lacerate is an ability that provides a Bleed effect on the target which lasts 15 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
Maul is an ability that provides strong direct physical damage. It has a low rage cost, so it can be spammed.
Tiger’s Fury is an ability that increases your damage by a set amount. The true value of this ability comes from the King of the Jungle talent, which provides 60 energy regeneration when using the ability. This ability can only be used in Cat Form.
Berserk provides an area-of-effect trait to Mangle in Bear Form. It also provides a 50% energy consumption reduction in Cat Form. This ability lasts 15 seconds but beware, you cannot use Tiger’s Fury while Berserk is active.
Barkskin is your main defensive ability for whenever you feel that you are about to be burst down, or for when you are attacked by multiple enemies. This spell is usable in any form, even while being stunned, incapacitated, asleep, frozen, or feared. As a last resort, you can use Barkskin in combination with the Dire Bear Form to mitigate massive amounts of damage.
Another spell that also falls into the crowd control category (but also falls under the defensive category) is Nature’s Grasp. You can activate it to proc Entangling Roots on any melee attacker. It is quite a useful spell if you are trying to distance yourself or to line-of-sight the target.
Thorns is not a defensive ability per se, but hear me out – it has one feature that makes it work a bit like a defensive cooldown that deals damage to the attackers while shielding your other buffs. At its core, it works as a buff that you can cast upon yourself, dealing damage in retribution for each melee attack – in other words, an attacker gets damaged each time they hit you.
Now, and here is the interesting part – should someone try to purge/dispell you, this buff will go first, thus protecting some of the better effects you have active on you. So, while you may disagree with the definition here, thinking about Thorns as a defensive ability might come handy.
Survival Instincts is an ability that increases your maximum health pool by 30% for 20 seconds, after which the health gained from this is lost.
Innervate is an ability that you should use in case your mana pool is running low – it provides an extraordinary mana regeneration rate. But, beware that this ability can be purged or dispelled, leaving you in a vulnerable position. Time it wisely!
Crowd Control Abilities
Cyclone is an ability that makes the enemy target invulnerable for 6 seconds, but in exchange prevents them from performing any actions – you can effectively cast this on your target to cc-lock them. However, beware that the duration of the ability is reduced with each cast, up to the point when the target becomes immune to this effect. Yet, when used effectively, Cyclone can become your spammable crowd-control ability in both battleground and arena.
You can cast it about 3-4 times per one target before they become immune: in battleground, you can systematically spam it on different members of the opposite team, as long as you are not targeted. In a 2v2 arena, this can render one of your opponents useless for 10 seconds or more, allowing you to focus on destroying his or her partner.
Entangling Roots is another control spell: it roots down the target for 9 seconds, allowing you to gain distance and heal yourself or to lock down the target in place in order to burst it down.
Hibernate is an ability that forces the enemy beast or dragonkin to sleep. This effect lasts for 40 seconds, and if the target is hit it will be awakened. Use this if you are fighting a hunter in order to render his pet useless.
Faerie Fire (Feral) is an ability that can be used both in Cat Form and Bear Form – it renders the target unable to use any invisibility effects and it reduces their armor by 5%. Differently from Faerie Fire, the Faerie Fire (Feral) variant offers increased armor penetration.
Now that we have gone over the main abilities of the Feral Druid, we will talk about strategies and how to properly initiate an encounter.
There are several ways you can initiate an encounter and it vastly depends on where you find yourself and how many enemies you will fight. If it’s in the open world and you are the first to be attacked, you can try placing healing-over-time spells on yourself and then Cyclone the target to reset the fight.
Most of the time, however, you will find yourself being the one that preys upon your unsuspecting enemies. As a Feral Druid, you have the ability to burst down a target in mere seconds. That is, if you use your abilities in the proper sequence.
You have a choice when it comes to openers, but as a general rule, you will want to find yourself in Prowl at all times. You can open up a fight with either Pounce or Ravage; most of the time your preferred opener will be Pounce because it will render the enemy useless for the next 4 seconds unless they use their trinket. Ravage can be a very useful opener in case your target is already low on health and you need to deal with them quickly.
After you execute the opener you decided on, you have yet another choice, depending on the build you have picked (this also affects how you want to play the fight itself). The Shred build is forced to rely upon good positioning and maneuverability – you have to always stay behind the target. This is a skill you will have to master, but an experienced Feral Druid can learn how to stay behind a target for the duration of the entire fight, even in 1v1. It all comes down to maneuvering and intuitive control over your general movement. (Of course, having a teammate can certainly help you with achieving better positioning, especially at first.)
The Mangle build offers more freedom when it comes to the way you position yourself in a fight, since you do not need to sit behind the target in order to be effective. This being said, your next move will depend on whether you have Berserk available or not: with Berserk you can reduce the cost of your abilities by 50%. This being said, you have 15 seconds to destroy the target and the fight itself often won’t last that long.
You will want to use your main ability (depending on your build) after the opener followed by Savage Roar. However, even if you have the Shred build, you will want to apply Mangle before activating your next finishing move, which should be Rip.
After placing Mangle on the target you will want to maintain it and make sure to stack Bleed effects on it, which means that your next move should be Rake. A reminder: Faerie Fire (Feral) is an ability that is often overlooked by most players. Its armor percentage reduction, plus the increased armor penetration can often grant you a way to a swift victory. Do not forget to use it!
As an example such a rotation would look like this:
Because of Primal Fury any critical strike that we land will award us an additional combo point. So, as long as our critical strike chance is high, we do not have to worry about using finishing moves that prove to be weak.
If the fight does not end after Rip has been placed on the target and several seconds have passed, we will have to continue with our assault and make sure that we make the target as ineffective as possible. This can be accomplished by using Maim on the target after utilizing one or two more Shred/Mangle on the target.
Remember, this all takes place in the 15-second timeframe of the Berserk ability. Without it, the high energy consumption of the abilities would not make such a rotation possible.
However, as we all know, fights do not work like we think they do; the circumstances are often arbitrary, and the response from the enemy can’t always be predicted. In such cases, you should aim to reset the fight or simply resolve to a more “hybrid” way of fighting. This means that we have to make the best of our shapeshifter trait, as well as utilize the Bear Form.
The Bear Form can be used in order to mitigate an enemy’s burst in case they decide to respond with the same force. You can simply swap to Bear Form and activate Barkskin and Survival Instincts. Nature’s Grasp is a great way to distance yourself from your target. This ability is quite useful if you are against a melee class or you have the option to LoS the target.
You can chain bash with Feral Charge – Bear. However, keep in mind that there is a minimum distance to use the charge, in case the target has an ability such as the Avenging Wrath active – you want to wait until the ability expires.
Alternatively, you can also Cyclone the target in order to heal yourself, but beware that it will make the target immune to damage. You can, however, reset the fight by using a well-timed cyclone and line-of-sight.
With the Predatory Strikes you can gain access to instant-cast healing spells. When you gain a proc of Predatory Strikes, you can change back to the humanoid form and cast either Regrowth or Healing Touch. Therefore, you do not have to worry about the lack of healing spells since you can easily place quite an assortment of heal-over-time spells on yourself or your allies.
In arenas or duels, you will want to use your abilities to their fullest potential. So, we will recommend several possible rotations that you can use.
- Prowl -> Pounce -> Faerie Fire(Feral) -> Berserk -> Savage Roar -> Shred -> Mangle -> Rake -> Rip -> Shred -> Shred -> Ferocious Bite
- Prowl -> Pounce -> Faerie Fire(Feral) -> Savage Roar -> Tiger’s Fury -> Mangle -> Rake -> Rip -> Mangle -> Mangle -> Ferocious Bite
- Prowl -> Pounce -> Faerie Fire(Feral) -> Berserk -> Shred -> Mangle -> Rake -> Rip -> Feral Charge – Cat -> Shred -> Shred -> Maim -> Shred -> Shred -> Ferocious Bite
Finally, let’s conclude by discussing the line-of-sight. The term Line-of-Sight (LoS) applies to anything that simply breaks the sight of your opponent to prevent them from casting an ability. Of course, it will not be easy when it comes to a melee attacker, but it still works in the same way: you are simply not allowing the attacker the required distance to land a melee swing on you.
As a Druid, you are one of the classes that can benefit the most from this mechanic because of your shapeshifting. Shapeshifting allows you to break any movement-impairing effects, effectively removing any Slows from you. The LoS tactic can be achieved with two forms, the Cat Form and the Travel Form. The Travel Form will be your main way to LoS a target. The Cat Form is not usually as good for LoS, but you can use it in combination with Dash in order to accomplish a makeshift escape.
LoS-ing a target in arenas can be accomplished by running around pillars or climbing atop ramparts, then simply jumping down in order to run around another pillar. Think of it as a cat-and-mouse game, only you are the mouse trying to outrun your opponent – either to wait for your cooldowns, reset the fight, or to allow your heal-over-time spells to take effect.