feral tank guide feature image
  • Author: Oxykitten
  • Date: November 20, 2021
  • Expansion: WoW Classic

Intro

Welcome to our Feral Druid tank guide for WoW Classic: Season of Mastery! 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 section described in detail. In this guide, the terms “Feral tank” and “Bear” will be used interchangeably.

The scope of this guide includes:

  • Role and viability of Feral tanks
  • Gameplay and rotation
  • Stat priorities
  • Talent specialisation choices
  • Raid buff and consumables
  • Profession choices

For additional information on levelling, Best in Slot gear, and Feral DPS guides, refer to the navigation pane above for my other relevant guides.

Role of a Feral Tank in Season of Mastery

Druids are often referred to as the ‘Jack of all trades’ of Classic WoW. Druids can heal, tank, and DPS. However, relative to other classes they do not excel at any one role, and thus they are also known as ‘master of none.’ For a long time, this was thought to apply to Feral tanks as well, whereby bears could tank dungeons passably, but not meaningfully contribute to an endgame raid. However, this mindset changed considerably throughout the course of Classic WoW, and playing a Feral tank to its maximum potential makes them completely viable in a raid environment. 

When played correctly, a Feral can match the average threat of a Fury/Prot warrior tank while having significantly higher mitigation (reduction in damage taken, or ‘tankiness’). However, Fury/Prot tanks continue to have a higher maximum threat through the use of offensive cooldowns (namely recklessness and death wish), as well as a higher maximum mitigation by equipping a shield and using defensive cooldowns (namely shield wall and last stand). More importantly, Fury/Prot warriors do significantly more damage while tanking – and when not actively tanking – than bears do, and for this reason primarily feral tanks continue not to be the optimal choice of tank in Season of Mastery.

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. This means that although warriors are the better tank with perfect execution, it is common for Ferals to perform better in an average guild.
  • Great balance of threat and mitigation:
    Through the use of Manual Crowd Pummelers, Feral tanks can produce a lot of threat. And, through their 460% armor modifier in Bear Form, they can reach high levels of armor and therefore mitigate a lot of damage. Although Fury/Prot warriors can reach higher levels of threat and higher levels of mitigation, they cannot do both at the same time, making Ferals strong on threat-sensitive, hard-hitting fights like Broodlord Lashlayer, Ouro, and Patchwerk.
  • 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.
  • Reduced gear competition between tanks:
    In Classic, raid gear is very scarce, and with 40 players in a raid, the competition is fierce. Having all warrior tanks in a raid leads to a lot of competition between the tanks who want the same pieces. Druid tanks wear leather, and therefore share only a few pieces (usually rings and trinkets) with other tanks. This makes them easy to gear up without taking loot away from other raid members.

Cons of Feral tanking

  • Low DPS:
    Although the threat produced by Ferals is very respectable (due to high threat multipliers on their abilities), their damage done is very low. Fury/Prot tanks can easily do twice as much damage as a bear, especially on cleave (multi-target) fights. While ferals get a strong damage boost in Cat Form when not actively tanking, this unfortunately cannot compare to the damage of a Fury/Prot warrior in Berserker Stance. This is the main reason top speed-running guilds will not bring Feral tanks to their raids.
  • A lot of effort to be competitive:
    In order to produce enough threat to be competitive with warrior tanks, Feral druids need to use Manual Crowd Pummeler. This weapon, when activated, increases a druid’s threat output by nearly 50%. However, it only has 3 charges, with each use lasting 30 seconds, and it drops off of a level 30 boss in Gnomeregan with an estimated 33% drop chance. This means that for every 90 seconds of threat sensitive tanking time, a Feral needs to use up a Pummeler.
    In practice, druids will often farm 15 or more of these every week to use in raids, which on average takes 45 Gnomeregan runs. This translates to a little over 2 hours in Gnomeregan, but since we can only enter 5 instances per hour, this is spread out over 9 hours a week. You can see below what a typical Feral’s bank looks like! In addition to the flasks, potions, and other consumables used by tanks, this means that playing a Feral tank to its full potential is no small feat.
  • Some bosses should not be tanked by a Druid:
    Unfortunately, there are a few bosses in Classic that should not be tanked by a druid. The most obvious example is Nefarian in Blackwing Lair, who can force all druids into Cat Form for 30 seconds. On a Feral Tank, this massively increases their damage taken and equally reduces their threat generation. Other bosses include Loatheb and Sapphiron in Naxxramas, who simply deal too much damage per second for a Druid to comfortably tank them. To be clear, a Druid can tank any boss in the game; these bosses are simply far better suited to warriors.

feral tank bank

Feral Tank Rotation and Gameplay

Single target rotation:

Multi-target rotation:

  • Exactly the same as on single target, but switch targets between melee swings to spread them out
  • Goblin Sapper Charges (only usable by engineers) are extremely useful for multi-target threat.

The Feral tank rotation is extremely simple: it relies fully on Maul. While Maul does not deal much more damage than a regular auto attack, it is extremely strong for two reasons: firstly, Maul has a 1.7x threat modifier, meaning that Maul generates 1.7 times more threat than an auto attack dealing the same damage; secondly, Maul is an ability and therefore cannot result in a Glancing Blow, whereby melee attacks have a 40% chance to deal significantly less damage (and generate significantly less threat).

Because Maul occurs on a bear’s next melee swing, it does not trigger a Global Cooldown, and can be used alongside other abilities. Therefore, using Swipe in addition to Maul is beneficial when the Druid has excess rage; using Swipe at low rage and therefore causing the Druid to not have enough rage for Maul is very detrimental to their threat generation. This is because Swipe does very little damage and rage, and its damage dealt does not increase with attack power. When low on rage, using Faerie Fire (Feral) on cooldown generates a small amount of additional threat, and refreshes a very powerful debuff on your target.

Note that Maul is tied to the Druid’s swing timer and generates nearly all of its threat. Since haste effects (such as Manual Crowd Pummeler, or Chicken Squawk from Gnomish Battle Chicken) directly decrease the swing timer, they increase the number of Mauls cast and are extremely powerful on Druid tanks.

In terms of Feral-specific gameplay, what you do most often depends on your tanking position. If you are the Main Tank in a raid (which is a perfectly viable role for Ferals, but more commonly taken by a Warrior), you will most often be in Bear Form, tanking the main target. As an offtank, however, Ferals will often switch between Bear Form and Cat Form throughout a raid. Many Feral tanks will think of themselves purely as a tank, rather than a DPS, but in truth, Feral is a single, hybrid role that includes both tanking and DPSing. Not taking advantage of your toolkit and versatility is an unfortunate mistake that is far too common. In fact, the only reason I separate these guides into tank and DPS is because they’d be far too long otherwise! If you plan to play a Feral Druid well, make sure to read up on how to optimise your DPS performance as well; all my guides will be linked within this one.

Feature image for feral DPS guide

More generally, tank gameplay is engaging and can be complex. This is mainly to do with positioning, i.e. making sure your target is standing in the correct place and facing the correct direction. Generally, your target should always be facing away from the raid, as melee DPS get parried from the front; this reduces their damage output and causes the target to parry haste, whereby your target hastens their next swing after parrying an attack. This is very dangerous for a tank, who can suddenly take two swings in an instant and die unexpectedly. Aside from that, many enemies have frontal-cone or cleave mechanics where anyone they are facing takes damage.

Tank gameplay and positioning is largely dependent on specific boss mechanics. Still, standing in a safe place, facing away from the raid, and having spatial awareness are key factors in tank gameplay that keep it engaging even when all you do is press Maul on repeat!

Stat Priorities

In the past, many guides would list “stat priorities” for different classes, suggesting to stack X stat before Y stat and so on. In reality, optimising your character is far more about balancing the values of different stats to come up with the best overall gear set possible. For example, while 1 Stamina is better for a Feral tank than 1 Agility, 2 Agility is better than 1 Stamina. So, while your stat priority could be Stamina > Agility, that wouldn’t help you accurately decide between two pieces of gear. Luckily, I’ve done all the work for you; I have published detailed Best in Slot (BiS) gear guides for tanks and DPS at multiple gear levels.

Still, it is valuable to have an understanding of why some pieces of gear are better than others, so I will give explanations as to why each stat is given its value. This can get a little complicated, so don’t feel you need to read it in order to play Feral well; following my BiS lists will get you the same result. I’ve therefore put my stat priorities section in a reducible tab below; only venture in if you’re interested!

Finding DPS stat weights

The most common way of balancing stats is to compare them to one common stat, setting the scale for all of them. This is usually done with Attack Power. Thereby, we consider Attack Power to equal 1, and every other stat is compared to it. For example, 1 Strength gives 2 Attack Power in Bear Form, so Strength = 2 Attack Power. Note that, on Alliance, Blessing of Kings increases your Strength by 10%, so Strength = 2.2 Attack Power.

With other DPS stats, this is a little bit less clear-cut; Agility increases your Critical Strike chance, not your Attack Power. For stats like these, we use simulation tools; these tools use maths to determine how much DPS is increased by 1 attack power. Then, they determine how much DPS is increased by 1 Agility. They then determine the equivalent Attack Power (or eAP) of these stats by comparing these values; if 1 Attack Power increases your DPS by 1, and 1 Agility increases your DPS by 2, then 1 Agility = 2 equivalent Attack Power (note these numbers are made up for ease of understanding). I should note here that the simulation tool we use for Feral tanks (which is more of a spreadsheet than a true simulation, but I won’t go into that), and therefore the source of the information in this guide, is developed by Nerdegghead from the Druid Classic Discord. Big props to them for all their hard work!

Mixing in tank stats

As a tank, things get more complicated yet. While it is easy to compare Strength to Attack Power, and it is reasonable to compare two stats which increase your DPS (or threat per second / TPS when it comes to tanking), tanks are also concerned about mitigation. Stats like Stamina and Armor are very important for tanks, but do not provide Attack Power or any equivalent DPS. Because of this, we treat these stats separately at first; we take all mitigation stats and normalise them to one mitigation stat, like we did with Attack Power for DPS stats. Here, we normally use Stamina.

Now, we have 2 sets of stats: DPS stats (or threat stats) normalised to Attack Power, and mitigation stats normalised to Stamina. Then, we mix them together to compare all the stats on any given item. This is where we decide whether we want to build a balanced, threat-focused, or mitigation-focused set. We need to choose a ratio at which we will value mitigation stats compared to threat stats when mixing them together. Note that this ratio is subjective; you choose a ratio that you feel suits your tanking needs for a given encounter. The most commonly used ratio for a “balanced” set — for general use — is 1 Stamina : 1 Strength. Deviating from this balanced ratio is often referred to as a skew towards either mitigation or threat. I will continue using the terms “mitigation-focused” and “threat-focused” as I do in my gear guides to avoid jargon.

Note also that mitigation by its true sense of the word — reduced damage intake i.e. from Armor and Dodge, but not Stamina which only increases your health pool — reduces the rage you generate, and therefore reduces threat generation. This means that when mixing mitigation and threat stats together, you must deduct the negative impact on threat from the value of your mitigation stats.

For a mitigation-focused set, we often increase the value of Stamina (and all mitigation stats with it) to anywhere between 1.5:1 and 2:1 Stamina:Strength, at which point you are doubling the value of mitigation stats in comparison to threat stats.

Similarly, for a threat-focused set, we often decrease the value of Stamina (and all mitigation stats with it) to anywhere between 0.75:1 and 0.5:1 Stamina:Strength, at which point you are halving the value of mitigation stats in comparison to threat stats. The reason we decrease the value of mitigation stats, as opposed to increasing the value of threat stats, is to keep Attack Power as equal to 1 (i.e. the baseline all stats are compared to). This has no real impact, but is easier to follow.

Feral Druid Tank stat weights for Season of Mastery Phase 1

Putting that all together, we come to a list of stat weights that show us the value of each stat relative to Attack Power. In the list I include here, I am using what I consider to be a balanced set of weights, at 1 Stamina : 1 Strength. It is also designed for Alliance players with Blessing of Kings, meaning the value of Strength, Agility and Stamina are 10% higher than for Horde. Finally, also note that credit for these weights again go to Nerdegghead, who designed the spreadsheet and produced weights with them.

Threat:

  • Attack Power: 1
  • Strength: 2.2
  • Agility: 1.6 – Note that Agility is a threat stat due to the Critical Strike chance it provides, but also a mitigation stat due to the Armor and Dodge chance it provides.
  • Hit Chance: 34.8
  • Critical Strike Chance: 26.7
  • Haste: 25.9

Mitigation:

  • Stamina: 2.2
  • Armor: 0.29
  • Defense: 0.35
  • Dodge Chance: 0 – because of the spiky damage intake in Classic, and the unreliable nature of dodge chance, we subjectively reduce its value. Its reduced value is then cancelled out by its negative impact on threat, leading us to value dodge at net 0.

For the very best results, you should use these simulation tools yourself for your character, with the buffs, debuffs, consumables and gear you have access to and a threat:mitigation skew that suits your needs. Since stat weights depend on your character’s current stats, finding personalized stat weights will always be more accurate. These tools are available freely on the Druid Classic discord server.

Still, simply using reliable BiS lists is not likely to put you at any disadvantage, particularly since there are very few strong gear choices for Ferals. If you are not interested in using simulation tools and spreadsheets to make ultimately inconsequential gearing decisions, that’s up to you!

Talent Specialisation Choices

There are a few choices when it comes to Feral talents, and the choice generally comes down to how much value you want to place in bear-specific talents as opposed to cat-specific talents. As discussed in the Feral Tank Rotation and Gameplay section, Feral Druids are able to tank and DPS in the same spec, and this should be taken full advantage of.

Therefore, I suggest two variations of the same core spec which picks up all the most important talents in each role. The first will be ever-so-slightly tank focused, and the second will be ever-so-slightly DPS focused. Any in-between of these two specs is suitable, and I will go into detail on which talents are mandatory, and which are not.

Tank-oriented Feral Spec – 14/32/5
feral tank som talent tree
This Feral specialisation takes all the core talents for both roles, then chooses less important tank talents such as Primal Fury and Thick Hide rather than the DPS-oriented alternatives. This is effectively the basic Feral spec, and will serve you well for anything you need to do.

DPS-oriented Feral Spec – 14/32/5
som feral dps talent tree
This Feral specialisation takes all the core talents for both roles, then chooses less important DPS talents such as Blood Frenzy and Feral Aggression rather than the tank-oriented alternatives. Note that Ferocity is an important tanking talent, but in a raid environment, reducing the rage cost of Maul from 10 down to 7 is not essential if you are the fourth tank, do not tank very threat-sensitive targets, and DPS a lot of the time. In this spec, you should always use Idol of Brutality in Bear Form, and Idol of Ferocity in Cat Form. If you feel uncomfortable dropping 3 points in Ferocity, going for 5/5 Ferocity and 2/5 Feral Aggression is very reasonable for a better balance of tank value.

Open the tabs below if you’d like a run-down of how important each talent is.

The first tier of talents in the Balance tree provides no value to Ferals. However, they are necessary to reach talents further down the tree. Take your pick between Wrath Machine Guns or Grabby Roots:

Second tier:

  • Natural Weapons: Mandatory. Increases your damage (and therefore threat) by 10%. Massive value for Ferals.
  • Natural Shapeshifter: Mandatory. Reducing the mana cost of shapeshifting is essential for Feral DPS, which has one of the most mana-intensive rotations in the game. All Ferals who ever enter Cat Form should have this talent.

Third tier:

  • Omen of Clarity: Mandatory. Omen of Clarity can proc in form, giving you a free Shred in Cat Form or a free Maul in Bear Form. This isn’t a game-changing talent, but it’s strong for cat, decent for bear and you’re already here for Natural Weapons anyway.
  • Nature’s Reach: Not recommended. This talent is very niche; some Feral main tanks will get it instead of DPS-oriented talents to increase the range of Faerie Fire (Feral), allowing them to pull mobs more easily in raids. However, most guilds will have Hunters pull mobs for them, so this is not recommended for general use.

First tier:

  • Ferocity: Recommended: Ferocity is a very strong talent for tanks, but not very valuable for DPS. If optimising for DPS, you don’t need 5/5 in Ferocity, but I’d generally recommend getting it.
  • Feral Aggression: Optional. Demoralising Roar is weaker than Demoralising Shout, so this talent doesn’t really provide any value to a tank in a raid environment. It does mildly increase your DPS in cat form, though, so can be taken as a DPS-oriented talent.

Second tier:

  • Feral Instinct: Mandatory. 15% more threat in Bear Form is essential if you ever tank anything.
  • Brutal Impact: Optional. This talent is useful in PvP and in dungeons, but has little value in raids. Most targets cannot be stunned, and those that can should be stunned by Rogues or Paladins, who have better abilities for this purpose. Still, if you happen to be tanking a stunnable add that the rest of the raid is not focused on (Ghoul packs in Naxxramas come to mind), this talent can come in handy. I generally recommend putting any extra points into Feral Aggression or Thick Hide instead of this talent, though.
  • Thick Hide: Optional. Thick Hide increases your armor from items by 10%. This is not a bad talent, but 5 talent points is a lot to commit to something that is ultimately not very impactful. This should be skipped in most talent builds.

Third tier:

  • Feline Swiftness: Not recommended. This talent is useful in PvP and in dungeons, but has no real value in raids, which are mostly indoors.
  • Feral Charge: Mandatory. This talent is essential for getting to your target quickly, or countering knockback mechanics like on Ragnaros or Ouro by charging back quickly, and on a short cooldown.
  • Sharpened Claws: Mandatory. 6% Critical Strike chance from only points, and unlocks other talents in the tree. A must have.

Fourth tier:

  • Improved Shred: Mandatory. This talent is absolutely essential if you ever DPS. The entire Feral DPS rotation depends on this talent, so it should be taken by all Ferals.
  • Predatory Strikes: Mandatory. This talent is good, providing 90 attack power and unlocking essential talents further down the tree.
  • Blood Frenzy: Optional. This talent is good value per point, but is only for DPS. It is a good cat-oriented talent.
  • Primal Fury: Optional. This talent is good value per point, but is only for tanking. It is a good tank-oriented talent.

Fifth tier:

  • Savage Fury: Mandatory. This talent is effectively 20% more threat in bear form for only 2 talent points. Per talent point, this is one of the strongest talents in the game.
  • Faerie Fire(Feral): Mandatory. Faerie Fire is a very powerful debuff, generates some threat when applied, and is a good ranged pulling ability. Absolutely worth picking up.

Sixth tier:

  • Heart of the Wild: Mandatory. This talent provides a lot of Stamina in Bear form, and a lot of Strength in Cat form. Just really strong all around.

Final talent:

  • Leader of the Pack: Mandatory. This talent is a nice buff to yourself and to your group. Not an insane final talent, but worth getting nonetheless.

First tier:

  • Improved Mark of the Wild: Not recommended. It is very important for one druid to have this in the raid. However, that should be the restoration druid, as the cost is too high for a Feral to take it efficiently.
  • Furor: Mandatory. The entire feral DPS rotation is dependent on this talent, and it is very useful when trying to stay second on threat while not being hit in Bear form. Must have.

Second tier:

Improved Enrage: Not recommended. This has some very minor benefit in Bear form, but comes at the cost of far better talent for DPS. No Feral should be getting this talent.

PvP Feral Spec – 1/29/21
pvp feral tree for druid guide
Now, I will preface this by saying I’m no expert when it comes to PvP. However, I felt it was important to at least include an example of a PvP spec in this guide. This build is called HOTW/NS and is commonly used in PvP, as deep feral is very weak for Classic PvP (think of a rogue that does less damage and has no utility or crowd control). This is played more like a restoration druid, but retains some ability to do damage in forms; this is useful for conserving mana and can help win battles against mana-dependent enemies, such as Shadow Priests. A lot of the talent points can be moved around depending on preference, but the key points are Nature’s Swiftness and Heart of the Wild.

Note that this build has sometimes been recommended as a tank/heal hybrid spec for PvE. While this can work for tanking or healing dungeons to find groups more easily, it makes you bad at both roles and is not recommended for raids. Furthermore, fights where an extra healer is useful in raids are generally the same fights which require additional tanks, making a tank/heal hybrid far less useful than a tank/dps hybrid (which Feral druids are by default).

Buffs and Consumables

This section will simply list the relevant buffs, debuffs and consumables that Feral Tanks benefit from in raids. These are roughly ordered from highest to lowest impact.

  • Manual Crowd Pummeler: Despite being a weapon, Manual Crowd Pummelers only have 3 charges each, meaning that you are likely to use one or more per boss. This makes them function as your best consumable.
  • Gift of Arthas: The debuff applied by Gift of Arthas being used on the tank can add as much as 300 DPS to a raid. Pretty massive from a single consumable on a single person, and it’s usually cheap too!
  • Flask of the Titans: Not a cheap consumable, but 1200 health is absolutely insane on a tank. Bears have a naturally high health pool and don’t necessarily need these to survive, but it provides immense value and safety for your raid.
  • Goblin Sapper Charge: Require engineering to use, but sappers are very important for two main reasons. Firstly, Bears do terrible AoE threat, but using a Sapper Charge within a powershift macro (meaning you shift out of form, use a sapper, and then shift back into form all in an instant) applies the Bear Form threat modifier to the Sapper damage, giving you a significant boost to threat on all nearby enemies. Additionally, having Goblin Sapper Charges on all members of the raid can make a huge difference to certain mechanics, as well as overall raid damage. One example is Viscidus in Ahn’Qiraj, where having many Sappers in the raid lets you easily kill him in one phase (though this could change with an increased health pool in SoM!)
  • Stoneshield Potion: With a 2 minute duration and a 2 minute cooldown, Stoneshield potions can and should be kept up all the time, at least on bosses. Even if a boss doesn’t hit particularly hard, wearing more threat-oriented gear with Stoneshield would be far better than wearing tankier gear without using a potion; it simply provides a lot of overall value.
  • Elixir of the Mongoose: Self-explanatory; 25 Agility and 2% Crit is a strong buff.
  • Spirit of Zanza / Lung Juice Cocktail / R.O.I.D.S / Ground Scorpok Assay: These buffs have different effects, but do not stack with each other. Spirit of Zanza is very strong, but is not available until Zul’Gurub is released. The items that give these buffs are unique, meaning you can only have one of each buff per raid night. Note you can also pop one of these, pick up another for your bags, and go straight to your raid while the first buff is active.
  • Iron Counterweight: Applying a counterweight to each of your Pummelers may sound a little bit crazy, but they’re generally not too expensive and they’re quite a valuable consumable. The main trouble is finding a blacksmith to apply them for you.
  • Juju Power / Elixir of Giant’s Strength: These are cheap and easy, giving 30 Strength which is great for threat.
  • Juju Might / Winterfall Firewater: These aren’t cheap, and give 40 attack power which is good but not crazy. Use them if you can afford to.
  • Dirge’s Kicking Chimaerok Chops / Smoked Desert Dumplings / Spider Sausages / Tender Wolf Steak / Blessed Sunfruit: Chimaerok Chops are the best tank food in the game, but only come out with Ahn’Qiraj. Until then, Spider Sausages and Tender Wolf Steaks are dirt cheap, and not bad.
  • Rumsey Rum Black Label / Gordok’s Green Grog: 15 Stamina is a nice buff, and Green Grog is a dirt cheap alternative.
  • Free Action Potion (situational): Won’t use often, but really important to have these for certain stun mechanics, like on the double Molten Destroyer pack in Molten Core.
  • Limited Invulnerability Potion (situational): Again won’t often be needed, but LIPs are very powerful in classic when paired with Challenging Shout / Challenging Roar. By getting every mob around you to attack you while you are invulnerable, this combination can completely stop raid damage and allow your group to AoE big packs down quickly and efficiently. Having Druids and Warriors use this consecutively when a pull goes awry can really turn things around. Every Druid and Warrior should carry a few of these in their bags.
  • Elixir of Superior Defense: Lower value than other listed consumables, but can’t hurt when there’s no buffcap to worry about.
  • Elixir of Fortitude: Lower value than other listed consumables, but can’t hurt when there’s no buffcap to worry about.
  • Oil of Immolation: Kind of niche, but with no buffcap you may as well get some free AoE damage in.
  • Major Mana Potion (for DPS)
  • Demonic Rune / Dark Rune (for DPS)
  • Bogling Root (for DPS)

Professions

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: Engineering is by far the most impactful profession for Feral tanks, or indeed for any class in the game. The use of 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 a lot of encounters. Additionally, Gnomish Engineering allows you to craft and use Gnomish Battle Chicken, which when used correctly gives you and your party 5% melee haste for 5 minutes; this is the best trinket in the game. Finally, engineering unlocks a number of trinkets and other useful tools that make it exceptionally strong in PvP, as well as a lot of fun to play around with.
  • Blacksmithing: The only other profession that gives long-term value. Blacksmithing allows you to craft and use Glimmering Mithril Insignia, which makes you immune to fear effects for 30 seconds. Because Druids have no innate ability to break fears, this trinket can be very impactful for tanking any fight with fears, such as Onyxia, Magmadar, Nefarian, or Gluth. Blacksmithing also allows you to craft and apply your own Iron Counterweights, which can be quite convenient when applying them to many Pummelers. This can be done in a trade window with another blacksmith, but must be done one at a time and can be quite time-consuming.
  • Enchanting: Enchanting allows you to craft Smoking Heart of the Mountain, which is a Best in Slot trinket for Phase 1. However, you do not need to keep enchanting in order to equip the trinket, meaning you can level it to 265/300, craft it, and then drop it for another profession.

Overall the best professions for a Feral tank to keep are Engineering and Blacksmithing. Engineering is very impactful; Blacksmithing is much less so, but is the only other profession that provides any value to your character. Therefore, I recommend engineering as a must-have profession, with the other profession slot being personal preference.

Conclusion

I hope this guide has shown you that, despite the stigma around Feral tanks, they have the potential to fill a tank role in any raid. It cannot be denied that Warriors are the better class, primarily due to their massive damage output even while tanking. However, if you are willing to put in the effort (through consumables and gear planning), performing well as a Feral in Classic is a rewarding and fun experience.


Thank you for taking the time to read our Feral Tank guide for Season of Mastery. 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.

 

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