Feral Druid Mythic Plus - Deep Dive
Part 1 - Basics and pre-key set up
- Conduits & Soulbinds
- Simming with “Dungeon Slice” for Mythic Plus
For more info on all things talents, utility, gear, and more, check out the below two guides for an excellent write up on all things Feral.
Guilty’s WoWhead guide on M+
Wordup’s IcyVeins guide on M+
Part 1 - Basics and pre-key set up
For a full talent write-up, check out Wordups IcyVeins guide which goes into detail on each talent and it’s uses. As there’s tons of data out there, here we’ll simply list what the two of us play regularly. https://www.icy-veins.com/wow/feral-druid-pve-dps-spec-builds-talents
Fore’s go to cookie cutter build
Feral in keys is pretty cookie-cutter, you only really change out SbT or Pred depending on legendary choice. I used to run FF a lot in keys but it is now simply outclassed by BT in basically all situations.
There are some niche builds you can mess around with which i’ll get into later in the guide, but the below is what I’d recommend most Ferals to run for 90% of M+ content.
Row 15 - Pred vs SbT comes down to two things …
- ST vs AoE
- Are you running Apex
If you are running Apex, then SbT is the obvious choice as it synergises well. You can run SbT with other legendaries but i’d avoid if with Circle as there is some anti-synergy with the amount of DoTs you cast increasing lowering the amount of bites you do.
Row 25 - This row you can take anything, I prefer Wild Charge purely because I value quick burst movement in M+ over the defensive of Renewal or the speed from Tiger Dash
Row 30 - Balance Affinity is hard-locked for me, it lets you do boomie convokes and the extra range is outright broken in some keys, as you can safely cheese mechanics or avoid damage.
Row 35 - All three talents have a place, Bash is my “go-to” because it’s place comes up a lot more often, long ST stuns are huge and this gives us two strong stuns with Maim as well. Though Mass Root and HotW both have a place in M+, for example Mass Root is god-like in Plague and HotW is good for big AoE in keys were control isn’t as needed, like DoS.
Row 40 - SotF is the default choice here, it is both the strongest and simplest, it also enables 25 energy bites during Berserk whereas you don’t do that with SR, and there is some places where this is really nice like Mists 1st boss burn and SoA 3rd boss burn - I do like SR though and tend to run it with Frenzyband and in SD.
Row 45 - Row 45 is hard locked to Primal Wrath, as a disgustingly strong spell, lock it in in M+ and abuse it.
Row 50 - So this entire row is usable in theory, though unfortunately Moment of Clarity was gutted with the Swipe target cap, Feral Frenzy is a reasonable choice but be aware that BT is just best in basically all situations currently.
- Feral Frenzy - Huge burst, simpler, can abuse a lot of multipliers like Pride or damage boost mechanics (Mists, Wake spear, SoA, etc) as well as being useful for prio' damage like Inspiring affix weeks
- Bloodtalons - More sustained overall damage, arguably more “complicated” to manage in M+, has ramp up from pack-to-pack but once you are up and running is the higher simming choice.
Maystine’s go to cookie cutter build
You can switch the 15 and 50 talent row depending on your group comp. If I play with MM hunter and Fire mage, I feel like the best thing to do is bring more ST pumps and kill the Pride affix a bit faster.
Row 15 - I always go Predator when I play Circle and depending on the key I play sabertooth with Apex. Theater of Pain is one dungeon where I find sabertooth better than Predator with apex for exemple.
Row 25 - I always go Wild Charge in 99% of keys, because I prefer to have Dash and Wild Charge than just a super fast sprint. I use Renewal during Grievous or high keys to help during the Pride mob.
Row 30 - Balance Affinity is a must have for me in m+ as it allows you to better hit every mobs when they are spread for whatever reason. The extra range also gives you the ability to keep hitting some mobs/boss even when there is an aoe under them. And at last, you can switch to moonkin form to Sunfire which is a decent dps boost (don’t always do this with Apex) and Convoke in a really big aoe pack.
Row 35 Mighty Bash and Entangling Roots are both good, It’s going to mainly depend on your group needs for the key. Heart of the Wild only if your group doesn’t really need anything from the other two but most of the time you will run Mighty Bash baseline.
Row 40 - I almost always go Soul of the Forest. Savage Roar is better in some dungeons when you know what and how your tank is pulling as it requires a lot of momentum to have the best use of it.
Row 45 - Always Primal Wrath, it’s just the best option by far on that row for mythic+.
Row 50 - All three are close but I’d recommend Bloodtalons or Feral Frenzy if you don’t like the other option. Also, the higher the key is, the better Bloodtalons will be.
The below shows a wide combination of sims with mythic raiding gear (close to best in slot) and how it impacts the DPS in Dungeon Slice sims.
Snapshotted on the 6th of Jan, so worth checking the below link as changes in SimC can cause changes in output.
Dreamgrove Mythic Dungeon (Dungeon Slice) all combinations sim:
Best two legendary choices
Although there is a Team Apex vs Team Circle meme floating around (Fore: which I encourage, go team Circle), both are very much playable and competitive, they basically vary based on your group composition and the strengths and weaknesses of the other DPS.
The legendaries are in a good spot at the moment, for example the below pic is a +16 mists that myself, Maystine and Maymays (nope, not the same person) ran with different setups.
- Maystine ran Circle
- Fore ran Frenzyband
- Maymays ran Apex
- We all ran Niya and the same conduits, being Conflux and CI
Apex is used for funnel damage and to abuse the current strength of bites. The strength of Apex is that it allows you to pump procs into targets that you want to prioritise down. This changes your gameplay a little in that you will be weaving in bite procs whenever they proc, as soon as they proc ideally, to not munch new procs. The swings with Apex can also be huge, with enough Rips out or enough luck, you can power bites into targets to really spike damage, which can be big mixed with Pride.
Apex is best in 2/3 target cleave, so you want to consider it in keys where you know you aren’t going to get much AoE and there’ll be a lot of small packs or bosses with 2 targets. For example Spires and Theater - Mists is also a contendor due to the 2nd boss being so bad for DoT damage.
Also if your group is very AoE heavy, you can run Apex to be the “janitor” of the key and think of yourself as lowering the HP of the highest mob in the pack to make sure groups die more evenly.
If you run Apex, you really need to play into it, so I’d recommend the below to really power bites, and you want to alternate PW/Bites up until about 4/5 targets where you’d start spamming PW to spend CPs and bite with procs.
One thing to note, Apex is NOT a “do more ST” legendary, Circle and Apex do similar damage on ST, you can easily take SbT with Circle and do equal ST as Apex, so don’t make the Apex vs Circle decision based solely on that, it’s about prio and 2/3t cleave not ST vs AoE.
Craft it on - Shoulder or Waist, it doesn’t matter
Circle is the higher sustained damage overall of the two, but this is general damage across all mobs, so the trade off vs Apex is this adds no targeted damage in mob groups. Another advantage of Circle is that it makes tab-Rakes much less punishing, as you only need the mob to live for 12s instead of the normal 15s, so tab-raking is slightly more valuable with Circle which boosts our Berserk power.
As Circle is more of an AoE choice, you take it with Pred and Carnivourous Instinct (CI) to really lean into the energy gain and power that TF gives. You can run SbT with Circle to focus on ST a bit more, but I find there is negative synergy with Circle lowering DoT duration, which leads to more Rip/PWs and less bites, so you don’t get as much power out of your bites as you do with Apex.
Craft it on - Helm, the Agi from an early 235 is much more valuable, as the tier progresses, it won’t overly matter.
I’ll go into this in more detail later on in the guide, but my recommendations are …
- SD = Circle
- HoA = Circle
- Wake = Circle
- Plague = Circle
- SoA = Apex
- ToP = Apex
- DoS = Circle
- Mists = Apex or Circle
if you’re looking for a “one size fits all”, then go for Circle, as it provides a strong throughput that gives the highest DPS gain in keys out of all the legendary choices, the only place it’s out DPSed is on 2-target cleave. Circle means that you get more out of your Rakes, Rips and PWs.
That said, basically all the legendaries for Feral are viable, Apex, Frenzyband, Circle, Cat-Eye and Symm all work in keys.
I think the choice depends on your group composition, whether you need more prio' damage on 1 target (Apex) or more overall AoE damage (Circle). Choosing Sabertooth with Apex is also a strong option, because it’s less dependent on Predator as opposed to Circle, which leads to stronger ST dps on bosses.
Cat-Eye - If ash was unlimited, I would have made and recommended Cat-Eye to everyone for early M+, as it stands now it is a good all rounder, but not as good as the above two. A safe craft for those that enjoy the playstyle.
Craft it on - Ring, as although Neck and Ring are identical, crafting it on Neck means that any neck drops you get are useless, whereas Ring still gives you options.
Symmetry - Similar to the above, Symm is a very fun legendary and best in slot for PvP, it works fine in M+ providing you with more finishers and giving good synergy with predator, but it is not as good as the above two
Craft it on - Helm or Hands, it doesn’t matter
Frenzyband - So, is Frenzyband a meme, the short answer is yes, it definitely is. The long answer though is that it is playable, especially in Spires and Mists that have a multiplier boss to abuse. Frenzyband is very reliant on good CD usage and a reasonably clean run, if your CD usage is bad then this is the same as just not equipping a legendary as the CD reduction on Berserk is basically unnoticeable (~20s) - it’s a fun legendary to play, but you do need to be aware of how to play it.
Frenzyband takes your builder damage and turns it into a DoT, so on multiplier bosses this double dips, as your builders do x% more damage, which turns into a DoT, which then does x% more damage.
This can lead to some silly things like the below, where I did 8k overall and ~46k DPS on the first boss in Mists.
This is the build I run with Frenzyband, the big changes being SR and MoC to buff up your builder damage to get even bigger DoTs going with the legendary during Berserk.
Conduits & Soulbinds
Feral conduits are pretty strong for M+ as they provide a lot of burst damage and defensive capabilities. Especially the following …
Conflux of Elements is a potency conduit that works perfectly with the current M+ meta. For most Ferals this will likely be simming highest in ST regardless, but in M+ it has the added benefit of being another multiplier to add to the pile, giving you …
Lust + Pride + (bullshit dungeon multiplier) + Conflux + Trinkets/Potions = very large convoke
Dungeon multipliers being things like SD urns or Wake spears.
For example, a +21 DoS Hakkar fight:
Carnivorous Instinct works very well with Predator in M+, providing a ~4.3% damage bonus while Tiger’s Fury is up, which is a lot of the dungeon.
Taste for Blood partners well with Apex and Sabertooth for high Tyrannical weeks, where the added Single Target damage can make or break boss fights.
Born of the Wilds provides a DPS gain if you are running Heart of the WIld, but for M+ Bash is better for 90% of the dungeons, and this provides a 16% reduction to the CD at 226, which puts Bash on a ~50s CD, that partnered with Maim gives feral a lot of mob control.
Well-Honed Instincts is a defensive conduit that provides a 32% heal over 3 seconds when you drop below 40% hp. This value also scales with Vers. The strength of this conduit is that the healing is provided when you need it automatically.
To make this conduit even better it procs the Rank3 version of Frenzied Regen, which means during the FR that procs, you also receive 20% more healing.
Innate Resolve is a defensive conduit that boosts your heals from Regrowth and Frenzied Regeneration. This synergises well with Well-Honed Instincts as it boosts the healing received from your auto-heal - very good combo.
Honestly these two together are nuts, they’re your go-to defensive conduits for everything.
Convoke burst build
This build provides large burst damage, coupling Conflux with Grove Invigoration for huge Mastery stacks during Convoke, which makes our convoke multiplier even bigger with …
Lust + Pride + (dungeon multiplier) + Conflux + Trinkets/Potions + Mastery = very large convoke
You can run Burrs instead, in which case you also get two defensive conduits and a DPS Soulbind in Burrs - you then make the choice between Conflux or CI based on Burn vs AoE in the key you’re doing, e.g. SD CI and DoS Burn.
The largest benefit of the Dreamweaver build is Podtender, as this is a 10 minute CD cheat death. For keys you are unfamiliar with or high keys where you start to feel uncomfortable, I don’t often recommend this build as it is weaker and you shouldn’t really plan to die, but the option is there.
As of writing, It’s roughly a ~2.5% DPS loss (for me I should add) for the safety net gain of a cheat death.
This Soulbind paired Well-Honed instincts + Innate Resolve is a very tanky M+ setup.
Korayn is the joint highest simming soulbind for M+. If you can abuse the 25% crit on first hit to line up large convokes, it’s another damage buff to add to the convoke pile.
You can also swap out Conflux with Carnivorous Instincts for more sustained damage.
You’ve got a few plays here to extend the crit for as long as you can. No.1 you can position yourself to hit all bar 1 mob in a pack, then when the 5s pass and the buff drops, hit the other mob for a new 5s of 25% crit. No.2 you can also extend the 25% crit by changing your opener to tab-rake based instead of AoE, but i’m not 100% sure if this opener is better than the typical quick PW opener.
The Wild Hunt soulbind is also solid for fights like Mueh’zala where his hp stays above 75% for a long period of time, to abuse the 10% damage buff (another multiplier for convoke btw).
Fore’s edit: this was be my go-to build once unlocked, as it came with big conflux multipliers as well as two defensive conduits for safety, potentially switching to Podtender build on high scarrier keys, but since writing this ~3 months ago i’ve switched to using Niya in most keys, as the damage profile that build provides is much more suited to the current meta.
Simming with “Dungeon Slice” for Mythic Plus
Dungeon Slice is a good metric to use for M+ for Feral, stop putting together weird 6 boss patchwork fights for 45s to justify your gear/talent choices. Using this type of quick sim to explore certain situations or pulls is fine to plan around specific things, but for 95% of scenarios Dungeon Slice is the go-to.
Dungeon Slice is to M+ what Patchwork sims are to Raiding, at the end of the day when was the last time you sat there and a boss was 5 minutes of pure ST? It’s the same with DS.
What makes Dungeon Slice work for Feral specifically vs some other specs that do use weird patch setups, is that during Dungeon Slice sims, mobs die, which means we get Predator resets included in the sim, there are also moments of no combat, where the sim will re-stealth for stealth-Rake openers. The exact inner workings of a Dungeon Slice sim are as follows …
ST Boss for just over 2 minutes (lust will be used for this boss) 4 - 6 mobs for 11 - 19 seconds 1 - 3 mobs for 26 - 34 seconds 4 - 6 mobs for 11 - 19seconds 1 - 3 mobs for 26 - 34 seconds Continue alternating between large and small packs until the end of the sim There will be variable gaps of time between trash packs
So as you can see, it does somewhat mimic a “normal” M+ key, enough to be a good starting point for pre-key decisions such as talents, gear, etc.
The sim profile was changed recently and does now include 7 mob packs, the changes were as follows, which simple means that the Dungeon Slice sim spends …
54% of its time on 1 target 16% of its time on 2 targets 9% of its time on 3 targets 3% of it’s time on 4 targets 6% of it’s time on 5 targets 6% of it’s time on 6 targets 6% of it’s time on 7 targets
The two things to be awaree of however when using DS are …
- It’s more ST leaning than a normal dungeon might be
- It does not take into account Prides
Which means when analysing the result, remember to have these two thingsi n the back of your mind when preparing for the key you’re about to do.
So in summary, don’t be afraid to use Dungeon Slice - it is as valuable for M+ as Patch sims are to raiding.
To be Continued in Part 2…
- Rotational Plays
- Dungeon specific tips
- Talent changes per key and why
- Soulbind/Conduit changes per key and why