Feral Druid Mythic Plus - Deep Dive
Part 1 - Basics and pre-key set up
For more info on all things talents, utility, gear, and more, check out the below guides for an excellent write ups on all things Feral.
Guilty’s WoWhead guide on M+
Wordup’s IcyVeins guide on M+
Maymay’s Method Feral guide for 9.1
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
M+ Talent Breakdown
Feral in keys is pretty cookie-cutter, you only really change out Sabertooth or Predator depending on whether you want to focus more into Single Target (ST) or Area of Effect (AoE). 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 95% of M+ content.
So, what are the things you should be thinking about when you go into a key …
Row 15 - Predator vs Sabertooth comes purely down to AoE vs ST, if you need more AoE, you run Predator, if you need more ST, you run Sabertooth. There are other considerations like Sabertooth synergises well with certain legendaries but it really does come down to that.
It’s worth being aware that even in large AoE leaning keys, Feral has historically ran Sabertooth anyways to make use of the ST power that we bring to a key. for all of 8.0 through 8.2 Sabertooth was the go-to choice, only really switching to Predator in 8.3, which continued into 9.0 with those running Circle for an AoE focused build. In 9.1 with Celest taking off and it’s strong synergy with Sabertooth, most people have moved back to this talent.
This choice is subjective and there’s no “right” answer, play which you feel is right for the situation you’re about to be in.
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. Renewal can be strong in keys with bursty damage as a self-sustain option or to help out on Grievous weeks, but this is a personal choice as Feral is already a very tanky spec.
Row 30 - Balance Affinity is hard-locked for me, it lets you do boomie sunfire rotations and the extra range is outright broken in some keys, as you can safely cheese mechanics or avoid damage. That said, Guardian Affinity has some value in very high keys when survivability becomes iffy, but we’ve not really reached a point as Feral where that is needed yet.
Row 35 - All three talents have a place …
- Mighty Bash is my “go-to” because it’s place comes up a lot more often. Long ST stuns are huge in M+and this gives us two strong stuns with Maim as well
- Mass Entanglement is god-like in Plague with things like being able to fully control all slimes on first boss and turn it into a target dummy
- Heart of the Wild is good for extra DPS in keys were control isn’t as needed, like DoS, allowing you to do a typical Sunfire ST rotation
Row 40 - Soul of the Forest is the default choice here, it is both the strongest and simplest, it also enables 25 energy bites during Berserk which you don’t do with Savage Roar, and there is some places where 25e Bites are really nice to pump damage hard and fast, like Mists 1st boss burn and SoA 3rd boss burn.
Savage Roar isn’t too far behind so if you want something different and to mess around with, try it out.
Row 45 - Row 45 is hard locked to Primal Wrath, as a disgustingly strong spell, lock it in in M+ and abuse it.
Unfortunately Scent of Blood has never been chosen as a talent ever by anyone seriously in M+, and Brutal Slash is a shell of it’s former Legion self and should only really be taken in ST.
Row 50 - Originally a lot of early sims with low gear had Feral Frenzy equal to or above Bloodtalons, but as time has passed and gear has grown this is no longer the case, BT is simply too good. Also since leaving BfA where builders were much stronger than they are today, Moment of Clarity is basically dead, as right now builders do not do enough to justify choosing it.
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 24th of Aug, so worth checking the below link as changes in SimC can cause changes in output.
Dreamgrove Mythic Dungeon (Dungeon Slice) all combinations sim: https://www.dreamgrove.gg/sims/cat/
Craft it on
Celest is the king of 9.1. A 1 minute burst ST CD as strong as Convoke the Spirits makes it very hard to justify running anything else, especially with how powerful Single Target is in this tier. The Tormented mini-bosses dying fast is important, so guaranteeing you have a convoke for every one is big, as well as being able to fit in 2-3 convokes per boss fight also means as a Feral you’re likely to be 2-3k ST DPS above your next rival.
Focusing on ST with a Sabertooth/Celest build also means that your two other teammates can run more AoE focused builds, allowing for specs to play to their niches more.
Convoke on a 1min ST does also come with some utility advantages, such as a 1 min strong AoE heal, an AoE CD in Boomie convoking (though I’m always unsure how valuable this is).
Go-to build with Celest
Apex Predator's Craving
Craft it on
- Shoulder or Waist normally, either is fine
- Waist in 9.1 (due to domination sockets)
Apex is used for funneling 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 to prioritise a mob down on weeks like inspiring.
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 and the first boss having two targets to fish for procs off of.
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 packs 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.
Go-to build with Apex
One thing to note, Apex is NOT a “do more ST” legendary, Circle and Apex do similar damage on ST, you can easily take Sabertooth 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
- Ring in 9.1 (due to domination sockets)
Circle is the highest sustained AoE damage choice of all legendaries, but this is general damage across all mobs, so the trade off vs Apex is this adds no targeted damage in mob groups.
As Circle is more of an AoE choice, you take it with Predator lean into the energy gain and AoE power that TF gives. You can run Sabertooth 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.
Go-to build with Circle
Cat-Eye Curio - 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 three. A safe craft for those that enjoy the playstyle of having more energy to use, but know that the damage is lacking compared to other choices.
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.
Eye of Fearful Symmetry - Similar to the above, Symmetry is a very fun legendary, 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 three.
Craft it on
- Helm or Hands, it doesn’t matter
- Neck in 9.1 (due to domination sockets)
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.
Pre-nerf, Frenzyband did some fun things that i’ll leave in here for history, but unfortunately this is no longer the case, how it used to work was …
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.
Now however, the DoT itself no longer double dips, so using the above line …
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.
Frenzyband is still strong for short burst, but it’s not nearly as good as it once was in keys like Mists and SoA.
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 + (overtuned dungeon multiplier) + Conflux + Trinkets/Potions = very large convoke
Dungeon multipliers being things like SD urns or Wake spears.
For example, a +21 Sanguine Depths Tyrannical second boss fight with urn:
Carnivorous Instinct works very well with Predator in M+, providing a ~5.4% (at 252) damage bonus while Tiger’s Fury is up, which is a lot of the dungeon with pred or with Celest.
Taste for Blood partners well with Celest/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.
Ursine Vigor is a defensive conduit that gives you ~21% extra HP when you shift into bear for 4 seconds, this is similar to Legions Ashamanes Protection in that it’s a very strong Effective HP (EHP) effect that occurs when you shift form. Bear form is grossly underutilised in M+, I recommend taking this and trying to use Bear as a defensive more often in your keys.
Niya seems to get stronger and stronger as this expansion goes on, and Korayn seems to get weaker unfortunately.
The below tree will be your end goal if you’re min/maxing for M+ and raid somewhat equally, putting the conduits in in this order means that …
- Conflux of Elements (Convoke) will be empowered first, as it’s a reasonable gain in ST and does boost AoE damage slightly as well during the cast.
- Taste for Blood (TfB) will be in the final slot, as it’s a good conduit for ST, but doesn’t do much in AoE, so doesn’t necessarily need to be empowered ASAP.
- Carnivorous Instinct (CI) in the slot before Poison, as if you switch to Burrs, it will be for ST, where you would still want TfB and Convoke, as CI is the AoE conduit of choice.
Note that if you raid Mythic at a decent level, it is likely that prioritising TfB in the first slot over Convoke is better due to the ST gain.
- Well-Honed Instincts to be empowered first, as it is an incredibly strong defensive pick
- Innate Resolve vs Ursine Vigor is a personal choice, as to which you want in your “always” slot towards the bottom vs the “just when I raid” slot before Burrs. Personally I prefer Vigor to IR in M+
To be Continued in Part 2…
- Rotational Plays
- Cooldown usage
- 9.1 seasonal affix - Tormented
- 9.0 seasonal affix - Prideful