Myow I’m a Cat!

I built This Cat Build (There are two loose points for the lvl 80. These should be invested where you feel it would be best, I recommend Infected Wounds)

All by myself, and no one helped me. I ran it by some of the big names in feral theorycrafting (kinda) and was told that this looked like it might be the definitive feral DPS spec.

Looking at it you might notice some problems. There is no Protector of the Pack, and I’ve invested five whole points to max out Master Shapeshifter. Some might even ask if the extra 4% crit strike chance is really worth it.

In short, yes.

I’ll say it again, this is a feral DPS spec. While in this spec you will not be asked of OT, you will not be asked to heal, if for some reason you pull aggro and need survivability you’re not doing your job right. Dump all the skills that will help you live longer. What you should be doing is investing every last ounce of talent points into skills that will make it that much easier to rip faces.

For so long ferals have been default bear. The beauty of Wrath, and the re-tooling of the feral tree, has made it possible for us to go kitty as a viable option, not just as an OT kitty that does more damage than the prot warrior.

In this spec you will DPS and that is ALL you will do. However, Blizzard has promised that when specced correctly (as above) we will be competitive with rogues and other single-target melee DPS.

If you want to rip faces, and rip them freaking bloody, then this is the way to go.

It’s very easy to spec cat, and it’s equally easy to spec bear. The tricky part comes when you want to embrace all that is feral and be able to adapt to changing conditions.

CatBear? Or BearCat?

There’s a plethora of bloggers coming from the Bear side of the equation, so I will devote myself to tackling the problem of adaptability from the cat side of things. I’d like to note that this is most likely the path I’ll be taking. I want to DPS, but I also want to be available to my guild as an Offtank when needed (and a Main Tank in 5-mans), so most likely I’ll be running as CatBear.

The first step to take away from pure DPS is to remove the points from Natural and Master Shapeshifter. This skill is pretty negligible and only truly useful if you’re shifting quite a bit. I’ve never been specced into it for any length of time and I haven’t noticed myself running OOM and getting stuck in a form too often. The extra 4% crit is important when you’re pushing for every last ounce of damage you can get, but if you’re starting to hybridize it’s the first thing that should go.

I would take those 5 talent points then, and invest three of them into Protector of the Pack.

After that, at lvl 80, you’ve got some choices. Since our original build had two loose points, we now have 4 points left to spend.

I would normally recommend Thick Hide as a no-brainer, but since the bonus armor nerf I’m not so sure. I’m not as deft at mitigation calculating as I am at being able to see what will benefit DPS. Suffice to say, if you’re gear is hurting in the armor department take Thick Hide.

If you’re a little low on dodge invest into Natural Reaction. You might want to throw an extra point or two into that just on principle. Extra rage when you dodge = win.

My first step towards hybridization would most likely involve three points into Natural Reaction and one point into Feral Instinct, giving me a lvl 80 spec that looks something like this.

The next skill to get rid of is Predatory Instincts. This skill gives your melee crit strikes 10% more damage and reduces damage from AOE while in cat form only. It’s a pure-cat skill and, like the Shapeshifter talents in the Resto tree, not all that useful if you’re not trying to push the DPS envelope.

So, that gives you three more skillpoints to shuffle around. I would choose between Feral Instinct, Feral Swiftness, and Thick Hide.

Take Thick Hide if you’re not being asked to AOE tank much and are having trouble getting your armor up.

Depending on how things look I would probably put two points into Feral Swiftness for the extra dodge (and by proxy of Natural Reaction extra rage) and one point into Feral Instinct for the increased damage to Swipe.

That’s probably as far as I’m willing to go with a CatBear build. Any farther and you’re getting a lot closer to the pure bear side of things. Which is fine if you find that’s what you’d like to do, but there are many other (and better) tanking guides out there than I can offer you.

The most important thing to remember when hybridizing is remembering what is needed. If you normally run around with a pack of Paladins chances are you won’t be asked to AOE tank all that much. Ditch the points in Feral Instinct and invest in Thick Hide, for example. Feral hybrids can be very situational and the true skill of a player shines when they are able to look at their playstyle and the composition of their guild/group/raid and know what might be required of them.

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  • Comments (5)
  1. You might want to put those last 2 points into feral swiftness, with the bugginess of our hitboxes coupled with fights that have us moving around, I think the constant speed bonus would help keep DPS consistent when you’re moving around a lot. Plus infected wound wouldn’t be needed if you have the tank using their slow effect.

    • Tigerfeet
    • November 12th, 2008

    Hmmmmm good points Phil! My only concern with Feral Swiftness is location, does it work indoors now? I could be mistaken, but I thought it only worked outside. With the very welcome change to Entangling Roots I wouldn’t be surprised.

  2. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it works indoors now as well. I always seem to be out running people in instances now.

    • Lithios
    • November 16th, 2008

    it is indeed working indoors, and i do have to say that any self respecting feral would see these talents as being the only real “Max” DPS build.

    envest points in anywhere else and your gaining more utility and less dps.. (hope that didnt sound condesending or anything)

    you can get fear and stun dmg resist (dont need it)
    you can get extra healing and be able to pop out and heal (well your DPS)
    you can be stealthier (hard one for me to really give up)
    ^giveing up extra stealth even if not needed pains me, this makes this spec raid only IMO, which ill prolly use no doubt
    you can slow thier attacks and movement speed (this is what gets me, is this really PvP only? are bosses imune to I.W.? because in a raid environment would slower attack speed be an awesome ability to harness?

    meh wall of gibberish sorry

    • Tigerfeet
    • November 17th, 2008

    Lithios, good things to think of, and no you don’t sound condescending. The first build I posted is designed to maximize dps to the detriment of everything else and it’s a build I would only use in a raid environment.

    In PvP I would want more survivability so I would think a more hybrid build would be best for that, and I think, unless you’re in a very large guild with other ferals or plenty of tanks, that most ferals will end up specing at least a little bit hybrid one way or another.

    As for Infected Wounds, I don’t think it slows their movement, but I DO think it slows their attack, some other druids on the forums mentioned this and that it would be beneficial to take. Of course there was equally as much debate about Feral swiftness, mentioning lots of scripted fights and moving around. The druid range ‘bug’ is still a bit of an issue and Feral Swiftness helps to alleviate it.

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