Edit: With new from Blizz con looking very favorable for spec-switching, I altered the build below, to this build with pure cat dps and cat talents.
Time to work on a Feral build for leveling in WotLK.
As a casual player, I am disappointed that the new feral tree does not allow 100% DPS and 100% Tank spec in one build. We got away with that throughout TBC. Now, with a few talents that are bear or cat specific, we have to choose. Alas, Blizz has missed the point that many people don't like to tank and that providing a dual-spec of tank and DPS was actually creating more tanks. Well, we will have more death knight tanks, if people spec that way and perhaps a spec switching ability.
In compiling this build my goals were diffuse, like a Sarah Palin debate. I wanted to have:
- High DPS for leveling and PvP use (though I think healing is more fun in PvP)
- core tanking functions for 5-mans *not raids* (uncrittable, high armor)
- some soloing capability
There are plenty of builds out there and no hybrid build is going to be perfect. I've included points of my build below, especially where they may deviate from a pure DPS or Tank build.
Feral Aggression - usually a crappy ability, but with Rend and Tear, may stack up some nice crits.
Feral Swiftness- a puzzler. 15% increase is great for PvP in cat form. The dodge is only good for tanking, but very nice for tanking. However, Natural Reaction gives more bang for the buck, if you are willing to sacrifice the cat ability.
Brutal Impact- may be quite nice for kitties. High potential for getting in another Shred from behind can be very effective in PvE and PvP.
Natural Reaction- a clear bear ability and not a necessity for tanking 5-mans. As above, this does give some dodge, which isn't an easy stat to get.
Primal Tenacity- clear PvP ability.
Protector of the Pack- Bears only here and a core ability for tanking in any PvE setting. Nice for PvP too.
Predatory Instincts- wow. Lots of crit damage increase here. With white crits and special crits, this seems like a core cat ability.
Infected Wounds - very cool PvP ability. I probably won't take it for the Feral build, focusing more on the PvE side. This seems like a talent worth putting all three points into or none at all.
King of the Jungle - seems almost like a core threat generating and DPSing talent.
Rend and Tear - Well, taken with Feral Aggression this makes for a very nasty Ferocious Bite.
Furor - Power-shifting isn't going to work anymore for cats. That's OK, it always seemed a little devious to me. I'd rather self-buff with improved MotW. The MotW buff is quite nice in Wrath.
Well, Toskk will have the mathematical answer to the best build over on Druid Wiki soon and we will probably all go with those numbers for PvE. As for me, I'll stick with this until I feel that I'm sand-bagging myself in some way.