So the time has come to make my first post, I will be working on heroic videos over the weekend to start posting guides/tips next week, so look out for those. However, my guild has reached Thock the Bloodthirsty on heroic 10 man, and it seems that one of the common strategies here is to use 1 tank (as to why this is the case, I will cover in a different article). So it was time for me to dust off my offspec.
In Throne of Thunder, my offspec was initially feral, but towards the end and then when we started farm, it was balance, due to ranged being needed on Ra-Den to kill the orbs, and just generally being better for most of that instance. Now though, feral is like stupid good, and my balance gear hasn’t gained many upgrades since ToT. Not to mention that melee are actually pretty good on Thock. Which brings me to:
Feral as a Guardian
Obviously the best way to optimize your gearing for feral is to completely re-gem, re-enchant and reforge for the spec, however, it turns out that you can get most of the way there with a much more cost-effective solution. For reference, here is the simulation numbers on my own character for various set-ups:
Guardian Gear: Same gear exactly as I use for Guardian with the only change being that I switched to RoRO and rentaki’s (I’m using vial and bloodlust at the moment for bear)
Guardian Gear Reforge Only: Same as above but attempted to reforge for mastery (in this case I couldn’t get enough mastery to change RoRO from procing crit
Fixed Gear: Changed headpiece and swapped out a couple of spare offpieces that don’t have crit and reforged (RoRO now proccing mastery :) wewt)
Optimal Gear: Basically what you get if you fully regem/respec/reforge for feral.
As you can see the differences are quite small, and indeed the difference between DoC and HoTW is quite small (although in reality this difference depends quite a lot on player skill with DoC)
There are a few things that you need to really make this as pain-free as possible:
- Basically mandatory: http://www.wowhead.com/item=96546/rune-of-re-origination pretty much any version of the trinket works fine, obviously the higher ilvl the better.
- Nice to have: a 2nd head piece, preferably of a similar ilvl to your normal headpiece, but even if it is last tier’s head or something similar it makes your life easier, as it means you can use the dps LMG without having to pay a ton of gold (and lots of flying around in pandaria) buying new ones every time you switch spec. You can also get away with just not using the dps lmg for only a ~4% dps hit.
- Might be needed, but may not: 1-2 pieces of gear that you don’t use for your guardian set that don’t have crit on them, or maybe a trinket with a ton of mastery (ebon detonator/bad juju)
1. First, load your character up in http://www.askmrrobot.com
2. Change your spec to feral
If you want to be able to import the profile to simcraft afterwards, make sure you choose the correct talents (for some reason amr defaults to SoTF)
3. Enable Reforge Only
4. Enable optimizing for Rune of Re-Origination (Note: if you aren’t currently using RoRO as guardian, either equip it in game before logging out or equip it in ask mr robot before doing the next step. You can do this by clicking the item, then selecting the appropriate trinket from the list)
5. Click the giant green optimize button and then check your stats to see if your gear has been reforged correctly:
If you click the “From Gear” check box you should be able to see your stat points for mastery, crit and haste. If they are all close and mastery is the highest, then you could in theory say you are done and go do crazy deeps. However there is more that you could do to optimize your set-up, so keep reading if you are interested! (also keep reading if it hasn’t managed to optimise your gear for Rune yet, as we can fix that!)
6. Start swapping in gear
This could be gear from a previous tier that you have since replaced, it could be some random offpieces that have dropped in the current tier that no one wanted and you don’t intend to use for guardian. These pieces preferably shouldn’t have any crit on them as we are trying to lose a little crit to give AMR a chance to make mastery our highest stat. For example I had RaDen legs with mastery haste in my bag that I could use, or I have a heroic chest with haste mastery that I am not using for guardian because I have a crit+haste piece with the same ilvl that is better and our rogue has heroic tier. Equip these in AMR:
Remember here that even if it is lower ilvl than your other gear, if it allows rune to work properly, it is an upgrade. Obviously however, we want to try to lose as little ilvl as possible whilst doing this if we can. Make sure that once you have selected the new piece of gear, you “unlock” the gems for this item (remember we enabled “Reforge-Only” ) and also double check the upgrade levels on the item, as it will default to having the same number of upgrade levels as the piece of gear it replaced. Chances are that if it is a brand new piece of gear, you won’t have upgraded it, and probably won’t be doing so. If it used to be part of your guardian set however, it probably is.
Once you have done this for a couple of pieces of gear (1-2 pieces is usually enough to make it work, do more if you like but remember the goal is not to drop too many ilvls) you may want to also change your headpiece so that you can use the dps metagem. Upon coming out of the equipping screen, when you are done, AMR will try to re-optimize your gear, so re-check your stats. If you have done this correctly, your gear should now be happily optimized for RoRO.
7. If you choose you can export it to simc and see how you’ve done, or import it into the askMrRobot addon to let it guide you through setting your gear up in game.
If you use the in-game addon, just save a gearset for your dps gear and make sure that that gearset is gemmed/enchanted properly, then it should be the case that to switch between the specs, you simply have to equip your “dps set” in game then go to a reforger and let the addon do the rest. (on a side note: AMR addon is brilliant at saving a whole setup for a particular spec, so even if you don’t use it to optimize your guardian gear, you can get it to save your profile so you can always get it back to how you like it)
So… you have got your gear set up for cat and are all ready to go, except, you have no idea how to play cat perhaps? I mean, you’re pretty awesome at HoTW cat right??? this is a whole other ball game. Well, luckily there is a pretty simple way to get you playing pretty proficiently, pretty quickly. Obviously if you are curious about the intricacies of feral, go here: http://fluiddruid.net/forum/
Alternatively, get this:
then, in game do /ovale code and select leafkiller’s script:
Then you should get a setup that looks like below (click the spell icons to bring up the side menu with all the options).
The middle box is what you should press now, or will be pressing soon (i.e. you could be pooling energy and therefore doing nothing). The right box is to try to figure out what you will be pressing after that, and the left 2 boxes are the “alternate prediction” boxes, which I have because I like them, but you can ignore them/remove them if you like.
The topic of this blog normally concerns purely guardian tanking, but given that this has been something I’ve been doing recently as we are solo tanking thock, I thought I would share some of this process with you. I have actually had a ton of fun with it, as I used to mainspec feral a while ago. I hope this has been useful for you, even if it is just that you are joining a flex/lfr as a dps, as I mentioned, I will hopefully be getting some heroic stuff out this coming week, so look out for that! I may also revisit WoL or go over my UI at some point in the coming months. Other than that, have a great weekend.