Thursday, October 14, 2010

[4.0.1] Feral Druid - Glyphs for Bear Tanks and Cat Melee DPS

With the advent of 4.0.1, Feral Druids are back in the situation of having plenty of slots for the Glyphs they want.  Or, if you are a "half cup full" guy, we don't have enough awesome Glyphs to use up our slots, so we have to fill them out with some less useful ones.

Quick Overview of the New Glyph System

You probably already know this, but we now have 3 echelons of Glyph - Prime, Major, and Minor; and 3 Glyphs in each echelon, for a total of 9 Glyphs.  This is a good thing, as there were far too many times that I found myself thinking a given Glyph really did not seem important enough to take up one of my precious Major slots.

The other major thing is that you know learn a Glyph only once.  That puts the Glyph into a spell book of sorts that you can access forever.  When you want to swap a Glyph, you use a single dose of Vanishing Powder (1 per Glyph changed).

Finally, all Glyphs now require 3 ink, which is an increase, but hey, you only need to make it once now (for a given character).

Bear Glyphs

Here is what I am currently using..huh, it looks like the Armory is not properly showing the Glyphs...and it only shows 6 Glyphs slots still.
  • Prime
    • Glyph of Mangle
    • Glyph of Lacerate
    • Glyph of Berserk
  •  Major
    • Glyph of Faerie Fire
    • Glyph of Feral Charge*
    • Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration*
    • Glyph of Rebirth*
  • Minor
    • Glyph of Dash
    • Glyph of Aquatic Form
    • Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth
* - For Tanking, Glyph of Faerie Fire is very good.  The others are a matter of taste, IMO.  I have come to really like Glyph of Rebirth (yes, you can still get off some Rebirths even when you are an MT)

My minors have not changed since Glyphs were introduced, and they are not changing now.  I like them too much.

The Primes were easy, as there were only 3 that actually affected Bear abilities.

The Majors are not so easy.  Glyph of Faerie Fire is pretty safe and allows you pull farther targets; that is good.  Reducing your charge cooldown is cool, but the amount is so small that it's questionable; and yet, is there a better choice?

Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration sounds cool, but the cost of losing your self-heal is painful.  I have used that to stay alive many times.  Glyph of Maul is a favorite for some, but I like being able to surgically Tank exactly one mob and not accidentally tag others when I do not want that.  Glyph of Rebirth should be silly and pointless for a Tank, but it may be situationally useful and at least it does no harm, whereas Frenzied Regeneration and Maul both could cause problems.

So, for now I have slotted Glyph of Feral Charge and Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration.

Cat Glyphs

Here are my Cat Glyphs:
* - Most of the Major Glyphs are cute effects.  The utility of these Glyphs depends upon your role and usual raid mix.  You will likely have many opportunities to cast Rebirth, making this very valuable.  That said, some may prefer the FF Glyph for ease of getting it up earlier and/or tagging targets from farther away when questing, leveling, and in PvP.

** - If you never plan to PvP, this is probably a bad choice. If you plan to PvP, this is a great choice.

The Primes are the same main actors we have seen in the past.  For the Majors, nothing seems really essential.  Alaron, at the Fluid Druid blog feels that Glyph of Faerie Fire is an essential Major Glyph, but all of the Majors seem to be a matter of taste; he interestingly feels the Glyph of Ferocious Bite could actually be detrimental, depending upon your technique.

So, I went with Rake for questing and Barkskin for PvP.

Hope this helps!


josh said...

no glyph of bark skin for bear eh?

The Alt Doctor said...

Good question. It is possible mechanics have changed, but as I understand it, you cap out on PvE crit reduction with Talents. The GoBarkskin is a PvP Glyph. I prefer to PvP with my Cat spec, but yeah, if you want to PvP in Bear, it's a fine choice.

Noah said...

For your cat spec why did you use the Faerie Fire glyph? Since cats don't pull they don't need the extra distance, my guess is the rebirth glyph would be a better one PvE. While bears never battle rez, cats do and having them pop up full health means no untimely AoE wastes your CD... that's my 2 cents.

Skindancer said...

Noah, thanks for the feedback. At the time of this post, I was unsure of the future of Cat Glyphing, so I adopted Glyph of Faerie Fire mostly because Alaron had and I did not see a strong reason to take anything in its place.

However, since then I have come to love the Glyph of Rebirth. I actually have that for my Bear spec now and, believe it or not, if you are very careful, you can very easily get off a Rebirth even when you are an MT in a raid.

In addition, I find it hard to justify taking the Talent points for Faerie Fire in my Cat spec, but my Cat spec favors PvP slightly, so it's a bad data point.

So, I think I will go ahead and update it. Thanks for the note.