May 302011
 

::Warning Big Post, But Loads of Fun!::

Feral PVP is something I know nothing about; however, running around in end game raiding gear and 2 shotting alliance in this world of ours is something I’ve grown very found of. When I decided I wanted to look into getting better at the PVP side of this spec of ours I knew I had to find the someone who knew what it meant to be on top of the feral PVP world. Miirkat has become the face of feral PVP as a seven-time gladiator of the feral spec no one is more knowledgeable of beating the odds as arena has become a game riddled with flavor of the month classes and huge imbalances.

Miirkat works as a contributor of Skill-Capped.com where he frequently writes articles and releases videos with commentary discussing strategies, tips, and tricks for both novice and advanced Feral gameplay. Skill Capped also provides a method to directly ask Miirkat any questions through private messages or on their forums, as well as positive discussions with other members of the site. Skill Capped is a great resource for starting Ferals to plunge into PVP with the necessary information and tools to succeed. Miirkat also maintains a Youtube channel where he showcases entertaining and high rated PVP matches, however, if you’re looking for the in depth strategies and commentary, check out his videos on Skill-Capped.com. With the introducions done lets get into what Mirrkat and myself had to talk about.

 

  • Q: So pretending the fluid druid readers are complete novice for arena battles we both know how easy the bloodthirsty gear is to obtain now. When getting ready to start a new season of Arena how much resilience do you try to have between your gems and gear and if you could take a moment to walk us through while you feel it’s the best number?
  • Miirkat: Of course, the more gear you get, the higher Resilience you get. Resilience is an extremely powerful stat, especially as you obtain more of it. While I can give you a good number of Resilience to work with, there is a much better way to think about it so that you can be educated and make an opinion for yourself. The aim for Resilience is for a defensive stat that will help you live. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Am I dying? Do I feel squishy? Is my healer having a lot of stress keeping me up?” If you answer yes to any of these, then you probably need more Resilience.
  • Now, dipping down in health isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s normal. Healers are often controlled or locked out causing you to take a few seconds of damage with no healing. This will make your health drop. But, you want to be at a point where you won’t die while your healer can’t get you, as well as being able to get you back up once he does.
  • Once you get to a point where you can survive, you start considering your offensive pressure. “Maybe I need more Agility or Mastery?” This is where you start getting a feel of where your Resilience needs to be at and gem and reforge accordingly.

For anyone who has ever been forced to go bear for their guild I believe that feral PVP runs the same way as the infamous Agi vs Stam debates. If damage is too high then you prolly need more Resilience. As you get comfortable with the damage you have coming into you; you can now move with more Agi in order to have more outgoing damage.

 

  • Q: Well now that your gear is ready for the match up, what do you suggest in terms of first timers? Is it better to hope straight into a 3v3 match or should people get more comfortable to the pace of 2v2 before entering into 3’s. With that in mind currently what classes mesh well for ferals in 2s and 3s and from your experience why do we play so well with those classes in particular?
  • Miirkat: Experience is experience. Don’t worry about getting your feet wet and just dive in. Try everything from dueling, world PVP, different brackets of arena, and battlegrounds as well as rated battlegrounds. The idea is to just get comfortable with playing your class, but really experience for yourself the flow the PVP. Each form of PVP is different, and that’s something you’re going to notice the more you play, and force different play styles and thinking.
  • With that being said, you’re going to make mistakes, and tons of them. I constantly make mistakes even at my level. The big issue I see with less experienced players (not just Ferals) is that they lock up because they’re too afraid to make the wrong move. None of us were born with amazing PVP skill. You have to go out and make those mistakes, fall down, but get back up and learn from those mistakes. These mistakes will strengthen when you do make the right decision and build confidence with how you play.
  • Some of the strangest things happen when you make mistakes or do things you don’t actually intend on doing. You may find different ways in improving your rotation, or even ways on pressuring or juking your opponents. This is where experimentation also comes in.
  • As for meshing with other classes, I believe Ferals had a lot of justice done to them in Cataclysm to allow them be a lot more universal. In fact, I think that many comps can and do work, even if they aren’t a tier 1 Feral comp. I don’t think this is something lower Ferals should concern yourself with. Just find partners who are willing to play, and understand that you are all learning. The best partners are those who can remain chill while losing, but also work with everyone on the team to improve! These are the kinds of people you want to mesh with, not the class they play.

Just like walking into a new raid you really can’t be scared to wipe (a lot) I myself have never been above 1800 in arena but that hasn’t stopped myself from playing well over 300 games. I myself have ran with many different classes and it is very rewarding to get a feel on how these classes work as far as their CDs and abilities. Things you never really learn in a raid setting but are much more aware of in PVP.

  • Q: Alright so I just walked into an arena game what classes would one want to hop on first if any and what makes those classes such good targets for us?
  • Miirkat: With arena it’s important to keep in mind it’s not just you, but a team effort. While a particular class may be squishy for you in a duel, that may not be the best class to have as your target in arena. You have to take into consideration the ability of your other partners and if they can also do well against that target, offensively or defensively. Sometimes the best target for you will be the worst class damage wise, just because you have the ability to protect your team mates when you are on that target. It really comes down to whats the best for your team against that other team.

Like I said from my personal experience you really do get an appreciation for other classes and their abilities in PVP, Using that knowledge in your matches as Miirkat has pointed at becomes vital to landing those kills.

  • Q: So lets hear some stories Miir I’m sure your full of them, what’s been the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you in an arena match that really just left you rolling on the floor?
  • Miirkat: The first day my Warrior, Tenk, got his Shadowmourne in S8 we played a game to try it out. Kitty Cleave back then was easily countered by many teams at the time, specifically Wizard Cleaves. Low and behold, the very first game we get were against Bobsauce and Chaimer – Rank 1 LSD players.
  • I just remember struggling against that team because they typically go on me. I manage to get back in line of sight with our healer, and I say to Tenk “Hey you’re out there alone!” His response is “Don’t worry, I got this!!!”, instantly gets swapped to, and feels the angry wrath of wizards release all over his face and body.
  • “Hahaha, I just had to do it!”
  • While I was really upset, I was laughing because I’d probably do the exact same thing.
  • There is one more I’d like to share that’s more recent.
  • We’re playing Kitty Cleave and I end up getting caught in a bad spot and blew up against a team that we were farming, and lose a lot of points. Holepunch, our healer, starts going off on me about how I need to be smarter and that I don’t need to overextend. All I need to do is stay alive because pretty much Tenk can easily get a kill by himself when they are training me.
  • The conversation is really uneasy and we’re all frustrated from the loss. I suggest then that if I just need to survive that I just pop all my Resilience gear. Holepunch retorts that “No! You don’t need to do that, it’s not like you’re taking unbearable damage!”
  • “But I am taking unBEARable damage… they’re killing me in Cat Form!”
  • A few seconds of silence, and Holepunch just goes “Oh my God…” and we all end up all laughing. Being able to break the ice and continue playing without any frustration is what I love about playing with these guys :3

Haha, it’s important to remember how frustrating losing matches can be. It happens to everyone no matter what rating you are and just like Miirkat being able to brush off a lose with some hummer can be the difference between a losing streak and a simple loss.

  • Q: Everyone who reads this site knows how neglected ferals can be in terms of balancing through different patches. Have you ever hit the moment were you thought you should just put your druid on the shelf and roll a more flavor of the month class? What made you decide to just stick it out on Miirkat and prove season safter season you don’t need to be FotM to do awesome in arenas.
  • Miirkat: That time was actually once they announced the removal of shapeshifting breaking roots, and seeing Resto and Balance Druids retain the ability, but my issues started way further back. In vanilla, we were considered a hybrid “Jack of all Trades” class that was good on supporting others. This mentality went on through Burning Crusade. However, once Wrath of the Lich King came out, Blizzard shifted their class design for Ferals to be a competitive class in PVE (in Cat Form because Bear Tanks were amazing in BC).
  • By improving damage in PVE, you have to take away the utility in PVP or else the class is becomes glaringly overpowered with too much utility, control, and damage. Healing was also changed in WotLK making it nearly impossible for Ferals to do any sort of healing while worrying about shapeshifting costs.
  • Now flash forward to Cataclysm, Ferals get even more PVE buffs and a bit of utility that PVP Ferals were asking for (like Skull Bash). As anyone who has played in the last few months know, Feral damage – namely bleeds, were ridiculous. While some of the damage was a bug, we had not only our damage nerfed, but Berserk having its Fear immunity removed and the shapeshifting nerf.
  • Let’s be clear, I agree with most of the nerfs, and I can understand where they were coming from. But this is where I have reservations about the Feral class, as well as many others.
  • Having one of the main aspects of being a Feral, and the reason for picking one, being removed from us is just shocking. Why did someone pick a Feral over another class? I would assume it’s for a few reasons: The ability to shapeshift into an animal, to be the fastest class in terms of attack speed and mobility, and high crit. There is also the aspect of being a hybrid support class which I really enjoyed, and something you find out as you are playing a Feral, or observing other Ferals.
  • Now as I look back over the years, I see our class slowly homogenizing to every other DPS class. In fact, I see lots of classes heading in that direction. The biggest thing I hate about Ferals right now is the feel and need to play like we’re a Rogue. Bear Form is extremely weak, and sometimes trivial. Feral heals are just lackluster and completely counter productive. We’ve been put into a situation to just do damage damage damage.
  • This is where I find it difficult to justifying playing Feral. While we may have some cool stuff now, it’s not the same as when I first rolled a Feral Druid, and there is no guarantee that Blizzard won’t further homogenize the class.
  • With that being said, there are reasons to keep me playing Feral. For one, I absolutely love the Druid community. I find that most Druids tend to be really laid back and chill people who really love to have a good time. I think those who have played a Druid for a long time really accepted the fact that Balance and Ferals, and at some points Restoration, were really sub par classes, but we enjoyed it all the same and had fun.
  • How many other classes can say they have dance parties with the same class on the opposing faction on a regular basis? :P
  • I also like that you don’t see too many other Ferals (or Boomkins). This gives a sense of uniqueness. Up until now, I prided myself in playing a class and comps that weren’t “faceroll” or easily achieved high ratings. I felt it was a sort of achievement to work hard and prove I could succeed with the limitations I faced.
  • For now I think Ferals are in a good spot. We definitely need a solid look at though.

As the PVE’rs we mostly are on this site we more often then not get upset with the fact that a lot of PVE nerfs seem to come from out PVP brethren. However, we never really take the time to think just how drastic a lot of the things we take for granit in our raids really effects us in arenas, Ferals do have the best community in the game and no matter what happens between our buffs and nerfs definitely Miirkat and myself are both very proud to be part of it.

  • Q: Well that’s really all I have for you man, I do just want to thank you for taking the time to work with me on this, who knows maybe we can work together in the future if there’s ever a call for more pvp articles from our community. Now that you have the floor is there anything else you’d like to add for ferals starting in arena’s or just any shout outs you want to toss out there?
  • Miirkat: The biggest thing is to have fun. I know a lot of people say this, but playing a game that you’re frustrated with isn’t good at all. Find ways to really sit back and enjoy the game. PVP can be frustrating, especially in group scenarios. No one likes playing with angry or irritated people. Just relax and have fun. I think once you and your partners can do this, you’ll get a lot farther than angrily slamming your head against a wall.

Well said Miirkat. Again I just want to thank Miirkat from Skill-Capped.com for taking the time to talk with me, I hope you found his insight into the world of feral PvP beneficial. If so, be sure to check out his articles and videos on Skill Capped for insight and instruction, as well as his Youtube channel!
Skill-Capped.com
Youtube.com/Miir
For our readers why don’t you share with us some of your stories from arena matches in the comment section or as always toss up some thoughts onto our forums. Feel free to PM me any questions but it might take a moment to get back to you, I currently have an arena set to grind out for…

 

 Posted by at 8:00 am

  13 Responses to “Rawr I Has a Fierce; a Look into Feral PVP.”

  1. Miirkat is awesome, I love watching him in arena (not very many Feral videos to watch), and his video guides are very useful. However, this interview was pretty worthless for arena noobs.

    The first few questions go like this:
    Q: “Miirkat, as an arena noobie, how much resilience should we get?”
    Miirkat: “Well, it depends on a lot of things.”

    Q: “Miirkat, as an arena feral noob, what should my targets be?”
    Miirkat: “Depends on who your partner is.”

    For someone who has never played arena before, this is NOT useful information at all. Someone who has never played needs some concrete information to use as a guideline, with “depends on other things” as a disclaimer.

    I’ve only played a few hundred games, and only starting this season. I started out doing 2v2 with a Subtlety Rogue and we got to around 1600, so I’m still pretty terrible. I would have liked to hear what Miirkat thought good targets for Ferals were. With the rogue, we would CC the healer and burst down the other target, which worked decently well. Now I’m playing with a Resto Shaman and I don’t have enough burst to kill anything, so I basically keep their dps busy and try to drop bleeds on both targets. Is this what I should be doing? I don’t know, can’t seem to find good information on selecting targets.

    • I love playing arena at thoe moment, probably even more so than pve as we have come to a bit of a stalemate in progression so i have gotten a bit bored. I played up to 2k with a holy pally which was pretty tough considering how poor pallys are in arena and now play with a resto shaman, same as you. Best tip i can give you is : if theres a priest, kill it (if you dont he will probably suck your healers mana dry and pressure you too) . If theres a holy pally, kill it (weakest of all the healers at the moment, forcing his bubble/hand of protection is key). If theres a resto druid, kill it (constantly swapping is the best way to get a kill on a resto druid. Force his tree form, switch to his partner and cc the duid until tree is up, as soon as tree is up save your cd’s and switch back to him with everything you have). Resto shammy teams are the hardest to deal with at the moment, make sure you dont waste your cc on his grounding totem and try to catch either him or his partner at a weak moment. Watching out for who he has his earth shield on and trying to attack the one who it isnt on when possible)
      Double dps is tougher to deal with. Its very much a question of survivng the initial burst that their teams will bring. If its on you then use your cd’s if its on your healer then peel as much as possible while still trying to apply pressure. Instant cc is great but don’t forget to hardcast clones and roots in order to keep them off your healer, Feral charge (bear) is also a great way of rooting, equivelant to imp hamstring of warriors but on a shorter cd and bash is a great stun to use defensively- try to make sure your behind when you bash to avoid the dreaded “Dodge” or “parry”. The fantastic shadowmeld—>pounce is another fantastic form of cc. An example of a good peeling chain would be Feral charge bear(watch for the 4 sec root) into a bear bash, with about 2 secs left on that hardcast a cyclone followed by another clone or a roots. Healer saved, back to dpsing :)
      The most important thing while playing with anyone else is to ofc know their class, know how your healer can help you and trust that he knows when to do it. Cooridante your interrupt with his wind sheer, chain your clone and roots with his hex, protect and peel for him when he places his mana tide totem or needs to drink etc. Make sure and communicate all the time and let each other know what is happening to you at all times.
      Finally just because you are the dps doesnt mean you should just blindly do so, if your healer is in trouble , save him! Fights can be long with this setup but as long as your alive you can always win.

      • Can’t edit my reply but hit enter before i was finished :)
        Just to end, as miirkat pointed out playing is the best way to learn what you should do and when you should do it. In pvp nothing is simple or clearcut ( unless your a frost dk :) ) so each fight can be dealt with many different ways.
        Through practice you will work out whats best for you.
        Just make sure to have fun and learn from your mistakes and if you can manage that you will be winning all around you :)

        Finally, since i can’t edit im afraid your all gonna have to put up with my spelling mistakes :)

        • We actually find 2 dps a much easier fight than dps/healer for the most part. He survives the burst and I kill someone, although it’s often pretty close.

          dps/healer is rough for me as I don’t have enough burst damage to kill anyone while we CC their healer, and I find I don’t do enough damage to drain the healer’s mana.

    • In all my Rambling i totally forgot to say…. Thanks for the great interview Q.

      For me pvp is the only thing missing from this site, thats always been fine as ive got my dose of pvp news and views by following people like Miirkat, Zybak and Reygahnci (I think it was actually Alaron who put me onto Reygahnci) but it’s great to see a bit of pvp leaking its way into here :)
      keep it comming!

  2. Well a couple things to really take away from this is Miir never says depends on a lot of things and then we move on. He explains those things in a fair amount of detail. To simply leave off that in your reply seems a bit unfair.

    Guides are nice; however, saying you need 30% dodge, 125k health, and 40k armor before you walk into a raid to tank isn’t going to help anyone be successful. You need to teach them first about judging the damage they take, so they can find out if they need to gem or reforge differently, teach them about their cooldowns and how to watch their healers mana which is all going to largely effect how that one bear does things.

    Just like Miir said in this article your target is going to depend a lot on your partner as your already seeing. The same tactics you used with your rogue don’t work with your shaman. Your still the same feral druid right? so why can’t u attack in the same manor? The answer is literally because you changed partners now your entire thought process needs to change. Expecting Miir to answer specifically how the hundreds of different combinations of partners should react the the hundreds of different combinations of teams out there seems a bit much.

    This website isn’t arena junkies, if you take anything away from article let it be adjusting your gems and enchants for the damage you take. Use what both you and your partner have in your tool belt to find away to shut down what your target team has in there (meaning learning what every class has and how often they can use it)and remember to have fun while learning and adapting to it all.

    If you still have a specific question for Miir then he did leave us with contact information who knows maybe he’ll drop by to see how this piece is doing here in a few days.

    • Valid points, I just feel he could have said all that and then added some concrete examples to flush out his answer. Someone who has no idea who to target, after reading his response, they still have no idea who to target. There has to be a middle ground between “depends” and “well if you’re running feral/warrior/priest vs rogue/priest/mage you are going to want to… if they are playing aggressively, and do… if they are playing defensively.

      Concerning gear, I would recommend people get full crafted resilience gear before stepping into arena as there’s no reason not to, and then quickly getting a 2pc for the bonus from playing battlegrounds (or from JP now). This gives you a HUGE improvement for very little gear. That said, you’re still going to lose 10 matches in a row if you and your partner have never played and it’s not because you have no resilience, it’s because you have no experience. The first week I switched to my priest and played with my friend’s shaman (he had never done arena), we lost 7 matches in a row before we won a 2v1. The next week we got the 10 win in a row achievement because our MMR was so bad and we’d figured out what to do.

      Here are my questions that maybe someone else, or Miirkat if he does some follow up, can answer.

      What’s the Feral’s role? He goes over this a little bit and says it was jack of all trades, dps with a lot of utilty and it’s switching back over to just DPS without utility. I’m finding this to be true in my games. My heals aren’t worth casting, my CCs aren’t instant when I want them to be (cyclone depends on if I have a finisher up and all my bear CC requires a GCD before I can use it).

      When do you want to focus one target vs spread your damage? I watched Miirkat’s video on timing your burst cooldowns and it’s really great. Coordinate your CCs with your partner, make sure you aren’t going to be CC’d and then use Berserk, Tiger’s Fury, and maybe a trinket like Unsolvable Riddle. But before that, when is it worth trying to put rips up on multiple targets, vs just focusing on one? How much harder is it to heal if you’re keeping dots on two targets?

      My problem right now is I play with a healer and vs any healer/dps team, I can’t do damage faster than their healer can heal and I don’t drain their mana. We’ve had 10 minute games that end with my shaman OOM and their priest or paladin or shaman or druid at 50%. Without bursting, I never drop anyone below 80%. Druids are especially painful because even if we do get a double CC chain off, the hots stick around and Feral burst feels very poor to me (see warrior).

      I’m really getting tired of Feral in 2v2. I know the game isn’t balanced around 2v2, but all of the Feral nerfs seem to really hit us hard there.

      One last thing, thoughts on not being able to use Stampeding Roar while Sprinting? Now that both are root-breakers, being locked out of one for being under the influence of the other is annoying.

      • Won’t comment on all the post but just in relation to the stampeding roar and dash issue, make 2 macros…

        /cast Stampeding Roar
        /cancelaura Dash

        /cast Dash
        /cancelaura Stampeding Roar

      • While I understand your frustration with dash/SR locking each other out, you have to look at it from Blizzard’s perspective – they don’t want multiplicative speed boosts stacking. Recently I was able to blink with my mage (talent to increase speed after a blink) and then use darkflight right after (worgen racial) for a quick burst of speed, but I can’t do that anymore.

        Now do I think Blizzard doesn’t want ferals to be able to get out of back-to-back roots? I don’t. I just think it’s an unintended consequence from balancing out some gameplay. Hopefully they will catch on and allow it to happen, but just make sure one of the speed buffs overrides the other and isn’t calculated together.

        • Stampeding Roar and Dash never stacked, even before the change. Same with Nitro Boosts and Cat/Travel Form. Only the highest speed boost applies.

    • Well obviously he needs to leave you hanging so people pay for the videos at skill-capped -_- classic advertising masked as a simple interview!

      But I’m a cynic, so move along, nothing to see here.

  3. My two favorite Feral Druid sources unite! If Miirkat posted all his skill-capped stuff here, this would be the only website I’d visit. Great post!

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