Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let's chat about talents (and glyphs)

I'm still trying my hand on informative posts. I'd like them to be more frequent than less because chatting non-stop about less useful stuff is just that - less useful. I'm choosing talents (and glyphs) because it's an easy subject and I have a solid reason to back up (most of) my talent and glyph choices.


There is not a whole lot of controversy in my talent choices to be honest. The only thing I've seen in full on bear specs that varies is removing points from Shredding Attacks and King of the Jungle in place of points in possibly Improved Mangle and Feral Aggression.

I've never been a fan of Improved mangle, I remember reading a post by the oh so knowledgeable and semi-retired Kalon on the value of improved mangle and although the article is from January it's still correct (unless for whatever reason you are using the Mangle glyph, maybe?). The points I save from using Improved Mangle are helpful in Shredding attacks. More often that not if I know I'm only DPSing a fight (very rarely) I'll switch to my second feral spec which has Shredding Attacks, but with feral tanking there are more than a few occasions where popping into Cat Form and shredding for some extra damage certainly doesn't hurt, also on the extraordinarily rare situation where I'm rage starved, 2 rage off lacerate doesn't hurt.

Now Feral Aggression on the other hand is a bit trickier. To simplify things let's completely ignore the cat aspect of the talent because I'm far away from needing to worry about filling my cat "rotation" with spare ferocious bites. Back in patch 3.2 (I think) they updated the four main attack power reduction talents to be on equal footing in terms of strength. Here are the possibilities:
The real change here was Vindication was reworked to apply the same debuff to bosses as the talented improved version of the other three. If you have someone in the raid with any of these and they are fully talented into improving them, then your regular Demoralizing Roar is no longer effective or necessary. For 25 mans it's almost a given that someone will be able to put up the attack power reduction debuff; however, in 10 mans it may be something to consider using and even improving via talents since every boss nowadays hits like a semi carrying a truck with a load of nails in it's bed.

So if I were to remove points to get Feral Aggression - what would I remove? The only controversial talents I could give up easily are the 3 points in King of the Jungle. Here is my justification though for King of the Jungle in a full on bear spec. First the burst energy for cat is great when I get to pop into cat for a bit of DPS. Normally I can get in cat, put up rake, shred to 5 cps, and throw up a rip before popping back into bear to taunt. The best example of this is Saurfang when you get the Rune of Blood debuff. The second reason for having King of the Jungle is for the damage increase when using enrage. I don't really need it until I have 4 piece set bonus of tier 10, but even now when I'm at no risk of dying, enrage is a decent bit of extra damage and threat while in bear form.

Overall I'm pretty happy with my spec and it's served me well till now. The only talent I don't get that I wish I could have is Brutal Impact. Come on...everyone LOVES stuns.


Here are your options for tanking glyphs:
If you are using one of your two (or you only have one) trees for tanking and kitty DPS I'm afraid you will have to take into consideration different glyphs - and possibly a post to follow will give some insight on how to tackle that. For those that are going pure bear for one spec I would suggest Survival Instincts, Maul and Frenzied Regeneration. It's also a good idea to carry around a few or a stack of both the Maul and Growl glyph to switch when taunt resists can spell disaster. I don't really think the Mangle glyph is necessary unless you are having threat issues, but even then ask the rogues and hunters of your raid to use Tricks and Misdirect more often.

The combination of Frenzied Regeneration Glyph and Survival Instincts is extremely potent when you use them in sync and Maul is useful for all situations with more than one mob.

The hardcore min/maxer in me says to swap out the Maul glyph for Mangle on single target bosses, but that can become costly and it's not an enormous increase in threat anyways.

10 man ICC starts up tonight, hopefully we can clear past plague and blood in one night, but we'll see how it goes!

Staying efficient while still having fun is a balancing act of sorts, but unavoidable things like people having internet issues and maybe not one shotting everything could slow us down tonight.

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