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Bear Shaman Feat Review
This is just a post about the feats, in general - their usefulness, and any suggestions I might have to improve them. All of this is based on leveling a BS up to 52 on a PvP server, so the last two tiers of each tree will be left out.
Nature's Wrath - A good feat to start off on, although the description is misleading. For anyone who doesn't know, it gives you a chance to proc a stacking buff which adds an additional initial effect, equaling whatever Blood Flow normally heals initially when stacked 10 times. So, if you stack it 10 times, the initial effect of Blood Flow is doubled.
Ursine Onslaught - Simple, but effective. There is a discrepancy between the 5-point cost of this feat and the 1-point cost of Rupture, though - especially considering Rupture adds an additional 10%.
Animalistic Fury - Again, simple but effective. Not much to say here - it's a solid feat.
Aspect - Untamed Regeneration - A very powerful feat with a large negative side effect. Extremely useful and offers the only regen buffs available in Wrath.
Crushed Bones - As far as I know this is broken. Regardless, this and Crushed Organs would do better as a single feat - first two points provide an initial damage increase, last three points provide an initial damage increase and a DoT increase. 8 Points is too much to invest into a single combo.
Aspect - Skulk - I've not had a huge amount of PvE experience, but what little I've had in groups has led me to believe that such aggro managing talents aren't very necessary. Tanks can hold aggro well enough without me gimping my build.
Improved Grizzled Hide - A hefty buff for a tier four feat. Very useful, especially considering it is a prerequisite for Stone Hide.
Poisoned Hide - Not terrible for solo PvE. Terrible for everything else. Doubling the damage would make it half decent, but as is, a single melee swipe does three times as much damage as this spell does every 5 seconds. Still worth it as a prerequisite for Stone Hide, though.
Crushed Organs - Not worth the five-point prerequisite for a paltry 30% DoT increase. As I stated above, merging this with Crushed Bones would make both feats more desirable (assuming CB isn't broken).
Spell - Ursine Roar - Quite nice in PvE, but a 15% damage debuff for only 10 seconds in PvP has limited usefulness. Not much to say here; this is simply a feat that works better in controlled PvE environments, but still has some use in PvP.
Spell - Battle Roar - Provides a hefty HP buff to your entire party, but the damage buff (3%) should either be increased or left out entirely, as it does next-to-nothing for the Priest's output. A decent buff, but nothing to write home about.
Rupture - This is an amazing feat for one point, and would easily be worth investing five points into. With this, Crush Armor becomes one of, if not the, best Bear Shaman combos. Discrepancies exist with Ursine Onslaught, though, due to investment differences.
Ursine Rush - A charge. Necessary for any DPS-oriented PvP build, and an exceptional feat in-and-of itself, for one-point. Adding more than one-point only increases the terrible DoT portion though; either increase the base DoT damage or severely increase the % increase gained through the extra two points.
Spell - Stone Hide - Love this one, right here. 25% Damage Deflect for 15 seconds, with a 90 second cooldown. Excellent for PvP, PvE, and even for going AFK.
Spell - Claws of the Reaper - Requires significant damage buffs. For a Tier Six five-point feat, I was expecting something much greater. Also, the 41-point feats require you to fore-go this spell because their prerequisites buff separate Claws; this should be changed, for sure.
Shards of the Earth - Good on paper, but Totem: Stone sucks already, so there's no point in buffing it 65% for five points. Re-balance Totem: Stone's damage, or change both the spell's effect and this feat's bonus.
Combo - Bloodthirst - Was excited when I picked this up, but disappointed after the first time I used it. The damage is less than Rupture-enhance Crush Armor, with a 2 minute cooldown. The heal portion heals for as much as a single tick of Blood Flow. Overall, bleh - a prerequisite for Bewilder only.
Weight of the World - This is an absolutely amazing feat. +40% damage on the next three strikes - including combo finishers - and a 50% snare. Simply amazing.
Blood Warrior - A decent start feat. Can provide an exceptional bonus to damage if stacked 5 times, but since it has a shorter duration than Blood Flow, this is somewhat a pain to keep going. Spamming it also resets the Nature's Wrath stack, making these two feats somewhat mutually exclusive.
Empowered Renewal - Terrible if used incorrectly, but wonderful if used right before a combo finisher. Amazingly powerful for a Tier Two feat.
Spell - Rune of Slaughter - A great PvE spell, and will probably be a necessary raiding feat. Since it requires to stack though, PvP usefulness is limited.
Blood Fever - Not stated to be an aspect. Quite a nice buff though, with a significant but manageable negative side effect.
Spell - Grace of Nature - Wonderful PvP feat, but next-to-useless in PvE. This is required to defeat casters in at least 50% of 1v1 fights, and will be a huge boon to your team in group PvP.
Blood Champion - Nice, but not amazing. Since it is a clickable, it can clutter up combat buffing though, and the biggest problem with this feat is that you have to really micromanage your spells to use it to its full potential.
Combo - Ether Theft - Disappointing, like Bloodthirst. Mediocre damage, with a mediocre mana leech.
Spell - Spirit Totem: Venom - Like Claws of the Reaper, this needs re-balancing. The damage is too small to justify dropping another, better spirit totem and investing three feat points.
Spell - Rune of Aggression - Quite nice! +20% damage for a short time to your party; obviously, this is useful in both PvE and PvP.
Improved Ether Theft - Not much to say here, other than that it should probably just merge with Ether Theft as a three-point feat.
Spell - Rune of Grounding - Great for PvE, good for PvP; the 75% snare it applies forces the Shaman to properly use this spell, but 95% Immunity can keep you up against a caster indefinitely.
Spell - Manifestation: Rabies - With manifestations being generally weak auras, this fits right in. Mild pulsing AoE damage. Won't do much in PvP or PvE.
Wild Energy - Spirits' mana regeneration foil to Untamed Regeneration. Not much to say about it; it works well, but has a hefty feat-investment cost (combined with Untamed Energy).
Untamed Energy - See above.
Spell - Manifestation: Regrowth - A decent healing aura, but nothing spectacular. Considering it has a longer cast-time than Blood Flow and a cooldown, I expected it being at least as effective as Blood Flow.
Improved Manifestation: Rabies - See above.
Balance of Nature - One word describes this talent pretty perfectly: Wow! Almost deserves investing 30 points just for this feat, as it greatly aids in both PvE and PvP. The stamina regen applies to both the Shaman and his party, and as it is a very hefty regen bonus, it can keep a melee-oriented group going for twice the time it could normally go for.
Spell - Claws of Life - Like the other feats that give Totems or Claws, this one is also very mediocre. Not much else to say about it; having a 30 point feat be this weak is odd, though, especially considering how powerful Balance of Nature is.