Disclaimer

We do not encourage scripted gameplay. This is not the aim of such guides. We do not claim to have the most efficient tactic available, nor is it possible to devise one given the nature of Classic TBC and random variables involved such as RNG. But much like a musician needs to practise other composers’ work before improvising, we believe that there are certain strategies which you can follow if you are not confident about various match ups. Once you acquire the experience necessary, you will be able to play off-script and on the fly, having developed a keen eye for situations and how to make the most out of them to win.

bc classic rogue feral guide sbkzor

General Information

This guide is written from an alliance perspective as Human Rogue / Nightelf Druid. I always preferred playing double DPS as a human rogue because openers can be a real game-changer (and sometimes, …or oftentimes, a good opener is a win condition). A good opener can be deadly for your opponent if they can’t manage to control at least one of the Feral/Rogue players.

You have to keep in mind that Feral Druid is meant to be played with PvE Gear but also big stats (such as a critical strike) to become somewhat viable. That’s the reason why we’d strongly advise against playing Feral/Rogue during S1 or even S2 if you want to experience it at its best potential. The Feral will run out of mana really early in the game, and his damage won’t be as good as they’re supposed to be. In other words, this guide is probably built for later seasons (S3/S4). Nonetheless, you will probably meet many Rogues/Ferals doing well even in the early stages of TBC, but it’s not very comfortable.

Strengths

👍 Insane burst synergy in short timings.
→ Once a feral has 4/5 s4 & 4/8T6 + t6.5 jewel necklace, he can outburst anything.
👍 Good CC variety: stuns, roots, disorients, etc.
👍 Feral has massive armor in Bear Form which makes him tankier against melee opponents.
👍 Good healing assistance from the Feral
👍 Poison abolish!
👍 Rogue is buffing Feral’s damages with hemo/expose
👍 Rogue is buffed by the +5% critical strike aura from the Feral
👍 Faerie Fires makes the fight comfier in certain match-ups like RD RM
👍 Nice surprise effect.

Weaknesses

👎 RNG : all kind of resist (stuns and CC) can quickly lead to losing the fight.
👎 Feral’s lack of everything in early seasons due to the low stats :
→ low mana (power shifting/healing is complicated)
→ low damage (s1 and s2 gear are giving healing bonus instead of critical strike)
👎 require to ditch resilience for more pve stats to be more efficient.
👎 Long fight are not in favor of Feral due to his mana (which affects his CC and Damages)

Feral/Rogue Counters

– Double casters (SPM)
– Double DPS (RM or SPR)
– Dwarf Disc Priests teams (PM/LP) and Human Rogues comps (…so alliance DPR is pretty painful)
– Hpala/Warr are very tough, and Rsham can really be hard as well.

Talent Builds

Rogue Builds

As a rogue, I was using 3 different templates to play Feral/Rogue. It mostly depends on your gear. Since you search for a lot of PvE to be efficient with your instant damages, you don’t really want to use the same spec if you are low geared or fully geared.

Hemo/Step Build with Vile Poisons 

This build is the most popular one. You can use it for most rogue 2v2 combs, and it can be enough to play Feral Rogue, but for me, it’s not especially designed to play a double melee DPS combo like Feral/Rogue.

Popular Hemo/Step Rogue Build with Vile Poisons + Improved Expose Armor 

I really liked this one for a long time because improved EA buffs your insane Feral’s damage. Against clothes and leather geared players, this is making quite nice differences in terms of pressure. You want to use a lot of Prem-CS into ImpEA, then vanish garrote to KS asap. (even 3 combo KS is okay, they’ll trinket it anyway if not dead yet – endgame situation)

CUSTOM Imp ambush/Hemo/Step Build with Vile Poisons  

This is the build that I have mostly run during my Feral Rogue career on TBC Private servers. I’ve been playing this spec until top 20 to 50 on Warmane (between 2.1K and 2.2K), and for me, the only reason not to get higher rated was the lack of diversity on the TBC private server scene. On Classic TBC, I expect it to become a viable spec for Feral Rogue with no doubt.

I deep dive a lot more about the Subtlety talent spec in my Shadowstep PVP guide.

Feral Build

As Feral, the build that my mate Paolly is using is this one :

Popular 1/46/14 Feral Build

Rogue (Sbkzor)

As a rogue, you look for many PvE pieces of gear to optimize your overall damages. The purpose of the comp is to shut down your enemy in a few seconds with very strong damages. It mostly consists of mixing some PvP parts with different PvE items.
If you’re a raider rogue (which I am not), then you might get some access to BiS items which will significantly improve your efficiency. Of course, Feral/Rogue tastes really different when you play it with S4 weapons or Double Warglaives of Azzinoth. 

Trinket: I personally prefer a burst trinket (activate to get some extra AP, like Bloodlust Brooch, then Berserker’s Call) rather than a Battlemaster trinket.
Head: engineering goggles are a must-have for imp stealth detection.

I wouldn’t advise going for a fully PvE geared character because you may die too early, but 250~ resilience is a pretty good deal, from my experience, if you trade it for PvE stats beside. This means that you can pick PVE cloak, rings, neck.

Feral Gear (Written by Paolly)

First of all, until season 3, a Feral Druid has no real PvP gear.
S1 and S2 gear give a Healing bonus instead of a Critical strike. Silence effect on Maim appears with S3 Gloves. In addition, until S3, the feral PvP gear doesn’t have any HIT score, so this means that you have to compensate for this by wearing PvE pieces, which aren’t always optimized or using yellow gems (for hit). And even if you go for a hit gem for each yellow slot, you won’t be hit-capped. This being said, you also have to keep an eye on Spell Hit cap, which is hard to obtain before season 3 as well.

Once you are done with the HIT cap, you mainly get to focus on pure stats such as Agility because it provides everything (1 agility is equal to: 1 AP,  0,04% critical strike, but also dodge and armor). Basically, 1 agility is the same as +1 critical strike point so you prefer opting for agility.

Also, Agility increases your healings through Nurturing instinct (Feral tree): increases your healing spells by up to 100% of your agility, and increases healing done to you by 20% while in cat form.

– Trinket: I personally use the Badge of Tenacity until the endgame because it fits very well with my playstyle. But lots of players may prefer the popular Berserker’s Call.

From my experience, AP trinket doesn’t really offer a big boost in comparison to rogues. Because you already have a high score of AP (to compensate for the fact that your weapon DPS doesn’t matter for your damages).

Feral/Rogue Tips

As a Rogue/Feral team, you really want to get the match almost done at the opener. This means that you want to force Trinket with a nice burst pressure on the opener, and reduce as much as possible the CC from your enemies, and DoTs. That’s why I loved to play my Ambush/Hemo/Step build for this combo.

Shadow sight Timer Addon

We highly recommend using an addon that allows you to track when the Shadows Sight (the eye) will pop. It’s a good way to optimize your positioning when it is near to appear. You should try the popular Gladdy addon which has it included.

Perception

As explained in my in-depth stealth guide, the impact of Perception is quite huge because it grants your rogue a +10 yards detection compared to another rogue playing without it. The base detection score is about 5 yards, which becomes 15 yards just with Perception, not to mention engineering goggles, and talent heightened senses…

Most rogues are playing with Master of Deception so they got a +15 stealth score (3 yards reduction) added to their base skill of 350. But that’s pretty much everything in most of the case. Some rogues will also use (in early seasons) The master’s treads and Figurine – Nightseye Panther from Jewelcrafting. (both offering +5 to your stealth score)

Basically, Perception is a great tool but you need to use it wisely. A single second can make a difference, so don’t use it in your starting room, just wait to be mid-map almost, depending on how your enemy plays at starts: is he rushing to you? did he just start the game stealthed? 

From experience, Perception pairs well with sprint, because you can cover a bigger area with it, that way, but you must be organized, and a lot of rogues are good at hiding themselves.

Most macros of Silent Shadows macro section are important but here are more specific ones (for me, especially if using an Imp. Ambush build) :

  1. Ambush macro
#Showtooltip Ambush
/equipslot 16 [MainHandDaggerName]
/cast Ambush(rank7)
  1. Ghostly Strike Macro
#Showtooltip Ghostly Strike
/equipslot 16 [MainHandWeaponName]
/cast Ghostly strike

Ambush is a completely underrated ability on TBC. For me it’s very good to use it as double melee DPS, because it helps to deal with Diminishing Returns, provides big damage (on crit) when you need instant damage during burst phases, and avoids DoTing your target when it’s not necessary.

It’s very worth it if it crits, otherwise, you may see it as energy waste…, that’s the reason I am playing with 3/3 Imp Ambush talent when I am running double DPS comps.
I can’t say that “it is a must-have, go for it” because the reality has proven that 99% of top rogues never used it as subtlety, but in my opinion, it provides a lot of efficiency in your burst phases.

Ambush reqs a dagger MH (pref 1.8 one), so you have to play with 2 macros if you want to use it.

– one to equip your dagger (1) and Ambush
– one to comeback to your normal MH (2) and continue to play

I had the same keybind for both actions which was F

Basically, I was doing vanish →  F (swap to dagger →  spamm ambush →  ambush casted → being out of stealth → insta equip back the main MH)

PROS & CONS of Ambush technique:

👍 Big CRITS, especially on clothies but also on leather, and PvE geared enemies
👍 Most players doesn’t expect it to happen.
👍 Gives TWO COMBOS (and 4 if you use PREMEDITATION) before.
Ex : Prem-Ambush, KS, trinket, Vanish CS, evisc BLIND → This rotation occurs pretty often in BG and vs dual clothies in 2v2 arenas.

👎 ENERGY Cost (60)
👎 REQUIRE DAGGER as MH. (careful, weapon swapping triggers a global)
👎 Not that worth if NO CRIT… which explains why I’m choosing IMP AMBUSH Talent.

Feral Macros

Paolly does not use macros (true OG detected!) except one for weapon/idol swapping but here are some that he’d recommend if necessary:

– Poison abolish on partner

/cast [target=party1] abolish poison

– Weapon swapping for Healing phase

/equip [Heal Weapon]
/equip [Idol of the Emerald Queen]

– Focus macros for CC (Cyclone, Root, Bash, Charge).

Feral Power Shifting

Power Shifting is the fact of unmorph/remorphing to instantly return to the Cat Form. By doing so, you can maximize your energy and therefore burst. When morphing into Feline, the energy bar is automatically reset to 40. In practice, when the Druid is under 40 energy (after the energy ticking), he can leave Cat Form to return to 40 energy without waiting for the usual energy ticking.

This technique, although expensive in mana, offers the Feral a way to do more damage on the enemy. This is a must for any Feral looking to increase his damages in PvP.

NB: There are spammable macros to perform this action, but I don’t use them.

My Feral rogue movies

Matchups developed in this guide

Healer/DPS comps

||||||||||DPriest/Rogue
||||||||||DS/Rogue
||||||||||Druid/Hunter
||||||||||Druid/Lock
|||||||||| Druid/Warr
||||||||||Hpala/Warr
||||||||||Rsham/Warr
|||||||||| DPriest/Mage
||||||||||DPriest/Lock

Double DPS comps

|||||||||| Mage/Rogue
|||||||||| Spriest/Rogue
||||||||||Rogue/Rogue
|||||||||| Lock/Rogue
||||||||||Feral/Rogue
||||||||||Warrior/Warlock
||||||||||Spriest/Mage
||||||||||Spriest/Warlock

Before we get started with the strategies, we have to repeat a few important points : 

– Experience / Individual Skill: As a Rogue you have to be able to juke CC like Priest’s Psychic Scream (With Cloak, or pillars), anticipate Trinkets (Preshots with another CC), and be able to manage 2 targets (focus macros like Step Kick, gouge focus etc).
– Gear: Most strategies require good gear. This comb is not meant to be played before season 3. We’re not saying it’s impossible, we’re just saying that you may be lacking damage resulting in many losses due to mana. (as stated in the previous part)
– Openers: Feral Rogue is relying A LOT on the openers. So most of the tactics detailed here consider that you’re able to manage this part with excellence.
– KS Sap: All the tactics detailed in this guide are not relying on KS-Sap strategies. Why ? Because there were loads of debate on TBC about this and most private servers implemented fixes to block most of the KS Sap opportunities. There are some ways, sometimes, to perform it, but it’s quite advanced and we mostly played without KS Sap for the past years that’s why I am not taking count of it in this guide.

If this thing becomes possible on BC Classic, then I’ll update this guide.

A word about Healer Druids:

– Most of the Resto (or DS) Druid team composition will be about killing the Druid.
– At high rates, you may face a lot of Druids doing NS-sleeps (nature’s swiftness + hibernate) on your partner’s Trinket. It happens a lot against War/Druids (when Feral uses his trinket on Warrior’s Fear for example) but can also happen against a few RD. You’ve been warned.

Multiple abbreviations may be used in the guide : 

– CS stands for Cheapshot
– KS stands for Kidney Shot
– NS stands for Nature’s Swiftness
– CoS stands Cloak of Shadows
– SHS and Step stand for Shadow Step
– Preme stands for Premeditation
– DR stands for Diminishing Return
– CC stands for Control (Crowd Control)
– DPS stands for Doing damage.
– Trinket stands for Medallion of Horde/Alliance
– LoS stands for Line of sight
– CD stands for Cooldown(s).
– HoT & DoT stands for Healing or Damage on Time

Strategies

Healer/DPS comps

vs. Discipline Priest / Rogue

Like every other rogue comp, we will describe two strategies depending on the opponent’s faction. A lot of time, the opposing rogue stays near his disc priest partner so he can hopefully get a sap on the ennemie rogue which saps his priest partner. Others are hiding themselves in the range of their priest so consider doing a circular check 30 yards around the enemy priest)

Horde teams (mostly Double Undeads)

Opener: Sap Rogue / Focus dis
Most of the time you’ll be able to find the rogue by using perception properly.

But, what if you can’t find them? If you face many “hide and seek expert” rogue (usually that means they are like 50 yards away, waiting for your team to reveal by opening the priest), then you can switch your strategy by doing opener on priest with the feral, then use vanish + perception, so you will see that rogue coming closer to get you for sure.

As there are way more chances to get your cheapshot (stun) resisted by a priest than your garrote, I always picked garrote opener after a successful vanish sap on enemy rogue, this prevents from an incoming fear, or shield from the priest (+ you may have some DR if you already started on the priest with pounce or cheapshot, so a garrote also avoids this risk.)

Then it will mostly be about being able to juke fear with other CCs, or cloak, or LoS.

If you, or your feral, are able to avoid Fear, then you have to control the opposing rogue so you keep up your pressure on the Priest, while saving Vanishes : this can be a Cyclone, an Entangling Root (but priest can dispel it) or a Vanish Sap. Refreshing combat mode on the Rogue is also a way to control him in the sense that you can force him to vanish if your pressure is good enough. But applying a cyclone would be the best because it refreshes combat + can force a Trinket. In case your Druid cannot Cyclone (because of Fear, for example) then just make sure to keep the Rogue in combat. You can even vanish re-Sap if you think that’s worth it because your pressure is high.

What if we both are Feared? If you both use trinket when you get feared the game will probably be lost because :

One of you will likely be blinded on his trinket,
The other one will be CS/KS’d.

If you choose not to use your trinket, they likely Sap you and start on the Feral (unless your druid was caught in human form by the fear, …which is even worse because it gives them more options).

Human / Dwarf Depends a lot on the opener.
I am going a lot with pre-vanish to get a chance to sap the rogue. Depending on our gear we can choose to pounce rogue / step sap priest, or open priest with CS Expose, vanish garrote.
Going on Priest has a lot of chances to result as being feared both (which means choosing between trinketing it, LoS’ing/cloaking it.)
Dwarf Priests have a stone form that really makes a difference for your pressure by removing poisons and allowing an instant big heal. In addition, the racial removes bleedings which is an important part of the Feral damage.

For me, DPR is one of the toughest matchups as Rogue Feral (8/10 Difficulty up to 9/10 if human/dwarf). But with proper openers and damages, facing a double undead with a perfect opener (sap rogue, open priest without stun resist) can easily transform into a 3/10.

vs. Druid / Rogue

If horde: 

Sap Rogue / Focus druid

What if you don’t see anyone during perception? Wait near a shadowsight buff. Your feral will take it. Be prepared for the enemy to do the same.

The purpose is to get the enemy Druid Trinket used on the first Kidney so you can Blind, Sap, reopen. This is quite easy if you managed to get the enemy Rogue sapped and detect the Druid (CS KS → Blind on Trinket)

Right below a video which showcases a cool opener that I invented as RF against sapped RD. (garrote the rogue to keep him busy during Blind on Druid)

If Alliance (human rogue)

If you are facing an alliance team with a human rogue, you’ll be playing hide and seek, and pray for being the first to see your enemy while walking on the map borders.
If they both are stealthed at start you may burn your Perception and see nothing because you picked another side than the opposing team…, if so, you will probably end up waiting near a Shadow Sight to allow your Feral partner to take the eye, and start the fight. (They’ll do the same)

Second option : …One of you may also get sapped or/and opened (most likely by the rogue). In this case, you want to open the enemy rogue to reduce the pressure on your team.
In this case, you can choose to Blind druid as early as possible (while making sure that the opposing rogue is under pressure / cannot vanish away), and plan a switch when your KS cooldown comes back. You can also choose to go all-in the Druid but this is not safe as you likely won’t get a re-Sap(+opener) on the Druid after the Blind.

This matchup can really go wrong with a bad opening (if you’re sapped first), because the Faerie Fire is a great way to counter a Feral/Rogue team and make sure that you won’t have restleath opportunities and resets (which are importants). This is why we rate the difficulty by a 8/10.

vs. Druid / Hunter

It is not necessary to use immediately your Perception, because there are a lot of chance that the druid opts for staying near his hunter’s partner, (Spoiler : in the Flare)
So how do we get started with this matchup? 

The good point is that you are both stealthed at start which gives you a certain control on the opener, assuming that you won’t be spotted by the hunter’s Volley.

This might need a bit of practice, but you will have to learn to sap hunters at the end of flare, like 0.5s before the next one. This will require an addon that tracks the timer on Flare’s cooldown (which is the same as Flare’s duration). 

Activate your Perception when you’re about to do your sap, like a few seconds before, that’s my opinion… it allows you to check if the druid is near his partner (inside the Flare) if you haven’t seen him while being near the Flare area.

Two options about the Druid’s opener after the Sap on the hunter :

  1. The druid is fast enough to react to the sap on his hunter and activate his Bear Form before your Cheapshot.
    If so, you will focus on doing damage and bleeds. This moment will allow you to make sure that you get your 5 wounds stacked. You’re not forced to KS before his human form (necessary to start healing himself) but do not sit with 5 combos for too long. If your damages aren’t great, you may lose some efficiency by waiting with 5 combo points without using a finishing move. Opt for an Expose Armor, or other finishers, when you’re full of energy so you can quickly come back to 4-5 combo points in case of human form. 
  2. The druid stays in Cat Form which allows you to pop with Preme-CS > into full KS, or preme-CS into Expose. This opener will probably instantly set up a good pressure on the opposing druid because your Feral will be able to bring big damages.

When your feral has great damages on openers, you can choose to do an expose followed by a short KS (like 2 combo points) because if you’ve got a nice pressure, the druid will likely use trinket before dying. if your damages aren’t the best, then you can choose to vanish garotte and do a longer KS. It is something that flows naturally when you are used to playing with your partner.

Two options about the Hunter’s reaction to his Sap and the 2v1 situations

    1. He sits the sap.
    2. He uses his Trinket on sap.

Depending on his specialization, he may be tempted to trinket sap to use Beaster Mastery (if BM specced) or Scatter Shot (if Marksman Specced). If he’s not BM, a Blind should be enough to make sure you will stick on the opposing druid. It can be interesting to root him after it because his partner will probably run randomly (out of his partner line of sight) while trying to survive, and this brings another 10sec CC on the table.

vs. Druid / Warlock

Considering the risk factor due to Paranoia aura, you might have to Sap the Warlock and open his Fell Hunter pet in order to force the druid to come. If the Warlock uses a Void’s Walker (or start to summon it at the very beginning) then it’s easier. But, to be honest, 99% of the LD will be played by Warlock using Fell Hunters (if you play above 1500).

There’s a lot of chances to get spotted by one of your enemies before you get an opener if you search too long for the Druid. The longer you wait, the higher the risks are.
This risk is even higher if you face a Human Warlock. In this case, that will be mostly a Hide and Seek game while waiting for the buff to end. This being said, your goal is to find a window to kill the Druid.

Perception has a nice range of effects, so run carefully to the other side of the map and use it halfway to start looking for the enemy Druid without exposing yourself to the Warlock range of detection. Then you can try to get a Sap on the Warlock (but make sure to be out of his Cone of Vision – For more detail, check the TBC In-Depth Stealth guide that I wrote for Silent Shadows) and go away, while searching for the Druid until the Perception expires.

Best opener: Sap Lock, CS Druid in Cat Form.

You may be able to set up a nice pressure on the Druid. In case of Warlock’s Trinket, Blind him, or make sure to be able to interrupt Fears with Kick and Feral Charge (pool permanently 35 energy at least to be able to Kick, or Step Kick) before Blinding. It’s up to you. 

If you opt for interrupts, then you can wait for the Fear cast that you won’t be able to interrupt (because of your cooldowns) to Blind him. This could bring a full Vanish Sap window, but if the Fellhunter’s alive, he’ll probably stay in combat so check it before trying that, or you may waste important cooldown(s).

Make sure to have 5 wounds on the enemy Druid, and do damages.

Opener without finding the enemy Druid: Sap the Warlock / Feral opens the Pet

When the enemy Druid pops out to start healing, you’ve got two options : 

  1. CS-KS the Druid if you’re still stealthed (then, the Feral connects to DPS with you).

1.a. The Druid probably uses his trinket on the KS if you both do nice damages on him, so you can think Blind, and think about vanishing to avoid any damage/CC from the Warlock if you can’t out-range it (may require Cloak of Shadows if you were DoTed). 

1.b. Opposing Druid doesn’t use Trinket (and that means your damage pressure isn’t good enough) so you’ll sit on him praying to win by overdamageing his healing while handling lock’s CC (with some Shadow Step Kicks, and Gouges… mostly, but also Feral’s Charge).

  1. Blind the Druid if you already are out of stealth (killing the pet, or spotted by either the Warlock, pet, or Druid). 

2.a. Druid Trinkets Blind and you can pop on him with vanish CS into full KS, with your Feral partner. 

2.b. Druid doesn’t trinket and then you are free to finish the pet, apply poisons and DPS that Warlock + vanish re-Sap Druid …and you can even wait a second for him to react on your Sap (This is a good resap trinket window.). The Warlock will probably use this window (when you’re on Vanish) to try a Fell Dom to summon his second pet.

FAQ: What if the Druid doesn’t pop during Sap on the Warlock ?
Well, the pet should be dead and the Feral can cast a cyclone on the warlock, which allows you to get a fresh start on a lock without SL. This way you will probably focus Warlock and keep an eye on Fell dom. (A lot of Warlock will look for a cross CC on your team before doing so, with a Cyclone X, Deathcoil Y for example) 

Depending on the damages of your team and the CC on Druid, killing the second fell hunter may also be quite easy to do. If the pet is extremely tanky, do not waste more time on it and lock, and prefer a Focus Druid strategy while keeping an eye on Warlock’s CCs. (again, pool your energy, try LoSing them etc.)

This matchup really looks like you’re killing the Warlock, but most of the time you may choose to kill the Druid when he finally appears, unless he completely sits all CCs and you succeed to block the Fell Dom.

 vs Druid / Warrior

WD is one of the most popular 2v2 combos and it can become really tough if you face a gnom. Besides that, it can significantly become difficult because of the damage from the warrior on your rogue. In this matchup, you focus on killing the druid most of the time.

The druid will play Hide and seek but since you’ve got Perception there’s a big probability to find him in Cat Form. You can also meet Druids that prefer to start in Bear Form, which is not a problem and doesn’t affect your strategy to kill Druid.
NB: Consider removing your Thorns buff as it contributes to adding some Rage to the Warrior. #tryhards

Opener 1: If you get the Druid in stealth (best situation), you can tell your partner to Pounce+Root the Warrior and to connect to the opposing Druid that you will cheapshot (and Gouge if your partner is very far) before to KS. KS might be trinketed if you have brutal damage – which is the point of playing Feral Rogue… if so you can opt for burning your cooldowns on him to land the kill (if you feel like he’s gonna die in the next seconds), or Blind. It mostly depends on the warrior positioning this situation. This also means that you must communicate with your partner.
– If he chooses to bleed the druid, then it annihilates your Blind window on the Druid’s Trinket. This means that you’ll have to manage a warrior while trying your best to keep up your pressure on the Druid. (I personally never liked this)
– If there’s no bleeding effect on the druid, this allows you to Blind the Druid, and Vanish away, or even to get out of warrior’s LoS to get a re-stealth. This way, you may be able to perform a Sap after Blind on Druid, assuming that you, or your partner, finds a way to prevent the warrior from using his Intervention on the enemy Druid.

There’s also a variation of this strategy which is about opening the Druid without root on a warrior, but only Faerie Fires before his charge. In this case, the warrior is completely free to assist his partner and peel. From experience, that isn’t the rogue’s cup of tea usually, especially if the Druid is in the middle of the map… And the Feral will have to root the warrior anyway. (That explains why facing a gnome Warrior is harder.)

Opener 2: if you start the Druid in Bear Form, you can simply opt for starting with bleedings, expose, etc, so you can keep stuns for the human form (which will probably be trinketed if he’s not enough pre-HoTed), then you will have to be prepared to land your kill with the next KS. This kind of game is usually a bit messier because the Warrior will be really active on your team, and especially on the rogue.
Sometimes this game requires a second Blind to be won (for the record, Blind CD: 90s; Trinket CD: 120s).

This second scenario allows a lot of NS/Sleep combo on your Feral after his Trinket on Fear (if not resisted)

vs. Resto Shaman  / Warrior

Playing against a Shaman / Warrior (even a “bad” one) is a pain. The damages are strong, and both enemies are very tanky.

Few things to consider for the opener:

– There are several options, depending on who’s buffed with the Earth Shield. Basically, you will prefer to start and focus on the one that has no Earth Shield. (but you’ve got to be aware that the Shaman will apply the shield on your target as soon as possible anyway.)
– If you want to go shaman (even if he’s buffed with Earth Shield), you can think about starting with a Pounce/Root on the Warrior (just like Warr/Druid strategy). Then the Feral connects so you both are free for almost ten seconds on the Shaman, with no charge from the Warrior (then refresh combat on the Warrior, or even, try to do a second root). This opener requires you to pay attention to any Grounding Totem that would eat the root casting.
– If you want to go Warrior (because shaman is buffed by the Earth Shield). Then you can think about sapping the shaman when he refreshes one of his totems.

This being said,… what can we say? The game becomes quite painful when the enemy Warrior starts damaging. He can focus both of you, it’s really up to them.
Focusing the Feral may force your partner to sit a lot Bear form, which reduces his damages dealt and taken.
Focus rogue allows the warrior to peel you from the Shaman with loads of stuns (Interception) and snares (even root procs) not to mention infamous mace stuns which are extremely game-changing especially in early stages (Warrior shaman is supposed to be played with sword for sword procs, but a lot of them might run mace in S1/S2). But your Evasion and Shadowstep will probably make it harder for the Warrior to do damages. On the other hand, this scenario will allow the Healing reduction (wounds) on the shaman to fade, and your team may end split.

There is a lot of RNG in this fight (warrior side mostly), a lot of risks to take, a lot of patience as well, if you are not focused as a rogue, you can look for some restealth. The Feral can do a few CC on warriors if you are their focus, etc. Equally geared, it is one of the toughest match-ups. Your goal is to push trinkets and to play it safe, but sometimes you have no other options than going fully on one enemy, with all your cooldowns, good interrupts, and a nice warrior damage management (trying to stay in front of him, not exposing your back etc.).
There is almost no “beautiful way” to deal with this match-up against good opponents.

If you are both well geared, having a Sap on the shaman can really allow some Focus Warrior strategy to kill him with some bleeding openers (Pounce from the Feral and Garrote/Rupture/Shiv from the rogue for example) and Shadow Step Kicks on Shaman. You can also use CS KS as a control on Shaman while killing the Warrior, …then you also have feral’s charge as an interrupt, and Prep step kick, etc. So yeah, that’s also a good alternative, especially endgame geared.  

This matchup is about the experience and relies a lot on random Warrior’s damages, sadly. He can literally one-shot everything. Even your partner, if caught on Cat Form, because of Wind Fury (no internal CD for WF).

vs. Holy Paladin / Warrior

Meet your counter. This combo is also very tough because it’s a perfect counter to double melee team compositions.

– Divin Shield can be used as a trinket or a lifesaver if you’re about to kill the Paladin,
– Bless of Protection (BoP) has the same purpose but on the Warrior most of the time (but the good point is that your Feral can Cyclone on it)
– Bless of Freedom (BoF) annihilates your rooting and kiting (with Crippling Poison) attempts on Warrior, or helps the Paladin to escape from your team. Then you become the kited one…
– Bless of Sacrifice (BoS) is a good way for the Paladin to avoid Blinds if you’re killing the warrior, and also helps to cover openers that involve a sap on Paladin.
– And the high score of armor/shield makes it harder to deal damage and requires you to use a lot of DoTs through Bleeding effects.

This being said, the strategy looks like Shaman/Warrior but without Windfury totem. Cool, right? 

You can choose the focus Warrior strategy.

– Then you have to split with your teammate, track BoS duration/cd and Sap Paladin in the last second of it, while your Feral is ready to open the Warrior.
– You have to keep stuns for the Paladin (CS KS) as additional controls on him
– Be careful with Blind on Paladin.
– My tip: I always do it when the Pala applies his BoP on the Warrior so that it prevents him from being broken by your damages (it’s impossible for the Paladin to apply two different blessings on the same target at the same time)
– Be prepared to do Step Kicks (Feral will also use Charges) to interrupt Paladin’s cast.

At some point, “bad” Paladins may not remove the Blessing of Sacrifice from their teammate which results in making them go low life (like 60% or even less). This is a good opportunity for your team to switch and bring pressure on the Paladin. This is a nice way to force multiple CDs.

If you choose the focus Paladin strategy.

– You can use the Pounce/Root tactic for the warrior while having the Paladin sapped. then the Feral connects to you and you can start doing damages on the Paladin, with CS KS and bleedings effects. Makes sure to apply all your poisons (priority to 5 Wounds stacks, then Mindnumbling, even Deadly poisons if you have an off hand for it)
– Do not waste your Blind on Warrior when Cyclone is on DR (a common mistake in the flows of the match).
– Do your best to avoid any exposition to the warrior. This becomes really harder when you constantly have one sticking on your shoes.

Try whenever it’s possible to reset the game when you push enemies trinkets or the bubble. So you can restart with a new opener. Slowly, you’ll find your path to victory. But you may lose most of the games against decent Hpala Warrior teams. GL.

vs. Disc Priest / Mage

Double undead: Sap Mage / Focus Priest.

Double casters are very tough from a Feral perspective and require experience for a rogue as well. We’d rate this match-up around 8/10… So do not underestimate the power of this team composition. Never. Your goal is not only to kill the Priest but also to survive the Frost Mage, who can easily find his way to finish in 2v1 by spamming loads of instants. (Just like Shadow Priest / Mage) This is especially true on Classic Burning Crusade where nova isn’t breaking …at all.

Mage Priest is one of the best matchups to ruin rogue/x openers. Make sure to avoid all their AoE at the start, especially from Mage. That means that, sometimes, you may need to stay in your starting room at the start, and/or move (with Sprint if necessary) to stay 50 yards away while waiting for your moment to go in. In Blade’s Edge, going on the Bridge likely expose you to be spotted… Do not stick pillars too closely at the beginning.

The most dangerous AoE that could ruin your opening is, of course, the Blizzard from the Mage, so be patient, and play it safe. If he starts drinking, this may be your chance. When you feel that it’s possible to sap, do it on the max range if possible while being on Sprint, and go away, just to make sure not to be spotted by a hypothetical Trinket+Nova or even the Holy Nova from Priest. If nothing happens, then your team can engage the fight on the Priest, with Pounce and Preme-Garrote into KS. If he sits the whole KS, you’ll probably be forced to keep up your pressure by using a Vanish Garrote on him, so you can use Preparation and continue doing damages. At this point, he has to be in a deadly position and you must keep this pressure (crippling, and 5 wounds stacked) because if you lose it, you won’t have many opportunities to re-build such pressure.

Few tips for this fight:

– If possible, do not use Shs on the opener. This may be necessary for a Shadowstep Kick.
– Most importantly, keep your Crippling poison applied on the Priest.
– Do not hesitate to use Vanish garrote to avoid incoming Polymorphs. This is also a nice way to keep the Priest controlled (silenced).
– Using CoS early can quickly result in you being their new target to kill. That is the reason why you must use this cooldown wisely. Do not waste it for a travelling Frostbolt, that would do damage and apply a snare, anyway.
– Unless you cloak a Fear, your Trinket is preferably used for this CC.

Dwarf Disc Priest: The tactic is the same, but Stone Form makes it way harder, as the Priest has the great Desperate Prayer ability. You can possibly force a Trinket Sap and Ice Bloc on Blind from the Mage at the beginning in order to switch your target, but this is quite a tough situation to deal with if the Priest has not used his Pain Suppression yet.

vs. Disc Priest / Warlock

There are two ways of playing against this team and as usual, it depends on the races played by your opponents.

Opener 1: UD disc (or other races)

Sap Lock, Preme-CS Priest. Depending on the gear of your team you can go for Expose Armor into vanish, garrote, and burst, or go for a KS to push Priest’s Trinket.
With this strategy, you just sit on the Priest in order to kill him as fast as possible while avoiding as much as you can the Warlock’s CC.

Opener 2: Dwarf disc

Sap Priest / Preme-CS-KS Lock (CC only) – if possible do not use your SHS. / Focus pet. (for the SL buff)

Then your job mostly consists of keeping pressure on the Warlock. This means that you want to avoid as much as possible let him use Fel dom. If he does, you might be forced to kill the second pet and without cross CC on both enemies, it can be significantly harder.
→ When the pet is dead, you can instantly vanish on warlock to reopen with a garrote, and shiv to keep him snared with crippling poison. You will be both damaging the lock. I personally use Expose Armor (since KS is on cooldown) and after that, it’s mostly damage sitting while keeping an eye on enemy priest fear and casts. 

– You’ve always got to pool your energy (35 if possible) so you can Kick or Step-Kick in case of fel dom.
– Keep your 5 stacks of Wound Poison applied. 

The Feral may have an important healing job because you will be both DoTed and potentially exposed to the priest’s Fear.

Double DPS comps

vs. Frost Mage / Rogue

If you can get a Sap on the opposing Rogue, both strategies are possible, but the easier one is to focus Mage because besides his first Ice Block, he has almost no way to escape or kite your team when his partner is controlled by your saps.

Most of the time you want to Sap the other rogue, force the mage’s Ice Block, and then re-Sap the enemy rogue which could bait a mage’s cancel aura to prevent it. If he sits the bloc entirely, you just need to CS KS the rogue to keep him controlled while going back on the Mage with your Shadowstep (Prep if necessary) in order to apply your Crippling Poison and finish him off. 

During the CS KS, this would be a nice touch from the Feral to apply a Faerie Fire on the enemy rogue to refresh his combat mode at the end of KS and force a Cloak to Vanish. You can also Blind the Rogue to push his Trinket if he still has it.

If you opt for killing the Rogue when having him sapped (Thanks Perception!), you must run to the mage to sap sync your sap on Mage and the Feral opener on the enemy Rogue. Then Shadowstep Preme Garrote rogue with rupture is good, and you can even afford a DR CS to get a short KS on the rogue (he will trinket this stun even if it’s a 2-3combos one.)

Once he has trinketed this is quite annoying to try to catch him because he may use Cloak on Crippling and use all his CD to survive. I personally don’t enjoy focusing Rogue against RM but it works well.

FAQ: What if I: 

– Used Perception and I did not find Rogue,
– Get Sapped by the Rogue,
– Get spotted by the Mage.

You may be forced to Focus Rogue as soon as possible. Your partner will have an important job at keeping you alive by healing, controlling, or interrupting mage’s casts. But as a Human Rogue, you likely get the opener unless you face another human rogue, and in this case you can just rush on the Mage with a Shadow Step Garrote and afford a Vanish, in order to, maybe, Sap the Rogue. (You can also PreVanish at the start, but if you can’t find the enemy rogue, you’ll have one less vanish for this fight, not to mention the possible Blizzard on you by the Mage.)

vs. Shadow Priest / Rogue

Most of the SPR teams are played by two Undeads and most of the time you will opt for killing the Shadow Priest

Sapping Rogue should be easy most of the time. If he’s near his Priest, be careful of the Fear. 

This situation allows you to start on the Priest quite safely (Pray for no resist on Stun). It’s almost obvious that he’ll try to Fear asap (some of them are even using Trinket on the first stun to do it against humans), so a Cloak Fear is quite easy to perform here, and a re-Sap on the other opposing Rogue can be very useful if you want to keep him CC (or Blind)

The hardest part revolves around Priest’s Psychic Scream, because it allows the enemies to recover and to reverse the pressure since you’re not playing with WoTF (Trinket will likely result as a Blind for one, and CS KS for the other one). This is why you don’t want to be both Feared and why Cloaking Fear (or a resist from your Feral) becomes useful. This team, as Human, is a good 7-8/10.

This game is a race to the kill on ShadowPriest so there’s not much to say.

What if you are Sapped and Focused?
Kill Priest anyway. Trinket KS, do not cloak the DoTs so you cannot be Blinded. Vanish Step open Priest, and build up your pressure.

vs. Rogue / Rogue

Welcome back in World of Hide and Seek.
My advice would be to use Sprint + Perception at the start, choose a side, rush on it, and quickly change halfway if you don’t find anything.

Both opposing rogues may stay together, so if you detect one of them, 

– Sap him  (if not human),
– Step-Garrote him (if Human) and Vanish to see if you can Sap the second one. The Bleeding one won’t vanish away which allows your Feral partner to open on him.

If you are facing two humans, you can be Sapped and your Feral might be found as well. So the match up is quite technical.
I’d recommend going near a Shadow Sight if you can’t detect any rogue at the start. The Feral will have to take it in Bear Form and give you the information about enemy’s position if possible (and do his best to get one of them out of Stealth)

If they get the best opener, (you sapped, and your partner being opened) then you may need to Preme-CS-KS one of them to CC, and quickly Vanish to CS-Gouge the other one for example. (if one of them uses his Trinket, then you’ll be able to Blind, unless they escape it with a good Vanish).

They could also Sap you and play both on you which would be VERY difficult to deal with, in this case, you’ll have to Trinket KS (if they do it) so you can Blind one of them and see what happens. If he doesn’t Trinket Blind, you’ll be able to vanish CS the second one, but your Blind is Trinketed, then you’ll have to do your best to do your CS KS on him.

This game relies a lot on the opener. Whoever gets the opener may win the fight honestly.

vs. Lock / Rogue

Focus Lock. The strategy looks a lot like the Spriest Rogue tactic.
The difference is that he has no instant Fear so it’s a bit easier than SPR. (7/10) 

If you can’t find the Rogue, do not lose more time and Shadowstep on the Warlock to open. You can think about using Vanish to detect the rogue with your Perception active.

vs. Feral / Rogue

This is another Hide and Seek match up.

Focus Feral is most of the time the way to go. But if you find the Rogue, without seeing the opposing Feral, you can also choose to open him with a strong burst on CS (Like Preme CS Hemo spamm, KS, while your Feral also opens/damage). The enemy Feral will be forced to Heal his partner, and the opposing Rogue may be tempted to Trinket first KS to avoid too much pressure.

Such a situation brings a window for a Blind Rogue + Focus Feral, resap Rogue, etc. This is also a way to go back to the Rogue (after the re-Sap) with a full CS KS and out damage the opposing Feral’s healing.

vs. Warrior / SL Warlock

Focus Warlock.

There’s not much to say, you can start with CS KS on the Warrior to get some CC on him at the beginning while the Feral starts on the Warlock. After the KS, you have to connect with your partner to deal your best damages as fast as possible on the Warlock. For that, you may use vanish + shadow step + garrote on the Warlock, Expose, and spam your hemorrhage.

– Blind Warrior if he uses his Trinket on KS, refresh combat before the end of KS if he doesn’t, unless he’s out of your LoS.
– Shiving the warrior (with Crippling Poison) is a good way to peel him while killing the Warlock
– Keep 25 energy, just in case of Fear casting…
– Do not use CoS early. Make sure that the Warlock is dead or about to die (you don’t want to deal with his DoT while facing the Warrior)

HF

vs. Shadow priest / Mage

Double casters are very tough from a Feral perspective and requires experience for a rogue as well. This is a 10/10 matchup in terms of Difficulty. So do not underestimate the power of this team composition. Never. 

Your goal is not only to kill the Shadow Priest, but also to survive the Frost Mage, who can easily find his way to finish in 2v1.
Mage Spriest is one of the best matchups to ruin rogue/x openers. Make sure to avoid all their AoE at the start, especially from Mage. That means that, sometimes, you may need to stay in your starting room at start, and/or move (with Sprint if necessary) to stay 50 yards away while waiting for your moment to go in. Do not stick pillars too closely at the beginning.

The most dangerous AoE that could ruin your opening is, of course, the Blizzard from the Mage, so be patient, and play it safe. If he starts drinking, this may be your chance. When you feel that it’s possible to sap, do it on the max range if possible while being on Sprint, and go away, just to make sure not to be spotted by a hypothetical Trinket+Nova, pretty common nowadays. If nothing happens, then your team can engage the fight on Shadow Priest, with Pounce and Preme-Garrote into Expose. 

Few tips for this fight:

– If possible, do not use Shs on the opener. This may be necessary for a Shadowstep Kick.
– Most importantly, keep your Crippling poison applied on the Spriest.
– It is not necessary to do 5 combo KS on the Priest, even 3 combo KS is efficient if he has no Shield on him.
– Do not hesitate to use Vanish garrote to avoid incoming Polymorphs. This is also a nice way to keep the Priest controlled (silenced).
– Using CoS early can quickly result in you being their new target to kill. That is the reason why you must use this cooldown wisely. Do not waste it for a traveling Frostbolt, that would do damage and apply a snare, anyway.
– Unless you cloak the first fear, your Trinket is preferably used for a Fear.

Shadow Priests are usually stacking a lot of stamina and resilience to play with a Frost Mage because, most of the time, they’re focused by enemies. This can be tough to kill them, not to mention that in the early season they can also wear the engineering belt that absorbs 4000 damages.

vs. Spriest / Warlock

ShadowPriest + Warlock, is quite an easy match-up but not to underestimate as well, especially on Feral’s POV, because they can quickly become dangerous when all DoT are lined up.

Unstable Affliction (UA) specialization disappeared a long time ago from Psevers 2v2 arenas , but if you’re facing a warlock with this build, you can opt for a Sap Priest / Open Warlock and pop most of your cooldowns on him to kill him before the end of Sap, the second vanish can be used for a re-Sap if necessary, this gives you another garrote on the warlock who should be nearly dead at this point.

You don’t really need KS in this game because it will be Trinketed anyway, just use Expose and do damage. Kick UA or Fear (care to Howl of Terror which is instant). Do not use Cloak early. And you will win.

If you’re facing a SL Warlock, the reverse tactic also works well. Sap Warlock, Open Priest, pop all your Cooldowns, and kill him as fast as possible while keeping an eye on the Warlock (Step Kick on shadow casts, Blind if Trinket on First Sap). Since he has a pet, he may be kept in combat through him so do not try to vanish re-Sap without making sure to succeed.

This matchup is quite easy to deal with (in comparison to other match-ups of course)

I hope this guide will help you discover this team composition that, for me, was one of the most exciting to play. I also want to thanks my long-time partner and friend Paolly that contributed to making this guide possible. If you’ve got a question you know where to reach me out.
if you play this combo Horde side, I’d recommend checking my friend Petrax’s guide (soon) who’s been playing the comb as rank 1 rogue.

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