Approved by Darksend as a reasonably accurate Cat guide. Stickied until further notification.
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Table of Contents
- Talent Tree Discussion
- Cat Talent Builds
- DPS Rotation
- Agility Vs. Armor Pen
- Gear, Enchants, Gems
- Professions, Raid Buffs
- Links to helpful guides/blogs
- Helpful Mods
This guide is intended to be a resource for anyone pursuing the art of feral druid DPS or for anyone who wants to know more about cat DPS as a raid leader or guild officer. Most of this information can be found elsewhere on the internet, whether it be hidden in Halp! threads on tankspot, the Cat DPS guide on EJ, or on a number of feral druid blogs. This guide will remain updated with future patches and upcoming expansions. If there are any errors or omissions, please point them out and I will correct them as soon as possible.
A. Cat Spec Overview
Cat druids operate on a two resource system that is almost identical to rogues. The two resources are combo points and energy (time). A cat can stack up to five combo points on a target. Just like rogues, cat druids have finishing moves that remove combo points to either buff the druid, add a debuff to the target or do substantial damage.
B. What does the cat bring to the raid?
In addition to bringing excellent single target DPS and quite acceptable AoE DPS, cat druids bring a few helpful buffs/debuffs. One of the main buffs they provide is Leader of the Pack - Spell - World of Warcraft , which when talented can also provide 4% healing on a critical hit every 6 seconds. Like all druids, they bring Gift of the Wild - Spell - World of Warcraft and Rebirth - Spell - World of Warcraft as well. In addition they increase bleed damage done which will buff all melee DPS with Mangle (Cat) - Spell - World of Warcraft.
C. What is that cat going to roll on?
Generally speaking, the cat is going to go after the same pieces of leather armor that the rogues are going for as well. Cat druids are not quite as concerned with hit and expertise as other DPS classes so they will usually pick non-armor items that either maximize feral AP or ArP rating as well. In terms of weapons, they will go after two handers with agility and armor pen as their primary stats. This will primarily be against hunters with the occasional DK.
D. What can the raid do to synergize with that cat?
The cats best friend is an Arms warrior providing Trauma - Spell - World of Warcraft. Failing that, a bear druid or another cat druid to provide the mangle debuff will increase the top cat's DPS as they no longer need to include it in their rotation. Depending on the cat's DPS increase it might be beneficial to have a Fury warrior try Arms. Cats also receive quite a hefty DPS increase from Hysteria - Spell - World of Warcraft. It is usually best for the DK not to buff him/herself with it and instead give it to the cat. Making sure Sunder Armor - Spell - World of Warcraft is applied at all times is also a significant boon in cat DPS.
A. Resto Tree Talents
Improved Mark of the Wild: Increases the effects of your Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild spells by 20/40%, and increases all of your total attributes by 1/2%.
Comment:This talent is considered necessary for most if not all druid talent specs, regardless of the tree the druid specializes in.
Furor: Gives you 20/40/60/80/100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear and Dire Bear Form, and you keep up to 20/40/60/80/100 of your Energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form, and increases your total Intellect while in Moonkin form by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Comment:While it is nice to have energy when you need to swap into caster form to rebirth / innervate it is also nice to just burn your energy prior to changing forms. There are better places to spend 2 talent points outside of the requisite 3/5 to advance further in the tree.
Naturalist: Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch spell by 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5 sec and increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Comment:10% increased damage is pretty much awesome.
Natural Shapeshifter: Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 10/20/30%.
Comment:These talent points are the prerequisite for Master Shapeshifter. Since MS is mandatory you also need to take these.
Subtlety: Reduces the threat generated by your restoration spells by 10/20/30% and reduces the chance your helpful spells, Moonfire, and Insect Swarm will be dispelled by 10/20/30%.
Comment:Completely useless for a feral druid.
Intensity: Allows 10/20/30% of your Mana regeneration to continue while casting and causes your Enrage ability to instantly generate 4/7/10 rage.
Comment:This has no use for a cat druid.
Omen of Clarity: Each of the Druid's damage, healing spells and auto attacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage or Energy cost of your next damage, healing spell or offensive ability by 100%.
Comment: Clearcasting is a great buff to cat dps.
Master Shapeshifter: Requires 3 points in Natural Shapeshifter: Grants the druid an effect in the respective forms. Bear: Increases Physical Damage by 2/4%. Cat: Increases Critical Strike Chance by 2/4%.
Comment: The increased crit chance not only buffs the cat druids DPS but also increases the chance for a 2nd combo point application alongside Primal Fury.
A. Feral Tree Talents
Ferocity: Reduces the cost of your Maul, Swipe, Claw, Rake and Mangle abilities by 1/2/3/4/5 Rage or Energy.
Comment:Rake and Mangle need to be frequently updated (if you have to put up mangle yourself) in single target situations and swipe is used to a great extent in 3+ mob scenarios.
Feral Aggression: Increases the attack power reduction of your Demoralizing Roar by 8/16/24/32/40% and the damage caused by your Ferocious Bite by 3/6/9/12/15%.
Comment: There are two major cookie cutter talent builds for a cat. The single target focused build takes Feral Aggression over Feral Instinct and Improved Leader of the Pack. It depends on what kind of DPS you need to bring to your raid.
Feral Instinct: Increases the damage done by your Swipe ability by 10/20/30% and reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Prowling.
Comment: If you need to help boost your raids AoE DPS consider this talent, otherwise the points are better spent on Feral Aggression.
Savage Fury: Increases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 10/20%.
Comment: Rake and Mangle will be a substantial % of your overall damage in any given fight so this is a good spot to dumb 2 talent points in to get up to tier 3.
Thick Hide: Increases your Armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 4/7/10%.
Comment: If you were a bear, you'd love this talent.
Feral Swiftness: Increases your movement speed by 15/30% in Cat Form and increases your chance to dodge while in Cat Form, Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 2/4%.
Comment: This talent is a dps boost but a very subtle one. It allows the cat to get to the next mob faster and also allows the cat to get away from fire quicker as well. A DPS'er that stands in the fire and dies does 0 dps.
Survival Instincts: When activated, this ability temporarily grants you 30% of your maximum health for 20 sec while in Bear Form, Cat Form, or Dire Bear Form. After the effect expires, the health is lost. 3 minute cooldown.
Comment: Like Feral Swiftness, it is advised you take this talent to increase your survivability. Since feral cats lack a real aggro dump, you will spend a lot of time riding the fine DPS line.
Sharpened Claws: Increases your critical strike chance while in Bear, Dire Bear or Cat Form by 2/4/6%.
Comment: This talent is great in it's own right but also is a prerequisite for two very essential talents for cat DPS.
Shredding Attacks: Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 9 /18 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 1/2.
Comment: Shred is the main attack used to build combo points when mangle/rake no longer need to be refreshed. Decreasing the energy cost is a major plus.
Predatory Strikes: Increases your melee attack power in Cat, Bear, and Dire Bear Forms by 50/100/150% of your level and 7/14/20% of any attack power on your equipped weapon.
Comment: Not sure what is left to explain on this one .
Primal Fury: Requires 3 points in Sharpened Claws:Gives you a 50/100% chance to gain an additional 5 Rage anytime you get a critical strike while in Bear and Dire Bear Form and your critical strikes from Cat Form abilities that add combo points have a 50/100% chance to add an additional combo point.
Comment: Cats generally have a very high amount of crit % and gaining double combo points is a cornerstone of maintaining all buffs/debuffs that we need to be successful at dps.
Primal Precision: Requires 3 points in Sharpened Claws:Increases your expertise by 5/10, and you are refunded 40/80% of the energy cost of a finishing move if it fails to land.
Comment: This talent is only essential if you are not hit capped and soft expertise capped. The higher your gear level gets, the less likely you will be either. This talent allows cats to prioritize other stats over hit/expertise which is very different from most DPS specs.
Brutal Impact: Increases the stun duration of your Bash and Pounce abilities by .5/1 sec and decreases the cooldown of Bash by 15/30 sec.
Comment: Pounce is almost worthless in a PvE raiding situation, no need to take this talent.
Feral Charge: Teaches Feral Charge (Bear) and Feral Charge (Cat).
Feral Charge (Bear) - Causes you to charge an enemy, immobilizing and interrupting any spell being cast for 4 sec. This ability can be used in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form. 15 second cooldown.
Feral Charge (Cat) - Causes you to leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 sec. 30 second cooldown.
Comment: Alongside Feral Swiftness, this talent lets you get to the mob faster and increases your dps.
Nurturing Instinct: Increases your healing spells by up to 35/70% of your Agility, and increases healing done to you by 10/20% while in Cat form.
Comment: The cookie cutter talent spec has one talent point left over and I generally like to put it here. Generally speaking the point is better used elsewhere.
Natural Reaction: Increases your dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form by 2/4/6%, and you regenerate 1/2/3 rage every time you dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form.
Comment: Like thick armor, you'd enjoy this talent if you were a bear.
Heart of the Wild: Requires 3 points in Predatory Strikes:Increases your Intellect by 4/8/12/16/20%. In addition, while in Bear or Dire Bear Form your Stamina is increased by 2/4/6/8/10% and while in Cat Form your attack power is increased by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Comment: 10% AP is nothing to sneeze at.
Survival of the Fittest: Increases all attributes by 2/4/6%, reduces the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks by 2/4/6%, and increases your armor contribution from cloth and leather items in bear form and dire bear form by 11/22/33%.
Comment: Not only does it increase your stats by 6%, but when you pull aggro you have the added benefit of not being crit. Just hope you dodge that first attack or better yet don't pull aggro!
Leader of the Pack: While in Cat, Bear or Dire Bear Form, the Leader of the Pack increases ranged and melee critical chance of all party members within 45 yards by 5%.
Comment: Not only do you get extra crit, but so do your friends! Everyone loves the cat.
Improved Leader of the Pack: Requires 1 point in Leader of the Pack: Your Leader of the Pack ability also causes affected targets to heal themselves for 2/4% of their total health when they critically hit with a melee or ranged attack. The healing effect cannot occur more than once every 6 sec. In addition, you gain 4/8% of your maximum mana when you benefit from this heal.
Comment: If you opt for the Feral Instinct path, this is a good spot to put some talent points. Bears usually take this talent, so you can avoid it if you've got a beartank.
Primal Tenacity: Reduces the duration of Fear effects by 10/20/30%, reduces all damage taken while Stunned in cat form by 10/20/30%.
Comment: There are a lot of better places to invest three talent points.
Protector of the Pack: Requires 1 point in Leader of the Pack: Increases your attack power by 2/4/6%, and reduces the damage you take while in Bear or Dire Bear Form by 4/8/12%.
Comment: This does not affect catform. Silly bears.
Predatory Instincts: While in Cat Form, increases your damage from melee critical strikes by 4/7/10% and reduces the damage taken from area of effect attacks by 10/20/30%.
Comment: Since PotP does nothing for cats, we get two for one in this tier. Great talent to have.
Infected Wounds: Your Shred, Maul, and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target. The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 8/17/25% and the attack speed by 3/7/10%. Stacks up to 2 times. Lasts 12 sec.
Comment: If there is absolutely no one else to provide this debuff in the raid, you can take these points. It would leave me to believe you have a warlock tank though.
King of the Jungle: While using your Enrage ability in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form, your damage is increased by 5/10/15%, and your Tiger's Fury ability also instantly restores 20/40/60 energy. In addition, it reduces the mana cost of bear form, cat form, and dire bear form by 17/33/50%
Comment: This talent makes Tiger's Fury awesome.
Mangle: Requires 1 point in Leader of the Pack:Mangle the target, inflicting damage and causing the target to take additional damage from bleed effects for 12 sec. This ability can be used in Cat Form or Dire Bear Form.
Comment: Mangle is the core debuff of cat DPS.
Improved Mangle: Requires 1 point in Mangle:Reduces the cooldown of your Mangle (Bear) ability by .5/1/1.5 sec., and reduces the energy cost of your Mangle (Cat) ability by 2/4/6.
Comment: You'll want this even if you aren't usually required to apply mangle. Your trauma/mangle bot may not always be on your target and then having to apply mangle yourself will harm your DPS even more.
Rend and Tear: Increases damage done by your Maul and Shred attacks on bleeding targets by 4/8/12/16/20%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Ferocious Bite ability on bleeding targets by 5/10/15/20/25%.
Primal Gore: Requires 5 points in Rend and Tear: Grants the periodic damage from your Lacerate and Rip abilities the chance to critically hit.
Comment: The dot component of rip critting is quite nice.
Berserk: When activated, this ability causes your Mangle (Bear) ability to hit up to 3 targets and have no cooldown, and reduces the energy cost of all your Cat Form abilities by 50%. Lasts 15 sec. You cannot use Tiger's Fury while Berserk is active. Clears the effect of Fear and makes you immune to Fear for the duration. 3 minute cooldown.
Comment: Great ability.
A. Single Target
Place the final talent point wherever you feel it should go. Feral Instinct or Improved Leader of the Pack are good choices.
B. AoE focus
Again, place the final point wherever you'd like to. One thing you can do is this, which gives you 3/5 Feral Aggresion instead of Improved Leader of the Pack.
1. Glyph of Savage Roar - Item - World of Warcraft - Essential
2. Glyph of Rip - Item - World of Warcraft - Mandatory as well.
3. Glyph of Shred - Item - World of Warcraft - The clear 3rd choice if you are not applying mangle.
1. Glyph of Mangle - Item - World of Warcraft - I'm not sold on this being better than Shred, but consider it if you are the manglebot.
1. Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth - Item - World of Warcraft - No one likes reagents.
2. Glyph of Challenging Roar - Item - World of Warcraft - Quite useful for emergency tanking
3. Glyph of Dash - Item - World of Warcraft - Gets you to the mobs quickly
1. Glyph of Thorns - Item - World of Warcraft - I use this because I'm bad and pull aggro on top of being too lazy to refresh thorns. About as useful as challenging shout.
Cat druids enjoy a very complex priority system in order to do top DPS. As your gear improves you will find it easier to maintain all priority points. At a low gear level or low familiarity with cat DPS it will be very difficult to fit correct Ferocious Bites into your rotation.
- Savage Roar.
- Shred for CP when 2 and 3 are not falling off.
- At 5 CP's, use Rip if SR has > 5 seconds.
- At 5 CP's, if Rip & SR have > 8 seconds, use Ferocious Bite.
- If Rip and SR seem to be dropping at nearly the same time, use a shorter duration SR to de-sync them. Otherwise try to use a high combo point SR to have opportunities to FB.
- Savage roar buffs all attacks. Mangle buffs your rake/rip. Your rake/rip buffs your shreds. Unless there is a bleed applied in the raid you should not be applying shred. It doesn't necessarily have to be your own. Just make sure Savage Roar stays up!
- Don't use FB or Rip with under 5 CP.
- There is a lot of talk about losing the rake dots when you clip rake. Clipping refers to refreshing a dot ability prior to the last effect finishing. Reports are that it'll earn combo points, take the energy, but not actually apply to the mob. Generally, it is probably best to avoid clipping on rake.
- FB is most energy efficient at 35 energy and gets worse from there. Remember that a 5 CP FB is always more efficient than shredding off the excess energy, but do your best to FB as soon as you can.
- Use TF when you are under 30 Energy.
- Use Berserk when hysteria'd or when the boss fight has a damage increase phase(icehowl, XT, etc). Otherwise use it on CD when you have high energy. High Energy is defined in the range of 60-85. Anything higher than that and you've wasted energy. Try to keep it staggered away from a heroism or bloodlust.
This section is borrowed entirely from Cat DPS Guide for Dummies - Elitist Jerks. (I feel no need to add anything to the conversion of ratings :P )
Assuming all important feral talents and cat form . Numbers in brackets include Blessing of Kings.
1 Str = 2.37864 AP (2.616504 AP)
1 Agi = 1.18932 AP (1.308252 AP)
1 Agi = 0.0129744% Crit (0.01427184%)
77.05 (70.07) Agi = 1% Crit
1 Sta = 10.812 (11.8932) Health
Critical Strike Rating
1 CritRating = 0.022% Crit
45.91 CritRating = 1% Crit
1 HasteRating = 0.030% Haste
32.79 HasteRating = 1% Haste
1 HitRating = 0.030% Hit
32.79 HitRating = 1% Hit
Hit Cap vs lvl 80 targets: 5% Hit = 163.95 HitRating
Hit Cap vs lvl 83 targets: 8% Hit = 262.32 HitRating
1 ExpertiseRating = 0.030% less Chance of getting parried or dodged
32.79 ExpertiseRating = 1% less Chance of getting parried or dodged
8.2 ExpertiseRating = 1 Expertise
1 Expertise = 0.25% less Chance of getting parried or dodged
Expertise Cap vs lvl 80 targets: 5% (Dodge) / 5% (Parry) = 20 Expertise = 163.9 Expertise Rating
Expertise Cap vs lvl 83 targets: 6.5% (Dodge) / 14% (Parry) = 26 / 56 Expertise = 213.13 / 459.1 Expertise Rating
Since you should always attack from behind, your target can't parry. Therefore you only need 26 expertise or 213.13 Expertise Rating.
But every serious Cat skills Primal Precision, which gives 10 Expertise or 81.97 Expertise Rating. So if you skill this talent, your cap will be:
Expertise Dodge-Cap vs lvl 83 targets and with Primal Precision: 16 Expertise = 131.16 Expertise Rating
1 ArPenRating = 0.07145% ArmorPenetration
13.9957272 ArPenRating = 1% Armor Penetration
Hard Cap 1399.57272 ArP = 100% of the target's armor are ignored
The best information on this subject is going to come from The Fluid Druid's in-depth analysis located here. Vallen also sumarizes the topic without going into so much maths here.
One question that is frequently asked is whether a feral druid should be using Armor Penetration gems and food over focusing on Agility. There are two major considerations to look into on the subject:
If you answer 10-man to the first question, it will almost always be in your best interest to take the Agility route. The mitigating factor for that is if your 10-man raid has no melee buff/debuff holes. This is not a common occurance.
- Are you raiding 10-man or 25-man content primarily?
- Do you have Grim Toll - Item - World of Warcraft or Mjolnir Runestone - Item - World of Warcraft ?
If you are in a 25-man raid and you have an ArP proccing trinket, an acceptable rule of thumb would be if you have >=650 ArP rating then go for the ArP gemming strategy. I would suggest modeling it in Rawr before taking my word for it though.
It also comes down to an extent to personal preference. Some druids with the gear to stack ArP still prefer agility. Agility provides a smoother rotation with the added crit chances, whereas ArP is allowing all attacks to hit harder. The difference between the two gemming strategies generally isn't terribly significant and is probably overshadowed by an imperfect rotation more than gemming.
I'm not going to use this section to go over BiS gear. For one, what's BiS depends highly on who you ask. Secondly, it has a tendency to change more frequently than talent specs and rotations and I'm a lazy cat. So what I'm going to do here is teach you how to fish instead of handing you a fish.
So now that you know where to go to find item suggestions, I'll go over some other gear related things.
- Rawr Is a druids best friend. Outside of an Arms Warrior and/or a blood DK giving you hysteria. It does great things about being able to optimize your gear.
- Feral By Night has an excellent thread going about BiS at all gear levels. There are wowhead item filters at each level. Warning: there is a lot of maths there. I would hate to asplode your head.
- Kalon/Felhoof maintains an updated loot ranking as well. It's pretty good. Here is the Wowhead filter version of it.
Idol of Mutilation - Item - World of Warcraft is the best idol to use for cat DPS. If you somehow lack the ability to pug VoA or the heroic daily (how did you get to this part of the guide by the way), it gets more interesting.
Idol of the Corruptor - Item - World of Warcraft is the way to go if you the manglebot. If you aren't, you need either Idol of the Ravenous Beast - Item - World of Warcraft or Idol of Worship - Item - World of Warcraft. If you have reasonable ArP the beast idol is the way to go.
Darkmoon Card: Greatness - Item - World of Warcraft is a great trinket to start with. It'll last you for a very long time. Pair it with a Banner of Victory - Item - World of Warcraft until you can get a ArP proc trinket.
- Head - Arcanum of Torment - Item - World of Warcraft
- Shoulder - Greater Inscription of the Axe - Item - World of Warcraft
- Cloak - Enchant Cloak - Major Agility - Spell - World of Warcraft
- Chest - Formula: Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats - Item - World of Warcraft
- Wrist - Formula: Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault - Item - World of Warcraft
- Hands - Scroll of Enchant Gloves - Major Agility - Item - World of Warcraft
- Legs - Icescale Leg Armor - Item - World of Warcraft
- Feet - Enchant Boots - Superior Agility - Spell - World of Warcraft
- Weapon - Formula: Enchant Weapon - Berserking - Item - World of Warcraft or Formula: Enchant Weapon - Mongoose - Item - World of Warcraft
Relentless Earthsiege Diamond - Item - World of Warcraft - is the meta gem of choice for cats. In order to meet the gem requirement place a Nightmare Tear - Item - World of Warcraft in an item with a yellow/blue socket bonus with agility.
All Other Gems
As mentioned above, throw that nightmare tear in a yellow or blue socket that will help you get a +agility bonus and socket all red gems otherwise. Deadly Ametrine - Item - World of Warcraft is an acceptable gem if you have an easily obtainable agility bonus in a Y/R or Y/R/R configuration as well. If you are not stacking ArP use Delicate Cardinal Ruby - Item - World of Warcraft everywhere. Otherwise, Fractured Cardinal Ruby - Item - World of Warcraft is the gem.
This section is mostly borrowed from the Cat DPS guide from EJ as well.
Alchemy: +80 Attack power through mixology, when using Flask of endless rage
Blacksmithing: 2 more sockets. Assuming epic ArPen gems, the bonus is 40 ArP.
Enchanting: 2x +40 AP ring enchant. Bonus: +80 Attack Power
Engineering: On use 340 Haste Rating for 12 seconds, 1 min CD. Averages out to 68 Haste Rating. Otherwise you would enchant +20 Agi. Total Bonus: +68 Haste Rating, -20 Agi
Herbalism: 3600 self-heal for 5 seconds, 3 min CD
Inscription: +80 Attack power because of the enhanced shoulder enchant
Jewelcrafting: 3x +34 ArPen gems instead of +20 ArPen. 3*14 = 42 ArP.
Leatherworking: + 80 Attack power because of the enhanced wrist enchant
Mining: + 60 Stamina
Skinning: +40 Crit Rating
Tailoring: Swordguard Embroidery grants 400 AP for 15 seconds, roughly once a minute. This averages out to approx 100 AP. You miss out the +22 Agi for this. Total Bonus: +100 AP, -22 Agi.
B. Raid Buffs
+20% Physical Haste -> Enhancement Shaman (imp. Windfury Totem) or Frost-DK (imp. Icy Talons)
+10% AP -> Blood-DK (Abomination's Might), MM-Hunter (Trueshot Aura) or Enhancement Shaman (Unleashed Rage)
+Agi / Str -> DK (Horn of winter provides 155 each) or Enhancement Shaman (imp. Strength of Earth Totem provides 178 each!)
-20% target armor -> Debuff applied by Prot-Warrior (Sunder armor) or every rogue (Expose Armor, Finishing move)
+AP -> Warriors (+548 AP when not skilled, +685 when skilled in Commanding Presence) or Paladins (+550 AP when not skilled, +687 when skilled in imp. Blessing of Might)
+4% physical damage -> Debuff applied by Combat Rogues (Savage Combat) or Arms Warrior (Blood Frenzy)
+10% Stats -> Paladins (Blessing of Kings)
+3% Dmg -> BM Hunter (Ferocious Inspiration, their pet buffs this) or Retribution Paladin (Sanctified Retribution)
Traumabot -> Another Feraldruid or Arms warrior applying Mangle/Trauma for you so you can skip it from your DPS Cycle
+3% Crit -> Debuff applied Elemental Shaman (Totem of Wrath affects all targets within 40 yards of the totem), Retribution Paladin (Heart of the Crusader, the Paladin has to judge a single target) or Assassination Rogues (Master Poisoner affects all target that the rogue has poisoned; he can spread this with Fan of Knives)
+ Stats -> Every Druid (Yes, this includes yourself!) through imp. Mark of the Wild
-5% target armor -> Feral and Moonkin Druids (Fearie Fire and Feral Fearie Fire, you can apply this yourself without losing DPS), Hunter (if they have a wrasp as pet) and warlocks (Curse of Weakness would mean a DPS loss for them)
+3% Haste -> Balance Druid (imp. Moonkin Form) or Retribution (Swift Retribution)
Flask of Endless Rage - Item - World of Warcraft is the way to go.
Blackened Dragonfin - Item - World of Warcraft if you aren't stacking ArP
Hearty Rhino - Item - World of Warcraft if you are.
Fish Feast - Item - World of Warcraft if you are a lazy cat.
- Cat DPS Guide for Dummies - Elitist Jerks
- FeralbyNight (Cat & Bear simulation tool) - Elitist Jerks
- Druid of the Moon
- Feral Aggression
- The Fluid Druid
One of the most crucial elements of cat DPS is keeping track of your energy, combo points, Savage Roar/Mangle/Rake/Rip timers. There is a lot of information to manage at once. There are mods out there designed specifically to help us cats out.
- FeralByNight Keeps track of all your debuffs/buffs, has combo meters, tracks your cooldowns, your trinket procs, it makes waffles, and it can also give you an ability suggestion. Keep in mind the ability suggestion lags behind the optimum play under a lot of situations.
- BadKitty Also will keep track of all the important cat things in a convienant bar format.
- ClassTimer is also quite capable of tracking all your cat buffs/debuffs. This is not designed with cats in mind so you may find one of the earlier mods more to your liking.
Agi - Agility
AP - Attack Power
ArPen - Armor Penetration rating
BiS - Best in Slot
CP - Combo Point
iLotP - Improved Leader of the Pack
FB - Ferocious Bite
SR - Savage Roar
Str - Strength
TF - Tiger's Fury
- 10/28/2009 - changed the note on shred in the DPS rotation section. Added optimal energy for Beserk and FB.
- 11/08/2009 - Changed KotJ and PT descriptions to be up to date with 3.2.2.
- 11/22/2009 - Massive formatting update to allow for the new article system.
Last edited by geros; 11-22-2009 at 09:01 AM. Reason: Massive Format Update
corrected. Ty for the sticky!
Just a point on this - shred gets its boost from R&T if any bleeds are on the target, not just yours. While it's very important to go mangle-SR-rake early on, having a bleed up is mostly important for efficiency sake; it's not required for doing maximal damage during most of a fight in 25 man content (where it's pretty likely someone has a bleed up).Don't shred when mangle + rake or rip aren't applied. Savage Roar cannot drop off!!!
Otherwise really nice general post.
I've modified the wording to that. TY for the feedback.Savage roar buffs all attacks. Mangle buffs your rake/rip. Your rake/rip buffs your shreds. Unless there is a bleed applied in the raid you should not be applying shred. It doesn't necessarily have to be your own. Just make sure Savage Roar stays up!
Here's a reply from one of my druids in my guild who's a feral dps kitty regularly topping meters:
and our former feral druid class leader:I skimmed through it and I didn't really read some of his comments. I like the 2nd build with Feral Instinct better because of swipe damage. Swipe is very good if used correctly. Also about Berserking, I only use berserk when I'm between 65 to 80 energy. Never full. I like to use my berserk very early to get my rip in early and have a solid rotation during the entire fight. Using berserk early also allows you to use it more often during a boss fight. Though you're not suppose to use berserk right after tiger's fury because it cancels out the extra damage that TF gives. Other than that it looks like a solid guide. I don't think anyone should follow the guide down to the bone, I tend to FB even if I don't have Savage Roar and Rip at 8+. It really depends on your play style and if you know you can manage to keep all your debuffs up.
One last thing about FB, I only like to FB when i have the minimal amount of energy, unless I'm really pressed on burst. I.E. Jaraxxus
Other than that everything sounds good. Be sure to keep the debuffs and Mangle up and it sounds good. If a debuff drops off momentarily I can understand, but really shouldn't be off more than 1 or 2 GCD. Sometimes I like to get a shred to lengthen my Rip if it's about to expire over refreshing my rake. Then refresh the rake asap.
Just some things to think about I guess.Skimming through it now. Thoughts:
I like the second spec better. I can't put enough emphasis on using swipe well. It's under-rated and frankly overpowered. I disagree with picking up imp. Mangle (unless you are mangle bot). It can be better placed into swipe for the first spec or a few points in that imp. FB for the 2nd. If there is an arms warrior I almost NEVER use mangle. It's a waste. Apparently I'm the only one who likes 5 in Furor but whatever. Stat crunchers can do their thing.
I try to use TF (drain energy when CD is coming) to make sure I can use it every 30sec. The more net energy you have in a fight the more dps you will do.
I use berserk right as a fight begins 90% of the time. It helps get bleeds rolling sooner (and have a solid rotation into effect) and making sure you get hysteria at the exact right time doesn't always happen (unless you do it right away!).
The guide is pretty good overall. I don't get why everyone skimps over swipe usage though. When 2+ mobs are in your range and you have SR up it's worth using to maximize your DPS. It's worth a night to try it.
I don't know if he exactly stated this (or emphasized as much as I would I guess) is that the feral priority system has a lot of exceptions depending on what's running out at what time.
Pooling energy (REALLY IMPORTANT TO DO) or rolling a SR early so you can make sure you have 5 CP for the next rip is really helpful to do. A lot of feral is practice and making mistakes to find out what is the best thing to do to keep everything rolling at once. It's really something you can't put in a guide or tell someone how to do. They just need to understand the class well enough to make it work on their own. That's why feral is so hard - it's not just rolling x at x time. You have to know when to use x early and how many CP and when to pool energy to maximize your dps.
Also: Don't FB with more than minimum energy unless it's a special occasion, never use it during berserk unless you have 15 energy+5CP.
That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure I missed something or may have repeated him.
Last edited by Kazeyonoma; 10-28-2009 at 01:59 PM.
In regards to swipe spec: I personally used swipe spec for most of my kitty career as well. From what I understand is that swipe becomes better DPS at 3 targets rather than the 2 quoted and for a majority of the boss encounters you just aren't going to get a lot out of it. If you aren't throwing down on FB too much the extra points in Feral Aggression will be wasted anyways. Comes down to how much FB you can fit in.
In regards to dropping imp mangle: I personally can't make my Arms warrior follow me around to each mob on each encounter in 25/10/5 mans. When trauamabot isn't there you've lost a lot more DPS without imp mangle than you'll pick up on Feral Aggression (I'm guessing that's where the points went). Also, you can't assume traumabot won't die in the fires.
Berserk energy levels: Can't believe I skipped on that. Will edit it in.
FB: 5cp FB is most efficient at 35 rage and gets worse from then on out, but a FB is always more efficient than shredding the energy off.
Rotation in general: I'd like to make a more advanced section and probably make a visio diagram up there. Also I'm going to start frapsing some encounters to put together a good play/ bad play John Madden style guide on the priority system. I can't think of any better way to explain all the exceptions to all the rules in detail other than showing when I hosed my abilities.
For the majority of encounters, swipe is not going to be all that useful. Taking ToC for instance - swipe is only really useful in one of the 5 encounters in hard mode.
But for that encounter, it's massively important.
Mostly, I don't see FA as being that useful overall; FB comprises such a small component of overall damage, and while it's great on a couple fights (Icehowl stuns, XT heart) it's weak overall.
And yeah, berserking at 60-80 energy is good. I count on getting at least one OoC proc when my berserk goes off, so having 100 energy tends to be wasteful. But don't sweat it; more often than not, berserking during important periods is more important than waiting to pool energy and then berserking.
I would expect Swipe to become more useful in ICC, trash as well as bosses, although I have not had a look at any of the boss videos.
One thing I see heaps of new ferals doing is 'mashing' their keys, when in fact only a couple cases require you to be using energy that fast:
-ooc proc at high energy
-Energy capped and want to use TF.
I find it better at all times to let my energy build past the amount of energy required for the attack I wish to do next (within reason) and instead focus on planning next few actions, generally this allows me to better handle ooc procs, debuffs and encounter specific things .
iirc, most other classes do not have any problems with mindlessly mashing keys, and to the contrary it might be better to handle latency / haste, and thus they might automatically think its fine to do it with ferals.
Generally my Berserks end with a FB and I find it easiest to FB when TF is about to come off CD (FB makes up to 10% of my dmg.)
CoolDownTimers3 is what i use to track TF etc. (You will need to find the fixed version as the curse one has a cosmetic bug in it)
Cat's Eye is another useful kitty mod. It is more all in one than BadKitty as it incorporates energy monitors and recharging timers for all of the abilities.
Additionally, I like to have Power Auras set to show me when I have more than 65 energy so I know when it is absolutely safe to Shred without losing more than a second or two off another ability.
Being now a long time kitty myself, when i skim through your comments, something strickes me very much, agreed we don't have any "vissible" agro reduction but we still have 30 % (according to blizz blue posts) natural reduction, so keeping Survival Instincts in your spec is a bit of a waste in my oppinion, if you pull agro (which i sometimes do), it's much easier to shift in to bear and just sit there and let the tank get agro back, the boost in HP is all good and well but has a long cooldown.
My spec is: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft which combines both your aoe spec and focus spec. I'm running (and that is a plus for me) most of the times with an arms warrior so i'm lucky i don't need improved mangle.
Survival instincts isn't just there for when you pull aggro though which is probably why I should amend the comment some. It can save your butt anytime you take raid damage that the healers can't instantly pick back up. Some thoughts on situations to use SI to keep you from being ded cat:
I know that good play will prevent deaths in all of those situations but during progression content there is rarely optimal play. It's a fantastic oh crap button.
- Tantrums on XT
- Frozen blows on Hodir
- Bomb add phase on Freya
- Pretty much the entire mimiron encounter
- When buffed by Sara in YS P1
- Running without a healer in the brain room P2 YS
- Poorly timed collapse in Algalon
- infernals + poorly placed fire in Jaraxxus
- massive gib on faction champs
On the subject of imp mangle again, I did some quick #'s off of Toskks calculator this morning to help explain why I think it's worth 3 talent points even with traumabot. Let's say the truama bot dies/is on another target/ is sat for the encounter or something like that and you suddenly need to apply mangle. Here were some numbers using my stats in tossk's:
- 5925 No need to mangle myself, with 5/5 FA & 0/3 mangle
- 5881 No need to mangle myself, with 0/5 FA & 3/3 mangle
- 5870 Need to apply mangle, with 5/5 FA & 3/3 mangle (non-swipe spec)
- 5816 Need to apply mangle, with 0/5 FA & 3/3 mangle (swipe spec)
- 5755 Need to apply mangle, with 5/5 FA & 0/3 mangle
Without imp mangle it is either a 61 or 115 DPS loss when you need to put mangle into your own rotation depending on FA. It's only a 55 DPS loss to apply mangle with a 5/5 FA 3/3 imp mangle spec. This is just in normal mangle rotation fights. When you consider fights like kologarn and faction champions where you can't get behind your target 100% of the time, I'd imagine the DPS loss on 0/3 mangle is more significant.
I still really think you should be making the choice between FA and FI.
My feral druid in raids has used survival instincts more than once to survive encounters and he even used it to go bear and tank anub after myself and the MT died in our tribute to insanity run last night. It's no joke.
I tank as a bear but I'm looking to move into kitty dps for some variation.
One thing i'd like to point out, the Mana reduction from shape shifting moved from Primal Tenacity to King of the Jungle in one of the patches not too long ago.
So if you do not have grim toll or runestone should Aglity be stacked or should you still go with amorpen
It's advice that needs to be given on a case by case basis. In your case ArP beats out agility according to The Druid Wiki - ToskksDPSGearMethod when fully raid buffed. I am assuming a 25 man raid with all melee buffs, ArP food and ArP elixir.
ArP becomes a better stat as gear gets higher levels and can outstrip agility even without the trinkets. It takes a pretty good amount of ArP and a full set of 25m buffs.
As an aside, Banner of Victory - Item - World of Warcraft would give you ~50 more DPS and tip the scale further in ArP's favor for you. Over wrathstone that is.
Great guide Geros, wish I'd known about it a few days ago and I would've plugged it in the video I just released (been running on Red Bull and not much sleep to try to get this done asap, so haven't paid attention much). This webpage will hopefully make a great addition to the feral dps community now that Murna has stopped maintaining his Cat DPS Guide for Dummies thread on EJ.
Keep up the good work, and feel free to tell me how wrong I am about stuff - I was never really all that good of a player.
CB05 Guide: How To Feral DPS RELEASED!
Big fan of your site, just released a video that has a (very short, like 1-second short) plug of TankSpot.
Number of bad words in this movie: 6
This is not for the elite of the elite.
This is for the average feral dps player who wants to improve and learn how to continue improving long after she's forgotten about this video.
English is my third language, doing voiceovers was a pain.
This movie is packed with info. WORKING AS INTENDED - or the movie would be 30min long.
Soundtrack (can't really hear it anyway):
Bruce Springsteen w/ Mike Ness
VIDDLER - FULL MOVIE:
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Download Guide How To Feral DPS.mp4
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Two things I got wrong:
I recommended a feral blog (Flyv) that went non-WoW. Go Fluid Druid instead.
The Fluid Druid
Berserk macro should be a two-step macro, one that alerts the DK, and one that you can pop for Berserk AFTER you get the buff. My bad.
A lot of people were upset with me recommending Imp Mangle.
Imp Mangle is recommended by Murna (EJ - Cat DPS for Dummies), Nightcrowler (Feral By Night) and Astrylian (Rawr). Your situation on your hard mode progression fight might be different, but for me there's way too much movement, dynamic positioning fights, attacking low-health adds while running - or running through to the backside of the boss etc not to take it. I spec for progression fights, which means things go wrong and the Arms Warrior sometimes dies or is attacking something else.
Feel free to make your own guide video telling everyone how wrong I am. And Murna. And Nightcrowler. And Astrylian.
Last edited by Coldbear; 11-09-2009 at 12:06 PM.
http://www.warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=106475 - EVERY BOSS IN THE GAME VIDEO