[Feral-Cat] 4.2 Fire Cat funtimes (OLD)
This post contains information about dpsing as a feral druid in a high end raid setting. It should be enough for beginners to gain a solid grasp on the fundamentals of the spec, and should also be a reference for players who have specific questions about our mechanics.
We'll go into more detail later, but if you have specific gearing questions you can use Rawr - Rawr or Mew - http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t110356-...mew_simulator/
I will do my best to keep this post up to date, but if you find something that is old or just plain wrong please send me a PM so that I can fix it quickly. Thank you.
As a dps it is your job to do as much damage as possible while taking as little as possible and using your utility abilities intelligently. Be ready to use Rebirth, Tranquility, or Innervate if needed, and use CC if called for. You should also be ready to act in a hybrid dps/tanking role, since you can easily grab every important talent and glyph for both tanking and dps and operate at 95% efficiency or more in both roles at the same time.
[top] Talents and Glyphs
For choosing Feral as your spec you get Aggression (increases your AP by 25%) and the ability Mangle. We also get a 2 part mastery, one for cats and one for bears. The cat portion of our mastery is called Razor Claws and increases the damage of bleed abilities by 3.1% per point of mastery.
For dps you absolutely want to pick up Feral Swiftness, Fury Swipes, Primal Fury, King of the Jungle, Feral Charge, Leader of the Pack, Endless Carnage, Blood in the Water, Rend and Tear, Berserk, Heart of the Wild, and Master Shapeshifter. Other talents that I would recommend are Furor, Feral Aggression, Nurturing Instinct, and Survival Instincts. Even grabbing all of those still leaves you with points to pick up situational talents such as Brutal Impact, Perseverance, or Stampede. Or you can also pick up Thick Hide and Natural Reaction so you're ready to be an emergency tank if your main tank dies.
A basic spec might look like this: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft. Here are my personal feelings on when and where the various optional talents are useful:
Perseverance - Reducing damage taken is always a good thing, however I generally find other talents more useful. I kind of consider this the default option - if you're building a perfect talent spec for one specific fight and none of the other optional talents apply to the fight, then this talent is perfect for sinking those last few points.
Stampede/Predatory Strikes - Really nice for add fights. You can also use these talents to run out of melee range and Feral Charge back in for a free Ravage every time your Feral Charge cooldown is up for a nice dps increase. This does add some complexity to your rotation; if you're unable to use this tactic while also dodging fires or whatever mechanics the encounter throws at you, focus on staying alive first. Dead dps do 0 dps.
Feral Aggression - Pretty handy by allowing you to apply 3 stacks of Faerie Fire at once, and more importantly buffs Ferocious Bite. The effect on overall dps is pretty minor but usually worth the points.
Brutal Impact - Necessary if you are on interrupt or stun duty, useless otherwise. No middle ground here.
Nurturing Instinct - Not a strictly necessary talent, but this is probably the last "optional" talent I would consider giving up. Not only does it help you stay alive by increasing heals done on you, but it greatly buffs your Tranquility. If you've never used Tranquility during periods of high raid damage, well, you should. Even from a feral, a Tranquility buffed by Nurturing Instinct does a massive amount of healing.
Primal Madness - Very weak, I would almost never consider taking this. If you do want to use this talent you can and should make a macro to cancel the Primal Madness buff when you are at or near 0 energy to get the most out of it.
Thick Hide/Natural Reaction - Obviously necessary if you're going to be a hybrid dps/tank. But even for a "pure" dps role these are my standard choices. Tank deaths happen, and if you have these talents and pop a couple cooldowns you can easily tank any raid boss long enough for your raid to battle rez the main tank and get him buffed and ready to take back over.
Infected Wounds/Pulverize - Necessary if you're going for a hybrid dps/tank role, not worth it otherwise. Even for the emergency tank situation described above these talents are too weak to spend the points on unless your strat specifically requires you to tank.
[top] Prime Glyphs
[Glyph of Rip]
[Glyph of Shred]
[Glyph of Tiger's Fury]
[Glyph of Berserk]
[Glyph of Savage Roar]
[Glyph of Mangle]
Glyph of Rip, Glyph of Berserk, and Glyph of Shred are your top glyphs at all times unless of course you're unable to use one, such as Shred on Kologarn. If you can't Shred go with Glyph of Mangle. Note that if you are an engineer you should not use Glyph of Tiger's Fury as it will cause Tiger's Fury to desync with Synapse Springs.
[top] Major Glyphs
[Glyph of Faerie Fire]
[Glyph of Feral Charge]
[Glyph of Ferocious Bite]
[Glyph of Rebirth]
The major glyph that I'd most strongly recommend is Rebirth, as there is a world of difference between resurrecting someone with 20% health and 100%. Glyph of Feral Charge is also useful to increase mobility and allow more usage of the Stampede talent. Glyph of Ferocious Bite isn't overly strong but is strictly beneficial now and certainly worth the slot. You may also consider [Glyph of Maul] if you plan on off-tanking.
[top] Minor Glyphs
Glyph of Mark of the Wild
[Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth]
[Glyph of Dash]
You can also consider [Glyph of Challenging Roar] if you plan on off-tanking.
General information on combat ratings can be found here: http://elitistjerks.com/f15/t29453-c..._85_cataclysm/
Weapon dps is calculated by taking the average of the minimum and maximum damage of a weapon and dividing that by it's swing speed. All weapons with the same ilvl and type (1-hand vs. 2-hand) will have the same dps. This is our strongest stat. Note that unlike most/all other classes we don't need to consider swing speed since we always have a base 1.0 second swing speed in cat form and weapon damage is normalized to this speed.
Agility increases your attack power and crit chance. Each point gives you 2 AP and it takes 324.85 agility for 1% crit. It is by far the best stat for dps and should be stacked whenever possible, though usually that only means gems and enchants because you cannot reforge for agility.
Strength increases attack power, providing 1 AP per strength. It is technically about as strong as the secondary stats, but since it competes directly with agility you almost never want a strength item. The only realistic situation where you'd even consider using a strength item is if you have access to a higher ilvl strength weapon than your current agility weapon, and even in that case you'll definitely want to check Mew and Rawr to see if it's actually better overall.
It takes 179.28 mastery rating to gain 1 point of mastery. Each point of mastery increases your bleed damage by 3.1%. This affects Rake and Rip, it does not affect Shred.
You need 179.28 crit rating to gain 1% crit chance. This now affects all damage including bleeds.
You need 128.05701 haste rating for 1% haste. Haste increases your auto-attack swing speed and energy regeneration.
You need 120.109 hit/expertise rating for 1% hit/expertise. Note that interrupts can no longer miss, so there is never a specific need to cap hit.
There is 1 real choice for your meta gem: [Agile Shadowspirit Diamond]. All red slots should be filled with [Delicate Inferno Ruby]. Generally you'll want to skip blue or yellow socket bonuses and use delicates there as well. If a blue or yellow socket bonus is worth getting you should use [Glinting Demonseye] or [Deft Ember Topaz]. This can occur if the socket bonus is around 13-14 agility per non-red gem.
[top] Reforging/Secondary stat considerations
This latest patch has brought all of the secondary stats quite close to each other. To my knowledge gearing setups that focus on haste, mastery, hit/exp cap, and balanced distributions all appear in simulations to be very similar in overall dps. So until further investigations find a more meaningful hierarchy of secondary stats feel free to set these up however you like. Do note that hit and expertise are clear favorites in AoE situations now that Swipe is worth using again. Also be aware that set bonuses will have a noticeable effect - losing 2T11 will reduce the value of mastery and the T12 bonuses will increase the value of non-mastery stats.
[top] Set bonuses
The short answer is both T12 set bonuses are good. 2T12 is pretty straightforward, barring any bugs it is basically a simple 10% buff to Shred and Mangle. It has the same mechanics as Ignite, so if you use a Shred while a previous one's bonus damage DoT is still ticking the damage will be rolled into a new DoT.
4T12 is more interesting, particularly now that Glyph of Berserk gives us a base 25 second Berserk. This is the one situation above 25% boss health where it's a definite advantage to use Ferocious Bite, though of course Rip and Savage Roar are still more important if they are about to fall off. As of my most recent knowledge it is not beneficial to cancel Berserk in order to use Tiger's Fury if it is extended long enough from the glyph and the 4T12 bonus.
Head: [Arcanum of the Ramkahen]
Shoulders: [Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal]
Back: Major Agility (22 agility)
Chest: Peerless Stats (20 to all stats)
Wrists: Agility (50 agility)
Hands: Greater Mastery (65 mastery)
Legs: [Dragonscale Leg Armor]
Feet: Major Agility (35 agility)
Weapon: Mighty Agility (130 agility)
Jewelcrafting very slightly offers the most agility. If used on cooldown Synapse Springs from Engineering provide a minimum of 80 agility on average and usually somewhat more than that, and can also be lined up with other cooldowns for more effective benefit than a static buff. Jewelcrafting, Leatherworking, and Blacksmithing are all a bit more flexible than other professions, though this is not as useful as it was in WotLK.
Alchemy: 80 agility from [Flask of the Winds].
Blacksmithing: 80 agility from 2 extra gem sockets.
Enchanting: 80 agility from ring enchants.
Engineering: Synapse Springs provide 480 agility for 10 seconds on a 60 second cooldown. This averages to 80 agility but in practice will be slightly stronger than that if used correctly.
Herbalism: Minor heal and 480 haste for 20 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown.
Inscription: 80 agility from shoulder enchant.
Jewelcrafting: 81 agility from Chimera's Eyes.
Leatherworking: 80 agility from bracer enchant. Can also use the level 80 resistance enchants if needed.
Mining: 120 stamina, no dps benefits.
Skinning: 80 crit, not as good as other professions.
Tailoring: Swordguard Embroidery - Spell - World of Warcraft chance to proc 1000 AP for 15 seconds.
Depending on how exact you want your rotation to be it can become quite complicated. A simplified version would be
1. Keep up Feral Faerie Fire if there's no other armor debuff
2. Keep up Mangle
3. Use Tiger's Fury on cooldown
4. Use Berserk on cooldown
5. Keep up a 5CP Rip (including refreshing with Ferocious Bite below 25% boss health)
6. Keep up Rake
7. Keep up Savage Roar
8. Feral Charge -> Ravage if your FC cooldown is up
9. Shred for combo points
As of 4.1 Swipe has become worthwhile in AoE situations. Delaying Rip to line up with Tiger's Fury is not generally thought to be a dps increase, but overwriting Rake with a Tiger's Fury up is if the previous Rake has few ticks left. Perform your rotation as usual when getting OOC procs. Fitting in Ferocious Bite above 25% is also a dps increase if done right, meaning that you don't lose too much time on Rip and Savage Roar.
The default UI is pretty terrible for tracking everything you need to know to dps well as a feral. There are a number of addons out there that can more cleanly display information you need. BadKitty and FeralByNight are tailored towards feral dps, and Power Auras is also popular. Leafkiller keeps an updated Ovale script on his site Fluiddruid.net. My personal choice is RoguePowerBars. TidyPlates can be used to track your debuffs on multiple mobs on their health bars. There are a lot of choices out there, find one that fits your needs and use it.
If there's something else you'd like me to include please PM me.
The old thread can be found here: http://elitistjerks.com/f73/t110352-...clysm_release/
Any feedback on the content of the lead post should be PM'd to Melthu directly. Patch is likely to occur on 6/28, but most of the raid-level theoretical discussion has been on 4.2 for quite awhile. It is okay to still discuss raid relevant 4.1 information here until the patch goes live.
So that there's no confusion, the kind of things that should be PMed to me directly are typo's or forgetting an enchant or patch update. If you feel that any actual content in the first post is outdated, incorrect, or otherwise worthy of discussion feel free to bring it up in the thread.
The 2t12 debuff is called "Fiery Claws" (2t12), it is a 4second dot, with 2 second ticks. The debuff itself does not crit, it only hits.
I just did a quick dummy test:
No mangle debuff
No use of Tiger's Fury. Just natural energy regeneration and clearcasting.
No trinkets or weapon equipped.
Casting shred without waiting
Shred (Hit 13, Crit 7) 108.3K
Fiery Claws 12.6K = 11.63%
Berserk + shred without waiting
Shred (Hit 10, Crit 9 ) 112.8K
Fiery Claws 19.3K = 17.1%
Casting shred, waiting until debuff has less than 2 seconds left and then using shred.
Shred (Hit 13, Crit 7) 108.3k
Fiery Claws 11.1K = 10.25%
Casting shred, waiting until debuff falls off.
Shred (Hit 8, Crit 11) 115.9K
Fiery Claws 12.7K = 10.96%
From more experimentation, strange and wonderful things are happening to the dot ticks. ( I did 5 shreds, 10s apart and only had 9 ticks of fiery claws). This doesn't explain why you get more than 10% damage though. Very peculiar. From what I can see, it is beneficial to shred as soon as possible before Fiery Claws ticks.
So i just read this and understood that mastery will be no longer THAT important for feral kitties?
I've skimmed across the new firelands loot tables and saw that most items now have haste on them, mostly instead of mastery.
I'm not very good at theorycrafting and all and i'm just curious if haste could become the favourite stat of cats. With the new changes in skills, will it become more powerfull that mastery? We'll replace the bleed damage from mastery with faster energy regen and faster attacks now that 2T12 has an extra dot?
The main difference between now and 4.2 is the emphasis being placed onto direct damage, and while our Bleeds will still do a large portion of our overall damage, our direct damage abilities will account for much more than they do right now, meanign misses hurt our dps more than they do currently and more haste means faster energy regen and therefore more energy available for more direct attacks sooner. Therefore hit/exp and haste become more important than they are right now and you gain less advantage per point from stacking extra mastery than you do now. Much of our damage is directly tied to our weapon damage, meaning that other stats are not as important (i.e. less damage increase per stat point than other classes get) and if you struggle to get hold of an adequate weapon then your dps will suffer more than any other class (save for a hunter getting a gun/bow upgrade) so we're being forced into using PvP weapons if they are an upgrade which I personally dont agree with.
Hope that helps...
One thing I am confused about is the benefit of the Agility weapon enchant as opposed to the direct dps output from Avalanche. I've seen some talk of Avalanche being the better dps boost over the Agility enchant (although I have the agility enchant to help my dodge for tanking - i've only got one Malevolence). Some clarification if this is correct would be appreciated.
I didn't understand why dont get talent like Predatory Strikes and dont get 2/2 Stampede, could u clarify about this?
Although I agree with you and personally have both Predatory Strikes and Stampede maxed in my spec, I believe that the "basic spec" listed just covers the essentials for a successful feral build. The remaining 4 points are to be used as you see fit to best fulfill your specific needs or the needs of the role you fill in your group.
I would like to bring up the debate regarding who will be avoiding the 4P T12 in exchange for off set peices and who will be aiming for the Hit and Expertise cap in 4.2.
I have looked at various other peoples ralative stat data and it seems that hit and expetise are only slightly behind haste with mastery still being the best 2nd stat. i will aim to max out mastery like i currently do then going for the hit and expertise caps to make refreshing dots alot easier. Eliminating the RNG missed/dodges will make my dps easier making me able to focus on the encounter more and may increase my damage because it allows me to refresh at the most ideal time without fail.
And as for the 4P T12 with the improved glyph of Beserk increasing by 10 seconds Zerk will last 25 seconds. seeing as i will most likely want to TF just before Zerk I will get a max 5 seconds of extra beserk time from the 4P T12. Looking at some of the stats on the Tier peices and tbh the way they look i may choose to neglect the 4 set seeing as it is very small benefit. Plus after 25 seconds and shred spam, unless hero/BL is up, we will not have much energy to do anything but maybe add 1/2 more shreds.
I do not currently have a character on the PTR so anyone with hands on experience that is will to share their knowledge i would much appreciate your wisdom :)
I'm still not convinced on the logic and math behind the Hit/Exp capping being as good as stack Mastery or stack Haste. I assume when you brought it up (someone a few posts up) you're referring to to Konungr's math? Some of his conclusions seem a bit flawed, theres a thread on TFD with some good analysis of it but the sims I'm running still seem to like Mastery more. The buff to Rake really did a number for it. It might start to fade out more once 4xT12 comes into play but that seems to favour Haste still and not really Exp/Hit capping. You should also consider Leafkillers Atramedes script when considering Mastery or no, as hit/exp/haste will not have any impact when time is spent away from the boss, wheras Mastery and Crit will, so the fights must be taken into account as well.
We're not talking vast differences mind but I still don't think its time to throw out all your mastery and go cap hit and exp just yet, and I don't think "to put bleeds up easier" is a good gearing method, you get a decent grace period on reapplication already.
As for Predatory Strikes/Rampage, this tier you can use it to pretty good advantage on:
- Alysrazor (disciples)
- Ragnaros (both flavours of Fire eles)
- Bethilac (lots of adds and time travelling).
- Rhyolith (arguable, put it in the 50/50 column).
I don't think you'll get any use on the remaining 3, Staghelm, Shannox and Baleroc. I think thats pretty good and there isn't much else to put points in. Also PS >Hibernate is one of our 2 Spitecaller interrupts so I have to keep it anyway. For Brutal Impact I think theres only one interrupt fight this tier, Alysrazor (And only on Heroic?) so you may be able to drop those points, especially if in 25s, but to be honest I don't know what you'd put them in, maybe straight back into Furor or possibly IW. It's pretty insignificant wherever you choose to land.
I still think Perserverance remains staple though, if anyhting the AoE damage seems to be skyrocketing in Firelands.
On 4xT12 versus offset pieces, even though I was working it out assuming you cancelled after 5 seconds, it still seemed a bigger gain to take it over the minimal DPS gained from the off set pieces. You should be able to macro in a cancel aura macro into TF so long as you're not fat fingering it and do it easy enough.
Thanks for the fast response you have cleared up all that i asked but now i have another question for you :). Are Hit/Expertise/Crit of equal value in 4.2 because the numbers i have seen are very close? If so this would be the part where i would choose Hit/Expertise > crit to avoid those double miss situations that can cause havoc.
Also i was considering changing professions from enchanting to engineering now the the TF glyph is less desirable do you have any insight to how much this will increase my dps?
I don't have the ptr setup currently, but I am curious if the damage from fiery claws gets buffed by the 8% spell damage taken debuff, seeing as it is fire damage? Not that it makes a ton of difference from a practical stand point as we will be using the 2pt12 regardless, but it is something that needs to be looked at.
Just tried it on the PTR, and it's not affected by the 8% spelldmg taken debuff. Had a unholy DK put his diseases on the dummy, then mangled it:
I'd like to mention a few points, based on my testings on the PTR:
1. Glyph of ferocious bite no longer limits energy usage, it is now a pvp glyph that heals you when you FB.
2. 4cp/5cp FB has higher DPE than shred and should be used as often as possible. However, to keep rip/SR up, FB can't be used very often due to energy restrictions. Putting FB into the rotation would be a slight dps increase (~200 at most) at the cost of messing up rip/SR if you're not very careful.
numbers: ilvl 378(premade), MotW only, non-crit damage
FB also has a +25%crit modifier on bleeding targets
3. FB should be used when in berserk and below 25%. While in berserk, rip/SR still has higher priority.
4. The tooltip on the PTR says FB costs 25+35 energy, but by calculating the time it takes for energy to go back to 100 after a FB, it seems FB costs 25+25 energy. However, casting FB at 100 energy gives you 6% health with glyph of FB (glyph of FB gives you 1% health for every 10 energy used).
5. Due to higher direct damage and the inevitable removal of 2T11 (which increases rake damage), we should now renew non-TFed rake with TFed rake at less than 6 seconds left. Renewing at 6+~9- seconds is not a dps increase or a slight decrease.
numbers: ilvl 378(premade), MotW only, non-crit damage
rake:~5.5k per tick
TFed rake damage gain:5.5k*5*0.15=4k
equivalent to ~12 energy if the energy is used to shred
energy lost in clipping a <9s rake:35*(2/5)=14
energy lost in clipping a <6s rake:35*(1/5)=7
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