Agi - Agility
AP - Attack Power
ArPen - Armorpenetrationrating
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
This spec only has 5 different points. You've got 3/3 Feral Instinct here and 2/2 iLotP. You could aswell take the two points out of iLotP and together with the last left point skill 3/5 Feral Aggression.
Actually Feral Swiftness and Survival Instincts don't directly increase your damage. But they offer very significant survival tools. Additionaly, both allow you to DPS for a second longer here and there.
2. DPS Rotation
As there is no real rotation, we speak of a "priority list" for cat DPS. Try to follow the following instructions in the given order.
1. Keep up Savage Roar
2. Keep up Mangle
3. Keep up Rake
4. Use shred for CP regeneration (remember, that points 2 and 3 are more important)
5. When at 5 CP and Rip is not up, use Rip
6. When below 30 Energy, use TF
7. Use Clearcast Proccs for Shred
8. When at 5 CP and Rip and SR are running with 8 seconds (might be longer, depending on your gear) or longer each, use FB
9. When Rip and SR will drop at nearly the same time (with less than 3 seconds difference), try to recognize it early. Then use SR with a small amount of CP to desynchronize both timers.
10. Use Berserk only at high energy, (but not higher than 85) not directly after TF and as often as possible. If you will get Hysteria or some boss mechanics will enhance your damage, save it for these situations.
This priority list is quite hard to maintain. Cat DPS is one of the most complicated ones in PvE WoW. Try to remember these rules:
1. Remember: Savage Roar buffs everything; Mangle buffs bleeds and shred; Bleeds buff shred. That means, never shred without applying mangle and at least one bleeding.
2. It doesn't matter how many CP you use for SR. Just make sure it never drops!
3. Use Rip and FB only with 5 CP
4. It is very tricky to squeeze in FB's in your rotation. At first you should try to maximize SR, Mangle, Rip and Rake uptime (in this order). When you get more experienced, try to FB more. You need to guess how much time is needed for building up 5 CP's - this depends on your crit chance. Usually, a FB is worth dropping Rip for 4 Ticks approx (8 seconds). Remember that after using Rip, you need energy for building at least one more CP to refresh SR if necessary.
5. FB is most efficient when used at 35 energy. It gets worse when you spend more, thus making it least efficient when using with 65 energy.
6. A 5 CP FB is always more efficient than a shred, even when used at 65 energy.
7. When using the shred glyph: When rake and rip are about to expire and you could shred to extend the rip duration for 2 more seconds at the cost of letting rake drop for 1-2 seconds - do it.
3. Facts, Stats and Numbers
Assuming all important feral talents and cat form . Numbers in brackets include Blessing of Kings.
4.8% of our white Crits will always be converted into white hits against bosses. We can't reduce our chance to normally hit with white attacks below 4.8%.
Our Critchance with Yellow Attacks is reduced by 4.8% against bosses. But we actually CAN convert all our hits into crits.
76% - White crit cap (+ 24% Glancing Blows = 100%)
79.8% - Ferocious Bite Crit Cap (+ 25% Crit from Talent - 4.8% Crit Suppression = 100%)
104.8% - Yellow Crit Cap (- 4.8% Crit Suppression = 100%)
You have to subtract any avoided attacks from these caps. For example: If 4% of your attacks are avoided due to not reaching the Hit- and/or Expertisecap, then your white crit cap would be 72%.
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
So, what stats are important? Generally I strongly advice you to use RAWR or Toskk's DPSGearMethod. The value of every stat depends on the rest of your gear.
The Value of Hit / Expertise
A question very often asked is, whether we need to be hit or expertise capped. The answer is: It depends on your DPS. Hit and expertise scale directly with your DPS. The better your gear gets, the higher the value of Hit/Expertise gets. When in blue gear, both contribute very little to your DPS. With Ulduar BiS, they are quite important, but still not the best stats. The same holds true for T9, although both are more important when you have really good T9 lvl Gear. When you have a lot of iLvl 264 Gear or higher from ICC, they turn out to be extremely good. Try to reach the caps then. Only ArP will be better (and only if you're near the hard cap). Also, there is no such 'magic threshold'. Both stats always have the same value (as long as below the hard cap), no matter if you have 0% hit, 3% hit or 5% hit. That means the two stats scale linear. BUT - for a beginner it could be quite confusing missing a lot. Our DPS priority is already hard enough even without our attacks being dodged. It could mess up the DPS of a beginner, if his hit and/or expertise is too low. If you consider yourself weak at maintain a stable cycle, then more hit/expertise could help to stabilize it.
Topic: Armor penetration rating
Armor is a stat with diminishing returns. Meaning: the more Armor you have, the worse it gets in terms of damage reduction percentage. The first 1000 armor are far more valuable, than the last 1000 armor. That is the reason, that ArPen scales better than linear. When you have only a little bit ArPen, you reduce your target's armor only a little bit - but we know that the last 1000 armor are not that important. But if you manage to gather more ArPen, you will reduce your target's armor more and more, which gets more and more valuable.
Short story: ArPen scales better than linear - the more you have, the better each point of it becomes.
At about 400 - 500 ArPen, ArPen becomes the best stat
The exact amount depends on your gear (especially the trinkets). Use RAWR or Toskk to find out, when exactly ArP overtakes Agility. Also remember, that the value of both is very similar at that low lvl of ArP. The difference is extremely small and only gets bigger, when you gather more ArP.
As soon as you can reach these numbers, regemming all Agility gems for ArP gems would improve your DPS.
Our goal is to come as close to the ArP Hard Cap as possible.
And now it's time for mentioning the three ArP trinkets currently ingame:
Wearing two of these trinkets is quite useless since they have a significant shared uptime and then there would be ArP wasted (assuming you've got some ArP on your gear). The goal is, to reach the ArP soft-cap. Soft Cap means: you have exactly 100% Armor Ignore when your trinket proccs.
For clarification, I will try to explain this. Let's say you don't have one of the two trinkets and x is the ArP on your gear (and with Hearty Rhino, the +40 ArP food buff):
x < 400 -> Agility is the best stat, gem for it 400 < x < 1400 -> ArPen is the best stat, gem for it 1400 < x -> Agility is the best stat, gem for it
Now finally Grim Toll drops off Gothik the Harvester and you are lucky enough to get it!
x < 400 -> Agility is the best stat, gem for it 400 < x < 788 -> ArPen is the best stat, gem for it 788 < x -> Agility is the best stat, gem for it
Just replace your soft-cap with 735, when wearing Mjolnir Runestone instead of Grim Toll and with 722, if wearing the Scorpion.
If you are wearing a lot of ICC items and manage to get about 1000 Passive ArP, it's better not to wear one of the 3 ArP Trinkets and instead going for the Passive HardCap!
Again, please use RAWR or Toskk. Although neither of both are 100% accurate, it's probably the best way to determine gear upgrades for you.
Some questions often asked:
Which idol should I wear?
The best Cat Idol for single-Target DPS is [Idol of the Crying Moon]. But it takes 15 seconds after applying rake to reach its full effect. This is bad for encounters with DPS interruptions, like Anub'Arak or Lady Deathwisper. Additionally you normally don't use rake on AoE situations.
The next best Cat Idol is [Idol of Mutilation]. This is only 20 Agi worse and there are many situations where it's the better idol (like AoE or Trash).
After that, it depends.
If you have to mangle yourself, [Idol of the Corruptor] is BiS for you. If not, then it depends on your ArP. If you are below approx 250 ArP, [Idol of Worship] would be your choice, above that the [Idol of the Ravenous Beast] becomes better. But actually the Rip and Shred idol both grant very similar DPS - the difference is really low.
In the second slot you should wear one of the three ArP trinkets mentioned above ([Grim Toll], [Mjolnir Runestone] or [Needle-Encrusted Scorpion]).
If you can reach high ArP numbers (About 1000 or above), try to swap your ArP trinket for one of the above mentioned (even the darkmoon card).
How good are our set bonuses?
The 2T7 bonus is very good. Although there are better items in every slot, the bonus outweighs this by far.
The 4T7 bonus is very bad.
The 2T8 bonus is extremely good. You really need to have this.
The 4T8 bonus is about as good as 2T7.
The 2T9 bonus is very good.
The 4T9 bonus is mediocre.
The 2T10 bonus is good.
The 4T10 bonus is extremely good.
Try to collect 2 T7 items first. Head and shoulder would be the best choice.
If you're entering Ulduar, your first aim should be to get 2T7 + 2T8, which is VERY good.
If you can choose between 2T7 + 2T8 and 4T8, choose 4T8. You should notice a very small DPS increased, based on the higher iLvl of T8 (the 4T8 bonus is actually of the same value as 2T7).
Similar holds true if you enter Coliseum. 2T8 + 2T9 will be an upgrade to 4T8. And although the 4T9 bonus is worse than the 4T8 one, the higher item level of two more T9 items outweighs this.
But because the 4T9 itself isn't that good, it's probably better to wear 2T9 and some offsetpieces instead of 4T9.
The T10 bonuses are both really good, especially the 4pc. Combined with the high iLvl it means you really should wear 4T10.
BiS lists are not perfect. There may be items, which are bigger upgrades for you than items listed in this BiS list, because the rest of your gear looks different. Also some may consider Hit/Expertise more important and will gem for them in the yellow slots.
Don't stick to this list without adjusting them for your own situation...
Both BiS lists were created with Rawr v 2.3.8.
5. Professions, Glyphs, Enchants, Gems, Buffs
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. On the Cloak you get 1 additional Agi. Total Bonus: +68 Haste Rating, -19 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.
The Red gems are far superior than the blue ones and better than the yellow ones aswell. Therefore the best you can do is:
Fill every socket with red gems except of one. There you put [Nightmare Tear]. Of course you choose an item with a good Socket bonus, you would otherwise miss if you use the normal red gem instead.
Only if some yellow sockets got good bonuses (4 Agi or more), you can choose to gem one of the mentioned orange gems.
It's again hard to tell you, how important each buff is as this depends on your gear. But the order should be roughly the same.
+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)
Arms Warrior - Does not stack with Wrecking Crew. Besides, they don't have strong Cooldowns to blow while Hysteria is up.
Death Knights - A significant portion of their damage is elemental and not physical. Dancing Rune Weapon scales only half with Hysteria, summon Gargoyle doesn't at all
Enhancer Shamans - A good portion of their damage is elemental. Feral spirit, their Cooldown, is not affected by Hysteria
Fury Warrior - Although all of their damage is physical, they cannot blow their big Cooldown Death Wish with Hysteria, because it doesn't stack.
Hunter - A good portion of their damage is elemental and their pet wouldn't benefit from Hysteria.
Retribution Paladins - A very big portion of their damage is elemental.
Rogues - A good portion of their damage is elemental.
Cats benefit by far the most from Hysteria. As long as you are quite close to the top DPS in your raid, try to convince your Blood-DK or your raidleader, that you should get Hysteria!
This movie guide, created by Coldbear, is a good summary of most aspects for cats. It's quite fast and a little hard to follow, but otherwise has a high quality. Movie Guide
- Third ArP Trinket added, some additions to ArP usage.
- T10 bonuses added
- New Idol added
- Crit Caps added
- Trinket section updated
- Value of ArP has been nerfed by about 12%. Adjusted Soft Cap, Hard Cap and Instructions accordingly
From Patch 3.1.3 to 3.2:
- Profession bonuses increased
- Note about ArP added: Possibility of ignoring ArP Trinkets and go for passive ArP
- T9 bonuses added
- New idol as BiS idol added
Pretty good guide. Only 2 very small things.
In the gem section it's better to remember that usually you don't need other gems than red gems and that you can easly use all red gems and one +6 stats for the meta activation.
For buff importance I think that BoK is the more important one, I'm pretty sure 10% all stats will give you more than 20% haste.
Edited the gem section - I just forgot this one ^^
Concerning BoK - I was trusting RAWR here. BoK is rated 250 points, 20% haste with 535 for my gear.
It's basically 160 Agility + 33 Strength vs 20% haste. The point is, I've got 336 Haste Rating which I assume is quite a lot. My attack speed goes from 0.857 to 0.714. That is a 16.69% increase in melee attack speed. Let's assume autohit contributes for 27% of my total damage, than it would be a 4,5% DPS increase.
And it's also a 16.69% increase in OoC proccs.
Rawr says, 160 Agi + 33 Str gives approx 270 DPS.
5% of say 6500 DPS is already 325 DPS.
I am very interested in your calculation, nightcrowler, as I tend to be sceptical on numbers provided by RAWR
Great guide, I wish it were available three weeks ago, when I switched (back) to my feral for raiding. Allthough reading most of the Feral by Night and Cat-DPS Rotation threads i completely missed the gemming option using a enchanted tear. On the topic of (de)buffs: it would be nice if sunder/expose armor could be included in your list so that beginners know they should tell the rogues to keep it up if no warrior is present. I am not sure if you forgot "minor" buffs like heart of the crusader, swift retribution,... or if they are just not worth mentioning ;-) And a last question concerning weapon enchants: If I remember correctly it is stated in the Feral by Night thread, that mongoose is the better dps enchant. Is this no longer valid, or only true for some gear sets?
@Murna. It could be I'm wrong It seemed strange for me that 20% haste was better than 10% all stats but it could be, when I have some real calculation I'll let you know. I'll rerun simulations without particular buffs.
At about 200 - 300 ArPen, ArPen becomes the best stat
The exact amount depends on your gear. As soon as you can reach these numbers, regemming all Agility gems for ArP gems would improve your DPS.
Our goal is to come as close to the ArP Hard Cap as possible.
And now it's time for mentioning the two ArP trinkets currently ingame:
[Mjolnir Runestone] (tooltip is wrong, the procc is 665 ArP)
Wearing both trinkets is quite useless since they have a significant shared uptime and then there would be ArP wasted (assuming you've got some ArP on your gear). The goal is, to reach the ArP soft-cap. Soft Cap means: you have exactly 100% Armor Ignore when your trinket proccs.
ArP Soft-cap: 566.6 ArPen, if wearing [Mjolnir Runestone]
ArP Soft-cap: 619.6 ArPen, if wearing [Grim Toll]
Do I get it right that gemming for agi after reaching 200-300 Arp (without Trinketprocc) is better than stacking ArP until hitting the Soft-cap?
The only addition I'd like to see is a list of pre-raiding gear. It's not essential, but it would be very good. I wrote one at the start of WotLK, but it's likely slightly out of date - you can find that here. Thanks!
I think it would be worthwhile to discuss UI and how the stock Blizzard UI hampers feral DPS - your eyes have to cross way too much screen distance to take in the necessary information regarding time left on debuffs and buffs, number of combo points, positioning, and environmental awareness aka 'stay out of the fire'. Studies show that during eye movement you don't actually 'see' your surroundings; your brain is substituting in previously seen information. Moving all of the information you need to a central location (ala BadKitty and other debuff monitors) allows you to be far more situationally aware, and act on information quicker.
Along these lines Cynrh I found one of the most helpful addons (along with the centralized debuff/buff monitor you mention) is Hear Kitty for auditory feedback on CP generation. I find myself using my eyes to take in so much information that it's a relief to be able to use another sensory faculty to monitor something else. Also, I'm a very auditory person so it fits right in with my style.
For your single target cat dps, theoretically speaking, you don't need Survival Instincts either, as you're already omitted anything related to tanking.
It's a nice talent though, but since you're min/max'ing here, you might as well let it be optional. You could put that extra point + the survival instincts point into Feral Instinct for some additional AoE damage, or you could put both points into nurturing instincts to make healing incidental damage on your cat easier.
Those are all options, especially to newer players who are not used to survival instincts, as the reactionary "oh-sh**" impulse to hit survival instincts mostly applies to new players who tanked a lot.
I thought Dream Binder was better than Dark Edge overall? Also, say you have Savage Roar up and Rip ticking, but Mangle and Rake are about to fall off. You only have energy for one of them. Rake would get priority right, or would Mangle while waiting for energy to Rake be more efficient?
Also, say you have Savage Roar up and Rip ticking, but Mangle and Rake are about to fall off. You only have energy for one of them. Rake would get priority right, or would Mangle while waiting for energy to Rake be more efficient?
According to the Cat DPS Rotation thread, Rake tops the list. As a personal preference, I usually prioritize Mangle, but I am going to start experimenting with prioritizing Rake over Mangle.
perhaps in terms of personal dps rake is better, however, if you are putting up the bleed debuff for your raid, 3 seconds of say another feral druid, two rogues, two warriors etc not getting bonus bleed damage seems an extremely poor trade.