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On this page, we list your Feral Druid core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Feral Druid.
The other pages of our Feral Druid guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.
1. Single Target Rotation↑top
The Feral Druid DPS rotation revolves around keeping up various buffs and debuffs, while generating Combo Points and using them on Finishing Moves.
Finally, we would like to mention that the bleed from Thrash should be kept up against a single target whenever possible, as long as casting it does not prevent you from using Savage Roar, Rip, or Rake. You should expect to have an uptime of roughly 40-50% on Thrash.
While this rotation is correct and, for the most part, complete, putting it into practice takes a slightly deeper understanding. For this, we strongly suggest that you read our detailed section.
2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top
When you are facing 2-3 targets, keep Rip up on one of them and Rake on all of them (although you will not really be able to maintain 100% uptimes). If you have a lot of Energy (such as from Berserk or Heroism/ Bloodlust), you should keep Rip up on all targets.
Once you get past 5-6 targets, it becomes more efficient to use Swipe exclusively.
In all cases, you should keep up your Savage Roar buff, and you should also keep up the bleed effect from Thrash on all targets. It is also possible to switch into Bear Form and use Thrash, since the two versions of Thrash are different and they can both be up at the same time. Keep in mind that your threat generation will be very high in Bear Form, though, so always give the tanks a few seconds to pick up the adds properly.
All of this assumes that the enemies will be alive for long enough that the the bleed effects can run their course. If the enemies will only live for a short amount of time, you are better off using Swipe.
Finally, if you are using the Heart of the Wild talent, you can use Hurricane while Heart of the Wild is active.
3. Faerie Fire↑top
If no one else is providing the armor Weakened Armor debuff granted by Faerie Fire, then you should keep this debuff up yourself. Weakened Armor lasts 30 seconds.
You have two DPS cooldown.
Additionally, your talents have the potential to provide you with an additional two active DPS cooldowns. We discuss this, as well as the proper timing and usage of your default cooldowns in a subsequent section.
4.1. Abilities Granted by Symbiosis
Symbiosis is a buff that you can place on one party or raid member. The buff lasts for 1 hour, and grants you an ability belonging to the target's class, depending on what your specialisation is. At the same time, the target receives one of your spells. Both of these spells come in a slightly modified version (less powerful than the original). You can see the full list of spells here, but the spells useful to you as a Feral Druid are:
5. Optional Read: Mastering Your Feral Druid↑top
The above information tells you everything you need to know in order to have highly competitive DPS as a Feral Druid. However, in order for you to truly master the spec, there are more things that you need to understand in detail.
5.1. Combo Points and Energy
As a DPS Feral Druid, most of your abilities need Energy to be used. Your Energy bar has a capacity of 100 Energy and refills at a rate of 10 Energy per second. Your energy regeneration is increased by your melee haste (Haste Rating + haste-enhancing buffs).
Some abilities add one or several Combo Points on your target, up to a maximum of 5 Combo Points. Other abilities, called Finishing Moves, consume the Combo Points on your target. The more Combo Points a Finishing Move consumes, the more powerful its effect is. Your Combo Point generation is increased by Primal Fury, which causes your Combo Point generating abilities to generate two Combo Points any time they are critical strikes.
5.2. Single Target Rotation in Detail
The DPS Feral Druid rotation is a balance of keeping up several debuffs and bleeds on the target as well as keeping up Savage Roar on yourself, while continuously generating Combo Points.
5.2.1. Debuffs and Bleeds
The first debuff you must keep up on the target is Faerie Fire. Note that this debuff has equivalents from other classes, so if it is already being provided, you do not need to worry about it.
An equivalent of Faerie Fire is provided by any other Druids, Warriors, Rogues and Hunters. Note that Feral Druids' Faerie Fire is slightly better than other classes' because it is instantly applied at full strength (normally, it needs to stack up to 3 times), but this benefit is very minor and hardly worth considering.
Once this debuff is taken care of, you have two other bleed effects that you must try to have 100% uptime on the target with. They are Rake and Rip, and to a lesser extent Thrash.
Rake only costs Energy to apply, making it quite simple to manage.
Rip costs Energy but its potency is also dependant on how many Combo Points it is applied with. You must always make sure that you are applying Rip with 5 Combo Points.
Thrash only costs Energy, and this has a pretty low priority, so you can expect to have a low uptime on it.
5.2.2. Savage Roar
Savage Roar is a self-buff that increases your physical damage done by 40%. It costs Energy to apply, and its duration (but not its potency) depends on how many Combo Points it is applied with. Essentially, it makes no difference how many Combo Points you use it with, but if you can apply it with a high number of Combo Points, it will ease the pressure on maintaining your rotation.
You must always have this buff active on yourself.
Note that, if you are using Glyph of Savagery, you can apply Savage Roar (with a 12-second duration) without having any Combo Points. This is very useful in case you make a mistake in your rotation and your Savage Roar expires or if you are finding it difficult to generate Combo Points steadily for some reason. Also, it is ideal for the start of the encounter, allowing you to use your first Combo Points on setting up Rip.
5.2.3. What to do the Rest of the Time
When your debuff, bleeds and self-buff are all up and do not need to be refreshed, you will essentially be filling the time with casts of Mangle, generating Combo Points, or dumping resources with Ferocious Bite.
In addition to Mangle, some Combo Points will also be generated by your casts of Rake, although this number is much smaller.
5.2.4. When to Refresh DoTs
The damage of your bleeds is determined by your stats at the time when the bleeds were applied, and the bleeds will continue to use these stat values throughout their durations, even if the values themselves change in the meantime. In other words, your bleeds take a snapshot of your stats each time they are applied or refreshed, and base their damage on this snapshot. The result of this is that bleed effects applied when you are under he effects of stat-increasing buffs are more damaging than bleeds applied when you are not under any such effects.
In practice, this means that you should try to always make the most out of applying or refreshing DoTs at the right time (explained below), as this can make a tremendous difference to your DPS.
There are no clear rules or guidelines for refreshing your DoTs, but we will do our best to provide you with the best guidance possible.
First of all, you will need an add-on to help you with this. We recommend two options for this on our add-on page.
Second of all, there are a few tips we can give you.
Note that if you have trinkets with 10-second procs (on the RPPM system), you will have to plan ahead in order to ensure that you can cast Rip in the 10-second window. This means you should keep Energy or Combo Points in reserve in anticipation for the procs. It is also worth noting that if you have two trinkets on the RPPM system, when one of them procs its effect, you should wait until the effect has almost run out before refreshing Rip, so that you increase your chances that the other trinket will be up by then too, thus giving you an even more powerful Rip.
Finally, it is very important to get a very strong application of Rip when the boss is almost at 25% health (or below it), since you can then carry this Rip on through Ferocious Bite until the end of the fight (or until an even better Rip comes along).
5.2.5. When to Refresh Savage Roar
The timing for refreshing Savage Roar is not very strict, but you should still try to refresh it right as it is about to expire.
5.2.6. Ferocious Bite
Ferocious Bite is a finishing move that costs 25 Energy and deals damage based on how many Combo Points you use it with. Its damage is increased, by up to 100%, at the cost of extra Energy, up to 25. That is to say, if you use Ferocious Bite with 25 Energy, it will deal its base damage (based on how many Combo Points you have). If you use it with 50 Energy, then its damage will be increased by 100%.
Whenever you use Ferocious Bite on a target that is below 25% health, your Rip on the target will be refreshed. This makes it a much more efficient way of maintaining Rip on the target, since you are dealing damage while also refreshing Rip, for the same amount of Combo Points. A Rip that is refreshed in this manner will have the same power as its original application (determined by how many Combo Points you applied it with).
You should use Ferocious Bite with 5 Combo Points, unless Rip will expire before you have time to reach 5. In this case, you should just use it with however many Combo Points you have, in order to refresh Rip.
It will prove to be a DPS gain to pool Energy to 50 before using Ferocious Bite (provided that it does not cause your Rip to fall off), boosting its damage.
As we have mentioned, if your Energy and Combo Points are at maximum capacity, and Rip and Rake do not need to be immediately refreshed, you should use Ferocious Bite even if the target is above 25% health.
5.3. Detailed Cooldown Usage
How you use your two DPS cooldowns is very important to your performance as a Feral Druid.
5.3.1. Tiger's Fury
There are several things to consider when using Tiger's Fury:
Keep in mind that Tiger's Fury cannot be used while Berserk is active, but Berserk can be used while Tiger's Fury is active. In most cases, you will want to use Berserk immediately after using Tiger's Fury.
Berserk reduces the Energy cost of all your abilities by 50% while it is active. It is a very strong DPS cooldown, allowing you to cast your abilities more often.
You will want to use Berserk as many times as possible during the fight. Ideally, you should pool Energy before using Berserk, so that you can use more abilities throughout its duration, thus "saving" more Energy. Of course, you must take the reduced Energy cost into account when making sure that you do not cap your Energy.
Whenever possible, you should use Berserk immediately after using Tiger's Fury.
Note also that Berserk will provide you with a higher DPS increase in AoE situations than in single target situations, so you can delay it slightly for such opportunities, or save it for them if they are very important to your raid's strategy.
5.3.3. Tier 4 Talents
Incarnation: King of the Jungle should be used when you require the burst offered by being able to use Ravage as a Combo Point builder (especially when the target is above 80% health) or when you wish to be able to enter stealth in combat.
Force of Nature usage is a bit more complex. First of all, the spell works on a charge system, and you have 3 charges, so your first priority is to make sure the charges are not going to waste, so always use the spell often enough that the third charge is cooling down. Second of all, it is ideal to use all the charges of Force of Nature when you are under the effect of powerful Attack power, Master or Critical Strike buffs, since the treants cast Rake, and this Rake snapshots your stats.
5.3.4. Tier 6 Talents
If you pick Dream of Cenarius as a talent, then you will have to weave in Healing Touches (using every Predatory Swiftness proc) in order to buff your most important abilities. Whenever you cast a Healing Touch, your next two abilities are buffed, and you should always use this to buff your Rip, Rake, Thrash, and Ferocious Bite (in that order, although Thrash and Ferocious Bite are equal). This means that you should not use your Predatory Swiftness buffs right away, but instead you should use them right before you use the above-mentioned abilities, so that they are not wasted on filler spells like Mangle.
In case you pick Nature's Vigil as your Tier 6 talent, then you should make sure to use this cooldown as many times as possible during the fight. Ideally, you should stack it with other cooldowns and times when the boss takes increased damage.
6. Opening Sequence↑top
Below, we list the ideal way to start the fight.
Going into Prowl and using Ravage only applies if you are using the Wild Charge talent.
If you have strong trinkets (from Tier 15 or 16), then you should make sure to apply (or refresh) your bleeds while the initial trinket procs are active, together with Tiger's Fury.
You have to make sure that someone else is applying Faerie Fire to the target. If no one else is doing so, then you should apply it after casting Ravage.