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Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

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Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:52 am

Welcome to my Feral DPS Guide and FAQ! The guide is separated into three parts: a "crash course" section that has all you need to know to pick up feral and be successful, an advanced section for those that want to improve their game to the absolute max, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

This guide is currently up to date for patch 6.0 at level 90. Please note that most, if not all, of this information will be different at level 100. This information is provided for your convenience for the few weeks prior to the launch of Warlords of Draenor.

If you have any questions or comments on the content provided in this guide, feel free to leave a post and let me know!

Index
CAT DURID IS 4 FITE! (The Basics)

King of the Jungle (Advanced Tactics)
  • Best in Slot
  • Trinket Rankings
  • Snapshotting & Clipping
  • Late Refresh

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Which trinket should I use? / Should I break my set bonus? etc.
  • How can I simulate my character?
Last edited by aggixx on Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:46 am, edited 42 times in total.

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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide / FAQ

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:52 am

 Priority List

Here I will list the bare bones of the rotation: this is the absolute minimum you need to know to put out decent DPS. Make sure you read the other sections of this post for important details.

In addition, there are more advanced tactics that are not reflected in this post as they will be covered later in the guide in King of the Jungle (Advanced Tactics).

  1. Tiger's Fury when on low energy.
  2. Berserk on cooldown, stack with Tiger's Fury when possible.
  3. Maintain Savage Roar.
  4. Ferocious Bite with 5 combo points and 50 energy to refresh Rip if the target is at or below 25% health.
  5. Maintain Rip with 5 combo points.
  6. Ferocious Bite with 5 combo points and 50 energy if Rip and Savage Roar are managed.
  7. Maintain Rake.
  8. Shred for combo points.

In general, you should aim to waste as little energy or combo points to overcapping as possible.

On multiple targets: Add in maintaining Thrash, maintain Rake on as many targets as possible, and use Swipe in place of Shred. Swipe is extremely weak, and as such you should only use it when you have all of your bleeds, including Rake, rolling on all of the targets, or if there is a very large amount of targets that will die before you can DoT them.

 Uptimes

First off, in Warlords of Draenor all damage over time effects now have a mechanic called Pandemic. Pandemic allows you to carry over up to 30% of the base duration of the new effect from the old one's duration. For example, if you apply a Rake to a target that has a Rake with 4 seconds remaining already on it, the duration of the new Rake will be 15 (base duration) + 4 (remaining duration, <= 30% of 15) = 19 seconds. It is important to take advantage of this mechanic for optimal DPS, the main takeaway being that all DoTs can be refreshed as soon as they have <= 30% of the base duration remaining. The sooner you reapply a DoT, the less chance you stand of letting it fall off, which means higher uptime and more damage. This mechanic allows for significantly easier maintenance of our bleeds and Savage Roar compared to 5.4.

Feral has 4 (de)buffs it should maintain for optimal DPS:

Savage Roar: This should be your #1 concern. When Savage Roar is down or about to end, the only thing you should cast is Savage Roar (or if you don't have any combo points, get one then Savage Roar). If you do this, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting 99% or higher uptime on it, which is what you should aim for.

Savage Roar's pandemic threshold is a bit weird because of the specifics of the mechanic, but just keep in mind that when you're applying a 5 combo point roar you can refresh as soon as 12.6 seconds. The threshold is lower if you're applying a fewer combo point roar, but generally you shouldn't be applying a roar of less than 5 combo points unless is your current roar is about to run out (~3 seconds or less, roughly).

Rake: You should have this up near 100% of the time just like Savage Roar. Its a CP generator that just costs energy, so when Rake is down or about to end just swap a single Shred out for Rake. Simple. Rake has a Pandemic threshold of 4.5 seconds, so refresh it as soon as its remaining duration reaches that threshold.

Rip: This costs energy and combo points so this is where maintenance starts to get a little bit complicated. You always want to cast it with 5 combo points and should aim to have its uptime as high as possible. 90%+ is good, but close to 95% is ideal (given you have full uptime on the target). Rip has a Pandemic threshold of 7.2 seconds, so refresh it as soon as its remaining duration reaches that threshold.

Thrash: If you’re attacking more than one target you generally want to keep this up all the time. The more targets, the more important it is, so when you're fighting a large number of targets this should be your top priority after Savage Roar. Thrash has a Pandemic threshold of 4.5 seconds, so refresh it as soon as its remaining duration reaches that threshold.

In Warlords of Draenor, using Thrash on a single target is no longer a significant gain. At level 90 it is a small gain due to the higher levels of mastery available with Siege of Orgrimmar, but at level 100 the gain becomes of no significance and is not worth bothering with. In both cases, if there are secondary or tertiary targets who are useful to damage but not a priority Thrash can be maintained with little to no damage loss to the primary target.

 Cooldowns

As a feral druid you have two main cooldowns: Tiger's Fury and Berserk; with Incarnation being a third if you choose to spec into it. Tiger’s Fury should be used as close to every 30 seconds as you possibly can; think of it as more of a part of your rotation than a cooldown. It is a very rare occasion where you would consider not using it on cooldown as long as you have something to attack, basically the only time you do this is if you know there’s a big pack of adds about to spawn and you know your TF won’t line up to burst on them unless you save it for it.

Berserk is your big cooldown. It should always be used with Tiger’s Fury, the only exception being if Tiger’s Fury won’t be off cooldown again before the encounter is over. If you specialize into Incarnation, you should use it with Berserk for single targets. At level 100 it will also be worth using with Berserk in AoE or cleave scenarios thanks to the Improved Rake perk.

You should use a macro like this to trigger Berserk with your Tiger’s Fury (you can add racial cooldowns, too):
Code: Select all
#showtooltip Berserk
/cast Incarnation: King of the Jungle
/cast Berserk
/cast Tiger’s Fury

You may also wish to trigger Incarnation seperately prior to Berserk to prevent unnecessarily losing 1 second of the Berserk buff, but this is a small gain.
Last edited by aggixx on Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:22 pm, edited 39 times in total.

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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide / FAQ

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:14 am

 Gearing


 Stat Priority and Reforging

With Assurance of Consequence:
Stack Crit and Mastery. Haste is a good stat for single target but poor for AoE so you should only prioritize it if you only care about your single target damage. Versatility and Multistrike are very good stats but are generally not available at level 90.
Spoiler: show
Single Target:
Multistrike > Crit > Versatility > Haste > Mastery
Image
5 Targets:
Mastery > Crit > Multistrike > Versatility > Haste
Image

Without Assurance of Consequence:
Stack Crit and Haste. Unlike with Assurance, Haste does pretty well on both single target and AoE so it makes sense to priortize it over Mastery. Versatility and Multistrike are similar to above.
Spoiler: show
Single Target:
Multistrike > Crit = Versatility > Haste > Mastery
Image
5 Targets:
Multistrike > Crit > Haste > Mastery > Versatility
Image

 Gems

Generally you will want to match all socket bonus that grant useful stats.

Meta: Capacitive Primal Diamond or Agile Primal Diamond
Red: Crafty Vermillion Onyx
Blue: Rigid River's Heart
Yellow: Smooth Sun's Radiance
Prismatic: Rigid River's Heart or Smooth Sun's Radiance

 Enchants

This is nothing new from 5.4. There are several enchants from previous expansions that appear to be better, but it was stated by Watcher that those will be fixed.

Shoulders: Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
Back: Accuracy or Superior Critical Strike, crit is typically better.
Chest: Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
Wrists: Enchant Bracer - Greater Agility
Hands: Enchant Gloves - Greater Haste
Waist: Belt Buckle
Legs: Shadowleather Leg Armor
Feet: Enchant Boots - Blurred Speed
Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide / FAQ

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:33 am

 Spec Recommendations

Either Incarnation or Soul of the Forest can be used on single target depending if you prefer a passive or active option, although Incarnation will tend to perform slightly better when used optimally. Soul of the Forest should always be used in AoE or multi-target encounters. Most players will want to use Glyph of Savage Roar for the free Savage Roar on pull and either Glyph of Cat Form or Glyph of the Ninth Life for survivability (depending on the encounter). The third glyph slot is relatively open and can be used for whatever is appropriate.

 Talents

Unfortunately for us at level 90, the level 90 talent tier was changed to be a healing & utility tier and no longer provides damage benefit. Because of this, we now (at least until we can reach 100) only have 1 talent tier that has damage implications. Here is the comparison for the level 60 tier on single target:
Image
and for 5 targets (sustained AoE):
Image

Incarnation is slightly worse than on these graphs if you're using Assurance of Consequence, but with proper cooldown management it can still be considered the superior option. Soul of the Forest is a good passive option for single target and is also the clear winner for AoE or multi-target. Force of Nature is all around mediocre and I would recommend against using it.

 Glyphs

Glyph of Savage Roar and Glyph of Savagery: These two glyphs are mutually exclusive but everybody should use at least one or the other. If you're struggling keeping Savage Roar active (or for levelling or similar activities with high downtime) then Savagery is a good choice but is otherwise intended to be a damage loss. If you're not interested in using Savagery you should take Savage Roar as it is one of the few glyphs we have that gives us a damage benefit, and a rather nice one too.

Glyph of Cat Form and Glyph of the Ninth Life: Another exclusive set of glyphs where everybody should have at least one. Cat Form grants 20% increased healing taken, and Ninth Life gives 10% damage reduction; use whichever seems more appropriate for the encounter. If in doubt, go with Cat Form.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide / FAQ

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:34 am

 King of the Jungle (Advanced Tactics)


 Best in Slot

In general Crit is your best stat so you should aim for that, and your second stat preference depends on your trinkets (see the Gearing section). Here are my suggested items if you're using Assurance of Consequence; to some degree this is subjective so don't take it as gospel:

http://wod.wowhead.com/list=4015424/paw ... -gear-list

Also, keep in mind that warforged pieces are better than non-warforged ones, this hasn't changed, so if you don't have the warforged version of whatever the new "best" piece is then you probably don't need to make a change.

 Trinket Rankings

The following is a 1 trinket comparison; "baseline" is a profile with no trinkets equipped and every other profile has only the trinket it is named after.

Image

Rune of Re-Origination is no longer competitive with the removal of snapshotting (it had a good run, though!).

 Snapshotting & Clipping

Bleeds use the damage multipliers you had at the time of application for the whole duration of the bleed (called “snapshotting“); specifically, both the damage modifiers from Savage Roar and Tiger's Fury are snapshotted.

There are three scenarios where "clipping" a bleed (refreshing it earlier than you normally would) can be a damage gain:
  • A bleed is accidentally applied without Savage Roar: If the bleed isn't benefitting from Savage Roar then you're missing out on a lot of damage and it should be clipped as soon as possible.
  • You can apply a 15% stronger Rake during Tiger's Fury: The cost to reapply a Rake is fairly negligible, and over the duration of that Rake you will net more damage than you would if you use a Shred instead.
  • You can apply a 15% stronger Rip during Tiger's Fury and the target is at or below 25% health: When you refresh Rip on a target that has less than 25% health with Ferocious Bite the damage multiplier on the Rip is maintained when it is refreshed. This means you should aim to stack both Savage Roar and Tiger's Fury (and also Bloodtalons if you are specialized in it) onto your execute Rip as those modifiers will add up to a lot of extra damage over the last few minutes of the encounter.

While bleed clipping is certainly something that can be tracked manually, you may find it helpful to use a WeakAura or similar addon to track snapshotting information for you.

 Late Refresh

When a bleed that has a higher snapshotted damage multiplier is about to end, it can be a small gain to let that bleed tick out instead of immediately refreshing it at the Pandemic threshold.

For example, lets say you have a Rake on the target that was applied with Tiger's Fury and it is now down to 4.5 seconds remaining. If you were to refresh it at exactly 4.5s (Rake's Pandemic threshold) then the 4.5 seconds of the Rake that is added to the new Rake benefits from the modifiers at the time the new Rake was applied, not the old one. If you instead wait until the 3.0s mark (or even until 0 seconds), this allows Tiger's Fury's damage multiplier to take effect for 1 or 2 additional ticks that it would not have otherwise.

Now of course you should be very careful about how you take advantage of this. If delaying the reapplication of the bleed causes the bleed to drop for more than a fraction of a second, then all the damage gained is lost and you would've been better off refreshing normally. This generally it is not a method you should apply with high latency, when you're about to leave the target, or just in general when there's a lot going on and you don't have the attention to devote to such a trivial gain.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide / FAQ

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:35 am

 Frequently Asked Questions

For questions about changes in 6.0, please see Alaron's post here. I won't be covering that information as it would just be regurgitating the same things he wrote.

 Which trinket should I use? Should I break my set bonus? etc.

In most cases the answer to your question will be specific to your own character and you'll have to determine the answer yourself using SimulationCraft (check the next section in this FAQ for information on how to do this).

If you're having troubles getting one of these programs to work, feel free to post your question in this thread and someone may help you out. If you do ask for help, make sure you include a link to your armory (or character name and realm)! If you don't do this, 90% of the time we won't be able to tell you the answer for sure.

 How can I simulate my character?

You'll have to download and install SimulationCraft, a free open source WoW combat simulator. There's a great starters guide for getting the program setup and basics on how to use it here, and there's also a guide for how to do some basic comparisons by Mendenbarr here.

Raffy also created a tool called Catus specifically designed for feral druids, and while it is currently is not operational for Warlords of Draenor it may be an option in the future.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide / FAQ

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:47 am

Reserved.
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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Xube » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:44 pm

This is a pretty detailed post.

Thanks for the research!

I have a question though. i see that you have listed the stat weights for each last teir skill. Currently i use a dual spec of DoC and the other for HotW.


I have been looking for a way to get Askmrrobot to work in my favor. Because it is wrong it does make me gem all weird. So Can i actually use these stat weights for that?
and if not (which i will try to do tonight after work)

So if not, what can i use these stat weights for?

Thanks!

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Instaqueues » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:22 pm

Xube,
You can plug those weights into Mr. Robot. The only thing I hate about that is to get hit/exp capped gauranteed, you have to weight those so high it looks ridiculous. I usually put a 15.0 weight on hit/exp, otherwise it likes to keep me just below cap.

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Tinderhoof » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:28 pm

Wowreforge.com is way better for doing what you are looking for. They have options (on by default) for you to reach stat caps for any type you want. If you want to reforge your haste for a specific level, just put it in the box, and you are set. If you are in Feral Spec, you just go with the defaults.

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Instaqueues » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:56 pm

Let me give that a shot, because I'm trying to figure out if the darkmoon trinket will be worth getting over some others that are realistically available to me soon.

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby aggixx » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:04 pm

AskMrRobot is a great gear optimization tool but the reforge engine behind it is admittedly weak (edit: This is no longer the case, feel free to use it to your heart's content). While its suggestions for gemming and enchanting will be spot on (given you're using the correct weights) I much prefer to use WoWReforge or ReforgeLite for reforges.

But yes, if you just throw those stat weights into any of those 3 tools you should get pretty accurate results. Keep in mind that weights for your character might be a bit different than weights in best in slot gear, but at the moment it doesn't change things up significantly so you should be able to use these no problem.
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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Tinderhoof » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:13 pm

Short answer is "Yes". Until you start getting heroic raiding trinkets the Darkmoon card will be #1 or #2.

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Instaqueues » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:21 pm

Thanks for this guide, and responses! Your answers match SimCraft, with various trinket combinations. For my gear it looks like Searing Words & Relic put me at about 82.9k, and Relic & Jade Bandit Figurine give me 82.8k. Looks like. Now to get the $$ for a relic! ;)

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby coool12 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:24 am

nice posts...........

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Kioga » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:45 pm

Any idea where the new (496) Arrowflight Medallion trink ranks on the list?

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Tinderhoof » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:05 pm

Its on the list as Wound Ripper (the Horde version).

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Arctagon » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:50 pm

Thank you for the comprehensive list, aggixx.

I have a couple of questions. How do you compare talents and trinkets in SimC, getting those bar charts up? Also, is there any good or usable character planners out there, like chardev used to be?

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Irbis » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:04 pm

Thank you for your work.

I am a bit confused about the stat weights and was hoping you could help me out there.
What was the Tier 4 talent used to gain the stat values?
Or are the simulations made with only Tier 6 talents?, and if they are made with only the Tier 6 talents, wouldn't the tier 4 talent choice influence the stat values?

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby aggixx » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:46 am

Arctagon wrote:Thank you for the comprehensive list, aggixx.

I have a couple of questions. How do you compare talents and trinkets in SimC, getting those bar charts up? Also, is there any good or usable character planners out there, like chardev used to be?

It's just a screenshot + crop of the graph on the HTML report spit out by SimC. For character planning I believe CharDev still works although I could be wrong, but you can also do the same thing with AskMrRobot.
Irbis wrote:Thank you for your work.

I am a bit confused about the stat weights and was hoping you could help me out there.
What was the Tier 4 talent used to gain the stat values?
Or are the simulations made with only Tier 6 talents?, and if they are made with only the Tier 6 talents, wouldn't the tier 4 talent choice influence the stat values?

Sorry, I had it in the description at some point. They are all done with Soul of the Forest as the other two alternatives tend to be very very situational. And yes, it probably does.
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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Stenhaldi » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:28 am

Are you using the PTR version of Woundripper Medallion (with 2822 crit)? I'm not seeing how the live version (with 3838 crit) could compare so poorly.

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby aggixx » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:14 pm

That'd be the case, working on updating the rankings atm.
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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby aggixx » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:09 pm

Trinket comparisons updated, now also includes upgraded versions of 5 man heroic trinkets.
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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Eralia » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:53 pm

Is there any reliable Sims, that confirm the EJ post about haste being the best secondary stat depending on the Talentcombination?

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Re: Talent & Trinket Analysis (w/ Stat Weights!)

Postby Tinderhoof » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:06 pm

Could you link us to that post? Do you know if it was prior to the HotW nerf after week 2 of the new tier?

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