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Opener

Postby Sibylle » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:27 am

Hi folks,

you might remember that during Dragon Soul, we had a thread here where someone asked about the ideal opener to a boss fight. There were several differing opinions until Leafkiller came in and posted the actual optimal, based on solid sim and theorycrafting.

I would like to know what has changed? Is Ravage still/again used? Do you use Savage Roar before the fight to buff those first few seconds, ideally until the first Rip? I'm asking this because I'm just back from a 6-month break from the game and am currently not raiding, as I'm still levelling my new (Horde) feral.

Would love to hear where we're at!
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Re: Opener

Postby Ekthelion » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:54 am

Hi,
I believe most of the ferals do use Ravage with 0 CP SR and hardcasting HT at the very beginning (assuming you actually have DoC talent and Glyph of Savagery). If SR is put in the correct moment (to last ~12 seconds from the beginning of the fight) then you can easily put your imba Rip (TF, Rune procc if you have, pots, enchants etc..) before refreshing the first SR.
What also has changed is the moment when you should or should not apply the bleeds, that's why you should look for the topic about bleed power tracking script for WeakAuras addon on this forum (for some reason I can't find it right now).
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Re: Opener

Postby aggixx » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:07 pm

Here's what I believe to be the "technically optimal" opener (SimulationCraft does do it a little bit wrong), this is all with Dream of Cenarius in mind. Feel free to dispute any of these points, would love to have a discussion on it.

Before Fight:
1. Cast a Healing Touch to proc a Dream of Cenarius buff (ideally around 15 seconds before the pull).
2. Cast Savage Roar and then wait til it has less than 9 seconds remaining, then cast it again.
3. Mash your Savage Roar key until the fight is about to start.
4. Virmen's Bite
5. Prowl

After boss is pulled:
1. Ravage
2. Rake
3. Shred (or Rake if Re-Origination is active) until you're below 40 energy.
4. If you're at or above 4 CP, cast Nature's Swiftness & Healing Touch.
5. Tiger's Fury
6. Berserk
7. Any other temporary damage cooldowns you may have (Trinkets, Synapse Springs, Berserking {although that's of arguable value})
8. Shred to 4 CP (or Rake to 4 CP if Re-Origination is active).
8. Nature's Swiftness & Healing Touch if you didn't in step 4.
10. Rake then Rip (if you're at 5 CP already then use Rip first then Rake)
11. Thrash if you haven't already applied it on an Omen of Clarity proc.
12. Shred until you can't fit any more in before SR falls of OR you reach 5 CP
12. Savage Roar (do NOT cast Healing Touch before using Savage Roar, the 1 GCD worth of energy regen you waste is not worth the 25% more damage on your next two shreds).
13. Shred to 5 CP
14. Healing Touch
15. Ferocious Bite
16. Repeat the previous 3 steps until Rip's duration starts to get low, swapping out a single shred with a Rake just before all of your procs and your prepot expire (try to time it so it's buffed with DoC) and reapplying Thrash when necessary.
17. Carry on with normal rotation.

Then there's the question of if it's really worth bothering to open in stealth just for the one ravage. On paper it's a clear winner, you're trading 1 second of Rake uptime for the additional damage of 1 Ravage compared to a Shred. In practice it does make the opener more complicated and time sensitive as using a potion breaks stealth and Ravage has a positional requirement.

There is one thing I'm curious about however, and that's if the optimal opener is notably different when running Renataki's Soul Charm. I don't have one so I'm not familiar with the timing but I imagine it may be beneficial to use your first couple combo points on a low CP SR, which would let you apply your Rip a bit later therefore having more Blades stacks at the time of application, but you're also losing some Rip uptime there which is a huge drawback.

Edit: Forgot Thrash.
Last edited by aggixx on Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:29 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Opener

Postby Dysheki » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:15 pm

I always NS+HT right before TF+Berserk (since we're never using all of the energy during berserk anyway).
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Re: Opener

Postby aggixx » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:18 pm

Unless you only get 3 CP on your first 3 globals, then you're forced to save it for after. But yeah, good point, that way you get 1 additional effective second of TF and Berserk uptime.

I updated my post with that in mind.
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Re: Opener

Postby Cetlysm » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:42 pm

Got a question
Not opener only but it happens on the opener, if you have less than 1 sec with berserk, 5 cp, and PS up would you rather get the cheap FB with no DoC, or DoC buffed FB with extra energy loss?
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Re: Opener

Postby raffy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:34 pm

In 10s, I keep -Armor active, so my opener (with pre: Pot, SR, HT, and NS) is FF, Rake, Shred, Shred (or Mangle if no Heroism). HT at 5cp, TF/Springs, and use DoC for Rip and Rake. At this point, depending on Rune duration, I either HT+Thrash or Berserk+Thrash. I try to get a Mangle off before SR falls, and put SR back up (with 2-3cp). Then commence the typical John Madden kitty offense.

With the exception of the Thrash part, this can be done blind-folded; I can repeat this pretty much perfectly on every pull.

I usually Rejuv myself to proc Dancing Steel early, hardcast HT at the start of the combat countdown, and double Roar to get extra SR time.

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Re: Opener

Postby Kroníc » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:35 am

My opener has usually gone something like this:

Before Fight:
1. Cast a Healing Touch to proc a Dream of Cenarius buff
2. Cast Savage Roar at 1 second pull countdown + Virmen's Bite

After boss is pulled:
1. Rake
2. Thrash (with RoR Proc)
3. Shred (or Rake if Re-Origination is active) until below 40 energy.
4. Tiger's Fury + Berserk + Synapse String (along with trinket procs)
5. If at or above 4 CP, cast Nature's Swiftness & Healing Touch.
6. Shred to 4 CP (or Rake to 4 CP if Re-Origination is active).
7. Healing Touch
8. Rake then Rip (if you're at 5 CP already then use Rip first then Rake)
9. (If I used Rip, then Rake) Cast HT, refresh Trash and reapply Rake (RoR should just end)
10. Refresh Savage Roar with how many combo points (usually 3-4).
11. Savage Roar (do NOT cast Healing Touch before using Savage Roar, the 1 GCD worth of energy regen you waste is not worth the 25% more damage on your next two shreds).
12. Shred to 5 CP
13. Healing Touch
14. Ferocious Bite
15. Shred x1 or x2 (Berserk should end).
16. Carry on with normal rotation.

How much of dps increase is it to use Ravage on the opener? I ask because the tanks usually move the boss/turn after the pull and I find myself losing dps trying to ravage.

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Re: Opener

Postby Tyvona » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:33 am

I'm usually throwing in a thrash before NS+HT after TF+Berserk to burn off some excess energy as otherwise I'm usually capped on energy while waiting for the gcd from NS (as hero is usually popped at the start of the fight). I'm now wondering if this is a good idea if the alternative is capping on energy but sacrificing a second or two of rip uptime from an extra gcd.

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Re: Opener

Postby aggixx » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:00 am

Kroníc wrote:How much of dps increase is it to use Ravage on the opener? I ask because the tanks usually move the boss/turn after the pull and I find myself losing dps trying to ravage.

Depends on gear of course, but on paper I imagine it's something like 100k damage. I really wouldn't bother with it on bosses where you don't think you can pull it off 100% of time.
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Re: Opener

Postby Sibylle » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:47 am

Sorry for the delayed response, I'm only online again today (got new internet at home. At home being Ireland. Don't ask... :lol:).

Thank you all so much for your replies, especially Aggixx for the detailed list. I'm a little surprised that everyone seems to be using DoC! I went with Heart of the Wild on my Ally druid until I left six months ago, and I thought of picking it up again with my new druid, for the reduced hassle especially on complicated fights with target-switching etc, and an extra healing cooldown for the raid.

I also run with Wild Charge. Why? Because feral charge is the number one most fun thing about playing a feral, in my opinion. I'll think about the Ravage thing - I've still got time, I'm not quite level 90 yet and it'll take a while to get raid ready too.

Have I said "thanks" yet? :)
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Re: Opener

Postby feralminded » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:35 am

Honestly I've been HoTW for the majority of this expansion since I've also been raid leading (and I personally find them mutually exclusive, not to mention the raid leader in me REALLY likes having the option to either save the raid with the tranq or fill in as a tank for a while or even switch to wrath/hurricane spam ... plenty of our first kills on various bosses in MoP have required me doing one of these things) and while I find it very difficult to punch into the top 20 ranks of any progression fight without DoC I still am able to put my name in the top 100 of almost everything. DoC is awesome and I admire the cats who do it well but it does add a bit of "swing" to our class similar to a fire mage. It's not completely luck dependent (whereas fire mages largely are), but still dynamic encounter mechanics and timing and indeed even RoR itself can often deprive a DoC player of a lot of DPS whereas HoTW just kind of muddles through.

I know its a 4% difference in optimal conditions but I firmly believe the median DPS is much, MUCH closer so don't fret too much over DoC. I personally appreciate the elevated skill cap it requires and this is my ONLY reason to want to do it but honestly it also tickles me deeply to know that HoTW actually pushes me closer to the true hybrid I used to love us for being. I like having a deep toolkit and learning to maximize it (even though I know I'm nowhere near perfect with it). To be fair DoC can also let you hybrid if you like (HT other people) but it costs you a precipitous amount of DPS over HoTW. NV, on the other hand, just isn't in what I'd consider a very good spot for us right now. The passive healing is nice but not terribly useful. In a way if NV would also buff our HT similar to DoC then we could push out some passive HT healing on PS procs that was worthwhile.
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Re: Opener

Postby baver » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:50 pm

My opening is kinda easy with hotw ;) rake, rake, rake tf+berzerk rake/rip depends if you crit ofc, then i just keep doing rake until TF ends and do a trash and even if i got 1-2sec left on ror i still just do shred until 5combopoint becouse i dont want to lose my tf rake (not sure if this is correct but works for me) this is with ror procc on pull ofc, like it always should if you dont just run in and pull after 30sec

hotw ftw! no problem ranking even if it should be 5% behind, just hope they add some new spice to NV next patch becouse i dont think anyone use it for pve or pvp anymore or?

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