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Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.2.3!

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Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.2.3!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:53 pm

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 6.2.3.

If you have any questions or comments on the content provided in this guide, feel free to leave a post and let me know! If you have any questions or comments on the content provided in this guide, feel free to leave a post and let me know! You can also try asking your question in Dreamgrove chat and somebody may be able to help you out.

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 item is better?
  • Which trinket should I use? / Should I break my set bonus? etc.
  • How can I simulate my character?
  • When should I use my trinkets?
  • Help! I have a question about how to use finishers.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:53 pm

 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. Refresh Rip in Pandemic window* with 5 combo points when Savage Roar is up.
  4. Refresh Savage Roar in Pandemic window.
  5. Ferocious Bite with 5 combo points when at 90 energy, Berserk is active, or Tiger's Fury is coming off cooldown.
  6. Refresh Rake in Pandemic window.
  7. Shred for combo points.

* = Read the uptimes section for more info on "Pandemic window"

In general, you should aim to waste as little energy or combo points to overcapping as possible. With Bloodtalons, finishers should be cast with as much energy as possible without compromising uptimes (see the talent section for more info).

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). This is not to say that <5 combo point Roars are bad, though; you should use however many combo points best allows you to maintain Rip.

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 generally always use it together with Berserk.

You can 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.

 Opener

Like other specializations, Feral's opener is primarily a practical application of the normal priority list: if you understand your abilities' interactions and how to use them then you will understand the opener, and vice versa. Of significant note is when specifically to activate your cooldowns and in what order, as you find yourself in circumstances that typically do not occur during the thick of an encounter, such as a significant threat of energy capping.

Bloodtalons
Spoiler: show
Healing Touch
Prowl
Pot
Incarnation
Pull (Incarnation GCD ends)
Use Trinkets
Rake
Shred to 5 CP
Berserk, TF (use these earlier if you run out of energy)
Rip
Shred to 4+ CP
Healing Touch
Rake if at 4 CP
Ferocious Bite
Rake if you didn't before the FB
On to normal rotation

Claws of Shirvallah
Spoiler: show
Prowl
Pot
Incarnation
Pull (Incarnation GCD ends)
Use Trinkets
Rake
Shred to 5 CP
Berserk, TF (use these earlier if you run out of energy)
Rip
Rake
Shred to 5 CP
Ferocious Bite
On to normal rotation

Lunar Inspiration
Spoiler: show
Prowl
Pot
Incarnation
Pull (Incarnation GCD ends)
Use Trinkets
Rake
Moonfire
Shred to 5 CP
Berserk, TF (use these earlier if you run out of energy)
Rip
Rake
Shred to 5 CP
Ferocious Bite
On to normal rotation

For any talent, if your group uses Bloodlust or Heroism on pull then you should be able to Ferocious Bite 3 times before having to refresh Rip. Without Bloodlust/Heroism a judgement call must be made to determine if a third bite can be fit in without causing a Rip downtime of more than a few seconds.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:54 pm

 Gearing


 Stat Priority

There are too many different scenarios of gear, encounters, and talents to describe every possible gearing scenario, but I can emphasize on some major points. In general, stat priority for Patchwerk-style encounters will look something like this for all talent combinations:
Crit > Multistrike >= Versatility >= Mastery > Haste
In any situation with multiple targets or reduced target uptime, the priority tends to shift to something like the following:
Mastery > Crit > Multistrike >= Versatility > Haste

It is important to consider that a true Patchwerk-style scenario is relatively rare compared to add fights, AoE fights, and council fights. Often these sorts of encounters still put significant emphasis on single target damage during parts of the encounter so it is also unwise to completely forsake Crit for Mastery. In general, the best gearing strategy is:
Crit > Mastery > Multistrike >= Versatility > Haste
this sort of setup will sacrifice a small portion of your single target damage to become close to proficient as possible in multi-target scenarios.

Here's an example of the sort of single target damage loss I'm talking about in full heroic BRF gear:

Image

Of course, it should go without saying that this suggestion should not be followed blindly, and you should pickup any spare pieces you can get your hands on for the sake of selecting the right gear for the right situation.

Finally, while if you want the most accurate weights possible you should really simulate your own character, here are some example stat weights. These are generated with a character in full heroic tier 18 gear using Incarnation & Bloodtalons in 3 different scenarios: Patchwerk, 2 target Council-style fight, and HecticAddCleave (a SimulationCraft fight style similar to Horridon from Throne of Thunder).

Patchwerk
2 Target
HecticAddCleave

 Gems, Enchants

In Warlords of Draenor, both and enchants and gems are a much scarcer modification to worry about compared to previous expansions and your selection is very plentiful. For enchants you can pick between most any stat you want, and for gems socket bonuses are gone and all sockets are now prismatic. Simply put, for general use you should use these customizations to stack as much Critical Strike rating as possible; this means flat crit enchants and Greater Critical Strike Taladites in any sockets you happen to acquire.

For weapon enchants, Mark of the Shattered Hand is a viable alternative in dungeon gear, but once you've picked up a bit of raid gear Mark of Thunderlord should pull ahead indefinitely.

If progressing on a multi-target focused encounter (as described in the previous section), you may instead consider stacking Mastery rating via Mark of the Bleeding Hollow, flat mastery enchants, and Greater Mastery Taladites.

Set Bonuses

Living Wood Battlegear (Tier 17)
  • The 2 set is a great bonus for multiple targets, but a bit weak on single target. Thrash becomes a lot more enticing to use since it quickly pays for itself on many targets, and can be applied more aggressively starting at 2 targets.
  • Using the 4 set you should aim to deal as much damage during your Berserk as possible. In your opener, by delaying the use of your Berserk until the GCD following Rip you can fit 3 Ferocious Bites into Berserk for maximum damage.

Oathclaw Wargarb (Tier 18)
  • With the 2 set you want to use a finisher instantly whenever Omen procs (making sure you have the energy needed for maximum bite damage). Also note that you can use TF at 60 or less energy instead of 40 or less, which means you can use TF instantly when it comes off cooldown every time except for when you get chain Omen procs.
  • With the 4 set, you want to stop pooling for finishers entirely except to make sure FB is doing max damage. Thrash on Omen of Clarity to keep the DoT up, but don't let it steal BT charges from your damaging finishers. Using Predatory Swiftness at 5 CP instead of 4 if you're not going to use 1 of the charges on Rake, allows you to use thrash more often (otherwise you wouldn't be able to thrash when at 4 or 5 combo points).
  • Tier 17 bonuses are generally worth dropping for Tier 18 bonuses with any combination/item level of items.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:54 pm

 Spec Recommendations

 Cheatsheet
Image Image

Bloodtalons and Incarnation are generally the best DPS options for all situations, but Claws of Shirvallah is a good choice for beginners. The other tiers are all generally preference or situational (either due to talents having different strengths or the whole tier generally not being useful).

 Talents

Incarnation: King of the Jungle
A 3 minute cooldown which stacks wonderfully with Berserk, enables us to take advantage of our Improved Rake perk mid-fight, and allows us to trigger Glyph of Savage Roar; what's not to like? This is what makes us great burst DPS.

Soul of the Forest Force of Nature
Never take these talents, there is no situation where they are competitive with Incarnation. They also look far less cool.

Claws of Shirvallah
The worst talent in regards to DPS value in the tier, but it also comes with no added complexity. This is a good choice if you feel like you're still learning the basics of the rotation, just remember to give Bloodtalons a shot when you're ready to step it up.

Lunar Inspiration
This talent is strongest when it comes to sustained damage on 2 to 3 targets. It is mediocre on single target when compared to Bloodtalons, and pitiful on AoE as you don't have enough energy or GCDs to maintain both Moonfire and Rake on many targets. Unfortunately with the buffs to Thrash, Rip, and Rake in 6.2 this talent is no longer the best in even its strongest situation so I cannot recommend it. It is also significantly more taxing to use on 2-3 targets than Bloodtalons due to the extremely excessive timer tracking-oriented gameplay it promotes.

Bloodtalons
The best talent in the 100 tier when used correctly. When you spend combo points on your finishing moves, you have a chance (100% with 5 combo points) to trigger Predatory Swiftness which allows you to cast one free Healing Touch in form; in turn your next two abilities will deal 30% more damage. While the optimal usage may not be obvious at first glance, it follows a fairly simple and consistent rule in all situations. Spend your Predatory Swiftness via Healing Touch when:
  • You're at 4 or more combo points.
  • Predatory Swiftness is about to expire.
Since your finishers are your highest damage-dealing abilities, you want to try to always have a charge for them which using Healing Touch at 4 or 5 combo points allows you to achieve. The other charge can be used to cast a buffed Rake, a Thrash for AoE situations, or simply a Shred if nothing else needs to be buffed. To maximize your ability to reach 4 combo points before Predatory Swiftness expires you should pool energy before your finishers (when possible, don't waste energy or delay Tiger's Fury) which allows you to get a head start into your next combo point cycle.

Simulations

Patchwerk:
Spoiler: show
Image
Image

2 target:
Spoiler: show
Image
Image

HecticAddCleave (Horridon-like encounter):
Spoiler: show
Image
Image


 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. Savagery's damage loss is pretty small (around 4% at most, depending on talents) but finds some optimal use in situations where the druid has a plentiful number of targets to apply Rip to.

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.

Glyph of Stampeding Roar: A solid choice for your third major glyph slot. Almost every fight where Stampeding Roar is used this is a very strong option since it allows your whole raid to benefit from it.

Glyph of Survival Instincts: Good for fights with frequent, instant, choreographed raid damage. Half duration is of course the big drawback, so if there's little sustained damage of any consequence then this is a good choice.

Glyph of Rebirth: If you don't have any Balance or Resto druids in your group you might want to consider this if you find yourself casting Rebirth frequently. If you do then make them use this glyph instead since its far easier for more effective for them to be the one resurrecting.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:59 pm

 King of the Jungle (Advanced Tactics)


 Best in Slot

Its probably best to think of the information in this section as "gearing lists" rather than "Best in Slot" because in general piece selection is situational depending on what suites the encounter you're attempting, most notably with the value of mastery. To account for this, the link below has main set that recommends the best all-around pieces, as well as some other useful pieces for various situations.

http://summonstone.com/druid/feral/#gear

Hellfire Citadel trinkets are situational because of their various strengths and weaknesses so they are not included in the main list. A brief hierarchy can be found after the normal list.

 Trinket Rankings

Below are two different styles of comparisons intended to give you an idea of trinkets stack up to each other. The 2 trinket comparison is generally more accurate, so you should use it if the trinkets you're comparing are on there, but it is much less inclusive because doing pairs for every trinket available would generate a truly ridiculous number of combinations. The single trinket comparison is less exact because it does not handle trinket (a)synergy at all so it should be used as fallback.

It is highly recommended that you do your own 2 trinket comparisons using your gear when choosing between trinkets you have at your disposal because results will vary depending on your gear and stat balance; these comparisons are done with only one set of gear (Heroic HFC) and as such is only truly reflective of their value when used with that exact set of gear.

Both comparisons are a Patchwerk-style simulation so mastery trinkets are undervalued in most practical contexts.

Single Trinket:
Spoiler: show
Image
Image
Image
Image

Dual Trinket:
Spoiler: show
Image


 Snapshotting & Clipping

Bleeds use the damage multipliers you had at the time of application for the whole duration of the bleed (called “snapshotting“); Feral is one of the only specializations to have several of these modifiers which adds a bit more depth to its rotation. The following buffs are snapshotted by bleeds:

There are two scenarios where "clipping" a bleed (refreshing it earlier than you normally would) is a damage gain:
  • You can apply a stronger Rake via some combination of the above buffs: 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. Note that Improved Rake is active during Incarnation.
  • You can apply a 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. In a short encounter, such as that of a 5 man heroic boss, this can be mostly disregarded.

It is important to note that these are the only circumstances where it is a DPS gain to refresh a DoT any significant amount of time before it progresses to its Pandemic level. Rip does not do enough damage to justify trading away potential Ferocious Bite damage prior to execute, Thrash doesn't do enough damage in general, and Moonfire does not snapshot any buffs.

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 -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:59 pm

 Frequently Asked Questions

 Which item is better? (item level vs better stats, item level vs sockets, etc)

A great way to answer these questions is to use the addon Pawn. You can input your own custom weights and it will score each item and tell you when you find an upgrade. For best results, considering simulating stat weights for your own character (see the section below), but you may also use these import strings as a substitute:

With Seed of Creation:
Spoiler: show
Balanced -- For general use:
Code: Select all
( Pawn: v1: "Balanced": Agility=15.95, Ap=14.38, CritRating=10.5, HasteRating=4.91, MasteryRating=9.49, Multistrike=8.75, Versatility=8.21, Dps=11.88, IsOffHand=-1000000, IsFist=-1000000, IsMace=-1000000, IsCrossbow=-1000000, IsDagger=-1000000, IsGun=-1000000, IsFrill=-1000000, Is2HAxe=-1000000, IsBow=-1000000, IsSword=-1000000, IsWand=-1000000, Is2HSword=-1000000, IsAxe=-1000000 )

AoE -- For encounters constant or near-constant multiple targets:
Code: Select all
( Pawn: v1: "AoE": Agility=15.96, Ap=14.39, CritRating=10.43, HasteRating=5, MasteryRating=9.66, Multistrike=8.74, Versatility=8.19, Dps=11.59, IsOffHand=-1000000, IsFist=-1000000, IsMace=-1000000, IsCrossbow=-1000000, IsDagger=-1000000, IsGun=-1000000, IsFrill=-1000000, Is2HAxe=-1000000, IsBow=-1000000, IsSword=-1000000, IsWand=-1000000, Is2HSword=-1000000, IsAxe=-1000000 )

Single Target -- For pure single target encounters:
Code: Select all
( Pawn: v1: "Single Target": Agility=15.99, Ap=14.39, CritRating=10.83, HasteRating=5.17, MasteryRating=8.03, Multistrike=8.87, Versatility=8.3566, Dps=13.84, IsOffHand=-1000000, IsFist=-1000000, IsMace=-1000000, IsCrossbow=-1000000, IsDagger=-1000000, IsGun=-1000000, IsFrill=-1000000, Is2HAxe=-1000000, IsBow=-1000000, IsSword=-1000000, IsWand=-1000000, Is2HSword=-1000000, IsAxe=-1000000 )

Without Seed of Creation:
Spoiler: show
Balanced -- For general use:
Code: Select all
( Pawn: v1: "Balanced": Agility=14.37, Ap=13.07, CritRating=10.46, HasteRating=6.08, MasteryRating=9.79, Multistrike=8.4, Versatility=8.16, Dps=10.37, IsOffHand=-1000000, IsFist=-1000000, IsMace=-1000000, IsCrossbow=-1000000, IsDagger=-1000000, IsGun=-1000000, IsFrill=-1000000, Is2HAxe=-1000000, IsBow=-1000000, IsSword=-1000000, IsWand=-1000000, Is2HSword=-1000000, IsAxe=-1000000 )

AoE -- For encounters constant or near-constant multiple targets:
Code: Select all
( Pawn: v1: "AoE": Agility=14.41, Ap=13, CritRating=10.31, HasteRating=6.1, MasteryRating=9.94, Multistrike=8.38, Versatility=8.17, Dps=10.19, IsOffHand=-1000000, IsFist=-1000000, IsMace=-1000000, IsCrossbow=-1000000, IsDagger=-1000000, IsGun=-1000000, IsFrill=-1000000, Is2HAxe=-1000000, IsBow=-1000000, IsSword=-1000000, IsWand=-1000000, Is2HSword=-1000000, IsAxe=-1000000 )

Single Target -- For pure single target encounters:
Code: Select all
( Pawn: v1: "Single Target": Agility=14.44, Ap=13.22, CritRating=10.89, HasteRating=6.52, MasteryRating=8.32, Multistrike=8.58, Versatility=8.30, Dps=11.68, IsOffHand=-1000000, IsFist=-1000000, IsMace=-1000000, IsCrossbow=-1000000, IsDagger=-1000000, IsGun=-1000000, IsFrill=-1000000, Is2HAxe=-1000000, IsBow=-1000000, IsSword=-1000000, IsWand=-1000000, Is2HSword=-1000000, IsAxe=-1000000 )

I like to keep the best item for each set of weights so I can swap pieces accordingly for each raid encounter. Notably, Pawn does not handle procs such as those on trinkets; for that see the next section.

 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.

 When should I use my trinkets?

Trinkets should be used with cooldowns and other procs as often as possible without losing usages in the fight duration. For example, lets say you're doing a 4 minute fight, proper usage of a 2 minute trinket would look like this (timestamps are approximate):
0:00 - Incarnation, Berserk, Trinket
3:00 - Incarnation, Berserk, Trinket
In this example you're still getting the maximum amount of Berserks and trinket usages, but everything is aligned perfectly for maximum effect.

An opposite example would be a 5 minute fight:
0:00 - Incarnation, Berserk, Trinket
2:00 - Trinket
4:00 - Incarnation, Berserk, Trinket
In this case you're holding your 2nd Berserk to go with your last trinket.

Typically, you should use everything on cooldown until the end of the fight where you only have 1 use left of each cooldown, then hold them so that you can use them all together.

 Help! I have a question about how to use finishers.

99% of finisher situations will resolve themselves if you follow these simple guidelines:
  • Only use Ferocious Bite at high energy (or during Berserk) and when Savage Roar and Rip are both outside of their pandemic window.
  • Always prioritize refreshing Rip over SR as long as SR as active.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:00 pm

Reserved.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:00 pm

New thread for a new expansion! Guide is updated for level 100. Let me know if I missed anything that you think I should add.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby inseedious » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:23 am

Hi! Thanks and congratulations for the great guide! After a first read, I would say that you forgot to put Bloodtalons in the Snapshotting section. Anyway, when we'll reach lvl 100 it will be really interesting to discuss about advanced snapshotting tactics, which seem to be the real deepness of this spec. Like, for example, if it'll be worth to keep TF for snapshotted Rip and Rake, same for Bloodtalons, tactics to align all the abilities mentioned in the post, thresholds behiond that is better to refresh Rip/Rake with full snapshotted ones, etc.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:21 am

In general the same rules listed in the snapshotting section apply equally with Bloodtalons, but I suppose I could probably make that clearer. I know how to use talents, mainly Bloodtalons, is something that the guide is lacking and that's something I'll have to think a little about how to best to fit it in.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby Raysere » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:48 am

It's not at all difficult to snapshot close to, or every finisher and rake with BT at 100, based on my beta experience.

My gut says that it's not worth delaying TF more than a few seconds to snapshot it. It's such a short CD that you could quickly lose several casts per fight doing so. You'll get fairly decent uptime on TF-Rip regardless simply because the uptime on the buff is pretty high. Not sure if sims back up my gut though so take this with a grain of salt.

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

Postby aggixx » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:01 am

Yeah, Feral's rotation in bad gear has been eased massively between the Pandemic and Predatory Swiftness duration changes. If you're used to Siege of Orgrimmar gear its definitely going to feel a lot slower, but you aren't going to be struggling horribly to keep up your bleeds (mainly Rip) like you would be with bad gear in previous expansions. The occasional downtimes will happen but overall its a lot rarer than in the past. I actually have some old reports from the beginning of MoP so I can make a pretty neat direct comparison here:
Spoiler: show
MoP Pre-Raid:
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WoD 5 man heroic:
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You can see the difference in Rip uptime is actually quite massive (85.7% vs 93.4%) and the MoP profile is actually better geared because its using an epic crafted weapon and engineering helm, whereas the WoD profile is using solely blues.

And I agree, you generally don't need to go out of your way to line up anything. The best mindset to approach it with can be related to assembling a puzzle: you know you have a set criteria that you have to follow (don't cap energy, don't waste CP, don't delay TF, don't let bleeds drop) but the order that you put the pieces together (when to spend your energy and when to save it, when to proc Bloodtalons and what to spend them on) is flexible and you want to find the best way to do so.

PS: And I know a lot of that wasn't relevant to your question but it's something that's very much worth saying. Hopefully your answers are in there somewhere ;)
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby inseedious » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:58 am

aggixx wrote:In general the same rules listed in the snapshotting section apply equally with Bloodtalons, but I suppose I could probably make that clearer. I know how to use talents, mainly Bloodtalons, is something that the guide is lacking and that's something I'll have to think a little about how to best to fit it in.


Thanks for the reply. However, I wasn't saying that the guide lacks of something. I actually meant that it will be really interesting to discuss more advanced snapshotting themathics as we'll approach the new game content. And this advanced stuff can easily be discussed in the thread, it doesn't have to be in the guide :)
As you all know, the beauty of the Feral is the absence of a standard rotation or "to-do" list, so it's a spec that can be played in lots of different ways, yet efficiently. I haven't played the WoD feral yet, but since Assurance of Consequence, as long with the SoO tier bonuses will be gone, I guess that the snapshotting thing will have an increased relevance. I'm still asking myself if it'll be better a Rake just after TF cast, or when TF is almost expired (assuming the initial Rake is not TF snapshotted)...
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:39 pm

inseedious wrote:Thanks for the reply. However, I wasn't saying that the guide lacks of something. I actually meant that it will be really interesting to discuss more advanced snapshotting themathics as we'll approach the new game content. And this advanced stuff can easily be discussed in the thread, it doesn't have to be in the guide :)

Yeah I was kinda projecting my thoughts onto what you were saying, heh. There's definitely some gray area in terms of what should be explained in the guide and what can be left to discussion, but generally if something has potential to be discussed repeatedly its probably better to just incorporate it into the guide. I tend to tweak wording here or there based on what people ask even if they aren't intending to give feedback at all just so people are less likely to ask the same question in the future.

inseedious wrote:I'm still asking myself if it'll be better a Rake just after TF cast, or when TF is almost expired (assuming the initial Rake is not TF snapshotted)...

In the absence of Bloodtalons it doesn't really matter because regardless you'll have the same time (15+ seconds) of Rake benefitting from TF, so the correct answer is whichever wastes less duration. With Bloodtalons its a little different because if you're going to have a charge ready later in the TF, then refreshing early can be close to pointless because you're just going to have to overwrite it shortly after. On the other hand, if that Rake is low duration then refreshing it at beginning of the TF is beneficial regardless because that ensures the TF/BTd rake will be able to last a full 19.5 seconds, in addition to benefitting from that 1-2 ticks of increased damage.

Although with Bloodtalons the more likely situation is the Rake you have applied going into TF is already benefitting from BT so there's actually no point in refreshing it until you get BT charges during the TF.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby inseedious » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:05 pm

aggixx wrote:In the absence of Bloodtalons it doesn't really matter because regardless you'll have the same time (15+ seconds) of Rake benefitting from TF, so the correct answer is whichever wastes less duration. With Bloodtalons its a little different because if you're going to have a charge ready later in the TF, then refreshing early can be close to pointless because you're just going to have to overwrite it shortly after. On the other hand, if that Rake is low duration then refreshing it at beginning of the TF is beneficial regardless because that ensures the TF/BTd rake will be able to last a full 19.5 seconds, in addition to benefitting from that 1-2 ticks of increased damage.

Although with Bloodtalons the more likely situation is the Rake you have applied going into TF is already benefitting from BT so there's actually no point in refreshing it until you get BT charges during the TF.

Thanks again for the reply. Since TF cd without AoC will be widely longer than Rake duration, I was thinking that applying a TF Rake when TF is about to expire means a slight DPS increase, because after Rake you'll have less TF cd remaining. But I guess that this is compensated by the fact that waiting to apply a TF Rake also means more ticks of the no-TF Rake, since Rake duration (= 1/2 TF cd) is clearly meant to cause an alternation of TF and no-TF Rakes.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby Arctagon » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:55 am

Not sure where else to post this.

How do I simulate gear with Simulationcraft now? Previously, different versions of the gear (normal, heroic etc.) had different IDs, but now they seem to have the same. In this case, I am trying to simulate trinkets, but I can't seem to make the TCI understand which version of the trinkets I'm talking about.

For example, Whiterbark's Branch has the ID 109999. If I were to select the heroic version on Wowhead, it just adds '&bonus=524' to the ID.

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

Postby aggixx » Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:02 pm

You add "bonus_id=524" to the item.
Normal:
trinket2=witherbarks_branch,id=109999

Heroic:
trinket2=witherbarks_branch,id=109999,bonus_id=524
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby xahn » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:26 pm

I havent yet broken my x4 set bonus yet, I'm using helm/shoulder/chest/gloves. However Ive only obtained a 630 heroic helm/shoulder, not the other two pieces, But I feel that if I change those two pieces. I'm doing lesser damage/dps, havent simmed it myself to be quiet honest with you, but thats just how I feel so far. It's just the quick 3pnt for either another quick rip or FB is just too strong
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby aggixx » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:06 am

Not sure what the simulated value is, but I have to disagree. I didn't have any issue breaking it for higher item level pieces.

I've updated the trinket rankings with a couple new trinkets: PvP Proc Trinkets, alchemy stone, and the 615 mission trinket.
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Re: Pawkets' Feral DPS Guide & FAQ -- Updated for 6.0!

Postby CiC`` » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:45 am

Hi,
thanks for the great guide.
But did i miss something? I remember reading a post for some patch notes that snapshotting isnt possible any more?
Did they included again or did they never take it out?

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

Postby Twitchys » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:26 am

Snapshotting of stats was removed, so trinket procs, potions, heroism, and anything else that temporarily boosts your stats does not snapshot. For feral specifically Blizzard left in snapshotting of spec abilities that increase the damage of specific abilities. This includes Tiger's Fury, Bloodtalons, Savage Roar, and Improved Rake.

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

Postby Natrixx » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:23 am

Hi,

First I'd lilke to apologize for the potential faults in my post : I'm a bad english writer.
Secondly, it's my first extension with a Druid so I meaby make mistakes so tell me if I did.

I have a question about the opener with Incarnation

I've seen in your guide that you advice to open with Rake (due to Improved Rake), but I wonder if it's not better to open with Shred due to the fact that we will benefit from Improved Rake during Incarnation.
We agree that our goal is to cast our bleeds with the maximum class buffs. So I try to understand why the next opener isn't the best :

- t-3s : cast Healing Touch (2 stacks of Bloodtalons)
- t-1s : Prowl
- PULL
- Shred (Savage Roar pop)
- Macro Burst : Incarnation/Berserk/Tiger's Fury
- Rake (Benefit from Improved Rake (incarnation), TF, Bloodtalons, Savage Roar =>175% buff (maths are not my strength and I know it's not exactly that number but the thinking is the same...)

So with that opener, the 1st Rake is the strongest as possible and we have a 1st Good Shred (35% up damage and crit x2 from Prowl + Savage Boar).

I know it's meaby not a strong improvement but tell me if I miss something. I just want to understand my new class.

Thanks for the guide

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

Postby Fieran » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:45 am

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's due to two reasons, firstly because Rake does more % damage than Shred when you analyse it overall, and therefore getting bleeds up as early as possible is very important, and also that Shred does more damage if bleeds are applied to the target:

Shred
Meleerange
40 Energy
Instant cast
Requires Cat Form
Shred the target, causing 400% Physical damage to the target

Ability druid catform Feral and Ability racial bearform Guardian (Level 40)
and reducing the target's movement speed by 50% for 12 sec.

Awards 1 combo point.

Being stealthed increases damage by 35% and doubles critical strike chance. Damage increased by 20% against bleeding targets.

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

Postby Tinderhoof » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:21 pm

Fieran wrote:I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's due to two reasons, firstly because Rake does more % damage than Shred when you analyse it overall, and therefore getting bleeds up as early as possible is very important, and also that Shred does more damage if bleeds are applied to the target:

Also if your second Rake is the strongest (ie with BT, and TF during Incarnation) it's going to be a 19 second Rake.

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

Postby Meaningless » Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:04 am

Lucky Double-Sided Coin got nerfed, reduced passive critical rating to 147, down from 220. The agi proc seems to still be the same however.
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