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Feral Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoW 4.3.4)

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In this article, we list your Feral Druid (WoW 4.3) core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation). We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that playing a Feral Druid will face you with. The other articles of our Feral Druid guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.

1. Basic 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.

  • Combo Point builders (by order of priority)
    1. Use Mangle Icon Mangle
      • only to keep up the bleed damage increasing debuff (if no one else is providing it).
    2. Use Rake Icon Rake
      • only to keep 100% uptime on the bleed effect that it applies (every 15 seconds).
    3. Use Feral Charge Icon Feral Charge+Ravage Icon Ravage
      • so that you cast Ravage under the effect of a Stampede Icon Stampede proc.
    4. Use Shred Icon Shred as your default Combo Point builder.
      • If you cannot attack the boss from behind, Mangle Icon Mangle becomes your default Combo Point builder.
  • Finishing Moves (by order of priority)
    1. Apply and maintain Rip Icon Rip (with 5 Combo Points).
      • When the target is below 25% health (or 60% health, if you have the 2-part Tier 13 set bonus), use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite to refresh Rip Icon Rip. Use Ferocious Bite with 5 Combo Points preferably, unless Rip is about to wear off.
    2. Apply and maintain Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar (preferably with 5 Combo Points).

While this rotation is correct and, for the most part, complete, it is hard to understand how to put it in practice. For this, we strongly suggest that you read our detailed section.

2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top

When you are facing 2 targets, try to maintain Rip Icon Rip and Rake Icon Rake up on both of them. If you are facing 3 or more targets, simply use Swipe Icon Swipe.

3. Faerie Fire↑top

If no one else is providing the armor debuff granted by Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire, then you should keep this debuff up yourself.

4. Cooldowns↑top

You have two DPS cooldown:

  • Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury, which increases your physical damage done by 15% for 6 seconds, on a 30 second cooldown. It also grants you 60 Energy when used. Additionally, it increases your Energy pool by 20 for its duration, if you have taken the Primal Madness Icon Primal Madness talent. It should be used on cooldown.
  • Berserk Icon Berserk, which reduces the cost of your abilities by 50% for 25 seconds, on a 3 minute cooldown. It also grants you 12 Energy when used. Additionally, it increases your Energy pool by 20 for its duration, if you have taken the Primal Madness Icon Primal Madness talent. It should be used as many times as possible during the encounter.

Proper timing and usage of these cooldowns is very important to Feral DPS. You can read more details about this in a subsequent section.

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 Icon 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 Icon Savage Roar on yourself, while continuously generating Combo Points.

5.2.1. Debuffs and Bleeds

The first two debuffs you must keep up on the target are Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire and Mangle Icon Mangle. Note that these debuffs have equivalents from other classes, so if they are already being provided, you do not need to worry about them.

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.

An equivalent of Mangle is provided by Tank Feral Druids, Arms Warriors, Subtlety Rogues and Hunters.

Once these two debuffs are taken care of, you have two other bleed effects that you must try to have 100% uptime on the target with. They are Rake Icon Rake and Rip Icon Rip.

Rake Icon Rake only costs Energy to apply, making it quite simple to manage.

Rip Icon Rip costs Energy but its strength 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.

5.2.2. Savage Roar

Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar is a self-buff that greatly increases the damage done by your auto attacks. It costs Energy to apply, and its duration (but not its strength) 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.

5.2.3. What to do the Rest of the Time

When your debuffs, bleeds and self-buff are all up and do not need to be refreshed, you will essentially be filling the time with casts of Shred Icon Shred, generating Combo Points.

In addition to Shred, some Combo Points will also be generated by your casts of Mangle Icon Mangle, Rake Icon Rake and Ravage Icon Ravage, although this number is much smaller.

5.2.4. Stampede and Ravage

Thanks to your Stampede Icon Stampede talent, each time you use Feral Charge Icon Feral Charge, you get an Energy-free cast of Ravage Icon Ravage that also does not require stealth or for you to be behind the target.

There are two ways to utilise this mechanic:

  • Always start the fight with Feral Charge Icon Feral Charge and make sure to use the Ravage before the 10 seconds run out. Similarly, use Feral Charge (and the free Ravage that it provides) when moving to a new target.
  • Throughout the course of the fight, every time Feral Charge Icon Feral Charge comes off cooldown, run out of melee range and charge back in. Then, make use of the Ravage before the 10 seconds run out. This is only a DPS increase if:
    • you are not out of melee range for more than 2 seconds;
    • being out of melee range does not cause you to become Energy capped or to have one of your bleeds expire.

For players still familiarising themselves with the Feral Druid rotation, we do not advise making use of the second tactic, since it will complicate your playstyle greatly.

If you have the 4-part Tier 13 set bonus, each time you use Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury, you will receive an Energy-free Ravage Icon Ravage that has no stealth or positional requirement, just as if you had used Feral Charge Icon Feral Charge. When this happens, make sure to use your free Ravage before the buff runs out. Before using Feral Charge, make sure that the free Ravage from a recent Tiger's Fury has been consumed.

5.2.5. When to Refresh DoTs and Savage Roar

You should try to refresh Rip Icon Rip when there are 2 or fewer seconds remaining on the current Rip. When the existing Rip is stronger than the Rip you are trying to apply (for example, it had been cast while under the effects of Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury), you will get an error message and you will not be allowed to refresh it. In this case, simply wait until it expires fully before reapplying it.

In a similar fashion, you should try to refresh Rake Icon Rake when there are 3 or fewer seconds remaining on the current Rake. The exception to this is mentioned in the Tiger's Fury section.

The timing for refreshing Savage Roar Icon 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 and 2-Part Tier 13 Set Bonus

Ferocious Bite Icon 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 35. 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 60 Energy, then its damage will be increased by 100%.

Thanks to the Blood in the Water Icon Blood in the Water talent, whenever you use Ferocious Bite on a target that is below 25% health, your Rip Icon 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).

The 2-part Tier 13 set bonus allows Ferocious Bite to refresh Rip when the target is below 60% health. Therefore, if the target is below 60% health and you have the set bonus, you should always use Ferocious Bite to refresh Rip.

You should use Ferocious Bite with 5 Combo Points, unless Rip Icon 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 60 before using Ferocious Bite (provided that it does not cause your Rip to fall off), boosting its damage.

5.2.7. Bosses That Cannot Be Attacked From Behind

In case the target you are fighting cannot be attacked from behind and, thus, you cannot use Shred Icon Shred to generate Combo Points, you should use Mangle Icon Mangle instead.

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 Icon Tiger's Fury:

  • It should always be used on cooldown.
  • Before using Tiger's Fury, make sure you have 35 or less Energy (to avoid becoming capped thanks to the 60 Energy it provides you with).
  • Use any other damage-increasing spells or abilities at the same time as Tiger's Fury (Potion of the Tol'vir, Synapse Springs, on-use trinkets, etc.).
  • Bleed effects cast while Tiger's Fury is active will benefit from the damage increase for their entire duration (even if Tiger's Fury runs out in the meanwhile). As a result, you should refresh Rake Icon Rake while Tiger's Fury is active, unless the current Rake has more than 9 seconds left on its duration. It is a DPS increase to refresh Rip Icon Rip while Tiger's Fury is active, but do not go out of your way to do this and simply refresh it before it is about to expire.

Keep in mind that Tiger's Fury cannot be used while Berserk Icon 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.

5.3.2. Berserk

Berserk Icon 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 Icon Berserk as many times as possible during the fight. Ideally, you should have relatively low Energy before using Berserk, so that you do not end up capping your Energy.

Whenever possible, you should use Berserk immediately after using Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury.

5.3.3. Canceling Primal Madness

When the temporary increase to your Energy pool from Primal Madness Icon Primal Madness runs out, not only will your Energy pool return to 100, but you will also lose 20 Energy.

To avoid losing Energy this way, it is essential that you use a macro to cancel the Primal Madness buff when you are low on Energy (ideally at 0, but this is hard to achieve so anywhere under 20 is fine).

The following macro works well:

  • /cancelaura Primal Madness

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