Cat DPS Guide - 4.3

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85 Tauren Druid
5435
Acknowledgements

Special thanks go out to the previous maintainers of the guide: Toskk, Demoneater and Yawning.
Thanks also go to Mihir, Leafkiller and Alaron their help with various theorycrafting.

Summary of Changes for 4.3

1. The 10% Attack Power raid buff will be increased to 20%. This is supposed to close the gap between melee and ranged DPS that is very apparent for several bosses with movement. A nice little boost. Not going to change much for what we do except Agility increases its lead over the secondary stats.
2. 2x Tier 13 bonus allows Blood in the Water to be used at under 60% instead of 25%, which is a substantial DPS boost.
3. 4x Tier 13 bonus allows Stampede to be activated whenever Tiger’s Fury is used. Note that with this bonus, there is now a slight change in our priority – You must now spend your Stampede buff (if it is up) BEFORE activating Tiger’s Fury.
4. Glyph of Shred has become Glyph of Bloodletting, and now works for both Mangle and Shred. The intention of this change is to reduce the penalty whenever we are forced to Mangle instead of Shred. Unfortunately, even with this change, Glyph of Bloodletting is still inferior to Glyph of Berserk, Glyph of Mangle and Glyph of Rip for mangle-spam encounters (Hi Ultraxion!), so this change really does nothing for us. This has been tested with 4T12, 2T12+2T13 and 4T13.
5. Glyph priority has not changed - Glyph of Bloodletting is still better than Glyph of Tiger's Fury even with 4T13 bonus.
6. Added trinket ranking list to the guide

Contents
1. Stats - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#2
- 1.1 Primary Stats
- 2.1 Secondary Stats
2. Gear - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#3
- 2.1 Gems
- 2.2 Enchants
- 2.3 Set Bonuses
- 2.4 Secondary Stats - Choice and Reforging
- 2.5 Trinkets
3. Talents - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#4
4. Glyphs - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#5
5. Abilities - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#6
6. Strategy - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#7
- 6.1 Single Target - Simplified
- 6.2 Single Target - Advanced
- 6.3 Few Targets
- 6.4 Many Targets
- 6.5 Switching Targets
7. Consumables - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#8
8. Professions - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#9
9. Advanced Topics - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#10

Appendices
A: Frequently Asked Questions - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#14
B: Changelogs - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#15
C: Third Party Resources - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2089200852#16
Edited by Tangedyn on 12/26/2011 10:35 AM PST
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1. Stats

1.1 Primary Stats

These are arranged in order of priority.

Weapon DPS - Directly scales white damage, Fury Swipes, Swipe, Ravage, Mangle and Shred. Weapon damage is normalized to 1.0 second atttack speed, so weapon speed and damage range are irrelevant - only Weapon DPS matters. Weapon upgrades generally provides us with our largest DPS increase.

Agility - While Weapon DPS is linked to the item level of our weapon, Agility is the best stat that we can choose to have. Just about all of our gear should have Agility on it and Agility is the stat that we want to gem and enchant for. 1 Agility = 2 Attack Power (3.63825 with talents and buff), 324.8536 Agility = 1% Critical Strike Chance

Strength - Grants flat attack power. Strength is no longer available on leather. While this is a good stat, Agility is still far better. Generally, we should not use items with Strength on it unless it is replacing an item of significantly lower Item Level. 1 Strength = 1 Attack Power (1.7305 with talents and buffs)

1.2 Secondary Stats

These are NOT arranged in order of priority. They are all almost the same value.

Critical Strike Rating - Crit Rating provides a little more chance to crit per point than agility. This talent is very strong at lower levels of gear where we want to generate more combo points, however it gets weaker at higher levels of gear where combo points are relatively abundant. 179.2801 Critical Strike Rating = 1% Critical Strike Chance.

Haste Rating - Increases white damage and energy regeneration rate. Indirectly increases the proc rates of procable effects like Omen of Clarity and trinket / weapon enchant procs. This stat tend to become stronger at higher levels of gear as it provides us more energy and Omen of Clarity to perform more Shreds. 128.0572 Haste Rating = 1% Haste.

Hit Rating - Reduces your chance to miss. Misses (and dodges) do not hurt us as much as most other classes/specs because we get an 80% energy refund on the energy spent when those happen. However Swipe does not benefit from energy refund, making Hit (and Expertise) a lot better for Swipe spamming. Since 4.1, we no longer need to have Hit Rating to be able to successfully interrupt enemy spellcasting. 120.109 Hit Rating = 1% Hit. The Hit Cap vs Boss mobs is 961 Hit Rating

Expertise rating - Expertise has exactly the same DPS value as Hit, and does the same thing except it reduces Dodges instead of Miss. Expertise however doubles in value in certain encounters where you are unable to attack from the rear of the target, because it also reduces Parry by the same amount. 120.1088 Expertise Rating = -1% Dodge. The soft Expertise cap is 781 Expertise Rating to negates all Dodge. It requires 1682 Expertise Rating to negate all Parry, but you should not try to target that.

Mastery Rating - Increases the damage of our bleeds. On AE fights where we spam Swipe, the value of Mastery Rating goes down to 0. However on fights where we are able to DoT up multiple mobs, Mastery Rating will outshine the other secondary stats. 179.2801 Mastery Rating = 1 Mastery (+3.125% bleed damage)
Edited by Tangedyn on 11/28/2011 1:38 AM PST
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2. Gear

Generally, we should only use gear that has Agility on it. As of 4.2, items with Strength on them should never be used. When appraising gear for Cat DPS, there are a few things to look out for though:

Gem Slots -

2.1 Gems

Generally, items with more gem slots are slightly better than items with less. Red gem slots are preferred, while yellow slots are slightly better than blue slots. We should generally not use a helm that does not have a metagem slot.

Meta Gem Slot: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond
Prismatic Gem Slot: Delicate Inferno Ruby
Red Gem Slot: Delicate Inferno Ruby
Yellow Gem Slot: Delicate Inferno Ruby or whichever Ember Topaz with Agility suits you best
Blue Gem Slot: Glinting Demonseye or Delicate Inferno Ruby

Delicate Inferno Ruby is the best gem for all slots. In some cases it may be better to use Adept Ember Topaz or Glinting Demonseye. The rule of thumb is the socket bonus has to be at least 14 Agility (17 with epic gems) or 40 Rating Points (50 with epic gems) in a Secondary Stat per non-Red Gem Slot to make it worthwhile using non-Delicate gems on an item. (Basically treat each point of Secondary Stat as 1/3rd of a point in Agility)

2.2 Enchants

These are the best enchants for each slot

Helm: Arcanum of the Ramkahen
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Critical Strike or Enchant Cloak - Major Agility
Chest: Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
Bracers: Enchant Bracer - Agility or Draconic Embossment - (+130) Agility (for Leatherworkers Only)
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery
Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armor
Boots: Enchant Boots - Major Agility
Rings: Enchant Ring - (+40) Agility (for Enchanters only)
Weapon: Enchant 2H Weapon - Mighty Agility

2.3 Set Bonuses

Generally, each tier bonus is slightly better than the previous, so you should try to prioritize tier upgrades whenever possible.

Stormrider (Tier 11) 2-piece - Increases the periodic damage done by your Rake and Lacerate abilities by 10%.

Stormrider (Tier 11) 4-piece - Each time you use Mangle (Cat) you gain a 1% increase to attack power for 30 sec stacking up to 3 times. This bonus requires a change in our rotation to keep the buff up. It is not important to get to 3 stacks within the opener, but it is extremely important not to let stacks drop.

Obsidian Arborweave (Tier 12) 2-piece - Adds extra damage to Mangle and Shred in the form of a Fire damage DoT. The DoT behaves similarly to Ignite and Deep Wounds so you should never lose damage by refreshing it. However this DoT will not crit.

Obsidian Arborweave (Tier 12) 4-piece - Each time you use a finisher under Berserk, you have a chance (20% per CP) to extend the duration by 2 seconds. Avoid using Rip or Ferocious Bite at less than 5 CPs.

Deep Earth (Tier 13) 2-piece - Blood in the Water is now usable at < 60% target health instead of < 25% health

Deep Earth (Tier 12) 4-piece - Tiger’s Fury will trigger Stampede. Note that you should not use Tiger’s Fury if you have the Stampede buff already from using Feral Charge.

2.4 Secondary Stats - Choice and Reforging

Generally, all the secondary stats have similar values and you will not squeeze significant amount of DPS out of optimizing your reforges. However there are a few factors to consider.

1. Mastery is still strong until you lose the 2T11 bonus. It is useless for Swipe-spam, and excellent for multi-target DoTing.
2. Capping Hit and Expertise is a good for Swipe Spamming.
3. Mew Simulations may over-value Haste because it assumes a perfect player - Haste generally requires the most skill (and good latency) to reap its maximum benefit.

If you are obsessed with maximizing your potential, you should consult with Mew Simulations and/or the advanced cat theorycrafting forums (see Appendix C)

2.5 Trinkets

Generally, trinkets that give straight Agility are better than trinkets that give other stats. Trinkets that proc Agility bonuses, e.g. Fluid Death, and items that have activateable Agility bonuses with cooldowns that can be synchronized with Berserk and Tiger’s Fury, e.g. Ancient Petrified Seed, make them significantly better than other Agility trinkets of the same iLevel.

Rough trinket rankings (with 4 piece T13):

1. Vial of Shadows (E410), Wrath of Unchaining (E416)
2. Vial of Shadows (E397), Wrath of Unchaining (E403)
3. Vial of Shadows (E384), Wrath of Unchaining (E390), Starcatcher Compass (E410)
4. Kiroptyric Sigil, Matrix Restabilizer, Starcatcher Compass (E397)
5. Matrix Restabilizer, Starcatcher Compass (E384), Ancient Petrified Seed, The Hungerer
Edited by Tangedyn on 3/3/2012 9:20 PM PST
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3. Talents

This is the current most popular and most highly recommended talent spec.
http://www.wowhead.com/talent#0ZrbGfRzrdbfzMcz:MzqiwVm

Generally, there is very little reason to deviate from the above spec unless you are looking into PVP or a Hybrid Feral spec. Just about all the talents in the above spec are considered compulsory to maximize your DPS, while the following ones are considered optional yet highly recommended:

Primal Madness - This talent is included because it does provides a DPS increase. However, it is difficult to get the most out of it and the DPS gains are very small, so this will probably be the first talent to go if you need more talent point.

Brutal Impact - Several raid encounters are now designed with all melee classes bringing a 10s interrupt, so there is a good chance your raid would require you to have this.

Nurturing Instinct - Significantly improves your survivability.

Survival Instinct - Significantly improves your survivability.

If you are interested in a Hybrid Feral Spec that is capable of being used for tanking and DPSing, please visit my Hybrid Feral Spec guide: http://theincbear.com/hybrid-feral-guide/
Edited by Tangedyn on 6/27/2011 10:54 AM PDT
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4. Glyphs

Prime Glyphs

Top 3 Prime Glyphs: Glyph of Rip, Glyph of Bloodletting and Glyph of Berserk

Glyph of Rip - This is by far the most powerful of the Prime Glyphs, as Rip does ~22% of our total damage, second only behind Shred.

Glyph of Berserk - This is a solid DPS boost, assuming you maximize the use of your Berserks. This trinket combines excellently with the 4T12 bonus.

Glyph of Bloodletting - Shred and Rip together make up for ~50% of our total damage. As of 4.3 this Glyph works with Mangle too, however it remains weaker than Glyph of Mangle and should not be used for Mangle-spam

Glyph of Tiger's Fury - This glyph is slightly weaker than the others above.

Glyph of Savage Roar - Increase Savage Roar’s buff on white autoattack damage from 80% to 85%. This glyph is weaker than the others listed above.

Glyph of Mangle - Mangle is an ability that you will only use once every 60 (26 with 4T11) seconds, therefore it is the weakest of the Prime Glyphs listed here. If you are forced into attacking from the front for the vast majority of an encounter, you should replace Glyph of Bloodletting with this one.

Major Glyphs

Most Major Glyphs do not directly affect your DPS, but increase Quality of Life. The first three glyphs listed here are the recommended ones.

Glyph of Feral Charge - Gives you slightly more time on target, and increased mobility is always welcomed. Also gives a slight DPS increase by allowing you to take advantage of the Stampede talent more often.

Glyph of Faerie Fire - Minor quality of life increase. Being able to apply the Major Armor debuff from 40 yards away is rather nice.

Glyph of Rebirth - A strong contender due to in-combat resurrection abilities being far more precious in Cataclysm than previously.

Glyph of Ferocious Bite - This glyph has been changed to provide a minor self heal each time you use Ferocious Bite. While the old form was a DPS loss before 4.2, it would ironically be a DPS gain if it remained in 4.2...

Minor Glyphs

Minor glyphs do not really matter, but often increases Quality of Life outside of raids or dungeons. One glyph does help mobility though:

Glyph of Dash - Reduces the cooldown of your Dash ability by 20%. More time on target, assuming a long encounter with a high mobility component.
Edited by Tangedyn on 12/26/2011 10:39 AM PST
85 Tauren Druid
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5. Abilities

5.1 Openers

Ravage - When talented appropriately, Ravage will have a near 100% crit rate and 0 cost, and becomes usable as a CP Generator with the Stampede buff.

Pounce - Generally should not be used as it has low damage, high cost and many mobs are stun-immune.

5.2 Combo Point Generators

Claw - This should be removed from your Action Bar after you hit Level 10 and choose the Feral spec

Mangle - Mangle used only to keep the Mangle debuff up or if you are unable to attack the target from the Rear. Arms Warrior provide the same buff, however be aware that Subtlety Rogues and Hunter pet version of this buff is buggy.

Rake - Does a lot of damage for its low energy cost, and the DoT will increase Shred damage by 20% through Rend and Tear. Rake should be kept up as much as possible on everything you kill. When refreshing Rake on a target, ensure that there is less than 3 seconds remaining on the existing Rake or you will be wasting energy, unless Tiger’s Fury is up. Also, make sure the Mangle debuff is up before using Rake.

Shred - Your primary CP builder. You should use this as long as Mangle or Rake are already up on the target. It is generally better to wait until an Omen of Clarity proc or when you have over 85 energy before using Shred instead of casting it immediately when you have the energy for it unless Berserk is up.

5.3 Finishers

Rip - Rip does significantly more damage over its duration than Ferocious Bite, and should be kept up on the target at all times. Base Duration of 16 seconds talented, it can be extended to 22 seconds with Glyph of Shred. Use this ability only with 5 combo points, and do not refresh it with more than 2 seconds remaining.

Savage Roar - Increases white auto-attack damage by 80%, this does more bonus damage over its duration than Ferocious Bite. You can use this ability on mobs that are dead if you still have combo points on it. You should use this ability immediately when the existing Savage Roar buff fades, at any amount of Combo Points that you have (it is not necessary to be at 5). This is a very important buff to keep up 100% of the time.

Ferocious Bite - This ability should always be used when the target is below 25% health (60% with 2T13 bonus) with Blood in the Water. It is a relatively minor DPS gain if used correctly instead of spamming shreds even at 5 CP as long as you do not risk your Rip and Savage Roar uptime. You will lose DPS if you get it wrong. With 4T12 bonus, using this during Berserk is a massive DPS gain.

Maim - This ability should only be used if you need to stun the target.

5.4 Area of Effect abilities

Swipe - Hits everything within 5 yards of you. While damage was reduced slightly in 4.2, it still hits reasonably hard and should be used whenever there are 3 or more targets.

5.5 Cooldowns and Utility

Tiger's Fury - Increases all of your damage, and restores 60 energy through King of the Jungle. This ability has a 30 seconds cooldown and is free - essentially you want to hit it every time it's up. Make sure you have less than 35 energy (spend the excess first) before using Tiger’s Fury to maximize the free energy. The Tiger's Fury effect does not retroactively apply to existing bleeds, and any new bleeds applied during the period will persist for the entire duration of the bleed.

Berserk - Decreases the energy cost of all your abilities by 50% for 15 seconds. You cannot use Tiger's Fury while under the effects of Berserk, so it is best used when Tiger's Fury is on cooldown or immediately after using Tiger’s Fury. This is our big DPS cooldown.

Skull Bash - Our interrupt skill, we are likely to be called upon by the raid to use this as the encounter require. If so, ensure that you always have the 25 energy reserved to use it.

Cower - Provide a 10% threat reduction. Use it if you are in danger of pulling aggro, but try to delay it for as long as possible since it is percentage based and you will shed more raw threat the longer you can delay it. Keep in mind that it can miss or be dodged.

Feral Charge - Sends you flying to the rear of the target. Talented, it allows the use of Ravage even when you are out of stealth via Stampede.

Dash - Increases your movement speed significantly for a short time. Very useful when you need it.

Stampeding Roar - Increase the movement speed of your nearby friends and yourself for a very short time. Very situational uses.

Prowl - Enter Stealth. It allows you to use Pounce and Ravage without Stampede, but in PvE you should never be doing either of those things anyway.
Edited by Tangedyn on 11/28/2011 2:54 AM PST
85 Tauren Druid
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6. Strategy

6.1 Single Target - Simplified

This is the simplified priority list which should get you somewhat close the maximum DPS. If you are a new Cat player, you may want to start here before graduating to the advanced rotation later.

1. Use Tiger’s Fury if it is available.
2. Use Feral Faerie Fire it the target is not fully debuffed.
3. Use Mangle if the target is not already debuffed.
4. Use Berserk if it is available
5. Use Ferocious Bite if target is < 25% and you have 5 Combo Points or Rip is about to fade
6. Use Rip if you have 5 Combo Points and Rip has faded or less than 2 seconds remaining
7. Use Rake if Rake has faded or have less than 3 seconds remaining.
8. Use Savage Roar if it is about to fade and you have at least 1 Combo Point.
9. Use Shred.

6.1 Single Target - Advanced

It is somewhat difficult to perform the optimal strategy for the priority list, because it involves making split second decision based on several factors.

1. Use Tiger's Fury if it is available, you have less than 35 energy, and Stampede is not up
2. Use Berserk if it is available, and Tiger’s Fury is up.
2a. (4T11 only) Use Mangle if Strength of the Panther is about to fall off.
3. Use Feral Faerie Fire if it (or equivalent buff) is not already on the target
4. Use Mangle if it (or equivalent buff) is not already on the target
5. Use Ravage if Stampede buff is about to fade.
6. Use Ferocious Bite if Blood in the Water is active, and you have 5 Combo Points or Rip is about to fade
7. Use Shred if it will extend Rip
6. Use Rip if you have 5 Combo Points and Rip is not up or has less than 2 seconds remaining
9. Use Ferocious Bite if Berserk is up, you have 5 Combo Points, at least 5 seconds remaining on Rip, and at lease 3 seconds remaing on Savage Roar.
10. Use Rake if Tiger’s Fury is up and existing Rake has less than 9 seconds remaining
11. Use Rake if Rake is not up or the existing Rake has less than 3 seconds remaining
12. Use Shred if Omen of Clarity is up
13. Use Savage Roar if it is down or about to fade
14. Use Ferocious Bite if you have 5 Combo Points, Rip has at least 14 seconds remaining, and Savage Roar has at least 10 seconds remaining (Optional)
15. Use Ravage if Stampede is up, Tiger’s Fury is up or coming out of cooldown soon, and Omen of Clarity is down
15a. (4T11 only) Use Mangle if Strength of the Panther is not at 3 stacks
16. Use Shred if Tiger’s Fury or Berserk are up
17. Use Shred if you need combo points for a finisher soon (<= 3 sec)
18. Use Shred if Tiger’s Fury will come off cooldown soon (<= 3 sec)
19. Use Shred if you have more than 85 energy
20. Conserve energy

Use Potions as appropriate (once immediately before entering combat and once during Bloodlust/Heroism). Feral Charge when the opportunity presents itself.

This may not appear to be all that simplified, but it essentially boils down to Raid Debuffs (FF/Mangle) > Bleeds (Rake/Rip) > Savage Roar > Direct Damage, with Shred being used as a combo point generator, avoiding energy capping, and using cooldowns as soon as possible. There are a few addons that will assist you by displaying recommendations if it seems too intimidating at first, though it does get easier with practice.

6.3 Few Target

For 2, or perhaps 3 mobs, Swipe is not optimal. Instead, use Mangle followed by Rake and optionally with Rip, before switching target to repeat the procedure. With more than 3 mobs, you should use Swipe.

6.4 Many Targets

Spam Swipe. Use Tiger’s Fury and Berserk to get even more AE damage.

6.5 Swapping Targets

Feral Druids have traditionally been sub-optimal when swapping targets. With the addition of Stampede and the option to use Savage Roar off combo points from corpses, this is somewhat better; however with the bulk of damage coming from Rake and Rip, low health mobs or extremely frequent target swapping will gut your DPS. Follow the basic single target priority list (optionally using Feral Charge to get to the new mob), and use your judgement. If the mob will die right after you end up getting Rip up, consider using Ferocious Bite instead (or pooling energy for the next mob).
Edited by Tangedyn on 12/31/2011 11:01 AM PST
85 Tauren Druid
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7. Consumables

Flask - Use Flask of the Winds or Flask of Battle (do not drink it while in bear form!)
Potion - Use Potion of the Tol'vir
Food - Use Skewered Eel
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8. Professions

You should preferably have 2 of the Recommended Professions, which all give the equivalent of 80 Agility (or 81 for Jewelcrafting).

Recommended Professions
Alchemy - Mixology (or Flask of Enhancement) +80 Agility
Enchanting - Enchant Ring - Agility = +80 Agility
Engineering - Synapse Springs (On Use: 480 Agi/10 sec, 60 sec cd) = +80 Agility
Leatherworking - Draconic Embossment - Agility = +130 Agility - 50 Agility = +80 Agility
Blacksmithing - Extra socket on Bracers/Gloves = +80 Agility
Jewelcrafting - Chimera's Eye Gems (+67 vs +40) (x3) = +81 Agility
Inscription - Swiftsteel Inscription (+130 Agi/25 Mastery Rating) = +130 Agility - 50 Agility = +80 Agility

Suboptimal Professions
Tailoring - Swordguard Embroidery Rank 2 (Proc: 800 AP/15 sec 55 sec icd) = +218 AP - 22 Agility = +~56 Agility (NB: Depends on stat scaling. Uptime figures used are optimistic.)
Skinning - Master of Anatomy (+80 Crit Rating)
Herbalism - Lifeblood (+480 Haste Rating/20 sec, 120 sec CD) = +80 Haste Rating
Mining - Toughness (+120 Stamina)
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9. Advanced Topics

9.1 Tiger's Fury

Tiger's Fury now increases all physical damage done for the duration of the buff. This is a considerable improvement over the previous incarnation where it merely boosted weapon damage. Also unlike in WotlK, Berserk no longer clips the Tiger's Fury buff, and it is recommended to stack Tiger’s Fury with Berserk.

When considering the damage tradeoff to Tiger's Fury-ing bleeds, the thing to keep in mind is that the moment you lose over 15% of the bleeds duration worth of uptime, you are losing DPS, therefore it is rarely if ever a good idea to hold back on refreshing Rake or Rip because Tiger’s Fury will be ready after the bleed falls off.

In theory it is possible to Tiger's Fury a fair number of Rips but combo point management gets considerably more complex, and in 4.2 does not appear to be a DPS increase.

As far as Rake goes, it's a DPS gain not only to TF Rake when possible, but to clip Rake under certain situations. If the Rake that is presently up does not have Tiger's Fury, and has less than 9 seconds remaining, go ahead and hit Rake again. I would only recommend doing this once you are comfortable with the basic rotation.

9.2 Ravage and Stampede

Stampede is a new talent added in Cataclysm that reduces the cost and removes the stealth requirement of Ravage following Feral Charge. Unlike Vanilla through WotlK, Ravage actually can hit fairly hard, so this is a good thing especially when combined with the crit chance boost on high health mobs from specing into Predatory Strikes.

With 2/2 Stampede, Ravage costs zero energy, and the buff lasts a reasonable amount of time. With this in mind, you should *never* open with Ravage. Get Feral FF up first, since your free crit Ravage will hit harder. If Tiger's Fury will come off cooldown while your Stampede buff is up, burn energy off so you do not overcap if you Tiger's Fury, and then TF->Ravage to boost its damage even higher.

As far as Ravage use past the opener in a single target situation goes, I personally do not recommend the practice, although it can be a single target gain if done correctly. Most encounters will present you with a better thing to use Feral Charge on in the form of adds or interesting encounter mechanics.

If you feel like experimenting with doing this, make sure that under no circumstances do you spend more than 2-3 seconds away from the target (which can be difficult due to hit box issues and minimum range), sacrifice buff/bleed uptime, or overcap energy. Most people who attempt this will not get this right, and Rake or Rip falling off will cause you to lose more damage than you gain.
Edited by Tangedyn on 6/27/2011 10:57 AM PDT
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9.3 Dark Intent

Dark Intent - 6% of base mana 30 yd range - Instant cast. You link yourself with the targeted friendly target, increasing both of your haste by 3%. When you or the linked target gains a critical periodic damage or healing effect, the other gains an increased 3% increased periodic damage and healing lasting for 7 sec. Stacks up to 3 times. Dark Intent lasts for 30 min.

Dark Intent is a Warlock buff that they learn from the trainer at level 83. It works like thus:
a) A warlock casts it on you. For the duration of the buff, both of you have +3% haste.
b) Whenever you crit with Rake/Rip, the Warlock's Dark Intent buff gets refreshed/stacks. (+3/6/9% DoT damage for the Warlock)
c) Whenever the Warlock crits with a DoT, your Dark Intent buff gets refreshed/stacks. (+3/6/9% DoT damage for you)

As of the 4.2 changes and the shift in damage away from bleeds, this buff is no longer as powerful as it used to be, however it is still a fairly big DPS increase. If no other classes will gain good benefit from it, a Feral Druid should be a reasonable option.

9.4 How DoTs Work

AP, Tiger's Fury, Mastery, and Combo Points are snapshotted when a DoT is cast. This means that If you put Rake up, and then your SuperAwesomeAgiTrinket procs, the existing Rake will not gain a benefit from it. In the case of Rip, when you refresh it with Ferocious Bite via Blood in the Water, it will resnapshot everything except for the number of Combo Points. This means that if you put a 5 point Rip up, and as long as you keep on using Ferocious Bite with any number of combo points, you will keep a 5 point Rip going. It is also a good idea to try to get the 5 point Bite off when Tiger's Fury is up.

When you cast a DoT when the same effect is already present on a mob, it will put a new DoT up that lasts for the base duration plus the amount of time till the previous effect would have ticked next, and the next tick will occur when it would have if you had not "refreshed" the Dot. For example, if you hit Rake when Rake has 2 seconds left, the new Rake will have a 17 second (2 + 15) duration and the next tick will occur in 2 seconds. This makes it ideal to refresh DoTs when there is less than one tick remaining (2 seconds in the case of Rip, 3 seconds in the case of Rake).

Keep in mind that Rip refresh still checks Combo Points and AP and will sometimes fail with "A more powerful spell is already in effect.". While this is annoying, this does not actually cost you much DPS as long as you are good about hitting Rip exactly when the old one drops off when this happens.
Edited by Tangedyn on 6/27/2011 10:57 AM PDT
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9.5 Weapon Normalization

Weapon Tooltip Top End / Weapon Speed (Unhasted) + AP / 14 = Cat Top End
Weapon Tooltip Bottom End / Weapon Speed (Unhasted) + AP / 14 = Cat Bottom End

For example:
Distant Land (Heroic): 625 - 939 Damage Speed 2.40
Cat Top End = 939 / 2.4 + AP / 14 = 391.25 + AP / 14
Cat Bottom End = 625 / 2.4 + AP / 14 = 260.41 + AP / 14

Bloodfall (Heroic): 886 - 1330 Damage Speed 3.40
Cat Top End = 1330 / 3.4 + AP / 14 = 391.17 + AP / 14
Cat Bottom End = 886 / 3.4 + AP / 14 = 260.58 + AP / 14

Top end damage does not matter. Speed does not matter. Look at Weapon DPS. Assuming they are equal, look at the stats.

9.6 The Crit Cap

Because white damage uses a one-roll system, with "hit" as the default result for an attack that doesn't fall into any other category, it is possible to push hit completely off the attack table for white attacks. This happens when your chance to miss, chance to be dodged, chance to get a glancing blow, and your chance to crit all add up to 100%, leaving no room for regular hits. With no hit or expertise, this is at 100 - 8 - 6.5 - 24 = 61.5% crit.

The hard white crit cap, when you have pushed dodge and miss off the table through hit and expertise, is 76% - at this point, all attacks will either crit or glance. Beyond this point, nothing you do can increase the number of white crits you get.

When you reach your crit cap, but are not yet hit/expertise capped, the value of hit and expertise increases by 50-80%. This is because, under the crit cap, adding hit essentially converts misses into regular hits. Over the crit cap, however, you are converting misses straight into crits, which will do more than double damage. Therefore, once you reach the crit cap in raid buffs with just your idol procced, hit and expertise become your best stats until you are once again under the cap, or until you reach their respective caps.

There is a further 4.8% difference between your character sheet crit rate and your actual chance to crit the boss, due to the three level differential between youself and your target. If your character sheet says 50% crit, you will actually crit 45.2% of the time. This is why the actual crit cap of 76% is different from the number you will see in section 3 of this FAQ, since my goal in this guide is to write primarily for non-theorycrafters, and it is easier for them to work with their character sheets.
Edited by Tangedyn on 6/27/2011 10:57 AM PDT
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Appendix A - Frequently asked Questions

Are Cats competitive DPS?
As of 4.1, Cats are in a fair position. We are average and should neither expect to consistently top the charts nor be consistently at the bottom. We do suffer in melee-unfriendly fights and fights that require frequent target switching. There is not enough data for 4.2 to see where we really stand now.

Does Weapon Speed/Top End Damage matter?
No. The only things that matter are the DPS and the stats on the weapon. However, weapon DPS matters a lot and going to a higher item level weapon is most likely your biggest upgrade each raiding tier.

What should I do when leveling?
This guide was written with PvE at the level cap in mind. However, Lissanna maintains an excellent leveling guide at http://www.restokin.com/druid-leveling-guide/ which should give you all the information that you need

How much Hit Rating do I need?
The Hit Rating cap for a raid boss is 961. Unlike most other classes, it is not mandatory to cap hit, as point for point, it is equivalent to the other secondary stats available, however it’s value dramatically increases when Swipe is frequently used.

How much Expertise Rating do I need?
Similarly with Hit Rating, it is not mandatory to cap your Expertise Rating. 781 Expertise Rating will cancel out the 6.5% Dodge Chance raid bosses have against you.

Hit and Expertise are the most important stat for some other classes. Why are feral druids different?
Feral druids do not suffer a huge penalty from misses or dodged attacks in PVE DPS. Our white damage is a modest portion of our DPS compared to most classes, and we do not have significant damaging procs like rogues' poisons or DK's Blood-Caked Blade. Our missed single target specials only cost 20% energy. We are not GCD-limited or on a fixed rotation, so we do not lose much time.

Can you give me a stat equivalency scale / EP values?
Exact stat weights are highly dependent on your current gear point, and end up being more inaccurate than not most of the time. You should use a theorycrafting tool (see Appendix C) to determine the exact stat values for your own character. Generally, however, the rule of thumb “1 Agility = 3 Secondary Stat” should work well.
Edited by Tangedyn on 6/27/2011 10:58 AM PDT
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Appendix B - Changelog

2011/12/25 - Updated Glyphs - GoTF is no longer 3rd best even with 4T13
2011/11/28 - Updated for 4.3
2011/08/13 - Various corrections thanks to Leafkiller and Tygor
2011/06/27 - Updated for 4.2
2011/03/05 - Updated for 4.1
2011/02/16 - Taking over maintenance of this guide from Yawning. Made guide more concise and organized, add in item links
2011/02/06 - Updated for 4.0.6.
2011/01/12 - Updated for 4.0.6 PTR.
2010/12/06 - Added formula for energy regeneration and a description for Stampeding Roar.
2010/12/02 - Updated for 4.0.3a. Deprecated most mentions of level 80 mechanics.
2010/11/18 - Updated glyph choices for level 85 based on modeling with T11 gear.
2010/10/05 - Migrated to new Forums.
2010/10/17 - Clarified rotational priorities a bit.
2010/10/15 - Updated to reflect recent hotfixes.
2010/10/13 - Updated the raiding at 80 section.
2010/10/07 - Updated for 4.0.1
2010/09/27 - Updated Cataclysm Beta changes.
2010/09/19 - Updated Cataclysm Beta changes.
2010/07/09 - Updated Cataclysm Beta changes.
2010/06/22 - 3.3.5 is live. Nothing new of note, Sharpened Twilight Scale is sexy.
2010/06/09 - Added Cataclysm Talent changes.
2010/06/05 - Taking over maintaining this from Demoneater. Updated section on enchants. Posted notes regarding 3.3.5.
Edited by Tangedyn on 12/26/2011 10:39 AM PST
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Appendix C - Third Party Resources

Addons

Ovale - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/ovale.aspx - Generic move recommendation mod. It will display an icon suggesting which button you should push. Keep in mind it requires a class specific script to give good suggestions. (Note: I do not use this, so I cannot assist on how to set it up.)

Leafkiller's Ovale script - http://fluiddruid.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=620 - Feral Druid specific script for Ovale. Also handles tanking.

Badkitty - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/badkitty.aspx - Feral Druid timer mod.

Droodfocus - http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/droodfocus.aspx - Feral Druid timer mod.

Theorycrafting Tools

Mew - http://code.google.com/p/mew-wow-druid-model/
Spun off from the well-known Toskk’s Calculator. I recommend this because Yawning and Leafkiller keeps the software and the strategy up to date, and I have a hand in this project to. Treat this as a disclaimer! Unfortunately, Mew is considered harder to use than the other options

Rawr - http://www.codeplex.com/Rawr
Rawr uses Formulation only, and we believe the Formulation is unlikely to be as accurate as Simulations. Rawr however is easy to use and has a user-friendly UI and other nice features.

SimulationCraft - http://code.google.com/p/simulationcraft/
SimulationCraft when used properly is a reasonable option for evaluating Feral DPS, however the results in most cases will be comparable to Mew’s Simulation output, when used with updated profiles and settings.

Advanced Theorycraft Discussion

The Inconspicuous Bear Forums - http://theincbear.com/forums
Yawning and myself will answer your queries about Cat DPS here.

Mew Mailing List - http://groups.google.com/group/mew-wow
For discussion of Mew related topics. Yawning and myself will answer your queries about Mew here.

The Fluid Druid Forums - http://fluiddruid.net/forum/
Leafkiller will answer your queries here

Elitist Jerks - http://elitistjerks.com/f73/
A lot of knowledgeable people here, but their information may not be up to date with latest known theorycraft.

Druid Wiki - http://druid.wikispaces.com/message/list/ToskksDPSGearMethod
Edited by Tangedyn on 12/7/2011 10:54 PM PST
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(Reserved)
Edited by Tangedyn on 6/27/2011 10:59 AM PDT
85 Tauren Druid
5435
(Reserved)
85 Tauren Druid
5435
(Reserved)
85 Tauren Druid
5435
(Reserved)
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