Feral Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoD 6.0.3)

Feral Druid Art Image
General Information

On this page, we list your Feral Druid core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.3. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Feral Druid.

The other pages of our Feral Druid guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Stenhaldi, one of the best Feral Druids in the world, who raids in Midwinter.

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Druid Transition Guide!

1. 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 Rake Icon Rake to maintain 100% uptime on the bleed effect that it applies (every 15 seconds).
    2. Use Moonfire Icon Moonfire to maintain 100% uptime on the DoT that it applies (every 14 seconds), if you have taken the Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration talent.
    3. Use Shred Icon Shred.
  • Finishing Moves (by order of priority)
    1. Apply and maintain Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar.
    2. Apply and maintain Rip Icon Rip (with 5 Combo Points).
      • When the target is below 25% health 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.
    3. Use Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite (even when the target is above 25% health) if you have 50+ Energy and 5 Combo Points, and if Rip and Savage Roar do not need to be refreshed too soon.

Against a single target, it is a minor DPS gain to use Thrash Icon Thrash when you have an Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity proc, but do not use it otherwise. If you are using Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest or Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons as a talent, then you should not use Thrash at all against a single target.

While this rotation is correct and, for the most part, complete, putting it into practice takes a slightly deeper understanding. For this, we strongly suggest that you read our detailed section.

1.1. Opening Sequence

Below, we list the ideal way to start the fight.

  1. 5 seconds before the pull, cast Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch, if you are using the Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons talent.
  2. Enter Prowl Icon Prowl.
  3. Immediately before the pull, use your Agility potion.
  4. Once the boss is pulled, open your rotation with Rake Icon Rake.
  5. Cast Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle, if you are using this talent.
  6. Cast Berserk Icon Berserk.
  7. Continue with your normal rotation.

2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top

Against multiple targets, you should always maintain maximum uptime on your own Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar buff, as well as maintain the Thrash Icon Thrash bleed on the enemies.

If you are fighting very short-lived enemies, then you should use only Swipe Icon Swipe against even as few as 3 targets. If there are many targets, or if killing them quickly is important, then you should pool Energy to be able to use Swipe more.

If you are fighting fewer than 11 long-lived targets, then you should attempt to keep up your Rake Icon Rake on as many of them as possible. You can also try to apply Rip Icon Rip to targets that will live longer than 10 seconds.

If there are more than 11 targets, then you should simply Swipe.

3. Cooldowns↑top

You have two DPS cooldown.

  • Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury increases your physical damage done by 15% for 8 seconds, on a 30-second cooldown. Additionally, it instantly restores 60 Energy. It should be used on cooldown, but always make sure it does not cause you to reach maximum Energy.
  • Berserk Icon Berserk reduces the cost of your abilities by 50% for 15 seconds, on a 3-minute cooldown. It should be used as many times as possible during the encounter, and ideally stacked with Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury, as we explain later on in the guide.

Additionally, your talents have the potential to provide you with two additional active DPS cooldowns. We discuss this, as well as the proper timing and usage of your default cooldowns in a subsequent section.

4. 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.

4.1. 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.

Some abilities add a Combo Point. Other abilities, called Finishing Moves, consume your Combo Points. The more Combo Points a Finishing Move consumes, the more powerful (or longer-lasting) 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 critically strike.

4.2. Single Target Rotation in Detail

The DPS Feral Druid rotation is a balance of keeping up several bleeds on the target as well as keeping up Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar on yourself, while continuously generating Combo Points.

4.2.1. Bleeds

You should always strive to have 100% uptime on the target with 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 potency 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.

Thrash Icon Thrash also applies a bleed effect, but this ability should not normally be cast, the exception being Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity procs.

If you have taken the Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration talent, then you also need to have 100% uptime with Moonfire Icon Moonfire. Obviously, this is a DoT and not a bleed effect, but we are placing it here for consistency.

4.2.2. Savage Roar

Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar is a self-buff that increases your physical damage done by 40%. It costs Energy to apply, and its duration 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 make it easier to maintain your rotation.

You must always have this buff active on yourself.

4.2.3. What to do the Rest of the Time

When your 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, or dumping resources with Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.

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

4.2.4. Energy Management

There is a lot of free time in your rotation, and this means there is usually no rush to spend your Energy. Only spend your Energy when there is a good reason for it (for example, to maintain a bleed, to expend Energy in preparation for Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury, and so on). Otherwise, it is ideal to keep your Energy pooled.

That said, Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity procs should be used right away, so that they do not get overwritten by subsequent procs.

4.2.5. When to Refresh Bleeds

Your bleeds no longer snapshots your character's stats, as they used to do in Mists of Pandaria. That said, bleed snapshotting does still exist for Feral Druids, but it only works with damage-increasing buffs. This is to say that the damage of your bleeds is determined at the time when they are applied, based on what buffs you have active, and the bleeds will continue to do the same damage throughout their durations, even if those buffs expire in the meantime. The result of this is that bleeds applied when you are under effects that increase your damage are more powerful than bleeds applied when you are not under any such effects.

The effects that affect the damage of your bleeds are:

This means that you gain more DPS by applying or refreshing your bleeds at the right time (explained below), as has long been the case with Feral Druids.

There are two ways to look at refreshing your bleeds. One is with regards to their duration, and the other is with regards to the afore-mentioned buffs.

With regards to duration, Rake Icon Rake can safely be refreshed with 4.5 seconds remaining or less (but even refreshing it with more time left will only be a minor DPS loss), while Rip Icon Rip can safely be refreshed with 7.2 seconds or less. In the case of Rip, when the target is about to reach 25% health, it is a good idea to apply a new, Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury-buffed Rip that you can then extend until the rest of the fight (through Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite).

With regards to the damage-increasing buffs, it is only Rake that is worth talking about. Whenever the new Rake would be stronger than the existing Rake (for example, you find yourself under the effects of Tiger's Fury), you should refresh it.

You will need an add-on to help you with this. We recommend two options for this on our add-on page.

4.2.6. When to Refresh Savage Roar

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 so as not to waste any of its duration.

It is, however, important to note that if you have 5 Combo Points and 12 or fewer seconds left on Savage Roar, you can refresh it without losing any of its duration. Making use of this can make keeping up the buff quite a bit easier.

4.2.7. Ferocious Bite

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 25. 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 50 Energy, then its damage will be increased by 100%.

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, or any buffs that were present at that time).

You should normally use Ferocious Bite with 5 Combo Points, but if the target is below 25% health and 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 is a DPS gain to pool Energy to 50 before using Ferocious Bite (provided that it does not cause your Rip to fall off), boosting its damage.

As we have mentioned, if your Energy and Combo Points are at maximum capacity, and Rip Icon Rip and Rake Icon Rake do not need to be immediately refreshed, you should use Ferocious Bite even if the target is above 25% health.

4.3. Detailed Cooldown Usage

How you use your two DPS cooldowns is very important to your performance as a Feral Druid.

4.3.1. 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 as little Energy as possible to avoid becoming capped thanks to the 60 Energy it provides you with.

4.3.2. 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 pool Energy before using Berserk, so that you can use more abilities throughout its duration. Moreover, it is optimal to use Berserk when there are roughly 8 seconds left before Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury comes off cooldown, so that you can chain that ability as soon as your Energy is depleted, allowing you to keep using abilities in Berserk.

If you are using the Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest talent, then you should cast Tiger's Fury before casting Berserker. Alternatively, if you are going to cast Tiger's Fury during Berserker, make sure to start Berserk below full Energy. Doing otherwise will cause you to be unable to spend all the Energy you have (given the extra Energy from Soul of the Forest).

4.3.3. Tier 4 Talents

Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle should be used on cooldown, or saved for cleaving phases. Make sure to use Berserk Icon Berserk during Incarnation: King of the Jungle.

As soon as Incarnation is cast, refresh your Rake Icon Rake, and then refresh it again as Incarnation is about to expire. This is because Incarnation doubles the damage of Rake (thanks to Improved Rake Icon Improved Rake). It also greatly increases the power of Shred Icon Shred.

With Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature your first priority is to make sure the charges are not going to waste, so always use the spell often enough that the third charge is cooling down. The treants cast Rake Icon Rake, and like your own Rake, this does not snapshot your stats at the time when it is cast. Instead, it is best if you cast your treants at the very start of a trinket proc, so that their damage can be boosted for the entire duration of the proc.

4.3.4. Tier 6 Talents

Tier 6 talents do not improve your DPS in any way, and all they do is allow you to better perform other roles, notably to heal other raid members.

If you pick Dream of Cenarius Icon Dream of Cenarius as a talent, then you should always use Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch and Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenation on players other than yourself.

Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil requires no management at all, and you can just perform your DPS rotation as usual once you have activated it.

4.3.5. Tier 7 Talents

The way to use Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration has been discussed above, through its inclusion in the rotation. In short, the idea is to keep up Moonfire Icon Moonfire at all times.

Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons buffs your next 2 melee abilities following a Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch, increasing their damage by 30%. Ideally, one charge should be used on a finisher, while the other should be used on a Rake Icon Rake.

You should hold on to your Predatory Swiftness Icon Predatory Swiftness proc until you have 4-5 Combo Points. Then, you can use your free Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch to trigger Bloodtalons. The Bloodtalons buff lasts 30 seconds, so once it is triggered, you have plenty of time to use it up. Since Predatory Swiftness only lasts 12 seconds, you can make things easier on yourself by casting finishers at high Energy when possible. This will allow you to immediately cast the abilities you need.

In AoE situations, you should instead use a Bloodtalons charge on Thrash Icon Thrash.

5. Changelog↑top

  • 09 Dec. 2014: Added a mention that you should not use Thrash Icon Thrash against a single target if you are using the Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons talent. Also updated the opening sequence section to recommend going into Prowl Icon Prowl before using your Agility potion.
  • 07 Dec. 2014: Added a clarification in the rotation that Moonfire Icon Moonfire should only be used if the Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration talent is chosen.
  • 16 Oct. 2014: Made several updates.
    • Clarified the issue of bleed snapshotting (to avoid any confusion that bleeds might snapshot stats).
    • Added a mention of how to use Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury and Berserk Icon Berserk when you are using the Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest talent.
    • Made a few more tweaks and improvements.