Feral Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (MoP 5.4)

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General Information

On this page, we list your Feral Druid core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. 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.

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 Mangle Icon Mangle as your default Combo Point builder.
      • If you are worried about reaching maximum Energy, if you have a Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting proc, or if Berserk Icon Berserk is active, use Shred Icon Shred instead.
    2. Use Rake Icon Rake
      • to keep 100% uptime on the bleed effect that it applies (every 15 seconds);
      • when you have a very powerful Mastery or Agility proc, making sure not to overwrite a strong Rake with a weaker one.
  • Finishing Moves (by order of priority)
    1. Apply and maintain Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar (preferably with 5 Combo Points).
    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 maximum Energy and Combo Points, and if Rip and Savage Roar do not need to be refreshed too soon.

Finally, we would like to mention that the bleed from Thrash Icon Thrash should be kept up against a single target whenever possible, as long as casting it does not prevent you from using Savage Roar, Rip, or Rake. You should expect to have an uptime of roughly 40-50% on Thrash.

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.

2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top

When you are facing 2-3 targets, keep Rip Icon Rip up on one of them and Rake Icon Rake on all of them (although you will not really be able to maintain 100% uptimes). If you have a lot of Energy (such as from Berserk Icon Berserk or Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust), you should keep Rip up on all targets.

Once you get past 5-6 targets, it becomes more efficient to use Swipe Icon Swipe exclusively.

In all cases, you should keep up your Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar buff, and you should also keep up the bleed effect from Thrash Icon Thrash on all targets. It is also possible to switch into Bear Form Icon Bear Form and use Thrash Icon Thrash, since the two versions of Thrash are different and they can both be up at the same time. Keep in mind that your threat generation will be very high in Bear Form, though, so always give the tanks a few seconds to pick up the adds properly.

All of this assumes that the enemies will be alive for long enough that the the bleed effects can run their course. If the enemies will only live for a short amount of time, you are better off using Swipe Icon Swipe.

Finally, if you are using the Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild talent, you can use Hurricane Icon Hurricane while Heart of the Wild is active.

3. Faerie Fire↑top

If no one else is providing the armor Weakened Armor Icon Weakened Armor debuff granted by Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire, then you should keep this debuff up yourself. Weakened Armor lasts 30 seconds.

4. Cooldowns↑top

You have two DPS cooldown.

  • Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury increases your physical damage done by 15% for 6 seconds, on a 30-second cooldown. Additionally, it instantly restores 60 energy. It should be used on cooldown.
  • 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.

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

4.1. Abilities Granted by Symbiosis

Symbiosis Icon Symbiosis is a buff that you can place on one party or raid member. The buff lasts for 1 hour, and grants you an ability belonging to the target's class, depending on what your specialisation is. At the same time, the target receives one of your spells. Both of these spells come in a slightly modified version (less powerful than the original). You can see the full list of spells here, but the spells useful to you as a Feral Druid are:

  • Soul Swap Icon Soul Swap allows you to move your two main bleed effects (Rip Icon Rip and Rake Icon Rake) to a new target. This is very useful for maintaining your DPS when switching targets. It is gained from Warlocks.
  • Shattering Blow Icon Shattering Blow reduces the target's armor by 20% for 10 seconds. This is a very useful raid cooldown. It is gained from Warriors.
  • Redirect Icon Redirect allows you to move your existing Combo Points to a new target. This is very useful for maintaining your DPS when switching targets. It is gained from Rogues.
  • Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit summons two Spirit Wolves that deal (a very small amount of) damage to the target, for 30 seconds. It is gained from Shamans.
  • Play Dead Icon Play Dead, Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield, and Dispersion Icon Dispersion all help you survive in various ways. These are gained from Hunters, Paladins, and Priests, respectively.

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 debuff you must keep up on the target is Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire. Note that this debuff has equivalents from other classes, so if it is already being provided, you do not need to worry about it.

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.

Once this debuff is 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, and to a lesser extent Thrash Icon Thrash.

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 only costs Energy, and this has a pretty low priority, so you can expect to have a low uptime on it.

5.2.2. 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 (but not its potency) 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.

Note that, if you are using Glyph of Savagery Icon Glyph of Savagery, you can apply Savage Roar (with a 12-second duration) without having any Combo Points. This is very useful in case you make a mistake in your rotation and your Savage Roar expires or if you are finding it difficult to generate Combo Points steadily for some reason. Also, it is ideal for the start of the encounter, allowing you to use your first Combo Points on setting up Rip Icon Rip.

5.2.3. What to do the Rest of the Time

When your debuff, bleeds and self-buff are all up and do not need to be refreshed, you will essentially be filling the time with casts of Mangle Icon Mangle, generating Combo Points, or dumping resources with Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite.

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

5.2.4. When to Refresh DoTs

The damage of your bleeds is determined by your stats at the time when the bleeds were applied, and the bleeds will continue to use these stat values throughout their durations, even if the values themselves change in the meantime. In other words, your bleeds take a snapshot of your stats each time they are applied or refreshed, and base their damage on this snapshot. The result of this is that bleed effects applied when you are under he effects of stat-increasing buffs are more damaging than bleeds applied when you are not under any such effects.

In practice, this means that you should try to always make the most out of applying or refreshing DoTs at the right time (explained below), as this can make a tremendous difference to your DPS.

There are no clear rules or guidelines for refreshing your DoTs, but we will do our best to provide you with the best guidance possible.

First of all, you will need an add-on to help you with this. We recommend two options for this on our add-on page.

Second of all, there are a few tips we can give you.

  • Immediately refresh Rake Icon Rake when the new Rake is at all stronger than the current one, since Rake's opportunity cost is low enough to make this viable.
    • Sometimes, it is even worth it to replace your current Rake with a weaker Rake, if the new Rake would be stronger than the Rake you would need to apply once your current Rake expires. This only applies if your current Rake does not still have a full duration to run.
  • Refresh Rip Icon Rip whenever you have a strong trinket proc.
  • For the Thrash Icon Thrash bleed, only refresh it for trinket procs in AoE situations, since for single target it makes a very small difference, unless the stat increase from which you are benefiting is huge.

Note that if you have trinkets with 10-second procs (on the RPPM system), you will have to plan ahead in order to ensure that you can cast Rip in the 10-second window. This means you should keep Energy or Combo Points in reserve in anticipation for the procs. It is also worth noting that if you have two trinkets on the RPPM system, when one of them procs its effect, you should wait until the effect has almost run out before refreshing Rip, so that you increase your chances that the other trinket will be up by then too, thus giving you an even more powerful Rip.

Finally, it is very important to get a very strong application of Rip when the boss is almost at 25% health (or below it), since you can then carry this Rip on through Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite until the end of the fight (or until an even better Rip comes along).

5.2.5. 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.

5.2.6. 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).

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 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.

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 Icon Synapse Springs, on-use trinkets, etc.).

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 pool Energy before using Berserk, so that you can use more abilities throughout its duration, thus "saving" more Energy. Of course, you must take the reduced Energy cost into account when making sure that you do not cap your Energy.

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

Note also that Berserk will provide you with a higher DPS increase in AoE situations than in single target situations, so you can delay it slightly for such opportunities, or save it for them if they are very important to your raid's strategy.

5.3.3. Tier 4 Talents

Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle should be used when you require the burst offered by being able to use Ravage Icon Ravage as a Combo Point builder (especially when the target is above 80% health) or when you wish to be able to enter stealth in combat.

Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature usage is a bit more complex. First of all, the spell works on a charge system, and you have 3 charges, so 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. Second of all, it is ideal to use all the charges of Force of Nature when you are under the effect of powerful Attack power, Master or Critical Strike buffs, since the treants cast Rake Icon Rake, and this Rake snapshots your stats.

5.3.4. Tier 6 Talents

If you pick Dream of Cenarius Icon Dream of Cenarius as a talent, then you will have to weave in Healing Touch Icon Healing Touches (using every Predatory Swiftness Icon Predatory Swiftness proc) in order to buff your most important abilities. Whenever you cast a Healing Touch, your next two abilities are buffed, and you should always use this to buff your Rip Icon Rip, Rake Icon Rake, Thrash Icon Thrash, and Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite (in that order, although Thrash and Ferocious Bite are equal). This means that you should not use your Predatory Swiftness buffs right away, but instead you should use them right before you use the above-mentioned abilities, so that they are not wasted on filler spells like Mangle Icon Mangle.

In case you pick Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil as your Tier 6 talent, then you should make sure to use this cooldown as many times as possible during the fight. Ideally, you should stack it with other cooldowns and times when the boss takes increased damage.

6. Opening Sequence↑top

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

  1. 5 seconds before the pull, make sure to be in a good position for charging, or close to the boss if the fight allows it.
  2. 4 seconds before the pull, begin casting a Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch. This will proc your Dream of Cenarius Icon Dream of Cenarius talent.
  3. 1.5 seconds before the pull, your Healing Touch cast should be done, and you should now
  4. Once the boss is pulled, charge if the boss is far away, or simply begin attacking otherwise.
  5. Cast Ravage Icon Ravage.
  6. Cast Rake Icon Rake.
  7. If you have 4 combo points, use Rake Icon Rake. If you have 5 combo points, use Rip Icon Rip.

Going into Prowl and using Ravage only applies if you are using the Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge talent.

If you have strong trinkets (from Tier 15 or 16), then you should make sure to apply (or refresh) your bleeds while the initial trinket procs are active, together with Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury.

You have to make sure that someone else is applying Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire to the target. If no one else is doing so, then you should apply it after casting Ravage Icon Ravage.

7. Changelog↑top

  • 26 Sep. 2013: Further Patch 5.4 updates.
    • Revamped the single target and multiple target rotations.
    • Vastly improved the section on when to refresh bleed effects.
    • Improved the Tier 4 and Tier 6 talent sections.
  • 12 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update.
    • Updated several areas of the guide to account for changes to talents and abilities.
    • Replaced mentions of Nature's Swiftness Icon Nature's Swiftness (removed from Feral Druids) with Ysera's Gift Icon Ysera's Gift.
  • 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: updated the physical damage increase granted by Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar to 40% from 30%.
  • 21 Apr. 2013: Added the option of going into Bear Form Icon Bear Form and using Thrash Icon Thrash when attacking more than 3 enemies. Also added mention of the viability of delaying Berserk Icon Berserk to avoid capping Energy during Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp. Added opening sequence section.