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Feral Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Oct 25, 2016 at 14:06 by Wordup 157 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list your Feral Druid core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. 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 Author and Reviewer

This guide has been written by Wordup, a frequent theorycrafter involved in a number of class communities. He is also an experienced player who has been in the world top 100 since the days of Sunwell, currently raiding in Echoes. You can also follow him on Twitter.

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Xanzara, a top-ranking Feral Druid, who sometimes streams on YouTube.

1. Single Target Rotation

The Feral Druid rotation revolves around keeping up various buffs and debuffs, while generating Combo Points and using them on Finishing Moves.

  1. Maintain Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar if taken.
  2. Maintain Rake Icon Rake.
  3. Maintain Rip Icon Rip (at below 25%, or with Sabertooth Icon Sabertooth taken, replace with Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite).
  4. Maintain Moonfire Icon Moonfire if Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration is taken.
  5. Cast Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury at 20 Energy or less.
  6. Cast  Icon Ashamane's Frenzy, try to sync this with Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury uses.
  7. Cast Shred Icon Shred to build combo points.
  8. Cast Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite if at 5 Combo Points and Rip Icon Rip/Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar do not need refreshing within 10 sec.

When using Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons, you should aim to cast instant Regrowth Icon Regrowths gained through Predatory Swiftness Icon Predatory Swiftness just before a finisher, and if possible also refresh Rake Icon Rake if it is within the pandemic window to spend the charges. Also you should always have a Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons charge active when casting  Icon Ashamane's Frenzy.

Also try to sync your refreshes of both Rake Icon Rake and Rip Icon Rip with your Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury windows, as this will snapshot the damage increase for the duration, as elaborated on further on in the page.

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. 5-20 seconds before the pull, cast Regrowth Icon Regrowth, if you are using the Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons talent.
  2. Just before the pull, use Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle if taken.
  3. Immediately before the pull, use your Potion and Prowl Icon Prowl.
  4. Cast Rake Icon Rake.
  5. If taken, cast Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar.
  6. Cast Berserk Icon Berserk and Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury
  7. Cast  Icon Ashamane's Frenzy.
  8. Cast Moonfire Icon Moonfire if Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration is taken.
  9. Cast Shred Icon Shred to reach 5 Combo Points.
  10. Cast Rip Icon Rip.
  11. Continue with the normal rotation.

You will notice that Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle is used just before entering combat, this is because it is on the Global Cooldown unlike Berserk, so getting it up early is beneficial.

2. Multiple Target Rotation

Depending on the number of targets, there are a number of additional steps that need to be taken, and you should mould your ability usage around these rules.

2.1. Ashamane's Frenzy

Whilst  Icon Ashamane's Frenzy is listed in the single target priority, in situations where you could hold the spell to hit a priority target, saving it for up to 50% of it is needed. Bear the encounter in mind due to this, and plan ahead for situations that would allow you to capitalise on that.

2.2. Long Duration Adds

2.2.1. 2-3 Targets

Against 2-3 high health, high priority targets, you should aim to maintain Rake Icon Rake on all of them, alongside maintaining Thrash Icon Thrash (though this is a lower priority). Against 2 targets, you should use Shred Icon Shred as your Energy spending filler to gain Combo points, whilst at 3, this should be replaced with Swipe Icon Swipe. Whenever possible, try to maintain Rip Icon Rip on as many targets as possible when Combo Points allow.

2.2.2. 4-8 Targets

After 4, you should be maintaining Thrash Icon Thrash on all targets as the highest priority, and Rake Icon Rake on as many targets as possible that your Energy allows. At 5 Combo Points, maintain Rip Icon Rip on the most important targets.

2.2.3. 9+ Targets

Against 9 or above, you should maintain Thrash Icon Thrash on all targets and then spend energy on Swipe Icon Swipe. Spend combo points on Rip Icon Rip on the most important targets when you reach 5.

2.3. Short Duration Adds

When there are 3 or more short-lived, high priority targets, you should apply Thrash Icon Thrash and then Swipe Icon Swipe, while spending your Combo Points on Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite as bleeds will be unlikely to tick for their full duration.

2.4. Priority Targets

In case of multiple low priority targets and one high priority target (such as a boss), you have two options.

  • Perform a single target rotation on the high priority target while maintaining Thrash Icon Thrash on all targets. If you are facing 5 or more targets, you can replace Shred Icon Shred with Swipe Icon Swipe in your single target rotation.
  • Perform a single target rotation on the high priority target and completely ignore the other targets.

3. Cooldowns

Feral comes with 2 DPS cooldowns, one being short cooldown, short duration and more rotational, whilst the other is a mid duration, long cooldown.

  • Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury increases your 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. Note that choosing the Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle talent causes it to replace Berserk.

Additionally, your talents have the potential to provide you with 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

The above information tells you everything you need to know in order to get the most out of your Feral Druid's DPS toolkit. Here, however, I will go into more in-depth aspects that let you truly shine and understand the fundamentals of decision making.

4.1. Mastery: Razor Claws

Your Mastery: Razor Claws Icon Mastery: Razor Claws increases the damage that your bleeds do. This affects Rake Icon Rake, Rip Icon Rip, Thrash Icon Thrash and the bleed portion of the artifact active,  Icon Ashamane's Frenzy.

4.2. Combo Points and Energy

As a 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, and are considered builders, those mainly being Shred Icon Shred, Rake Icon Rake and Swipe Icon Swipe, alongside the artifact active,  Icon Ashamane's Frenzy. Other abilities, termed 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.

4.3. Single Target Rotation in Detail

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

4.3.1. Bleeds & DoTs

You should always strive to have 100% uptime on the target with Rake Icon Rake and Rip Icon Rip. This forms the core of your damage output, and making the most of them is what makes the difference between good play and great play.

Rake Icon Rake costs 35 Energy to apply and lasts for 15 seconds (shorter with Jagged Wounds Icon Jagged Wounds), making it quite simple to manage.

Rip Icon Rip costs 30 Energy but its potency is also dependant on how many Combo Points it is applied with, so you must always be applying Rip with 5 Combo Points.

Thrash Icon Thrash costs 50 Energy to cast and deals its damage over 15 seconds. This only enters into the rotation during multiple target situations, but is easy to maintain as it applies to all targets hit.

If you have taken the Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration talent, then you also need to have 100% uptime with Moonfire Icon Moonfire. Note this is not a Bleed so gains no benefit from Mastery, but can be cast from 40 yards making it the easiest to maintain.

4.3.2. 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 or Swipe Icon Swipe to generate 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.

4.3.3. 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.

4.3.4. When to Refresh Bleeds

Your bleeds no longer snapshots your character's stats, as they had once done. 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 (when you benefit from one of the aforementioned bonuses), and doing this will net a large amount of increased damage dealt by your bleed effects.

With regards to duration, Rake Icon Rake and Thrash Icon Thrash can safely be refreshed with 4.5 seconds remaining or less (but even refreshing them 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). If you have taken the Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration talent, then Moonfire Icon Moonfire can be refreshed with 4.2 seconds remaining on its duration.

Note that if you have the Jagged Wounds Icon Jagged Wounds talent, then the remaining durations when it is safe to refresh change to 4.8 seconds for Rip, or 3 seconds for Rake and Thrash Icon Thrash.

Regarding Rake Icon Rake, it is important to ensure that your Rake always benefits from a Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons proc. Any Rake that is applied without benefiting from Bloodtalons should be reapplied with Bloodtalons as soon as possible. Moreover, if your Rake is about to expire and you have a Bloodtalons proc, you should refresh Rake to benefit from it.

This is made considerably easier with external addons to track, and there are some recommendations on our add-on page.

4.3.5. 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 so as not to waste any of its duration.

It is, however, important to note that if you have 5 Combo Points and 7.2 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, but refreshing Savage Roar even with fewer than 5 Combo Points is acceptable in emergencies.

4.3.6. 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, 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, 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.

4.4. Detailed Cooldown Usage

Both of the cooldowns listed earlier on this page are important to use correctly and have a considerable impact on your performance if done poorly.

4.4.1. 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.

4.4.2. 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 (up to around 50-80), so that you can use more abilities throughout its duration. If you are under the effects of Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp, then you should not pool Energy, and instead you should use Berserk when you have near minimum Energy.

Moreover, it is optimal to use Berserk when Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury is available or has 7 seconds or less left on its cooldown, so that you can fit the entire duration of Tiger's Fury inside Berserk.

4.4.3. Tier 1 Talents

Predator Icon Predator is quite straightforward, and the only thing to look out for is not wasting any of the Energy you gain from Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury (unless you know you will be able to reset its cooldown again shortly anyway).

Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration revolves around keeping up the Moonfire Icon Moonfire DoT. This should be maintained on a single target at all times, and you should also multi-DoT targets with it when you are dealing with multiple enemies. Moonfire should be refreshed when there is 4.8 seconds or less left on its duration.

4.4.4. Tier 5 Talents

Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle should be used on cooldown, or saved for moments when you need to do increased damage.

Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar is a self-buff that increases your physical damage done by 25%. 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 if you have taken this talent, and maintaining it becomes your highest priority.

4.4.5. Tier 6 Talents

If you have taken the Jagged Wounds Icon Jagged Wounds talent, your rotation will remain the same, except that you will have to refresh your bleeds more often. Moreover, the remaining amount of time when you can safely refresh them without losing duration is decreased by 33%.

Elune's Guidance Icon Elune's Guidance should be used when you have 0 Combo Points, and you should follow this up with a Finishing Move. Normally, the Finishing Move you will use is going to be Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite, so you need to make sure that you have the 50 Energy required for it when you use Elune's Guidance, since otherwise you will waste Combo Points. Indeed, making sure not to waste any Combo Points is the key element related to this talent. Once you use Elune's Guidance, you should not spam Shred Icon Shred, and instead use one or two Combo Point generators (if the first one is not a critical strike) and let Elune's Guidance give you the rest of the Combo Points up to 5.

If you have Berserk Icon Berserk/Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle up, or if you have been pooling Energy, then you can be more aggressive in your Combo Point generation as you will be able to use more Finishing Moves.

4.4.6. Tier 7 Talents

Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash is essentially a super-Swipe Icon Swipe, which should be used to damage multiple targets. If you want to burst down a large pack, try to have Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury up at the same time. Against a single target, you can still use Brutal Slash (instead of Shred Icon Shred), provided that you will have all the charges available for when you need to use it against multiple enemies.

Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons buffs your next 2 melee abilities following a Regrowth Icon Regrowth, increasing their damage by 50%. Ideally, one charge should be used on a finisher, while the other should be used on a Rake Icon Rake or  Icon Ashamane's Frenzy.

You should hold on to your Predatory Swiftness Icon Predatory Swiftness proc until you have 5 Combo Points. Then, you can use your free Regrowth Icon Regrowth 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.

5. ChangeLog

  • 25 Oct. 2016: Replaced mentions of Healing Touch with Regrowth (the latter has replaced the former for non-Restoration Druid specs).
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 30 Jul. 2016: Made a few tweaks and improvements to the bleed refreshing section, and removed a few archaic elements.
  • 22 Jul. 2016: Made slight fixes and improvements, without affecting rotation.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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