TBC Classic Feral Druid DPS Stat Priority
On this page, you will find out the optimal PvE stat priority for your Feral Druid DPS in TBC Classic. We first present the stat priority, before delving into more complex explanations.
Stat Priority for Feral Druids
- Physical Hit up to the 9% cap vs bosses, 5% in PvP;
- Expertise up to the 6.5% cap vs bosses;
- Strength (1 Strength = 2 Attack Power baseline but Druid gets extra from Heart of the Wild and Blessing of Kings making it stronger than raw AP);
- Critical Strike;
- Attack Power;
- Armor Penetration;
- Stamina / Intellect / Spirit / Mp5.
This is the stat priority that will generally result in higher DPS. Although Stamina does not give damage it does help you stay alive, especially against unavoidable damage; make sure to not neglect it!
Mana stats (Intellect / Spirit / Mp5) can be useful to ensure more powershifting in long fights, but should generally not be prioritized.
Stats Explained for Feral Druid
Feral Druids scale well with crit and AP, and the more crit you get the smoother your rotation will be. Ferals have less stats than other classes since Feral Druids are locked into using the low level, poorly itemized Wolfshead Helm due to its amazing secondary effect.
Your weapon DPS range is completely irrelevant, as Feral forms use their own hidden weapons with normalized damage. The main thing you want is Feral Attack Power, which is very common in weapons throughout TBC, thankfully. You can find some examples in the weapon guide below.
Feral Druids get 1 AP and 0.04% crit chance from each point of Agility, and Agility itself scales with Survival of the Fittest and Blessing of Kings. Agility is always better than Strength due to the value that the crit chance provides.
Against targets your level, you have a 5% chance to miss attacks. Raid and dungeon bosses are considered to be 3 levels above you, meaning your chance to miss attacks is slightly higher at 8.6%. Reaching the cap on hit means having a 9% increased chance to hit through gear. As a Feral Druid, your rotation is quite fast-paced and complex at times, and a missed ability could ruin a cycle, forcing you to waste Energy or wait for an extra global before power shifting. Getting hit cap is both numerically your biggest damage increase and your best quality of life increase for when you will not need to worry about Shred missing, potentially throwing you off your rotation.
Expertise replaces weapon skills from WoW Classic, and reduces the chance of your attacks being parried or dodged. It takes 3.94 expertise rating to gain 1 expertise skill. Each point of Expertise skill will reduce the target's chance to dodge and parry your attacks by 0.25% each.
Expertise is a strong stat, increasing the odds of your attacks hitting their target. While enemies cannot parry from behind, they can still dodge your attacks. For level 73 mobs (bosses) the expertise cap is 6.5% dodge or 26 expertise skill / 200 expertise rating.
Critical strikes as a Feral Druid deal 120% increased damage once you maximize Predatory Instincts. Additionally, Feral Druids benefit heavily from crit due to Primal Fury, which causes your generators to award an extra Combo Point when they crit. More Critical Strike means more Ferocious Bite casts since you will be generating more Combo Points per Shred. Crit does have a soft cap, however, and is only exceptionally good up until that point, at which point stacking AP through Strength and straight AP becomes a higher priority.
Crit Soft Cap
As a melee DPS, you have your auto attacks and your abilities. When you use an ability like Shred, there are four options: it will either be dodged, miss, crit, or hit. Your auto attacks have 5 options, adding in the possibility of a glancing blow where the attack deals 70% of its normal damage. For dodges and glancing blows, the chance of those happening does not change. You can lower your chance to miss by reaching your hit cap, but the dodge and glancing blow chance is still there. Specifically, this becomes an issue for glancing blows because of one key reason; glancing blows cannot crit. Because of this, the actual chance that an auto attack has to crit cannot be 100% or anywhere close to it because if it is dodged or is a glancing blow it will never crit. Your crit soft cap is equivalent to the chance that an auto attack will hit normally since those are the only attacks that have a chance to crit. As a Feral Druid, your crit soft cap is 54.4% minus your chance to miss. If you are at the 9% hit cap, then 54.4% is your crit soft cap, and you should not go for more crit above this amount. At a higher amount than this, your abilities will still be able to crit more, but your auto attacks will not, which greatly diminishes the value of crit.
Druids receive 2 AP per point of Strength, but this becomes 2.4 AP with Heart of the Wild. This is your strongest stat for pure AP gain, which will increase your damage done by all attacks. Even though this is a very strong stat for Feral, it is not quite as a good as Agility early on due to the importance of crit. After you reach your crit soft cap, Strength becomes your best primary stat. Note that it is sometimes challenging to find end game gear with Strength since it is not a common stat on leather pieces.
Attack Power is the base stat off which all of your damage is calculated. For Feral Druids, this is especially true since your auto attack damage is not based off your weapon DPS. In fact, weapon DPS has zero value to Feral Druids. Your auto attacks are normalized on a 1-second swing timer, and the damage is calculated based on your Attack Power. All of your abilities have their damage calculated either as a multiplier of a single auto attack's damage or are based on your Attack Power as well. You generally will not want to pick up straight Attack Power pieces, however, because while it is a great stat that scales exceptionally well for Feral, Agility and Strength will offer more of it point for point.
Haste is one of the new stats introduced in the Burning Crusade. It increases your attack speed, allowing you to get more white attacks off in a given period of time. Tier 6 gear has a lot of Haste.
Armor Penetration is another new stat in TBC which allows your attacks to partially ignore your enemy's armor. This is a nice damage increase for physical attacks, and something you can expect to see a lot in Tier 6 gear.
Stamina increases your health and is important for your survival. A higher amount of health means that you can take more damage before dying, which gives healers more time to heal you during raids or dungeons.
Intellect increases your Mana pool, which is relevant for Feral Druids due to Powershifting, which is extremely Mana intensive. More Mana means more shifts over a fight, which means more Shred casts, thus more damage.
Spirit increases your health regeneration and your Mana regeneration. Your Mana regenerates according to the 5-second rule, which is quite difficult to follow for Feral Druids due to the specific windows that you need to power shift in. If you find yourself out of Mana on a fight, sit in Cat Form without power shifting until you have regenerated enough Mana for more power shifts. Sitting (through the /sit command, or when eating or drinking) increases Spirit regeneration by 33%.
- 28 Aug. 2021: Added a note on how Feral critical strikes are higher due to Predatory Instincts.
- 16 Aug. 2021: Added a note on how sitting increases Spirit-based regeneration.
- 27 May 2021: Guide added.
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