Feral DPS Druid Pre-Patch Guide for WotLK Classic
The Pre-Patch period of Wrath of the Lich King Classic is a time to allow players to level or gear up characters while experiencing some of the class changes of the coming expansion before its official launch. Here you will find recommended talents, gear, and some rotation tips for a Feral DPS Druid when you can only reach a maximum level of 70.
Feral DPS Druid Overview
The Feral DPS Druid is a high skill and high DPS potential specialization, due to its complex rotation and high amount of Energy management required.
At least one Druid is still recommended per raid for Mark of the Wild and Faerie Fire, and Feral is decently useful as it brings Physical buffs such as Leader of the Pack, Improved Leader of the Pack, and an Innervate that can be given out without much cost for the Druid.
This page will go over pre-patch talents, rotation, gear and consumables, for Feral Druid DPS, allowing you to quickly get up to date with your character while waiting for Wrath to officially start!
Talent Build for Feral DPS Druid
Note also that Furor is mostly taken for pathing purposes, as Powershifting (and Wolfshead Helm) is no longer viable in the pre-patch due to this talent no longer providing free Energy on shifting to Cat Form.
Glyphs enhance or change class specific abilities, and you can have up to two major glyphs and three minor glyphs at Level 70, with a third major glyph being unlocked at Level 80.
Stat Priority for Feral DPS Druid
- Agility (1 Atk Power and some Crit before being multiplied by Survival of the Fittest, Improved Mark of the Wild, and Blessing of Kings);
- Armor Penetration;
- Critical Strike;
- Strength (2 Atk Power before similar multipliers to Agility);
- 8% Hit before talents / Draenei to cap Hit;
- 26 Expertise Points before Primal Precision to reduce Boss Dodge % to 0;
- Feral Attack Power (stat on weapons dependent on their item level, has 20% extra scaling than regular Attack Power from Predatory Strikes);
- Attack Power.
For actual EP values, try out the Feral DPS Wrath Simulator (work in progress). Input your gear, buffs, talents, and glyphs, hit the Stat Weights button and it will give you the exact value of each stat for your current gear profile! The stat priority above is a rough ordering of the EP values coming out for the preset profiles.
Rotation for Feral DPS Druid
We will be presenting the skill rotation of a Feral DPS Druid as a priority list, which means you should try to use the one at the top of the list first for maximum DPS.
As one of the most complex specializations to perform an ideal rotation with in Wrath, there are two critical concepts to understand before getting into the ability priority list.
Energy Pooling is the act of not using your abilities as soon as you have enough Energy to do so, but instead use them when they will give you most benefit, while always avoiding capping Energy to prevent loss of potential regen. Examples of this are pooling around 90 Energy for Berserk in order to be able to use as many 50% reduced cost Cat Form abilities as possible within its 15-second duration and pooling to ensure you always have enough Energy to instantly reapply damage-over-time effects as soon as they expire.
Damage-over-time management is about keeping as much uptime on your damage-over-time effects, Rip and Rake (as well as the Mangle (Cat) debuff if there is no alternative source) as possible, but also never refreshing them when they are active as that will make you lose the last tick and its damage.
Single-Target Rotation for Feral DPS Druid
- Use Tiger's Fury when available while you are under 40 Energy;
- If Berserk is available and 15 or more seconds remain on Tiger's Fury cooldown, auto-attack until ~90 Energy and use Berserk;
- Use and refresh (after it expires) Rip at 5 Combo Points;
- Keep Mangle (Cat)'s debuff on your target unless you have another Feral DPS Druid or an Arms Warrior with Trauma in the raid;
- Use Ferocious Bite at 5 Combo Points if Rip still has 10+ seconds remaining on its duration, allowing you to build back up before needing to refresh Rip;
- Use and refresh (after it expires) Rake;
- Use Shred to build Combo Points if doing so will not prevent you in the near future from having enough Energy to instant refresh your damage-over-time effects or Mangle (Cat)'s debuff.
Multi-Target Rotation for Feral DPS Druid
With Swipe (Cat) only coming at Level 71, your rotation for AoE is the same as the single-target one. If you can keep Rip on multiple targets that will not die in its full duration do so, but if the targets are likely to die before a full Rip is completed, use Ferocious Bite instead.
Gear for Feral DPS Druid
Most TBC Phase 5 gear in the guide linked below is still fine, but there are a few important factors changing how you want to gear in the pre-patch and Wrath in general:
- Powershifting is dead with the changes to Furor, and thus so is Wolfshead Helm; you will want to use Thunderheart Cover or Duplicitous Guise instead;
- Tier 4 and its 2-set bonus which has a 4% chance to generate 20 Energy after a melee attack in Cat Form becomes much more powerful when your Energy is not constantly being reset to 60 by Powershifting, allowing you to use more abilities, and thus leading to higher DPS, even after considering Tier 4's low stats. Due to their lower stat budgets, Shoulders and Gloves are the preferred slots for Tier 4;
- Hit and Expertise are of much lower relative value than before, as the loss of Powershifting leads to drastically lower average Energy, forcing you to spend significant time waiting for it to regen. As 80% of the Energy cost of abilities that fail to land is returned (including finishers with Primal Precision), you can simply use that ability again with a minor DPS loss;
- To complement raiding, or if it is not an option, farming Honor in the pre-patch through battlegrounds will allow you to buy the full "Brutal" PvP gear set, which is close in power to gear from Sunwell Plateau and has no randomness in its acquisition.
Enchants mostly stay the same in the pre-patch, but weapon procs such as Enchant Weapon - Mongoose can now proc when inside Cat Form and should thus be used instead of flat Agility, and Enchant Boots - Surefooted goes from a niche melee enchant to the best general DPS enchant, and is also a strong option.
Consumables for Feral DPS Druid
Flask of Relentless Assault and Elixir of Major Agility both have similar value and you can use any of them as the recommended offensive elixir for Feral, with standalone defensive elixirs being of irrelevant throughput value.
Haste Potion is the best DPS potion available. You can no longer use two potions during combat, but you can use one just before entering combat, which will allow you to use another mid-fight if the encounter is long enough.
- 27 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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