Feral Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Feral Druid in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Feral Melee DPS Druid rotation.
Feral Druid Rotation
Welcome to our Rotation page for Feral Druids. Here we go over the details of playing the spec in different PvE scenarios.
If you are looking for a more simple entry into how to play the spec and the rotation sections below seem like to much, you can always check out our Easy Mode page that gives a close-to-optimal alternative to get to grips with the basics.
The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.
Feral Druid Single Target Rotation
The Feral Druid rotation focuses on maintaining Bleed effects while managing your two resources in Energy and Combo Points to deliver damage to your target in a cycle.
Use the below switches to tailor the rotation around the talents or situations you expect to be using, and it will populate the rotation priority list and opener appropriately:
- Brutal Slash
- Wild Fleshrending (Azerite)
- Cast Tiger's Fury at 30 Energy or less.
- Cast Berserk if available.
- Cast Rip if it is not present on your target.
- Maintain Rake.
- Cast Ferocious Bite if at 5 Combo Points and Rip is active.
- Cast Shred to build Combo Points.
When playing with Bloodtalons you will often be playing in a cycle. That means you will often trigger the effect by spending Energy in quick succession via Shred into Rake into Thrash/ Brutal Slash (if taken), and then sit on the two charges before you consume them for a finisher. If you do not have a buff already active from a previous cycle, that means you need to think about your Energy pool before casting a finisher to make sure you can quickly cycle between three different Combo Point generators after to trigger the buff again.
Try to make sure you sync your refreshes of Rake with Tiger's Fury windows wherever possible. This extends to Rip as well, which should also overlap with Bloodtalons stack use wherever possible to snapshot the highest possible increase to your Bleeds.
Feral Druid Opening Sequence
Below, we list the ideal way to start the fight. Note that this is also generated with the talent switches above in the rotation section, so fill this in according to your selections:
- Pre-cast Prowl to begin in Stealth.
- Open with Rake from Stealth.
- Cast Thrash or Brutal Slash if using Bloodtalons.
- Cast Shred until at 5 Combo Points.
- Cast Berserk and immediately after Tiger's Fury.
- Apply Rip.
- Continue with single-target rotation.
While the rotation page covers the majority of gameplay in PvE settings, there are sometimes special rules that apply to dealing with Mythic+ situations. You can check our Mythic+ page below for more details.
Multiple Target Rotation for Feral Druids
A lot of the rules that Feral plays by in single-target remain in Cleave and AoE situations, so you will find your gameplay being similar with some slight deviations alongside some multi-DoTing when possible.
Swipe replaces Shred as soon as an additional target is present, and you also need to make sure to maintain Thrash on all nearby targets as much as possible. You should also try to keep Rake active on as many additional targets as your Energy generation allows to capitalize on the multi-DoT potential Feral has.
When using Brutal Slash, try to make sure that you always have at least one charge on cooldown, but bank charges for when a wave of enemies come into range. Try to have short-duration buffs such as Tiger's Fury active for as many high-target casts as possible.
If playing Primal Wrath, this effectively replaces your finishers at all times and is the primary way of turning Combo Points into AoE damage. Try to make sure you maintain Rip via this spell on as many targets as possible in sustained AoE.
Feral Druid Cooldowns
Feral comes with 2 DPS cooldowns, one being short cooldown, short duration and more rotational, while the other is a mid duration, long cooldown.
- Tiger's Fury increases your damage done by 15% for 10 seconds, on a 30-second cooldown and is also off the Global Cooldown. Additionally, it instantly restores 50 Energy. It should be used on cooldown, but try to burn any excess Energy before casting so it does not waste the generation portion.
- Berserk causes your Shred and Rake to behave as if you were in Stealth, conferring their respective bonuses. This has a 3-minute cooldown, lasts 20 seconds and is off the Global Cooldown. You should aim to pair this with as many other buffs as possible such as Bloodlust and Tiger's Fury as the burst window it provides is significant in Shadowlands.
You should always be planning your Energy around the Energy refund provided by Tiger's Fury, so drain in advance as its cooldown ends. You should aim to refresh any Bleeds that you need to while it is active for the snapshot effect.
Berserk requires you to more aggressively cycle between builders and finishers due to the refund provided. This means you will sometimes drain yourself, but try to make sure you enter into the window with as much Energy in reserve as possible to cast as many high impact spells as you can.
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, we go through the more specific details that let you understand the fundamentals of what makes Feral Druid tick, helping your decision making.
Combo Points and Energy
As a Feral Druid, the core of your abilities need Energy to be used. Your Energy bar has a capacity of 100 Energy and refills at a rate of 11 Energy per second. Your Energy regeneration is increased by your Haste.
Feral has a pool of abilities that build Combo Points (defined as builders) being Shred, Rake, Swipe / Brutal Slash, and Thrash. To go with this, you have abilities that spend these (defined as finishers), consuming all current 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, which causes your Combo Point generating abilities to grant an additional Combo Point any time they critically strike with direct damage.
Bleeds & DoTs
Rake costs 35 Energy to apply and lasts for 15 seconds, making it the easiest tool to manage.
Rip costs 20 Energy but its duration is also dependent on how many Combo Points it is applied with, so you should aim to apply Rip at 5 Combo Points for the best Energy efficiency. When done at 5, it lasts for 24 seconds.
Thrash costs 40 Energy to cast and deals its damage over 15 seconds. This much like Rake is easy to maintain and applies to all targets hit, and should be maintained at all times in AoE, or with specific effects such as Wild Fleshrending.
If you have taken the Lunar Inspiration talent, then you also need to have 100% uptime with Moonfire. Note this is not a Bleed so gains no benefit from Mastery, but can be cast from 40 yards making it easier to maintain as a filler during downtime, or on extra targets not in melee range.
Energy pooling is useful, and should be done in most circumstances. It is not mandatory, but can be useful to improve your output when dealing with certain fight mechanics. Making sure you have a healthy pool of Energy before dumping allows you to frontload damage more effectively. You should always make sure to spend any excess before pressing Tiger's Fury if possible, so as to not waste the generation it grants.
Omen of Clarity procs should be used as soon as your cycle allows, so that they do not get overwritten by subsequent procs.
Bleed snapshotting does still exist for Feral Druids, but it only works with some specific damage-increasing buffs. Snapshotting means that the damage the Bleed effect will do will be decided at the time of application, and carry over the amplification effect of the following buffs (where applicable) for the entire duration.
The effects that have the snapshot interaction with Bleeds are:
When to Refresh Bleeds and Buffs
Feral benefits from the Pandemic effect on many tools, allowing you to refresh certain DoT effects and buffs up to 30% early and carry the remaining duration into the next cast. This does not carry over any snapshotting effects though, they instead need to be present when the new effect is applied. The pandemic timers are as follows:
- Rake — 4.5 seconds
- Rip — 7.2 seconds (assuming 5 Combo Points)
- Thrash — 4.5 seconds
- Moonfire — 4.8 seconds
- Savage Roar — 10.8 seconds (assuming 5 Combo Points)
Tracking these is made considerably easier when using external addons to keep tabs on each individual buff and debuff, and there are some recommended options on our Addons page.
You should always be pooling Energy to 50 before using Ferocious Bite if you intend to cast it (provided it does not impact your Rip uptime). The additional 100% damage is significant due to how hard Bites now hit in Shadowlands, and making sure the Combo Points get the biggest return for investment is important.
As covered in the rotation section however, make sure that you have room to cast Ferocious Bite before committing the resources to it. That means you have your Bleed effects in Rake and Rip maintained, and have enough excess resource that it will not cause either to fall off.
Tier 1 Talents
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 casts when there are repeat triggers (unless you know you will be able to reset its cooldown again shortly after).
Lunar Inspiration revolves around keeping up the 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 a cleave situation and have selected this. Moonfire should be refreshed when there is 4.8 seconds or less left on its duration to make the maximum use of the pandemic effect.
Sabertooth allows you to cast additional Ferocious Bites due to the extension effect on your active Rip. The change in Shadowlands means you will still sometimes need to re-apply Rip, so make sure to pay attention to how long is left. Any extensions that occur via Sabertooth will also carry over snapshotted effects such as Tiger's Fury, so try to plan your refreshes around this cooldown.
Tier 5 Talents
Soul of the Forest is a simple talent that boosts your finishers and smooths out your Energy generation. The benefit this talent confers is huge to the rotation after each finisher, and will likely remain a power pick in the Shadowlands pre-patch.
Incarnation: King of the Jungle empowers your Berserk by increasing its duration to 30 seconds and reducing the Energy cost of all abilities by 20%. This should still be used on cooldown and it is especially important to pair it with other damage boosts like Tiger's Fury to make the most of it due to it being a cooldown choice. Make sure to have spent all resources as it is about to expire.
Savage Roar provides a flat damage buff to all damage when active, which updates dynamically to any DoT effects when activated alongside a small bump to Energy generation. This is an extra maintenance buff so you need to make sure you have enough resources available to keep it active at all times, while weaving in Rip and Rake uptime. Make sure to plan ahead for when this is falling off, especially if it aligns with your other debuffs and upcoming Tiger's Fury windows.
Tier 6 Talents
Brutal Slash is essentially a super- Swipe, which should be used to damage multiple targets. If you want to burst down a large pack, try to have Tiger's Fury up at the same time. On single-target this is used as a cheap Combo Point builder due to the higher Energy efficiency compared to Shred, so make sure it is always recharging. Just make sure to have as many charges available as possible if extra targets are coming.
Primal Wrath replaces your finishing move choices whenever a second target is present, allowing you to instead focus on generating the Combo Points to fuel the Rip uptime when in AoE sitautions. Treat it as the primary AoE finisher whenever taken.
Scent of Blood allows for a short surge of cheap Swipe casts following a Thrash, proportional to the number of targets struck. This performs quite poorly but when taken you need to make sure to time your Swipe casts within the window for higher Energy efficiency.
Tier 7 Talents
Bloodtalons provides a buff with two charges that increases the damage of your next two finishers by 30% after you cast 3 separate Combo Point generators within 4 seconds. Activators are Shred, Rake, Swipe, Thrash, Brutal Slash and Moonfire (with Lunar Inspiration taken). This means you will always need to pool some Energy to be able to fit in a quick burst of 3 abilities to trigger this buff, creating a cycle of pooling energy, casting a finisher, triggering the buff and repeating.
You should be aware of when you need to regain these charges as you only need to do this every other finisher, but with this talent taken you must make absolutely sure that you have it active for each cast. If you miss the buff when using a finisher, it is a huge hit to the power of this talent.
Feral Frenzy should be used when you have 0 Combo Points, and you should follow this up with a Finishing Move. This means you need to make sure that you have the Energy available to instantly make use of the surge of Combo Points. Ideally you should also be pairing every other cast of this with Tiger's Fury too to boost the damage.
Moment of Clarity means that you will have an increased frequency of Omen of Clarity procs, allowing you periods of smoother Energy management by having some builders come free. Try to make sure you do not cap your Energy when these trigger (which is helped by the additional Energy limit granted), and be aware that you should pool less aggressively when using this to allow room to make use of the effect.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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