Feral Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Aug 26, 2018 at 00:59 by Wordup 60 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 Battle for Azeroth 8.0.1. 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

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.

1. Feral Druid 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.

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 appropriately:

  • Lunar Inspiration
  • Sabertooth
  • Brutal Slash
  • Savage Roar
  • Feral Frenzy
  • Bloodtalons
  1. Cast Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury at 30 Energy or less.
  2. Cast Berserk Icon Berserk if available.
  3. Maintain Rip Icon Rip (at below 25%, replace with Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite).
  4. Maintain Rake Icon Rake.
  5. Maintain Thrash Icon Thrash.
  6. Cast Ferocious Bite Icon Ferocious Bite if at 5 Combo Points.
  7. Cast Shred Icon Shred to build Combo Points.

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 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 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. Feral Druid 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. Immediately before the pull, use your Battle Potion of Agility Icon Battle Potion of Agility and Prowl Icon Prowl.
  3. Cast Rake Icon Rake.
  4. If taken, cast Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar.
  5. Cast Berserk Icon Berserk/Incarnation: King of the Jungle Icon Incarnation: King of the Jungle.
  6. Cast Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury.
  7. Cast Moonfire Icon Moonfire if Lunar Inspiration Icon Lunar Inspiration is taken.
  8. Cast Shred Icon Shred to reach 5 Combo Points.
  9. Cast Rip Icon Rip.
  10. Continue with the normal rotation.

Always make sure to cast Berserk Icon Berserk before casting Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury, as it is on the Global Cooldown while Tiger's Fury is not. This grants the most amount of time actively dealing damage with the two damage boosts present in tandem.

3. Multiple Target Rotation for Feral Druids

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.

3.1. Brutal Slash

When using Brutal Slash Icon Brutal Slash, try to make sure that you always have at least one charge on cooldown, but have as many charges as possible when a wave of enemies comes into range. Try to have short-duration buffs such as Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury and Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons active on as many high-target casts of Brutal Slash on demand, as it deals massive AoE burst damage with each cast.

3.2. Long Duration Adds

3.2.1. 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. 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.

3.2.2. 4-8 Targets

At 4 targets, you should be maintaining Rake Icon Rake on as many targets as possible that your Energy allows. Thrash Icon Thrash should be applied as often as possible after this, and is your highest priority to get active with Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity procs. At 5 Combo Points, maintain Rip Icon Rip on the most important targets. At 5 targets and above, Thrash becomes the highest priority to maintain on enemies.

3.2.3. 9+ Targets

Against 9 or more targets, 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.

3.3. 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.

3.4. 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.

4. Feral Druid 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 10 seconds, on a 30-second cooldown. Additionally, it instantly restores 50 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 Energy cost of your abilities by 40% 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.
  • When combining the two, you should always be using Berserk Icon Berserk first, as it is on the Global Cooldown whilst Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury is not. Ideally you should wait for the Global Cooldown incurred by activating Berserk to complete, and then synchronise your next ability cast with the use of Tiger's Fury.

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.

5. 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, we will go into more in-depth aspects that let you truly shine and understand the fundamentals of decision making.

5.1. 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 Feral Frenzy Icon Feral Frenzy.

5.2. 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 10 Energy per second. Your Energy regeneration is increased by your Haste.

Some abilities add a Combo Point, and are considered builders, those mainly being Shred Icon Shred, Rake Icon Rake, Swipe Icon Swipe, and Thrash Icon Thrash. 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 grant an additional Combo Point any time they critically strike with direct damage.

5.3. 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.

5.3.1. 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 (reduced by Jagged Wounds Icon Jagged Wounds), making it the easiest tool to manage.

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

Thrash Icon Thrash costs 45 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 as much as possible at any target count.

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 easier to maintain as a filler during downtime, or on extra targets not in melee range.

5.3.2. What to Do the Rest of the Time

When your bleeds and self-buffs 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 if you have a large surplus.

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

5.3.3. Energy Management

Energy pooling is useful, and should be done in most circumstances. It should mostly be done to deal with certain fight mechanics, making sure to use your Energy wisely, however, so you can still maintain your Bleeds, and dump as much Energy as possible leading up to your Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury casts so as to not waste any that it grants when activated.

Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity procs should be used right away, so that they do not get overwritten by subsequent procs.

5.3.4. When to Refresh Bleeds

Bleed snapshotting does still exist for Feral Druids, but it only works with some specific damage-increasing buffs. This means 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. It also means that they will not dynamically update with new applications of said buffs. 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 have the snapshot interaction with 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 refreshing, the base durations of 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, fully buffed Rip with any effects you have available that you can then extend for the rest of the fight (via 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 5.8 seconds for Rip, or 3.6 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.

5.3.5. 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 10.8 seconds (assuming it was cast at 5 Combo Points) left on Savage Roar, you can refresh it without losing any of its duration due to the pandemic effect. 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.

5.3.6. Ferocious Bite

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 through the additional 100% boost for the extra 25 Energy cost. This is due to the investment mostly being tied to the Combo Point requirement, so the small extra Energy investment to double its damage is a significant boost.

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 a high resource cost debuff, 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 snapshotting buffs such as Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury that were present at the time of application).

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 use it with however many Combo Points you have, in order to refresh the active Rip.

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.

5.4. Detailed Cooldown Usage

Both of the cooldowns listed earlier on this page are important to use correctly and are important to your performance, hurting your output if utilized poorly.

5.4.1. 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 50 Energy it provides you with.
  • The damage effect "snapshots" onto Bleed DoTs you cast while active, increasing their damage for the full duration even after Tiger's Fury falls off.

Due to these factors, you should always be planning your Energy around the refund that this will provide when it comes back, so drain in advance. You should also be trying to refresh any Bleeds that you need to while it is active as maintenance, and cycle this between your Tiger's Fury casts.

5.4.2. Berserk

Berserk Icon Berserk reduces the Energy cost of all your abilities by 40% while it is active. Currently it is a fairly weak DPS cooldown, and simply provides a window of consistency during Energy starved periods. It serves best as an AoE tool to freely cast Swipe Icon Swipe if taken, but do not expect it to drastically improve your single target damage when active.

You will want to use Berserk Icon Berserk as many times as possible during a 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 5 seconds or less left on its cooldown, so that you can fit the entire duration of Tiger's Fury inside Berserk.

5.4.3. Feral Frenzy

Currently, simulations are not entirely compiled for Feral Frenzy Icon Feral Frenzy, however its expected use is generally agreed upon. This should always be used on cooldown as often as possible, and as such it is required for you to drain your Combo Points prior to use. This can also be used as a way to quickly gain a surge of additional Combo Points to refresh Rip Icon Rip in an emergency. Every other cast should also ideally be synchronized with Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury to boost its base damage.

5.5. Talent Specifics

5.5.1. 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 casts when there are repeat triggers (unless you know you will be able to reset its cooldown again shortly after).

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 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.

5.5.2. 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 burst damage to a target if the encounter demands it. Whilst this is active you should have no issue with Energy starvation, so should be free to spend as aggressively as possible until it expires.

Jagged Wounds Icon Jagged Wounds maintains the same rotation, 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 20%. This means you will have to manage your Energy and Combo Points more strictly to make sure you stick to the high uptime required on your Bleed effects.

5.5.3. Tier 6 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 burn off excess Brutal Slash charges (instead of Shred Icon Shred) as a cheap generator, provided that you will have all the charges available for when you need to use it against multiple enemies.

If you are using Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons, try to make sure that any Brutal Slashes cast during AoE are buffed by this effect, as it will be the biggest part of your damage. In single target, you can generally just dump all of these charges during your Tiger's Fury Icon Tiger's Fury window, as that should generally sync up with the recharge time. Try not to waste your Omen of Clarity Icon Omen of Clarity procs on this however, due to how cheap the spell is to cast for lower returns.

Savage Roar Icon Savage Roar provides a flat damage buff to all damage when active, which updates dynamically to any DoT effects when activated. This means that you are able to focus on keeping Rip Icon Rip active regardless of whether you have Savage Roar present, and simply cast it as soon as possible afterwards and the damage increase will dynamically update if things go wrong. This buff is paramount to keep active at all times if taken, so try to plan ahead when spending your Combo Points so that it does not fall off for too long.

5.5.4. Tier 7 Talents

Bloodtalons Icon Bloodtalons buffs your next 2 melee abilities following a Regrowth Icon Regrowth, increasing their damage by 25%. Ideally, one charge should be used on a finisher such as Rip Icon Rip, while the other should be used on Rake Icon Rake if it is about to fall off. If it is at a healthy duration, spend it on Shred Icon Shred instead.

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 to create a surplus of Combo Points and trigger it comfortably.

Feral Frenzy Icon Feral Frenzy should be used when you have 0 Combo Points, and you should follow this up with a Finishing Move. Making sure that you also have the Energy available to instantly make use of the surge of Combo Points is useful, and having this as a backup plan to refresh Rip Icon Rip if you fall behind on your cycle is very useful.

Moment of Clarity Icon Moment of Clarity means that you will have an increased frequency of Omen of Clarity Icon 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.

6. Changelog

  • 26 Aug. 2018: Updated to indicate Thrash usage in single target.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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