Feral Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
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 — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.
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 and opener appropriately:
- Lunar Inspiration
- Brutal Slash
- Savage Roar
- Primal Wrath
- Feral Frenzy
- Cast Tiger's Fury at 30 Energy or less.
- Cast Berserk if available.
- Maintain Rip.
- Maintain Rake.
- Maintain Thrash if two or more targets are present.
- Cast Ferocious Bite if at 5 Combo Points and Rip does not need refreshing within 10 sec.
- Cast Shred to build Combo Points.
When using Bloodtalons, you should aim to cast instant Regrowths gained through Predatory Swiftness just before a finisher, and if possible also refresh Rake if it is within the pandemic window to spend the charges.
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.
- Immediately before the pull, use your Battle Potion of Agility and Prowl.
- Cast Rake.
- Cast Berserk/ Incarnation: King of the Jungle.
- Cast Tiger's Fury.
- Cast Shred to reach 5 Combo Points.
- Apply Rip.
- Continue with the normal rotation.
Always make sure to cast Berserk before casting 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, 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 and Bloodtalons active on as many high-target casts of Brutal Slash on demand, as it deals good AoE burst damage with each cast. Also try to avoid consuming Moment of Clarity procs if possible, as it is the most Energy efficient Combo Point generator.
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 on all of them, alongside maintaining Thrash. Against 2 targets, you should use Shred as your Energy-spending filler to gain Combo Points, whilst at 3, this should be replaced with Swipe. Whenever possible, try to maintain Rip on as many targets as possible when Combo Points.
3.2.2. 4-8 Targets
At 4 targets, you should be maintaining Rake on as many targets as possible that your Energy allows. Thrash should be applied as often as possible after this, and is your highest priority to get active with Omen of Clarity procs. At 5 Combo Points, maintain 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
3.2.4. Primal Wrath
If taken, Primal Wrath should be used as your finisher at 2 or more targets, due to its ability to maintain Rip efficiently on all nearby targets. Generating the Combo Points to fuel this depends on the longevity of nearby enemies, against long lasting enemies you can apply Rake, otherwise make use of quick bursts of damage with Swipe.
3.2.5. Scent of Blood
When using Scent of Blood, try to use your Moment of Clarity on the initial Thrash cast. After this, make use of the reduced Energy cost of your follow up Swipe casts to deal a burst of Energy efficient AoE damage quickly to nearby targets.
3.3. Short Duration Adds
When there are 3 or more short-lived, high priority targets, you should apply Thrash and then Swipe, while spending your Combo Points on 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 on all targets. If you are facing 5 or more targets, you can replace Shred with 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 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 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, as we explain later on in the guide. Note that choosing the Incarnation: King of the Jungle talent causes it to replace Berserk.
- When combining the two, you should always be using Berserk first, as it is on the Global Cooldown whilst 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
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, Rake, Swipe, and 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, 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 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 and 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 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 must aim to apply Rip at 5 Combo Points for the best Energy efficiency. You can apply this with lower numbers of Combo Points if you think the target will die quickly.
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 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.
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 or Swipe to generate Combo Points, or dumping resources with Ferocious Bite if you have a large surplus.
In addition to Shred, some Combo Points will also be generated by your casts of 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 casts so as to not waste any that it grants when activated.
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 and 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 can safely be refreshed with 7.2 seconds or less. If you have taken the Lunar Inspiration talent, then Moonfire can be refreshed with 4.2 seconds remaining on its duration.
Regarding Rake, it is important to ensure that your Rake always benefits from a 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 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.
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.
- 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.
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 if taken, but do not expect it to drastically improve your single target damage when active.
You will want to use 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/ Bloodlust/ 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 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, 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 in an emergency. Every other cast should also ideally be synchronized with Tiger's Fury to boost its base damage.
5.5. Talent Specifics
5.5.1. 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 effectively remove the requirement of maintaining your Rip effect on your primary target, instead replacing it with Ferocious Bite casts. This makes it a much more efficient way of maintaining Rip on the target, since you are dealing damage while also extending a high resource cost debuff, for the same amount of Combo Points. A Rip that is extended in this manner will have the same power as its original application (determined any snapshotting buffs such as Tiger's Fury that were present at the time of application).
5.5.2. Tier 5 Talents
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.
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 means that you are able to focus on keeping 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.
5.5.3. 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. Against a single target, you can still burn off excess Brutal Slash charges (instead of 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, try to make sure that any Brutal Slashes cast during AoE are buffed by this effect. In single target, you can generally just dump all of these charges during your Tiger's Fury window, as that should generally sync up with the recharge time. Try not to waste your Omen of Clarity procs on this however, due to how cheap the spell is to cast for lower returns.
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, and additional targets are nearby.
Scent of Blood allows for a short surge of cheap Swipe casts following a Thrash, proportional to the number of targets struck. This is a more niche option and relies on very high target counts, but can allow for very Energy efficient damage.
5.5.4. Tier 7 Talents
Bloodtalons buffs your next 2 melee abilities following a Regrowth, increasing their damage by 25%. Ideally, one charge should be used on a finisher such as Rip, while the other should be used on Rake if it is about to fall off. If it is at a healthy duration, spend it on Shred instead.
You should hold on to your Predatory Swiftness proc until you have 5 Combo Points. Then, you can use your free 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 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 if you fall behind on your cycle is very useful.
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.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated for Patch 8.1 changes.
- 26 Aug. 2018: Updated to indicate Thrash usage in single target.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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