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PVE Feral Druid Guide

Posted Tue, Jul 23, 2013 by Messiah


Current as of Patch 5.3


Role | Talents & Glyphs | Stat Priority | Reforging
Cooldowns | Single Target DPS | AOE DPS


This guide aims to provide all of the most critical information that you need to know so that you can play a Feral Druid, at level 90 in PVE content.  It covers talents, glyphs, stats, reforging, and rotations. 

This guide will assume that since you are level 90 you will be able to take the basic information and run with it, simple topics like addons, macros, targeting, and more are not covered.

The Role of a Feral Druid

As a Feral Druid your role in a group is to provide melee DPS.  Feral druids have fairly consistently been able to provide some of the highest DPS levels in the game and as of patch 5.3 that remains true. As of patch 5.3 they are solidly within the top 10 DPS specs and generally considered in the top 5 or 6.

In addition to DPS ability, just a few of the benefits that a Feral Druid can provide to a group are as follows:

Druid Tier 6

Druids have some of the coolest looking sets but you rarely see them because you spend so much time in different forms.

  • Provides Mark of the Wild which grants a 5% boost to most stats.
  • Provides the Leader of the Pack buff while in feral form, graning a 5% boost to critical strike chance.
  • Druids can resurrect even while in combat with Rebirth.
  • Can provide Barkskin buff to anyone that requires it to reduce incoming damage by 20% for a short time.
  • Can use Tranquility for a huge raid wide emergency heal when required.
  • Has several forms of CC to help out on pulls, including: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, and Cyclone.

Feral Druid Talents and Glyphs

Feral Druids function well under the talent system in Mists of Pandaria. The new MoP talent system means that for the most part you are free too chose talents and glyphs that you like rather than specific ones.  There are however a few specific talents and glyphs that are required for the best DPS performance in PVE content.

As a Feral Druid you should strongly consider selecting the talents and glyphs listed below. In any slot not listed though, feel free to take whatever talent or glyph you like best.

Soul of the Forest (Tier 4 talent) - This talent grants you 4 energy per combo point that you use on a finishing move.

This talent is pretty much manditory as it provides you with a lot of energy recovery whenever you use a finishing move. Since more energy available means you can use more abilities quickly it also means you will get to your next finishing move faster. It creates an endless feedback look that greatly increases you DPS output.

Dream of Cenarius (Tier 6 talent) - This talent increases your healing after you hit with melee attacks and increases your damage after you use a heal.

The nature of this talent means that you need to heal to maximize your DPS, but it is the overall best boost currently. To make the most use of it though you pretty much need to select another talent as well which is Nature's Swiftness from tier 2. It also means that your finishing moves have a chance to proc free heals due to Predatory Swiftness which can be used for Healing Touch. More on these in the rotation section below.

Glyph of the Savagery (Major Glyph) – Allows you to use Savage Roar with out combo points, but reduces the duration to 12 seconds.

This is a great glyph for several reasons. It allows you to start all fights with savage roar active which gives you some additional damage right off the bat before you can get combo points to apply a full duration savage roar. It also allows to to recover from any mistake where you allow the buff to drop accidentaly.

Glyph of Rebirth (Major Glyph) – Rebirth brings back your target with full health.

This is a great glyph for bringing people back and ensuring that they do not die from AOE or accidentaly right away. Since there is only one real DPS boosting glyph (savagery talked about above) this is a good secondary choice.

Feral Druid Stat Priority

It is critical to understand your stat priority for any class as going after the wrong stats can dramatically lower your DPS output.

The stat priority for a Feral Druid is as follows:

Agility > Hit (to 7.5) = Expertise (to 7.5%) > Mastery = Crit > Haste

Important Notes:

  • Hit and Expertise- These stats are key to maintaining high DPS. Each will require 2550 rating points to achieve and once reached there is no benifit to having any more. By reaching the hit cap you will not miss against a boss, once you reach the expertise cap a boss will not be able to dodge attacks from the rear.

  • Mastery – Mastery is a key stat since it increases the damage that you deal with all of your bleed abilities through the Mastery: Razor Claws ability.

Reforging as Feral Druid

When reforging simply follow the stat priority above for Feral Druids and move the lowest stat to the highest stat that the piece does not have on it. Remember to adjust priorities as you reach both the Hit and Expertise caps.

If your gear has these two stats…

Reforge this stat…

… to this stat

Hit + Expertise

Do not reforge

Do not reforge

Hit + Mastery

Mastery

Expertise

Hit + Crit

Crit

Expertise

Hit + Haste

Haste

Expertise

Expertise + Mastery

Mastery

Hit

Expertise + Crit

Crit

Hit

Expertise + Haste Haste Hit
Mastery + Crit Crit Hit
Mastery + Haste Haste Hit
Crit + Haste Haste Hit

Feral Druid Cooldowns

There are several cooldowns available to you as a Feral Druid that boost your DPS and a few generic utility cooldowns. They are as follows:

Berserk – This reduces the cost of your abilities by 50% for 15 seconds based on a 3 minute cooldown.

Tiger's Fury - This increases your damage by 15% for 6 seconds as well as restoring 60 energy. This is on a short 30 second cooldown and should be used as soon as it is available.

Nature's Swiftness– This is one of the talent based choices that gives you a cooldown on a one minute timer. It is important as it lets you cast your next spell (from a select list) instantly and for free. It is used to cast healing touch to boost your DPS through the Dream of Cenarius talent. Due to the boost in DPS this grants, you should use it on cooldown for max effect.

Rebirth - This is a major cooldown as it is one of the few abilities that can bring a player back to life during combat. It has a 10 minute cooldown, so it is really only once per fight. Save it for a tank or another healer.

Feral Druid Single Target DPS Rotation

cat form
When dealing damage there really is no set rotation. Instead of a set rotation, as with most classes it is mostly situational and priority based.

The general priorty order that you should use when targeting a single target is as follows:

1 - Savage Roar (Finisher) – Use at the start of the fight with 0 combo points to establish it, and then use whenever the buff is about to expire. You should try to set this up with 5 combo points so that it stays up for the longest duration

2 - Rip (Finisher) – Use this with 5 combo points to apply a massive bleed DOT. Re-apply whenever it is going to wear off.

3 - Faerie Fire – Keep this debuff active on the target.

4 - Healing Touch - Use healing touch whenever you are able to with either your Nature's Swiftness cooldown or when you get a proc from Predatory Swiftness. This will grant you the DPS boost from Dream of Cenarius, which can then be used for a finishing move, so it is best to try and time this to have 5 combo points. Do not cast healing touch as a full cast at any time, the time lost DPSing loses you more DPS than the buff will grant you.

5 - Shred (Combo Point Builder) – This should be your default ability to build combo points on a target. If for any reason you can not attack your target from behind you should use Mangle instead.

6 - Rake (Combo Point Builder) - Use this to apply and maintain its bleed DOT on the enemy. This means you need to use it every 15 seconds, preferable just before the previous application of it expires.

Feral Druid AOE DPS Rotation

As a Feral Druid you have a few AOE DPS rotations. Luckily both are very simple.

The first priority rotation is when you are only facing 2 targets instead of 1. Here you simply worry about your single target rotation on a primary target while trying to keep your Rake up on the other, and Rip if possible.

When you reach 3 or more enemies in a group your priorty changes even more. Your priority list will shift to using only Thrash and Swipe. Can't get much easier than that.

Comments on Feral Druids

Do you have something to add on how to get the most out of a Feral Druid in a PVE setting? Let us know by sharing in the comment section below.

 


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