Feral Druid DPS Guide, Cat Form
Pages that are updated for Mists of Pandaria (and later) are here:
- Feral Druid DPS guide (raids and such)
- Feral PVP - you rip and tear with the best of them.
- Druid overview - a top level guide to the Druid class
- Leveling - tips and gear and what you need to level faster.
Please note that the page below is the old Cataclysm page. See above for links to updated pages.
The following is Updated for Cataclysm 4.3, with Mists of Pandaria gems and enchants.
The Druid Checklist:
Prowl and ambush like a Rogue?
Ideal flag carrier in PvP?
Heal with the best of them?
Tank almost as well as Prot Pallies and Prot Warriors?
Nuke from range while wearing a Super Chicken outfit?
Why play anything else?
With Cataclysm the Feral Druid is still the lean, mean, ripping and tearing machine that it always was. Rip things to pieces as a cat or soak a ton of damage as a Bear, you’re doing rather nicely in this expansion and will likely be just fine in the next. And, along with the ripping and tearing, it’s nice to be able to throw a few heals about from time to time.
Unlike Balance Druids you’re the killing machine who likes to rip his opponents into chunks, hand to claw. In your face pure feral power. You can still pop into human form to cast spells or heal, but the beast form is where it’s at.
Feral Druid Talents
Note: Some aspects of this guide may not apply to your character until higher level. If are interested in getting your character to max level quickly, take a look at this leveling guide.
You have to spend 31 points in Feral (or any spec) before you can branch out into the other specs. You do not have to buy the top tier spec with that 31 points. 41 points at 85 is all you ever get. Mists of Pandaria will completely change the talent system.
As a Feral Cat your basic abilities are:
- Mangle – does damage and adds a bleed
- Aggression – increases your attack power
- Feral Instinct – Yes, you’re now sneakier.
- Mastery: Razor Claws: bleeds do more damage
Glyphs come in three varieties, Prime, Major and Minor. Prime glyphs enhance core aspects of your class and generally provide the greatest benefit of the three types.
Major Glyphs, while not quite as powerful as Prime Glyphs, are still useful and continue to provide a myriad of benefits.
Minor Glyphs often times provide small quality of life improvements or visual changes, such as the Glyph of Shadow Form for priests which makes the character more visible through Shadow Form. However, a few are known to provide more significant benefits such as the warrior glyph of Berserker Rage.
Feral Cat Rotations and Cooldowns
Here are your highest priority abilities.
To maximize your DPS, keep the faerie fire armor debuff effect active at all times. Attack priority is to keep your variety of Bleed DoT effects active, while also using self-buffing effects such as Tiger’s Fury whenever possible and Ferocious Bite when nothing else is needed at that moment.
The most important aspect of managing your cooldowns as a damage dealer is making certain to use them whenever they’re avaliable. Don’t be afraid to use them during any fight, even against trash mobs, as the higher the uptime you have with them, the greater your overall damage will be so long as you aren’t using them when a fight is about to end.
The only time to hold off on using your cooldowns is when you’ll be unable to attack the boss due to fight mechanics, such as during Morchok’s Black Blood of the Earth ability or when Hagara is about to cast Water Shield and become immune to all damage.
Melee DPS will have to watch out for this more than ranged, as they are far more vulnerable to situations where an encounter requires constant movement or the boss is utilizing some form of AoE attack that makes fighting in melee range impossible.
Feral Cat Stats
- For Weapons the DPS is the only thing that matters. The higher the better. Point for point DPS > Agility.
- Primary stat: Agility – Far and away your best stat.
- Secondary stats: All of these are more or less equal in value. See below for more.
26 Expertise >= 8% Melee Hit >= Mastery >= Critical >= Haste.
- Weak/Bad stats: Excess Hit (above 8%,) excess Expertise (above 26)
Agility: Your primary attribute as a feral combat Druid, Agility increases damage (attack power) and critical strike chance. By far your best stat, it assists with everything that you want to do.
The secondary stats are all very close in value to each other, unlike for other classes where one or a couple will be clearly better than others.
(8%) Hit Rating: Hit rating reduces the chance of your attacks missing. A hit rating of 8% removes the possibility that special attacks, or yellow damage as opposed to the white damage of regular attacks, will miss your target. Your Swipe attack makes Hit a good stat, but Hit is weaker against single targets.
(26) Expertise: Expertise reduces the chance for your attacks to be dodged or parried. An expertise rating of 26 makes it so that your attacks will never be dodged while you are behind the target. Expertise and Swipe go well together, making this a useful stat. If you only fight single targets than it’s less useful.
Strength would have some value if it didn’t compete with Agility. Avoid Str items.
Mastery – Razor Claws: Cat Form Feral Combat mastery increases all damage done by bleed abilities. Focusing on Mastery is not a bad idea.
Critical: Critical rating increases your chance of a critical strike.
Haste: Haste increases attack speed and energy regeneration.
When reforging gear, it’s important that you look to reforge from your least effective stat into the most effective for whatever gear goal you are currently aiming for. With Feral Cats, where all the secondary stats are pretty close in value, reforging becomes an interesting exercise.
Mastery & Haste are probably good stats to focus on, though if you do a lot of fights against multiple mobs you should have that 8% Hit. In all cases, Hit/Expertise that are above the caps have no value. Maximize these stats by reforging into either stat on any piece of gear that lacks one of these stats.
Feral Cat Gems
Agility is, by far, your best stat, so unless a socket bonus offers agility it is more effective to gem for pure agility and ignore the bonus. There might be times when you want to socket other gems, so those are shown here as well. Quick and dirty? Just gem Agility.
Note that Mists of Pandaria (MoP) gems will have much higher values than those from Cataclysm. Replace your Cata gems with comparable MoP gems as soon as you are able to do so. If you can afford to buy the best gems then dropping down one level is not a huge issue.
MoP = Mists of Pandaria
- Red –
- Fractured Serpent’s Eye (Mop:) 480 Mastery, self-only, Requires Jewelcrafting 550
- Fractured Sunstone (Mop:) +240 Mastery
- Fractured Chimera’s Eye: 67 Mastery, Requires Jewelcrafting 500
- Fractured Lightstone: +50 Mastery
- Fractured Amberjewel:+40 Mastery
- Smooth Serpent’s Eye (MoP:) +480 Crit, Self-Only Jewelcrafting 550
- Smooth Sunstone (MoP:) +240 Crit
- Smooth Chimera’s Eye: +67 Crit
- Smooth Lightstone: +50 Crit
- Smooth Amberjewel: +40 Crit
- Cogwheel: Cogwheels are loaded into sockets on Engie items, such as: Reinforced Bio-Optic Killshades and require you to maintain a 525 Engineering skill.
Feral Druid (Cat) Enchants
MoP = Mists of Pandaria. MoP enchants require item level 372 or better and you’ll notice that they are somewhat better than their Cataclysm counterparts. New enchants (and gems) are always very expensive when the appear, and sometimes afterwards. If you need more cash to be able to buy these things then check our Tycoon review.
- Arcanum of the Ramkahen: 60 Agi & 35 Haste, Revered with Ramkahen
- Belt Extra Socket
- Ebonsteel Belt Buckle: put a Delicate Inferno Ruby or Queen’s Garnet or MoP gem into this slot.
- Two Hand Weapon
Note: Landslide procs from separate weapons do stack with each other. Back to back procs from the same weapon do
Race Choices for Feral Druids
Pandarians are unable to become Druids.
The question of “which race” for your new Druid used to be a “difficult” one, Horde (Tauren) or Alliance (Night Elf.) With Cataclysm the choices are:
- Alliance - Night Elf
- Shadowmeld has situational use. You can use it in combat to drop aggro, but you have to remain still. Meld to prowl is a possibility, though. If your timing is very good you might be able to break incoming spells that are targeting you. Meld just before the spell hits you.
- Quickness makes you slightly harder to hit, which is probably more useful for PvP or tanking than for DPS work.
- Faster movement while stealthed might have some positioning use in dungeons/raids.
- Horde - Tauren
- a little more health than other races, but it seems that it doesn’t scale well with level, providing only a small amount of health at 85. Mists of Pandaria health pools will be such that this ability might be trivial unless buffed.
- War Stomp is a nice stun which will be useful anytime you’re fighting several mobs or need to break away for a moment.
- Good with Herbalism, which is a useful skill. You don’t have to drop out of cat form to use the heal and the 20 seconds of Haste is rather nice at times.
- Can periodically run faster, which is pretty nice, but it does not stack with your travel form or your increased speed talents.
- Increased Critical chance makes a small, but useful overall damage increase.
- Reduced duration of curses and diseases is nice, but will see little use outside of PvP.
- Increased skill and speed with skinning. Skinning is a nice money skill and will add some crit rating.
- Berserk increases attack speed, which is definitely nice. Jump into a fight, go berserk, everything dies (well, it’ll help.) This is a good DPS increase in PvE.
- Regeneration increased slightly, but you won’t notice or care.
- Greater damage against beasts will help you to level just that much faster and some PvE mobs count as beasts.
- Increased crit chance with throwing weapons and bows, but you use neither. In fact, in Mists of Pandaria you will be unable to use (much less equip) ranged weapons.
- Reduced duration of movement impairing effects is nice in PvP, but your shapeshift also breaks you out of these effects.
Trolls look like they may be the most efficient class for Druids, but player interest and skill will more than make up for any racial differences. Pick the race that works best for you.
Main Professions for the Feral Druid
All of the professions provide some self-only buff, which is typically about 80 points worth in Cataclysm and somewhat more in Mists of Pandaria.
- Alchemy allows you to get better effects from your own potions, such as an additional 80 Agility from Flask of the Winds.
- Blacksmithing allows you to socket your gloves and braces for an extra gem. This means that you can slow the newest gems as they come out and get a bonus that the other professions might not be able to match. (As with the +50 gems introduced in patch 4.3.)
- Enchanting allows you to enchant your own rings for +40 Ag each in Cata and +160 Ag each in Mists.
- Engineering has a bunch of useful gadets. Synapse Springs will increase agility by 480 for 10 seconds, and the Mists version will increase Ag by 2940. Be aware of side-effects which might cause issues with your raid.
- Inscription allows youi to create glyphs and off-hand items. It also has a nice shoulder enchant which is good for 130 Ag in Cata and 500 in Mists.
- Jewelcrafting allows you to create self-only gems that add +67 Ag in Cata. With the intro of the epic gems (+50 Ag) this is a net gain of 51 stat points, Vs 80 for the others. In MoP it should be competitive again.
- Leatherworking has a nice bracer enchant that adds +130 Ag. (Cata) and in MoP it will add 500.
- Tailoring – has a flying carpet and a nice cloak enchant. In Cata it sometimes adds 1000 Attack Power for 15 seconds, and in MoP it adds 8,000.
- Herbalism adds a small heal and 240 (480 in MoP) to your Haste rating for 20 seconds. Haste is one of your better stats.
- Skinning adds 80 to your crit rating (360 in MoP.)
- Mining adds to your Stam, 120 in Cata and 480 in MoP.
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