The Feral Druid, Cat Form, Guide for PvE
Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.4
Mists of Pandaria broke the Feral Druid into two specs, Feral Cat and Guardian (bear form.) This page focuses on the Feral Cat form as a damage machine in a PvE (raiding) environment. For PvP or leveling see the links just below.
Continuing in the tradition of “no big changes for Feral Druids, patch 5.4 brought… almost no big changes for Feral. One exception is that Nature’s Swiftness is no longer available to you, but its replacement isn’t bad at all (see below.) Here are the patch 5.4 changes for Druids. Patch 5.2 made some few Feral relevant changes and 5.3 made fewer still, other than a Savage Roar buff. You can see all the druid specific patch notes here.
|This Feral Cat Druid guide is primarily intended for use in PvE and Raiding at level 90. However, the principals will still apply during the leveling process. If you’re looking for more advice on leveling your Druid, check out our Druid Leveling Guide.
If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 90 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide.
Other Druid Guides:
Feral Cat Talent Build
There are times when you might want to change talents to better suit a particular fight or situation. Fortunately, changing is easy. Click the new talent in your talent pane, spend one Tome of the Clear Mind per talent, click “learn” and you’re good.
- Feline Swiftness provides a constant speed increase that happens to stack with the default speed bonus of Cat Form. Take this if you feel the need for speed although its life saving mobility is a decent reason too.
- Do you think you should take Displacer Beast? Because I don’t. Seriously though, it’s basically a Blink + Dash combo. If you find this (burst movement) more useful the a constant movement increase, then by all means take it.
- Wild Charge lets us leap behind a target, making it useful for any fight where you might have difficulty maneuvering behind your enemy and for swift transitions from one target to another. If a fight requires frequent long distance running, take Feline Swiftness instead.
- Ysera’s Gif is a pretty nice self-heal that can heal allies on occasion.
- Renewal is a decent heal, but at present time is inferior to Y’s gift. It’s good if your damage is being taken in the form of the occasional big hit.
- Cenarion Ward is not a good ability for us. Do not take Cenarion Ward.
- Faerie Swarm is a minor buff to Faerie Fire. I’m not going to say this is a bad choice, it’s just very forgettable.
- Mass Entanglement will be useful for any fight that requires CC. Improved in 5.4 to remove the cap on the number of targets that could be entangled (it was 5, previously.)
- Typhoon lets you knock targets out of the range of your attacks so you can deal less damage. Might have some occasional value, somewhere, sometime.
- Soul of the Forest provides more energy regeneration from your finishing moves. It’s a nice, steady DPS increase.
- Incarnation has situational value for when being able to enter stealth mid-fight or use your various otherwise stealth only abilities. Let’s you use Ravage if you’re out of position (which happens.)
- Force of Nature is the weakest talent in this tier, don’t take it.
- Disorienting Roar is a decent ability, esp if you’re in a crowd. Disoriented enemies do no damage. Only lasts a brief time.
- Ursol’s Vortex is more useful for PvP than PvE, for you.
- Mighty Bash is a decent talent, as stuns are almost always nice (except when they don’t work.) Take this if an encounter demands that you have a stun available.
- Heart of the Wild has a good passive boost to our attributes. 6% Agility increase is pretty nice. Allows 45 seconds of “off-spec” usefulness every 6 minutes. Good choice, especially if you’re ever off-spec (for added tanking, heaing, etc.)
- Dream of Cenarius lets your melee ability increase your healing spells and casting certain healing spells will increase your melee damage. Probably more useful for the other specs.
- Nature’s Vigil is a powerful DPS cooldown. Cooldown for 5.2 was cut in half, but so was the buff. Increases damage by 10% and provides a bit of additional automatic healing so allies. extra damage every 90 seconds, what’s not to like?
- Glyph of Savagery is an important DPS boost for the start of encounters and in the event that Savage Roar is lost at any point during an encounter.
- Glyph of Shred has some situational usefulness, when you have to be in front of the boss) and there’s no real reason not to pick it given the lack of other useful major glyphs unless you decide to go with Glyph of Rebirth or Stampeding Roar.
- Glyph of Cat Form – Makes life easier on your healers.
- Glyph of Stampeding Roar is an option if your raid requires the speed boost.
These glyphs offer, at most, small changes in utility. Otherwise they’re just cosmetic.
- Glyph of the Predator might have some occasional use if you use your tracking ability in raids.
- Glyph of Aquatic Form – faster swimming.
- Glyph of the Cheetah – if you don’t want to go stag.
Feral Stat Priorities
- Weapon: Use the highest level 2-handed Agility weapon that you can get.
- Primary: Agility >> anything else.
- Secondary: Hit/Expertise (7.5% each) > Mastery = Critical >= Haste
- Useless: Excess Hit and/or expertise, Spirit, Int
After Hit & Expertise the value of all the secondary stats are fairly close to each other (Agility is much better than any of them.) The exact value will depend on your exact gear. If you really need to know exact numbers at any particular gear level you should use SimCraft. Otherwise the priority shown above is a good start.
- Makes sure you have your Hit and expertise numbers, then reforge to even levels of Mastery and Crit.
In-Depth Rotation Guide
Feral Druids utilize a combo point system and energy resource similar in style to rogues. Maximizing DPS depends on maintaining a number of buffs yourself and various bleed effects on the target(s) as well as proper use of finishing moves.
Depending on what direction you can attack your opponent from use either Shred or Mangle as your combo point generator/primary attack with Shred being the preferred attack but only usable from behind an enemy. When Glyphed Tiger’s Fury will allow you to use Shred from any direction for the duration of the buff. Rip should also be maintained on your target at all times.
Using your combo points you should keep Savage Roar applied at all times, preferably using it when you have 5 Combo Points, but when Glyphed you’ll also want to use Savage Roar immediately before beginning an encounter to have the damage bonus on your initial attacks as it can now be cast without any combo points.
When Savage Roar is active your primary focus should be on applying and maintaining Rip on the target with 5 combo points. When the target is below 25% health switch to using Ferocious Bite as it will now refresh the duration of your Rip on your target, allowing you to deal extra damage with Ferocious Bite simultaneous to refreshing Rip‘s bleed effect.
If facing only a couple targets, you can simply repeat your single target rotation on both enemies, but when facing 3 or more opponents switch to instead maintaining the bleed effect of Thrash on all targets and otherwise using Swipe as your primary damaging attack.
The Faerie Fire armor debuff should be applied to your target at all times assuming you don’t have someone else already applying a similar non-stacking debuff.
Tiger’s Fury should be used every time it’s available, meaning every 30 seconds, making certain to use it when low enough on energy that you won’t be wasting any of the 60 points gained from activating Tiger’s Fury. Try to refresh your bleed effects while Tiger’s Fury is active to have them benefit from the damage increase. It’s important to note that Tiger’s Fury cannot be activated while Berserk is already active, but you can instead activate Tiger’s Fury first and then Berserk immediately afterwards for maximum damage.
Berserk reduces the energy cost of all your abilities by 50% for 15 seconds and has a cooldown of 3 minutes.
Tier 4 Talented Abilities:
If you chose Soul of the Forest then the effect is passive and you don’t need to worry about managing it.
Incarnation: King of the Jungle is particularly important to use near the beginning of encounters to make the most of Ravage’s 50% critical strike chance bonus when used on targets above 80% health and should otherwise be used whenever you need to enter stealth in combat and for the burst potential.
Feral Druid Gems
Agility look to be far enough ahead of all the other stats that one can easily make an argument for slotting red agility gems in all slots, regardless of bonus. This is true even though gems with secondary stats have twice the value of Agility gems (eg: 160 Ag Vs 320 Mastery.) Certainly if that bonus is anything other than Agility. Even then, you should put a hybrid agility gem in that slot, such as the purple gem into your blue slots.
- Meta: Agile Primal Diamond
- Red sockets: Delicate Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Adept Vermilion Onyx or Adept Vermilion Onyx
- Blue: Glinting Imperial Amethyst
- Belt bucket or Blacksmithing sockets: Delicate Primordial Ruby
The other gems are shown of you want to play with stats, need more hit/expertise, and so on.
If you’re finding your gemming repairs, alt funding, etc. to be too expensive then then see our gold tips.
|Meta||Agile Primal Diamond: 216 Agil & 3% Increased Crit Effect
|Red||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility
Precise Primordial Ruby: 320 Expertise
|Yellow||Fractured Sun’s Radiance: 320 Mastery
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: 320 Crit
|Blue||Rigid River’s Heart: +320 Hit|
|Orange||Deadly Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Crit
Adept Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Mastery
Deft Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Haste
|Purple||Glinting Imperial Amethyst: 80 Ag, 160 Hit
Accurate Imperial Amethyst: 160 Expertise, 160 Hit
|Prismatic||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility|
|Cogwheel||Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Precise Tinker’s Gear: 600 Expertise
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Enchantments for Feral Druids
Head enchants are gone with Mists of Pandara, the shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession.
When enchanting your gear you should follow the priorities above, that is: Agility >>> everything else.
|Ranged Weapon||None. Maybe you should throw Gnomes or Goblins?|
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel: Sometimes add 1,650 Ag when striking.
|Shoulders||Secret Tiger Claw Inscription 520 Ag, 100 Crit, requires Inscription 575
Greater Tiger Claw Inscription: 200 Agility, 100 Crit
|Cloak||Swordguard Embroidery: Sometimes pops 4k AP for 15 sec. Requires Tailoring.
Enchant Cloak – Superior Critical Strike: 180 Crit rating
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: 80 to all Stats
|Bracers||Fur Lining, Agility: 500 Agility, requires Leatherworking.
Enchant Bracer – Greater Agility: 180 Agility
Socket Bracer: Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice Agility gem.
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery: 170 Mastery
Socket Gloves – Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice gem.
|Belt||Living Steel Belt Buckle: put a nice gem into this slot.|
|Leggings||Shadowleather Leg Armor: 285 Agility & 165 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Blurred Speed: 140 Agility and Slight run speed increase.
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Agility: 160 Agility, Requires Enchanting 550|
Professions for Feral Cats
All of the professions provide some benefit for any class/spec, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, though you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash.
Most of the professions add an average of about 320 Agility. Since gems with secondary stats are twice the value of those with primary stats (320 Crit Vs 160 Int, for example.) Blacksmithing would be the most valuable profession if the secondary stats were close to the value of Agility. While they are for Guardians, they’re not for you, so Blacksmithing isn’t any better than any other profession.
Jewelcrafting provides only 320 in any stat over non JC gems.
|Tailoring||Cloak enchant sometimes adds 4k Attack Power for 15 seconds.|
|Leatherworking||Bracer enchant adds 500 Ag.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make nicer gems for your own use.|
|Enchanting||Enchant both rings, for a total +320 Ag gain.|
|Inscription||Shoulder enchant adds 520 Ag and 100 crit.|
|Alchemy||More effect from your own potions. Adds 320 Ag and an extra hour to your main flask.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Ag by 1940 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.|
|Blacksmithing||gives two extra gems slots. Since gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats Blacksmithing might be a very valuable profession. For example, you’ll be able to socket he two gems for 640 PvP Power instead of 320 Ag.|
|Skinning||provides 480 crit rating|
|Herbalism||Small heal and 2880 Haste for 20 seconds. Life spirits are nice, too, and you’ll sometimes fnd them while picking.|
Druid Races for Cats
Before Cataclysm the choice of race for a Druid was a “difficult” one: Tauren or Night Elf? Now, there are four races. Cataclysm allowed the Worgen and Trolls to become Druids. Mists of Pandaria made no changes to races or racial abilities and there are no Pandaren Druids.
The difference between races is largely visual as opposed to bringing any real advantage to any particular race. Trolls might be the most generally useful, but pick the race that works best for you. But, if you want to be “efficient,” then here are the details for each race:
- War Stomp stuns nearby opponents. Very useful as often as it comes up.
- Increased health (about 5%,) doesn’t seem to scale well at very high levels, but is still a plus.
- Good with Herbalism
- Can periodically move quickly, which is useful.
- Increased crit chance is nice, since Crit is a decent stat for you.
- Increased skinning speed and skill
- Berserking increases attack (and casting) speed.
- Damage increased Vs beasts, all 5 million of them, which is nice while leveling and will have some use Vs beast mobs in dungeons and raids.
- Ranged Weapon Expertise is a completely useless ability for you.
- Reduced duration of movement impariing effects, useful for most, but your shapeshift is a far superior “break free” ability.
- Night Elf
- Shadowmeld has situational use. You fade away, dropping aggro, but must remain stationary. Nice for those times when you need to drop aggro, right now.
- 2% dodge is a nice ability for bear tanks and PvP, but you have little use for it.
- Faster movement while stealthed is nice when prowling.
- Resistance to Nature damage
All food buffs last one hour. Alchemy will increase stats by about 30% and duration by an hour for your flask (and elixirs.)
You flask is much better than any two elxirs, so the Elixirs are not shown here.
- Flask of Spring Blossoms: 1,000 Ag for one hour (about 6 gems worth, so not to be skipped.)
- Virmen’s Bite: 4k Ag for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 120k HP
- Runescroll of Fortitude III: 8% increased Stamina to your entire group.
Feral DPS Videos
Burst Damage Guide
Feral Druid Basic DPS Guide
The Fast Druid Leveling Guide
The solution is Zygor’s Guide. Zygor’s automates the whole leveling path, automatically updating as you complete tasks and quests, and is like having an expert helping you every step of the way. Pick your starting point, regardless of your level, and the guide automatically updates and advances as you complete quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically, and includes all the important quest info.
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