PvE Feral DPS Druid Guide

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As a kitty cat in Cataclysm your Ferocious Bite will most definitely be stronger than your meow! Your damage output will be a viable contribution to groups, and you’ll have the bonus of bringing some necessary utility. Just be weary of any cute aggression that might be directed your way from fellow guild or groupmates.

Feral DPS Druid in Cataclysm

A lot of your playstyle is going to focus on managing bleeds, debuffs, and self-buffs with some shifting between forms to make the most out of your toolkit. This will result in less of a hard rotation where you have a rigid order to press your buttons and more of a priority system where certain buttons will take precedent when off cooldown.

As for what’s changed for Cataclysm, you’ll notice through the Feral Aggression talent you can apply the full 3 stacks of Faerie Fire on your target with one cast of the spell. This allows you to easily keep up the important armor-shredding debuff with little sacrifice to your own dps rotation. Blood in the Water will allow you to use Ferocious Bite as an execute of sorts since it will keep your Rip bleed up while your target is under 25% health. And you’ll now have access to an important raid cooldown in the form of Stampeding Roar, which gives everyone within 10 yards a whopping 60% movement speed boost for 8 seconds!

While your DPS will be relevant, as a hybrid class it won’t be top tier. A lot of your value is going to be tied up in your ability to off-tank, or provide buffs, or provide a battle-rez with Rebirth, or Stampeding Roar during heavy movement mechanics. You’ll also have the advantage of being quite tanky with the buff to Survival Instincts, access to Bear Form, and Barkskin.

Feral DPS Druid Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Plenty of Utility
    Whether it be the easy application of Faerie Fire, a b-rez with Rebirth, a raid-wide movement speed buff with Stampeding Roar, raid buffs with Mark of the Wild and Leader of the Pack, or being a mana battery for your healers via Innervate you’ll bring something to every raid group!
  • Great Mobility
    With the Feral Swiftness talent Cat Form now has a 30% passive movement speed increase, and Dash now removes movement impairing effects. Combine that with Stampeding Roar and you have quite a lot of raw movement speed boosts at your disposal. Of course, you’ll also have gap closing tools like Feral Charge and Skull Bash as well.
  • Resilient to Heavy Damage Taken
    Bear Form by itself, while not a cooldown, does offer you a bunch of free tank stats. Combined with the 50% damage reduction of Survival Instincts, and you’ll be a real brick wall! There’s also the less impactful Barkskin, which has the upside of a rather short cooldown. It’s not surprising that part of feral’s utility is that it can off tank when necessary. And don’t forget that you still have the option of shifting to humanoid form and throwing out a few HoTs before shifting back!

Weaknesses

  • Damage is Middle of the Pack
    As a hybrid class you’re more of a jack of all trades, master of none. There’s also the problem of being a melee class, which always comes with costs of uptime. This is going to hit us in the DPS meters. While the damage output should be viable for any form of content, there might be group composition constraints depending on your raid group’s setup.
  • Positional Requirements
    So not only are cats melee, they also have some extra positional requirements that could hamper DPS on certain fights. For instance the cat version of Feral Charge leaps behind a target, which could get you in trouble if behind a boss isn’t a safe place to be. There’s also Shred and Ravage which require you to be behind the target (Except in the case of procing Stampede for Ravage, specifically).
  • Can Sometimes Need to Shift Change
    For extra damage soaking capabilities you might need to swap to Bear Form. For off-heals or a utility spell like Entangling Roots you’ll need to be in a humanoid form. This sort of playstyle can be a bit awkward to weave in and out of while maintaining your DoTs and the flow of your rotation.

Best Races for Feral DPS Druids in Cataclysm

Wow Horde Crest Horde

Trolls

Far and away your best option for DPS is going to be Troll due to their Berserking racial. Beast Slaying is also a nominal increase to damage against beasts – although I wouldn’t say it’s enough to justify picking the race on its own.

Tauren

Tauren don’t have much in the way of DPS increases by picking them, but you will gain a small amount of extra HP through Endurance and a tiny amount of nature resistance through the titular Nature Resistance passive. If you really enjoy the thought of a cow cosplaying as a cat, this is the race for you! Otherwise, the benefits due to racials are largely negligible.

Wow Alliance Crest Alliance

Night Elves

Good news is, if you find yourself eating dirt a little too often while questing you can use the Wisp Spirit passive to get back to your body quickly! Bad news is, there’s no real DPS considerations for picking a Night Elf.

Worgen

Worgen have some benefits in that they offer Viciousness, which gives a free 1% critical strike chance. Darkflight also gives us yet another speed boost option, adding to our plethora of movement speed tools. They also have an excellent introductory area for those seeking to level from scratch.

 

About the Author

Shadostruct

I've been playing WoW since beta with some breaks here and there. I'm a semi-hardcore to hardcore raider that focuses on retail mainly. I'm a big fan of giant dragons and am excited for all that Dragonflight will have to offer.
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