Feral Druid playstyle and rotation guide

Patch 9.1 Last Updated: 23rd Aug, 2021
Maymays Feral Druid Author
Maymays

Playstyle & Rotation

General Rotation

Single Target:

  1. Use Tiger’s Fury on Cooldown
  2. Use Berserk on Cooldown
  3. Use Convoke the Spirits on Cooldown
  4. Maintain Rip
  5. Maintain Rake
  6. Cast Ferocious Bite if Rip is both on the Target and not nearing its Pandemic window (remember to always cast Ferocious Bite at 50 Energy and 5 Combo Points, except during Berserk, where you can cast it with as low as 25 Energy and doing so is a minor gain)
  7. Cast Brutal Slash to keep the charges rolling and/or proc Bloodtalons (if talented)
  8. Maintain Thrash (even on Single Target, though feel free to refresh early to proc Bloodtalons)
  9. Cast Shred to generate Combo Points and/or proc Bloodtalons

AoE:

  1. Use Tiger’s Fury on Cooldown
  2. Use Berserk on Cooldown
  3. Use Convoke the Spirits on Cooldown
  4. Maintain Rip through Primal Wrath
  5. Maintain Thrash but feel free to refresh early to proc Bloodtalons
  6. Maintain Rake if the target number is low enough, usually higher than 3 or 4 is when you’d stop spreading Rake, but should still be used to proc Bloodtalons
  7. Cast Swipe to generate Combo Points and/or to proc Bloodtalons

Opener:

  1. Rake from stealth
  2. Thrash
  3. Brutal Slash (Shred if not talented on Single Target) (Swipe if not talent on AoE)
  4. Berserk + Tiger’s Fury
  5. Rip (Primal Wrath on AoE if talented)
  6. Shred into Ferocious Bite (replace Ferocious Bite with Primal Wrath on AoE) (repeat this step if you’re still at over 80 Energy)
  7. Convoke the Spirits

Playstyle

Snapshotting

Snapshotting is a mechanic unique to Feral. It refers to a bleed maintaining a buff that is present upon its application for the entirety of its duration. The buffs that can snapshot are as follows:

Tiger’s Fury: Rip, Rake, Rips applied through Primal Wrath and Thrash

Bloodtalons: Rip, Rips applied through Primal Wrath

Stealth: Rake

Moment of Clarity: Thrash

Snapshotting is very impactful to both gameplay and performance. It can be ignored for the most part when it comes to Thrash. It is very important, however, that you always have the strongest Rip possible applied, it can be worth it to not have Rip actively at all for up to 5 seconds to ensure you get one up with both Tiger’s Fury and Bloodtalons. When it comes to Primal Wrath, you should always cast it with Bloodtalons active. Tiger’s Fury is going to be difficult to maintain on Rips applied through Primal Wrath, since it’s the only finisher you use on AoE, but is possible through Predator. Clipping (or overwriting) a Rake with a better snapshot is worth it as long as it has 80% or less of its duration remaining. You should always let your Stealth Rakes tick out all the way to 0. The only exception to this is refreshing your Rake shortly before Berserk ends, which is something you should always aim to do.

Pandemic

The Pandemic mechanics refers to any DoT maintaining up to 30% of its remaining duration when refreshed early. This allows you to not lose any uptime while refreshing early and also, in combination with snapshotting, allows for a longer duration on your stronger Bleeds.

The Pandemic timers for your DoTs are:

Pooling

Feral is a spec that has by its nature a large amount of downtime (though it is significantly shortened through Owlweaving, see below for more on that). Pooling is how you can turn your inescapable downtime into a dps gain. You generally want to get to 5 Combo Points and wait. This has no opportunity cost and is dps neutral at worst. You’re more often than not waiting for either a DoT to need to be refreshed, to gain 50 Energy in order to cast Ferocious Bite ,an additional target to either Rip or Primal Wrath or for an Omen of Clarity proc, along with high Energy.

Owlweaving

Owlweaving refers to going into Moonkin Form while pooling and casting a sequence of Moonkin Form abilities. What you should cast varies on a few conditions. The conditions for Owlweaving are outlined below:

If all of these conditions are met you should start an Owlweaving sequence.

An Owlweaving sequence includes the following:

  1. Cast Heart of the Wild if it’s available, Moonkin Form if it’s not
  2. Cast Starsurge if Heart of the Wild is active
  3. Cast Sunfire
  4. Cast Moonfire if you have Draught of Deep Focus equipped
  5. Cast Cat Form

As mentioned in the Pooling Section, Owlweaving reduces your time spent Pooling to nearly nothing. Owlweaving takes a bit of getting used to and is not recommended for people not already comfortable with how the spec plays.

I have added an Owlweaving WeakAura in the WeakAura section that tells you when the Owlweaving conditions are met and how to go about your Owlweaving sequence. I personally don’t use the WeakAura, as I prefer to make my own judgement calls, but it’s definitely recommended for people who are either beginners or are yet to get used to Owlweaving, especially if the alternative is not Owlweaving at all, since it is a significant dps gain.

Cooldown Usage

Although it is generally safe to use Berserk and Convoke the Spirits on Cooldown, it is a minor gain to line them up, as long as it doesn’t cost you an extra use of either of them. For example, if you know a fight will be roughly 3:30 long, you should hold your second Convoke the Spirits to use when your Berserk comes off Cooldown. This becomes more impactful with on-use Trinkets that give stats, such as Inscrutable Quantum Device.