Adapting your Cat for 4.0.6

February 21, 2011

This may have came a bit late, but as many of you may know, I have taken over the responsibility of maintaining the Cat DPS Guide on the official forums. While reviewing through the guide that was previously maintained by Yawning, I’ve found that some of the changes in playstyle in 4.0.6 to optimize Cat DPS has not been emphasized strongly enough, and many Feral Cat Druids could have missed them, so I’m highlighting them here now.

Removal of Ferocious Bite from Priority List

Well, you will still replace Rip with Ferocious Bite when the mob is < 25%, but with the buff to Shred, it is now better to Shred if you have 5 Combo Points while Savage Roar and Rip still have a healthy duration remaining.

Previously it was recommended to use Ferocious Bite if Savage Roar has at least 10 seconds remaining and Rip has at least 14 seconds remaining. Every time you use Ferocious Bite though, you risk losing uptime on Rip or Savage Roar which is very bad for overall DPS.

Although Shred’s DPE is still slightly lower than Ferocious Bite, you do not risk Rip or Savage Roar uptime when you use Shred, so it ends up being a nett gain of DPS in almost all cases (except for the rare case where you get a chain of crits and OoC procs and somehow end up with 20+ seconds remaining on Rip and Savage Roar).

It may seem like a waste of Combo Points to continue Shredding at 5 CP, but really there’s no better alternative. The good thing about this change, of course, is that it makes our rotation a little easier.

Glyph of Berserk is now our Third Best Glyph

Glyph of Shred and Glyph of Rip were the obvious two best prime glyphs we have. Back in 4.0.3 the third best glyph was a close fight between Glyph of Tiger’s Fury, Glyph of Berserk and Glyph of Savage Roar, with Glyph of Tiger’s Fury being slightly better.

With the buff to Shred, Glyph of Berserk has its value overtake Glyph of Tiger’s Fury. It’s not hard to see why, since we’re almost exclusively spamming Shreds during Berserk, and now that Shred spam is going to become stronger, it’s definitely a good thing to be able to spam more Shreds.

Haste Rating is as good as Critical Strike Rating

Critical Strike Rating used to be stronger than Haste Rating in 4.0.3, with both being weaker than Mastery Rating. In 4.0.6, Mastery Rating has lost a little value, but still remain the best secondary statistic. Meanwhile Haste Rating has increased in value and is now about as good as Critical Strike Rating, so they both share the second place.

The reason for the increased value of Haste Rating is not very obvious. Critical Strike Rating affects both Shred and Rake + Rip. With Shred buffed and Rake + Rip nerfed, the effect is that the value of Critical Strike Rating remains the same. Haste Rating (assuming we have enough to sustain near 100% uptime on Rip), however does not affect Rake + Rip, but does affect Shred (more Haste Rating means more excess energy to burn on Shreds), so with Shred buffed, Haste Rating’s value also goes up.

Of course, the values are not exactly equal.  As gear gets better it is expected that Critical Strike Rating’s value will begin to drop as we approach the crit cap. Alaron has done some study on the subtle difference in the values at different gear level. In my opinion, the differences are small enough that you won’t really lose noticeable DPS if you always treat both equally, but if you must maximize your DPS, you should use Mew to determine which is better for you

Unheeded Warning is now our Best-in-Slot Trinket

And it should come as no surprise, after the change in the trinket. It has always been well known even way back in Vanilla with the Might of Cenarius that Weapon Damage is an extremely strong stat to go with our 1.0 attack speed. Alaron has a nice ranking list of available trinkets, if you like.

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