I Killed A Dragon, And Learned Something New

So, you’re runnin’ around in ful feral glory, rocking a bearcat spec, dpsing in the best kitty gear you’ve been able to get your hands on. The 3.1 patch is still somewhere over the horizon and thanks to your abysmal gold-making abilities you’ve barely got enough for regular raiding, so constant re-specs are unheard of.

You’re nowhere near the top of the damage meters and, while leagues ahead of your DK and Warrior tank-offtank counterparts, you still wish you could eke out more DPS.

I made one change in my rotation last night that netted me approximately 300 extra damage per second.

I switched from casting Savage roar on five combo points to casting it on three.

My previous combo point rotation was:

5 cp – Savage Roar
2-3 cp – OOE – Tiger’s Fury
finish up to 5 cp – Rip
5 cp – Savage Roar
5 cp – WAY OOE – Rip falls off, Rip

OOE is out of energy. I’ll end up using Tiger’s Fury, depending on crits, somewhere either before my first Rip of shortly after. That helps get me up to 5 CP again to refresh Savage Roar (which is only about halfway ticked down, but if I don’t refresh it then it’ll fall off entirely)

Then, by the time my Rip is ticking down dangerously low I’m OOE again and have been for quite some time. It’s all I can do to keep Rake and Mangle up with the energy available, let alone squeeze in Shreds. Inevitably, by the time I make it to 5 combo points again Rip has fallen off and my DPS has taken a hit as a result.

Last night I switched things up a bit.

3 cp – Savage Roar
5 cp – Rip
3 cp – Savage Roar
OOE – Tiger’s Fury
5 cp – Rip
3 cp – Savage Roar
5 cp – OOE – Rip
3 cp – Savage Roar
Still OOE – Tiger’s Fury

During the build-up of Combo Points for the third Rip I found myself going OOE again, but since I had cast Savage Roar on 3 cp before instead of 5 I had a cushion of time to wait for my energy to regen and by the time I had 5 combo points I was in plenty of time to refresh Rip without it falling off.

If I get a chance I’d like to try to test these two variations in the rotation against a dummy. I’m thinking 3 minutes of DPS-time for each test, self-buffed, and without using Berserk.

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  • Comments (5)
    • Antje
    • April 9th, 2009

    Cat DPS isn’t about having the perfect rotation, it’s about maintaining buffs/debuffs according to a priority system.
    1. Savage Roar (for an opening SR you can even start with 2CP just to get it up faster)
    2. Mangle (it’s great if you’ve got a gear tank to do this for you)
    3. Rake
    4. Rip (always 5CP)

    Savage Roar is the perfect place for wiggle room in your rotation, as it applies the same damage buff regardless of how many CP’s you use. I often overwrite a few ticks of Savage Roar just to maintain optimal use of a 5 CP Rip.

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 9th, 2009

    You’re absolutely right that Cat dps has no set rotation, but when you actually get down to working through things you start to notice patterns and develop muscle memory.

    I had been making sure to SR at 5 cp simply because I figured the less often I had to worry about getting SR up the more I could focus on keeping all my other debuffs going.

    I’ve seen it mentioned that to really work cat dps you need to get into a ‘zone’ where your timers are working for you and you can easily rotate between using SR (at however many cps) and Rip (at 5 cp of course)

    I’d been striving for this ‘zone’ with my previous erroneous assumption that a 5 cp SR would be best. I found that for me using 3cp was a good guide because I’m not very good at anticipating what my energy will look like and how many cps I’ll have when it comes time to Rip again.

    • Mmorecowbell
    • April 10th, 2009

    I ‘ve done quite a few runs without another cat or a warrior throwing down trauma so I tend to open with mangle, rake, hopefully one or both of those crit giving me from 2-4CP. SR up with that, Berserk, Shred to 5CP, Rip, if I’m low on energy at this point I’ll pop TF and continue floating Rip and SR. If I see myself going OOE I would sacrifice CP on SR over Rip but usually end up looking at my timers going “I have 5CP, good timer on both debuffs….” Sit on hands until one gets below 5 secs and refresh that. By then I’ll have a ton of energy to boogie to 5CP and get the other going too.

    • Gritpipe
    • April 10th, 2009


    I mostly tank and so I manglespam in kitty, but my rotation is pretty similar to your new one. I noticed that I was pretty much using TF every second SR and so I tied them together in a macro. It’s not game changing but I’m not too bright and anything to make things easier…

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 10th, 2009

    Mmorecowbell – Now THERE’S something I need to learn to do. I can’t seem to be patient enough to sit on 5cp without doing something.

    4cp… 5cp… 5cp…. Rip is good…. SR is good… 5cp… I GOTTA PUSH A BUTTON!

    Ferocious Bite ~oooooh pretty criiiiiiit~

    and then I’m REALLY OOE xD

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