First off, I hope everyone had a good Easter! I took some time off of writing (but not thinking) to spend some time with my family, and am glad I did. On the way back, however, I had a thought, which became a scribble, which became an idea.
Why do people use [Idol of the Crying Moon] over [Idol of Mutilation] anyway? At first glance, Crying Moon looks better…after all, it’s a 100% proc, and +20 agility better, and EJ lists it as BiS, right? Hold on, let’s look closer at the Cat portion of the tooltips.
- Idol of the Crying Moon(ilvl 264): The periodic damage from your Rake ability grants 44 Agility for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
- Idol of Mutilation (ilvl 245): Your Cat Form’s Mangle and Shred abilities have a chance (70%) to grant 200 Agility for 16 sec.
Now, lets go back to Kitty 101 for a sec. When first starting an encounter, your highest priority ability is Mangle, in order to apply the bleed damage debuff to the boss. Your typical initial rotation will be Mangle, Savage Roar, Rake, Shredx2. Remember, Rake is a 9 sec DoT that applies its damage at 3, 6, and 9 sec after application.
“Well, duh,” I hear you thinking. “TLDR, already.”
Okay, here’s the key question. At what average time in the fight is the Idol buff fully stacked? Assume you are fully hit/expertise capped.
- Idol of the Crying Moon: Given the sequence above, the first Rake is not applied until 2 sec into the fight. Assuming the second Rake is applied immediately as the first expires, the fifth tick of Rake will occur, stacking the fifth buff stack, at 17 sec.
- Idol of Mutilation: Your initial Mangle will proc the buff 70% of the time. Failing that, you have about a 3% chance for it not to have procced after the first two Shreds. Doing some SimulationCraft crunching revealed that the buff procs, on average, at 1.7 sec.
What does this mean? For the first 17 seconds of a fight, Idol of Mutilation is clearly superior. After that? Well, the Crying Moon idol has quite a bit of ground to make up. Using SimulationCraft, I took a BiS feral druid and ran multiple iterations of fights of various lengths, calculating DPS and looking for the point where the “top speed” of the Crying Moon idol made up for the “acceleration” of the Mutilation idol. My findings:
- Assuming the ability usage listed before combined with immediate Berserk and Heroism/Bloodlust, the Crying Moon idol matches the Mutilation idol in DPS after ~110 sec.
- If not using Mangle, the Crying Moon idol matches the Mutilation idol in DPS after ~95 sec.
Upshot: If you’re in an encounter where you can DPS for more than 95/110 sec, and you can keep Rake consistently up on a target, then use Crying Moon. Looking at ICC, I see only about two fights that definitely fit that criteria (Saurfang/Festergut) and three possibles (Deathwhisper, Rotface, Princes), none of which are the harder zone bosses. IMO, I’m sticking with the Mutilation idol…and GearScore can go to hell. (okay, fine, people who misuse GearScore can go to hell.)