Mar 142011

FIRST:  forget all you know or think you know about T10 raiding and before.  It is obsolete.  The name of the game is World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.  Unless you are in a top world progression guild with many geared alts, chances are you won’t have the optimal raid comp.  When this happens your guild will need people to fill roles that they normally don’t do.  Now, I am not talking about a cat trying to heal (maybe I am?) or casting Wrath.  What I am talking about is many of the unused abilities that people complain about.  Let’s see what we have to work with here.

Raid Buffs

  • Mark of the Wild – Increase the friendly target’s Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by 5%, and all magical resistances for 1 hour.

Pound for pound this raid wide buff is still the best there is.  A Paladin’s Kings is the same now, and the 2 don’t stack. But what if you don’t have a Pally, or the only 1 is buffing something else?

  • Leader of the Pack – While in Cat Form or Bear Form, the Leader of the Pack increases critical strike chance of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 5%.

Oh yes, LotP.  We love you.  And our raid loves us because of you.

  • Stampeding Roar – The druid roars, increasing all nearby friendly players movement speed within 10 yards by 40% for 6 sec.

OK this doesn’t have a lot of uses right now besides helping people run back from a wipe faster.  But put it on your bar somewhere.  It is great for fire runner on Atramedes.  Body and Soul is considered better since it can be cast at range but if you have no priest (or he isn’t any good) then it’s up to you.  I try not to mention patch 4.1 too much but Stampeding Roar is getting a buff.  The duration and speed increase are increasing to 60% for 8 sec.  If you have talented Feral Swiftness (and I am sure you have) SR now becomes a 10 yard root breaker. /purrrrrr

Boss Debuffs

  • Mangle – Mangle the target for 460% normal weapon damage plus (315*460/100) and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from bleed effects for 1 min.

Ah Mangle.  How we love you.  So many people in your raid will love you for making sure this never falls off.  It does not stack with Arms Warrior’s Trauma, but then an Arms Warrior should not be raiding.

  • Infected wounds – Your Shred, Ravage, Maul, and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target.  The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 50% and the attack speed by 20%. Lasts 12 sec.

Many will point out that the tanks can do this.  And well they can, but when you get into fights with multiple mobs and such, some tanks don’t apply their debuff.  Is this the tank’s fault? Yes, but sometimes you just have to deal.  You will need to move points around for this and should talk to your tanks to see if they need you to do this.

  • Demoralizing Roar – The Druid Roars, reducing the physical damage caused by all enemies within 10 yards by 10% for 30 sec.

Hey, wait, that is for bears.  Well, don’t laugh but I have had to do this.  If you have a tank with awesome mitigation/survival their threat is usually lacking.  I have gone in on pulls with the tank and put up demo roar at the start of the fight so they don’t have to use a GCD.  Then I go cat and do my thing.  By the time demo falls off, they have a comfortable threat lead and can do it themselves.  This rarely happens.

  • Feral Fairy Fire – Decreases the armor of the target by 4% for 5min. While affected the target cannot stealth or turn invisible.  Stacks up to 3 times.

If you talent Feral Aggression (which I am sure you have) this applies at 3 stacks.  Tanks love this for initial threat.  Every other non caster will love you for it also.


  • Entangling Roots – Roots the target in place and causes 370 Nature damage over 30 sec.  Damage caused may interrupt the affect.

Not a strong CC but it is a CC that may be needed.

  • Cyclone – Tosses the enemy target into the air, preventing all action but making them invulnerable for up to 6 sec.  Only 1 target can be affected by your Cyclone at a time.

This is a really nice CC to put on Mind-controlled raid members.  It takes them out of the fight without causing any extra damage for your healers to have to deal with.

  • Hibernate – Forces the enemy target to sleep for up to 40 sec. Any damage will awaken the target.  Only one target can be forced to hibernate at a time.  Only works on Beasts and Dragonkin.

This CC has limited uses as far as targets go, but it is VERY powerful.  40 seconds is a lifetime in a fight.

  • Innervate – Causes the target to regenerate mana equal to 20% of the casting Druid’s maximum mana pool over 10 sec.

Many think this is worthless now-not so.  Remember in progression the slightest difference separates a kill and another wipe.  Think of this.  Healer goes down and gets rezzed.  They still have no mana.  Pop MotW + Innervate.  It isn’t much, but some mana is better than no mana.  It might buy you that extra 10-20 seconds you needed.

  • Rebirth – Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with 20% health and 20% mana.

Here it is.  Rebirth!  People love us for it.  Most are jealous of us for it, an in-combat resurrection.  If you glyph it (no reason you shouldn’t) your target comes back with 100% health.  In 4.1 DK s will get this.  That’s nice for them but give me the druid that has been doing this for years.  A druid can do it better IMHO.  Example: A mage goes down.  You pop Rebirth (glyphed) + MotW + Innervate.  You now have a mage with full health, the major raid buff, and 20% of his mana plus 20% of mine.  Like I said before, these are the little things that can make or break your attempt.

  • Remove Corruption – Nullifies corrupting effects on the friendly target, removing 1 Curse and 1 Poison effect.

Healer job?  Yes.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t help in fights where there is massive damage going out taking up the healers’ time.  At least get yourself cleaned off.

  • Skull Bash – You charge and skull bash the target, interrupting spellcasting and preventing any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec.

This costs too much and is slowed by travel time, so many have said that if your RL puts a feral on interrupts they are bad.  Well ya know what, I interrupt all the time.  I do it because I am reliable.  I do it because I am good at it.  I do it because we don’t have the perfect raid setup and someone has to do it.

  • Soothe – Soothes the target, dispelling all enrage effects.

Sounds like a good idea to me.


  • Tranquility – Heals 5 nearby lowest health party or raid members within 30 yards with tranquility every 2 sec for 8 sec.

With Nurturing Instincts talented, this becomes very powerful.  With its 8min CD you will only use it once per boss.  This is another of the game-changers we have.  This can save a wipe in the final seconds of a Cho’gall kill.  We also have other heals but Tranquility + Nuturing Instincts is the big 1 for your raid.

Virtually NOTHING I have shown you here will help your personal DPS, but raiding isn’t about you alone.  One person’s DPS will not carry a group to glory.  Your #1 job should still be to max your DPS.  But remember, a druid is so much more than a face ripper.  We have utility in many areas.  What really sets us apart is the caliber of player.  From what I have experienced there aren’t a lot of good players in a specific class besides the druids of the world.  Some classes still just mash buttons and do great DPS but those easier classes also have a ton of players that stand in fire or say, “you want me to do what?  I don’t have that on my bar.”  A good RL will recognize your class’s deficiencies but also expect you to get the job done.  This is where we start seeing the great player move to the lead.  It is time to step up and be the leader.  Avoid avoidable damage.  Keep your buffs/debuffs going.  DPS the bosses eyes out.  BR, MotW, Innervate, and ect….  At all times make sure you are doing everything you can to help the raid.  Your raid members will notice and be glad of it.

OH MANGS!  I am on twitter now (@charliesheen is cracking me up).  Follow me @Sylvaneart.  As always be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed and use the forums. Feel free to PM me with any questions you might have, but the forums on this site are your best bet. This will help to answer one question one time instead of one question multiple times. This site is a posting spot for many great cats. If you are the noob with a noob question and are a little embarrassed then a PM will do fine. I will never ridicule you.


  16 Responses to “I mangle face! Why am i looking at the bosses butt? The expanded role of a cat in Cata raiding.”

  1. Never thought of using Demo Roar. I’ll have to try it out.

    Just last night I Brez’d a priest and hit him with a Intervate and MoTW :)

    • I have been to a couple 10 mans in the past with no hunters or rogues. So, no MD. The tank was having trouble getting initial threat on 3 mobs at once. As we ran in I put FFF on main target, shifted to bear, demo roar, shift to cat, and proceed to rip face. I used the cat FFF since it causes no threat unlike bear FFF. The situations where you would need to do this are rare but they do come up. The normal answer is for DPS to just hold off a couple seconds but time and time again even after being told DPS just can’t seem to hold back. Got to get #1 on the meters ya know.

  2. Thanks for making me feel better about choosing the feral druid spec. It seems that ferals get a bad rap with a lot of other players. I get crap from people because my dps is only 10k and not 17k like the pure dps’ers. Meanwhile, I’m trying to help the healer by popping tranquility, innervate, remove corruption etc.

  3. What no warriors, pallys, dk’s, rogues, shammies in your raid? Just kidding.

    You never mentioned what classes/specs you do have so its hard to counter what you wrote. I’m also guessing you are in 10 man raids because if it was 25 man without some of these classes then things are really bad.

    Having said all that I do have one simple counter. Boomkin. Almost all of what you mentioned with much higher DPS to boot.

    But in all honesty while I appreciate your article it was pretty slanted. Almost every single utility mentioned has at least one other class that can do it and usually better.

    As for tank threat it is easily fixed by having the dps hold back for 5 seconds. And it sounds like it was a bear tank (problems with three mobs) as the other tanks are much better at mob AOE/threat. Or a fail tank. If it was a bear tank then it has all of your capabilities.

    Bottom line is ferals are like many other classes. they bring a set of utilities to the raid as does every other class out there. In 25 man raids the chances that there isn’t another class or two to do what ferals bring is extremely small. In 10 man’s it is more likely but then the argument can be flipped and say that the raid has feral buffs but is missing a pally’s/lock’s/hunter’s/rogue’s etc. Six of one half a dozen of the other.

    Bottom line is ultility is OK but DPS will really be the deciding factor. Who needs an innervate if you kill the boss with 15% more dps?

    • The reason I did not include my own raid comp is because it isn’t about me. This article is meant to show the cats what they can bring to a fight. With the homogenizing of the classes and buffs many can do what we do. But as always I am trying to bring forward the better player aspect. While your raid may have a certain class that has a better ability than you, is the person controlling that class up to the task? Not always. My 25 mans have everything needed to down bosses, when you look at our raid comp on paper. But that doesn’t mean every player behind those classes is doing the right thing all the time. This is about what you can do. For everything that you don’t have to do you can concentrate more on DPS. As far as your boomkin counter you are right, but what do you want me to say? Delete your toon now there is no point in a feral? No. There is a point. I was actually waiting for you Mongo as I knew YOU would bring this up. :)

      • That was one reason i was able to continue raiding for a bit longer. The problem is there are other good players and if they are in a class that has better dps then guess who gets dropped? yep the lower dps. Is it fair? Is it right? Who knows but it is the way things work especially in very competitive guilds.

        So I had the choice of sitting for most of the fights or change guilds. I changed and was near the top dps but that also meant many of the other players were below par so to speak.

        It sort of ended up being in a guild that was progressing but not raiding much for me or raiding all the time but mostly wiping on fights as the others in the guild weren’t that good as players. Or to go boomkin.

        • You would lose out on some of these as Boomkin, LotP, Infected Wounds, and, pending an awkward playstyle, Mangle.

          Do Boomkins offer any new buffs besides the 5% haste?

          I dropped my resto OS and picked up balance to check it out. Reforged and glyphed and after about an hour, didn’t get over 10.5k dps (15 with feral). I left on heartsong instead of hurricane, but I still expected a bit more.

          Is the benefit of Boomkin just that it scales better with gear than feral?

          I would like to be viable for all specs so I could switch based on raid comp or encounter (not leaving feral).

      • What is the website to view raidcomp and which buffs are missing…. I’ll feel very stupid if it’s in fact the obvious site, lol.

  4. I lost you where you said “arms warriors should not be raiding”. Why exactly is this again? We have an arms warrior in our 10 man and he’s constantly 2nd/3rd on dps.

    • If you do not have a feral for Mangle debuff then you need an Arms Warrior. But the current state of DPS shows Fury is more DPS then arms and should be used for Warrior DPS. It is also hard to gage a class by 1 raid group. If a feral cat gears out faster then the rest of your raid in normal mode raid gear and everyone is equal skill level I expect that feral to top charts. But when everyone is geared equaly and they play with same skill, that same Feral should be near bottom of DPS charts. I too top charts on some fights. Nothing to brag about. That means I am out gearing some and out playing others.

      • Don’t be modest your slapping those guys with your pimp paw.
        It all comes down to spec choices Sid. Classes like Ferals and Enh Shamans will usually stay loyal to their spec through hard times due to going Boomkin//Elemental requires so much more then an Arms War going Fury or BM Hunter going Marksman. If your Arms War just loves Arms and does it well thats awesome to hear, but fact of the matter in current content he’s playing a lower dps spec. If he’s not doing it for the 4% Physical damage buff or the 30% Bleed buff then you should ask why he doesn’t wish to go fury.
        Keep in mind currently 4.1 is buffing Arms pve dps above Fury so he may just be practicing for said event.

  5. Sylvaneart, I’m sorry if I’m so negative. I really respect what you are doing and am very glad you are doing this.

    I’m just greatly frustrated at WOW right now. I had such high hopes for this expansion, only to see most of them dashed. I promise to try and be more upbeat in the future as what you are doing is really great for the community.

  6. No worries Mongo. One of the things I have always loved about the Fluid Druid is the large community of knowledgeable players, but more importantly the over-all willingness of the players to help each other. As to your frustration at the state of Feral I see you have found your way onto the forums here where we are discussing the Dev Q & A. I invite everyone to go and help us get ready for the next round.

  7. “Virtually NOTHING I have shown you here will help your personal DPS, but raiding isn’t about you alone. One person’s DPS will not carry a group to glory. Your #1 job should still be to max your DPS. But remember, a druid is so much more than a face ripper. We have utility in many areas. What really sets us apart is the caliber of player. From what I have experienced there aren’t a lot of good players in a specific class besides the druids of the world. … This is where we start seeing the great player move to the lead. It is time to step up and be the leader. Avoid avoidable damage. Keep your buffs/debuffs going. DPS the bosses eyes out. BR, MotW, Innervate, and ect…. At all times make sure you are doing everything you can to help the raid. Your raid members will notice and be glad of it.”

    I’m glad I’m not the only one with the sense to look beyond the meters. Cataclysm raiding puts a lot more reliance on DPS’ ability to function beyond just damage output and it seems that the druid forums are filled with people who don’t see this aspect.

    Yes, Skull Bash isn’t superior to other interrupts but I do it anyway, because I have that ability, I use it reliably, and people trust that those damn Blaze AOEs on Nefarian are going to be interrupted. The difference between a good player and a great player is one that sees beyond that OVER9000 crit (add an extra zero now with Cataclysm)

    Thank you for another good coffee-break read.

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