Thursday, August 28, 2008

[Druid] The 3.0 patch - cat build edition

As promised...uh...two days ago, tomorrow has arrived! And it is full of catty goodness. Let's get to the good stuff, and figure out what the TBC raiding people should want to spec to if they're going to maximize cat dps at level 70.

Some notes here, before we go: as of today, we have found out that powershifting will be no more. So keep that in mind when looking at the build. We also know that Omen of Clarity will be buffed quite a bit in its proc rate. And...we'll be getting some other goodies. But bah, why speculate? Why wait? Let's go to the cat!

This has got to be one of the oddest builds I've ever done. So...I expect a lot of questioning this time around :)

Balance (0 points)


Feral Combat (50 points)

5/5 Ferocity
5/5 Feral Aggression
1/2 Feral Swiftness
1/1 Faerie Fire (Feral)
3/3 Sharpened Claws
2/2 Shredding Attacks
3/3 Predatory Strikes
2/2 Primal Fury
2/2 Primal Precision
1/1 Feral Charge
5/5 Heart of the Wild
3/3 Survival of the Fittest
1/1 Leader of the Pack
2/2 Improved Leader of the Pack
3/3 King of the Jungle
5/5 Predatory Instincts
1/1 Mangle
5/5 Rend and Tear

Restoration (11 points)

5/5 Furor
5/5 Naturalist
1/1 Omen of Clarity

I'm not going to go into every single talent here, but just go over some of the choices that seem odd.

The first odd choice is going with both ferocity and feral aggression. The fact is that for raiding, thick hide and feral instinct do absolutely nothing for a cat. Feral aggression, while not particularly great, is better for cat dps with the new ferocious bite mechanics. Even if you use ferocious bite once in a fight, this will be better for your dps. But I'm not happy with it, and I'd never do a build with this on the off-chance I'd be tanking anything.

The second odd choice is to not go for Natural Shapeshifter/master shapeshifter in the resto tree. Natural Shapeshifter is not at all useful now that powershifting is out of the equation, so we're left with spending 5 talent points to get 4% crit. That's not worth the talent points, so we skip it. At 80, of course, it would get taken.

Feral Swiftness, while awesome, is not required for dps either. I'd miss this a ton, but for raiding it's not required. If you have another druid in your raid that can put up Faerie Fire you can skip the point there and go put it back into swiftness.

Primal Precision is only good for the dodge component for DPS, but even so it's 2 points for 2.5% fewer dodges, which is pretty good on the DPS/talent point ratio. The refunding of finishing moves is gravy.

Savage Fury is worth about 1.5% more overall DPS at max rank. This is based on the percentage of mangle damage from various WWS. That's .75% DPS/talent point. It's not as good as other talents for DPS/talent point ratio, so again it gets skipped. It'd be brought back at 80.

Improved LotP is going to be a raidwide buff, so chances are that this is one of the reasons a raid will bring a feral. Does nothing for your dps, but should help your raid's survivability a bit.

King of the Jungle is going to be one of the ways powershifting's utility is replaced. Absolutely a requirement for any serious cat dps. 60 energy every 30 seconds will be on par with the 2-piece tier 4 bonus.

Infected Wounds also does nothing for cat dps.
Improved Mangle is worth about 2% more overall DPS at max rank - this is based on the value of the 2 piece T6 bonus, which is also worth about 2% more overall DPS. That's about .66% dps per talent point, which just isn't that good. This may not make the cut at level 80; it's still lower per point than master shapeshifter.

Rend and Tear barely makes the cut. Assuming that you're only hitting bleeding targets with shred (which is a fair assumption given the standard rip->mangle->shred to 4/5cp cycle) we're talking roughly a 4% increase in total damage done, which makes this .80% DPS/talent point. That's pretty close to natural shapeshifter/master shapeshifter, so it's more a matter of preference. I picked it because once again - if you ferocious bite at all, this will pay off a bit.

Personally, I'd never choose this build because it's not useful enough in the general sense. You could not reasonably tank a boss with this unless it was massively outgeared; too little armor, dodge and threat gains. But for cat, it's about as strong as I think it can be at level 70.


Anonymous said...

With powershifting dead there is no real point to take furor, take iGotW instead as it would provides more benefit.

Though I fully expect the first 2-3 tiers of the resto tree to look different in the next beta build. So, who knows what we'll end up with.

runycat said...

So far, this is seriously like "retard button engage"--if you're used to powershifting, you need to turn your brain off and get used to doing huge damage. The way energy ticks in beta is super strange, and I'm trying to time cycles again.

Kalon said...

Hey, Felkan -

Furor has a small value. It's useful if you find yourself doing things like shifting to bear during Naj's bubble to avoid damage or shifting out to battle res. In those cases it's a slight dps upgrade, since you'll get some energy when you shift back. Certainly not what it was, but it's there, and it's better than improved MotW would be since usually that's redundant in raids. Plus, Imp MotW is only 2 points. If you don't have someone with imp MotW in your raid I'd agree - it'll be better, and you can swap two of the points from furor to motw. And yeah, I figure all the trees are going to radically change from now to the PTR, much less the actual 3.0 release.

Runycat - hihi. The gradual buildup of energy instead of ticks seems awesome, if not totally odd. I'm really curious to try it out and see how it feels.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, am so glad powershifting has been removed (it was never intended). It really was a silly mechanic in the game.

I know you can't take Berserk and OoC at lvl 70, but what are your thoughts on Berserk's Cat form function? Seems like it would be a good mid-fight DPS boost when combined with KotJ.

Kalon said...

Felkan -

On powershifting, I'm of two minds. I don't like that it was an unintended mechanic and something of an exploit. At the same time, I liked that we could convert one resource to another, and I liked that it took a skill to do. It differentiated feral dps from rogues and gave druids a flavor that other classes lacked. With the potions being able to be used in forms it's no longer necessary, and with king of the jungle it's not as big of a loss. But it's still something interesting and made dpsing a bit more dynamic and fun for me. I'll miss it some.

Berserk as a cat move is going to be stellar. Because energy regen is incremental instead of discrete in 3.0/Wrath, I don't even think you need to do a tiger's fury - though the damage boost would help. Ideally you would want to time it so that you did tiger's fury, then mangle, then berserk - that would give you the maximum uptime on your berserk and allow you to freely shred to your heart's content, especially if you have the glyph that increases your mangle duration. At 1.5 seconds per shred and at 21 energy per shred, it means you need exactly 60 energy to start with to do 10 shreds in the time berserk can last. If you don't have the mangle glyph you'll have to reapply a mangle after 12 seconds, but that's still 8 shreds in 12 seconds time.

5 extra shreds is about 15k damage on average at T6 level content, which depending on the fight length is going to be about a 5% damage improvement depending on the length of the fight (I assumed something like a Teron fight). Pretty snazzy. It still won't beat OoC, especially on longer fights, but it'll be quite good.

Kai said...

I'm using an altered form of your proposed-cat-raid spec to mess around on the beta right now, and I'm happy to report large numbers, and ease of slaying. Ferocious Bite Crits Galore, honestly, and with a 15% damage increase from talents, and another 15% from t6, I'm seeing some fantastic raw damage numbers. Highest so far was slaying a mob 7 levels higher than me with a FB crit for 6770; not too shabby. I'd love to see that crit against a clothie =D

Was wondering if you could put up an RSS feed so I could watch your blog with more ease. Thanks ^^

Kalon said...

Hey, Kai - thanks for coming! And thanks for the kind words too. :)

I'm glad you're finding some success with kitty in the beta. I'm not that worried about it from farming; kitty farming is easy now, and I figure it'd be easy then too. 7k FB hits are pretty sexy though. :)

From what I understand you can add this blog to various readers currently, but I made it a bit easier by adding a 'subscribe to' link at the top. Thanks for the suggestion!

Kai said...

Thanks for the RSS feed-addition-thingy-mabober =P

I look forward to your future posts =)