Vaeil's Kitten Guide [lvl 80]

Druid
Hi everyone, I'm Vaeil - As some of you might already know. In the next few posts, I'm going to tell you how you can play as an awesome Kitty DPS. So get your paws ready while you read this neat little disclaimer below:

This guide was written for a level 80 Feral Cat Druid in patch 4.0.1, for a DPS situation in raids and to a lesser degree dungeons. This guide should generally not be used for PvP, for leveling, at level 85, as a balance druid, as a rogue, or as anything else it’s clearly not intended to be written for. The guide is generally tuned for a person in raid-level gear. If you're still in greens/normal/heroic gear, then some of the gearing will be off.

This guide is my view on things, most things I say I say for a reason, however, I'm not infallible. This guide will generally NOT explain things, because that'd make it as big as the entire EJ forums. If you do NOT agree with this guide, then by all means, don't follow it. And by all means, feel free to ask me why I did things differently.

Lastly: I usually don't follow the EJ min-max mindset. The talent builds and methods I describe will often not amount to the theoretical absolutely perfect maximum DPS. If you want to totally min-max, then don't follow this guide by the letter.

Claws ready now? Okay, let's go.

Post #1 Introduction.
Post #2 Gears and Gems and all that.
Post #3 Spec and Glyphs
Post #4 Rotation
Post #5 Summary
Post #6 -
Post #7 and onwards: Replies by awesome people. Yeah, you, you're awesome!
STAT CAPS

Hit: 247 hit rating.
Expertise: 172 expertise rating.
Crit: 76%

Note that the crit cap is a softcap; yellow attacks benefit all the way to 100%. Also note that the crit cap depends on your hit/expertise. Your actual crit cap is 76% minus your missing hit and expertise. Which means that if you’re capped on expertise, but have a 2% chance to miss, your crit softcap is (76-2)=74%.
If you say “But Vaeil, my character sheet says there’s still a chance to miss” then you’re right: This is a character sheet bug. Long test sessions by people on EJ have shown that, even though the sheet says otherwise, you won’t actually miss. Go argue with them, not me.

GEAR

Leather Agility DPS gear.
Make sure it’s leather, cloth is no good. Your most important stat is agility. After that, look for haste, crit, and a bit of hit and expertise. Don’t bother too much with Strength: Agility is better.

Don’t bother capping hit/expertise unless it messes your crit cap up. It’s NOT all that important for a cat to be hit/expertise capped; A missed/dodged attack has barely any negative consequences for a kitty. Again: Don’t worry too much about making these caps.
For a longer post on this, read my Kitten Guide on Gearing, right here:
http://eu.battle.net:80/wow/en/forum/topic/831473552


GEMS

Red socket:
Delicate Cardinal Ruby (+20 Agility).
Yellow socket:
Delicate Cardinal Ruby (+20 Agility).
IF a gem bonus is exceptionally good, then you can put an orange gem in a yellow socket. Either a Deft (+10 Agility; +10 Haste) or a Deadly (+10 Agility; +10 Crit) Ametrine. Deadly is usually a tad better, unless you’re crit-capping and all that.
Blue socket:
One blue slot should have a Nightmare Tear (+10 stats) in it. Choose the blue slot that gives you the best gem bonus. All other blue slots can be filled with Delicate Cardinal Rubies (+20 Agility).
Meta socket:
Relentless Earthsiege Diamond (+21 Agility; 3% increased crit damage). The single Nightmare Tear is enough to get the requirements.
If you have jewelcrafting: use it. Remember to get a blacksmithing socket for your belt!

REFORGING

Reforge as much as possible to Mastery. Mastery is amazing and if you don’t reforge every last shred of your gear to Mastery you don’t deserve to claw around like only kittens can. Mrow!

For a longer essay on reforging, http://eu.battle.net:80/wow/en/forum/topic/831473552 contains a section on it. The short gist is this:

There are 4 stats you should consider reforging to mastery;
Hit.
Expertise.
Haste.
Crit.

Per piece of gear, choose the largest stat: The higher the stat, the more mastery you’ll get from it. IF and only IF two stats are identical, you’ll have to choose. Remember that Hit and Expertise are 100% useless over the cap, and not all -that- useful below it. The odds of them being available in large enough quantities to reforge them are low though.
Haste and Crit are about equally good for you. If you have the choice, reforge haste, unless you’re close to the crit cap, in which case crit should be reforged.

Again, it’s more important to choose the -highest- stat to reforge. If a piece of gear has 50 haste and 60 crit, reforge crit. Etc. etc. On most pieces of gear, crit will be the highest stat. Be careful not to dip it too low. (<~50-55% is generally too low.)

ENCHANTS

Head - Arcanum of Torment
Shoulder: Greater Inscription of the Axe
Cloak: Major Agility
Chest: Powerful Stats
Wrists: Greater Assault
Gloves: Major Agility
Legs: Icescale
Feet: Major Agility
Weapon: Mongoose.

If your profession provides you better, then use your profession.
SPEC

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#0ZdbGfRzodbfz0c
is a good baseline. Throw the last 2 points somewhere you think you’ll like. I personally recommend Brutal Impact and Furor. You -can- deviate from this spec slightly. I personally choose Nurturing Instinct over Primal Madness, because Primal Madness is a far worse talent than it seems. Stampede is a DPS increase as well, but is fairly clunky to use on some bosses, and you can skip it if you think you have a better idea.

GLYPHS

Prime:
- Rip
- Shred
- Savage Roar OR Berserk | Both are acceptable, which one is better depends on the boss. The difference is low, choose the one you feel most comfortable with.

Major:
- Feral Charge
- Thorns
- A random third one that -isn’t- Ferocious Bite. Ferocious Bite is a DPS loss. Ferocious Bite does make your rotation a bit easier though, so if you’re having real difficulty with the energy-mechanic, go ahead and pick it up. If you’re an awesome kitty and can handle FB’s extra energy mechanic, don’t take it and deal more damage (And very sexy FB crits.)

Minor:
- Dash
- And two others, Rebirth and something else, Roar maybe? Whatever your fancy.
DPS CYCLES:

4 kinds: Trash mobs, small scale AoE (Bunch of trash mobs), large scale AoE (Large amount of mobs, whelps or something silly.), and sustained (Bosses.)

Trash:
Mangle. Open with Ravage if you can.
Ferocious Bite at 5CP if the mob lives long enough.
Keep SR up via leftover CP’s from dead mobs.

Small-scale AoE:
Rake, tab, rake, tab - Get rake up on everything. Mangle if rake is up on everything.

Large-scale AoE:
Swipeswipeswipeswipeswipeswipeswipe, swipe! You need a large amount of mobs for this to be better than raking, but if you ever get there, swipe!

Sustained:
Kittens have a sort of priority list, and this is it:
1. Keep Mangle up.
2. Keep Rake up.
3. Shred/Ravage for Combo Points.
4. Keep a 5CP Rip up. (Replace with Ferocious Bite when Blood in the Water is active.)
5. Keep SR up with as little CP as possible.
6. 5CP Ferocious Bite
7. Keep Faerie Fire up.
Thorns on the tank.

Notes on this:
- Refresh Rake as soon as it falls off. Try and time your rake so that you refresh it during Tiger’s Fury. However, don’t delay/clip rake more than 2 ticks in order to achieve this.
- Refresh Rip as soon as it falls off. Try and time your Rip so that you refresh it during Tiger’s Fury. However, don’t delay/clip Rip more than 2 ticks in order to achieve this.
- If you have nothing to do: Thorns on the tank and shift back, make sure you never loose energy by doing this (Depending on what rank of Furor you have) - Note that this is a DPS loss for you because you’ll loose an autoattack, however, for the raid as a whole, thorns is a DPS increase; Even better, it’s threat for the tank.
- If your threat is too high: Cower. Try to cower -before- you overaggro. It’s usually best to wait 5 seconds after the tank pulls before starting combat, use this time to put Faerie Fire on the boss!
- Berserk on cooldown, try and maximize the amount of shreds during this time. Try to minimize the amount of energy lost to Ferocious Bite’s extra-energy mechanic during this time. It’s usually best to pool a bit of energy before berserking. If possible, sync berserk up with temporary buffs/bonuses/trinkets.
- Use Omen Of Clarity (Clearcasting) procs on Shred if you can.
If you have Stampede, then, every Feral Charge cooldown, when you have nothing else to do; run away to the side, as soon as you get in charge range, charge and ravage. Don’t run with your back to the boss: This will cost you autoattacks.

OPENING ON BOSS

Wait 5 seconds before starting, give the tank some time to get aggro. Use this time to cast Faerie Fire, so you don’t have to bother with it while fighting. Then:

Feral Charge->Mangle->Shred->TF->Rake->((Ravage->Shred->Rip))->((Shred->SR))
Rip as soon as you have 5CP, in the best case, this is immediately after Rake, worst case you need another Ravage/Shred.
Afterwards, get a CP and SR. Then continue as normal.
If you don’t have stampede, you can skip the first Feral Charge, and replace Ravage with a shred.
SUMMARY

For if you’ve played a Cat for a long time already, and just need the Cata changes;
ArP is gone, Gem Agility.
Reforge your highest stat to Mastery, as much mastery as possible.
Your idol now has stats and a socket, gem/reforge it!
Hit Cap is slightly lower.
Expertise Cap is the same, but you lost 10 Expertise from talents.
Give Vaeil a very big hug, please? It’s lonely...
Savage Roar is lower priority than Rip.
Savage Roar no longer affect Rake/Rip.
TF does, sync up Rake/Rip with TF!
Don't forget to rate posts!

~Vaeil
<<RESERVED, Sorry!>>
Giving this a gentle *bump* with a kitty nose.
I'm gonna give this a /bump also.

Some very useful information if your relatively new to the kitty scene. Good Job.
Nice guide, but will need an update on the gem section now that the meta gem reqs changed.
Thanks for the kind words - And thank you so so so much for the bumps, I was feeling very annoyed...

No, it doesn't need a change. The gems will be returned to their original requirements at the next patch (So just a few more days.)

If you want to waste money, use http://www.wowhead.com/item=41400 till that time. But the gems are going back to their old requirements.

~Vaeil
Nice guide exactly what i was looking for, been resto for 74 levels, not got the hang of it yet stuff dies to fast in normal dungeons i will take this info to cata with me!
I'm very new to kitty and what you have here is such good information it's truly helped me. Would there be anychance of you ever posting a guideline on how kitties fai in pvp. i.e which abilities to use on which class. thanks !
That'd mean I'd first have to actually become good at PvP. Which is very unlikely to happen.

~Vaeil
Wouldnt it have been worth waiting for 85 and writing in 85 values?
/hug
*huggle*

~Vaeil
Nice one Vaeil, always count on you to keep the druid community on the straight and narrow :) Keep it up.

I am actually curious to know what level 85 and this damn mastery means for what we gem. Right now it's a case of Agility for everything apart from getting the Meta bonus...but with the advent of Mastery things are getting a lot more complicated.

Agility won't net as much crit in cata....meaning our overall crit rating is expected to be much lower than it is right now. Mastery nets us increased bleed damage, but agility nets us more AP...so am I seeing a two-gear-set kitty on the horizon?? hehe One agility set for target switching short burst fights and one mastery set for long drawn out stationary fights....interesting ....
/hug at Vaeil.... and all other dudu's

Just wanna say thankyou for your nice guides.
Cheers Vaeil, you're one of the most valuable posters here.
Bumping this again, because together with the guide on the US forum, it's one of the best resources.

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