Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kitty "Rotation"

I start out stealthed and do the whole flying cat thing (feral charge) opening followed by a pounce. The bleed effect ignores armor so is usually more damage than a ravage, plus if the mob can be stunned it is leaving me a window of opportunity to go ape on it while the tank is still building aggro. For short fights where the mob will die sooner than your pounce would last or for a lot of up front ravage is a better alternative, be careful with that initial aggro though.

First thing is first, have to get mangle up and keep it up. I am glyphed for a longer mangle which makes life a little easier. Once mangle is up it is time for a rake which is a cheap combo point or two as well as another bleed effect now enhanced by the trauma of the mangle, and more importantly 20% more damage on attacks from rend and tear since you have a bleed effect on your target. By this point it is possible to have 5 combo points, but probably only 4 so I shred up to 5 then savage roar.

Important: Mangle is a straight up replacement for claw so as soon as you take the mangle talent at level 50 or so. Remove claw from your bar as soon as you have it or you will be mocked.

Usually your first finisher is going to be savage roar to provide a nice damage boost the rest of the fight, but on short fights it is often not worth it. For extremely short fights, your target is going to die the next time you hit it, just use a ferocious bite. If it will take a few hits use a rip which will tick for more damage than a ferocious bite and is unaffected by armor. Sometimes if the fight is short enough and you know you are going to be entering combat it is beneficial to use savage roar anyway and have the buff ready for the next fight.

In general given a longer fight savage roar should be kept up all the time second in priority only to mangle. In the time it takes savage roar to run out it is possible to get off two rips under ideal circumstances. If I get really lucky with a chain of crits or otherwise have an increased chance to crit I may have some extra combo points to burn on a ferocious bite. It is important to make sure there is a bleed effect on the target before using a ferocious bite so that it is much more likely to crit given talent points in rend and tear.

Rip is third in priority to keep up as much as possible and if rip is not up then rake to keep that target bleeding as rend and tear gives a 20% damage boost to shred on bleeding targets. If possible it is best to fire off a rip after a trinket or tiger's fury to do more damage. Trick is an empowered rip will need to run out completely before you can rip again since a more powerful effect will be active if you try to reapply the debuff earlier.

Once savage roar is up it is a good time to start using trinkets, tiger's fury and berserk. Keep in mind that when talented tiger's fury will return some energy so try not to use it unless you are long on energy and will get the full benefit. Just the opposite is true of berserk, you want to have a bunch of energy ready to go to get the full benefit. Also note that you cannot use tiger's fury while berserked so if you can use it right before to boost your energy and damage up right before. That is pretty much the perfect recipe for a swipe spam right there if AOE is appropriate.

In the downtime between abilities I take the opportunity to faerie fire my target(s). It is an instant and it is ranged so if you get knocked back or thrown in the air or are otherwise unable to hit your target in melee then this is a great time to reduce their armor with faerie fire. The sooner you get it up the better I usually get it after my initial opener while I am waiting for energy to return.

For more than 3 targets and sometimes 3 for kicks swipe is my best friend. For an AOE group I often start with a pounce and maybe even a rake to get a couple combo points for a savage roar. Then if I am really feeling vicious I berserk in addition to blowing tiger's fury and trinkets before starting to swipe. Berserk cutting the cost of swiping in half leads to some serious burst AOE damage in a short amount of time. Sometimes a good time to use barkskin and survival instincts if you are talented for it to do a little "off tanking".

Another important thing to keep in mind when AOEing with swipe is that it isn't channeled like most other AOE abilities other classes use. This allows for some flexibility in how you use it as the situation changes. While those other loonies are using the rest of their AOE cast on the one or two mobs that are left you can switch to single target DPS right away and take them out much faster. Also if there are 3 mobs and someone pulls aggro leaving only two in AOE range you can flip to single target until that third one comes back.

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