Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

Know your finishing moves – Repost.

Big Butt Bear Blogger recently posted an overview of basic approach strategies, I think mostly for cat.  I can’t seem to find the exact post (if anyone can send me the link, I’ll update here), but it got a lot of good comments.  Nothing ground-breaking in the post, just good common sense advice and explanations, which is always welcome.

Well that post reminded me of one I did a while back on our three cat finishing moves.  I tried to make it a basic overview of each and some suggestions on when to use them.  Inspired by B4, I’m updating and reposting that original article below.

Forms Bar

Druids in cat form now have three finishing moves to choose from: Maim, Ferocious Bite, and Rip.  While all three are similar in they scale with combo points, energy, and attack power and they do significantly more damage than a normal attack, they are all very distinct.  The wise druid will understand the differences and have a strategy for when to employ each.

We get Maim at level 62:

“Finishing move that causes damage and incapacitates the target.  Any directly damaging attack will revive the target.  Causes more damage and lasts longer per combo point.”

Additional damage and stun duration is as follows:
1 point : 193-216 damage, 2 sec
2 points: 277-300 damage, 3 sec
3 points: 361-384 damage, 4 sec
4 points: 445-468 damage, 5 sec
5 points: 529-552 damage, 6 sec

This is a great new ability for us Druids and one that took me a while to get into my rotation.  Once I started using it frequently, I’ve found I couldn’t live without it.   It’s definitely one of my emergency buttons, especially in PvE.  Here’s some thoughts/ideas:

  1. Bleed effects and Damage over Time (DoT) effects continue throughout the stun.  Prowl to your target, Pounce, Mangle, Rake, then Maim will continue to do significant damage while your target is stunned.  If you want the maximum DoT, then rotate Mangle and Rake until you have 5 combo points.
  2. If you’re in a particularly tough fight, then save your 5 combo points and hit Maim if you need to pop out and heal.  Don’t forget to turn off your auto-attack as that will break the stun.
  3. As cat’s this is really our only way to interrupt spell casting. 
  4. If you don’t need to heal, use the 6 seconds to regain energy.  Depending on where your ticker is when you maim, you can regain up to 80 energy, while continuing to do DoT damage.
  5. If you’re really getting beat on, then Maim and hit Dash for a quick getaway.

So Maim is a great way to buy some time for healing or energy regeneration.  It can be used to interrupt spells or as an escape mechanism.  The important thing to remember before popping Maim is to turn off your attack so you don’t break the stun.  If you’re in a group, you’ll probably want to create a macro that notifies your group that a Maim is coming.

Ferocious Bite
Ferocious Bite has 6 trainable ranks, the highest at level 63:

Finishing move that causes damage per combo point and converts each extra point of energy into 4.1 additional damage.  Damage is increased by your attack power.”

Additional damage per combo point:
  1 point  : 259-292 damage
  2 points: 428-461 damage
  3 points: 597-630 damage
  4 points: 766-799 damage
  5 points: 935-968 damage

As if that damage isn’t enough, Ferocious Bite also generates even more damage based on your energy, converting each point of energy into 4.1 additional damage.  So that’s a bonus of 410 damage at full energy.  Plus, damage is increased by your attack power.  For pure damage generation, nothing beats Ferocious Bite.

Ferocious Bite is “my closer”, especially against casters.  Pounce, Mangle, Rake/Claw to 5 combo points.  Usually, I’m up to 5 combo points with only 3 moves (via Primal Fury adding extra combo points on crits).  At that point I’ll take a quick look at where the mobs life is at.  For a caster, anything around 25% I stand a pretty good chance of killing off with a Ferocious Bite.  If I’m doing okay, I may wait a little longer for a sure kill.  If I’m getting beat on, then I’ll pop the Bite off and hit Tiger’s Fury to finish them off quickly.  If I’m having really good luck against the mob, I may even Bite with only 4 combo points.

 My thoughts/ideas on using Ferocious Bite:

  1. Use as your closer for a big one-time hit of damage on casters.  For maximum damage, wait for 5 combo points and full energy, however if you must choose one, go for full combo points over energy.
  2. Investigate enhancing talents to take full advantage of Ferocious Bite – Primal Fury and Sharpened Claws together can get you to 5 combo points very quickly.
  3. Ferocious Bite is for one big pop of damage and is suited more for short encounters.  For longer duration damage, see Rip below.

So, Ferocious Bite is our best way to generate a one-time hit of large damage, based on both combo points and energy.  There are some supporting talents you should investigate.  Save Ferocious Bite as your closer if you don’t need Maim or Rip.

Rip has 7 trainable ranks, the highest at level 67:

Finishing move that causes damage over time.  Damage increases per combo point and by your attack power.”

The additional damage table for Rip looks like this:
  1 point  : 300 damage over 12 sec.
  2 points: 498 damage over 12 sec.
  3 points: 696 damage over 12 sec.
  4 points: 894 damage over 12 sec.
  5 points: 1092 damage over 12 sec.

So, if you do the math, you may think that Ferocious Bite is better than Rip at the highest level of each.  5 combo points of rip buys you 1092 extra damage, and 5 combo points of Ferocious Bite (with 100 energy) gets you 1345 – 1378 extra damage.  They are, however, two completely different finishing moves, both with plusses and minuses.  Ferocious Bite is good for a high burst of damage to finish off a mob.  Rip is DoT for long boss fights.  Also Rip is bleed damage and as such can be enhanced by Mangle, and you don’t have to wait for full energy to get the full damage effect.

I use Rip primarily in longer fights where I want to maintain DoT on a boss or elite.  With the Mangle buff to bleed damage, and DoT not breaking stun effects, it’s a great way to put sustained damage on a target. 

So use your preferred sequence of attacks to combo up to 5, Rip your target, then make sure to keep Mangle applied for maximum damage.

So our three finishing moves are all about damage, but each has their own special characteristics and situations where they are best used.  If you find yourself using one or two of them exclusively, then I suggest you force yourself to experiment with all three.  It will make you more versatile and a better damage dealer all around.

Final Thoughts

  • Look for items that increase your attack power.  This will add even more damage to Ferocious Bite and Rip.
  • When in a group, use an aggro add-on like KLH Threatmeter to make sure you don’t grab aggro from your tank with all your damage.
  • In general use Maim to interrupt, Ferocious Bite for final blows, and Rip for Damage over Time.
  • If you’re going for damage, then investigate talents that compliment these finishing moves.

Forms Bar


November 6, 2007 - Posted by | Strategy - Feral, World of Warcraft


  1. It may also be a good idea to make a macro that uses your trinkets with your finishing moves. For example, my Rip macro looks like this:

    #showtooltip Rip
    /use Crystalforged Trinket
    /cast Rip

    If my trinket is on cooldown, it’ll pop, and give me extra AP for my Rip. That Rip gets the extra AP the entire time its running on the boss.
    Also, by waiting until you have about 80 energy before you rip, you can Rip and then Mangle right away, so that there is no downtime to the Mangle bleed buff for Rip. These two things substantially increased my DPS in raids.

    Comment by Caniki | November 6, 2007 | Reply

  2. This is great stuff. Thanks

    Comment by chris | November 6, 2007 | Reply

  3. I think rip also ignores armour? Correct me if i am wrong, but i find it deals serious damage to raid bosses and elites, and in pvp warriors go down super quickly with it :).

    I’ve also read somewhere that if your attack power is over 2500, FB is actually worse than using shred (with mangle up).

    Comment by Taur | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  4. You left out one of my favorites Maim moves! Wait to pop it until you have full energy, and then while the target is stunned, move behind it to shred. It’s a potent combo, particularly because you don’t need max combo points for maim to pull it off. I find that a 2-point, 2-second stun provides plenty of time to move through the mob and backstab.

    And of course, if you’re feral and have mangle, make sure it’s up before you pull this off.

    Comment by Pattymelt | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  5. Oops, I meant 2-point, 3-second stun.

    Comment by Pattymelt | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  6. I really only use maim in PvP, but I use it often. I am the flag runner for our group and I find that maim is a great tool. When I don’t have the flag I’m stealthed looking for our flag. Once found, I hit pounce, shred, mangle, maim. With crits I can do about 3000 damage while they are completely stunned. Switch to bear form while they are maimed, and feral charge then bash, pop up and cyclone. That alone is over 10 seconds of complete stun lock, and gives everyone plenty of time to get to me instead of trying to solo chase a stupid resto druid all they way across the map.
    I can only think of one boss I have been able to dps in kitty form, and that is Shade of Aran. One of my favorite fights in karazhan, probably for this reason alone. I love to dps, and am always tanking, so it’s always a rush to eat that roasted clefthoof, toss up a Str. scroll, and go to town. I have broken 3500 ap on that fight, and I really only use rip and mangle. Ferocious Bite is too “iffy” in my opinion. Yeah, it’s great to see those 5k crits, but it’s the hidden numbers in Rip that win the battle.

    Comment by Tony Bag 'o Doughnuts | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  7. Oops… that was supposed to be Slippy… not my other nickname 😛

    Comment by Slipslappy | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  8. Ummm, yea. Tony Bag o’ Doughnuts vs. Slipslappy??!!??

    Stick with Slipslappy on that one… 😉

    Comment by Amanna | November 7, 2007 | Reply

  9. Yeah, I actually never put anything besides Slipslappy, no idea how bag ‘o doughnuts got in there. That was my nickname while I was living in Boston… Nobody has called me that in 10 years. Strange.

    Comment by Slipslappy | November 8, 2007 | Reply

  10. Hmmm…
    Don’t use Rake, not unless you want to place a bleed on a rogue. Mangle and more important Shred will benefit you more.
    If you use Ferocious Bite to finish off you enemy please don’t use it at full energy. The ratio of dmg/energy is really crappy.
    If you want to compare a full energy FB (which btw will only work with Omen of Clarity-proc) with Rip you should add 1.5 (or 2.5 with ooc-proc) Shreds to the Rip. And don’t forget that Rip is not mitigated by armor. You will very soon see: If you are not pretty certain that FB will indeed kill the target or it will die within the next 6 sec. through other means you really should use Rip.

    Comment by Felyae | December 11, 2007 | Reply

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