Feral tanking post 4.0

I’ve now done some tanking in raids and heroics post-4.0 on my druid and found it to be quite fun. It’s a little harder than the old swipe spam, but not so that it really matters. Interestingly, tanking heroics is easier on my undergeared death knight (full T9) because of the extra aoe they have.

The tanking rotations that I’m using are:

Single target rotation

  • Precast Thorns because it does INSANE damage (or get other druids to do it)
  • Feral Faerie Fire for the pull
  • Mangle on cooldown and when your Berserk talent resets the cooldown
  • Lacerate to 3 stacks
  • Pulverize every time you have 3 stacks of lacerate
  • Maul at high rage or Omen of Clarity procs. Note that this is off the global cooldown, so can be used easily
  • Find a time to use Demoralizing Roar
  • Repeat! but don’t bother with faerie fire again, it’s no longer great threat.

AOE target rotation

Note: Maul now hits like a wet noodle, when it used to be our primary damage ability. Don’t get too caught up in making sure that you are using it.

I was surprised by how frequently I could hit Maul in raids. Rage generation in ICC is almost at the level where I can hit Maul as much as I used to when it was an on next swing attack. I certainly wasn’t expecting this after reading all the changes.

The rate which rage decays has also changed significantly so moving between trash packs almost always allows a charge or swipe at the start of the pull which is a nice change from pre-4.0.

I’m looking forward to the expansion and getting Thrash at level 81 – I think this will smooth out the aoe rotation and make tanking a bit more fun and a little less stressful. Not that it really matters much if a dps gets threat at the moment in a heroic since they can burn the mob down without dying.

Mastery

A quick note on Mastery. I reforged haste and crit on all my tanking gear (in that priority order) into Mastery and it made a big difference to my damage taken. I got this advice from elitistjerks and it certainly paid off. My druid requires very little healing in heroics now and takes less damage than other tanks I’ve raided with since the patch.

This will probably change after level 80, but I’m enjoying the extra damage absorption at the moment!

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4 Responses to Feral tanking post 4.0

  1. Lazaros of Llane says:

    What do you think about using a mouse-over macro for Lacerate? I know that one big concern is that it leaves the potential for missing a mob that tab-targeting may not. For me, Tidy Plates seems to help with this since I see where I’m losing threat. However, I’m always open to learning ways to better my threat.

  2. Antony says:

    I use Tidy Plates too, and don’t use mouse-over macros for Lacerate. The main reason for that is that I also use the numeric keypad fairly often on my tank. In large trash packs in ICC I do occasionally need to specifically target mobs with the mouse for a lacerate though.
    I don’t think there are particular advantages in tab targeting compared to mouse-over macros, it really comes down to how well an individual performs with their chosen tools. You mentioned that mouse-overs can miss some mobs, but tab-targeting can take too long to reach the mob you need to target. Clearly there are pros and cons to both methods.

  3. Lazaros of Llane says:

    I’m a Dreaded Casual, so I rarely tank for raids (VoA or weekly pugs on rare occasions), usually tanking heroics instead. These brought me back around to mouse-overs, since tab targeting often ends up choosing a mob in the next pack up (while I’m still getting everything positioned. Like you said, though, it’s minor, and appears mostly playstyle-oriented.

    I’m curious as to how you utilize your numpad, though. While I use mine, it’s minimal, mostly for marking and some focus macros.

    Happy to find you bandying about on the web. This is a great blog, well written, and just what I need to help pack in useful hours during my limited playtime. Cheers!

  4. Antony says:

    A while ago I posted on my guild forums about my keyboard layout. The post was mostly written as melee dps advice but it contains an image of my keyboard layout and what each area is used for. Here it is: http://mortalwombatnagrand.guildlaunch.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3834593&gid=92097
    The executive summary is that I mapped all the numpad keys to be alternate keys for the 1-0, -, = buttons.

    I’m glad you like the blog and thanks for the feedback!

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