Friday, January 14, 2011

Cataclysm Bear Rotation

I'm not really sure why I hadn't put this post up earlier in the expansion as I'm sure it would have been quite useful. Better late then never I suppose, so if you are curious about the optimal bear rotation to maintain max TPS (Threat/sec) look no further!

Abilities used in standard tanking rotation(s)

Faerie Fire (Feral)
Demoralizing Roar

How do you come up with a "standard" rotation?
There are a couple things that you should consider in order to determine what your highest DPS and TPS rotation is. Sometimes they aren't the same! Regardless, once again I turn to Rawr for some numbers. When properly configured Rawr is an excellent tool for all sorts of information. Earlier this week I showed first How to set up rawr as a Bear tank and then I showed how to use the RSVs that Rawr gives you in conjunction with Wowhead to produce an extensive and trustworthy BiS gear list.

In this post I'll focus on the last section of the "Stats" tab in Rawr. Once everything is configured correctly and you've looked over your gear to ensure it's the correct pieces with the correct enchants/gems/etc. Have a look at the last section labeled "Threat Stats" (you might need to scroll down in the "Stats" tab to see it):

Don't follow these numbers blindly!
There is a LOT of information here and don't forget about mouse-overs as they are fairly helpful in this section of Rawr. For example when I highlight over the numbers to the right of "Melee:" Rawr tells me this:
Per Hit: 5,880 damage, 17, 640 threat
Per Swing: 5,951 damage, 17,854 threat
Per Second: 2,837 damage, 8,512 threat
Fury Swipes Hit: 18,228, 54, 684 threat
Fury Swipes Swing: 18,782 damage, 56,346 threat
Total: 3,651 dps, 10,954 tps
All of that information on just one mouse-over is excellent. Based on the information listed in this pane you can clearly see which abilities offer up the most threat and you are well on your way to determining a tanking rotation.

Rawr's max TPS rotation
When I mouse over the numbers to the right of "Highest TPS Rotation:" Rawr tells me what is considered the highest threat rotation (which also happens to be the highest DPS rotation). Let me copy it word for word here and then in the next section I'll spell it out a bit more:
  1. Mangle if off cooldown
  2. Lacerate if no Lacerate stacks
  3. Demoralizing Roar if not up
  4. Thrash if off cooldown
  5. Lacerate if less than three Lacerate stacks
  6. Pulverize if three Lacerate stacks and no Pulverize buff
  7. Faerie Fire (Feral) if off cooldown
  8. Lacerate
Standard "Rotation" Priorities
As you might have guessed Feral Bears don't necessarily have a set rotation when it comes to maximizing threat and damage. Think of this as a list starting with the very most important thing (high priority) to the least important thing (low priority).
  1. Mangle / Mangle from Berserk Procs
  2. At least 1 stack of Lacerate
  3. Keep Demoralizing Roar on target
  4. Trash
  5. A max (3) stack of Lacerate
  6. A max stack Pulverize (if Pulverize is not up)
  7. Keep Faerie Fire on target (use if low rage)
  8. Maul (if you have the spare rage)
AoE Priorities
AoE is very different compared to single target and depends on a number of things. The important thing to realize is that you should be using Swipe and Thrash on cooldown, keeping Demoralizing Roar up at all times on as many targets as possible, and tab targetting to get as many Lacerates as you can going to proc Berserk.
  1. Time Swipe to hit the maximum number of targets
  2. Time Thrash to hit the maximum number of targets
  3. Demoralizing Roar
  4. Mangle main target
  5. Lacerate main target
  6. Tab target other mobs in melee range and apply Lacerates (even without Mangle if necessary)
  7. Use Berserk proc'd Mangles on targets that you are losing threat on
  8. Maul every cooldown (rage permitting)
Final Thoughts
Hit and Expertise go a long way in helping to stick to the above priorities, but the important thing to realize is after about 15-20 seconds into a given encounter your threat should be pulling away (above) anyone else in raid. With the way that Vengeance works currently there really is NO reason to worry about Hit/Expertise.

As a general rule of thumb I'd say shoot for the dodge cap for Expertise (5.00%) and enough hit so you aren't running around with zero or something crazy like that. That's really the best advice I can give, unless you are tasked with interrupting a crucial ability (in 10m maybe, should never be the case in 25m) you really don't have to worry about hit.

Any questions/concerns/etc please feel free to comment! I'm always looking for feedback and what other people find helpful and not so helpful.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a level 71 Bear Druid and atm things aren't working well because of the handicap in AoE generally. Thrash would be awesome atm. But besides my small little rant, this guide has helped me so much! Thank you very much for posting this!