Kitty DPS… Theory, Gear, Reality?

So I spent most of the day revisiting my kitty and bear gear sets.

Now that I am kitty DPS first, tank after… if ever… I had to take some of my better gear and start using it in my kitty set… like my T8.5 helm, Iron boots, etc.

I am going to update my gear page with the new sets along with what I plan on getting gear wise and how updating my gear will change depending on what drops I am able to get and when.

Let me start by saying I finally got my T8.5 chest and promptly dropped the 2T7 / 2T8 combo I was using for kitty. The set bonus of 4T8 is so close to 2T7 and 2T8 that the better stats of the 4T8 gear slightly outweigh the 2 and 2 sets bonus.

I did quite a bit of research today on the various models out there for kitty DPS. I chose to look at 2 to determine my changes in gearing.

  • FBN – Feral By Night model – This is Nightcrowlers model, it likes armor pen.
  • RAWR – I guess we can say this is Astrylian’s model, it is not as big on armor pen.

I also took a long read at the latest kitty DPS thread over at Elitest Jerks HERE.

I fully realize that there has been a lot of testing put into these models so I do feel it is safe to follow the recommendations of either one or a mixture of the 2.

What I quickly realized is to go full bore kitty DPS, gemming for ArmPen where suggested, would gimp my shared items that I use for tanking. This is what I decided to do when trying to maximize my kitty DPS as it pertains to gear.

  • Put ArmPen gems in items that are strictly used for kitty DPS. Items used for both tanking and kitty DPS got agility. I honestly think even when between 200-300 ArmPen +16 AGI and +16 ARP are going to give you about the same DPS. I do feel however that when we approach higher levels of ARP through some of the ARP trinket procs and more ARP gear the ARP gems would become more valuable… but I am not at that point yet gear wise.
  • Shred Idol or Rip Idol. Supposedly once we hit greater than 200 ARP from gear we should both Gem for ARP (I am only doing this some what as I stated before) and switch to the shred idol for harder hitting shreds. I honestly think doing this as a blanket change is a mistake. We already know to use the rip idol on Kologarn because we can’t get behind him but on movement fights I would also probably stick with the rip idol. Razor, Ignis, XT, Vezax, Freya, Thorim, Auriaya, Yogg would be shred idol and Hodir, Mimiron, Kologarn, and  on Runemaster and Stormcaller for IC would be rip idol. It is going to take 3 weeks of raiding but I plan on swapping the 2 idols and seeing how it goes. I will report back my real encounter findings. Test dummies in IF suggest sticking with rip idol but that is hardly a real encounter test being self buffed and with FFF and mangle being the only debuff on the target.
  • Kitty DPS build adjustments. I didn’t take 5 on Feral Aggression for 2 reasons… so few FB especially on movement fights and I didn’t want to give up my increased DPS on AoE swipe or the raid healing ImpLotP which I know helps the healers on encounters with raid wide damage at least a little.
  • Mangle vs SR glyph. I changed over to SR glyph as I have a tendency in actual fights to mangle a lot… this is another real world effect of running in and out, in front.. behind.. whatever.
  • Food – Going to try out the suggested +40 ARP rhino food.
  • +Hit – I won’t gem for it but I will make sure I keep it at a reasonable level through gear selection. It is at 228 and I am fine with it. I have Icewalker chant on my boots when my next gear swap raises hit I will put on agility chant. I don’t like missing… it messes with my flow and distracts me.

So, that being said here is what I am wearing and how I would like to update my set… I will rarely mention hard mode gear as I don’t see having the time to get to much hard mode encounters before the next raid content is released.

So that is my Kitty gear strategy as it stands today. If you have seen some of the gear coming in 3.2 you know right away at this juncture very few items are really necessary with all that new gear on the horizon.

Wed next week I should be doing the same bosses again in Ulduar that I did this week and I will report back what changes in DPS occurred from upgrading a couple of pieces that came from my tanking set along with the effect of raising my ARP. I have a feeling my DPS will be really close or close enough that the changes I made barely mattered but I guess we will see.

7 Responses to Kitty DPS… Theory, Gear, Reality?

  • Jheusse says:

    Good post, and you appear to be in a very similar situation as I am in your gearing and mindset. I historically tanked and dps’ed but my current ulduar run I’m almost pure cat. I’m the only Jheusse in all of Wow if you’re lookin armory.

    Like you various mobs have hated me many times for my weapon drop, like the hunter shrouding my Journey’s End, I’ve seen Visage twice and Lotrafen twice, both cases other folks shroud bombed over me. The one that was annoying was when we had someone have to leave suddenly just before Deconstructor, and the person they brought in was a hunter, who was the only interested party in the raid with more points than me, so of course it drops and he promptly outbids me. This was last week. Grr.

    One thing on Rawr, since the gemming revamp a while back, Rawr uses gemming templates, and the default ones for cat model are 1) all 16 agi and meta and 2) 16 agi, shifting (8agi/12sta), 8agi/8crit, meta. I think you need to add a custom gemming template that uses Arpen gems for Rawr to evaluate it.

    I also wonder if Arpen is an all-or-nothing gemming choice. I’ve never seen the main theorycrafters clarify, they always say if your gear is in these ranges gem agi, these ranges gem arpen. But with the common situation where tier gear has to serve double duty, it gets a little tricky to bring in much arpen. And I’ve never gotten Rawr that well set up for solving cat and bear gear simultaneously.

    WTB updated Pawn scales for Ulduar geared cat/bear.

  • Jacemora says:

    I am just dipping my toes in the ARP water… I doubt until you have the trinket and are at the soft cap does it make a big enough difference in DPS to warrant focusing on it.

  • Synic says:

    Likewise – kudos on this post. Just got three pieces of tier 8, was looking to spec to ArPen after carefully contrasting EJ, Emmerald’s List, and wowDPS.

    Last night, after regemming/gearing – I was able to hit a tenative 420 ArPen with a Recluse/AgedWinter/Ring and Tier gemmed in ArPen. Needless to say, was very underwelming compared to my previous Crit Heavy kitty spec.

    I then later changed to my newer option, staying crit heavy and utilized the 2 Tier 7 (Chest/Gloves) and 2 Tier 8 (Head/Legs) for the dual buffs and maintaining decent AP and 56% crit. Needless to say, was my current favorite – nearly topping DPS as a melee in 10man Ulduar in General Vez, keeping par if not exceeding the buffed ranged DPS in the guild at 4000-4500 DPS. I hope to try it again on even scaled fight to get proper numbers on Tuesday.

    I’ll give the ArPen gear another shot, tips would be appreciated – but I fear it may need to benched until can Mjonir Trinket – I’m also concerned with 3.2 around the corner that next shift in gear continues this ArPen balance to ensure it’s something worth growing into.


  • Jacemora says:

    I just did General 25 tonight with 383 ARP I believe. I tossed 12 maims out and still came in #1 on the DPS charts at around 5200 DPS I believe. This was using the shred idol and the fight was stationary.

    I will post my WWS tomorrow.

    2T7 + 2T8 > 3T8 4 sure.

  • Jacemora says:

    I wouldn’t go ARP crazy yet, like you said 3.2 could make it all change again as well.

  • darksend says:

    4t8 > 2/2

    With 4t8 and a mangle bot you can fully sustain a 5 sr 5 rip 5 bite 5 rip rotation

    The other dps druid in my guild is dual spec boomkin feral with feral as his offspec. He recently got 4t8 and commented saying:

    I never knew what it was like to play a cat druid before. It is an entirely different game now

  • Jacemora says:

    WTB Mangle bot.

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