Dec 242010

I hit 85 yesterday.  And in honor of it, I dug up all the agility gear I’d been slowly picking up when no caster gear was available, donned it, and resumed my identity as Cat Man!  I couldn’t stay a caster.  It just isn’t my style.  Too… standy aroundy.  Laser Chicken, you shall be missed.

In the process of trying to re-acclimate my UI and buttons to feline fun, I noticed something.  Fairly often, my Rip duration was ending about 3 seconds before my Tiger’s Fury was coming off cooldown.  Rip has a duration of 16 second duration and Tiger’s Fury has a 30 second cooldown.  I’d never really considered them close enough to exhibit this behavior so frequently.  So, I broke down what I was doing.

  1. Skip’s out of energy from spamming death.  Skip presses Tiger’s Fury for a 60 energy burst, thanks to King of the Jungle.
  2. Skip Shreds with impunity.
  3. After a couple of seconds, he hits 5 combo points and quickly refreshes Rip so it takes advantage of the Tiger’s Fury 15% damage buff.  This happens at roughly the end of TF’s 6 second duration (we’ll say 5 seconds in), so its cooldown has about 25 seconds to go (the cooldown begins right away, not at the end of the buff).
  4. Rip lasts for 16 seconds.  My Glyph of Shred adds another 6 seconds by the end, so ends up lasting 22 seconds.
  5. And so, Rip is ending with 3 seconds left on the Tiger’s Fury cooldown.  If I wait 3 more seconds to reapply Rip, I can use TF to give it that 15% damage buff.

Of course, waiting to reapply Rip is bad.  Rip is easily the kitty’s biggest damage dealer, especially with our Mastery rating adding to all bleed damage.  Any downtime is lots of lost damage.

What the Flip, Skip?

What is so important about getting Tiger’s Fury and Rip together?

Well, your bleeds take advantage of your damage bonuses at the time they are applied.  If I apply Rake or Rip during the 6 second TF buff, they will get 15% bonus damage for the full duration, or until I use the ability again to refresh it.  If I gain a damage boost after the bleed has been applied, the ticks will not get stronger.  It’s all about that first hook.

Since bleeds are a cat’s biggest damage dealer, any buff you can give them will show favorably on your final damage total.  That doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to make sure every bleed is always buffed.  Cat “rotations” are far too chaotic, and you don’t need that kind of stress.  However, should the opportunity arise, you should certainly take it.  If nothing else, I try to always refresh Rake anytime I use Tiger’s Fury.  Because Rip is dependent on combo points, and should always be used with 5 of them, you kind of have to take them as you get them.

Enter Glyph of Tiger’s Fury.

I had started by glyphing Rip, Shred and Berserk.  In terms of raw, lab result DPS, Berserk is a great glyph.   It bumps Berserk from lasting 15 seconds to 20 seconds of sheer, unadulterated pwnage.  I offer this praise in that sort of “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of way, because it is getting dumped.  It just so turns out that Glyph of Tiger’s Fury reduces the cool down by exactly 3 seconds, the same window with which I keep finding myself.  Yes, please.  Berserk is probably still the better glyph in terms of numbers, but I’m a usability guy, myself.  Make my life easier!  Kitty deserves a break.

Fortune Cookie:

The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from fortune cookies.  CookieNet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

Enjoy your cookie.  :)