In previous posts, I’ve talked a lot about the creation of Threat.
What I’d like to do now is provide some numbers, for your use in understanding how much threat can be generated, and how it all compares.
The first thing to understand is, Threat scales based on Attack Power, even your Faerie Fire (Feral). It’s well known that the more damage you deal, the more Threat your attacks generate, especially when properly Talented. What isn’t as widely understood is that even Faerie Fire is affected by gear.
Let’s take a look at two cases, side by side. One with full gear, the other naked. We are only interested in the results of successful hits of each ability, not overall results factoring in misses.
As you can see, the variation in your gear can have drastic affects on your Threat generation, more than you might believe.
The other thing you can see is the disproportionate Threat of Maul as regards Attack Power. Certain abilities, such as Faerie Fire (Feral), Maul and Lacerate all specify that they do a certain amount of damage, plus a “High amount of threat”. That’s part of why you see a disparity between Auto-Attack Threat scaling and Maul Threat scaling in the chart above.
Regardless, by looking at this chart, you should be able to arrive at some conclusions when thinking about your Threat rotation.
First, Maul indeed causes the most Threat of any of your attacks per application. If you have the Rage to keep it constantly queued up at all times, it will also be your highest Threat Per Second attack on one target (plus a buddy with Glyph of Maul!). It also will apply Infected Wounds in your target, which slows their attacks. So, all around great.
The drawback to Maul is that it must be queued up. It is not an instant application of Threat. Once queued, it replaces your next scheduled auto-attack. Another drawback, but one much more minor, is that Maul costs Rage, while an Auto-Attack generates Rage. Use Maul all the time, and you’re losing a good bit of Rage income. Just a point.
The second thing to think about is that, of the instant cast abilities open to you, Faerie Fire (Feral) does a very solid amount of Threat… it’s ranged, and it costs nothing to cast except an activation of the Global Cooldown. All great things, but the key here is that it’s RANGED, and this adds another tool to our toolbox.
This makes Faerie Fire (Feral) a must-use Threat tool… but who you choose to use it on may depend on circumstances. More on this in a bit.
Mangle (Bear) has received a pretty bad rap, and the reasons I thought it did just don’t seem to be there. Thanks to your comments and my research into Threat, I now know that it delivers a solid amount of Threat, it also adds Infected Wounds to the target (when Talented in Infected Wounds), and when Berserk is activated it will hit three adjacent targets on every hit, as fast as the GCD allows you to fire. That’s a lot of Threat applied very fast to three targets.
Lacerate does less Threat than many other attacks, but with Primal Gore, each tick of damage has a chance to Crit, providing bonus Rage (and bubble procs). What it primarily does for you is apply a Bleed effect to the target. With 5/5 in Rend and Tear, your Maul will do 20% more damage. That’s a hefty Threat increase from Maul, and very valuable. That is why you will see people recommend that you get Lacerate in early, so that you are getting the full benefit to your Maul of a Bleed effect being on the target. And don’t forget that your Mangle puts a debuff on your target so that it takes more damage from Bleeds like Lacerate in the first place, which helps Lacerate do more Threat, too.
Finally, Swipe. Swipe does more Threat than people tend to realise. It doesn’t have the slowing or Bleeding goodies of other abilties… but it hits as an AoE, and every single individual target hit can be a Crit, with all the yummy bubble procs and bonus Rage that goes along with it.
This congruence of factors is why, in my own pulls, I will favor pulling with a Faerie Fire (Feral), use Swipe to start Threat on the entire group and counteract AoE and healer threat, start queueing and keep up at all times Maul, get a Mangle on my main target to start a enhanced damage from Bleed debuff, another Swipe, Lacerate for the enhanced Maul damage, Swipe, Faerie Fire (Feral), and then settle down and focus on keeping FFF up, working Lacerate into the act to add more stacks, and again… keep that Maul, which does NOT trigger the Global Cooldown, up at all times.
Now, about that Faerie Fire (Feral).
It is instant cast… it’s free to use (activates the GCD), and it’s ranged.
One other thing about it.
You do not have to be facing the target to trigger it. You can cast it at a target behind you. You can cast it from your butt.
And it does a really marvelous amount of Threat.
Remember, when dealing damage on a mob, damage equals Threat. When someone is Healing damage done to a player, their Threat is divided amongst all the mobs that are aware of them. Divided.
Healing threat builds up at a pace slower than damage based Threat, when fighting multiple targets.
Assuming, as we should, that most situations of a single distant ranged mob outside your AoE would be that the mob is only seeing Threat from the healer, then this gives us a marvelous tool to stay ahead of healer threat on ranged targets, while still romping on our own in the main group.
I have created a Faerie Fire (Feral) macro for special occasions.
To use the FFF macro, you first need to be able to set a target as your Focus. A Focus is a mob that you want to be able to cast things at, without having to target it specifically each time.
You could simply create a macro that consisted of;
You target a mob, you click the macro, that mob is now your Focus target. If you use UI unit frame mods, almost all of them have a Focus Frame that it will display.
Another option is to use a mouseover macro to make a mob your Focus. Longtime readers know that I’ve long enjoyed mouseover macros; they let you do things to mobs without having to target them first.
/focus [target=mouseover, exists] target
To use that macro, you mouse over the mob you want made into your Focus, then activate the macro. If the macro button is on your bar as #1, for example, you can mouseover the mob and press 1. Instant Focus.
Now, the Faerie Fire (Feral) macro is as so;
#showtooltip Faerie Fire (Feral)
/cast [target=focus] Faerie Fire (Feral)
The line that says /clearfocus means that, if you no longer have a valid mob as a Focus, like it’s dead, or it’s vanished, then it clears the focus window. The cast line will cast Faerie Fire (Feral) at your designated Focus, regardless of what mob you’ve got targeted at the moment, so long as the spell can be cast and the Focus is in range.
I personally use the /focus macro, and then the macro above. I don’t use the mouseover version of focus, because I really like my current button bar arrangement;
On the bottom, in Bear form, I have Feral Charge and Enrage as two ‘prepare to engage’ buttons.
This is followed by Survival Instincts and Frenzied Regeneration above each other in a stack, symbolizing how I trigger them… one after the other. (My long cooldowns go on the top bar, generally, above commonly used abilities on the bottom).
Then you get into the core of the Bear attack rota, the Demoralizing Roar at the farthest left, the Faerie Fire (Feral) far left, Mangle at left, Lacerate at right, Maul at far right, and Swipe at furthest right. Long cooldown Berserk is right over Mangle, Barkskin is right over Lacerate, Lifeblood is over Maul.
The Swipe button has the word Swipe ON it, because it is my Barkskin macro;
#showtooltip Swipe (Bear)
/cast Swipe (Bear)
And then, past the attack rota, you’ve got Growl, Bash, and Challenging Roar, in order of decreasing frequency of use.
The skull and crossbones button saying “Ready” is just my Ready Check macro.
I know this has gone far afield, but the way this Focus macro with Faerie Fire (Feral) can be used is to choose a distant spellcasting target, make him your Focus, target your near mob and make him your Skull kill target, and then charge in on Skull. Attack as normal, Swipe, Mangle, Maul, whatever you like…
But every time you hit your FFF macro, that distant ranged target is getting hit with Faerie Fire (Feral), and easily staying over healer aggro without ever having to actually target him.
In conclusion… knowing your enemy, knowing what they will do, knowing who will come running to you into Swipe range and who will hang back and fireball is most of the battle.
The REST of the battle is knowing what you want to do about it!