RestoCat: The Secret to Catweaving
If you’ve been around the Resto Druid community for long you may have heard of Catweaving, a DPS focused Resto Druid variant that is particularly powerful in Mythic+ and for raid bosses with tight enrage timers. It’s also a god send if your raid leader insists on running more healers than you need.
- Moonfire. Strong single target damage over time. Buffed by the Persistence trait. Can be cast in Bear Form (see advanced section).
- Sunfire. Strong multi-target damage over time spell. Only one target is hit by the initial damage (with all targets within 5 yards taking the DoT).
- Wrath. Weak single target noodle. We might occasionally use this if melee isn’t safe.
- Heals. Baaaah.
- Shred. Cat form single target filler ability.
- Swipe. Cat form AoE filler ability. Beats Shred on 2+ targets.
- Rake. High single target DoT. No haste scaling. Lasts 15 seconds.
- Ferocious Bite. Single target finisher. Less damage than Rip. Costs 25 energy, but deals double damage if you cast at 50 (and you should).
- Rip. High damage single target DoT finisher. Lasts 24 seconds.
- Swipe. Your only AoE spell when Bearweaving (see advanced section).
Stuff you should know
- 100% of your Intellect is converted to Agility when you change to Cat Form or Bear Form. This is what enables us to do so much damage, but also has a key ramification:
- Bleeds applied in Cat Form (Rake, Rip) do ~80% less damage when you are in Caster Form. Since these are two of your highest damage spells you want to spend as much time in Cat or Bear Form as possible.
- Make sure you throw up HoTs between pulls. You want to spend as much time DPS’ing as possible, and every second you spend out of Cat Form is bleed damage that you are losing.
- Potion of Prolonged Power is our DPS potion of choice when Catweaving since it gives us 5000 agility in total. Get into the habit of chain casting these through dungeons.
- You should start every fight with a Rake from Stealth if possible. It deals double damage. Make sure you don’t overwrite this.
- Ferocious Bite refreshes Rip when the target is below 25% health.
- (Advanced) The Auto attack timer does not reset when you switch forms. This means that no auto attack damage is lost when you switch between Bear and Cat Form.
Catweaving for newbies
(This is -not- the optimal rotation, but when starting out it can be best to keep it simple)
Not too difficult, right? Keep up Sunfire and Moonfire, and then jump into Cat Form for some extra damage until you run out of energy. When you’re out of energy you can pop out to heal, and it takes ~six seconds for energy to recharge so you can get 3-4 healing spells off if you need it while you wait. You’ll see particularly good results on AoE packs where Solar Wrath just can’t keep up. You can drop Moonfire out of your AoE rotation if there are more than five mobs, or if the pack is unlikely to live longer than 10 seconds.
Alright, the beginners rotation does a pretty good job but after you’ve mastered it you might be looking for… more. More depth, more damage, more excuses not to heal. The advanced rotation is heavily based around maximising the value of each global cooldown, while trying to prevent energy from capping out.
First, let’s become more accustomed to how much damage each of our skills actually does:
Let’s look at the full rotation
- Maintain Moonfire and Sunfire on the target at all times. Moonfire does slightly more damage per cast on one target.
- Maintain Rake at all times. Since it also buffs Shred damage there are very few scenarios where Shred out-damages Rake (even if you have to shift back to caster form after 2-3 cat abilities).
- Cast Shred as your Cat Form filler ability. Once you reach 5 combo points:
- Cast Rip if you think you will be in Cat or Bear form for at least 10 seconds of the Rip duration.
- Cast Ferocious Bite if that isn’t the case, or if Rip is already on the target. Pool 50 energy before casting Ferocious Bite.
- Once out of energy, you have two viable options:
- Throw out some HoTs (remember that any time you spend in Caster Form is bleed damage lost).
- Go into Bear Form and cast Moonfire while you wait for your energy to recharge.
- After two Moonfires, go back into Cat Form and resume your standard Cat rotation (or heal if you really have to).
- This is very similar to the single target catweaving rotation, except we have multiple mobs to keep our DoT’s on, and Shred is replaced by Swipe.
- Maintain Sunfire and Moonfire on the targets at all times. Sunfire is a higher priority cast if the targets are within 5 yards of each other.
- Maintain Rake on all targets that will live at least 10 seconds. It deals more Damage per Energy than a 3 target Swipe.
- Cast Swipe as your Cat Form filler ability. You can use Shred instead to nuke down a priority target but it is a DPS loss.
- Your choice of finisher is identical to the single target rotation.
- You can Rip multiple targets, and should do so if they will live longer than 14 seconds, and if you will spend most of that time in Cat or Bear Form.
- I strongly recommend going into Bear Form for two swipes after you are out of energy. You can also use the time in Bear Form to refresh Moonfires.
- Maintain Sunfire on all targets.
- Cast Swipe as your filler of choice.
- Swipe is better value than Ferocious Bite with four targets up, and so you can ignore your finishers.
- Rip is higher damage than a 1-6 target swipe however most AoE packs won’t have a mob that lives long enough to bother with it.
- After three swipes you will be out of energy. Swap to Bear Form as above for the AoE swipes. This is a large DPS increase over sitting in Cat Form auto attacking.
- If the mobs are expected to live for longer than 10 seconds then add Moonfire to the rotation.
While the above rotations are solid throughout the fight, we will open the fight slightly differently if we are able to start from Stealth.
- Rake is a significantly higher damage opener than Shred, so long as the mob lives at least six seconds.
- Since this starts you in Cat Form already, it IS worth it to empty your energy bar before you apply Moonfire and Sunfire to the target(s).
- After your energy is empty start on one of the rotations above. Don’t overwrite your double strength Rake.
Best in slot Resto DPS legendary Chatoyant changes the catweaving rotation slightly by giving us 100 extra energy to dump.
- Only dump two-three casts worth of energy in your opener before casting MF / SF. Dumping your entire energy bar takes too long.
- When you’re out of energy and there’s no healing that needs to be done, stay in Bear Form until you have most of your energy back. Spamming Bear Swipe (AoE) or Bear Moonfire (ST) is more DPS than just auto-attacking in Cat Form. Make sure you can see your energy at all times, even when you’re not in Cat Form (see Weak Auras section).
Stats are interesting thing for Catweaving since Crit, Vers and Haste increase our damage by the largest amount BUT Mastery is our strongest Mythic+ healing stat. If you’re looking to maximise DPS you need to minimize the amount of mastery on your gear. If you’re trying to heal at the same time then grab as much mastery as you need to heal each pack successfully while loading the rest of your gear with Crit, Vers and Haste. Take advantage of being able to swap gear in between pulls to throw on a Mastery heavy set if a tough pull is coming up.
Here are some notes on stats:
- Crit and Vers have an effect on all of our damaging abilities, and it boosts them all equally. Crit is slightly cheaper to get +1% damage but you also get 5% for free.
- Bleeds always deal damage on a fixed timer (3s for Rake, and 2s for Rip). They gain no bonus from Haste rating.
- Haste reduces our global cooldown and increases our Cat Form energy regen and Moonfire / Sunfire damage.
- Mastery offers no DPS increase whatsoever.
As of 7.3.5 you can now sim your resto DPS. There are full instructions on how to do so in this document, courtesy of Torty: https://goo.gl/uQPbQ7. Raidbots is the more user friendly of the two simming options. Simming allows you to work out:
- What your best trinket options are, for Single Target and AoE.
- What your stat weights are, so you can optimize your gearset.
- How much DPS you should be doing in your current gear.
Just make sure you’re in Feral Affinity when you copy your Simcraft string or you’ll get weird results.
Catweaving Trinket sims are provided as a rough guide only. To see how trinkets compare with your own statline you’ll need to sim yourself.
- Use Umbral Moonglaives / Deteriorated Construct Core on 2+ targets.
- Use Carafe / Oakheart’s Gnarled Root single target.
- Fill in any gaps you have with non-mastery stat sticks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Isn’t Balance Affinity stronger?
Don’t I need Guardian Affinity for high level Mythic+?
While staying alive indeed becomes trickier as you start your ascent through the +20’s, we are equipped with a large array of tools to deal with this already. Use Bear Form (+55% stamina, +armor), Barkskin, Ironbark, and your trinkets to survive bursts of damage. You’ll also want to dodge anything that you can (I can see you standing in that Volcano). Timers can be very tight and adding 500-700k DPS over the dungeon with your Catweaving will often be a key factor in completing the key in time.
Which legendaries offer the highest DPS?
Feral’s Chatoyant Signet and Balance’s Lady and the Child are best followed by Sephuz and KJBW. If you don’t have any of those, you might consider prioritizing the Resto legendaries that will save you the most global cooldowns (so that you have more time to catweave).
What is Bearweaving?
With the Fury of Nature legendary Guardian cloak and Balance’s Lady and the Child you can put out competitive DPS while staying Guardian Affinity – especially on 2 or more targets. The rotation is Sunfire -> Bear Form -> spam Moonfire. This pulls a huge amount of threat so maybe warn your tank beforehand. Not recommended during Skittish weeks or with newer tanks.