Roaring into WotLK: Min/Maxing Demo Shouts

Posted in Feral, WotLK on Oct 08, 2008

In the past, there’ve been few compelling reasons for a Raider Bear to pick up the talent Feral Aggression. For one, Feral Aggression offered precious little raiding utility for Cat DPS (as Ferocious Bite never ended up being viable in Burning Crusade). But Feral Aggression also boosts the melee AP reduction of Demoralizing Roar, the dr00d answer to a Warrior’s Demoralizing Shout—which sounds good. Why isn’t it?  The base and improved version of Demoralizing Shout always outclassed Demoralizing Roar. Thus, as long as your raid group was running with a Warrior (and really, who wasn’t?), you could effectively mete out your points elsewhere.

For the full rundown, you can read my previous explanation, but here are the base numbers:

Rank 6 Demoralizing Roar: -240 AP
Rank 7 Demoralizing Shout: -300 AP

Rank 6 Demoralizing Roar: -336 AP
Rank 7 Demoralizing Shout: -420 AP

Wrath provides more incentives to drop 5 points into Feral Aggression. Take a look:

Level 77 Rank 8 Demoralizing Roar: -408 AP
Level 79 Rank 8 Demoralizing Shout: -410 AP

Level 77 Rank 8 Demoralizing Roar: -571.2 AP
Level 79 Rank 8 Demoralizing Shout: -574 AP

As you’d expect from Blizzard’s effort to streamline tanking, each class needs to be interchangeable, and I’d argue that the differences between Demoralizing Shout and Demoralizing Roar will be negligible. So do you need to place points in Feral Aggression for Wrath of the Lich King? If you do have a Warrior, whether DPS or Protection, it’s best to coordinate with him or her and ascertain who would be best served by picking up the Improved version of either ability—because it’s probably worth min/maxing.  

Who’s hurt more by dropping talent points into the improved versions? A Protection Warrior potentially loses out on 5% Parry or sacrifices situationally useful Protection talents. 

0/10/61 With Improved Demo Shout; missing Parry.

5/10/56 With Improved Demo Shout; with Parry. but missing useful Protection talents.

7/3/61 Ideal.

One might argue that Druids at least get the additional buff to Ferocious Bite. Although overall Cat DPS will be punished by spending points on what are generally considered “Bear Only” talents, there may still be circumstances under which you’ll have to do some abysmal damage—and Ferocious Bite is now a viable portion of our ever-complicated Cat DPS rotation. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth taking at the risk of sacrificing TPS improvements, but here goes:

0/60/11 With Feral Aggression. Missing Shredding Attacks, Improved Leader of the Pack, and Brutal Impact. 

0/61/10 With Feral Aggression. Missing Omen of Clarity, Brutal Impact, and King of the Jungle. 

0/60/11 Ideal. No Feral Aggression.

Although some of the above talents are arguably unnecessary or situational, they still compose a laundry list of tanking tools (however minor) that get left by the wayside just because we need to sink five points into FA. If I end up having to talent my shout, I anticipate mirroring the 0/61/10 build. 



  • At 2008.10.08 13:16, Stealthfire said:

    I’ve had “Feral Aggression = Bad” ingrained into my brain for so long that any build with it makes me uneasy. I’m not sure it’s worth losing all those other talents. Here’s hoping I find warriors that like imp demo shout.

    Not to nitpick, but that last build is actually 0/60/11. Wouldn’t want to forget our old friend omen of clarity.

    I’m still trying to figure out what my eventual tank build will be. I had a nice one worked out until they announced that predatory instincts’ aoe portion (or is it both?) no longer affects bear form. I wish they’d announce their plan for dual specs already. That will also have a large impact, since I’d be more willing to sacrifice some dps talents if I knew I could switch easily. Guess I get to wait until blizzcon.

    • At 2008.10.08 13:23, Runycat said:

      Hey, it’s not a nitpick if you’re fixing a relatively stupid typo on my part. Thanks for catching that (because clearly I didn’t).

      I did a lot of discussing with my fiancee today about who would be the best party to pick it up (as he’s a Protection Warrior), and while it’s really not palatable to either of us, I think the “general” consensus is that it’s probably best for Warriors to pick up.

      Predatory Instincts (as explained in my previous post) is entirely “Cats Only.” I’ve pretty much squared with the fact that Blizzard is pressing us Hybrids to make potentially uncomfortable (given how it “used to be”) choices to slot us into one role. If I’m going to tank, I might as well do it correctly. Given the flexibility I think we’ll need for competitive 10 man progression, I will probably use my “dual spec” for tanking and healing, to be honest (although I don’t really find that enjoyable). For straight DPS, I’ll likely just reach into my pockets and pull out the gold for respeccing.

    • At 2008.10.09 06:28, Fathul said:

      Just wanted to note that Demo Roar should be equal to Demo Shout at level 80. The reason Roar is 2 AP less than Shout is because it’s learned 2 levels earlier. My understanding is that both gain 1 AP reduction per level, so they’ll both end up at 411 at level 80 (untalented). At least, that’s what I’ve read.

      • At 2008.10.09 11:22, Runycat said:

        I have read that about similar abilities, but I can’t say I’ve seen it in direct reference to Demoralizing Shout/Roar (and I’d love to see the source so that I can update my article accordingly). Clearly, there’s a stupid amount of information out there that I likely haven’t glanced across. That’s part of the reason I included the levels at which the abilities are learned.

      • At 2008.10.09 10:57, Rhinjet said:

        I’m new to the feral community (Resto for three years) but my interest in Feral is coming back with WotLK. I’ll mostly be cat DPS but tanking when needed and just wanted to talk about your spec a little. By the way, I’m far from an expert and some of these things maybe play-style preferences.

        I looked over your recommended specs to get Feral Aggression and wondered if skipping other talents would help out.

        Skipping Primal Precision: Looking over Naxx-25 Druid gear and we have a TON of expertise coming our way. Is another 10 going to help that much? Maybe it will, we’ll see =)

        Skipping Shredding Attacks: When I need to go bear spec, I’m pretty sure I’ll pass this one up. Only 2 less rage for Lacerate.

        Skipping Brutal Impact: A big aid in PvP but necessary in PvE, especially with so many other classes being able to stun? What’s another 1 sec.

        King of the Jungle vs Infected Wounds: King of the Jungle looks to be godlike for cat and would be a nice boost for initial threat and ever Enrage CD. Infected Wounds is in the debuff category of “Melee Attack Speed Slow Debuff” along with Icy Touch, Judgement of the Just, and Thunderclap. So working out which raider member provides that buff would determine where I’d go with those last three talents.


        • At 2008.10.09 11:18, Runycat said:

          In past entries, I’ve done a little questioning about most of the above talents myself.

          I will not be taking Infected Wounds, since it’s essentially rendered useless by superior debuffs and can (generally) only be applied to one target at a time, whereas Thunderclap/iThunderclap is a great, damaging AOE effect that any Warrior worth his or her salt will pick up.

          The general consensus is that Primal Precision will still be an incredibly useful Bear talent for entry-level tanking at Level 80, and can be dropped as soon as you start gathering Naxx gear (as you mentioned). Until I can get my grubby little paws on some epics, I’m going to sink those 2 points, and sink them happily.

          In some of my initial WotLK Bear builds, I also skipped Shredding Attacks in favor of trying IW and keeping Predatory Instincts. You’re absolutely correct in that it’s not as useful a talent as, say, iLotP considering the amount of Rage we generate in beta. Is the Rage cost reduction really necessary? Coin toss, although it’d arguably boost our DPS in the rare circumstances in which we need to go Cat. The conversion of Predatory Instincts to a “Cats Only” talent has effectively freed up a few more points, and now it’s just a matter of prioritizing.

          So essentially, I would consider my “throwaway” talents:

          Brutal Impact
          Omen of Clarity
          Shredding Attacks

          They all have some measure of usefulness, situationally, but aren’t absolutely “necessary” for tanking anymore. I would prefer keeping KotJ for a periodic TPS boost over Brutal Impact and Omen of Clarity (which seems ever the more dated in the upcoming endless Rage days to come), and that still leaves me with two points. Shredding Attacks? Sure. Once the time comes to leave Primal Precision behind, I can pick BI and OoC back up again.

          Just as a reminder, Brutal Impact is also a spell interrupt on Stun immune mobs now (i.e. Shield Bash). Obviously time will tell on whether this is useful in the expansion or not.

          • At 2008.10.09 11:20, Kal said:

            On Primal Precision – it gives expertise skill, not rating. Expertise rating takes 32 points to get to -1% dodge/parry. Expertise skill takes 4 points to get -1% dodge/parry. Which makes it pretty valuable – each talent point gives a total of 1.25% anti-parry and 1.25% anti-dodge, making it the best talent for threat a bear can have point-for-point. Even after the dodge cap has been reached for expertise (estimated at 7%) it’s still a good talent for threat.

            On brutal impact – now that bash is a spell interrupt, having a cooldown on bash of only 30 seconds is pretty compelling to me. Hard to fit it in for raiding though. But it’s very nice for 5-mans.

            • At 2008.10.09 11:28, Runycat said:


              Essentially what I said, but with numbers. And, of course, more specific.

              • At 2008.10.09 12:43, Rhinjet said:

                Gah, I mix up the Expertise Rating/Skill often. I blame it on being resto for so long. Good points. Naxx gear will only will give us 130 Expertise Rating so PP would still be nice. I’m not in beta, so it’s a talent that I’ve gone back and forth on. Good to hear what others think about it.

                With BI, I was mostly thinking of raids but I agree on it’s viability for 5-mans.

            • At 2008.10.10 10:41, Abagoo said:

              I’ve used feral aggression since the beginning of my tanking career. I do find it more useful in five-man’s then raid obliviously. I believe that the reason why I have such high threat (even as a druid, my guild leader who has a tanking druid compliments me frequently on my threat) is that I add demoralizing roar (improved) in with my regular rotation. And there has been many times when a mob or two gets by me early on in a fight and of course my challenging roar is on cooldown (when isn’t it?) and my demoralizing roar has made them think twice about beating on my healer or someone less important. (><) And The healers I regularly run with in five-man’s compliment me on how easy I am to heal which I know has mostly to do with my high dodge rating. But I believe that my roar helps when I do get hit. Either way (improved or not) I think our demoralizing roar is a very important part of our rotation. And as for WOLK we all need to think about investing points in the improved roar. For one thing we all will be running a lot more ten mans and with blizzard stream-lining tanks the odds of a warrior being present is less likely. And in 25-man’s as Runy said it might just help us do a little more cat dps when its the plate wearers turn to be beat on.

              • At 2008.10.10 10:51, Runycat said:

                Note that I didn’t say we should omit Demoralizing Roar from our tanking rotation, particularly during trash or in five man dungeons. My post specifically references minimizing and maximizing raid buffs—in which case you want to make sure that you’re providing the maximum melee AP reduction possible to reduce damage taken. On trash? Doesn’t matter. If you find that there’s a serious issue with the amount of damage you’re taking during trash or in 5-mans, I recommend you find some new healers or reevaluate your gear.

                That being said, Demoralizing Roar will be useless during a boss encounter when someone has a talented version of a similar debuff—Demoralizing Roar will be overwritten. Under those circumstances, I wouldn’t recommend wasting the Rage (on an ability that generates minimal threat). In 5-mans and during trash, yes, you absolutely can and should use Demoralizing Roar if you’re the only one who has it available. You can pick up straggling mobs and potentially snap them back to you using that approach (and I’ve done it myself). But using those 5 points just for that purpose? Definitely unnecessary.

                Also, remember that Warlocks’ Curse of Weakness will also overwrite our untalented Demoralizing Roar and can provide melee AP reduction as well. I think chances are pretty decent that you’ll have either a Protection Warrior/DPS Warrior or a Warlock in any sort of raid composition.

                • At 2008.10.10 11:15, Runycat said:

                  For further clarification, yes, Demoralizing Roar does generate a minute amount of threat (~42) spread across multiple mobs; however, when you consider that using Feral Faerie Fire generates ~108 threat on application and Lacerate ~285 on initial application (not including the additional DoT), it’s rather wasteful.

                  See this for a more detailed explanation.

                • At 2008.11.28 15:36, Orion Antares said:

                  I found this while searching for some boss AP information. I thought it might be worth asking has anyone tested the new level 83 boss AP values to find out how many points we really need in this talent? I know at level 70 it was tested and found that only 2 points were needed for Demo Shout to cancel out all boss AP and the extra 3 points were to offset CoR. Since CoR no longer stacks with Faire Fire for the Armor Reduction bonus I was trying to find out if the boss AP values had be increased proportionally to what they were at level 70 or if they were increased even higher to make 5/5 demo shout/roar more desirable. Has anyone seen tests on this yet?

                  (Required, will not be published)

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