The new fury rotation

With the latest patch we received a small but noticable change to the fury playstyle. Yes, I’m talking about the reduction in CD on Bloodthirst. Instead of a 5 second cooldown (which doesn’t really fit with a 8 second Whirlwind cooldown), we now have a 4 second cooldown…which happens to fit nicely with Whirlwind, right? Right?

This is where I go: yes and no.

Yes: There is no more constantly delaying BT just to keep the WW cooldown inviolate.

No: Both 4s and 8s fit terribly with the 1.5s GCD.

But this is nothing new you say. Correct, it’s nothing new, but in the past our cooldowns were long enough to leave us space inbetween for other stuff. If we are determined to keep BT and WW on constant cooldown, we have a whooping 1 free GCD per 8 seconds. Read that again and then tell me if you’re dancing with joy. For reference, with the 5s cooldown we had 5 free GCD’s per 16 seconds, as well as 3 BT’s. On the flip side, we have 1 more BT per 16 seconds.

So by keeping to the BT and WW cooldowns we are effectively trading 4 free GCD’s for 1 BT. Hardly a terrific increase in DPS I’d say.

But then, these days we are moving away from the oldschool style fixed rotations and into priority lists. As good or bad as that might be. And whether we like it or not, by keeping our inviolate rotations, we are more or less stifling ourselves. So, let’s look at the 2 main alternatives there are, at least as I see them:

  1. Keep the WW cooldown inviolate, GCD the rest
  2. Fit everything to the GCD

You can of course argue that there are more alternatives, and this is true. There are more ways to do it. However, I have picked the two above, since they are inherently simple and easier to pull off than some others. In other words, you dont need a timer running to pull them off. They are guided by the GCD and the cooldown on WW (which a mod like OmniCC will let you see easily). In the following, I shall refer to them as rotations 1 and 2 respectively.

Rotation 1 (duration: 16s) looks the following:

  • WW at: 0s, 8s
  • BT at: 1.5s, 6s, 11s
  • Free GCD at: 3s, 4.5s, 9.5s, 12.5s, 14s

Rotation 2 (duration: 9s) looks like:

  • WW at: 0s
  • BT at: 1.5s, 6s
  • Free GCD at: 3s, 4.5s, 7.5s

You’ll notice that rotation 2 is 9 seconds long, which means that WW will be off cooldown for 1s each rotation. Shock horror! However, before people start commenting, let’s look at the number of abilities per second:

Rotation 1:

  • WW: 0.125/s (0.125/s)
  • BT: 0.1875/s (0.25/s)
  • Free GCD: 0.3125/s (o.125/s)

Rotation 2:

  • WW: 0.111/s
  • BT: 0.22/s
  • Free GCD: 0.33/s

Numbers in parenthesis are the inviolate rotation numbers, where BT and WW are not delayed. So, we see what is happening. By sacrificing a bit of WW damage, we gain more BT damage and more potential for bonus Slams. We are now faced with the question: which rotation is the better rotation?

The answer is of course: the one with the highest DPS output. Duh.

Instead of trying to justify my flippant answer, I’ll analyse the two rotations a bit further. Essentially, up until 7.5s they are identical. In fact, you could call them merely variants of the same rotation. The main difference is whether we delay the WW for 1s to squeeze in a Slam. But, is it ever justified to violate the inviolate? The answer is of course dependent on what numbers you put out. And this is where your mileage varies, where every person needs to do their own numbers.

It’s perhaps important to note that I’m not saying that WW is no longer the most important ability we have. If your rage says you can either Slam or WW, then you WW. No question. At the other end of the scale, if you are at 100 Rage all the time you are wasting DPS. In such a case, delaying the WW for a second to squeeze in an extra Slam is justified, provided you do not lack rage for subsequent WW’s and BT’s.


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