Stacking Cooldowns in WoW

In life as in dance: Grace glides in on blistered feet.
Alice Abrams

Stacking Cooldowns

While it may seem obvious; we, as damage dealers, do not have a consistant throughput of our DPS. We have crazy peaks of damage that settle down and we vamp for a while. Until our cooldowns line up to peak again with some fierce hurt on the boss.

Much is made of our rotations but keeping an eye on our cooldowns is what brings finesse to our class. In this, Blizzard has done us a service by giving us the Legendary Ring with a two minute shared cooldown.

There are three or four factors in stacking cooldowns:

  • On Hero. The raid wide 40% haste boost should line up with all of your most powerful cooldowns, along with your precious potion.
  • Legendary Ring. Keeping an eye on your other two minute cooldowns to line these up is crucial. For me, as a hunter, it is Rapid Fire and the Blademaster trinket.
  • Heavy movement phases can make you delay your cooldown.
  • Long ass cooldowns, like stampede are five minutes. Choosing when to use it (with that saved potion!) and whether you can squeeze in two for a fight is what we are talking about here.

Within this over-arching commitment to using our powerful cooldowns together there are in-raid mechanics for our shorter cooldowns. For example, Barrage lines up perfectly with the imps who spawn on Xhul’horac. Using Barrage on the first spawn of the imps will have you in rhythm for the entire battle (every 20 seconds).

Boss Encounters are like a song. Verse, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Verse. Finding the rhythm within each fight is the fun of playing your character like an instrument … of destruction!


  • Gorefiend is two minutes of Belly Time, one minute of Feast of Souls, two minutes of Belly Time and one minute of Feast of Souls. Knowing your cooldown (like stampede) is five minutes, you’d use it on the pull and the second Feast of Souls. Using your heavy cooldown twice. IF (a big if) you will actually see that second Feast of Souls. You’ll know in your own raid team.
  • Mannaroth: since we pre-pot, the first summoner dies quickly. Save your stampede for the second summoner and then, when we “pop Hero” in phase four, your stampede is ready for your crucial donation to the raid. Barrage imps on cooldown.
  • Iskar is easy. Ring and cooldowns on the adds, stampede and hero on the final set of adds starting on the Fel Raven. This boss is a symphony of classic rhythm.

He who triggers the Legendary Ring has the power. One ring to rule them all. If you are so lucky as to be the triggerman, you can make sure your resources are “topped off” and ready to go. All too often, I’m waiting for a movement mechanic to end so our triggerman will fire off the ring. Those five seconds of waiting are agony. Hopefully, you will get into a rhythm with the triggerman as well.

Think of your class and how you face the encounters. As you fall into a rhythm, you’ll see that it is designed, choreographed, for your character to succeed with style, finesse and panache.


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