Attention: The 3.0 Patch (Wrath of the Lich King precursor) invalidates much of this post/thread. The Bear post
Explains stuff like what you need to be normally uncrittable, what the stats mean and how you should be looking to gear yourself.
----------------------------------------------------------------The Basics - Stats
I'll start off similar to the Cat post, by explaining the (important) stat conversions. Bear form is for tanking, therefore your tanking stats are the most important part of your gear, in general. Each is explained per point.Mitigation Stats
Stats and what they give you. Brackets are raid buffed values while the normal ones are unbuffed. All values are assuming HoTW and SoTF. All values are per 1 point of stat.
Agility = ~0.07% ((~14.7 agility per % dodge, or ~13 agility on gear per %dodge with
SotF and BoK)) [[Same crit conversion as for Cat form]] [[Grace of Air is
77 agility (88.55 improved) which comes out as approximately 6% dodge (~7%
improved) in a raid environment]]
Dodge Rating = ~0.05% ((18.9 dodge rating per % dodge))
Stamina = 15.45 health (17hp/point)
Defence = ~2.4 rating per skill, 1 skill = 0.04% dodge, miss, anti-crit ((25 defence,
or ~59.15 rating, for 1% less crit/more dodge/more miss))
Resilience = ~0.025% anti-crit ((39.4 resilience for 1% less crit and 1% less damage
Armour = 35880 armour to be capped at 75% reduction versus level 73 mobs.
The main priorities as a bear are to become un-crittable (for which you need 2.6%
anti-crit against a level 73), get decent amounts of health and armour and, if in an OT or hybrid role, stack agility. 2.6% anti-crit is 154 defence rating (415 defence total) or 103 resilience. You can mix and match, but make sure you check afterwards that you have a total that comes out to more than 2.6% to be safe. Remember that although you need more defence, you do get some avoidance out of it so it's not always most worth getting pure resilience.
If you want to skip a point in SotF, you need 1% more crit immunity to make up for it (39.4 resilience or 25 defence (~59.15 defence rating)). To get to the full cap (i.e. no points in SotF) you need 221 resilience or 140 defence (332 defence rating) in total.The Value of Avoidance
Defence gets you avoidance at a rate of 1% more dodge/miss per ~59.15 rating.
Agility gets you 1% more dodge per 14 agility.
See first graph from here
(fear my mad excel skills, done in between bits at work). Avoidance has more effect once you get to the crushing range (it should be 101.2% for a 73 boss mob but its the same principle).
Getting a good balance of all stats or stacking stamina will almost certainly be easier to heal overall than stacking avoidance to the point at which you start to push crushings off the hit table (86.2% total avoidance against a lvl73), even with the raid debuffs that you can take advantage of (insect swarm/scorpid sting is 7% extra avoidance).
See second graph from here
for the worth of 1% avoidance as avoidance increases.
Note that if you're on 60% dodge + 6% miss (total 66%) and you don't have insect swarm/scorpid sting while they are available in the raid, you're missing out on about 15-20% damage reduction.Threat Stats
In general Bear tanks have less trouble with threat than Warrior tanks, and this is seen as a major strength of Feral Druids. The stats that have value for threat are detailed below, with normal values being unbuffed and bracketed being buffed, assuming HoTW and SotF.
Strength = 2.06AP per point (2.266 AP per point)
Agility = ~1% crit per 25 agility (~1% crit per 22 agility)
Critical Strike Rating = 1% per 22.1 rating at 70
Hit Rating = 1% hit per ~15.8 hit rating
Attack Power = 1 AP per point.
Expertise Rating = Expertise gives 0.25% less dodge and parry per point.
Agility features pretty heavily in both the tanking and mitigation stat lineups - it's a very good multipurpose stat, and will be very useful on gear that you use for both bear and cat forms.Hit Rating and Expertise
Hit rating gives 1% hit per ~16 rating.
Expertise gives 1% less parry and 1% less dodge per ~16 rating.
There are a lot of good available items now that contain hit or expertise. Expertise is of approximately double the value of hit rating up to approximately 96 rating (24 expertise), then levels out to about the same value. This amount of expertise is not easily attainable and so it can be said that, at this time, expertise is always better than hit rating for a bear as a solo stat. Consideration of the item that it is on needs to be made.
Expertise has a secondary effect of reducing parries. Mob's have an effect where when they parry it hastens their next swing by ~40%, therefore reducing/removing their ability to parry can have a large effect on incoming burst damage.
Hit rating has the secondary effect of increasing taunt hit. This can be very important for particular fights and so it may be worth putting together a secondary set of gear with capped hit rating (~9%, ~142 hit rating). Although this will not cap your taunt resists (as taunt counts as a spell for %, meaning you need 17% to cap it, or 268 hit rating) it will reduce the resist rate to 8%, which is more than half the previous chance for a resist. It is not really practical to put together a >142 hit rating gear set due to the hit only increasing taunt hit rate, and the reduction in survival stats that you would otherwise gain.
One item stands out among the rest for hit and expertise, which is the
. The cost of obtaining this item along with the amount of hit and expertise gained from it makes it a very highly recommended item to use for threat reliant encounters. The cost of this item is also relatively low and can be obtained by pretty much anyone at level 70 in a small amount of time.
Other items containing expertise that could be used are (in no particular order):
- another very good entry level piece that has hit too.
There are a lot of items that include hit rating. The S3 arena gear is very good for tanking due to resilience along with hit (especially with the 2 piece bonus). There is a large number of other pieces with hit rating on them, so I won't list them all here, but a quick WoWhead filtered search for druids can be found here
----------------------------------------------------------------Roles, Gems, Enchants and Professions
There are two main roles that you will take as a feral while tanking: Main tanking, in which you are the number one tank tanking the boss, and offtanking, where you are either soaking damage on a fight such as Gruul or Supremus, or tanking a mob for a short amount of time/limited periods, like Morogrim, Karathress or Lurker. In the first instance, stamina is generally king along with armour. Due to the amount of stamina that a bear tank can setup on their gear, they can become great tanks for certain fights. Armour generally comes with good gear anyway, but it's still worth paying attention to. As a MT you want to be at the armour cap if possible to do so without sacrificing too many good pieces of gear. As an OT/Hybrid you want to maximise the value you can get out of your gear if you happen to switch to DPS mid-way through a fight, and help the healers mana along while tanking. This means that agility is generally king, as long as you have a decent amount of armour.
Coming on to the topic of gems, this makes it fairly easy. You either go for pure Stamina (
, Stamina/Agility (
- useful for if you MT some fights and use the same gear for other fights you DPS on), or pure Agility (
). If you are in need of a tiny bit of extra anti-crit, a resilience/stamina gem or pure resilience gem is probably the best choice, although 12 defence is not a bad enchant for bracers.
Again enchants are dependant on role in the raid these can vary. Many are shared with the DPS equivalents, especially if you are in a hybrid/offtank role.
Runspeed enchants can sometimes be the best option for boots, especially Cats Swiftness and Boar's Speed (6agi+runspeed and 9stam+runspeed respectively).
A table of how run speed enchants stacks with other bonuses can be found here
For Professions see the Cat post.
For a list of items that are a good base to build on for pre-raiding/early raiding, see the Bear Tanking - Pre-Raid Gear
are the best foods.
or equivalent is also good, along with
is my recommended battle elixir, but
is also a good choice.
is a good guardian elixir; alternatively
is a good choice if you want to get a bit more resilience for crit immunity.
is the best flask choice, however
is also good dependant on what role you're taking in the overall raid/fight.
is also a reasonable DPS flask if you're going to be tanking at some point during the time. It's a good mixed use flask and is worth using in a lot of situations.
Since 2.3 it has been possible to instantly shift (using /cancelform with macros) to use potions during combat, heavily reducing the chance of being hit while switching to take a potion. The only real survival potions are Protection potions (Fire/Shadow/etc) and
In a general sense, threat generation for bear tanks is very good in comparison to other tanks. Mangle is exceptional as a threat generator, and white hits give a lot of rage, along with the talent Primal Fury which gives 5 rage on a crit (works on every individual crit, so a triple-crit swipe gives 15 rage back). Also see the hit and expertise section earlier in this post, as gear can play a big role in threat generation.
In rage starved situations a good tip is NOT to use maul. Maul is good for threat generation, but severely reduces rage generation by removing the rage that would otherwise be gained from the white hit it replaces. A crit in good tanking gear can be upwards of 1000 damage, generating a significant chunk of rage (30+) along with the extra 5 from Primal Fury. By converting this attack into a maul, you "lose" the rage you would have gained from the white hit, but it also costs you the rage cost of Maul (10). This means that maul costs you an effective 40 rage or more, which could be used for other special attacks if you're rage-starved (especially useful to note when you're offtanking something like Gruul). Maul is very useful for getting "snap" agro on mobs though, as it will activate as soon as you are in range.
In no particular order, the threat moves you should be using:
- Mangle. You should always be using this if it is off cooldown.
- Swipe. You should be using this if tanking more than 1 mob, as long as it doesn't screw up crowd control (sheep/etc).
- Lacerate. This is (generally) for tanking one mob in a low damage/high armour situation (i.e. the mob has high armour or you're doing low damage to it because of lack of buffs or similar). The bleed part of lacerate has little impact on threat in the overall scheme of things, but Lacerating just to keep up 5 stacks is worth it.
- Maul. As above, use when you have a lot of rage and don't use if you're rage starved a lot.
Generally the point where swipe overtakes lacerate in terms of threat output is when it's doing ~225 damage to the target normally - this value varies dependant on bleed immunity and whether you're keeping 5 stacks up as well as crit chance (see this post)
. It is always worth keeping 5 stacks of lacerate running (although obviously bleed immune mobs don't count), regardless of your AP.
Lacerate now scales its damage with attack power - this has very little effect on the actual threat of Lacerate. Lacerate works by having a lot of "static" threat, and then generating a very, very small amount extra from the damage done (0.2 * damage). This means that even if you were to get 100 extra damage from your AP over the 15 second dot with 5 stacks, it would increase the threat by 20, which is not really a significant amount over 15 seconds.
This is intended to give a guide as to what favours or does not favour being tanked as a Bear in Raid instances. Most guilds will favour Warrior tanks as standard due to better itemisation choice and access to both Last Stand and Shield Wall which can seriously increase the chances of making a screwed up attempt into a kill.T4:
- Karazhan: All bosses other than Juliet (spell interrupt), Maiden of Virtue (emergency buttons), and possibly the Prince (debatable) are fine for tanking as a druid.
- Maulgar and Gruul: Maulgar himself favours a druid tank (doesn't crush with specials, armour mitigation is very good as a druid at this level compared to other tanks). Gruul prefers a warrior as MT (emergency buttons for silence) with a Druid OT (threat generation is generally better than warriors).
- Magtheridon: No preference either way really. Druid tanks are good on the initial adds (threat generation).Zul'aman
(credit to Anathor for the original list).
- Trash: no special requirements, although feral charge is very useful on scouts to root them.
- Nalorakk (Bear): 2 tanks required, druids are well-suited for this fight since a large health pool helps. Using some hit gear may be a reasonable trade off for other stats due to taunt being important to land. Possible advantage for warrior tanks (defensive stance vs bleeds).
- Akil'zon (Eagle): No problems for a druid to tank this.
- Halazzi (Lynx): 2 tanks required, druids are good to soak the saber lash type of ability (split damage on targets standing on top of each other) due to high armor/hp.
- Jan'alai (Dragonhawk): 2 tanks required. Druids do fine on either the boss or on adds.
- Malacrass: No problem for a druid although interrupts are useful on this fight. Druids also work fine tanking an add in dps gear and then moving to a DPS role.
- Zul'jin: Druids can tank him but intervene for warriors while in the lynx phase is useful, and therefore a warrior is a good choice for a tank although he doesn't necessarily need to be the MT.Serpentshrine Cavern
- Hydross: Lack of level 70 crafted Nature/Frost gear means that Hydross favours plate wearers as MT's in general. Druids are good as offtanks due to "snap" threat and overall threat generation.
- Lurker: No real advantage either way.
- Morogrim: No real advantage either way. Crushes but possible a warrior would not be crush immune (extra effects eat shield block charges).
- Karathress: No real advantage either way, although Tidalvess (the Shaman) possibly favours a druid tank because of health/armour advantage over other tanks.
- Leotheras: Doesn't especially favour any kind of tank. Snap agro generation of bears is good for pickup from Whirlwind stages.
- Vashj: No real advantage either way (except emergency buttons).Tempest Keep
- Al'ar: Melt armour screws over any tank. Add pickup may be easier as a druid (feral charge with 15 second cooldown, snap agro from mangle).
- Void Reaver: Threat generation while off-tanking is generally better for a druid.
- Solarian: Hardly matters.
- Kael: Add tanking - tanking Kael is left to those who can use shields.Hyjal Summit
- Rage Winterchill: Possibly better with a druid (threat generation) - he channels a spell for 10 seconds every so often which reduces rage income from hits.
- Anetheron: No advantage either way really.
- Kaz'rogal: Possible druid advantage due to lack of shield block while stunned. No real difference.
- Az'galor: Does not crush. Emergency buttons are good (silence). Advantages for both warrior and druid tanks.
- Archimonde: Cannot Crush. Fears. Possible this won't be an issue if you have a Dwarf/Dranei priest (fear ward), or post 2.3 if you have 4 priests who can organise themselves well.Black Temple
- High Warlord Naj'entus: Small amount of magic damage, but quite a lot of burst. Prefers warriors slightly due to ability to mitigate crushings with defensive stance reduction on the explosion damage which reduces the maximum possible burst damage by a significant amount.
- Supremus: No benefit either way for MT.
- Shade of Akama: Tanking adds, no real benefit either way.
- Teron Gorefiend: No real benefit either way. Druids have more health/armour (in general) but he does crush and hits very hard.
- Gurtogg Bloodboil: No real advantage either way - threat generation and emergency buttons are both good.
- Reliquary of Souls: Virtually requires a Warrior for Phase 2 (spell reflect). Possibly favours a Druid for Phase 3 (threat generation).
- Mother Shahraz: No real advantage either way (magic damage mitigation compared to armour mitigation).
- The Illidari Council: Tanking the Priest Warriors have an advantage (interrupt), Tanking the Paladin Warriors have an advantage (spell reflect).
- Illidan Stormrage: Tanking Illidan requires shield block for Shear. Phase 2 doesn't really favour any type of tank; Druids generally have a slight health and threat gen advantage along with SotF, while warriors can have 10 to 16% total magic reduction ([Improved] Defensive Stance).The Sunwell Plateau
- Kalecgos: No real advantage either way for normal tanking, does have an enrage so at least one Warrior for shield wall is useful.
- Brutallus: One Druid and one Warrior is good - both have advantages/disadvantages but having all debuffs is useful.
- Felmyst: No real advantage either way - Druid healthpool/armour is good but so is improved def stance for Warriors.
- The Eredar Twins: No advantage either way for tanking Sacrolash.
- Mu'ru: Warrior optimal for Sentinels (spell reflect), Paladin optimal for Void Spawns (aoe threat), no real advantage for any classes on sides. Druids work well on sides since there are 3 mobs (swipe), damage from two can be heavily negated through avoidance, and ferals can DPS during P2.
- Kil'jaeden: Feral in DPS gear is an optimal tank. High health pool, high threat generation, can feral charge the knockback effect. By no means necessary though, some guilds prefer to use warriors or warlocks.
This macro will check for Global Cooldown before shift-pot-shift for bear form - it's instant (client side) and so you should never be hit while out of bear form while using it. If you feel that you may be at risk using it, then simply don't use it.
/script local gcd=GetSpellCooldown("Dire Bear Form"); if gcd==0 then CancelPlayerBuff("Dire Bear Form") end;
/use Master Healthstone
/cast Dire Bear Form
Which will use: Master Healthstone, Bottled Nethergon Vapor, Red Ogre Brew, Volatile Healing Pot and Super Healing Pot (in that order). If you wish to switch out items (as you know you don't have them) or replace them with other items, go to Allakhazam.com: World of Warcraft
and search for the item you want - then look at the URL in your address bar and take the number from it and add a line reading "/use item:####". For example, if you search for "bottled nethergon vapor" and select the item, you get a link reading "http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/item.html?witem=32905;source=live" of which you want the number 32905. The macro can only have 255 characters at maximum, so you can't just add every item
It will use healthstones in the order you have them in your bags, not the highest first. The first slot will ALWAYS be the top left of your backpack (right hand bag from the default UI, the one you can't replace) and reads right -> down
i.e. for your backpack the slots are ordered such that slot 1 of the below will always be used first. If you use a UI mod I have no idea how it might change the order.
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16
In order to get them in the right order, stick your highest health healthstone in slot 1, second highest in slot 2, third highest in slot 3. All bags are ordered like this, so as long as they're in the right order, it doesn't matter where in your bags they are.IMPORTANT INFORMATION
In order to discuss macros and collate information more easily than in this (now rather bloated) thread, please make your way to this thread
that Allev has set up for them.
----------------------------------------------------------------Other ThingsThe Druid Wiki -->> Gear Theorycrafting Program -- Rawr
- Put in items, get stuff out. Works for both Cat and Bear forms. (See here for a much better explanation of how it works, direct from the author)