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Thread: Noob Bear Tank - Am I Ready?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Noob Bear Tank - Am I Ready?

    I recently (about a week and a half ago) pruned my feral talent tree into a pure-tank form. Really I did it to prove to some of my guildies that all bear tanks do not suck. But, as it turns out, I really like tanking.
    Now, I leveled feral cat and went Boomkin upon hitting 80. This is the first time i've done anything with bear form other than /dance. I've done a lot of research and I know what stats I need to focus on, and i've my gear-upgrades list for reference. I've bookmarked sites on tanking strategies for raiding.

    What i'd like to know is...what do my stats need to be to tank Heroic Naxx10/25? OS10/25+1 (that's as far as my guild has gotten...we have flame wall issues)? Basic 10-man Ulduar? I just want to know what the minimum bear stats for the various Naxx-and-beyond instances are. I enjoy researching about bear tanking and love to figure things out for myself. I'm not looking for anyone to hold my paw. But minimal stats requirments are something I can't find for bears. Most tanking information relates to other classes, and the bear info I find doesn't give the info i'm looking for.

    Currently, with only a Prayer of Fortitude (priest friend cast that on me when I wasn't looking so I didn't remove it when I made notes) my stats are:
    HP 33047
    Armor 26158
    Defense 426
    Dodge 33.35%

    I'd link my armory but all you'd see is my Boomkin gear...tanking is off-spec for me. Although that could change since I seem to be loving it so much.

    I've tanked Heroic Nexus and Heroic DTK (we four-manned it...our fifth guy went afk). That's all i've ever tanked, with the exception of one super-noob beginer run through Heroic Ramps in Hellfire just to test what my various abilities do.
    According to my fellow group members, who have all been good raiders and some are even tanks themselves...i've done good. Only one wipe in DTK on the final boss due to healer-aggro.
    So I figure i've just about got my bear self figured out so far as how-to-keep-aggro and basic strategies go. I just need practice. And gear upgrades. And more practice. And did I mention practice?

    Any advice for a bear is welcome, but mainly i'm just after that minimal-requirements information for Naxx and so forth.
    I thank all in advance for whatever crumbs of knowledge they may offer.

  2. #2
    Your stats look fine for the first tier of content. You shouldn't have any problems in naxx or OS in either 10 man or 25 man.

    You're basically just looking for the highest stamina leather you can find. Simple prio for gear... Stam first, Agi second, Armor third. I'd reccomend trying Rawr, it really helped me get situated with bear gear. But starting out, you shouldn't have to worry about it too much.

    Really, bears have it easiest when starting out, as there's no real requirements other than lolstamlol stacking. If you are using appropriate gear (aka actual feral gear) and it's level 80 gear, you should be fine for starting raids.
    "Ultimately, making the blanket statement '25m content is harder, period' is at best an overstatement and at worst ignorant drivel." Garrek

  3. #3
    Talent wise, I'd drop MS in resto, it's 5 points to get 4% increase damage. Which isn't really worth it. Take those points and max out infected wounds and get 3/3 imp mangle since you will spam it on CD while tanking.

    You should also consider taking 2 points out of Furor and putting them into Brutal Impact. It may not seem worth it, but being able to interrupt every 30s is WAY more useful than sometimes getting 5 rage when you shift to bear form. Hell, the only time I shift out of bear form is to recast thorns...
    "Ultimately, making the blanket statement '25m content is harder, period' is at best an overstatement and at worst ignorant drivel." Garrek

  4. #4
    One more tip that's really helped me. I've macro'd maul with my mangle, so when I mangle it queues up a maul. Since I usually am spamming it on a boss, that is also the times when I want to maul. So it saves me a button press. In low rage situations I only press the mangle key when I have rage to do it, or I'm swiping or stacking lacerate.

    And I would try out the glyph of maul, it's really awesome. Some people don't want to use a glyph slot for it since it doesn't really help on most bosses, but it's a HUGE dps increase on trash or adds, so it's definately worth a look.
    "Ultimately, making the blanket statement '25m content is harder, period' is at best an overstatement and at worst ignorant drivel." Garrek

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    /concur with astemus. Also, check out darksend's (one of the community authors) spec for feral tank. I'm a bear tank myself and you're looking just fine. You've got the base line of stuff prioritized right.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Advice appreciated. I thank you both.
    I'll look into making those tree changes...the reasons given are logical and I really can't argue.
    My glyphs stay as they are for now. Although I do have a Glyph of Maul stashed away in my bank in case I decide to try it later.

    Guildies dragged me off to tank three heroics yesterday (one of which we 4-manned with a bugged portal...H. VH with non-closing portal spewing adds the entire time was not fun, but we still won without a single death...talk about extreme add-pick-up practice). One of them is a really, really good pally tank. He seems to think i'm a good bear. In fact, all my groupmates have thought i'm a good bear. This makes my fuzzy self very happy.
    Looks like i'll be tanking as main-spec sooner than i'd thought. And once I implement some of the changes suggested, I hope to be an even better bear.
    Although it's kinda weird to go from doing around 2k dps to being happy I got over 600 dps. At least i'm already used to being at the bottom of the meters.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Yeah, you are gonna be happiest at the bottom of the meter simply because if you are not at the bottom someone is not doing there job. Also as far as the glyph of maul, I wouldn't sweat it unless you are still tanking naxx of course, but its not as much of AoE tank once you move into Ulduar.
    Look my toon up to maybe give you a suggestion as to what direction you may want to go; those are how my glyphs are setup. Calil on Cenarius of The Sundering

    Good Luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    That Place Above the USA
    My thoughts on bear tanking currently: (TL: DR alert!)
    -I am currently a hybrid bear/cat build, which means in my current kitteh gear I lose about 200ish dps to a pure cat build, yet people would not complain at my DPS in a 25 man raid. You can convince alot of people to have you in their raid if you go kitty for most of the raid and pull top 10 dps and OTing when needed, to say nothing of LotP.
    My only gripe atm is the last patch that introduced critabble bleeds, forcing me to go 3/5 furor to get it all. Nothing says RNG love like shifting 6 times on pull start and STILL not getting the rage on shift.
    -For starter gear, you will get snide remarks, but you just can't beat 3 piece polar gear until you get nax gear. Its stam stacking AND ridiculous armor. Most new druids understand the stam stack but don't realize that until you get serious upgrades its the best leather with armor as well. I gemmed mine with agi for Avoidance.
    -Being a hybrid, I always stack agi wherever possible, both for the insane dodge we get but also for crit to get lol-bear-shield and its still useful in kitteh form. If you stam stack, you are gimped when you are in cat form. Also, moar crits=bear shield+ 3 rage (*bear drool*), which is really fun on swipe. Unless its insanely infinite rage, maul+swipe spam is so rage intensive that my rage bar is never full, but I get back enough rage to sustain it indefinately on 3+ mobs.
    -I seem to have to work at finding hit in "Bear Gear". Any sort of leather or non-leather armor that has hit is not ideal for survivability. After milking what you can from rings/necklaces/cloaks/etc., don't forget to consider +hit enchants (20 hit to gloves, weapon chain and or accuracy, etc.), and one or two yellow sockets.
    -I wish stuff wasn't so haste heavy. yes we got a 30% boost, but i'd be happy to have other itemizations in its place.

    For you personally,
    -For the love of Elune, bear claws CANNOT be used to parry! Git rid of that gem in your gloves! Go agi, agi/stam, expertise/stam, etc., and you might consider agi enchant to gloves, as threat should not be an issue with a critalicious feral druid. You can consider +2% threat once you are hit capped (which is why you may have threat issues, you likely miss alot). Your expertise is progressing nicely at the moment.
    -I'd recommend you get the Badge of Justice idol Idol of Terror - Item - World of Warcraft, until you find better (likely Ulduar). Failing that there's a nice one in Grizzly Hills PvP Idol of Perspicacious Attacks - Item - World of Warcraft
    -If you can afford it, 35 agi to 2h (old TBC enchant) or Mongoose still is way better for druids, and is good in kitteh form.
    -Next gear upgrades are Keystone Great-Ring - Item - World of Warcraft Heroic Drak'Theron and Essence of Gossamer - Item - World of Warcraft from H AN. In the meanwhile, as a bear i'd be inclined to pickup a second 81 stam eng trinket over your dodge trinket.
    -Get yer pants done, even if its not the epic one. 45 stam is huge for you with all your +stam talents. Jormungar scales are dirt cheap with everybody doing Sons of Hodir quests, and the heavy leather cost is worth it.
    -Boots can use 22 stam, you will end up keeping it anyways for saph/hodir and possibly sarth. Some can argue tuskars, but I seem to manage with Feral Charge, especially if it means extra stam (Bear blubber) on my phat arse.
    -Cloak can use 22 agi.
    -A Pure bear spec includes 5/5 Feral Aggresion. I'll admit I don't have it, but because I choose to be hybrid. I'd take out Natural Shape Shifter and Master Shape Shifter , and dump into Feral Agression, or Imp Mangle and Brutal Impact (Brutal impact is for heroics/pvp only, not much use in raiding).
    -If RNG favors you with an epic helm with a meta slot, which it hasn't for me (still with a *#$@ blue helms for kitteh and bear), go with 32 stam/2% armor meta.

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