Wanting to make sure I'm properly building my bear.
I decided to make my druid a bear about a month or two ago because my guild was having issues with consistent tanks. Now this isn't my main (although I have been playing him a lot lately) so I don't have the time invested and the knowledge with him like I do my main so I figured I'd make a post to make sure I'm gemming/gearing/enchanting like I should be. There are a few bears on my server that I use for templates on what direction to go that seem to gem for Armor Pen no matter what, I've read that you should gem Stam no matter what, also agility which is the route I took. So on gemming I'm slightly confused, I know sometimes gear will allow you to gem for certain things that you wouldn't be able to gem for with lesser gear I just don't know those thresholds if there even are any. I'm considering using the agi/stam gems across the board but I'm not sure wether that would be good or not. I know my armor is low and I can't seem to get that up for the life of me. I'm at 29k ish atm and I know the trumph trinket would do wonders for that but I don't have the badges for it right now. My dodge is about 42% and my health is just over 39k self buffed. The content I am doing right now with this toon is nothing beyond ToC 10 regular and possibly getting into 25 regular soon. Also starting to do the Ulduar hard mode stuff since we kind of stopped raiding as a guild around the time that that was the thing to do. I don't have any problems with the content really, but if there's something I'm overlooking that I could change to make it easier on my healers while keeping myself able to progress obviously then I would defintely be open to the change.
When people talk about gemming armor penetration and/or agility they're talking about cats, not bears. =)
Your gear looks good, the biggest thing I'd have to say is that it seems you're mixing a lot of cat gear, gems and enchants with bear gear, gems and enchants. All of those crit rating gems need to go, pretty much all the agility ones need to go, that Planestalker ring needs to go.
Also, your bracers need a 40 stamina enchant. Your weapon is in dire need of a mongoose enchant. =)
For the most part your biggest issue seems to be a large amount of confusion as to what feral cat and feral bear gear is. Also, you don't have infected wounds for feral aggression in your spec, both are most likely needed.
Really? The Agi gems should go? I've read multiple places that bears should gem Agi, I thought that's where a large part of our dodge came from. I don't doubt what you're saying but if that's the case then I'm not the only one confused about the difference between bear and cat gear/gems.
I know the ring needs to go, that was a circumstance where no one in the raid needed it and it was better than what I had at the time even though it's a cat piece.
What should I be replacing the Agi gems with?
I was considering Mongoose, but the mats for Massacre were more available to me. I'll most likely be changing that here in the next few days.
Depends on what content you want to tank. Heroic ToC favors EH stacking over avoidance. Ulduar is pretty much the same except Vezax is a pretty strong avoidance encounter. Normal ToC is so easy that tank gemming strategy is irrelevant at the point in which you are geared.
It's difficult to say what ICC is going to strongely favor, but the incoming 20% dodge reduction radiance will dramatically increase the likelyhood that you'll be hit 3-4 times in a row. So that needs to be considered when deciding a gemming strategy.
Agi gems are the way to go if you have extreme amounts of health from gear [think close to 60k in bear] or if you are a dual-feral spec druid with only one set of gear [since stam is useless to cat].
However, a dual-feral tank with only one set of gear should not expect to MT the hardest bosses [Hard modes in U25 and ToGC 10/25]. I think I have only one piece of shared gear right now, and that's just because I'm waiting for my tier token to get Triumph gloves.
Normal ToC10/25 can be done [assuming geared healers] with 30k armor / 30k health / 40% dodge / 30% crit. It'll be stressful for the healers, but it can be done.
ToGC10 is problematic with less than 50k health, and ToGC25 is probably impossible - I have yet to clear Beasts in 25, so I'm not sure. [slowish DPS, sometimes tank death - and all three of us clear 50k..]
Speaking for bears:
Agi is good. Stam is good. Agi and stam socket bonuses are good, if you aren't giving up too much to do so. You *may* opt for some hit (in the form of hit/stam, to get a 12 stam bonus or something) in some circumstances, but in your case you have an insane 493, everything after 264 is wasted, and there's not much you can do about it from gemming/enchanting perspective.
Expertise is also something to watch, if it drops too low, but you don't need much with primal precision talent, and its doubtful you would need for gem for it.
Stam stacking is the way to go if you are pure bear. Agi is great for hybrids if you find yourself switching between bear and cat alot mid fight.
As a bear, never intentional gem or enchant for the following:
here's my suggestions, assuming pure bear.
Head - keep meta, 30 stam.
Shoudlers - 30 stam
Chest - 30 stamx3
Bracers - keep as is
Weapon - Keep as is, optionally go with mongoose and/or 30 stam.
Gloves - Keep as is
Belt - OK
Pants - Keep as is, or go with 30 stam & agi/stam in red slot.
Boots- same as pants, enchant with 22 stam or tuskarr's (15 stam + runspeed boost)
Plainstalker ring - keep for threat set, find something better for survival encounters.
If you are planning to go cat as well as tank in the same fight, gemming strategy changes. Please note, if you are planning to go hybrid, don' t expect chart topping DPS while in hybrid gear. You will also need to respec abit. Surviving hard modes TotC might also be a challenge if you do so.
You can gem for agi if you want - though for a lot of fights it's not optimal. I'd personally recommend gemming for stam and getting your avoidance from trinket and gear swapping and maybe your weapon.
I will not be playing cat anytime soon if ever so it looks like I've got my work cut out for me to make this right.
Thanks a bunch!
See, now you've done it. Now you'll be a cat tonight and the rest of the week.
But seriously, expect to be a cat sometimes. Even if they can't respec, a bear-cat can do reasonable-for-raiding DPS. If they can respec/dualspec, a cat can do very respectable DPS even when wearing tank gear.
Not every boss or every fight requires the same number of tanks. Examples:
Hodir requires 1 tank, period, end of story.
Freya requires 2-3, depending on mode and 10/25 variations.
Ignis requires 2 for 10 man and 2-3 for 25, depending on method.
Anub requires 2 for 10, 2-3 for 25 depending on method.
Twin Valkyrs take 1-2 depending on mode [Normal 10/25 is solo tankable].
Faction Champions, you can have tanks taunt the normal version, but in heroic they are untaunable.
In other words - even if you are "always" tanking, it's good to have a DPS set handy. It doesn't have to be a *GOOD* DPS set, but it does have to be reasonable and enchanted/gemmed.
My biggest gripe with Rawr right now is that I can't tell it "use Stam gems in my best Tanking piece and then tell me if they are better than my agi/arpen gemmed DPS set". WTB spreadsheet I can actually use [ie google spreadsheet].
Just because you're not going to be a cat doesn't mean you're not going to DPS. Honestly, as a raid leader I'd value a bear/moonkin over a bear/cat most of the time simply because having a tank switch to ranged instead of melee tends to be a win when you come to comps and ugliness; there aren't that many fights that favor extra melee, and plenty that suck.
Alternately, having someone swap as a healer is not that great but can be good in a pinch.