Survival Instincts: A (Somewhat) Official Guide to Druid Guardian Tanking
(Aka: “Hey, what happened to my Dodge?”)
It may seem like Blizz hates bear tanks, but it’s not true. We have always fallen into the ‘hybrid’ category, meant to be valued for our versatility, eccentricity, and unique style of ‘avoidance’ tanking. The following is my hopefully helpful guide to bear tanking in the new expansion. Much of this is experiential data resulting from having months of beta access and gnashing of teeth, plus helpful words from your fellow Tankspotters.
Special thanks to Tengenstein, Katarn, and others whose thoughts on the beta version of this thread were much appreciated, and for Tjomek, Zafira, and Q_221'ss thoughtful commentary prompting the latest set of changes.
Extra special thanks to Darksend, who went through this and tactfully pointed out some misleading bits and inaccuracies.
Enjoy. Comments welcome, try and keep the flames to a minimum, since I know your experiences may be different from mine. I solmenly swear that my intentions are good and I will respect your opinions as the positive critique that they are intended to be.
Table of Contents
I. Soundless Fury: New Bear Tanking in 90 Seconds
II.Terminology and Acronyms
III: Rage Generation, or Lack Thereof
IV: R.I.P. Spells/Talents
V: Modified Spells/Talents
VI: New Toys
VII: New Rotation
VIII: Reforging and Gemming Priorities
X: Talent Calculator Choices
XI: Final Thoughts
XII: Longer List of Spell Descriptions (TBD)
------------------ I. Soundless Fury: New Bear Tanking in 90 Seconds
For those of you with a feline attention span, here’s the skinny end of the guide if you’re just rejoining us from tanking through Cata. Further details below.
* Savage Defense as we know and love it is gone - no more crit-based damage absorb bubble. Our new Mastery is now a passive armor buff to the tune of about 11% more armor than other tank classes.
* Most of your passive dodge is gone, and replaced by the new Savage Defense:
Costs 60 Rage. Lasts 6 seconds. 9 second cooldown, 3 available to start, and gives you a situational +45% dodge bonus. Put that on your bar. Press it whenever you’re tanking anything that melees you. But save it if there’s a boss mechanic that really needs to be dodged coming up (like Baelroc).
* You no longer get Rage from being hit. You MUST hit mobs with melee (Autoattack) swings or Mangle.
* Frenzied Regen mechanics changed completely - instead of a HoT+max health boost, it is now an instant (1.5s cooldown) spot heal that is going to be mostly based on your Stam until you run into bosses that hit like trucks. Use primarily to help your healers out keeping you upright, since you’re going to get hit a lot more often. Glyphing may be better in situations where mobs don't hit for enough to raise your Vengance (such as outdoor quest trash).
* Might of Ursoc is a new talent that adds 30% max health, and heals you up to 30% if you were below it.
* Bearcats are out of luck. You won’t have Tiger’s Fury or Savage Roar in Guardian, and your bleeds hit for less. You won’t have Savage Defense or Vengance in Feral unless you spec for Heart of the Wild, a one time-per fight thing.
* You cannot get 100% uptime on new Savage Defense due to its charges mechanic, but on fights with two tanks it's sustainable. Prepare to feel much more squishy as you will be hit more often - and remember your bubble is gone.
* If you had Maul as part of your rotation, pull it out and put it to one side. You should only be pressing the Maul button if you have a Tooth and Claw (reduces melee swing damage on the mob's next attack) proc available, since the Rage cost takes away from your next SD/FR. (new as of 5.1)
* Lacerate now has a 3 second cooldown, and cannot be cashed with Pulverize (which is gone).
* Skull bash has a 15 second cooldown, up from 10 seconds.
* Swipe now has a 3 second cooldown, down from 6.
* Also, your AoE taunt (Challenging Roar) is gone.
II.Terminology and Acronyms
SD - Savage Defense
FR - Frenzied Regeneration.
FF(F) - Feral Faerie Fire. (Now called just Faerie Fire).
MoU - Might of Ursoc.
SI - Survival Instincts
WB - Weakened Blows, a new debuff
SotF - Soul of the Forest, a new Talent
AP - Attack Power.
NS - Nature’s Swiftness
HT - Healing Touch
DoC - Dream of Cenarius, a new Talent
MotW - Mark of the Wild, our castable raid buff
LotP - Leader of the Pack, our feral crit buff
HotW - Heart of the Wild, a new Talent, not to be confused with MotW
III: Rage Generation, or Lack Thereof
Pandaria is all about shedding your excess Rage and going with the flow, lest the Sha of Anger get control of us. Unfortunately this means not getting angry when we get beat on...
The biggest difference to the new Guardian tanking is that, like Warriors, we no longer get Rage from being hit; the days of ‘unlimited rage as long as I’m tanking’ are over. You have to bring your own Rage to the party in the form of Mangle and white hits.
* Mangle - 5 Rage per hit, 30% bonus to base (+1.5) and crit rage (+4.5) if you picked SotF. ('upgraded' from 8 in 5.3)
* Autoattack (white hits) - 10.5 per hit. (Up from 6.5 from the original 5.0.4 patch, tested 9/10/12).
* Any Mangle or autoattack critical strike awards 15 bonus Rage due to Primal Fury. This means that Mangle gives 20/26 Rage on a crit and autoattacks give 25.5 rage.
The good news is most of your other abilities also no longer cost Rage. Thrash, Lacerate, Swipe, and Skull Bash are free. Your ability to generate threat via attacks has therefore been somewhat improved, since your Rage bar is no longer a limiting factor. Maul is the exception to this rule; it costs 30 Rage, and is designed as a rage dump.
The bad news is that the reason for having Rage has flipped - instead of powering your offensive abilities, it is now mainly used as what Blizz calls an ‘Active Mitigation’ resource, without which you are significantly more likely to be hit. At 85, you’ll see about a 10% drop post 5.04 patch in your dodge (I have 26% at the time of this writing), which isn’t that bad (hello, 70% dodge with SD up...), but a fresh level 90 with quest gear will have around 12% dodge.
In other words, if you dumped your Hit and Expertise, you’ll want it back now.
IV: R.I.P. Spells/Talents (And Bearcat Spec)
The following spells did not make the cut and vanished into the Mists. Perhaps we’ll see them again, but for the moment, they’re gone. If you’re new to Guardian tanking for MoP, you can skip this section.
* Challenging Roar. We still have Growl on its 8 second cooldown, but there’s no more ‘taunt everything’ button. Presumably this is to make your DPS a bit more responsible in picking their first targets.
* Pulverize. Our ‘buff self by cashing in 3xLacerate’ ability, a 9% bonus crit chance was something that helped you offensively and defensively (as it increased your chances of a SD proc). Lacerate still stacks to 3, but it just kinda hangs out there until you refresh it.
* Fury Strikes. A free extra damage/threat boost. It used to be 6-9% of my damage.
* Demoralizing Roar. A ‘reduce the damage you take’ debuff, replaced by Weakened Blows, applied when you hit the mob with Thrash (see below).
For the rare bunch of us who were sporting a hybrid bearcat spec, it’s officially pretty much dead. The following spells went off with the Feral split:
* Omen of Clarity - No free Mangles here.
* Tiger’s Fury
* Savage Roar
* Razor Claws mastery
* Predatory Swiftness
This means that while you can still do some damage in Cat form in Guardian spec, you’ll have significantly weaker bleeds, no buff from TF or SR, and you’re missing a whole attack in Rip. I won’t know for sure until I can get some raid meters, but I expect a decent overall average DPS loss regardless of Bear or Cat form in Guardian, unless you manage to score a massive Vengance proc off of something.
Also, for our emergency healing abilities, we only have:
* Healing Touch (pops you out of form without Nature’s Swiftness)
* Rejuvenation (also pops you out of bear without HotW active)
The good news is that Guardians get their spellpower increased by their Agility.
V: Modified Spells/Old Talents
Same name, different functionality.
* Mangle now _generates_ Rage, at 5 per hit, 6.5 (was 8 pre 5.4 patch, but also adds the bonus to Mangle Crits, so you double dip on the crit bonus for a total of 26 Rage) if you picked up the Soul of the Forest talent, but as much as it was a ‘press early and often’ button in Cata, it is doubly so in MoP, since without Rage you’re literally (soon to be) dead in the water. 6 second cooldown except when a reset proc goes off.
* Lacerate still applies a bleed, and initial hits have a chance (25% of resetting Mangle).
* Thrash now applies a debuff (Weakened Blows) which reduces Physical damage the enemies do to you by 10% for 30 seconds. It also has a 25% to reset Mangle.
* Maul and Swipe were buffed to do 20% more damage to bleeding targets.
* Maul (as of 5.1) when used during Tooth and Claw applies a damage debuff to the enemy you hit with it; its next melee strike does less damage as if you put a bubble on the mob's target. Usually reserved for when you aren't the active tank.
* Faerie Fire automatically applies 3 stacks of the Weaken Armor debuff, similar to as if you’d talented it, but also has a 25% chance to reset Mangle.
* Savage Defense. Formerly a passive talent that absorbed physical hits based on your AP (modified by Vengance), this talent is now one of two Active Mitigation talents that gives you 45% dodge for 6 seconds, 9 second cooldown, 3 charges, costing a straight 60 Rage per use. Don’t let that fool you, though. In practice, you can’t keep it up long enough to use all 3 charges except in situations where you start with a full Rage bar. More often than not you’ll have holes where you can’t put it up at all.
* Frenzied Regeneration. Formerly a 3 minute cooldown talent that regenerated a portion of your health and increased your max health, this talent now is our other Active Mitigation talent. It heals you based on the higher of the following two formulae as of this writing:
a) 2* (AP - 2xAgility)
b) Stamina x 2.5.
What this means is that unless your AP-buffed Vengance minus 2x your Agility (a really small number) multiplied by 2 is higher than 2.5 times your Stamina, you will always have the second heal value as your Frenzied Regeneration value, something on the order of 22K or so at level 85. This is not a lot of healing for 60 Rage, though it can be used with less than 60 Rage to heal for a smaller amount.
* Speaking of Vengance; it now has no cap, but uses the value of 1.5% (was 1.8% pre 5.4) of the unmitigated damage taken over the last 20 seconds according to the tooltip. Its impact is far less useful now defensively now that it no longer affects Savage Defense, and it takes a very high amount to affect your Frenzied Regen total.
* Mark of the Wild no longer grants Resistance and armor. It instead only adds 5% to Strength, Agility, and Intellect.
* Bash turned into a talent choice (Mighty Bash) and cannot be reduced below 50 seconds.
* Thick Hide is now a passive talent, and now reduces all magical damage by 25% on top of its old ‘prevents critical hits’.
VI: New Toys * Bear Hug (level 18) - The new 1 minute Bash, only this one immobilizes the target and does damage proportional to 30% of your health over 3 seconds. Bad part is that you also are also immobilized.
* Symbiosis (level 87) - Hijack a party member’s abilities. You don’t get to choose what you get except by who you do it to. Different specs get different results. You also give them a new spell for their spellbook in return. Longer discussion about what utility works to come.
VII: Rotation, Rotation, Rotation As stated earlier, your goal is to generate Rage early and often for your survivability.
The new rotation priority for single target: (Mangle > Thrash/FF > Lacerate) >= SD/FR >>> Maul/Swipe
Mangle is your rage generator and the highest source of damage. 6 second cooldown.
Thrash is the second highest source of damage when combined with its bleed effect. 6 second cooldown.
FF can be used in place of Thrash if Thrash isn’t anywhere near close to falling off. 6 second cooldown.
Lacerate adds another bleed, and should be kept up at 3 stacks, 3 second cooldown.
SD/FR - Use SD if you’re fighting melee mobs. Use FR if at less than ~60% health in order to help your healer catch up.
Maul carefully only if you have 100 Rage, close to 100% health and are not about to be tanking shortly.
The rationale behind this rotation is that you want to keep free Mangle procs coming as much as possible, so having while Thrash and Lacerate up and running is fine for DoT bleeds, hit whichever of them is off cooldown. FF is also duly back in our rotation due to its own ability to proc Mangle on cast, not to mention that it can slow down mobs if talented for it and silence them if glyphed for it.
On multiple mobs: Mangle > Thrash > Swipe = Tab-Lacerate > FF > Maul.
When tanking multiple mobs, Swipe will get you more threat/damage per GCD (it does 20% more damage to bleeding targets, which you have a bleed on from Thrash and Lacerate), but tab-Lacerate will put a bunch of DoTs for sustained threat and have a chance of netting you a Mangle.
A little bit of philosophy, and maybe wrapping my head around what Blizzard intended with this whole Vengance-affects-your-Active Mitigation spells thing:
- Old tanking: get threat, keep threat, save defensive cooldowns for big bad boss abilities that you can’t get out of. Get out of special ability zones. Stand there and look awesome while being beat on.
- New tanking: get threat, build resource, ascertain whether you can afford to use a defensive cooldown in order to spike your Vengance for 20 seconds, use Vengance buffed abilities for the next 20 seconds.
The building resource bit is the tough part. If you’re bad at it, you won’t have access to your Active Mitigation capabilities very often, so you wind up being about as squishy as a heavily armored DPS. Which... is exactly what they were looking to do. It’s no longer just about mashing your buttons, but recognizing which of your abilities are important for the buffs and debuffs and resource generators, and actively managing your Vengance is the extra bonus level part.
VIII: Reforging and Gemming Priorities
With every expansion comes a new set of priorities for gemming and reforging. At the end of Cata, it was pretty much ‘gem for Agility’ because it increased your crit, AP, and dodge, so we triple dipped, ignoring socket bonuses.
MoP kinda shakes things up a bit. I don’t have a definitive answer here, more of an opinion, so your mileage may vary.
Reforges, in rough descending order of priority: * Hit / Expertise caps. - 7.5% hit, 7.5% expertise.
Misses/parries/dodges are a net Rage loss, and the more Rage you don’t have, the less defensive resource you have available. Not missing reduces the vulnerability gaps you’ll have, not to mention the usual threat generation bonuses. Empirical testing I did showed that with no hit, it took 18-22 seconds to generate 60 Rage, versus 9-11 seconds while hit and expertise capped.
* Crit versus Haste versus Mastery.
The other main source of Rage besides Mangle and autoattacks is that every time you crit with them, you get 15 extra rage. Haste increases the chances of this happening on autoattacks, and as of the 5.1 patch, more Haste equals more Tooth and Claw proc chances. You probably want to prioritize crit first, then haste. Tengenstein recommends 40% crit, 16% haste.
If you have any doubt about this being Blizz’s intent, check out the fact that Guardians get 50% bonus crit and haste on equipped items.
Mastery, meanwhile, reduces your physical damage taken as an armor buff. However, scaling is such that it will hover around where you would have been before the change - roughly 60-65% armor compared to the 50-55% armor you’ll see in plate tanks. I wouldn’t go out of your way to reforge for this.
* 15% Expertise (added 4/8/13) Since there is no difference between dodge and parry anymore, you'll want to try for the hard cap in Expertise as soon as you get your Crit up to some level that you're comfortable with. The reason for this is that zero misses means guaranteed rage on every Mangle / melee hit, and that's important if you're finding yourself with rage issues. Using AskMrRobot will only get you up to the 7.5% expertise cap, and right now I'm advising get to 7.5% first, then 30% crit, then get the rest of that 15% expertise.
You won’t find dodge on any leather-based gear again, so that way we can share gear with rogues, Feral druids, and now Monks (thanks, Blizz). The level scaling for Dodge has been massively nerfed due to our ability to push a button for free 45% dodge; so while you -could- reforge and gem for Dodge, it’s significantly less bang for your buck.
Reforging to Dodge was useful back in Cata at points, and there may be some utility in trying to get it way up there when buffed by SD on top of your base dodge, but it’s a very steep hill to climb. You get more utility by way of guaranteeing a steady stream of Rage to keep the 45% Savage Defense up (but see below for Darksend's take).
Gemming, in rough order of priority:
* Hit/Expertise - If you can’t reforge/enchant to the caps, gemming will have to do to fill in the gaps.
* Crit/Haste - As above.
* Stamina. - An ugly truth, but somewhat true while leveling. Stamina directly affects your Frenzied Regeneration healing if unglyphed, the MoU bonus, and Renewal if you took that talent, plus it shares a synergy with Heart of the Wild if you took that.
I’d recommend the following (updated, 4/8, via suggestions from Q_221, Tjomek, Revlash, and Zafira):
* Meta - Agile (+216 agi, 3% crit damage) for DPS, Destructive (+432 crit, 1% spell reflect) for rage generation, Austere (+216 stam, +2% armor) for passive mitigation
* Red - Crafty (Exp/Crit), Accurate (Hit/Expertise), Glinting (Agi/Hit), Delicate (Agility)
* Yellow -Smooth (Crit), Deadly (Agi/Crit), Nimble (Stam/Hit)
* Blue - Accurate (Hit/Expertise), Shifting (Agi/Stam), Glinting (Agi/Hit), or Piercing (Crit/Hit).
Enchants: Dancing Steel, Colossus, or Windsong?
- Windsong gives you a triple benefit of randomly giving you Haste, Mastery, and/or Crit, which can be up in parallel. If you're enchanting anything less than a Qiang (raid polearm off of Spirit Kings in MV) or Gao-Rei (raid polearm off of Tsu Long) or don't have 10 Sha Crystals lying about, go for Windsong.
- Dancing Steel (+1650 agi with about a 40% uptime) is a DPS/crit/dodge boost for when it's up. This is what I'm using right now.
- Colossus is a damage shield. It eats 6000 damage off of hits and is up around 20% of the time. A WoL parse from Protectors of the Endless has it absorbing 352,000 damage over a 7:34 fight, or 2.6% of the tank's damage. I'm not terribly impressed by something that heals for less than Leader of the Pack.
Edited to add:
Darksend, whose opinion I have the highest respect for, suggests this route instead: Dodge > Mastery > Hit=Exp > Crit > Haste
If an item does not have Mastery it is almost worthless and when it does have Mastery ALWAYS reforge the other stat to Dodge. The reasoning behind this is simple, even under the impossibly ideal conditions (hit and expertise cap and stacking nothing but crit) you are looking at a 30% at most uptime on SD, and that is with never using FR for self heals.
It's possible he's right; I was originally basing my numbers off of level 85 Rage and level 90 beta Rage income, and if you're having issues keeping SD up this may be the better way to go. Your mileage may vary.
(So really, what do I reforge/gear for? )
There are two schools of thought on this. One is 'passive defense' and one is 'active defense'. You need to commit to go one way or the other; there is no middle ground.
Passive Defense is Dodge > Mastery > Hit/Exp caps > Crit > Haste. It de-emphasizes having to spend rage on Savage Defense but causes you to take less overall damage from physical (non-bleed) hits when you do get hit, which will be more often. You will probably want to put some more into Stamina, too, because even reforged fully into dodge you'll still be hard pressed to get above 20% passive dodge at this current tier.
Active Defense is my personal preference. Hit/Exp > Crit > Haste > Mastery. Also, gemming for Agi for more crit and more dodge. I strive for high SD uptimes on fights that need it, or having that 60 point FR readily available on fights that don't. It also makes you pull your weight more in the DPS department as a side effect. It does make me a bit more squishy whenever I'm not actively dodging things (fear/stun, etc) but that's what Barkskin and SI are for.
When you're first starting out or are undergeared, going Passive Defense might make more sense, because you won't have the rage income to keep up SD as much as you need to. Once you get a decent gear level and have gotten used to using SD every six seconds or so, try forging into Active Defense and see if you like it better or not.
IX: Glyphs Major Glyphs: As usual, not a lot of choices. These are the ones I see as useful in no particular order (additional Good/Middle/Bad commentary courtesy of Darksend):
* Rebirth. Because you’ll occasionally be called on to battlerez people, having them be at full health is a nice thing. If you don't have a live proc of Dream of Cenarius, however, this WILL pop you out of bear form. Use at your own risk.
* Frenzied Regneration: Causes the FR spell to no longer heal you, to always use 50 Rage (was 60 before 5.4) and increases healing taken by 40% for 6 seconds. Similar to the Cata version, this is actually much more powerful now that you can indirectly give your healers a helping hand on a moment’s notice. It applies to LotP’s heals, so even if you don’t have a healer, you can still tag it to add to your LotP ticks (I wait for a LotP heal animation, count five, and then press FR).
If, however, you are running into mobs that can raise your Vengance to above 22K, you want to skip this glyph, because that’s where your FR heals actually start going up in power. Additionally, the 50 hard Rage cost makes it somewhat unwieldy to use since it becomes a 1:1 FR or SD choice rather than a SD plus a lesser value FR right after it.
* Faerie Fire. Extended range on your one ranged ability that doesn't kick you out of bear is a good thing.
* Stampeding Roar: A must-have according to Darksend. Since this talent was nerfed to only be 10 yards in range, the glyph extends the range to 30 yards. I'm inclined to agree on fights where mobility is key.
* Fae Silence - Gives an extra silence effect on FF for 3 seconds, but extends the cooldown to 15 seconds (instead of 6).
* Survival Instincts. Reduces the cooldown by 1 minute, but reduces the duration by 6 seconds. Depends on how you use it, really. On bosses with a one-hit-and-gone massive strike (Tay'ak), having it up more often might be better. For boss enrages, trash packs and sustained DoT damage, having it last for the full 12 seconds is better.
* Might of Ursoc - Increase health gain from Might of Ursoc by 20% (total: 50% !) but increases the cooldown by 2 minutes (to 5 minutes, less 1 if you have the T14 2 set bonus). Very situational, mostly useable for the bosses that do the 20% health enrage thingy.
* Maul. Hits an additional target for 50% damage. Again, Maul should be your lowest priority attack, but if you’re going to use it, you may as well get some bonus bash out of it. (Darksend moved this to "Bad" because he feels it's only useful in 5 mans and challenge modes.)
I expect to be using Rebirth, FF, and Maul, FR, or SI for my last spot.
Cosmetic mainly. The most useful ones are Grace, which adds the Feline Grace ability to all forms (but how often do you take falling damage) and Glyph of the Stag, which makes your Travel Form into a vehicle. This is awesome if you didn’t already have a Mammoth, motorcycle, Rocket, Vial of the Sands, or loyal guildies who helped you get your Tarecegosa staff. Travel Form, of course, does not work indoors.
Instead of Talent trees, we now have a five tier, 3 choice list that has been simplified. Usually there’s only one obvious choice per tier. Opinions again mine and reflect lots of experimentation. All specs of druid have access to the same tree, so if you’re wondering why you have some of these choices, the answer might well be ‘it’s for one of the other specs.’
Tier 1 (Level 15): Wild Charge > Feline Swiftness > Displacer Beast.
Why: If you used to use Feral Charge, Wild Charge is the only way to keep it. If you never really used Charge back before 5.04, go with Feline Swiftness. We used to have both via talents.
- Not having Feline Swiftness is a speed loss, but somewhat offset by speed boot enchants and Stampeding Roar. I can't live without my Charge. However, having Feline Swiftness is invaluable for high movement/avoidance fights like Will of the Emperor.
- Displacer Beast is a get-out-of-jail free card. Might be good for leveling if you aren’t a Night Elf with Shadowmeld. It does not remove DoTs. This will no longer be the case come 5.2 - the Stealth part is going away.
Tier 2 (Level 30): Ysera's Gift > Renewal > Cenarion Ward. (5.4 removed Nature's Swiftness for Guardians. See also Dream fo Cenarius.)
Why: Constant free healing? Yes, please. Ysera's Gift is effectively 1% of your health per second, on 5 second intervals, with the added effect that if you are undamaged, it heals _someone else_. It'll be the closest person within 25 yards (roughly), which, odds on, will be your offtank. So far I'm seeing about 11% overheal on self-Ysera's Swiftness, and 18% overheal on everyone else. Not bad at all.
- Renewal heals 30% of your max health once per 2 minutes. No longer stacks with Dream of Cenarius. It does stack with MoU, yes but now you’ve blown both of your health cooldowns.
Renewal is not on the GCD (thanks Tjomek for noticing this) and can save your tail in a pinch due to the fact it heals for more in one shot. Probably stick with Ysera's Gift for non-spiky damage fights, and use Renewal at your discretion.
- Cenarion Ward is supposed to be the equivalent of the Paladin’s Sacred Shield, but it seriously lacks healing punch and doesn’t include an absorb like the paladin version does. Suspect it may be more for Resto druids with higher spellpower.
Tier 3 (Level 45): Typhoon > Mass Entanglement.> Faerie Swarm
Why: Having an emergency knockback/interrupt is occasionally useful to give you some breathing room.
- Mass Entanglement, while making you feel like Staghelm, breaks as soon as people hit it, and prompts people to say ‘oh, I can open up now? Cool.’ On the other hand, for soloing, it’s the longest snare of the lot (20 seconds) short of Nature’s Grasp. I'm finding that Mass Entanglement works really well for solo leveling, but in raids and dungeons, Typhoon seems to have more utility.
- Faerie Swarm is single target and only useful for ranged kite tanking, since it doesn’t stack with Infected Wounds (50% slow on Mangle and Maul), which you get as a passive talent now.
Tier 4 (Level 60): Incarnation = Soul of the Forest > Force of Nature (2/20: changed from SotF >= Incarnation > Force of Nature)
- Incarnation gives you the neat armored bear look, but effectwise it only really affects Thrash, Swipe, Mangle, Maul, and Growl. Its best utility is for that burst Rage and damage, especially if you tie it together with Nature's Vigil (see also discussion following). Use Incarnation if you're not having Rage starvation issues and when there are boss-vulnerable points, or if you need burst Rage/DPS at points (Elegon's orbs, for example). Where it really shines is when you have a lot of add packs, because the thing you'll want to be spamming is Thrash and Swipe mixed in with just enough Mangles to keep your SD up.
- Soul of the Forest - Redesigned again in 5.4 to add 30% more Rage to Mangle, both base and crit. If you're working with a Crit build and remember to hit Mangle as often as it's up, this will give you enough bonus Rage (non-crit: 6.5; crit; 6.5+19.5=26)to actually use Maul reasonably frequently, but you'll find yourself Rage capped more often than not. However, its utility goes down the less Crit you have compared to previous versions of the spell, which gave you 8 Rage per Mangle, but didn't do anything to the crit bonus Rage. The 15% bonus _damage_ to Mangle is a nice side effect, but if you take this talent, you'll really want to consider also taking Dream of Cenarius, which gives you a flat 10% bonus chance to crit on Mangles.
Force of Nature: While having trees that can taunt is kinda cool, until you no longer have a Rage generation problem, stick with SotF.
Darksend's opinion (based on when I had SotF >= Incarnation):
Incarnation is an AMAZING survival cooldown, 30 seconds of mangle spam cannot be beat for rage generation, maybe over the course of the fight but over time does not matter nearly as much. I cannot more strongly disagree with the guide author on this one.
I was a big advocate of SotF originally when the expansion dropped and autoattack only gave you 6.5 Rage - you really needed every ounce of Rage generator you could get. I've been using Incarnation for quite some time now, and I definitely see the value of an on-demand burst Rage/DPS boost on most fights. However, I'm going to try using SotF again come 5.2, to see if 8 points makes a difference, since it allows for more use of Maul's TaC debuff.
If you don't want to play the 'fish for Mangle' game all the time, Incarnation may well be the better choice. Doubly so on Challenge modes when/if you need that extra burst DPS.
Q_221's excellent assessment from further down in the thread:
- 30% of GCDs are Mangles (I'm reasonably sure this is correct, I worked out a way to simulate the rotation in terms of Mangles). This assumes no Swiping, and that every GCD is spent using either Mangle if available or Lacerate/Thrash/FF.
- Incarnation uptime is spent spamming Mangle.
In 3 minutes, you should average 36 Mangles (180s * 1GCD/1.5s * .3Mangles/GCD). This means Soul of the Forest will provide 3*36=108 additional rage per 3 minutes.
If you instead take Incarnation, you'll have a period of 30 seconds where you can Mangle continuously. You would normally have 30*.3/1.5= 6 Mangles during that period: instead you will have 30/1.5=20. This is an additional 14 Mangles, which provide 5+(crit*15) Rage each. This means Incarnation breaks even at a mere 18% crit, so is likely better for almost all bears.
Note that this requires spamming of Mangle: losing a Mangle opportunity is a lot more problematic here than it is with Soul of the Forest. This may mean that Incarnation is less favored when you're AoE tanking and can't afford to spam single-target abilities. Also note, however, that the Mangle uptime is assuming Mangle-proc abilities are always being used, which is not likely the case in an AoE situation.
Raw numbers aside, Incarnation is a lot stronger on a tank-swap fight, where Soul of the Forest is likely going to waste whenever you don't have the boss (since you'll be rage-capping fairly easily and regular Mangles may not even be possible due to threat). You can pool rage, pop Incarnation right at the taunt, and immediately have two SD charges active and a third coming up fast.
Tier 5 (Level 75): Mighty Bash >= Ursol’s Vortex = Disorienting Roar
This was a bit of a ‘meh’ tier to choose from.
Why: Mighty Bash: You already have Skull Bash and Bear Hug as interrupts, so Mighty Bash isn’t as useful as it used to be, especially on a 50 second cooldown that you can’t talent or glyph away. On the other hand, you might want an extra interrupt that lasts 5 seconds. And there are some mobs that Bear Hug doesn't work on. I wound up going back to Bash after I found that the elementals on the Ragnaros fight couldn't be Bear Hugged, but I still froze for 3 seconds.
- Ursol’s Vortex has a targeting reticule which is a pain to target somewhat, and the pullback seems to be a bit buggy. I wound up not using it very much.
- Disorienting Roar is 3 second stun on everything meleeing you. What’s not to like except the duration? Oh, and the fact that hits bring people out of it, too.
( Darksend recommends Bash, then Vortex, and I've changed the order of this because I agree with him.)
Tier 6 (Level 90): Dream of Cenarius (+Self-Heals)~= Heart of the Wild (+Raid Heals/Burst DPS) > Nature's Vigil (updated for 5.4
Why: Dream of Cenarius: Redesigned in 5.4, it now incorporates the 20% healing bonus (down from 50%)/instant cast from Nature's Swiftness to Healing Touch, but rolls the activation into a 40% proc chance on Mangle crits instead of a 1 minute cooldown. It adds a bonus 10% crit chance to Mangle (only), and uses your AP as the spellpower rather than the flat Agility. No longer does the 20% bonus damage for the next two hits, though (feral cats kept that).
- HotW’s main benefit is the 6% passive stat buff, the ability to cast a buffed Rejuvenation in Bear form without popping out of bear form for 45 seconds - you can get 4 casts in if you clip the third one right before the end on yourself, or a bunch on a whole raid, and a monstersized Tranquility. Problem is with a 6 minute cooldown, most of the time it's a once per fight thing.
Worth noting is that the tooltip is a 1 for 3 thing -- you get all three of the benefits for the spec that you aren’t, so as a Guardian, read it as getting the Non-Feral, Non-Restoration, and Non-Balance benefits.
And yes, while it makes your heals 100% free and do more heals, and hypercharges your cat damage for 45 seconds, it doesn’t exactly have a lot of utility execept as a once-per-fight emergency button with its 6 minute cooldown. It’s probably more appropriate as a non-Guardian emergency button. Tjomek notes that he uses it as a way to burst cat DPS during the times when he's not the main tank, and Telamir likes using this as a way to pop out and mega Tranquility the raid.
- Nature’s Vigil is like a second Berserk of sorts. Better for tank DPS and does incidental healing (Mangle hits, non-Vengance, for about 22K, so 25% of that is 5K per Mangle hit.) Might be worth it if you can time it with a Vengance spike once you have a 530 or better weapon. Where it really shines is on the DPS front, for when you chain it together with Incarnation, since both of them last for 30 seconds, but Nature's Vigil has a 1.5 minute cooldown to Incarnation's 3 minute cooldown.
IF melee attacks proc the healing, nature's vigil + either berserk or incarnation will be an AMAZING raid healing tool for 10 man raids where you do not have as much access to healer cooldowns. The only way that DoC would be better is if it increased FR healing, but if it is true that it does not (I have not tested it but it would be SO OP if it did so I believe it does not) than either of the other 2 are more useful for the raid as a whole.
XII: Final thoughts.
Every expansion tanking for bears has gone through some sort of change. We adapt, we are fluid, and we flow, but damn, this expansion is going to be a little frustrating at first compared to the in-your-face monsterbear-ness I’ve enjoyed the past couple of years. We are losing our two big defensiveness plusses and getting 21% more magic resist in exchange. We ‘gain’ a bigger dodge that is an on-use thing that you can’t use all the time, and we still can’t block or parry. Such is the life of a bear.
Appendix A: A Quick List of Gear from Factions/Dungeons
You will need an ilvl of 435 to get into heroic dungeons. At the release, it was 440, which was improbable to get from quest greens, but between PvP gear available at 90 (450), the removal of the Honored requirement for Justice-buying gear, and the lowering of the ilvl gate 435, you have a decent chance of being able to jump right into heroics as soon as you ding 90.
They've also reduced some of the rep requirements for most starter (489) gear from Revered to Honored, which means you can get your first piece of Honored rep gear as soon as you get enough Valor points. However, the first piece of gear you can get (as of 5.2) is the neck piece from the Shado Pan Assault which only requires you to be Neutral.
Killing the Sha of Anger for the first time? Loot the corpse for the Claw of Anger, which gives you 476 boots.
The next hurdle is getting to LFR gear level, which is 460 for the starter LFR, 470 for Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring, and 480 for Throne of Thunder.
As far as the rest of it goes:
Golden Lotus has to be pretty much your top priority. The Shado-Pan and August Celestials dailies don't unlock unless you've gotten Golden Lotus to Revered (5.3 will change this supposedly), so you're stuck doing that and the Klaxxi for awhile. 5.2 allows you to champion a cause in dungeons similar to wearing tabards, so it's possible (unconfirmed) that you might be able to raise SP or AC rep to Revered without having to do all the Golden Lotus quests first.
As of 5.1, start grinding Operation Shieldwall/Dominance Offensive as soon as you get the quest Meet the Scout at 90. This is off the track of the Golden Lotus unlock so can be done in parallel, and nets you 496 ilvl boots, belt, ring, and trinkets.
As of 5.2, you can also start grinding Kirin Tor Offensive/Sunreaver Onslaught as soon as you hit 90. This can net you a 476 (Hit/Haste) belt that costs gold instead of Valor, but the 496 cloak (Hit/Crit) costs Valor -- only 938 of it though.
There's also the Shado-Pan Assault, which has a 522 neckpiece (Hit/Haste) available at Neutral.
You will need to complete the quest chain that sends you to the Temple of the White Tiger in order to unlock the dailies in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
The quest chain that starts on the Serpent's Spine is where you need to go to unlock the Klaxxi quest chain, which is fairly involved.
Once you do those two sets, it's grind time.
All gear costs Justice Points for things that you get at 90 (ilvl 450 gear), and Valor points for the things that you get at Revered (ilvl 489 gear). Doing dailies also usually nets you 100 rep (base) and 5 Valor per turn-in, so you -might- have enough for an inexpensive piece of gear by the time you get something to Revered.
Key: Cr=Crit, Ex=Expertise Ha=Haste, Hi=Hit, Ma=Mastery
Golden Lotus: (Jaluu The Generous, Mogu'shan Palace, Valley of the Four Winds)
Honored: Hands (Cr/Ma), Neck (Ha/Ma), Ring(costs Valor points, Ha/Hi)
Revered: Shoulders (Cr/Hi), Chest (Hi/Ex)
Klaxxi: (Ambersmith Zikk, Klaxxi'vess, the Dread Wastes)
Honored: Bracers (Cr/Ma), Neck(costs Valor points, Hi/Cr - DO NOT BUY -- as of 5.2 get the 522 one from Shado-Pan Offensive instead).
Revered: Legs (Cr/Ma), Waist (Cr/Ma) (as of the 5.1 patch: DO NOT BUY the belt from the Klaxxi - get the Operation Shieldwall/Dominance Offensive one instead -- it's 496 ilvl -- or the 478 ilvl one from the Kirin Tor Offensive/Sunreaver Onslaught for gold.)
Exalted: Polearm (Hi/Ha) - If you're unlucky enough with loot drops in the dungeon.
Shado-Pan: (Rushi the Fox, Shado-Pan Garrison, Townlong Steppes)
Honored: Finger (Cr/Ha), Legs (Hi/Ma), Back (costs Valor points, Hi/Ma)
Revered: Trinkets, Head (Hi/Ma)
August Celestials: (Sage Whiteheart, Shrine of the Seven Stars, Valley of the Four Winds)
Honored: Chest (Ex/Ha), Back (Cr/Ha)
Revered: Feet (Hi/Ha), Hands (Ex/Ma), Wrist (Hi/Cr) (as of the 5.1 patch: DO NOT BUY the belt from the Klaxxi - get the Operation Shieldwall/Dominance Offensive one instead -- it's 496 ilvl. as of the 5.2 patch: A 476 belt is available for 250 gold from the Kirin Tor Offensive/Sunreaver Onslaught if you need the valor in other places.)
As far as which factions you would prioritize, that's largely up to you. Best bet is to pick anything that will get your gear up to the requisite ilvl first, and then pick based on the stat priority. You can also pick up 450 PvP gear to fill in any holes.
Since you'll at best be at the 4000 point Justice cap when you first ding 90, you won't have enough to buy everything right off. From personal experience, my lowest gear (429/430) wound up being my shoulders, cloak, waist, legs, and bracers. Turns out that you can't buy Justice point shoulders, waist, or bracers, so that left bracers, legs, and cloak. Since I also had a leatherworker guildie who offered to make me a cloak, I picked the bracers and legs.
Once you hit 87, you'll need to pretty much want to try running Mogu'shan Palace Normal as a preference over Shado-Pan Monastery -- there are three items in there that you'll want: Ghostheart (a polearm) and the Boots of Plummeting Death off of Xin the Weaponsmaster, and the Iron Protector Talisman off of Gekkan.
While there's also Snowdrift's Bladed Staff in Shado-Pan Monastery, that's literally the only item that drops for you in Normal and is a 435 staff, which means you'll have to make up the ilvl points elsewhere.
If you're one of those Archaeology buffs, as soon as you hit 525 Archaeology, you can start farming relics for the Spear of Xuen (Crit/Mastery), which is not only usable at 85(!) but also pretty spiffy for stats.
Best bosses to use your Elder Charm of Good Fortunes on while working towards 480 for Throne of Thunder:
1. Spirit Kings (Mogushan Vaults boss #4) and Tsulong (Terrace of Endless Spring boss #2). Weapons are very hard to come by for us, and these are the only two bosses that drop them.
2. Sha of Fear (Terrace of Endless Spring): Double bonus - Terror in the Mists (agi, proc crit trinket), and the Tier 14 headpiece.
3. Empress Shek'zeer (Heart of Fear Boss #6) (chest), Wind-lord Mel'jarak (Heart of Fear Boss #4) (gloves), Amber Shaper Unsok (Heart of Fear boss #5), (pants) - Three other bosses that drop T14.
4. Lei Shi (Terrace of Endless Fear Boss #3) (shoulders) - Drops T14 shoulders, but those come with dodge on them. I put these one lower in priority because Dodge is lowest on my priority list to have on items, and the +532/+611/+699 Dodge comes out to 0.6%/0.69%/0.79% Dodge percentage. I'd go for them only if you desperately need it to fill out a 2 set or 4 set bonus.
A hotfix went in sometime in the last week or so such that Rage generation from white hits went up from 6.5 to 10.5 per non-crit. This will make it so your baseline Rage generation is a bit beefier, and you aren't as dependent on Mangle hitting in order to generate the necessary 60 Rage for talents. It makes Haste a little more attractive to not reforge out of, since more white swings = more rage generation. I'm not sure if it's enough to talent Incarnation instead of SotF yet, but I was noticing that I'm able to use all three of my Savage Defense charges up and still have Rage left for a FR sometimes now. While leveling to 90, this will also offset some of the scaling issues that will happen when your crit rating goes down, since you also won't be as reliant on the 15 bonus Rage from Primal Fury.
Note on Savage Defense as a mechanic:
- Old Savage Defense worked even when you were stunned or frozen. I could charge into the naga packs at the start of the instance in Firelands, get in a few swipes for crits and have a nice hefty bear block bubble up.
- New Savage Defense is pure dodge. If you get stunned, feared, or otherwise incapacitated, you don't dodge. Those same naga packs are a lot more deadly since they have a Shockwave-like ability that stuns the tanks, so now the only thing keeping you upright is your Mastery (aka armor) and the grace of your healers, plus whether or not you thought to use Barkskin (which still works while you're stunned). Supposedly we're getting a 12% Physical Damage reduction buff to Thick Hide, but it was supposed to come with the buff to white damage Rage, and my tooltip for Thick Hide doesn't show it yet.
Note on Frenzied Regen usage:
- The absolute best time to use Frenzied Regen is right after a boss smite-type attack, when the one-hit Vengance buff spike is at its highest and when you've just taken a hit that your healers would otherwise have to heal you all the way up from. On Madness last week, I was averaging 81K heals when healing myself right after an Impale. The numbers from WoL say it best, though:
Quick note: Last night, the rep requirement for Honored=Justice Points gear got removed from the faction vendors. Which means as soon as you hit 90, you can afford a couple of Justice / 450 pieces by going to the Ox Temple vendor and picking up the things you need. However, this may be a bug and I'll verify tonight if it's still 'off'. I guess perhaps they didn't much care for people bypassing the rep/daily grind by way of buying all PvP gear....
Also, if you can get to level 89 before Coren Direbrew goes away, he's been updated to drop ilvl _470_ gear, which will help you get to heroic ilvl that much easier. He hits like a truck, and goes down slower to boot, but bring a good healer and you'll be fine. I had two tank trinkets ninjaed out from under me by a pair of DPS warriors (whose butts I kicked on the damage meters), but I did pick up my updated Coaster (904 crit rating is nothing to sneeze at since it becomes 1356 for bears), which I definitely will find more useful than a pure stam trinket (the mugs) since I'm intending to be Feral as my offspec...
Edited: Confirmed, just bought two pieces of rep gear without being Honored. Jumped into dungeons immediately. Also, the ilvl requirement has come down to 435 from 440, so you might have enough just from finishing out all the quests. Edited Appendix A above to reflect the change.
For the TLDR folks: No shoulders/waist available via Justice points. Recommend buying pants/bracers from personal experience.
As I am new to playing a Guardian Druid I found your post extremely helpful and I'm managing to hold my own in normal dungeons, cant do heriocs yet so will have to see on that one.Your point about Direbrew crit trinket, is it viable as a tanking trinket?
It's not a pure tanking trinket, since its proc (AP) does nothing for your tanking abilities directly, but it's a nice threat booster (and as a fresh 90, you may need the edge to establish initial threat on large trash packs or frequent late adds. The base crit is fairly useful compared to other trinkets at the 437 level, though most of them have a random 10 seconds@1836 proc.
Right now I'm using the Iron Protector Talisman (stam/proc dodge trinket) and Coren's Coaster as my tank trinkets, and I managed to tank my first heroic without much of a hitch, so I'd say it works for me.
So, I must admit I was not planning on buying this expansion so it has taken me some time to get familiar with everything (and TBH I do not feel comfortable commenting until I have killed a raid boss and see how different things play out). But now that I am settled in I have read this and have a few comments (see your PM for a few nit-picky things that might help).
if an item does not have mastery it is almost worthless and when it does have mastery ALWAYS reforge the other stat to dodge. The reasoning behind this is simple, even under the impossibly ideal conditions (hit and expertise cap and stacking nothing but crit) you are looking at a 30% at most uptime on SD, and that is with never using FR for self heals
FF- I have always favored anything that increases the range of anything ability
Stampeding roar- A MUST, they nerfed the range to only 10 yards, but made the movement imparing removal baseline, I love this glyph, even if all it does it take up a glyph slot to give us back exactly what we had before
Rebirth- a must, even more so if you took NS as a talent, and ESPECIALLY in a 10 man where you are the only b-rez (yaaa for symbiosis on the holy pally but useless if the holy pally is the one who died COUGH*MYRAID*COUGH
(YMMV) FR (in a 25 man raid) - it is possible the added healers in 25 man over 10 man could make it worthwhile, but the 60 rage hard cost is very very bad, it takes away an amazing ammount of possible SD uses over the course of a long boss fight
fae silence - situational, with the ability to respec instantly on the fly this is one of those "must at least know" glyphs so if you are short on interupts you can swap it in before a boss that needs to be interupted
Survival instincts- situational, another "at least have this in your spellbook" glyph, useful on fights where "boss does ability every X seconds" and that ability is something that is just a single hit or a buff 6 seconds or shorter
might of ursoc- honestly 5 minutes is just to long with the current state of the game, long cooldowns are out, sorry but this is very underwhelming
(YMMV) FR (in a 10 man raid or for someone only doing heroics and challenge modes)- I did 7.5 million healing over the course of our stone guard kill with FR, no way a healer will make up for that. As I said earlier also, I like being able to pop enrage and use a 20-30 rage FR as an o shit button
Maul- you should NEVER use maul (if you are only running 5 mans and challenge modes this is viable)
15: Get the boot enchant for move speed, I tried playing without feral charge for a few days and I could not live like that
30: Lot of discussion here, but I prefer renewal because I am lazy. You cannot go wrong with either NS or renewal
45: Typhoon hands down, it acts as a semi-interrupt, and saves you a LOT of incoming damage on anything that can be knocked back
60: Incarnation is an AMAZING survival cooldown, 30 seconds of mangle spam cannot be beat for rage generation, maybe over the course of the fight but over time does not matter nearly as much. I cannot more strongly disagree with the guide author on this one.
75: Bash or Vortex, but again as with feral charge, not having bash was just to painful to play without.
90: While I took HOTW for the passive increases (and hardly ever use it, even though it proved very useful on stone guard when we exploded one without protection against it), IF melee attacks proc the healing, nature's vigil + either berserk or incarnation will be an AMAZING raid healing tool for 10 man raids where you do not have as much access to healer cooldowns. The only way that DoC would be better is if it increased FR healing, but if it is true that it does not (I have not tested it but it would be SO OP if it did so I believe it does not) than either of the other 2 are more useful for the raid as a whole.
I admit it. My initial reaction was "OMG Darksend replied!" I was hoping you would do me the honor. *salutes*
Made the changes as requested. I'm not sure I agree with the 'go with dodge and mastery' route, but if you're using Incarnation over SotF I can see how you'd get there. As for me, I've been getting better than 40% uptime on SD* when I have SotF, but when I have Incarnation I'm struggling a bit. Nevertheless, I'm taking your comments to heart and adding 'em as a counterpoint. Stay tuned.
Morchok: 60.1% uptime (despite having to run out)
Yor'sohj: 30.1% (two tanks)
Zon'ozz: 41.0% (tried using the FR glyph for it)
Hagara: 41.1% (also, with the running out thing)
Ultraxion: 36.5% (was experimenting with trying to stack extra Vengance)
Spine: 49.7% (as the abomination tank)
Madness: 18.0% (I let the other tank one tank it, so I didn't really need it)
(Admittedly, this is when I was still level 85 and had a 40% crit and 11% haste chance, so I had rage coming out of my ears.)
One general comment on NS ... when you are the only battle rez in a 10 man, you are essentially losing a cooldown in renewal because the voice in my head kept telling me not to use ns to heal myself because as soon as I did I just knew someone would die while it was on CD. Basically I would regret using NS HT on myself, but since that is all renewal is good for I would never regret using that ... I hated that feeling.
Also I was very tired last night and probably am going to be wrong about this BUT it looked like nature's vigil proced for every target hit by swipe and trash, but NOT a swipe or thrash cast while using incarnation. This would make a lot of sense actually if it were true. That said using it while spamming mangle under berserk or incarnation I was critting upwards of 100K for that entire time, that is a lot of healing especially on spiritbinder, more on this later.
I am going to do a brief overview of the first 4 fights in Vaults based on my run last night (for more on how to actually handle the fight as a tank not as a druid see this thread). All comments will be based on 10 man:
Stone Guard: We had jasper jade and amethyst. Anything jade is a rough combo because the AoE does so much raid damage. This was a pure endurance battle but also very very boring. The real trick is not falling asleep and always being aware of which boss you are taunting next depending on if A or B gets empowered.
I went with HOTW on this fight and let me say I was forced to use it very effectively when we screwed up an explosion one attempt. On the kill attempt it proved invaluable when I kept rolling rejuvs on both tanks for 45 seconds towards the end of the fight because our healers were bone dry. Combined with incarnation and berserk the globals spent spamming heals did not cost me much in the way of lost FR SD.
I put symbiosis on the shadow priest for a backup tranq as well, it really seemed to help. I had been putting it on the holy paladin (since I was the only rez) but specing into NS and giving it to the priest was huge as it turned out (that whole healers being bone dry thing)
The main source of damage on this fight is the bleed so you are basically a giant damage sponge trying not to die. Use your cooldowns during jasper protection. The reason is during jade protection the AOE damage is reduced by 90% so healers can focus on you more and during amethyst protection the damage from the pools is reduced by 90% meaning healers never have to worry about moving. Since they share HP and when you are only tanking 1 thing that particular one tanks 90% less damage always use berserk when you are tanking 2 things, preferably 2 things during jasper (caveat: late in the fight you are tanking one thing and healers are oom and you need lots of rage income).
This fight more than anything convinced me the FR glyph is useless in 10 mans. Also never maul on this fight you need the rage for heals. I gave preference to FR with 1 boss on me and SD when 2 things were on me.
Feng: My raid was rather stupid and used our abilities the completely wrong way (based on how overtuned the first boss was we just thought we needed more DPS to push phase 3 faster and we had no idea you could even do what you need to do)
Again I went with HOTW, an empowered tranq + rolling rejuvs on the entire raid during the phase 2-3 transition and the first arcane AOE of phase 3 are just too good (read as: MUST US IT THERE if you do not have the encounter shield for it), which is again why symbiosis on a shadow priest is amazing. In phase 2 you alternate at 2 stacks to keep healing as little as possible, and since you will have a timer for it you can always tell how long till you will be tanking, this lets you maul freely while still leaving time to store 100 rage for the tank swap. There are not many druid specific things to know about this fight, sorry.
more to come soon
really tired and still need to do dailies so for now refer to the thread linked above. Will finish this tomorrow it is the weekend after all.
This may sound like a bit of a noob question and isn't relevant to tanking, but what sort of numbers should i be getting for DPS in MV? Everyone else including the other tank are all above 40k and im currently sat around 30-32k.
It depends alot on what your tanking. Stone guards you should be looking for 60k+ if you have 2 dogs, whilst you'll be lucky to pull 15k if you only have one. Feng the tank with Shroud of reversal has a HUGE DPS boost if he uses right. Gara'jal you're DPS will depend alot on how many heals you get in the spirit realm, and on Will you have the lovelyness that is opportunity strike. aslong as your taunt swaps are clean, you're not dropping down dead or hitting enrages you are doing enough DPS.
DPS is very, very, much a function of how much Vengance you get and what you're fighting. If you're not being hit by something hard enough to raise your Vengance, your DPS will be in the 15-20K DPS range (this is what I get on outdoor quest trash mobs, single target, where they don't raise my Vengance above 4K). If you're being hit a lot, it'll go up. Stone Guard in particular is very finicky about this -- if you started the fight with one dog, your damage is going to be in the basement because you only do 10% damage to it. So if the other tank had two dogs most of the time, your damage will be lower than his/hers.
Your gear is also a factor, as is your rotation -- if you've got an Armory and/or WoL link, I can take a look at what you're doing and offer advice if you'd like.
Our guild got its first Stone Guard kill last night, with two bear tanks that were barely geared at 462 (me, with a 450 weapon) and 454 (my girlfriend, with a 435 weapon) and our DPS on the kill were averaging in at 39K and 23K respectively -- but I started on the side with two dogs. When I had the dogs, my DPS was up at 72-76K; when I only had one, 4653. (Yes, 4K.)
The bears who are doing monster DPS are zerging that boss (all three dogs together, so their Thrash and Swipe are multiplied) to get the numbers they're getting.
Popping in to say hello and gain some useful tidbits - very nice informative thread, good to know I was on the right track and only needed a few tweeks. I have been a bear off and on since Vanilla and am now a MT for my raid team - so far so good in MV.
Was nice running into you in LFR and look forward to more posts - keep bear hugging!!!!!
Mackon - near as I can tell, the gear you have seems to be about right for the DPS you're reporting. It's probably a function of the fight mechanics and whether you're the MT or OT. The biggest upgrade you're looking for is a weapon upgrade -- most of your attacks are some multiplier of your weapon damage. With Ghostheart, you've got haste, which is probably one of the least desirable stats -- your three upgrades from there short of the raid polearm drop (Screaming Tiger, Qiang's Unbreakable Polearm) are the Inscriptionist staff, then the staff from Shado-Pan Monastery, then the spear of Xuen if you don't mind doing a lot of Archaeology.
Also, what you want to do to get some logs in is to go to World of Logs -- www.worldoflogs.com. You'll need to create an account and download a java application, which, when you type /combatlog in WoW, lets you upload fight logs to the World of Logs website. You'll be able to see things like how much damage you're doing by attack, DoT uptimes, buff uptimes (I use it to see how well I'm keeping Savage Defense up and how much Frenzied Regen healing I'm doing) and what's killing people in the raid.
Also, *salutes* to Mystetree, who I got to watch successfully tank an LFR, and we talked shop a little bit.