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Druid Tanking in Cataclysm 4.0.6

Posted on: Feb 16, 2011 | Author: Garona


This guide will take you through the information you will need to know to get your druid tank ready for raiding in Cataclysm patch 4.0.6. It also provides notes for dungeon only tanks and those that need to switch out to feral cat dps sometimes during a raid.

Talent Builds

The talent build for a feral druid tank is pretty straight forward. There are some minor variations to consider but for the most part as a basic tanking talent build you need to make sure you have the Elitist Jerks approved 0/31/6 build.

The spare points in the restoration tree are pretty straight forward as these are the only real beneficial talent points when looking at the Restoration or Balance tree. You may wish to consider [Perseverance] but it is highly likely that you’re going to want the extra threat from [Master Shapeshifter] especially as you first start out as a tank.

The four points found in [Brutal Impact] and [Feral Aggression] can be removed if you require to form the following 0/31/6 or similar build for tanks that need to swap out to feral cat on occasion during a raid.

Prime Glyphs

There are only three glyphs that can affect you in bear form so there is no room for different selections for your primary glyphs. Each of these glyphs affects your threat/damage only.

[Glyph of Berserk]
[Glyph of Lacerate]
[Glyph of Mangle]

Major Glyphs

There are a few Major Glyphs to choose from for a druid tank, there are two glyphs that I recommend as essential for raiding tanks from the list below. The first is [Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration] which converts your Frenzied Regeneration ability into one that no longer turns your rage into a HoT but increases the effectiveness of healing on you by 30%. The chances are your tank healers are going to be getting much more powerful heals out on you than your HoT could ever give you so this is a good survivability glyph despite the HoT sacrifice.

For dungeon runs however, you may wish to give this glyph a miss as your HoT may be more useful in a tricky situation when you can’t depend on your healer all the time.

The second glyph is [Glyph of Rebirth] which is useful for unique raid situations. In many cases you may find that you can actually get a Rebirth off on a target while not tanking periodically especially if you are in cat form instead for a particular boss fight anyway. This is particularly useful if you have no warlocks in your raid to Soul Stone a raid member but if you can complete a Rebirth, being able to select who you want to resurrect and bringing them back at 100% health is more much convenient for any raid.

[Glyph of Faerie Fire]
[Glyph of Feral Charge]
[Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration]
[Glyph of Maul]
[Glyph of Rebirth]

For a dungeon only tank you may prefer to ensure you have [Glyph of Feral Charge] and [Glyph of Maul] in your selection so that you have better AoE tanking abilities and can always charge into every mob group to open combat.

Minor Glyphs

The following minor glyphs are the only three selections that can possibly affect you in combat. They are not essential but they are recommended for raiding bears as opposed to other vanity glyphs.

[Glyph of Challenging Roar]
[Glyph of Dash]
[Glyph of Mark of the Wild]

Statistics for a Bear

One of the most important stats for a bear is Agility which is unique to this tanking class. Agility provides Dodge, Attack Power and Crit so helps to stack your tanks avoidance and threat at the same time. Unfortunately it no longer provides armor so does not contribute to mitigation any longer.

As a druid tank you will be unable to stack parry and therefore dodge is invaluable for a druid tank. Although no gear comes with dodge attached to it, you can reforge haste on gear to dodge and Agility also provides dodge for your tank so you will stack up quite a bit in general.

You will need both crit and mastery to fully benefit from and improve your Savage Defense procs. These two stats work a little complicated with each other so it’s always best to consult a spreadsheet before doing anything drastic with these stats. You should find you gain crit quite naturally through gear upgrades due to the amount of Agility on your gear. As a general rule of thumb you shouldn’t need to reforge for crit.

The following is a general rule of thumb for stats as a bear but the order is somewhat debatable:

Armor > Agility > Dodge > Mastery > Stamina > Crit > Haste > Hit

The only immovable stats are the fact that avoidance (agility and dodge) and Mitigation (Mastery) will always be better than Stamina since we need to rebuild these stats from scratch again. No tank in cataclysm should be stacking for pure stamina!

It’s important to note that mobs no longer suffer parry hasting, so Expertise is less viable as a mitigation stat in Cataclysm and generally not needed unless your threat is very poor. You may wish to gain 8% hit however particularly if you are often on interrupt duty in your raid.

Gemming

With the above advice on stats in mind we can deduce the following gemming guidelines for a druid bear:

Red Sockets: [Delicate Inferno Ruby]
Yellow Sockets: [Adept Ember Topaz] or [Polished Ember Topaz]
Blue Sockets: [Shifting Demonseye]

Meta Socket: [Austere Shadowspirit Diamond]

Enchants

Some of these enchants have alternatives which can be used on a case by case basis. You will need to examine your dodge (avoidance), threat and mitigation levels in order to properly decide upon the right selection. As a rule of thumb, for a starter tank you will always prefer agility or dodge over stamina where possible and you may prefer armor above all unless your threat is too low.

For tanks that need to switch out to Feral Cat sometimes during raid encounters, you may wish to prefer Agility enchants across the board which will improve threat, avoidance and mitigation for your tank as well as damage for your feral cat.

Head: [Arcanum of the Earthen Ring]
Shoulder: [Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz]
Back: [Major Agility] or [Protection]
Chest: [Greater Stamina] or [Peerless Stats]
Wrists: [Dodge] or [Major Stamina]
Hands: [Glove Reinforcements] or [Heavy Savage Armor Kit]) or [Greater Mastery]
Legs: [Charscale Leg Armor]
Feet: [Heavy Savage Armor Kit] or [Assassin's Step] or [Major Agility] or [Earthen Vitality]

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