For fast gearing up to get into heroics, these crafted PvP items are better than quest rewards. They are very cheap to make, and often sell for less than 200 gold on my server.
Other than the belt, there are no quest rewards that can match these items for use in PvE. You will need to be careful with the itemization of your other gear, since all the Contender’s set only contains Critical Strike Rating and Mastery. Guardians also need Hit Rating and Expertise.
This gear would get quickly replaced at level 90, with Justice Point gear (ilevel 458) and gear from heroics (ilevel 463). However, this will give you a good set that can be confidently used to start tanking heroic instances immediately.
With the recent Guardian druid changes I’ve been looking at ways to track my performance as a tank. Savage Defense uptime will be a key metric, but there are also several other concerns.
Druid tanking is now much more like Death Knight tanking than it was in the previous expansion, specifically with the active mitigation changes of Savage Defense and Frenzied Regeneration and the addition of more damage reducing cool-downs.
Those cool-downs are:
Just maintaining a high Savage Defense uptime is not going to be good enough for Guardians. I had an unpleasant experience tanking Arcurion the other night because I was worrying about Savage Defense, and almost all the damage this boss does is magical – Savage Defense did nothing. I should have been using my rage on Frenzied Regeneration instead. A quick Renewal got me out of trouble, but it was a lesson that I won’t forget in a hurry.
I’ve run some more heroics since then and not had magic damage be such a significant issue, but it pays to watch in case you are taking more damage than expected. Switching to Frenzied Regeneration at that point should make a difference.
This morning I was looking for addons to track the uptime of my buffs and debuffs on a target. Not while I’m in a fight (I use NeedToKnow for that), but afterwards so I can look to see if there are things I can improve about my game. I ended up installing Skada, which has some neat features that gave me exactly what I was looking for.
A quick test on the target dummy shows all my tanking cool-down use and how long I maintained debuffs on a target. I couldn’t easily get this information from Recount, so I’ll be making the switch for a while and see how I go.
I completely rewrote my previous post: http://eaoexcursions.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/druid-changes-in-mists-of-pandaria/ so now it highlights the changes for each specialization and lists all the spells for each specialization.
While I was at it, I added my own blog URL so that I get tooltips here as well, without having to leave the default WordPress site :)
Here’s how I did it.
Since I’m using Google Chrome as my browser, I used the addon called Tampermonkey to allow the injection of scripts into sites I specify. If you use Firefox, then GreaseMonkey is the addon of choice for this.
Once I installed the addon, I added the following script. The only editing I did was to add the URLs in the comments at the top. This makes the script run on those sites.
You can find new scripts on userscripts.org (read them carefully) – here’s the location of Wowhead Google Reader.
and here’s the results of looking at it in my blog and in Google Reader:
I hope some people find this useful!
I’ve levelled my druid up to 90 on the beta, and found that there is a very straightforward way to quest up to the item level required for heroic instances. This post shows how to obtain gear for entry into heroics, and includes the item levels for heroics and raids.
Here’s a post with a full list of the gear that is referred to below: http://eaoexcursions.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/gearing-your-druid-tank-in-mists-of-pandaria/
Things have changed a lot for druid tanking.
A few weeks ago I had been tanking some instances in the beta and it was mostly ok. The new Savage Defense combined with abilities costing rage was a little tricky, but it mostly worked.
I logged in after the most recent beta patch this week and found tanking completely different. Here’s the highlights:
- The most important thing I hadn’t noticed was the change to Frenzied Regeneration – it’s now an instant heal!
- Savage Defense also changed (a little while ago) to be a dodge bonus, so you have to actively make a choice whether to heal yourself or to add mitigation.
- Offensive abilities no longer cost rage (with the exception of Maul).
This is huge, since there is no conflict between generating threat and mitigation for our use of rage. This was a problem earlier in the beta.
- Rip is back! Guardians get Rip when in cat form.
I copied my druid across to the beta today, and ran the Temple of the Jade Serpent instance twice. Here’s a brief summary of how druid tanking is working.
It’s worth a quick note that druid damage got buffed today, so that will explain some of the differences from other testers.
Overall, tanking as a Guardian was fine. There were a few key items worthy of mention:
- It is possible to activate Savage Defense while it is still up, so be careful.
- It is possible to keep very high uptimes of Savage Defense while tanking and holding threat on both bosses and trash.
- As other bloggers have mentioned, there is some downtime in the rotation.
- Chaining Berserk and Incarnation allows for high damage and constant uptime of Savage defense.
- The new talent cooldowns are awesome, druids feel like they have more control over their fate now, with some extra self-healing. Incarnation combined with Frenzied Regeneration causes large heals, and Renewal is great.
- Bear hug doesn’t work on bosses and felt like a waste of time.
- It is frustrating trying to click Lacerate two times in a row, the 3 second cooldown really threw me.
- AoE is easy enough, but use Thrash immediately after activating Savage Defense. Otherwise it can take a few seconds to generate the required rage.
I’ll do a more detailed analysis soon!