Gearing your druid tank in Cataclysm

UPDATE: now reflects the gear changes for patch 4.3

People looking for gear from raids or reputation can go to:

I also discussed the new gear for from heroics in patch 4.3 in this post.


This blog post looks at gearing a level 85 druid tank for heroics and raids, and the gear listed does not include raid drops.

A character is ready for heroic instances when they have the majority of their gear at ilevel 333. When most of this has been upgraded to 346 then the character should be ready for tier 11 raid entry. Ideally there would be a couple of pieces of epic level 359 gear as well, from reputation rewards or crafting.
With the much higher level gear available from Justice points as of patch 4.3 it should be pretty simple to jump to an item level that will get you into the Zandalari heroics. The new crafted PvP gear is item level 377, which is well worth it too.

I will go through each armor and weapon slot, covering the available gear, how to get it, and a recommendation for entry into heroics and another for raids. I’ll also cover enchants for each slot, including cheap options.

I haven’t strictly used any statistic weightings for this article, but have followed the rough priority below:

  1. Agility
  2. Stamina (only really applies for trinkets, since it comes for free on all other gear)
  3. Mastery rating
  4. Dodge rating
  5. Critical strike rating, hit rating and expertise rating
  6. Haste rating
  7. Resilience – has a zero contribution to PvE tanking now that the critical strike reduction has been removed

There are cases where I present several items because they offer alternative statistics that will be required by different characters. This is particularly true of items with expertise rating and hit rating. In the case of tank rings, cloaks and neckpieces this is also true, I listed the agility and strength items.

While choosing gear here are some ratings to consider:

  • Hit rating requires 120.1 points for 1%. The cap is 8% or 961 points.
  • Expertise rating requires 30 rating for an Expertise point. 26 Expertise is still the parry cap, so to reach the cap requires 780 Expertise.
  • Dodge rating gives 1% dodge for 176.7 points. More is always better!
  • Mastery rating requires 179.3 points per Mastery Point. Given that each point of Mastery adds 4% to the absorb of Savage Defender, this is very attractive.
  • Agility gives 2 attack power, 0.55 critical strike rating and 0.72 dodge rating per point. This may be useful when comparing agility items against strength-based tanking items. Strength gives 2 attack power per point.

While I haven’t discussed them in the gear lists, pretty much all the items in the current PvP set make decent tanking items. This is an ilevel 377 set of gear that is almost equivalent to heroic instance drops. Here’s the gear:

Enough introduction, here’s the gear lists!

Head

Best in slot: Nocturnal Gaze, 2200 Valor points. This is better itemized than the helm from the Hour of Twilight heroics, with expertise and mastery rather than haste and hit. It also has a better socket bonus.

Hour of twilight heroic: Helm of Thorns, a 378 epic from heroic Well of Eternity (Mannoroth and Varo’then).

Engineers: Agile Bio-Optic Killshades. The 2 cogwheel slots allow for some impressive combinations. Fractured Cogwheel adds 208 mastery rating, Precise Cogwheel is 208 expertise rating, Rigid Cogwheel is 208 hit rating and Subtle Cogwheel is 208 dodge rating. The flexibility here makes this the best option pre-raid, and possibly better than the T11 helm.

Best in slot BoE epic: Tsanga’s Helm, a BoE trash drop from the Bastion of Twilight raid.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: The Savager’s Mask from heroic Zul’Aman.

Best in slot heroic itemHelm of Numberless Shadows from heroic Stonecore.

Best pre-heroicHelm of Secret Knowledge from the Kill the Courier quest inside normal Grim Batol. Since this is a level 85 dungeon, the most accessible substitute to have ready at 85 is the Bloodied Leather Helm. The Dunwald Winged Helm from quests in Twilight Highlands and the Chain Reaction Hood from a quest in Uldum are also good.

Best enchantArcanum of the Earthen Ring: +90 Stamina and +35 dodge rating. Requires Revered reputation with the Earthen Ring faction.

Most affordable enchantHeavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina.

Neck

Best in slot: Cameo of Terrible Memories, 1250 Valor points

Best BoE: Don Rodrigo’s Fabulous Necklace, a BoE epic world drop.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Amulet of the Watcher from heroic Zul’Gurub

Best in slot heroic item: Pendant of the Lightless Grottofrom Ozruk in heroic Stonecore. The Acorn of the Daughter Tree is available from the Guardians of Hyjal once you reach Revered with that faction. This is a great option of you have no luck with Stonecore.

Mount Hyjal, from MMO Champion's zone prevew

Shoulders

Hour of twilight heroicDesecrated Shoulderguards, from Archbishop Benedictus in the Hour of Twilight.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Tusked Shoulderpads from heroic Zul’Aman

Best in slot heroic item: It’s a tie between Caridean Epaulettes from heroic Throne of the Tides and Embrace of the Night, depending whether you need hit or expertise rating.

Best pre-heroic: Bloodied Leather Shoulders are the best bet here. Other available options have lots of haste rating and the stamina and agility from the PvP piece are more attractive.

Best enchantGreater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz: +75 Stamina and +25 dodge rating. Requires exalted reputation with the Therazane faction.

Most affordable enchantHeavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina.

Back

Best in slotBatwing Cloak, 1250 Valor points.

Hour of twilight heroicCloak of the Banshee Queen from Echo of Sylvanas in the End Time heroic instance.

Firelands raid itemSleek Flamewrath Cloak. This is a reputation reward from the Avengers of Hyjal, and can be obtained by trash farming in the Firelands raid. This item barely made it into this list, since it requires raiding to obtain.

Quest: The new quest Elemental Bonds: The Vow, involving Thrall, provides cloaks for all specs. The agility option is: Mantle of Doubt

Dory’s Finery, a BoE epic world drop. This is identical to the Justice Point reward Viewless Wings (1250 points).

Wrap of the Great Turtle, which requires Exalted reputation with the Guardians of Hyjal faction looks like a good druid cloak. This has changed in patch 4.2 – this cloak is now bad for druids, stay away from it.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Recovered Cloak of Frostheim from heroic Zul’Aman.

Best pre-heroic: There are two leatherworking cloaks that vie for top spot here. They are the Razor-Edged Cloak and the Twilight Dragonscale Cloak. There are two cheaper versions as well, the Cloak of Beasts and Cloak of War.

Best enchantProtection: +250 armor.

Most affordable enchant:Enchant Cloak – Major Agility.

Mount Hyjal, from MMO Champion's zone prevew

Chest

Best in slot:
Shadowbinder Chestguard, 2200 Valor points.

Hour of Twilight heroicTime Twisted tunic drops from Murozond in the End Time instance. The Justice point reward  Obsidian Arborweave Raiment is roughly equivalent.

Best BoEMorrie’s Waywalker Wrap, a BoE raid trash epic.
Assassin’s Chestplate, a crafted leatherworking epic comes in second place. Stormrider’s Raiment is available for 2200 Justice Points, but doesn’t have great tanking stats.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Shadowtooth Trollskin Breastplate from heroic Zul’Aman.

Best pre-heroicSly Fox Jerkin, requires Honored reputation with the Guardians of Hyjal faction. The Bloodied Leather Chest is packed full of mastery rating, so this could be an option for those without the required reputation.

Best enchantGreater Stamina: +75 stamina.

Most affordable enchantEnchant Chest – Stamina: +55 stamina

Wrist

Best in slotBracers of Manifold Pockets (BoE), 1250 Valor points. A cheaper version is the Flamebinder Bracers for 1250 Justice points.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Amani’shi Bracers from heroic Zul’Aman.

Best in slot heroic itemDouble Dealing Bracers from heroic Shadowfang Keep.

Best pre-heroicBloodied Leather Bracers. Hopefully a better option will be available after Cataclysm is released, since this piece has less than ideal itemization.

Best enchantDodge: +50 dodge rating.

Most affordable enchantEnchant Bracers – Major Stamina: +40 stamina.

Twilight Highlands, from MMO Champion's zone prevew

Hands

Best in slotLightfinger Handwraps, 1650 Valor points.

Hour of Twilight heroicGloves of the Hollow, a shared drop in the End Time instance. It is equivalent to Clutches of Evil, a BoE crafted item from a recipe dropped by Firelands trash. The tier 12 gloves,  Obsidian Arborweave Grips, are now available for 1650 Justice points as well.

Liar’s Handwraps/Stormbolt Gloves, requiring exalted reputation with the Twilight Highlands faction, comes in second place.
Stormrider’s Grips are now available for 1650 Justice Points and are a good alternative to the reputation reward.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Knotted Handwraps, a BoE epic from Zul’Aman.

Best pre-heroicSticky Fingers for 1650 Justice Points or Bloodied Leather Gloves as a backup option.

Best enchantGreater Mastery: +65 mastery rating.

Most affordable enchantHeavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina.

Vashjir, from MMO Champion's zone prevew

Waist

Best in slotBelt of Hidden Keys, 1650 Valor points. The Valor belt is slightly better than Nightblind Cinch, a Dragon Soul raid trash drop.

Hour of Twilight heroicPeroth’arn’s Belt drops from Peroth’arn in the well of Eternity.

Firelands BoE: Riplimb’s Lost Collar, a BoE from Firelands trash.

Best 359Belt of Nefarious Whispers, a crafted leatherworking epic. The Quicksand Belt that requires revered status with the Ramkahen faction is a cheaper alternative.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Belt of Slithering Serpents from heroic Zul’Gurub.

Best pre-heroicSash of Musing, 1650 Justice Points.

Best enchantEbonsteel Belt Buckle

Most affordable enchantEbonsteel Belt Buckle

Legs

Best in slot: The tier 12 leggings, Obsidian Arborweave Legguards are the best for tanks. These cost 2200 Justice points.

Hour of Twilight heroicPuppeteer’s Pantaloons from Queen Azshara in the Well of Eternity instance.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Leggings of Dancing Blades from heroic Zul’Aman.

Best heroic itemLeggings of the Burrowing Mole, 2200 Justice Points. These are truly well itemized with expertise, mastery, red and blue sockets and agility as the socket bonus. If you only buy one item with justice points, make it this one.

Best pre-heroicBloodied Leather Legs and Leggings of the Impenitent from the Dragonmaw Clan (requires honored reputation) are pretty similar in value.

Best enchantCharscale Leg Armor: +145 stamina and +55 agility

Most affordable enchantHeavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina, is probably the cheapest, but Twilight Leg Armor: +85 stamina and +45 agility is far superior.

Deepholm, from MMO Champion's zone prevew

Feet

Best in slot: Rooftop Griptoes (BoE), 1650 Valor points.

Hour of Twilight heroic:    Wayfinder Boots drop from Arcurion in the Hour of Twilight.  Treads of the Craft, a crafted BoE from the Firelands raid are a viable alternative.

Treads of Fleeting Joy, purchased for Justice points are a much cheaper option.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Fasc’s Preserved Boots from heroic Zul’Gurub.

Best in slot heroic itemBoots of the Predator from heroic Shadowfang Keep.

Best pre-heroicBloodied Leather Boots are an easy option to acquire, but Crafty’s Gaiters from the Lost City of the Tol’vir instance in normal mode are better if you can get them to drop.

Best enchant: Personal preference will apply in this case, particularly with the additional movement speed enchants. The options are:

  1. Assassin’s Step: +25 agility, movement speed
  2. Earthen Vitality: +30 stamina, movement speed
  3. Lavawalker: +35 mastery rating, movement speed
  4. Major Agility: +35 agility
  5. Mastery: +50 mastery rating

Most affordable enchantHeavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina

Finger

Best in slotEmergency Descent Loop, 1250 Valor points.

Hour of Twilight heroicMannroth’s Signet drops from Mannroth in the Well of Eternity.

Best 359Signet of the Elder Council, requires Exalted reputation with the Earthen Ring faction. Hornet-Sting Band is available for 1250 Justice Points, and is a minuscule downgrade from Signet of the Elder Council. This is the best option for a second ring outside raid drops.
The Gilnean Ring of Ruination is a BoE world drop that is not quite as good as the above two rings.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Arlokk’s Signet from heroic Zul’Gurub is perfectly itemized with crit and mastery. The BoE Quickfinger Ring from trash in Zul’Aman is also a good option with expertise and haste.

Best pre-heroic: Several jewelcrafting rings are good options here; Band of BladesElementium Destroyer’s RingElementium Moebius Band and the reputation reward Felsen’s Ring of Resolve, which requires revered reputation with Therazane.

There are several bind-on-equip rings from normal instances that are good choices as well; Mirage Ring and Temple Band. Pick these up from the auction house if they are reasonably priced.

Best enchantAgility: +40 Agility, or Greater Stamina: +60 Stamina.

Deepholm, from MMO Champion's zone prevew

Trinket

Valor points:
Fire of the Deep and
Kiroptyric Sigil are both available for 1650 Valor points.

Hour of Twilight heroicArrow of Time from Murozond in the End Time instance and Veil of Lies from Archbishop Benedictus in the Hour of Twilight are the dps and tank trinkets, respectively.

Firelands BoEScales of Life is a decent tanking trinket. It’s just a bucket of health and is probably not best in slot, but worth a mention.

Best in slotFluid Death is available for 1650 Justice Points. 380 Agility when fully stacked is awesome, and the large amount of hit rating can be reforged to dodge.

Quicksilver Alchemist Stone is now better than Lifebound Alchemist Stone, both alchemist-only crafted trinkets.

Darkmoon Card: Earthquake is excellent as well. Mirror of Broken Images or Unsolvable Riddle, requiring exalted status with the Tol Barad factions, are good choices too.

Best pre-heroicFigurine – Earthen Guardian, a jewelcrafting-only trinket. other options include:

  1. Baradin Footman’s Tags or Baradin Grunt’s Talisman requires honored reputation with the Tol Barad factions
  2. Skardyn’s Grace drops in normal Grim Batol
  3. There are numerous dps trinkets that may be appropriate substitutes, or a defensive trinket from Wrath of the Lich King.
Once you are ready for heroics, make sure that you obtain Tia’s Grace from heroic Lost City of the Tol’Vir. There are many other good heroic trinkets, but the ones with agility or a large agility proc are the best ones to use.

Weapon

Hour of twilight heroicThornwood Staff drops from Mannoroth and Varo’then in the Well of Eternity. Ranseur of Hatred is a BoE epic that drops from trash in the Firelands raid. It is not as well itemized for tanking as the Thornwood Staff, but neither of these will tempt a druid who has managed to get their fire kitty staff.

Witch-Hunter’s Harvester is a crafted epic now available in patch 4.2. It is firmly in third place and ideally itemized for bears.

Mobus’s Dripping Halberd is a BoE epic that was added in patch 4.1. It drops from Mobus in the Abyssal Depths. It is better itemized for cats than bears (with haste and mastery) but is still an excellent weapon for both specs.

Best Zandalari heroic drop: Jin’do’s Verdict from Jin’do the Godbreaker in Zul’Gurub is perfectly itemized for bears with crit and mastery.

Best in slot heroic item: a tie between Seliza’s Spear from heroic Lost City of the Tol’Vir and Darkling Staff from heroic Stonecore.

A quick note for the PvP weapons, Vicious Gladiator’s Staff and Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s Staff. If you can get these they have significant agility and stamina gains over the PvE weapons.

Best pre-heroicElementium Poleaxe, a crafted blacksmithing item. This is almost the same as Seliza’s Spear except that the poleaxe has less mastery and more critical strike rating.

If you can’t afford the expensive poleaxe then these are your options:

  1. The normal version of Seliza’s Spear from the Lost City of the Tol’Vir
  2. Staff of Draconic Pacification (Torth-Slayer’s Staff for the horde) from quests in The Twilight Highlands
  3. Obsidium Bladespear, a cheaper crafted blacksmithing weapon

Best enchantMighty Agility, +130 agility

Most affordable enchantMighty Agility, +130 agility. This is not a particularly expensive enchant.

Relic

Best in slot: Ripfang Relic is the new Valor point relic. The Covenant of the Flame is now avilable from the Justice Point vendor. Relic of Golganneth is also a Justice point reward, but a lower level one.

Best in slot heroic itemStalagmite Dragon from heroic Stonecore or Sandshift Relic from heroic Blackrock Caverns.

Best pre-heroicSilver Inlaid Leaf, inscription only crafted relic. Otherwise the normal instance versions of the relics above.


Pre-heroic gear set

Using all the pre-heroic recommendations gives the following list for a character fresh to level 85:

This gear set provides the following tanking stats (trinkets excluded for these calculations):

  • Stamina: 4041 from gear and 261 from enchants for 4302 total. Trinkets could add more than 400 stamina to this.
  • Agility: 2242 from gear and 210 from enchants for 2452 total. 1765 dodge rating, 1348 critical strike rating and 4904 attack power
  • Strength: 349 from gear. 698 attack power
  • Critical strike rating: 552 from gear
  • Dodge rating: 263 from gear and 50 from enchants for 313 total.
  • Mastery rating: 945 from gear
  • Expertise rating: 292
  • Hit rating: 238 from gear, this is very low, so be aware of that
  • Sockets: meta, 1 yellow, 3 blue, 3 red, 2 prismatic
  • Derived statistics from strength and agility are: 1765 dodge rating, 1348 critical strike rating and 5602 attack power
  • Dodge % = +11.8% dodge
  • Critical strike chance = +10.6%
  • Mastery = 5.2 or just over +20% damage absorbed (roughly 52% total)

None of the calculations above include gems, so there is some room for customization.

I hope you find this gear listing useful!

Note: I have edited this to remove reference to reforging resilience on PvP gear, since that is not possible.


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37 Responses to Gearing your druid tank in Cataclysm

  1. Pingback: Big Bear Butt Blogger » Check out Eao’s Excusion, a Feral Druid blog!

  2. Rahl says:

    Nice! thanks for all the hard work.
    Will be interesting to see how it compares with other feral blogger’s lists

    https://theincbear.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/incomplete-gearing-list-for-85/

  3. Din'Kera says:

    Very helpful indeed.

  4. Ampzilla says:

    Really great list, thanks for all the hard work.

    Another great blogger referred by BBB.

    Now you just have to go through the same process as Reesi (http://theincbear.com/), so you can have WoWHead tooltips! =P

  5. Pingback: Cataclysm enchants for bear druids | Eao's excursions

  6. Antony says:

    Thanks folks, I’m glad you liked it!

    Getting tooltips requires me to get hosting for the blog, which will cost me some money. If people continue to find my blog useful then I may look into it 🙂

  7. Pingback: Reputation rewards in Cataclysm for druid tanks | Eao's excursions

  8. Gestalt says:

    I definitely think you should go for hosting.

    On the feet you recommended reforging…when and what stats are we reforging from and to? (this is a general question as well)

    Any chance on ball-park stat weightings? It would be nice to have something for pawn, in order to make it easier and more clear when to upgrade while leveling.

  9. Antony says:

    Hi Gestalt,

    I’m working on a post that looks at the pros and cons of which stats to reforge now. Some people say mastery, some say dodge, but it requires a bit of theory crafting. I’ve compiled a development version of Rawr to help with this as well, and there are stat weightings there. A key thing at the moment is that buffs make a difference because Savage Defense scales so well. I’ll post that sometime this coming week.

    That mention of reforging on the boots is an error. I removed other references to reforging pvp gear and missed that one, so I’ve just updated it now 🙂

  10. James says:

    hey mate, i suggest you change the following on chest:

    “Most affordable enchant: Heavy Savage Armor Kit: +44 stamina.”

    On Al’akir the Item enchant for chest is 17g idk about other servers…

    ” Enchant Chest – Stamina – Use: Permanently enchant chest armor to increase stamina by 55. Requires a level 300 or higher item”

    • Antony says:

      Hi James,
      Good pickup. I’ve also noticed how cheap the Stamina chest enchant is. Looks like people are using it for leveling enchanting and I haven’t seen many armor kits on the auction house at all.

  11. Antony says:

    I have a quick comment on the Bloodied Leather set items listed in this guide. On my server they are quite expensive (in the 600-1200 gold range depending on the item), so unless you plan to do some pvp or have a way to craft them cheaply its probably better to go for a different item.

  12. zelmaru says:

    This list is absolutely HAWT and it breaks it down in a simple non-EJ-math way. I am DELIGHTED that agility is a top stat and that there will be much overlap with my cat set. I strangely thought that STR would be in that list in lieu of agility and I’m relieved that it is not.

  13. Tomba says:

    you forgot to list up a Neck :O
    Could u add that plz.

  14. Tomba says:

    I wonder why isn’t there any +20 stats enchant??

  15. nifty says:

    Looking for a NECK item?? When i went to the Guardians of Hyjal quartermaster to get me one of those Chest pieces listed, i noticed i could also get Acorn of the Daughter Tree, which is not a bad item.

  16. Pingback: Druid tank gear list updated | Eao's excursions

  17. wouter says:

    Is it just me or is are the Amani’shi Bracers a downgrade from the Double Dealing Bracers? You might also want to include the vp ring with haste mastery at the finger slots, I recently upgraded my Gilnean Ring of Ruination to that one. Well except for these 2 point your guide was a huge help in gearing my druid, thanks for that.

    • Antony says:

      It’s not just you! The Double Dealing Bracers are better itemized that the Amani’shi ones. It really comes down to whether you need the expertise badly, or are unwilling to sacrifice the 12 agility.
      Thanks for the ring pickup as well. I’d stayed away from valor point rewards in the first version of the guide, but on the update I added a few, so I should include this one as well. I’m glad you found the guide useful 🙂

  18. Moew says:

    Hey, so if I got that stats, I’m able to tank Cataclysm Hc’s?

    • Antony says:

      It is certainly possible, I did. However, many more people in heroics are raid geared now and you may have to get a few upgrades from the heroics before you feel comfortable with threat levels.

  19. Keith says:

    What about the Stormrider’s Leggings?

  20. Antony says:

    I’ve just updated this article to include the changes for 4.2. These include:
    – new gear available for Justice Points (tier and others)
    – BoE drops from Firelands
    – quest rewards that are better than other items
    – crafted BoE epics from Firelands

  21. Dariat" Kul Tiras EU says:

    Great site, alot of useful info here, all very much appreciated. Theres only a handfull of decent bear tanking based sites/blogs, and I’m glad I stumbled across this one!!

    Sorry if I missed it somewhere, but I was wondering if you had a rough, suggested stat base for tanking in Firelands (Stam/health, armour and dodge/agi). I know its in part down to your guilds healers and dps, but I’m playing catch up, as I had a long break (Stopped playing prior to cata launch) and as such, I’m still gearing up, to give our pally and warrior tank a chance to go dps instead. Your welcome to check my armoury, (At work currently, so limited net access) but I might be in my low geared space chicken spec.

    But I was trying to work out whether I should be good to go, as is, or whether I should aim to increase/improve what I currently have. Sitting at around 150-160k self buff’d health (MotW), around 37% dodge (with the trinket stack sitting on 10/max, about 34-35 otherwise) and about 60-65% physical damage mitigation via armour. These are rough figures, just off the top of my head.

    Thanks for any input.

    • Antony says:

      Hi Dariat, I’m glad you like my blog 🙂

      The armory is down at the moment, but honestly you can tank in firelands with all 359 gear. Especially if you are the the tank who deals with Riplimb on the Shannox fight – that tank takes very little damage. Likewise, all the trash should be fine at that level.

      Obviously you want to get the reputation reward cloak and belt, and whatever gear you can from the Molten Front dailies as well, but that’s not really required to be successful.

      As far as figures go, the ones you quoted look fine to me. They are pretty similar to what I had when I started tanking in there (not that I’ve killed many bosses yet). I hope this helps!

  22. Dan says:

    I know you noted as both stam enchants best options for Chest. Though, stam stacking is not always a good option. sometimes rounding things out is. And for that I would suggest the +20 to all stats enchant. If you cant afford that get the +15.

    • Antony says:

      Hi Dan. I agree with you on this one – as the new tiers have come out the Stamina enchants are not as good as the other ones. I changed mine a while ago and should probably update this post as well.

  23. Dan says:

    And as far as going with all non-stam based trinkets I feel is a bad idea. Some FL bosses DO require a good stam buffer. Which having two stam trinkets works best. Currently using Scales of Life + Lifebound Alchemist Stone. The latter will be replaced in time with Moonwell Phial.

    Losing around 8k hp buffer for 1% more dodge just doesn’t seem fitting. Given that dodge is a chance, hp is not. And in the end your healers may thank you for the additional 8k hp, when a hit gets past your dodge chance. Plus it adds a 12% more to absorb via mastery. 12% more absorb + 8k hp vs 1% dodge chance increase. I’d stick with the Lifebound in that case.

    On the averaged concepts Dodge and Mastery are just as important to a bear as Stam would be. Building too much mitigation not enough stam = eventually your healers will hate you when your chance fails. And if it fails back to back you may see yourself dead. Too much stam stacking and not enough mitigation = someone will go oom fairly quickly. Be kind to your healers build some defense. There should be no heavy set to mitigation or stam. Rather a good balance of the two. Which requires you to build your bear in harmony with Dodge, Mastery, Stam.

    Though I do agree with you on many of the other gear selections.

    • Antony says:

      For this one I think it depends on your gear level. I found that the extra stamina was good when I started out in Firelands, but as my gear level improved the stamina trinkets were no longer needed. The same applied in heroics and other raid tiers, stam was needed at first and then the gear had enough on it after upgrades.
      My gearing strategy on my bear is favouring mastery over dodge at the moment so I can do as much dps as possible in tank swaps, and Agility over everything for trinkets so that I do more damage when main tanking and my Savage Defence shields are bigger. I’ve checked the logs of my raids and the difference in my damage taken is so small that it is not really noticeable for the healers.
      Once again I agree with the general principle of your comment – consider all defensive stats in balance.

  24. Dan says:

    Sorry broken thoughts and no way to edit in new thoughts. For those wishing to poke fun or whatnot at my bear. may be so directed to http://wow-heroes.com/character/us/Blade%27s%20Edge/S%C3%BCnde/. Therein is my bear and her current gear. Granted I need some enchant additions. Though there she is for all to see and comment on. A lot of the items discussed here I had already grabbed for my little bear. Or even had at one time gearing up.

    • Antony says:

      Thanks for posting this 🙂 I hadn’t looked at wow-heroes for ages and I like how it now shows the World of Logs ranks.
      I would have used more Delicate Inferno Rubies for gemming than you have (in the relic, belt buckle and one or two others), but really it’s down to personal preference. A total of 100 Agility (or other stats) difference from gemming has a very small impact on actual play.
      I can’t believe you got the fire kitty staff after one visit to Staghelm – I felt like I’d been raiding Firelands forever before seeing that. Grats 🙂

  25. Mike says:

    Great information here and thanks for putting this all together. One note – your PvP gear listed is all mail gear… which itches a bear’s skin. Might want to change those over to the leather gear.

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