With the release of the new talents for Mists of Pandaria, I keep going over them and wondering which ones I would use for tanking. Here’s my choices along with some commentary.
The talents below are the ones I think will be my primary choices. A secondary set of choices is further into the post.
Level 15 talent
I chose Feline Swiftness because it now buffs movement speed in Bear form as well as Cat form. I’m also pretty attached to the fast run speed of Cat form for doing dailies and running around in instances.
With my general play style I don’t find the other two options as attractive.
Level 30 Talent
This looks like the default choice for Bears – a solid tanking cool-down. I like this over the other options because it is simple and effective. Combined with the new Savage Defense mechanics it will be nice to have another instant heal.
Nature’s Swiftness has more flexibility but I don’t think I would use it as frequently.
Level 45 Talent
I find Faerie Swarm underwhelming, adding a slow to Faerie Fire will annoy me when mobs walk towards me slower. Mass Entanglement requires me to be in elf form, which probably means I won’t use it that often either.
The only other choice at this level is Typhoon. It will be frustrating when mobs get knocked away, but the knockback and 6 second daze will reduce incoming damage for a few seconds as mobs slowly engage again.
I can see this being useful when tanking trash in raids. If there are times when adds get to the dps or the healers then this could prevent deaths.
Level 60 Talent
This new version of Feral Charge is pretty awesome! I’m very attached to the existing charge for tanking (and this talent is the only way to get it), so that is my primary reason for choosing Wild Charge.
The changes for Travel Form, Flight Form and Aquatic Form are a pretty big bonus too. Just annoying my paladin friends with a super fast flight form makes this talent worth it. The PvP implications of this talent are pretty good too – combining cat form, dash, travel form and Wild Charge will allow druids to be even more mobile in battlegrounds.
Level 75 Talent
Who doesn’t want to create a whirlwind to suck all the adds together while they deal with a boss? Place this between you and the healer, spin the boss around, and nobody has to worry about damage from adds for a little longer. I think this will add some fun to tanking, and while not strictly necessary, it will allow groups time to react to change.
Level 90 Talent
For tanking, I really don’t like the other talents at this level;
– extra spellpower from Heart of the Wild isn’t very interesting
– extra spell/physical damage by shapeshifting from Master Shapeshifter really doesn’t help a tank much.
So the only other choice is Disentanglement.
The 20% heal is pretty nice, and will be really helpful in raids. Tank swaps are usually in the 20-30 second time-frame, so this heal will line up pretty well.
For me, the removal of roots is a cosmetic benefit. It will be useful in some 5-mans, and the occasional raid fight. PvP is where this talent will really shine for Guardians, but since I don’t do much PvP on my druid this is less important.
Disentanglement has a really nice synergy with Displacer Beast for all druid specs except cats. A single button click will move you into cat form (breaking roots), move you away and purge periodic damage. That’s pretty powerful.
Secondary talent choices
This image shows the talents that I think are ones that will be good to change from the main choices above.
Displacer Beast is potentially a good choice over Feline Swiftness. Any 5-man or raid boss that does stacking damage with bleeds or spells that apply damage over time effects would be significantly easier to deal with. When tanking Shannox, the tanks have to worry about a stacking bleed, and this (while a little risky) could clear that at a critical moment.
Whether this is viable for tanking really depends on the threat level on the boss. Placing the druid in stealth may have an impact on the group, so it may be sensible to macro this together with a shift back into Bear form, minimising the time spent stealthed.
This is a different kind of control to Ursol’s Vortex, and possibly weaker. I’d like to try it and see what happens before really deciding. A disorient effect is broken on damage, so you would need to be careful about using AoE abilities after this one to prevent wasting the cool-down.