Home > Talents & Glyphs > Tanking Specs for 4.0.1 – Druids

Tanking Specs for 4.0.1 – Druids

This is part 3 of a 5-part series on tanking specs in 4.0.1. I recommend you view the introduction to the series first.

Druids

I’ve never played a bear. These are my best guess predictions/recommendations based on what I know of bears, but take them with about a shaker-full of salt.

My Picks

Please forgive the linked spec’s glyphs; for some reason, Wowhead’s talent tool is missing some feral glyphs.

Like warriors, bears will be somewhat affected by the changes to the rage system. Unlike warriors, bears have always had a uniform swing speed, so rage from damage dealt will function approximately as it always has – except that you will receive no extra rage from white crits. Also, rage from damage taken will be inversely proportional to your health pool.

The Blow-By-Blow

Primal Fury – With rage from damage dealt being changed to a per-swing basis rather than a per-damage basis, this is the only rage bonus you’ll get from your leather-given increased chance to crit. I probably should have colored it yellow, since its usefulness will vary depending on how rage is balanced.

Feral Aggression – This is a pretty bad talent for bears, but it has the unusual effect of allowing a bear (or cat) to apply 3 stacks of the sunder debuff in a single GCD, which would reduce physical DPS’s ramp-up time dramatically. It might be worth speccing into for zerg-type hardmodes and achievements, where every second of DPS is precious.

Stampede – While crit no longer increases your rage generation, haste does; in fact, it’s the primary rage generation stat now. A 30% haste buff after the pull could be invaluable to your threat.

Endless Carnage – I don’t know what to think about this talent, primarily because I don’t know what to think about Pulverize. Neither Lacerate nor Pulverize has a cooldown listed, so depending on how the numbers are balanced Lacerate > Lacerate > Lacerate > Pulverize could become the single-target tanking rotation; and at the other extreme, if Pulverize is weak, it could be better to leave a GCD open than have to re-apply all three stacks of Lacerate. If Pulverize is worth using, but not worth using more often than is needed to keep the buff up, then Endless Carnage will be a very good talent; however, if Pulverize is used rotationally more often than its effect would wear off naturally – or if it’s not used at all – Endless Carnage would be wasted.

PulverizePulverize consumes any stacks of Lacerate currently on the target. Most likely damage and increased crit chance will be more than worth the 3 GCDs it will take to re-stack Lacerate, but until we see it in action we won’t know for sure. I’m an idiot and forgot about the bear mastery, Savage Defense. Thanks to Dylan for pointing this out to me. Increased crit chance equates not only to threat but also to survivability, making this a must-have talent. However, I still consider Endless Carnage an iffy talent, because the last sentence of the previous paragraph still holds.

Glyphs

Prime Glyphs
  • Glyph of Berserk – Increases the duration of Berserk by 5 seconds.
  • Glyph of Lacerate – Increases the critical strike chance of your Lacerate by 5 seconds.
  • Glyph of Mangle – Increases the damage done by Mangle by 10%
Major Glyphs
  • Glyph of Barkskin – Reduces the chance that you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks by 25% while Barkskin is active. I’m only listing this here to emphasize what a stupid choice this would be for tanking. Bears are already crit immune in PVE 100% of the time; and though glyphs for survival cooldowns are generally the sorts of glyphs tanks want to take a look at, Glyph of Barkskin is not appropriate for tanking.
  • Glyph of Feral Charge – Reduces the cooldown of your Feral Charge (Bear) by 1 second. Probably not worth it.
  • Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration – While Frenzied Regeneration is active, healing effects on you are 30% more powerful but causes your Frenzied Regeneration to no longer convert rage into health. An interesting trade-off glyph, the usefulness of which will probably come down to how well you know your healers.
  • Glyph of Maul – Your Maul ability now hits 1 additional target for 50% damage.
  • Glyph of Rebirth – Players resurrected by Rebirth are returned to life with 100% health. While as a tank you have fewer occasions at which it is appropriate to drop form and use your battle-res, you will be called upon to use it sometimes.
  • Glyph of Faerie Fire – Increases the range of your Faerie Fire and Feral Faerie Fire abilities by 10 yards. I’d consider this nearly a must-have, as Faerie Fire is not only your pulling ability and your main kiting ability, but also remains the preferred way of dealing with spread casters. (Of course with the increased crowd control capabilities arriving with 4.0, this is likely not as important as it has been; but it’s still nice to have.) Thanks to Dylan for pointing this glyph out to me.
Minor Glyphs
  • Glyph of Challenging Roar – Reduces the cooldown of your Challenging Roar ability by 30 seconds.
  • Glyph of the Wild – Mana cost of your Mark of the Wild reduced by 50%.
  • Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth – Your Rebirth spell no longer requires a reagent.
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  1. dyco42
    October 5, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Ohai Lindy,

    After reading your break down of the talents and glyphs for bear tanking I’d like to add my opinion on the matter. I have done alot of messing around with druids on the PTR and theory crafting like all good raiders should.

    Primal Fury is a talent that is taken in current Wrath raiding builds with the exact same effect. Why it would get left out in Cata is beyond me but IMO it’s a keeper.

    Feral Aggression – This is a HUGE talent for bears now it saves us 3 CGD’s worth of FF and lets us get into the Laceratex3, Pulverize Rotation. Now while some people might want to leave this talent out so they have to use FF 3 times to help build threat I don’t think it will be needed at all with all the buffs Blizz is giving tanks Bears should finally be able to compete with threat from Pallies and DK’s.

    Stampede – This to me is a love it or hate it talent with the haste buff it gives as you mentioned above equals out to more rage and in turn a bit more threat right off the bat. Take it or leave it tho cause I won’t say its a bad talent and shun you away from it cause it can be very handy.

    Endless Carnage/Pulverize – this talent is so sexy for bear tanking, Yes while it does remove Lacerate for a high damage attack and a crit buff. Now while that sounds kinda meh let me tell you with the Bear Mastery being a buff to Savage Defense. Endless Carnage and Pulverize are going to work well together. 9% extra crit when it consumes 3 stacks of Lacerate = More chance to proc Savage Defense which in turn is less damage taken by the bear and less stress on the healers for a few seconds.

    Your prime glyph selection is dead on for a bear since Blizz has given us little options here those three are perfect.

    Major Glyphs area bit iffy since they have changed or removed some of the major bear ones but Maul, Frenzied Rejen and FF are the three that I would use. Why those three? Well let me go into detail.

    Glyph of Maul – Hits an Extra nearby Target for 50% damage current one is the same but without the damage penalty.

    Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration – More Healing done to the bear but no longer converts rage into health. This change makes me a little sad but I do feel it was needed cause under the right circumstances Bears could mange CD’s and heal to full.

    Glyph of Farie Fire – Extra 10 yard range of FF lets be honest this is the closest thing we get to a ranged attack as a bear so why not make it have a longer range, right?

    • October 6, 2010 at 2:45 am

      Hi Dylan ^^ Let me know if you end up getting a blog set up.

      Primal Fury is green instead of blue because of the rage system overhaul. I feel it’s premature to list any rage-granting talent as a must-have given that we don’t actually know how much we’ll need. The reason I mentioned that I might have been better off marking it yellow is because it’s only 5 rage per crit, and rage has been normalized, which will theoretically smooth out rage generation and leave us with fewer dry spells. Since my connection is incredibly slow I haven’t had a chance to mess around on the PTR yet sadly, so you’d know what the rage balancing is like better than I.

      I’ve got to disagree with you on Feral Aggression. Applying multiple stacks is only useful at the very beginning of the fight, or after stacks have fallen off due to boss inaccessibility or something (which should be much less common than with warriors/rogues, as FF is ranged). After that, a single application would be sufficient to refresh it. So since Ferocious Bite isn’t even usable in bear form, it comes down to spending 2 talent points to save 2 GCDs over the course of an entire boss fight. Not a very good deal IMO. If you’re having trouble with snap threat, you get your rotation started and then apply Faerie Fire once you’re in a comfortable position threatwise. Few warriors actually open a fight with Devastate; we get a Shield Slam in, a Shockwave and a Revenge (if it lights up), and only then start stacking sunders. I expect bears will apply FFF similarly.

      An argument could be made for talenting Feral Aggression to increase threat on your ranged ability for better kiting; similar to how many warriors glyph Devastate as an increase in sustained single-target threat. Also, yes, for convenience, because until Cata we don’t have a way to refresh sunders from range :P. Bears won’t have that problem. But it’s a rare tank that specs for kiting unless he knows he’s going to have to for a specific fight his raid is having a lot of trouble on.

      Good call on Pulverize – I hadn’t considered how that would play in with Savage Defense. And another good call on Faerie Fire – druid glyphs are generally so spec-specific that I must have overlooked it cause it said “Balance” :D. I’ll edit the article accordingly in the morning.

  2. dyco42
    October 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I am having trouble thinking of a name atm >.< but as soon as I do I'll let ya know ^^.

    Also don't for get that unlike sunder FF lasts 5 minutes so the Auto 3 stack can be a big deal if your finding yourself a little light on threat cause of having to FF three times in the middle of your rotation and not able to keep the Mangle, Laceratex3, Pulverize Rotation up right away but either way there are cases to take the talent and to skip it all together.

    • October 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      Wait, 5 minutes? I must have missed that too. That’s going to be insane for PVP.

      But I gotta say, a 5 minute duration makes me like the Feral Aggression talent even less :P. If the duration was more in line with Sunder/Expose (30 seconds or so) then I could see how maybe you could let it fall off accidentally, but 5 minutes? Even if you never refresh it til it’s fallen off, you’re not going to spend more than 6 GCDs on unimproved FF total over the course of a 10 minute (tank-and-spank) boss fight. Feral Aggression would be a 4 GCD savings for 2 talent points. Could easily get better threat per point in Fury Swipes IMO.

      Now I’m all curious to see your suggested spec :D Linky?

  3. dyco42
    October 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    FF still has a 30 second duration in PvP iirc it might actually be a shorter duration IDK I never FF in PvP. ^^

    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#0ZfMRMRubzrckMch

    Theres 2 floating points cause with the endgame Wrath build you don’t need Master Shapeshifter. I only took points in Natural Shapeshifter cause I needed 2 points to get to perseverance cause 6% less spell damage taken is sexeh!

    Now the last two points can be used alot of different ways.

    First being 3/3 Fury Swipes – cause 15% chance is decent for the extra swing.

    Second way 2/3 Fury Swipes and 3/3 King of the Jungle – This one is sacrificing the 5% extra swing chance to add 5% extra damage when you use enrage.Now while enrage does make you take 10% more physical damage I can still justify using it right after I pull to get a threat buff.

    Final way that I would consider is 2/2 Feral Aggression while dropping 2/2 in Brutal impact and then adding one of the above options.

    • October 6, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      Your build requires level 83 :P. If I take out your points in Perseverance to accomodate a level 80 character, our builds begin to look awfully similar! (I filled in King of the Jungle instead of Natural Shapeshifter because as far as I can tell the only purpose for NS in raiding specs is to get up to the second tier – y/n?)

  4. dyco42
    October 7, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Yeah sorry should have taken into account the fact that yours was lvl 80 and not 85 >.< but still our builds are pretty close to one another's. Yes NS is only used to get to the second tier for that tasty tasty spell damage reduction.

  1. October 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

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