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Bear Tank 101 – Talents

I’ve had a request to do a guide on Bear tanking. To that end…here we go! We have a lot of ground to cover, so I’m going to split this up. Generally speaking, a bear tank works a lot like a warrior – we have a rage bar just like them, and our special attacks cost rage, just like theirs do. Rage is gained both from taking and giving damage as well as from special talents.

Lets talk about those talents first. If you want to tank, you are going to have to put 41 points into the Feral Tree. At least 41. Because you will require Mangle as a bear to keep your threat up. When tanking, threat generation should be your biggest concern, because that it what keeps the baddies mad at you and not at your DPS and healers. So, on the way to getting that 41 point talent, there are some other things you really should pick up to help maximize your tanking capabilities.

From the Feral Tree…(Keep in mind, these are the things I consider critical, you’ll have to mix and match in between to get the rest of your 41 points)

5 points in whatever first level talent you like…I prefer Ferocity because your special moves costing less is always a good thing.
Thick Hide: When you are in bear, your mitigation is thus: Lots of Health, Lots of Armor, and Dodge. 10% more armor for three points = win!
Feral Charge: Yay, a spell interrupt! And the skill which lets you quickly zip to your team/raidmate who just drew aggro and taunt the baddie.
Feral Faerie Fire: Lowers AC, a little threat, and it’s free to cast!
Heart of the Wild: ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED. Int and your form’s core stat boosted by 20% (yes, PERCENT) while in form.
Survival of the Fittest: Pick it up for tanking, it allows a druid to slide with a 415 defense rating instead of the 490 required to make a prot pally or warrior crit immune.
Leader of the Pack – improve crit chance in your party, and some passive healing if you pick up the Improved version. Which you should.
And last but certainly not least…Mangle – High threat instant in bear, and extra bleed damage in both forms.

From the Resto Tree…

Omen of Clarity – (your next ability is free) which is three levels deep in Resto. Happily, there are things you can take to get to it that enhance your fierce nature. For Example:
Furor 5/5 – 100% chance to gain 10 rage (when shifting to bear) or 40 Energy (when shifting to cat)
Any Combination of Naturalist (up to 5 points), Nature’s Focus (up to 5 points), and Natural Shapeshifter (up to 3 points) it takes to get you to the next level, but preferably no more than 5 points between em. I have picked Naturalist because it adds 10% damage to all physical attacks when maxed out at 5/5.

I’m a shade off a typical tank build because I spend a lot of time in cat too, but here is my talent build. A more typical tank build is 47/14 with 3/3 in Intensity, where I only have 1/3. Next segment: Gearing up!

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