Sunday, May 15, 2011

Feral tanking builds and other useful information...

If you are a feral tank, you know that there are a lot of different builds out there. Deciding what to put points in over something else can be tough and finding a build and the reason for that build is even harder, I know, I've had to deal with that for years. I'm going to go over my tanking build step by step and explain why I chose to put points where I did.  So, below is an image of my current tanking build...

level 85 feral druid tanking build

Ok, so lets go over this one step at a time shall we, starting with the feral tree

  •  2 points in Feral Swiftness because it gives you an extra 4% dodge in bear form, which adds to your avoidance which I spoke of my last blog.
  • 3 points in Furor. This gives you 100% chance to gain 10 rage when you shift in to bear form. This might nit sound like much, but if you are caught in a situation where a dps pulls a group and you are not ready yet, the second you get in to bear form, but once you get in to bear form and pop your enrage, you will have more then enough rage to start right off scrambling to get control of the situation.
  • 1 point in Infected Wounds.This is one is very nice as it reduced movement speed of the target, which is good, but we want it mainly for the fact that it decreases the attack speed of the target by 10%.  Why don't we put both points in here?  Simple, it does not affect bosses.  Every boss I have found is immune to this, so 1 point is fine for trash pulls.
  • 3 points in Fury Swipes as this gives you a 15% chance to deal an extra 310% weapon damage to the target.  This translates in to extra damage and extra threat generation.
  • 1 point in Primal Fury.  This is also a nice one as it gives you a 50% chance to gain 5 rage anytime you get a critical strike. More rage is always a big plus.
  • 2 points in Feral Aggression.  The main reason for this one is to make it easier to use Faerie Fire. In bear form, your Faerie Fire will automatically stack 3 time with one use.  Since it generates threat and does damage while in bear form, this is a very nice feature to have.
  • 3 points in King of the Jungle. Anytime you use enrage you will gain a 15% damage increase.  Now most people say, "but I really only use enrage before a pull to get up rage before I charge in.".  And that is fine.  You can use Enrage all the time it is off cooldown or just before a pull, either way, you will be getting a nice damage buff while it is up.  More damage means faster threat generation and a happy group.
  • 1 point in Feral Charge. This is a must have for all bear tanks.  Not only does it give you the ability to charge in the a group of mobs and start building threat on them quickly, but the stun that you get on the target you charge can play a very useful tool.  Say there is a group with a healer and 2 melee mobs, you charge in on the healer which stuns it for 4 seconds.  You swipe/thrash to hit the other mobs to get some threat generation up on them and focus on the healer with the dps.  You can have the healer dead before it comes out of the stun in many cases.  Just remember that this DOES NOT work on bosses.
  • 2 points in Stampede. This is the only real case where you will use haste.  It gives you a 30% haste buff after you charge a target for 8 seconds.  This plays in with the scenario described above in charge.
  • 3 points in Thick Hide. This is another needed stat for bear tanks.  It gives you an extra 10% armor on all cloth and leather gear as well as an additional 78% more armor while in bear form.  From what I have seen, this does in fact stack.  It also reduces the chances you will be critically struck by 6%, which is always nice. lol.
  • 1 point in Leader of the Pack. This is not only a nice group buff (giving the group or party an extra 5% critical strike), but it also causes you to regenerate 4% of your total health while in bear form. Now if you have 140,000 health, you will regenerate 5600 health about every 6 seconds or so.  Not too shabby for just being in bear form.
  • 2 point in Brutal Impact. This will increase how long your bash stuns a target by 1 second and decrease its cooldown by 10 seconds.  But the real reason you want this is the fact that 2 point here will decrease your skull bash/spell interrupt by 50 seconds.  This brings it down to only a 10 second cooldown and makes it far more useful.  This will also cause any target you hit with Skull bash to have their spells cost them 10% more mana, which a bit more of a PvP stat, but can come in useful on some boss fights.
  • 2 points in Primal Madness.  This will cause your Enrage and Berserk to instantly generate 12 rage.  As a rule of thumb, the more rage you can get, the more you can use to continue to build up threat as quick as you can.
  • 1 point in Survival Instincts. Since this reduces all incoming damage by 50%, this is a great ability to use if the healer is running low on manamana while you are only taking half the normal amount of damage.  This is also great for raids if you suddenly find yourself down to just 1 healer on a boss fight that will need to heal 9 other people by himself/herself.
  • 2 points in Natural Reaction.  This is another must have for bear tanks.  Reduces damage taken by 12%, increases dodge by 6% and you regenerate 3 rage ever time you dodge an attack while in bear form.  There is nothing here in the talent that is a bad thing.  Everything here is designed to boost your damage mitigation and avoidance. To not put both points here is to be cheating yourself of buff that will help you be a better tank.
  • 3 points in Rend and Tear. This will increase the damage done by your maul by 20% to a target you already have a bleed affect on.  If you look through your attacks, you will see you have a few attacks that cause a bleed affect.  Extra damage is always good.
  • 1 point in Pulverize. This is a nice item to have in your abilities list.  Deals 80% weapon damage plus 361 damage for each lacerate you have up on a target.  It also increase the critical strike chance of lacerate by 3% per application.  This means that if you stack 3 lacerates up on a target, and you use Pulverize, you will not only do the 80% extra weapon damage and the 1083 damage (361x3), but all 3 of those lacerates have a 3% chance to crit as they are absorbed by the Pulverize.  The damage output on this can be very high.
  • 1 point in Berserk. This is a one of my favorites.  It gives your lacerate a 50% chance to refresh the cooldown of your mangle AND make t cost no rage.  That that is without even using the ability yet.  When you use Berserk, your mangle will now hit up to 3 targets and have no cooldown for 15 seconds.  This is a HUGE threat generator.  It's great for boss pulls in heroics where threat can be an issue or in raid boss fights when Heroism/bloodlust/timewarp/Ancient Hysteria is used, allowing your to generate threat faster then the dps are with the huge buff they get.
Now on to the Resto tree.

  • 2 points in Natural Shapeshifter.  This will reduce your mana cost of changing in to bear for by 20%.  This is not a bad talent to have as you always have the ability to use your mana in fights, more in raids then dungeons.  On a boss fight where you tank swap, if the dps has some low health, you can always pop tranquility to help out a bit before still having enough mana to pop in to bear form to taunt the boss off the other tank.  Or even tossing a battle rez and an innervate to a dead healer when you have a chance.  Saving 20% mana on shapeshifting can help out int he long run.
  • 3 points in Heart of the Wild.  This will increase your stamina by 6% in bear form.  Pure extra health.
  • 2 points in Perseverance.  Now a lot of tanks don't put points here and I don't understand why.  This reduces all spell damage taken by 4%.  Now, your normal avoidance is nice, but this will give you an edge because in my experience normal avoidance does not work perfectly against spells.  Here you have a chance to boost that ability to take less damage by instantly decreasing any damage from spells by a full 4%.  If fireball comes flying at you to do 30,000 damage.  With this talent, when it hits you, it will only do 28,800.  Add in any other damage reducers and your are taking far less damage.
I was going to go over glyphs, enchants,. gems and reforging for feral tanks, but I think that this blog is long enough as is for now. lol.  That stuff will have to wait until my next blog.  Until then, keep up the good work bears and remember we have to teach these other tank classes how tanking is really done!

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