44 responses

  1. Niko
    August 28, 2012

    great guide! 😀

  2. Swiftkiss
    August 28, 2012

    Love these guides!

  3. Ash
    August 29, 2012

    Why the +agi ? I saw elsewhere that Agility no longer provides any dodge or armor.

    • Hugh Hancock
      August 29, 2012

      Where, on the enchants?

      • Ash
        August 29, 2012

        Yes, the enchant list.

      • Ash
        August 29, 2012

        Honestly at this point I’m kind of confused, it seems a lot of people are still recommending agility for bears, but all other tank classes it is considered to be worthless (even if looking for dodge). If someone can clear up what exactly agility does in post-5.0.4 (with certainty, not guessing/assuming) that would be awesome.

      • Hugh Hancock
        August 29, 2012

        Right, I’ve done a lot of looking into this, and I’m comfortable continuing to recommend Agi enchants if nothing else.

        Agi causes, according to The Inconspicuous Bear (the best source I’ve found on this),

        A small increase to Dodge.
        A small increase to melee Critical Strike chance.
        Base 2 attack power.

        All of those things are valuable, albeit not supremely so. So you should be OK retaining Agi enchants. As for getting new ones – frankly, I wouldn’t bother unless you’re somehow doing very challenging content in the next month, but if you do, Agi enchants will be at least competitive.

        I’ll continue to look for more solid theorycraft on this.

      • Motto
        October 23, 2013

        Check out the Talent tree for what Agility does,
        Its good for Damage.

      • Gale
        October 31, 2013

        Motto potato?

      • sam
        September 6, 2012

        yes agi still provides dodge but a marginal amount

  4. Delanni
    September 2, 2012

    Umm, not sure how ya feel about it but I personally prefer Mass Entanglement vs. Typhoon. I find it easier to root them all in place then go in and pick them all up, that way none sneaks by and I miss one.

    • Hugh Hancock
      September 3, 2012

      Yeah, that’s a particularly personal choice. Use the one you like best.

  5. Shaiana
    September 4, 2012

    Just noticed glove reinforcements was changed to 24 stamina instead of 240 armor. Should change it to heavy savage armor kit for 44 stamina, or perhaps one of the other enchants is better now but havent confirmed that.

  6. namilea
    September 10, 2012

    I took typhoon, didn’t like it much, i found myself losing threat after using it. I think it may be bacause the r far away so it takes a sec to get them back into melee range, so the ranged/casters seem to be picking up the aggro fast after using typhoon. I found everytime I used it I was chasing all the mobs trying to round them back up.

  7. Werdandi
    October 10, 2012

    Again, an excellent guide to get one started bear tanking!

    However, as I’m looking into the tweaks now, I am second guessing “Soul of the Forest” for Incarnation. Incarnation is similar to Beserk, giving the tank 2 x 3min cd for no global CD on mangle, and also decreasing all melee abilities and Growl to 1.5 seconds. Any thoughts?

    I also dropped typhoon because as a bear tank, I like my enemies close at all times. It actually irritates me when Boomchickens use it.

    To answer Ash’s ?
    “Why the +agi ? I saw elsewhere that Agility no longer provides any dodge or armor.”
    Agility is still converted to Attack power when in bear form. More AP=More damage, More damage= more threat.

    • Hugh Hancock
      October 18, 2012

      Thanks!

      Incarnation vs Soul of the Forest is a very personal choice, IMO. Speaking for myself, I’d probably agree with you and take Incarnation – burst DPS > steady deeps.

      The reason I recommend SoTF is simplicity – if you’re rushing to this guide to get started after your raid leader tells you “OK, we’re down a tank, go respec to Guardian! Go! Now!”, I tend to figure that abilities which require less maintanance are better! But once you’re comfortable with Guardian tanking, I’d definitely recommend experimenting with talent options rather than sticking with our tremendously staid and conservative choices!

  8. Janette
    October 21, 2012

    Austere or Effulgent Primal Diamond at 90 in raids, Heroics, LFR, and challenge modes? Without our passive damage reductions, it feels that both could be viable.

    • Hugh Hancock
      October 22, 2012

      Currently the theorycraft leans heavily toward Austere from what I’m reading. However, if you’re bouncing off a magic-heavy boss and you can afford it, it’d be worth swapping Effulgent in for that fight.

  9. Pack
    October 23, 2012

    1000 agi = .81% dodge .84% crit for bears and 2120 AP. So… not sure if this is posted somewhere. Yes, although minimal Agi still trumps as we await the calculators lol.
    Agi#1:
    In highlight, Agi= more chances to mitigate dmg(dodge), generate rage(crit), and overall raid dps boost(AP). Hit(hard cap) and exp(soft cap) through reforging(7.5%) I have found to be a must. Hit target(s)->get rage-> keep savage defense up. This way you dodge more than half of your incoming attacks.
    Agi>=Crit>Hit(7.5%)>Exp(7.5%)>=Mastery
    Crit#2:
    *Primal Furry passive. generate 15 extra rage with auto or mangle CRIT
    *Leader of the Pack. melee CRITs heal you 4% every 6 seconds max

    I prepaired another few notes, but I don’t want to force people into thinking they have to go one way in building a character. You can reforge, gem, and enchant whichever way you want. This is just a priority scheme I pulled after sifting through pages n pages of info and ingame research.
    Hope this helps someone, keep up the good research!

    • Hugh Hancock
      October 23, 2012

      Fantastic! Thanks very much for that post – very useful and enlightening!

      • Pack
        October 25, 2012

        This is epic up until fail healers, or your SD recharge cannot keep up. So if you find yourself taking way to much dmg then move hit/exp further down the list for some mastery(armor) and consistent dodge.

  10. Ben
    November 26, 2012

    This is driving me insane due to the fact I have reviewed over 50 sites/forums to find an answer and come up with nothing. Is there a mastery cap for Guardian tanks? I know there formerly was an armor cap for tanks but that was before mastery directly contributed to it for bears and giving them the same cap would result in a lost stat compared to the other tanks.
    Some I have reviewed are suggesting a certain amount of haste due to the fact that stat contributes 50% more to bear tanks. I know guardians gain a ton of rage from auto attacks and haste increases their attack speed but I just can’t bring myself to reforge to haste for a tank. Your thoughts? Appreciate your time and posts, truly.

  11. Benjamin
    November 27, 2012

    I have tried some different ways of reforging my guardian tank and found that reforging to the “trusty old” dodge and mastery is somewhat of a no go anymore. Whit that style I ended up with only a little bit more passive dmg reduction and extremely low dps. I found that prioritizing Crit>Hit(cap)>Exp(softcap)>dodge>mastery enables me to generate rage in a steady pace because of my crits, thus enabling me to keep up savage defense much more. I am doing lots of Heroics with the same healer and she confirms that it’s much easier to heal me now. Plus I do a lot more dps. I know thats not important for a tank but imo it makes the group as a whole work more effective: me taking lots less dmg through savage defense, easier to maintain aggro, healer having more time to heal blind dps-ers that stands in aoe.

    • Hugh Hancock
      November 27, 2012

      That’s interesting, and makes sense given the direction theorycraft for other tank classes is moving too. I’m going to revisit this article in a week or so when 5.1 hits, and I’d expect there’s a good chance we’ll be moving recommendations toward something similar to your reforging priorities.

      Thanks for the comment!

  12. Sam
    December 6, 2012

    Those stat priorities seem really iffy to me. There isn’t much math to go by, but I looked up the top 5 or 6 geared Guardian druids in the world and they all seemed to indulge variations of one theme: crit, and occasionally something else (stam or mastery).

    Crit makes a huge amount of sense. You get 15 (15!) extra rage from white and mangle crits. That’s gigantic. At ~6RPS you can cap SD uptime, and with ~35% crit in bear form, you generate approximately 9-10RPS. Logically, that leaves 3RPS left over for self-heals and/or TnC mauls.

    I generally don’t base my builds on what top players do, because I find that they are gearing themselves to be in completely different circumstances with regards to healing, damage, and utility. I’ve been trying out an Agi/Mastery build that I quite like.

    I guess, all in all, I’m living in the opposite world with regards to your stat priorities. Dodge seems completely obsolete to me, even more so when you reforge or gem for it. Why? It gives you nothing but static dodge. Tanks using this strategy will be at 14-15% (before DR) dodge in 470-480 gear, if they sacrifice all reforging and gem opportunities to it. My guildy bear does this, and, while holding 5 ilvl’s over my head, I actually have more static dodge. Essentially, the picture looks like this:

    guildy: stam>dodge>hit>exp>crit>etc..
    me: hit>agi>mastery>exp>crit>etc..

    And what this has yielded, stat-wise, is this:

    guildy: 14.5% dodge, 19% crit (non-bear), 16% mastery
    me: 16% dodge, 25% crit (non-bear), 18% mastery

    So by spending my gear’s points and modding opportunities in the way I mentioned, I not only got more static dodge, I have more crit, mastery, and (probably) attack power via agility, off of which, I believe, FR actually scales.

    Ultimately, there is still a lot of discussion (and hopefully math) to be done on the Guardian situation, but I truly truly believe that the stam>dodge>everything else method is significantly incorrect.

    • Hugh Hancock
      December 6, 2012

      Interesting comment – thanks!

      I’m going to double-check my theorycrafting math – you may well have a point, and I’ll check.

      It is worth noting that checking the gear of top players is often not a great guide – they have different priorities to us ordinary mortals due to both their skill and the content they’re attempting to beat (and their gear levels for that content). However, nonetheless, other tanks have mostly moved away from stacking Dodge – I’ll double-check that Guardians are indeed an exception to that rule.

      • Sam
        December 7, 2012

        I fully agree that top players aren’t the best models (I mention that in my original post), but they are a good analytical snapshot. They’re usually indulging some purified maximization of that particular tank class’s mechanics; in the bear’s case, rage generation for SD and FR.

        I think there is a really basic reason for moving away from dodge right now that is tied to the fundamental design of the game; namely, TDR is no longer king (if it ever was). Static dodge only contributes to TDR, and minimally at that. We (every tank, hardcore and casual) need to be able to participate in active mitigation as much as possible.

        Sort of sitting on the sidelines of this argument is stamina, which is difficult to quantify. It doesn’t contribute anything to TDR and it isn’t reactive, so at first, it seems hard to justify – but I’m slowly being convinced that there is a place for it in today’s game, even with the emphasis on an all-out offense being the best defense.

  13. Ben
    December 7, 2012

    Thanks for the feed back guys, the bear tanking stat priority continues to be a mystery to me. So here is my most recently acquired 2 cents. I had Valor point’s to spend and ended up buying the stam trinket as opposed to the agility trinket from Shadopan for the simple fact that I viewed my stats with the agi and1,079 agility provided me less than one percent crit and a little over 2k attack power naturally. I have tanked on several classes since I have played this game and AP has never been necessary for anything other than holding threat.

    So my simple conclusion was this, the stam trinket will always provide the buffer to prevent your healers from having a heart attack while the dismal amount of crit and fair amount of AP means almost nothing when it comes to keeping yourself alive aside from the possible increase to self healing mentioned earlier . The addition to dodge was miniscule as I’m sure Blizzard intends it to be with the massive amount of dodge we get from Savage Defense. Dodge is pointless now in my opinion, especially if diminishing returns applies with the amount supplied by SD. So unless threat is a major issue, I would go with stam or straight crit.

    The stam trinket also activates for mastery for a decrease to physical damage taken while the agi trinket activates for haste which equals garbage for anything but a Brewmaster tank. Honestly, I think the amount of agility we get from the gear is more than enough but as Sam mentioned, there is still a lot of math to be done to be certain about any of this.

  14. Paul
    December 26, 2012

    Thanks for the excellent guide. Coming back after a break, I really needed help relearning post-MoP bear tanking. All the other guides are basically cookie cutters: they tell you to do this in that order, but none of them told me WHY. Your guide explained the whys and wherefores of all my abilities which was exactly what I needed. Great job and thanks again.

    • SHP
      September 12, 2014

      there’s going to be a passive to tell you what stat to stack:

      MASTERY

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  16. eknath
    March 3, 2014

    I’ve been tanking now since beginning of times as a druid and i still tend to go to the old fashion ways of tanking.

    I’ve changed my stat prio a couple of times during this expansion but what seems to work at this moment in time for me is:

    Agi > Hit (hardcap) = Exp (hardcap) > crit (till 78%) > Mastery (till armor cap) > haste > dodge

    Currently i’m spoiled as i’m working at the moment on haste. got all the rest at there respective caps.

    To any beginning tanking druid i would say, change your stat prio a bit from what i’m using atm and go softcap Exp and try to go armor cap and then crit.

    Furthermore don’t be afraid of using DPS legendary cloack’s and meta gems (if your self healing and your healers can keep up with the added healing requirements.) This is highly situational but can be used on most fights where it’s needed to add some more DPS or rage generation.

    Most of your rage will be going towards active mitigation and healing so be sure to get to get as much generation going as possible.

    One final thought, I’m still using glyph of Maul for some extra off threat building on an offtarget. any thoughts? I know the damage reduction doesn’t go to the second target but it’s still nice. (don’t use this if your rage generation is low!!! as it eats away your rage like nothing)

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  20. Ben
    April 27, 2014

    Hello Everyone, I have not commented on this thread in quite some time but felt like it might be necessary to do so at this point. I am still raid tanking on my guardian who is running about a 560 gear ilvl and my stat priority has somewhat changed. Critical strike as always should remain you highest priority stat after the hit and expertise hard caps (7.5%hit, 15% expertise). After that, depending on your situation I typically stack haste to increase the frequency of my auto-attacks as I believe in guardian their auto-attack crits render more rage generation as well providing an almost unending pool of rage when you are actively tanking.

    I have had to stack additional agility over haste as of late on certain items to keep my threat table equal to the prot warrior I tank with but that is of course conditional to what situation you will be tanking in. I never stack mastery or dodge as you get a ridiculous passive amount of armor from gear alone and dodge no doubt applies to diminishing returns when you have savage defense up for the 45%, the extra dodge does almost nothing for you. With the expedited rate that it is possible to obtain gear at 90 now, I would never stack dodge or mastery unless you encounter some serious mitigation problems. Happy Mauling.

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  23. SHP
    September 12, 2014

    I just wanted to make a note, that a Guardian’s (Expertise/Stam) is also possible if you are that far from expertise cap and cannot make it since expertise cap is VITAL prior to any other stats even crit. Sorry it goes Hit/Exp > Crit

    Also guardians next next xpac we need mastery like crazy so save mastery pieces, buy the snow lily set, stock up on fractureds, the night before the patch, equip all, socket all and be god bear. We’re getting our ‘old savage defense bubble butt’ back without losing NEW savage defense. Our mastery will be good again and we’ll be gaining 5% more mastery from all sources. They seem settled with this finally in beta!

    • SHP
      September 12, 2014

      oh and expertise gems are currently turning into haste gems on beta.

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