Bear Tanking: The spec
0/31/9 is the basic bear tanking spec, and you'll have one point left over at the end to slot wherever you want. You'll probably get the most use from putting it in Stampede.
- Feral Faerie Fire for the pull.
- Demoralizing Roar.
- Lacerate three times.
- Pulverize. Yes, it hits like a limp noodle, even with tons of extra attack power from Vengeance.
- At this point, you should have the Feral Faerie Fire, Demo Roar, and Mangle debuffs on the mob, and Pulverize's critical strike buff on yourself. From here, your aim should be never to let any of these drop.
- Mangle on cooldown. If you're in a low-rage situation, Feral Faerie Fire on cooldown. Reapply Demo Roar as necessary. Free global cooldowns should be spent on Lacerate. Pulverize whenever you reach three.
- When Berserk procs, Mangle.
- Extra rage can be spent on Maul and/or Thrash. Unfortunately, now that Savage Defense procs have been removed from bleed ticks, there's no mechanical advantage to Thrashing on a single target, but eh. It's something to do.
- If you're AoE tanking, Swipe and Thrash on cooldown. Tab-target around the pull to ensure that threat is distributed evenly.
Rawr will be very helpful for gem choices, but you really can't go wrong with agility, stamina, dodge, or mastery. Gem for socket bonuses granting either of the three.
- Austere Shadowspirit Diamond The Cataclysm stamina/armor meta gem. Satisfying the yellow gem requirement should be fairly simple with one of the orange gems listed below.
- Polished Ember Topaz A tailor-made bear gem and great all-purpose choice.
- Shifting Demonseye Another good, all-purpose bear gem.
- Delicate Inferno Ruby Pure agility if you're not concerned about your health.
- Solid Ocean Sapphire Pure stamina if your other stats are fine but you're worried about your health.
- Puissant Dream Emerald A very useful gem that can be slotted into blue or yellow slots if you're interested in a socket bonus.
- Adept Ember Topaz Another very useful gem for yellow sockets.
Glyphs are a pretty easy call because there are only three prime glyphs that have any effect on us at all, and the selection of major glyphs is pretty uninspiring.
- Prime Glyph of Lacerate, Glyph of Mangle, and Glyph of Berserk
- Major Glyph of Maul is mandatory for multi-mob tanking. After that, Glyph of Faerie Fire and Glyph of Feral Charge will make your life easier but aren't really game-changers. Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration is very useful in raids, but the penalty is less inspiring in 5-man content. Glyph of Rebirth should be considered necessary for raid purposes; with combat resurrections limited, you can't waste one on a player who might die right after the Rebirth.
- Minor Glyph of Challenging Roar is helpful. Otherwise, there are no minor glyphs that have any direct effect on bears. Most feral players traditionally use Glyph of Dash. Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth will save you money on reagents.
Enchant choices are a little less straightforward than they've often been in the past; you'll often get a choice between more effective health and more balanced stats. Again, Rawr is helpful here, as is a little common sense concerning the nature of the content you're doing.
- Helm Arcanum of the Earthen Ring (requires Earthen Ring revered)
- Shoulders Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz (requires Therazane exalted)
- Cloak Enchant Cloak - Protection or Enchant Cloak - Major Agility. I tend to favor the former.
- Chest Enchant Chest - Greater Stamina or Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
- Bracers Enchant Bracer - Agility will be the best choice in patch 4.0.6. For the time being, your choices are Enchant Bracers - Dodge or Enchant Bracers - Major Stamina.
- Gloves You'll have several choices here: Glove Reinforcements, Heavy Savage Armor Kit, Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery, Enchant Gloves - Major Agility
- Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
- Legs Charscale Leg Armor
- Boots Earthen Vitality or Assassin's Step
- Weapon Enchant 2H Weapon - Mighty Agility or (if you can afford it) Windwalk
What race should you choose for your druid? What happened to Tree of Life? How can you get started as a bear or cat in Cataclysm? Shifting Perspectives has the answers!