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Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid at 85


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, we prepare to get hit in the face. A lot.

All right, folks -- time to gear your tanks! As with our previous series on gearing a restoration druid at level 85, we'll be going slot by slot to show you the best available options and where you can get them. I've listed recommend enchants previously in Feral Druid Tanking 101, but I've listed them here as well for convenience.

I received some criticism over the restoration gear posts that they were a bit too thorough, and it was (I think) a correct assessment. I'd been aiming for an Emmerald-like opus, but it wound up being an unwieldy mess in blog format. Here, we'll generally avoid gear below ilevel 333. Why? Because you don't want it. I'm sure it's very nice and it has a great personality, but trust me, I've been down that road. It is the way of pain. I've listed the normal versions of some heroic drops here as a courtesy to anyone who's still leveling up, but items are otherwise ranked according to the desirability of their heroic versions.

This week, we'll do the helm through ring slots. Weapons, trinkets, and relics require a bit more discussion, so we'll tackle those next week.

As a general rule, higher ilevel pieces are nearly always preferable to their lower ilevel counterparts, simply because they'll always have more agility, stamina, and armor. If you have a piece sitting around that's not listed here, just check the ilevel and compare it against the list to see where it'll fall.
  • ilevel 333 pre-heroic blues and honored reputation blues
  • ilevel 346 heroic blues and revered reputation blues
  • ilevel 359 normal raid epics and exalted reputation epics
  • ilevel 372 heroic raid epics
Helm

Enchant: Arcanum of the Earthen Ring (requires Earthen Ring revered)

  1. Stormrider's Headpiece (heroic) The tier 11 helm.
  2. Membrane of C'Thun (heroic) Dropped by Cho'gall in the Bastion of Twilight.
  3. Agile Bio-Optic Killshades If you're an engineer, the agility leather goggles are pretty damn good.
  4. Tsanga's Helm A BoE from the Bastion of Twilight.
  5. Helm of Numberless Shadows (heroic) Dropped by High Priestess Azil in Stonecore.
  6. Mask of Vines Available for 2,200 justice points.
  7. Dunwald Winged Helm (Alliance)/Shocktrooper Hood (Horde) Quest reward from Doing It Like a Dunwald (Alliance) or Krazz Works! (Horde).
  8. Hood of the Crying Rogue A BoE drop from the upper-level Cataclysm dungeons and heroics.
  9. Helm of Secret Knowledge Quest reward from Kill the Courier in Grim Batol.
Neck
  1. Necklace of Strife (heroic) Dropped by Valiona/Theralion in the Bastion of Twilight.
  2. Don Rodrigo's Fabulous Necklace A BoE drop from upper-level Cataclysm dungeons and heroics.
  3. Pendant of the Lightless Grotto (heroic) Dropped by Ozruk in Stonecore.
  4. Mouth of the Earth (heroic) Dropped by Earthrager Ptah in Halls of Origination.
  5. Acorn of the Daughter Tree Available at revered with the Guardians of Hyjal.
  6. Brazen Elementium Medallion A jewelcrafting BoE.
  7. Entwined Elementium Choker Another jewelcrafting BoE.
  8. Amulet of Dull Dreaming Available for 1,250 justice points.
  9. Pendant of Victorious Fury Quest reward from Battle of Life and Death in the Twilight Highlands.

Shoulders

Enchant: Arcanum of the Earthen Ring (requires Earthen Ring revered)

  1. Poison Protocol Pauldrons (heroic) Dropped by Magmatron in Blackwing Descent.
  2. Stormrider's Spaulders (heroic) The tier 11 shoulders.
  3. Caridean Epaulettes (heroic) Dropped by Commander Ulthok in Throne of the Tides.
  4. Embrace of the Night Available for 1,650 justice points.
  5. Thieving Spaulders (heroic) Dropped by Commander Springvale in heroic Shadowfang Keep.
  6. Clandestine Spaulders Quest reward from Targets of Opportunity in Lost City of the Tol'vir.

Cloak

Enchant: Enchant Cloak - Protection or Enchant Cloak - Major Agility.

  1. Cloak of Biting Chill (heroic) Dropped by Maloriak in Blackwing Descent.
  2. Dory's Finery A BoE drop by upper-level Cataclysm dungeons and heroics.
  3. Viewless Wings Available for 1,250 valor points.
  4. Wrap of the Great Turtle One of the few exceptions most bear commenters are willing to make to the Agility Uber Alles rule, due to the ease of getting it and the nigh-perfect itemization (if you don't count the strength). Available at exalted with the Guardians of Hyjal.
  5. Zom's Electrostatic Cloak A BoE drop from upper-level Cataclysm dungeons and heroics. It's the strength equivalent of Dory's Finery above; I'm listing it here in case Zom's drops instead of that.
  6. Cloak of Thredd (heroic) Dropped by Helix Gearbreaker in heroic Deadmines.
  7. Kaleki Cloak (heroic) Dropped by General Husam in Lost City of the Tol'vir.
  8. Razor-Edged Cloak A BoE from leatherworking.
  9. Twitching Shadows (heroic) Dropped by Ascendant Lord Obsidius in Blackrock Caverns.
  10. Cape of the Brotherhood (heroic) Dropped by Cookie in heroic Deadmines.
  11. Softwind Cape Available at revered with the Earthen Ring.
  12. Cloak of Beasts A leatherworking BoE.
Chest

Enchant: Enchant Chest - Greater Stamina or Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats.

  1. Sark of the Unwatched (heroic) Dropped by Atramedes in Blackwing Descent.
  2. Stormrider's Raiment (heroic) The tier 11 chest.
  3. Morrie's Waywalker Wrap A BoE world drop from upper-level Cataclysm dungeons and heroics.
  4. Assassin's Chestplate A leatherworking BoE.
  5. Vest of Misshapen Hides (heroic) Dropped by Erudax in Grim Batol.
  6. Defias Brotherhood Vest Dropped by Glubtok in heroic Deadmines.
  7. Tunic of Sinking Envy Available for 2,200 justice points.
  8. Hieroglyphic Vest (heroic) Dropped by Setesh in Halls of Origination.
  9. Sly Fox Jerkin Available at honored with the Guardians of Hyjal.
Bracers

Enchant: 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.

  1. Parasitic Bands (heroic) Dropped by Magmaw in Blackwing Descent.
  2. Double Dealing Bracers (heroic) Dropped by Lord Walden in heroic Shadowfang Keep.
  3. Poison Fang Bracers (heroic) Dropped by Temple Guardian Anhuur in Halls of Origination.
Gloves

Enchant: You'll have several choices here: Glove Reinforcements, Heavy Savage Armor Kit, Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery, Enchant Gloves - Major Agility.

  1. Double Attack Handguards (heroic) Dropped by Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent.
  2. Stormrider's Grips (heroic) The tier 11 gloves.
  3. Stormbolt Gloves (Alliance) or Liar's Handwraps (Horde) Available at exalted with the Wildhammer or Dragonmaw Clan respectively.
  4. Gloves of Haze (heroic) Dropped by Asaad in Vortex Pinnacle.
  5. Sticky Fingers Available for 1,650 justice points.
  6. Thartuk's Inimitable Gauntlets Dropped by the rare spawn mob Thartuk the Exile in Mount Hyjal.
Belt

Enchant: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle.

  1. Belt of the Fallen Brood (heroic) Good luck snagging this one right now -- it's a Sinestra drop.
  2. Dispersing Belt (heroic) Dropped by the Twilight Ascendant Council in the Bastion of Twilight.
  3. Belt of Nefarious Whispers A BoE from leatherworking.
  4. Sash of Musing Available for 1,650 justice points.
  5. Quicksand Belt Available at revered with the Ramkahen.
  6. Red Beam Cord (heroic) Dropped by Rajh in Halls of Origination.
  7. Belt of a Thousand Mouths Dropped by the rare spawn mob Akma'hat in Uldum.
Legs

Enchant: Charscale Leg Armor.

  1. Stormrider's Legguards (heroic) The tier 11 legs.
  2. Aberration's Leggings (heroic) Dropped by Maloriak in Blackwing Descent.
  3. Leggings of the Burrowing Mole Available for 2,200 justice points.
  4. Beauty's Chew Toy (heroic) Dropped by (who else?) Beauty in heroic Blackrock Caverns.
  5. Shaw's Finest Leggings (Alliance)/Garona's Finest Leggings (Horde) Quest reward from Skullcrusher the Mountain (Alliance) in the Twilight Highlands or Skullcrusher the Mountain (Horde) in the Twilight Highlands.
  6. Swiftflight Leggings (Alliance)/Leggings of the Impenitent (Horde) Available at honored with the Wildhammer or Dragonmaw, respectively.
Boots

Enchant: Earthen Vitality or Assassin's Step. As a tank, you really do need a boot enchant with increased run speed.

  1. Storm Rider's Boots (heroic) Dropped by Halfus Wyrmbreaker in the Bastion of Twilight.
  2. Treads of Fleeting Joy Available for 1,650 valor points.
  3. Crafty's Gaiters (heroic) Dropped by Siamat in Lost City of the Tol'vir.
  4. VanCleef's Boots (heroic) Dropped by Vanessa Van Cleef in heroic Deadmines.
  5. Boots of the Predator (heroic) Dropped by Baron Asbury in heroic Shadowfang Keep.
  6. Boots of the Hard Way Quest reward from Penetrating Their Defenses in Halls of Origination.
Rings
  1. Lightning Conductor Band (heroic) Dropped by Magmatron in Blackwing Descent.
  2. Bile-O-Tron Nut (heroic) Dropped by Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent.
  3. Signet of the Elder Council Available at exalted with the Earthen Ring.
  4. Elementium Destroyer's Ring A jewelcrafting BoE.
  5. Skullcracker Ring (heroic) Dropped by Rom'ogg Bonecrusher in heroic Blackrock Caverns.
  6. Terrath's Signet of Balance Available at revered with Therazane.
  7. Ring of Blinding Stars (heroic) Dropped by Isiset in Halls of Origination.
  8. Gilnean Ring of Ruination A BoE drop from higher-level Cataclysm dungeons and heroics.
  9. Band of Blades A BoE from jewelcrafting.
  10. Ring of Dun Algaz (heroic) Dropped by Forgemaster Throngus in Grim Batol.
  11. Nautilus Ring (heroic) Dropped by Neptulon's Cache in heroic Throne of the Tides.

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!

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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