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Shifting Perspectives: Bear weapons, trinkets, and relics

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we continue to enjoy getting hit in the face.

Greetings, druids. This week, we'll finish up our bear gearing guide with a look at weapons, trinkets, and relics; the first section of the guide covers everything else. If you're on the lookout for a more general-purpose guide to the spec, complete with a list of recommended enchants and glyphs, you'll find that in Feral Druid Tanking 101.

As with the previous guide, all items here are ranked according to their heroic versions, and I've avoided anything below ilevel 333 because ... I don't care about anything below ilevel 333. It smells funny, and you don't want it, anyway.

Two ground rules, as before:
  • I try to avoid PvP pieces where possible because so much of the item budget is wasted on resilience. Yes, you can reforge some of it off, but you can't escape a portion of the item's being utterly useless in PvE content. If you're using a PvP piece, just check the ilevel to see where it falls in relation to its PvE counterparts.
  • Items are ranked according to their heroic versions. While I've also linked their normal versions for convenience if you're still leveling, you're after the big boys.

Read Gearing a bear druid at 85, part 1

Weapons

I occasionally get questions on whether strength pieces like Akirus the Worm-Breaker are usable. The answer is technically yes, but they're not ideal. Agility is attack power, dodge, and crit to you as a bear tank; strength is only ever additional attack power. There's also the minor matter that every DPS warrior and death knight in the raid will hate you for rolling on a +strength weapon, but who cares? Kick 'em while they're down is what I say.

Enchant: Enchant 2H Weapon - Mighty Agility or Windwalk
  1. Malevolence (heroic) Dropped by Halfus Wyrmbreaker in the Bastion of Twilight. Fortunately, he's one of the earliest bosses you're likely to encounter while tackling tier 11. Have "fun" rolling against every hunter and cat in the raid for this.
  2. Seliza's Spear (heroic) Dropped by General Husam in Lost City of the Tol'vir.
  3. Darkling Staff (heroic) Dropped by High Priestess Azil in Stonecore. Remember, these are being ranked according to their heroic versions. The ilevel 316 Darkling Staff is decidedly inferior to the ilevel 333 Seliza's Spear.
  4. Elementium Poleaxe A blacksmithing BoE, but I wouldn't drop the money on it unless you're having major problems getting either of the above heroic items to drop.
  5. Mobus's Vile Halberd Dropped by Mobus, a rare elite in the Abyssal Depths in Vashj'ir. Not a bad piece if you run across him, although the ilevel 346 staves from heroics are better because this has so much haste.
  6. Spear of Trailing Shadows (Alliance)/Spear of Trailing Shadows (Horde) Available at revered with Baradin's Wardens or Hellscream's Reach, respectively.
  7. Staff of Draconic Pacification (Alliance)/Torth-Slayer's Staff (Horde) Quest reward from Narkrall, The Drake Tamer (Alliance) in the Twilight Highlands or Fury Unbound (Horde) in the Twilight Highlands, respectively.
  8. Staff of Old Woes A BoE world drop from upper-level Cataclysm dungeons and zones.

Trinkets

In marked contrast to the wrist and relic slots, bears have a number of options for trinkets. However, trinkets are exceptionally difficult to rank and, as with our guide on gearing a restoration druid at 85, I'm not even going to try. As a tank, the question is not which trinket is best, but which trinket is best for which fight.

I've "ranked" them here purely according to ilevel as a result and have also included a few notes where applicable.
  1. Symbiotic Worm (heroic) Dropped by Magmaw in Blackwing Descent.
  2. Vial of Stolen Memories (heroic) Dropped by Valiona/Theralion in the Bastion of Twilight.
  3. Essence of the Cyclone (heroic) Dropped by Halfus Wyrmbreaker in the Bastion of Twilight. I've seen a few scattered reports that this trinket is bugged but can't personally confirm it. While it's really oriented more toward agility-based DPS (and that's who you'll be rolling against), the crit proc is still pretty sweet for your Savage Defense uptime.
  4. Prestor's Talisman of Machination (heroic) Dropped by Nefarian in Blackwing Descent. I've listed it here because the passive agility is useful, but obviously the haste proc is of very little use to us. Really more of a rogue trinket, unless Blizzard makes good on its desire to improve haste for bears.
  5. Bedrock Talisman Available for 1,650 valor points.
  6. Quicksilver Alchemist Stone A BoE by alchemists for alchemists.
  7. Lifebound Alchemist Stone A BoE by alchemists for alchemists. Arguably most useful as a huge stamina hit as early as level 80, if you've got the materials for it.
  8. Darkmoon Card: Hurricane An inscription BoE. Really not a bear trinket -- enhancement shaman really get the most from this -- but if you happen to have the cards lying around and feel like some extra passive agility, go for it.
  9. Unheeded Warning A zone drop in the Bastion of Twilight. As it affects weapon damage rather than attack power, it has no impact on Savage Defense. I wouldn't bother.
  10. Mirror of Broken Images (Alliance)/Mirror of Broken Images (Horde) Available at exalted with Baradin's Wardens (Alliance) or Hellscream's Reach (Horde). Now this one is interesting. The additional resist does stack with the Mark of the Wild/Blessing of Kings buff, and the 1-minute cooldown is all sorts of crazy. Arguably the best pre-raid bear trinket and likely to remain both generally and situationally useful on oodles of fights through the end of the expansion. Grind to exalted with your Tol Barad faction as quickly as possible.
  11. Unsolvable Riddle (Alliance)/Unsolvable Riddle (Horde) Not quite as good as the Mirror, but decent if you're good about popping the extra agility on cooldown. Oh, and it's another Tol Barad faction exalted piece.
  12. Fluid Death I really wish the passive effect on this were anything other than hit, but eh. Available for 1,650 valor points.
  13. Darkmoon Card: Earthquake Another inscription BoE deck. Too bad it's raw dodge and not agility ...
  14. Skardyn's Grace (heroic) Dropped by General Umbriss in Grim Batol. A really lovely trinket, but be prepared for a lot of competition.
  15. Tia's Grace (heroic) Another lovely trinket with an equally unlovely amount of competition.
  16. Left Eye of Rajh (heroic) Dropped by (who else?) Rajh in Halls of Origination. One of my buddies, an enhancement shaman, has a not-very-funny story about losing the normal version to a hunter in the second week of Cataclysm so that said player could pad his average ilevel for heroics.
  17. Porcelain Crab (heroic) Dropped by Mindbender Ghur'sha in Throne of the Tides and more interesting than it outwardly appears. The passive dodge is nice, and the uptime on the mastery proc is reported around 20%.
  18. Heart of Thunder (heroic) Dropped by Asaad in the Vortex Pinnacle.
  19. Figurine -- Earthen Guardian A jewelcrafter-only trinket.
  20. Figurine -- Demon Panther Another jewelcrafter-only trinket, but not really as useful. The passive +hit is less inspiring than the Guardian's stamina.
  21. Leaden Despair (heroic) Dropped by High Priestess Azil in Stonecore.
  22. Grace of the Herald (heroic) Dropped by Corla, Herald of Twilight in Blackrock Caverns.
  23. Key to the Endless Chamber (heroic) Dropped by Corborus in Stonecore. More of a DPS trinket.
Relics

We are not really spoiled for choice when it comes to the relic slot, but at least that makes it easy to see where your next upgrade is going to come from. I've included the PvP relics in case your loot luck's terrible.
  1. Vicious Gladiator's Relic of Triumph Available for 400 conquest points.
  2. Relic of Golganneth Available for 700 valor points. Interestingly, I think Golganneth was actually the Titan associated with tanking in the now-scrapped Path of the Titans system. I could be misremembering my screenshots.
  3. Bloodthirsty Gladiator's Relic of Triumph Available for 700 honor points.
  4. Sandshift Relic (heroic) Dropped by Ascendant Lord Obsidius in Blackrock Caverns. Remember, these pieces are ranked according to their heroic versions. You're after the ilevel 346 here from heroic BRC and not the 308 from the normal dungeon.
  5. Relic of Arathor (heroic) Dropped by Lord Godfrey in heroic Shadowfang Keep.
  6. Silver Inlaid Leaf A BoE from inscription.

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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