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Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid in patch 4.2, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, we want the damn fire kitty staff.

Hail, bears. This week, we're going to finish off our look at bear gear in the post-4.2 world. Our first installment, covering the helm through boot slots, went up last week. Today, we're going to look at rings, trinkets, weapons, and relics.

As a note on the PVE versus PVP discussion that broke out in the comments last week, I have to admit that I'm still not very fond of PVP gear. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I'm not fond of an overdependence on PVP gear. The more arena and battleground pieces you add to your set, the more that you're likely to encounter threat generation issues.

Even haste (garbage stat that it is) does more for us than resilience, which does precisely nothing in PVE content. So I'm hesitant to endorse widespread use of PVP gear in PVE. If you have the opportunity to use a few suitable pieces, go for it; just check its ilevel to see the gear to which it's roughly comparable. Be aware that its use comes at the cost of stat allocation that could've gone to something useful.

As before, if your bear is completely new to level 85, our first set of bear gear guides may be more immediately useful to you.

Read Gearing a bear druid in patch 4.2, part 1

Rings

This slot is somewhat interesting in that the new best-in-slot item (well, the normal version of it) is available for valor points. Keep saving! The two rings available from questing through the Molten Front are also pretty nice. Unfortunately, neither of them have mastery.

Trinkets

As with our previous article on the first set of bear trinkets in Cataclysm, I'm not going to bother trying to rank these by anything other than ilevel. Trinket desirability varies hugely by fight, so the real question is not which trinket is "best," but which is the best for a given encounter.

While I wouldn't ordinarily make note of this here because it's not new on the scene, the Mirror of Broken Images (Alliance)/Mirror of Broken Images (Horde) is still a must-have trinket for all bear tanks who plan on raiding (or pretty much anyone who plans on raiding, period). The passive mastery is very nice, but the activated resistance is something from which you'll get a lot of mileage in raids. If you are gearing a bear, make this a priority. Otherwise, there are a lot of other options available to bears before you set foot in a raid; again, if you're starting from nothing, our previous article on bear trinkets will be more immediately useful. But do make sure you've got a Mirror from your Tol Barad faction.

Weapon

There is one really jaw-dropping weapon available from this tier of content, but if you can't get it, you can get a version with the same fantastic itemization from blacksmiths.

Enchant: Enchant 2H Weapon - Mighty Agility or Windwalk
  • Fandral's Flamescythe (heroic) All hail the fire kitty staff! Appropriately enough, it's best in slot this tier. If you tank, you probably won't see a lot of the cool visual effect in raids, but you can always enjoy it while you're grinding, right? It's perfectly itemized for bears as well, with a nice meaty smack of both crit and mastery.
  • Ranseur of Hatred (heroic) Firelands trash drop; definitely not as good as the Flamescythe. Leave this bad boy to the hunters. The heroic version is obtainable with a Crystallized Firestone, but seriously, why would you bother?
  • Witch-Hunter's Harvester Blacksmithing. At least your next-best option after a Ranseur is this, with the same note-perfect itemization you can get from a Flamescythe. It's ugly as hell, but what can you do? Unsurprisingly, expect to pay through the nose for this.
  • Malevolence (heroic) Halfus Wyrmbreaker. The heroic version is better than Witch-Hunter's, although they're pretty close overall. Edit: Arielle (@riftmaker on Twitter) is saying heroic Malevolence is actually better than normal Ranseur above. While I'm still seeing a very slight advantage for normal Ranseur, Arielle is usually correct on this stuff. Either way, the two pieces are pretty close to each other, but Malevolence does have the advantage of mastery.
  • Jin'do's Verdict Jin'do the Godbreaker in Zul'Gurub. Old WoW hands will recognize this as an update to Jin'do's Judgement, which was actually a caster stave. As with Witch-Hunter's, not exactly my favorite model in the world, but it's not like you'll actually see it much as a bear. However, you can't argue with the itemization here. What did we do to deserve so many polearms with crit and mastery on them lately?
Relic

There aren't too many new options available, but they're pretty simple.

Shifting Perspectives helps you gear your bear druid at 85, tempts you with weapons, trinkets and relics for bears, then shows you what to do with it all in Feral Druid Tanking 101. We'll also help you gear your resto druid.

Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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