Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide

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Welcome to our Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE guide. This article discusses tanking as a Feral Druid in a high-end raid setting. It should be enough for beginners to gain a solid grasp on the fundamentals of the spec and should also be a reference for players who have specific questions about our mechanics.

Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Talents
  2. Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Glyphs
    1. Prime Glyphs
    2. Major Glyphs
    3. Minor Glyphs
  3. Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Gear
    1. Stats
    2. Gems
    3. Set Bonuses
    4. Enchants
    5. Professions
    6. How to Gear
  4. Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Rotation
  5. Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Raid Utility
  6. Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Mechanics
    1. Vengeance
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. When You Use Frenzied Regen, Does It Apply the Mass Regeneration Buff to the Raid?
    2. Are There Any Limitations to Applying the Buff, Such as Range or Different Phases?
    3. What Happens If You Use Frenzied Regen While Still Having the Debuff from Shifting into Bear Form?
    4. The Current Consensus Is That Raid Members Receive a Health Buff Equal to 15% of the Bear’s Maximum HP. Is This Accurate?
    5. Do Temporary Health Buffs Like Power Word: Fortitude and Rallying Cry Increase the Mass Regen Health Buff?
    6. What Happens If Temporary Health Buffs Are Gained or Lost after Mass Regeneration Has Been Applied on Either the Bear or the Other Raid Members?
    7. If Frenzied Regen Is Glyphed, Do Raid Members Gain 15% Increased Healing from Mass Regeneration?
    8. If Frenzied Regen Is Not Glyphed, Do Raid Members Receive Healing Equal to 1.5% of the Bear’s Maximum HP per Second?
    9. Does the Effectiveness of Frenzied Regen Depend on the Amount of Rage the Bear Has?
    10. Will the Healing Continue If the Bear Changes Form, Dies, or Enters a Different Phase?
    11. This Ability’s Healing Can Critically Strike and Is Affected by Talents and Skills That Increase the Healing Received, Correct?
  8. Conclusion

As a Feral Druid tank, you possess a range of versatile abilities. You may be called upon to assist the raid in various ways, such as interrupting, using Innervate or Rebirth, or even contributing to DPS during periods when you’re not tanking. Look for opportunities to use all of the tools available to you as a Feral Druid.

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Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Talents

When choosing Feral as your spec, you get Aggression (increases your AP by 25%), Vengeance (will be discussed later), and the ability Mangle. We also get a 2 part mastery, one for cats and one for bears. The bear portion of our mastery is called Savage Defender and increases the damage absorbed by Savage Defense by 4% per point of mastery.

When it comes to tanking, it’s crucial to select the following talents:

A basic spec will look something like this: Talent Calculator. Here is my take on how the optional talents stack up:

Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Glyphs

There is only one glyph that affects your survivability as a tank, so there is plenty of room to mix and match.

Prime Glyphs

None of the other prime glyphs affect you in bear form, so for full-time tanks, these are what you have to work with.

Major Glyphs

The Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration is the only one that affects your survivability and comes with drawbacks. The Glyph of Faerie Fire, the Glyph of Feral Charge, and the Glyph of Maul are primarily for quality of life.

The one major glyph I strongly recommend for all Feral tanks is the Glyph of Rebirth. Even as a tank, it’s usually possible to toss a quick Rebirth at some point in a fight, and there is a world of difference between resurrecting someone mid-fight with 20% health and 100% health. This isn’t quite as good now that battle rezzes are available to other classes, but Rebirth is still the strongest since you can rez at 100% health, so if possible, you should still try to use yours.

Minor Glyphs

These are the only minor glyphs with any possible in-combat usefulness. Feel free to use other minor glyphs for quality-of-life purposes.

Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Gear

Stats

Armor
Arguably the most crucial stat for tanks, armor consistently reduces the damage you suffer from physical attacks, which will almost always be your highest source of damage. With the Thick Hide talent and the Austere meta gem, we have a 4.393752 multiplier on armor from leather gear. The amount of armor on gear is directly related to its item level, and you can’t get for it, so the only way to “stack” armor is by using an armor trinket.

Agility
Agility increases your attack power, a chance to crit, and a chance to dodge. It does not provide armor anymore. Each point of agility provides 2 AP, which is good for both threat and Savage Defense. It takes 324.85 agility for 1% crit and 243.58281085 agility for 1% dodge (see the above link for details on diminishing returns). Agility is one of your primary mitigation stats. Like armor and stamina, the agility of gear is tied to the item level, but it can also be affected by the presence of gem slots.

Stamina
Stamina is one of your most critical tanking stats. With Heart of the Wild, we gain 18.6984 health points per point of stamina (19.63332 with Mark of the Wild). Like armor, the amount of stamina on an item is directly tied to its item level. Stamina also increases your Vengeance cap by 1 AP per stamina.

Dodge
Although none of our gear (aside from possibly trinkets) comes with dodge, you can reforge your gear for dodge. It takes a 176.71899 dodge rating for 1 point of dodge. The mechanics of diminishing returns on dodge can be found in the above link.

Mastery
It takes a 179.28 mastery rating to gain 1 point of mastery. Each end of mastery increases the size of your Savage Defense shield by 4%. Mastery and crit interact pretty well regarding Savage Defense, so you should use Rawr or the spreadsheet to help you determine which is better for your current gear setup.

Crit
You need a 179.28 crit rating to gain a 1% crit chance. Increasing your crit chance increases your threat and Savage Defense procs.

Hit/Expertise
You need a 120.109 hit/expertise rating for 1% hit/expertise. These are the best secondary stats to increase your threat and have marginal effects on Savage Defense uptime. Mobs no longer parry-haste, so expertise is no longer a significant defensive stat. However, expertise is twice as practical as hitting up to 6.5% since it works on dodge and parry. 

Haste
You need a 128.05701 haste rating for 1% haste. Haste increases your melee attack speed, which will increase your threat. It also has a marginal effect on Savage Defense uptime. However, in both cases, haste is very weak and should generally be avoided in favor of something else.

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Gems

Your only real meta gem choice for tanking is Austere Shadowspirit Diamond. In specific cases, you may find Effulgent Shadowspirit Diamond or Powerful Shadowspirit Diamond helpful, but Austere generally will be fine.

For the rest, you’ll mostly want agility or stamina. If you’re ever in doubt, you can default to Delicate Queen’s Garnet but keep your meta gem activated. Use Rawr or the spreadsheet to help you figure out what you need.

Set Bonuses

The 2T13 bonus causes Mangle crits to have a 100% chance to proc Savage Defense if you have Pulverize up. This doesn’t change anything regarding rotation or gear, but it’s now more critical to ensure maximum uptime on Pulverize.

The 4T13 bonus turns Frenzied Regeneration into a raid cooldown. This lets you be part of a raid cooldown rotation on fights that require it, but in those cases, it also relates FR to an absolute last resort as a personal cooldown. Unless and until someone provides evidence to the contrary, Xenoborg’s work is the final say in the mechanics of this bonus.

Enchants

Head: Arcanum of the Earthen Ring (90 stamina/35 dodge, revered Earthen Ring) or Arcanum of the Ramkahen (60 agility/35 haste, revered Ramkahen)
Shoulder: Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz (75 stamina/25 dodge, exalted Therazane) or Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal (50 agility/25 mastery, exalted Therazane)
Back: Major Agility (22 agility) or Protection (250 armor)
Chest: Greater Stamina (75 stamina) or Peerless Stats (20 to all stats)
Wrists: Agility (50 agility)
Hands: Glove Reinforcements (240 armor) or Heavy Savage Armor Kit (44 stamina) or Greater Mastery (65 mastery) or Major Agility (20 agility)
Legs: Charscale Leg Armor (145 stamina/55 agility)
Feet: Heavy Savage Armor Kit (44 stamina) or Assassin’s Step (25 agility/minor run speed) or Major Agility (35 agility) or Earthen Vitality (30 stamina/minor run speed)
Weapon: Mighty Agility (130 agility) or Windwalk (600 dodge/increased move speed on proc) or Mending (heal on proc)

Professions

Blacksmithing offers more agility than any other profession, as you can fill every socket with epic gems and the second most stamina. Leatherworking offers more stamina than any other profession. Once every socket can be filled with epic gems, Jewelcrafting becomes markedly worse than most other options.

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How to Gear

Generally speaking, you want to look for the highest item-level agility gear. This is because armor, stamina, and, for the most part, agility directly correlate with item level. Agility jewelry is better than even perfectly itemized strength tanking jewelry. If possible, you’ll want to reforge haste/hit/expertise to dodge, crit, or mastery. Use Rawr or the spreadsheet to determine which of the three is your best bet.

As a tank, you must be ready to alter your gear between fights if required (note: trinkets are an excellent way to easily swap around large amounts of armor/stamina/agility). No one gearset for tanking applies equally well to all fights. Again, no one gearset is optimal for tanking for all fights. Test different gearing strategies and talk to your healers to determine what’s best for your raid.

Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Rotation

For the basic tanking rotation, you want to follow a short set of rules:

1. Keep Demoralizing Roar up

2. Mangle on cooldown

3. Keep up at least 1 stack of Lacerate

4. Thrash

5. Keep up the Pulverize buff

6. Keep up a 3 stack of Lacerate

7. Faerie Fire

8. Lacerate as a filler

9. Spend excess rage on Maul

Keeping up Demoralizing Roar is the most essential part of your rotation. If you Mangle on cooldown and spam Lacerate in between you’ll hold threat over 98% of DPS players. Keeping up Pulverize is very important defensively, especially with the 2T13 bonus. On multi-target/AoE situations, use Thrash and Swipe on cooldown while spreading Mangles, Lacerates, and Mauls around. Also, keep in mind that different situations may call for slight differences in priority. For example, Pulverize can be moved up in the priority if every ounce of survivability is critical, but at the cost of some threat/damage.

Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Raid Utility

As mentioned above, as Druids, we offer a lot of potential raid utility even while tanking. Most fights have downtime or tank swaps that allow you to use Rebirth or Innervate if needed, so keep your eyes open for these opportunities. If you have a reasonably extended period that you aren’t tanking, you can also use Tranquility, which is quite robust now. Ferals are great at interrupting with 2/2 Brutal Impact, thanks to the 13-yard range on Skull Bash, so help out on interrupts when needed. Also, be aware that with 4T13, Frenzied Regeneration becomes a raid cooldown, allowing you to help in situations of high raid damage.

We are also hands down the best at swapping between DPSing and tanking in a single fight. You can pick up every major tanking and DPS talent in a single spec. You can use all DPS glyphs since our tanking glyphs are very marginal, and agility serves both specs quite well. A Feral should take that role on any boss that allows a tank to DPS for parts of the fight. This would be my recommended setup: Talent Calculator. Spend the final 3 points in some combination of Perseverance, Brutal Impact, and Nurturing Instinct. Agility is best for both, so gemming overlaps. Lean towards reforging crit/mastery since those benefit both, but if the fight demands it, you may have to reforge some dodge.

Cataclysm Classic Feral Druid Tank PvE Guide: Mechanics

Vengeance

Every time you are attacked while in bear form, you gain 5% of the damage done as attack power up to a cap. Despite the tooltip, your vengeance cap is stamina + 0.1*base_health. Vengeance decays over time so you must keep getting hit to keep it up, and is removed completely if you shift to cat form.

Note: At this time, Vengeance does not appear to be decaying. Whether this is intentional or a bug is unknown. I’ll update this section once we know more.

Frequently Asked Questions

When You Use Frenzied Regen, Does It Apply the Mass Regeneration Buff to the Raid?

Yes, the spell ID is here: Mass Regeneration.

Are There Any Limitations to Applying the Buff, Such as Range or Different Phases?

Based on the spell data provided earlier, it appears that the range of the spell is 100 yards.

What Happens If You Use Frenzied Regen While Still Having the Debuff from Shifting into Bear Form?

You get the usual effects as if you did not have the 4pc.

The Current Consensus Is That Raid Members Receive a Health Buff Equal to 15% of the Bear’s Maximum HP. Is This Accurate?

Yes. Regardless of buffs on yourself or a raid member, it takes a snapshot of your health increase at the cast and gives half of that to the raid.

Do Temporary Health Buffs Like Power Word: Fortitude and Rallying Cry Increase the Mass Regen Health Buff?

Yes, they increased both the health given and the healing done by Mass Regeneration ticks in proportion to the tank’s increased health.

What Happens If Temporary Health Buffs Are Gained or Lost after Mass Regeneration Has Been Applied on Either the Bear or the Other Raid Members?

Losing the health buff by clicking off Mark of the Wild reduced the healing tics to the expected value, but didn’t affect the health bonus.

If Frenzied Regen Is Glyphed, Do Raid Members Gain 15% Increased Healing from Mass Regeneration?

It is worth noting that it still provides a 30% increase in received healing. I conducted a test with a priest using Desperate Prayer, a healing ability that heals for a fixed 30% of the target’s maximum health (which can be increased by 6% and 12% through other priest talents).

Prior to the update, the ability healed for 50.57k on a target with 142k maximum health. However, after the update, the same ability healed for 82.0k on a target with 177k maximum health. This increase in healing is due to the new maximum health and the 30% bonus to healing provided by the Mass Regeneration talent.

If Frenzied Regen Is Not Glyphed, Do Raid Members Receive Healing Equal to 1.5% of the Bear’s Maximum HP per Second?

After the nerf, it is 0.75% of the bear’s max health a second if 10 rage is consumed (0.075% per rage consumed). 

Does the Effectiveness of Frenzied Regen Depend on the Amount of Rage the Bear Has?

Yes, it is directly proportional to rage consumed.

Will the Healing Continue If the Bear Changes Form, Dies, or Enters a Different Phase?

Dieing or changing form stops any healing you may have been giving but does not affect the increased health or healing taken buffs on the raid. I tested it just now, and it does not apply to people in other phases.

The healing applies to whoever is in the same phase as you at any given moment. The health increase and healing taken increase apply to whoever is in your phase at the start and will stay on regardless of phasing.

This Ability’s Healing Can Critically Strike and Is Affected by Talents and Skills That Increase the Healing Received, Correct?

Yes. Whether or not it crits on you is independent of whether it crits on other people; crits on you do not heal them for more. The crit rate on 1500 ticks was ~16, near my raid-buffed spell crit.

Conclusion

To sum up, being a Feral Druid tank in a high-end raid setting requires a solid grasp of the fundamentals of the spec and the ability to assist the raid in various ways. If you found this article helpful during your adventures in Azeroth, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

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