Gearing Your Fresh 70 Feral Druid Tank

Photo by thadz courtesy of sxc.

Matticus’ Note: This is a guest post from a friend of who has no blogging experience whatsoever but still did a great job nonetheless. This will be a great reference for me on my Druid. Thanks Masato!

After seeing the great responses to my first guest post, Matticus told me I should keep writing. So, to see whether it was a fluke or not, here is another.

Well, I’ve seen Matticus’ posts on pre-raid heal gear for Priests and Shamans, so I will do one of my own based on my experiences, but for the one of the other needed roles in any instance: the Tank. Feral tanks do very well in most situations, as they have incredible amounts of armor, tons of HP and dodge. They are seen as a somewhat easier type of tank to heal because they tend to take more consistent damage, rather than unpredictable spiky damage shield wearing tanks take. Druids may be a bit more of a mana sponge in this case, but it’s usually less stressful on the healer to keep heals running, rather than having to react to sudden spikes (this is more adamant on raid boss fights, but still mostly applicable in 5 mans).

Druid tanks are quite easy to gear up to have very decent stats without setting foot in a raid, and not even a single heroic. I’m building this list towards the PvE type person, but if you are the type that likes to PvP, most of those epics are slight upgrades to the ones I’ve listed. It takes a bit of farming, questing and rep grinding, but afterwards, you’ll end up being geared well enough to main tank at least the first half of Karazhan, and more likely than not, offtank the second half. There have probably been other posts with very similar lists, but I’ll write my own version here for you all. For the most part, bears want to look for Armor>Stamina>Agility. It is also important to have 415 defense skill (or 2.6% crit reduction BEFORE talents) so that you cannot be crit by level 73 bosses.

I will also discuss a proper feral spec later on in the article.

Working from the top to the bottom:

Stylin’ Purple Hat
BoE LW crafted: Pattern: Stylin’ Purple Hat.

This helm is very easy to get a hold of, nice stats, and is your best bet until you hit some heroics.

Necklace of the Deep
BoE JC crafted: 3 Motes of Water, 10 Jaggal Pearls, 1 Black Pearl.
This neck is amazing not only because it is ridiculously easy to get, but it has 2 Red gem sockets. Pop in a couple of Shifting Nightseyes and you have a piece that will last you a long time. Not only is it great, but you can equip it at level 65!

Shoulderpads of Assassination
Assuming you don’t have any rogues in the group to fight you for these, they work decently if you don’t want to PvP for gear. They drop off the last boss in normal Sethekk Halls. They also have 2 Yellow sockets to boot.

Thoriumweave Cloak
Pretty much the second best druid tanking cloak out there (until you hit the armor cap at least), and you can get it from the first boss in regular mode Mechanar. Super easy to farm, and it is awesome.

Heavy Clefthoof Vest
BoE LW crafted: Pattern: Heavy Clefthoof Vest
This chest has 2 Yellow and 1 Red Socket, and is not difficult to get.

Jerkin of the Untamed Spirit
You can get this chest piece from an easy 2 person quest in Hellfire at level 58! Incredible stats, and will last you from then until level 70 when you have your Heavy Clefthoof Vest made.

Umberhowl’s Collar
Quite a lengthy quest chain out in Shadowmoon, but well worth it.

Verdant Gloves
Another lengthy quest chain for these out in Shadowmoon.

Manimal’s Cinch
Another Shadowmoon quest, but this is a VERY nice belt, even though it’s a green.

Heavy Clefthoof Leggings
BoE LW crafted: Pattern: Heavy Clefthoof Leggings
2 Blue and 1 Yellow gem sockets, straightforward materials.

Heavy Clefthoof Boots
BoE LW crafted: Pattern: Heavy Clefthoof Boots
Blue and Yellow sockets, and again, not bad mats.

There isn’t much you can do here without Kara/heroics. The Violet Signet of Defense (Kara Rep) and Ring of Unyielding Force (25 Heroic Badges) are the best here until 25 mans, and even then, they’re still good.

But until then…

Iron Band of the Unbreakable
Normal Mode Old Hillsbrad.

Delicate Eternium Ring
BoE JC crafted: Design: Delicate Eternium Ring

Badge of Tenacity
It is a random BoE drop in Blade’s Edge Plateau, or else costs about 1000g depending on your server. However, it is VERY much worth the pain to get it, especially with its 2 min cooldown 150 Agi for 20 seconds use.

Darkmoon Card: Vengeance
Will cost you a hefty sum of money, but lots of stam, and a proc that adds to your aggro generation.

Commander’s Badge
A nice chunk of Stamina if you feel so inclined to reach Revered with the Netherwing.

Engineering also has 2 similar BoP trinkets, the Gnomish Poultryizer, and Goblin Rocket Launcher.

This is THE tanking weapon until you get into SSC and hope for a random trash drop. Well worth the grind to Exalted with Cenarion. A MUST have.

Braxxis’ Staff of Slumber
Pretty much a lazy man’s Earthwarden. A decent BoE that you should be able to find on the AH for around 50g (depending on your server). Use this until you’re Exalted with Cenarion.

Throw Agi chants on everything that will take them (cloak, gloves, boots, weapon), and +stats on the others (bracers, chest). Why agi over stam you ask? In my opinion, having avoidance and mitigation is better than just being a sponge. Plus, more agi = more crit which means more threat generation. Also, the agi/stats enchants are overall cheaper than the stamina one.

For the helm glyph, Glyph of the Defender until you’re crit immune, then go to Glyph of Ferocity.

Shoulders: Inscription of the Knight or Inscription of Warding (or the greater ones if you have the rep). Like the helm, use these until you’re safely over the crit cap and switch to Inscription of the Blade or Inscription of Vengeance.

Legs: Clefthide Leg Armor. No point really in getting Nethercleft Leg Armor until you get some nice epics, or you have the extra money to spend.

For gems, there is a lot of debate between druids. Some go Solid Star of Elune in EVERY socket. For starting off, this is probably your best bet, since you’re getting a nice bit of Agi just from the enchants. This isn’t exactly a bad choice, but I personally like balanced stats, once you start getting better gear. I prefer to put Shifting Nightseye‘s in my red/blue sockets, and if there is a bonus that is helpful, I’ll put in Glinting Noble Topaz for the yellow sockets. Why those and not, say, Enduring Talasite? It is because hit means you don’t miss, and when you don’t miss that means you generate more threat. Also, defense rating is next to useless once you’re crit immune.

Use your own discretion though when enchanting/gemming. Gem and enchant to what stats you think you lack or if you’re short a tiny bit from being crit immune.

So what do your stats look like with this gear? For these calculations I used 2 Shifting Nightseye in the neck piece, and 2 Enduring Talasite in the Shoulders to hit the crit cap. The rest of the gems are all Solid Star of Elune regardless of socket color, and all enchants are Agility or Stats. The exalted Scryer shoulder inscription and epic leg armor are used in these calcs, so your stats may vary slightly, and if you’re Aldor, you may need to swap in another Enduring Talasite to stay at/above 2.6% crit reduction. Stats also assume Survival of the Fittest and Thick Hide.

Final Numbers

Armor: 23995
HP: 13558 (Night Elf)
14256 (Tauren)
Dodge: 32.93% (Night Elf)
31.16% (Tauren)
Crit Reduction: 2.62%**

** Also, resilience stacks on top of this as well, so if you have some PvP items, just add up what the tooltip says for the resilience and defense, and if it’s at 2.60% or more, you’re golden.

Now, these are very good stats, especially for not even having to step foot inside a heroic! Also, aside from a couple of drops, these are all rep/quest/crafted items, so you don’t have to worry about the dice for most of your gear. If you look at Matt’s Kara Requirements for bear tanks:
415 def with 3/3 Survival of the Fittest, 12000 hp, 30% Dodge, 20k armor
You’re over the mark with this gear setup. Not too shabby. Now, that Survival of the Fittest comment brings us to spec.

Speccing Your Feral Druid for Endgame

Survival of the Fittest (SotF) is the only mandatory talent, while there are many that are strongly suggested to have, and others that are strongly suggested not to have. Why is SotF mandatory? Because with 3/3 you reduce your chance to be crit by 3%. Seeing as level 73 bosses have a 5.6% chance to crit, this means you only need 2.6% from gear. Also, the added 3% to all stats is a nice thing to have as well. Hopping over to the resto tree, 5/5 Furor for extra rage at the beginning of pulls, 5/5 Naturalist for 10% extra damage, and Omen of Clarity for rage free attacks every now and then.

As for talents you shouldn’t get, Feral Aggressions is pretty much useless. Nurturing Instinct is more than useless as well. Shredding Attacks is nice if you plan to be kitty in groups a bit, but if you don’t plan on it, skip it. The rest of the feral tree is pretty much a must have. That means you have 1-3 extra talent points that you can put wherever. Natural Shapeshifter is nice, or Nature’s Grasp if you plan on some PvP. Yeah, it may sound like I’m telling you how to spec, but honestly, look at any feral druid that has at least cleared Kara, and their spec probably follows these guidelines.

Well, I hope you made it through my long post (I honestly didn’t think I had that much to say!) and hopefully helps get you started on your way towards druid tankage. If people find this helpful, I may be so inclined to make a resto version of this guide.

Feral one day, Resto the next.

Matt’s note: Make a comment and persuade him to make a resto guide. If he does that, then I can finish up my Paladin gear list and I’ll have all four bases covered =).

26 thoughts on “Gearing Your Fresh 70 Feral Druid Tank”

  1. “Armor>Stamina>Agility”

    Ooooh – that’s a dangerous thing to say. The three are all important, and you really want to try to find a decent balance with them.

    Placing agility at the bottom of the pile will lead you to gearing your toon in such a way that he can take a beating, but has so little avoidance that the healers mana is stretched trying to keep him up.

    But then, if you have too little stamina, spike damage will kill you.

    Balance is key.

    Otherwise, very nice article. In fact, I’m going to mail it in response to one of my readers who asked for exactly this sort of thing.

  2. Yeah, I know that’s a dangerous thing to say, a more accurate account would be
    Armor>=Stamina>=Agility, because of exactly what you said; balance.
    All three stats are very important, but that’s my personal order of deciding what gear I want to wear. When I got to the gemming/enchanting part of the article I tried to mention the importance of balancing the stats. Since you don’t get armor out of gems and enchants (well, aside from armor to cloak and armor kits, which I don’t use because they don’t get the bear form bonus), that is where you can balance your other stats a bit more. In my example I used all agi/stats enchants and mostly stam gems to hit a nice balance in stats well over that of what is recommended to step into kara.

  3. I’m in the middle of writing a resto-druid “Gearing Up for Kara” guide. It’s being progressively posted to the Fortes Fortuna Juvat druid forums at and I plan to host the condensed guide somewhere else as well when it’s done.

    I’ll try to remember to let you know when it’s finished.

  4. i loved this post it was very helpfull i hope that you come out with one for epic tanking gear for a druid running kara and heroics now but not quit sure what i should being looking for as far as drops that are better then the gear listed in this site which i already have thanks to you 🙂 so if you post one please do no persure send me a link

    thank you again
    ally tanking druid silverhand pve sever

  5. Very nice post, on my server at least they are skipping feral tanks a lot and I was getting lots of hits on heroics. Becoming despaired tried google and found this spot. Now I think I can join some pvp stuff I have with some good suggestions you gave. All them were good for sure.

    Thanks and keep doin’ it. =)

  6. Very nice post. I’ve been looking for more and more to describe the art of gearing a druid, and I must say this is one of the best. I’ll definatly follow this for alot of my gear choices.

    Would love to see a Resto guide ; )

  7. Hey, I just checked some info up on the internet when I passed this post. We’ll I got 5/8 T6 atm. But as I balance the stats I usally enchant Agi on back, wep, hands and boots. And 6 all stats on chest an 4 all stats on bracers. But to the gems. I mostly have Stamina. Or I only got stamina right throu my gear. Many Defence and Stamina gems because lack of Defence with T6. But thats one way to keep the balance. But agi/stamina gems are nice to when you are struggling throu Karazhan, Gruul, Mag. You get much Defence from the heavy cleft hide set. And you can balance it out with Vindicator Bracers and Belt when you change to T4. Thats mostly what I did when I were gearing up. I hope you read some intressting in my post how I do it.

    Your Eckert @ Stormscale

  8. One Change I would make is to replace the second BoE staff with the Staff of Beasts from the Ring of Blood quest.

    Much better stats.

  9. Ty Masato. I will be implementing your guide in the next few days. I really wanted a clear guide on what the hell I am suppose to do to get proper tanking gear. As Andrew said above “despaired tried google and found this spot” I also got despaired but google failed me. I then decided to stuff my druid, I am getting a priest (which is now lv66). But recently I was asked to tank again and ppl kept hammering me for not having proper gear. +Strenght was my main focus.
    Thank you very much Masato for opening my eyes, will report back on the success of my Deral Fruidâ„¢.

  10. Thanks, amazing guide! as a few posters above said, searching through google, same here. i love this guide and my druid is now tanking kara properly! before i got here i was focusing on stamina only (and the def rating) and i dropped hp like a carrot 😀

    hays, yes this is pretty much fine for cat dps too. Get a feral kitty dps gear and this specc is fine 😉

    good luck all other happy droods!

  11. Been a blast playing with the gear listed above. I am still grinding rep for Earthwarden. Check out the temp weapon Braxxis’ Staff of Slumber till I have my Earthwarden

  12. Pingback: Druid Tank Question
  13. Superb Guide, Finished tanking kara with no issues and heroics are a snap. I used the Cobra leg set on the legs instead and used shifting and glinting gems and was still crit immune. Thanks a whole lot for the post. Much appreciated.

    Tauren Druid

  14. GREAT GUIDE! It helped me in geared my resto druid to a feral tank asap. Oh, and other weapons you can get is the staff from The Ring of Blood, or if you’re lucky like i was buy The Staff of Natural Fury from AH. I’m using that until I get exalted with cenarion for that sexy mace =0

  15. Great post! I found it very helpful as a fresh 70 with mostly greens trying to figure out how to gear myself.. I must agree with the above posts however and say that Staff of the Beasts from Ring of Blood is a better placeholder for Earthwarden, as is Wildcaller from the Shadowmoon Valley questline until you get the rep.
    Other than that, nice work!



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