Finally the OS respec to feral
That’s it, last week I decided I had had enough of lazorbeam battle chickens and decided to go back to my old OS feral tank. Why had I switched anyway? Basically for levelling in cata I wanted something quick and that would make use of the gear I was gathering from quests and instances for MS (i.e resto) obviously I couldn’t use feral with caster gear so boomkin it was.
However, I tried it a lot while levelling, continued using it through my grinds for Wildhammer and such and for lots of dailies and even as dps in a dungeon, but no matter what I do not like balance. The rotation is easy sure, but boring, and having now tried all different roles in the game I just have say that dps is no longer fun for me, its healer, tank or nothing. That’s not a dig at balance druids (or any other dps for that matter) it’s just not my mine at the moment.
Luckily I have been running heroics as healer with no feral druids and no rogues on the whole, meaning that anything nice agi gear that drops I have been able to snag for my OS. Combined with rep gear, this meant I started out tanking with only 1 green (shoulders) and only 1 bad trinket (brewfest +170 sta one). In bear form I got about 132k hp and 30% dodge, not too bad so long as the healer is good. Once it was reforged, gemmed and enchanted it looked like I was good to go and start trying out some dungeons.
First of all I tried out Stonecore on normal to get back into tanking (not been bear tank for over 2 months now and have only tanked 1 instance at all since cata) and it also gave a my wife a chance to try out healing on her druid. Things didn’t go too badly and we got through with just a couple of wipes. It was a little difficult getting back into the swing of tanking, but I think soon enough I had it roughly pinned down.
The first heroic…..
After this I tried a heroic and we got Deadmines. This time the healer was a shammy from our current raid team and generally he had no real trouble with me, except my health had a tendency to spike though apparently our bear raid tank has the same issue so its more of a bear thing than my tanking/gear. Confidant after the DM run I then went to Throne of the Tides hoping to get the tank trinket and agi shoulders.
The second heroic…..
The healer for this one was a different shammy with slightly worse gear and it really showed just how much damage I was taking as well as not being great at holding aggro. We wiped 3-4 times on Lady Naz’Jar, got the 2nd boss np and then wiped 3-4 times again on the 3rd boss. Most of it was just poor timing, but it was still annoying. However the real problem came on the last encounter. The first phase was no problem but the second phase was awful. We tried with me picking up all the beasts while dps nuked the sapper – that didn’t work. We tried with going sapper – beast – sapper – beast etc so that I didn’t get too many on me, that didn’t work either. After 4-5 attempts we called it and I went away to review my gear.
Hmm, better check my stats
Checking through my stats I found my aggro issue – only 3 expertise and 0.7% hit. If I am not hitting the boss I can’t aggro the boss. So it looks like some of that reforged dodge should go into hit instead, at least until I get higher hit from gear. This shouldn’t be too bad as I can get +hit shoulders with JPs and +hit cloak from the Earthen Ring and I am getting the 359 epic chest (with hit rating) crafted once our LW gets 3 chaos orbs. Unfortunately losing the dodge will increase my damage taken, but hopefully that will be compensated for by the increased stamina on higher iLevel.
I was also having a few rage issues but increased hit should also fix that, or at least help out a bit. Hopefully if I am having less issue with aggro, then my healer will have to heal the dps and himself less and correspondingly have more mana available to heal me if I start taking big hits. Compared with bear tanking before, I am finding it much more difficult in Cata and seem to have lost an edge in AoE aggro, though I didn’t start tanking in Wrath until 3.3 so it is possible I am just too used to dps nuking things in seconds and just not having aggro issues. The likes of thrash, maul and swipe though seem underpowered to how I remember them, though again I may be too used to AoE nukefests. On the other hand, even with awful hit and expertise, my single target aggro seemed very good and generally I didn’t have too much trouble so long as fire was focused and the dps stayed on my target.
So, I have sorted out some better gear and with any luck getting my epic chest, some JP shoulders and hopefully a dodge/agi trinket my bear problems should shrink and tanking will get easier. It had better, because I really don’t want to go back to a feathery freak with antlers /shudder