There are altaholics.... and then there's the rest of us. A Druid blog for the player that never wants to have to roll another character again. A Bear/Tree/Cat blog dedicated to being able to queue for all three roles in the Dungeon Finder.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On a finalized tanking rotation and spec:

So it's coming close to Cataclysm, and my usual druid tanking forecasting annoyances aside, I think we can finally put together some kind of tanking priority list.

Since I generally tend to do The Hybrid Thing, here's the spec I've been throwing around lately: 0/31/9 with one floater.

I think it, as well as some of my glyph choices, could be tweaked significantly, especially since switching glyphs back and forth will be much easier. The fact of the matter remains though, that there is really no good 3rd bear tanking glyph, which is what I usually will be doing. Lemme break it down row by row:

T1 Feral: Of the three talents, only Predatory Strikes is not hybrid, so we don't take it. The other two are both useful to us, and we need five points to get to T2, so we grab them all. The five-point requirement aside, maxing Furor will save us headaches down the line when we make our initial charges, as we will likely be using the redesigned Thorns spell on ourselves just before we shift to Bear and charge in. Since word is that it's not castable while in Bear or Cat form, we don't care about the glyph as a result, but it will definitely be used just before pulling despite its steep mana cost. Yes, 3/3 Furor is also wasted on a cat, since between the GCD afterward and haste increasing our energy regeneration, we likely will shoot from 66 to 90 or 95 energy before we can even do anything, but having to shift back and forth to get the rage required to Feral Charge will save some sanity. Feral Swiftness, free 4% dodge, 30% extra movespeed. Yaaaaaay.

T2: Oh how I hate this tier so much.

Infected Wounds is necessary as a tank. Primal Fury is necessary whether you tank or DPS. Fury Swipes is purely a DPS increase, but math right now says it's more useful to Cats because of their inherently faster swing timer. Feral Aggression is also valuable to both tanking and DPS. Since we're hybrid, we put points into everything except Fury Swipes.

But why Feral Aggression? And why 2/2? Unlike Warriors, we are going to have to juggle both Lacerate and Feral Faerie Fire stacks on our tanking targets. We also don't have a Devastate to apply stacks of Faerie Fire/Sunder Armor for us as well. And given that it only stacks to three instead of five, I figure it's better to eat the extra talent point in Feral Aggression to save the many, many extra GCDs needed to apply that ONE last stack of Faerie Fire. As a result, in for a penny, in for a pound. This may pan out differently, though, since more classes are getting the major armor debuff, it may not be imperative for just us to handle it. No word on whether any one will overwrite the other, though. It would totally suck if you slapped a stack on a boss, only to have someone accidentally hit the wrong button and wipe it out, making you start over.

T3: Get everything.

Okay, so maybe it's not that cut and dry. King of the Jungle is necessary to DPS with, although whether or not we can get by with just 2/3 or 1/3 remains to be seen. Feral Charge is absolutely necessary, no contest. Thick Hide is necessary for tanking. But IFC/Stampede... well. The increased melee haste after a Bear Charge is interesting enough. It's not increasing haste rating, otherwise, you'd never see a Cat Charge ever again, but the way things are set up right now, I would say is a bit of a tossup. If you were a full-on Cat, I could see you Bear Charging in to take advantage of the immobilize and increased melee haste to throw out more white hits and proc more Fury Swipes. It's a LONG buff, relatively speaking, too. The damage on Ravage still needs to be shaken out, a bit though. If this becomes more attractive to Cats than Cat Charge + Ravage, something probably needs to be tweaked. As it stands, Stampede isn't *explicitly* necessary? But it's certainly very tasty. If you choose not to put points here, hold onto them until T5.

T4: Leader of the Pack got it's Improved effect rolled right in, grab it. Brutal Impact is necessary as a tank, grab it. (We have a ranged interrupt now! Yay!) Nurturing Instinct is one of those spells that only helps if you have the time to shift out of form to take advantage of, (i.e., emergency Cat Tranquility) but since we're tanking most of the time, no-go.

T5: Primal Madness: I don't see this as explicitly necessary for tanking or DPS. It's just one of those talents that boosts the top end damage. Survival Instincts is necessary as our Shield Wall. Natural Reaction is required as a tank. If you didn't take 2/2 Stampede earlier, you can grab 2/2 Endless Carnage here, which pads out the Rake, SR and Pulverize durations. Since physical bleeds aren't affected by haste, (no, you read that right. Bleeds aren't affected by haste.) this will primarily just make the rotation less tight.

T6: Blood in the Water: Damn you for changing the name, Blizzard. ;_; Cat-only talent, also dead to us. Dead to us, I say! Rend and Tear gets maxed, as before. Pulverize.... I wish we didn't need to take Pulverize. I wish it were more like Devastate, were it refreshes instead of consumes. But alas, it is not to be. Necessary tanking tool, take it.

T7: Berserk: Take it.

Resto T1: Blessing of the Grove no longer buffs Rake damage, so that's one less thing we have to take. Naturalist is useless to us. Heart of the Wild is only three points, so what's left? Natural Shapeshifter. I'm not thrilled to have to take it, but since Thorns has a very steep mana cost, (35% of base) it helps take the sting away. On the plus side, it makes Master Shapeshifter (just one point) available, so.

Resto T2: Hooray for Perseverance. 6% less spell damage will stack with the Effulgent Skyflare Diamond, bring that passive spell damage resist up to 8% Are we still going to be of the "we handle spell damage by having massive health pools" school? Probably not, since we now have a Shield Wall equivalent, so it remains to be seen how important it is. But less damage taken is always a good thing, so 3/3 that sucker. Drop a point into Master Shapeshifter while you're at it.


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