Great end-game gear without raiding: Bear
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If you’re a feral druid and you’re here for gear lists, be sure to check out my Cat DPS list too.
In a previous post, I laid out my guidelines for this series of three posts: gear that approaches Tier 4 and 5, but without the effort. The information in these posts is gleaned from a list of BC Feral Gear put together by a European druid player named Emmerald. While I’m sure we all dream about wearing a full set of Tier 5 equipment, the reality for me at least is I’m not that hard core of a player to know whether that dream will ever become a reality. So I’m putting together this series to give you a list of great gear that can be had with considerably less effort.
Bear form is for tanking, and tanking is all about damage mitigation. Soaking up damage and avoiding damage are essential activities for a tank and the formula Emmerald uses to rate bear gear revolves around armor, stamina, dodge and defense, as expected. By slot, here’s my list of what I’ll be going after.
We start off with an easy one. Number 5 on the list is Stylin’ Purple Hat. This headpiece sports 232 armor, 48 agility and 45 stamina. The best part is it’s a crafted item, so all you need is some money or a nice guild tailor. I saw one the other night on my server for just under 100G. The best part? This hat is STYLIN’!!!
Moving on to our necklace, this one also was fairly easy. The first four pieces on the list require repeated elite raids or multiple Badges of Justice, and the fifth piece is an “…of the x” piece. Number 6 on the list however, fits our bill perfectly. Mark of the Ravenguard is a quest reward offering 40 stamina and 17 defense. This does require a trip into Sethekk Halls – but no farming required. Just one run to complete the quest and you’ve got your necklace.
After two fairly easy choices, the shoulder slot gets a bit more complicated. We’re thirteen gear items down the list before we get to Shoulderpads of Assasination. Don’t get me wrong, this is nice gear at 219 armor and 25 agility and 25 stamina, along with two yellow sockets (socket bonus of 4 stamina) and a +42 increase to attack power. No, this is the first item where you need to decide how much farming you are willing to do as this shoulder gear is a 11% drop off Talon King Ikiss in Sethekk Halls. You’ll be heading there anyway most likely to get attuned for Karazhan – the question is if they don’t drop the first time through, or you lose the roll, how many times are you willing to go back?
Your next option? Not many that are any easier to pick up. Most of the alternatives the next few pages are drops in heroic modes of other dungeons, so for my money I’m sticking with these. You’re going to be doing Sethekk anyways so an additional run or two to pick these up won’t hurt.
Things get a bit easier again when talking about our cloak. Number four on the list is Bogstrok Scale Cloak, a drop off of Rokmar in The Slave Pens. Very farmable at level 70 and the cloak can be equipped at level 62, so you can pick up a great item early. This cloak gives you 223 armor, 22 stamina and increases your defense rating by 16. The drop rate is listed at only 14%, but given the great stats, the fact you’ll probably be in here anyways, I am definitely planning on farming for this cloak.
There is a crafted cape one position ahead of Bogstrok. The Resolute Cape offers 289 armor, 30 stamina and improves your resilience rating by 21. However looking at it’s mats I’m guessing it’s going to sell for quite a bit and it’s not equippable until level 70. This is one I might keep my eye out for on the auction house for an opportunistic buy at the right price.
As pointed out in a comment by Tanuviel, number one on the list is a fantastic cloak and is a drop off the first Mechanar boss. The Thoriumweave Cloak give you an incredible 318 armor and +35 stamina. Go there. Farm. Get this cloak.
Another easy one here. Number four on the list is Heavy Clefthoof Vest, a crafted item. This vest gives you 290 armor and 52 stamina along with two yellow sockets and a blue, a socket bonus of +4 dodge rating, and an equip bonus of 28 to your defense rating. While this vest cannot be equipped until level 70, I have already looked it up at auction and on my server it is not very expensive at all. Under 30 gold.
The vest is part of a 3 piece set, the Strength of the Clefthoof. We will be seeing this set again later.
Good news for us, the highest rated tanking wrist armor is a quest reward. Umberhowl’s Collar offers us 281 armor, 17 strength, 10 agility and 22 stamina. Great stats and comments indicate there are other great rewards along the quest line. Another no-brainer.
Another great slot for bears, the second pair of gloves on the list is a quest item: Verdant Gloves. With 393 armor, 23 strength, 14 agility and 27 stamina, I can’t wait to slip these on. These gloves are from yet another quest line in Shadowmoon Valley (just like the wrist quest above). Be sure to read up on these quests and all comments to plan your Shadowmoon Valley questing out to maximum potential. But again – a no-brainer.
Your waist slot gives you a choice I think. Number twelve on the list is Girdle of Treachery. A very nice belt with 179 armor, 15 agility, 33 stamina and two red sockets. The socket bonus is 3 agility and you get 52 attack power for equipping. However, this belt is a 14% find in a chest after the chess event in Karazhan. Now, comments indicate that the chess event is early in the instance, but Karazhan promises to be a very challenging instance so depending on how you are playing you may not have access to these or want to keep trying for them. Plus one of my assumptions for this series is no elite raiding required.
The next best belt on the list is Manimal’s Cinch, a quest reward in where? You guessed it – Shadowmoon Valley. This belt offers 348 armor, 20 strength, 12 agility and 24 stamina. The ranking difference between the two belts is insignificant, and you don’t have to buy gems to power this one up. Since it looks like I’ll be questing a lot in Shadowmoon for other gear, Manimal is my first choice for this slot, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the girdle once I get in Karazhan.
On to leggings and a choice very similar to above. The Skulker’s Greaves drop off Netherspite in Karazhan and have nice stats: 278 armor, 28 agility, 22 stamina, two red sockets, a blue socket, and a socket bonus of +4 dodge rating. Equipping these greaves additionally gives you +24 to dodge and +56 attack power. These are nice leggings, but do require end-game raiding.
However, just two positions down on the list is Heavy Clefthoof Leggings. These leggings have 251 armor and 42 stamina with three gem positions: two blues and a yellow. The socket bonus is +4 to dodge and the equip bonus is +34 defense. This is another piece of the Strength of the Clefthoof set and from my casual perusal of my auction house is not too expensive. Like above, I’m going with the Clefthoof Leggings for my first choice and keeping my eyes out for the greaves when I get into Karazhan.
Hey, guess what? Number six on the list is Heavy Clefthoof Boots and they are my pick for this slot. the Nimble Foot Treads at position two were considered, but they offer only minimally better rating and take Heroic mode Shattered Halls. Nope, I’ll buy myself a pair of these bad boys and equip them for 198 armor and 38 stamina. I’ll have a yellow and a blue socket to use with a socket bonus of +3 dodge. I’ll also get an equip bonus of +24 defense.
At this point, I’ll have all three pieces of the Strength of the Clefthoof set equipped and I’ll get the set bonus of +20 strength. Not much but I’ll take it.
UPDATE: The +20 to strength is only for Leatherworkers with skill 350 or above.
Okay, you get two rings, right? Taking up four of the first six positions on the list is the Violet Signet, which we will definitely be selecting. This ring is like the dragonflight ring in that it keeps powering up as you gain rep with The Violet Eye. Be careful too as there are different flavors; you want the “of the Great Protector” flavor. You start with this ring (210 armor, 27 stamina and +13 to defense) and eventually get the exalted ring (250 armor, 33 stamina and +16 to defense). Noice! Okay, this breaks my rule of no elite raiding, but this ring series is just too good to pass up. Plus even if you do just enough to get the first level of the ring, it’s still one of the best you can get.
So what’s your second ring? The next highest rated ring would be the Ring of Unyielding Force, and it’s a good one with 200 armor, 27 stamina and +21 to defense. This is a vendor ring requiring 25 Badges of Justice. These badges drop off bosses in Heroic mode dungeons, so if you’re not running heroic mode, what’s your next option?
The next couple of rings are drops off bosses in Karazhan and Serpentshrine, so I’m skipping them for now. No, on to the Iron Band of the Unbreakable. This ring is a 15% drop off a 68 elite in the Olds Hillsbrad Foothills instance, so it may take a little farming, but it’s a very solid ring. 170 armor, 27 stamina and +17 to defense.
So for rings, I’ve already starting building my rep with The Violet Eye by starting the Karazhan attunement and will be starting with my Violet Signet as soon as I can. My second ring will be the Iron Band for now, and definitely the Ring of Unyielding Force if I can get 25 Badges of Justice.
Well, the two highest-rated trinkets on the list are both engineered items. If you’re thinking this is finally your vindication for picking Engineering, this isn’t as lucky a day as you might thing. One of the trinkets takes goblin engineering and one takes gnomish, so at most you’ll be able to equip one of these. They both offer 45 stamina along with a great effect: the Goblin Rocket Launcher lets you, well, launch rockets and the Gnomish Poultryizer let’s you turn mobs into chicken. Don’t laugh – that’s additional crowd control on top of 45 stamina. Now that’s a great trinket.
UPDATE: Great comment by slipslappy that the trinkets are not unique, so you can equip two of either of these for 90 stamina.
So, for the rest of us non-engineers, what do we go with? Number six on the list is Mark of Tyranny. Remember that one from the Onyxia attunement series? 180 armor, dodge +12 and +10 arcane resistance. Hopefully you were smarted than me and hung on to it.
Right below Mark of Tyranny is Timelapse Shard. This is a vendor item sold in Tanaris that gives you 25 stamina and +23 to resilience. You can also use the item to reduce your threat to enemies withing 30 yards. While it doesn’t seem like it, this can actually be a useful tool for us every once in a while if we need to swap with another tank. However, this trinket does require Exalted with The Keepers of Time.
If you’re like me and dropped your Mark of Tryanny and don’t have rep with The Keepers of Time, there are a couple of Jewelcrafting figurines right below Timelapse Shard. The Living Ruby Serpent offers 33 stamina and 23 intellect (and can also increase your magical spells and effects by 150 for 20 seconds). The Dawnstone Crab increases your defense rating by 32 and can be used to increase your dodge rating by 125 for 20 seconds. These guys are BoP though so you’ll have to be a Jewelcrafter yourself to use them.
Okay, I’m skipping one-handed weapons and off-hand items. I just find that I always end up with two-handed weapons. If you like one-handers and off-hand items, then check out the list on your own.
I’m looking at two weapons here. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I’m definitely headed for Earthwarden sooner or later. Earthwarden is a great two-handed mace that gives you 500 armor, defense of +24, feral combat skill +24 and +525 to attack power in feral forms. You need exalted reputation with the Cenarion Expidition which does require repeated runs of The Steamvaults, but for this mace, I’m willing to go.
There is a crafted weapon higher up than Earthwarden though. Stormherald offers your bear +39 strength, +39 agility, +57 stamina and has a chance on hit to stun your target for 4 seconds (although weapon abilities don’t proc in feral forms). However, Stormherald is the third in a series of crafted maces, each requiring the one before. You must also be a Master Hammersmith to use Stormherald. So if you are one, then definitely go for Stormherald. If not like me, head for Earthwarden.
For items in the list with sockets, Emmerald lists two rankings for the item: a base ranking and a ranking with gems equipped. I haven’t researched his approach, but I’m assuming he computes the final ranking with the best gem listed for the slot. With that in mind, here are the gems you should be trolling for:
Blue: Solid Star of Elune (+12 Stamina)
Yellow: Enduring Chrysoprase (+6 Stamina and +5 Defense) – This gem is a drop off an elite in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills instance and I have yet to see on on my auction house. Almost as good is Enduring Talasite; always on the AH and you only lose 1 defense.
Red: Shifting Nightseye (+4 Agility and +6 Stamina)
Meta: Powerful Earthstorm Diamond (+18 Stamina and +5% stun resist)
Whew! That took a while, but I’m glad I did it. Just knowing what’s out there helps me put some priorities on what I’m doing and the quests I go on. I actually picked up Manimal’s Cinch last night after typing this up since I realized I was already started with the quest. Just that one piece bumped by bear armor by around 1000.
Just for grins I totalled up just the armor value of my first pick for each slot. You end up with 3315 armor, or 18,232 in bear form with three points in Thick Hide (you do have three points in Thich Hide, don’t you?). Now we know it’s not just all about the armor, but that’s some pretty darn good stats for just questing and trolling the auction house.
I hope you enjoy this writeup and find it helpful.