The following is gear that you can begin to look for in the Auction House or receive as quest rewards that a casual player can focus his playtime on. Each one of these pieces is fairly easy to get, and yet they are each solid pieces of tanking gear that you may find yourself still using well into Karazhan.

If you look for these items as your starting gear, you should have no problem at all in reaching 22000+ armor, 12000+ health and 25%+ dodge unbuffed in dire bear form, which is solid karazhan beginning tank gear.


EDIT: Also, this list of gear should help you achieve Defense 415. With the talent Survival of the Fittest, you only need Defense Skill (not Defense Rating) of 415 to become uncrittable from level 73 Elite bosses, which is what Raid bosses in Burning Crusade are set to. Therefore, you must keep in mind that whatever gear you choose, it is one of your major concerns to achieve 415 Defense. When evaluating armor, remember that at level 70, 1 Defense Rating = .423 Defense Skill, or 2.36 Defense rating = 1 Defense Skill. So if you need another 5 points in your Defense Skill to hit 415, you need 11.8 Defense Rating added to your gear. And Defense Rating can be obtained from more than just stats on armor pieces. You can use many different gems, for example the Enduring Talasite, which adds +4 Defense Rating and +6 Stamina, or the Thick Dawnstone at +8 Defense. Also, there are Shoulder Enchants obtainable from Scryer or Aldor rep that you can apply that increase your Defense Rating. There is a nice Bracer enchant, Enchant Bracer – Major Defense, that provides +12 Defense. And if those don’t do it, the Flask of Fortification adds +10 Defense Rating for 2 hours. You must get your Defense Skill to 415 to seriously be a Bear Tank.


Two things to keep in mind. First, when a piece of gear has sockets for gems, you can put any kind of gem except a meta gem in those slots. The only benefit you receive from putting the correct color gem in a socket is the ‘socket bonus’, which often is not worth the benefits you get from good gems. Remember;

Solid Star of Elune (+12 Stamina [Blue])
Delicate Living Ruby (+8 Agility [Red])
Shifting Nightseye (+4 Agility, +6 Stamina [Red/Blue])
Enduring Talasite (+6 Stamina, +4 Defense [Yellow/Blue])

are your best choices of AH gems.

Which you choose really depends on whether you want to boost your health, your dodge, or your defense against crits.

Another thing to keep in mind is your early choice of Aldor or Scryer as your faction in Shattrath. If there is a pattern or item from reputation that you just have to have, then that’s fine. Go with what you like. But keep in mind that each faction has it’s own unique quest chains, that provide rewards that the other faction does not have access to. And the Aldor Netherstorm quest chains have one of the best Leather shoulder pieces for early bear tanking available as a quest reward. If you haven’t made your choice yet, check out the quest rewards below and keep that in mind.


Two Handed Weapons

Braxxis Staff of Slumber
A random BOE world drop and equippable at level 64, it may surprise you to find out that, until you reach level 70 and exalted with the Cenarion Expedition, there is no finer bear tanking weapon. 550 armor, +39 Stamina and +234 AP in Cat or Bear form.

Earthwarden
The reason you work so hard to run every quest for Cenarion Expedition reputation, in Zangarmarsh and in Blades Edge Mountains, is to claw your way to exalted and get this two handed mace. The best tanking mace prior to end game drops. 500 armor, +39 Stamina, +27 Defense, +24 Feral Combat Skill, and 556 AP in bear or cat. It may seem close to Braxxis, but with the defense, AP and hit you’ll hit more often against level 73 elites, you’ll have better crit protection, and you’ll hit much harder. All excellent ways to help hold aggro.


Head

Stylin’ Purple Hat
An excellent crafted hat for bear tanking that is BOE, and fairly easy to find on the AH. You can start using this at level 69.


Neck

Necklace of the Deep
Another excellent BOE crafted piece, that has amazing flexibility. With two Shifting Nightseye it provides a total of 29 Agility, 32 Stamina, and +3 Hit rating. With two Delicate Living Rubies it provides an incredible 37 Agility, 20 Stamina and +3 Hit. And with two Solid Star of Elunes in there it’s +21 Agility +44 Stamina. Better still, this is equippable at level 65. A very flexible must have for the starting bear tank.


Shoulder

If you are Aldor rep, then you are in luck. There is a quest reward that is a very nice piece of gear for your starting tank.
Cleansed Fel Pauldrons
These shoulders are not bad at all, and a lot better than any other alternative you are likely to have prior to instance runs. The quest chain that results in these shoulders starts here. Once you have these shoulders, you are good until either Black Morass or Sethekk Halls drops (see below).

If you are already Scryer, then you’re alternatives look more like this to start;
The Dreamers’ Shoulderpads
A fairly common world drop reasonably priced and often found in AH, useable at level 68. Since they ARE so easy to find, this is the item I recommend you start with. There are a couple of better shoulders from early instance runs such as the Mantle of the Dusk-Dweller from Keli’dan the Breaker in Blood Furnace (normal mode), but if you pick up The Dreamers’ Shoulderpads, you can hold out until you are ready for one of these two;

The Sun-Gilded Shouldercaps
Drops from Chrono Lord Deja in Black Morass.

Even better the Shoulderpads of Assassination
Drops from Talon King Ikiss in Sethekk Halls. The Shoulderpads of Assassination, with two yellow gem sockets, is your best non-PvP reward tanking shoulder option prior to Karazhan, but remember that these are Rogue set shoulders… please do not ‘need’ them without talking politely (oh, so politely) to any Rogue that may be in your party. If they need them, they should have them first.

There is one last option that is still, in my opinion, a casual route you can work towards that provides better shoulder armor than any of the other options listed so far.

Grand Marshals’ Dragonhide Spaulders or High Warlords Dragonhide Spaulders
Obtained with 10,098 honor and 20 Arathi Basin marks from PvP. This is non-arena gear. If you get involved with Arena matches, the Gladiator set shoulders are even better, but harder to save towards. I have not personally run PvP since pre-BC, but I have been told that it is possible to earn 2000+ honor in one night, from running Alterac Valley a few times, and of course you get 1 Arathi basin mark per loss or 3 per win in that battleground. Your mileage may vary, but this is a reasonable time investment for such a nice shoulder item.


Back

An excellent early instance drop Cloak is;
Bogstrok Scale Cloak
The Bogstrok cloak is an outstanding cloak that will last you well into the game. With 271 armor, +22 Stamina and +16 Defense it is quite outstanding. It drops from Rokmar the Crackler in Slave Pens, normal mode.

If you don’t run instances, then a slightly weaker option is;
Cloak of the Valiant Defender
Still a very nice cloak for bear tanking, and a quest reward from Ar’kelos the Guardian, the end of a long Netherstorm quest chain that starts here. The Cloak of the Valiant Defender has 262 armor, +21 Stamina, and +15 Defense rating.
It’s a very nice cloak for bear tanking, not quite up to the Bogstrok Scale Cloak but very close if you haven’t gotten lucky on the drop.

I’ll be honest with you, however. At the time of this writing, I have still not completed that quest chain.

Instead, I saved the money and farmed the mats for;
Resolute Cape
A BOE crafted epic cloak. This requires a Primal Nether to craft, so I personally paid a Tailor 150 gold for their crafting and their BOP Primal Nether to make it for me. Your mileage may vary, so do what works best for your time investment. All in all, it may not be that big an upgrade over the Bogstrok Scale Cloak, but at the time I wanted a Cloak for tanking and I had very little time for instances or lengthy quest chains. At the cost of some material farming and some gold, I was able to get a nice upgrade.

Once you have the Bogstrok Scale Cloak, the Cloak of the Valiant Defender, or the Resolute Cape, your next best upgrade prior to Karazhan is;
Thoriumweave Cloak
Drops from Mechano-Lord Capacitus in the Mechanar, normal mode. There are other better cloaks as well, by all means pursue them. But if your time is limited you might want to let your old cloak last you until you can run the Mechanar.


Chest

For Chest, there can be only one option;
Heavy Clefthoof Vest
This is just one of the three crafted BOE Heavy Clefthoof set pieces. Each of the three pieces can be found often on the AH, and are truthfully your best bet for a long time, if ever. 500 armor, +24 Defense, +45 Stamina, two yellow sockets and a blue socket make this an unbelieveable bear tanking chest piece. Requires level 70, as it should. My recommendation on this one is to ignore the socket colors and either put three Solid Stars of Elune or even three Shifting Nightseye on this, to really pack on the health and dodge. With three Solid Star of Elune, this gives you 500 Armor and +81 Stamina, and if that doesn’t make you cry with joy I don’t know what will.


Wrists

For wrists, I wish I could give you more options, but there really is only one choice prior to serious raiding.
Umberhowl’s Collar
A quest reward in Shadowmoon Valley. It is the final reward from a very, very long quest chain. The quest starts here, on through to here, which gives you three quests, each to fnid a different son. You want Borak, Son of Oronok, which is the quest chain for the Third Fragment, which starts here, and finally culminates in this.
Yes, it is a very long chain. However, along the way there are many rewards, and from what I remember as a feral druid almost the entire thing is soloable depending on your gear at the time. The Umberhowl’s Collar is famous for being a ridiculously nice bear tank bracer that you will wait a LONG time to ever find an upgrade for.


Hands

Again, there is only one choice for starter bear tank gloves;
Verdant Gloves
A quest reward in Shadowmoon Valley. The quest chain starts here (Scryer) or here (Aldor), depending on your faction.

Make no mistake, this is a very hard quest chain. Before it is done, you will need to make a trip to the Arcatraz. You do not need to actually kill anyone in Arcatraz, you can be brought into a party that has already completed the Arcatraz and cleared it, since all you need to do is to find the body of Seer Udalo, the NPC for that part of the chain to complete it. But keep in mind that you will have to enter the Arcatraz to do this to proceed.
Yes, I know this does not seem like an easy path for a casual player. The reason I insist that this is the only choice for a 70 druid starting his tanking set, is that these gloves are equivalent to Tier 5 armor for bear tanks. There is, short of a drop in Shattered Halls (Wastewalker Gloves) that actually have worse armor but better agility, no better gloves for you prior to serious end game raiding.


Waist

Again, your best option is a quest reward in Shadowmoon valley;
Manimal’s Cinch
A green item quest reward that is ridiculously good for bear tanks. Providing massive armor, high strength, good agility and stamina it is very nice indeed.
The quest chain starts here. Why yes, yes you saw that correctly. This item is a reward from one of the early quests in the exact same chain you must do for your Umberhowl’s Collar. Isn’t that sweet? You do one long quest chain and get TWO of your best bear tanking pieces! Isn’t Blizzard nice?


Legs

Heavy Clefthoof Leggings
This is your best choice. Crafted, kick ass, and found often on the AH. Do yourself a favor, and go buy them. 503 armor, +33 Stamina, +29 Defense, and 2 blue sockets, one yellow socket. Again, stack three Solid Star of Elune in here and have a total of +69 Stamina from one piece, or add some Nightseye to boost your Dodge. Useable at level 70.


Feet

Heavy Clefthoof Boots
Again, best choice. Crafted, kick ass boots often found at AH. 394 Armor, +30 Stamina, +21 Defense, and one yellow and one blue socket.


Rings

I hate rings. There are very few easily obtained true bear tank rings. And often, you are competing with warriors that want to ‘need’ the drops because they ‘might be good if they decide to respec someday’ /cry.

Delicate Eternium Ring
Crafted BOE so it can be found on the AH. Nice ring, it provides +25 Agility, +15 Stamina and +16 Dodge. It is unique, there can be only one equipped.

Arcane Loop is a rare BOE drop in Netherstorm sometimes found in the AH, and it can have many different kinds of stats. If you are lucky you might find a ‘Of the Monkey’ or ‘Of Stamina’ in the AH, which are also good tanking choices.

Mok’Nathal Clan Ring
The first (and easiest) instance drop bear tanking ring. It drops from the chest that appears after killing the end dragon boss in Hellfire Ramparts. It is notable that it is NOT unique, and therefore you can wear two of them. 180 armor, +16 Stamina, and +14 Resilience. Pretty darn nice for bear tanks. Some 70 druids have been known to stealth to the end boss and solo him just to farm for two of these rings.

Iron Band of the Unbreakable
The next instance run ring drop to look for, it drops from Lieutenant Drake, the first boss in Old Hillsbrad (Caverns of Time) in normal mode. It also does not say unique-equipped, so I believe you could have two of these equipped at once. However, as you will see next, if you are entering Karazhan a much better ring that is a quest reward may soon be yours, so plan ahead before farming for two of them. Iron Band of the Unbreakable has 170 armor, +27 Stamina, and +17 Defense. IMO, Old Hillsbrad is extremely fun, fairly quick, and running it at least once unlocks Black Morass for you to play in, where some really nice drops also happen to be found. I enjoy running it more than any other except Black Morass. You may find it fun to come here and try for two rings, especially if you never expect to be part of a Karazhan guild.

Violet Signet
A ring that is the Karazhan reputation reward from Path of the Violet Protector. When you reach friendly with the Violet Eye, the faction that gives you rep for Karazhan quests and kills, you can choose one of four quest chains from a quest giver standing just outside the entrance to Karazhan. The Path of the Violet Protector gives you this ring. Each time you increase a reputation rank with Violet Eye, your Ring gets upgraded to incredible levels. If you ever do enter Karazhan, after completing the long attunement chain, you will be only at most three nights worth of runs from getting friendly and having this ring. Make no mistake about the quest chains, choose the Violet Protector and get this ring. At the lowest (friendly) level it already has 294 armor, +27 Stamina, and +13 Defense. And it rapidly gets much better.

Ring of Unyielding Force
If you are skilled and fairly well geared, which if you have most of these pieces you will be, then you might be running some heroic instances. When you kill any boss in a heroic instance, every member of the party earns 1 Badge of Justice. For 25 Badges of Justice you can purchase this ring from the vendor in Shattrath City. As a bear tank, it is one of the few rewards you can buy with Badges of Justice that really kick ass. 294 armor, +31 Stamina and +22 Defense.


Trinkets

If you’re lucky, you still have;
Mark of Tyranny
from a quest chain in Azeroth. That sucker is still good, even at 70. 180 armor, +10 Arcane Resistance, (useful in Karazhan), and +12 Dodge rating.

If you have the gold, then keep an eye out at the AH for the BOE
Badge of Tenacity
I have seen it around 1500g, but is worth it at 2000g. If you work at the Ogri’la quest chains, you can earn the right to take on the SOLO event that has a chance to drop the Depleted Badge, from which this trinket is made. The Badge of Tenacity is wonderful. Well worth the money, or the time you spend in farming it. 308 armor equipped, (yes, 308!) and on use it increases Agility by 150 for 20 seconds. A very nice ‘I need more dodge NOW while healer regains mana’ item.

There are many other trinkets, that each do strange or unusual things. Engineering has trinkets, as does PvP and reputation rewards, but the thing to look for is one that either gives you a very large Agility, or a nice chunk of Stamina.

The Darkmoon Card: Madness and Darkmoon Card: Vengeance both have other effects, but mainly give you +51 Stamina when equipped. Also, enchanters can make the Smoking Heart of the Mountain for an armor boost and resists. You’ll have to use your best judgement and consult your professions for your best options when considering trinkets.

45 Responses to “Druid tank starter gear at 70”
  1. Phillip says:

    I’ve been using Veteran’s Dragonhide Bracers for my bracers. They are easy to obtain (20 WSG marks and 11,794 honor) and even though compared to Umberhowl’s Collar you lose 65 armor (260 in bear) you gain a ton of other stats.

    Thanks for this list, I do see some areas that I can improve on. I used, um, er, I don’t remember the site but it looks like a huge spreadsheet of raw data. For my gloves and shoulders it has me wearing “of the bandit” and “of the monkey” shoulders and gloves. I can see from your list, though, there are better alternatives. I’ll be heading out to grab some of your suggestions.

  2. Andrew says:

    I got my Badge of Tenacity for 1000g on the AH (Garona server). It’s made an impact.

  3. BigBearButt says:

    I do know that any Arena PvP piece of gear is going to be better than most of what is listed here.

    Sigh.

    This list is by no means meant to be a final goal, but rather to be a guide for casual players looking to optimize their playtime by giving them darn good choices they can reasonably expect to hit.

    The shoulders I felt needed a PvP shout out, because frankly the shoulder options for bears stink.

  4. Aiuriun says:

    It may be worth mentioning the Bogstrok Scale Cloak out of Slave Pens. It can be obtained early and is a good starter cloak that will cover until you reach any of the cloaks you mentioned.

    Aiuriun
    Spinebreaker

  5. BigBearButt says:

    @Aiuriun – You know, I thought about mentioning the Bogstrok, but when I was at that point in the guide I was trying to limit my choices to quest rewards or AH.

    Of course, I lost control and the whole thing ballooned on me.

    Now I wish I’d added the Bogstrok. Maybe if I sneak it in there no one’ll notice :)

  6. Aiuriun says:

    I won’t tell if you won’t :P

    Aiuriun
    Spinebreaker

  7. Finwe says:

    This is a good post on what’s out there, but if you want to put in a little more time on the topic, check out http://www.gurgleblaster.net/emmerald/Bear_Mitigation/Two_Hand.html

    It’s got all the feral gear for bear and cat. I put together my own little spreadsheet on what gear to get (and where) based on this info a few months ago.

    Consequently, I’ve only been 70 for about 1.5 months (about 1 day a week casual), but my gear is just about ready to start Karazhan / Heroics.

  8. Finwe says:

    Oops, link broke.

    http://www.gurgleblaster.net/emmerald/
    Bear_Mitigation/Two_Hand.html

    I’m not too sure how to put in direct links here.

  9. Finwe says:

    I need to slow down…I keep forgetting things.

    Now I’m trying to put together a list for myself on healing gear too. Anyone know if something is out there already?

  10. Anonymous says:

    When I started to get serious about tanking, I read as much as I could on the forums, and found emmerald’s website a godsend. What really did annoy me though was all the people posting things like “people can trip over in outland and have 20k armor” and how easy it is to achieve in greens. At the time, I’d already quested, instanced, and spent over 1k in eq (heavy clefthoof, hat, etc etc) and gems, and I was at about 16k armor in bearform. I frankly found it insulting that all the hard work and time I’d put in, to be considered less than someone who tripped over.

    I started raiding at about that level – 16k armor, 12k health, 415+ defence, and it was just fine for my OT role in early Kara.

    Since then, some Kara pieces, some Heroic drops, Badge rewards and PVP bits and pieces, and it didn’t take long at all until I’m pushing 29k (Let Mountain King proc and woot! capped!).

    BBB is absolutely correct though – with the easy availability of excellent crafted and quested pieces and filling in the gaps with “of the Monkey”, there isn’t really much excuse for serious bear tanks to be below-par at the Kara level.

    The only real issue I had at this level of eq was that I had so much armor/health stacked to get there, I had some trouble with not doing enough damage to get serious aggro happening. Once a few upgrades started happening, PVP pieces etc, that was no longer an issue.

    - Lypi

  11. Blighty says:

    Great article! A thousand thanks. I’ve recently rerolled as a druid, after getting sick of 3 DPS’ers sitting around begging for tanks/healers, and articles like this are a great help.

    How about an article on putting together a reasonably low-cost (but sufficient) ghetto healing set for Feral druids? Or for that matter, an article about healing as a Feral in general? Things like, when does it become impractical (I’m guessing heroics, but am wondering about the latter 5-mans in normal mode).

    I’m hopign that with a bit of effort (and a bit of money) I can be a viable healer up until L70 or so, even as Feral.

  12. TrojanGuy says:

    Very useful article. Thanks, BBB!

  13. Alannon says:

    When I went feral @ patch 1.8, I did so to gain the flexibility of feral spec for solo/instance play (tanking as a bear before it was cool) and the 25% mana pool increase. I know that probably sounds strange to some. At the time, I felt my role was to be a raid stabilizer (usually after an initial pull when tanks took a lot of burst damage), so I would chain dump regrowths and full rank HTs in to the tanks. As anyone knows, this is mana intensive, hence the 12K+ mana pool. I did this style of healing from MC through AQ40 (up to C’thun). You learn to be very mana conservative, btw, healing in this manner … remember this also meant you gave up Innervate (top talent in Restore pre-BC). I became, believe it or not, a better healer as feral than I ever was restore. You’ll understand why later.

    Post BC, feral is even more powerful. At this point, in my tank gear, I am capped @75% mitigation with no buffs. In a normal instance and even heroics, to a degree, healers fall asleep.

    To address healing viability in feral form in BC instances, even heroics, it is extemely viable IF you have good gear, a good mana pool (you may be feral, but of course you will wear at least as good gear as any restore druid) and know who will be taking damage and how fast. To heal effectively, you will have to become some thing I have found to be extremely rare, as a healer, and that is a proactive healer. Most healers are reactive (i.e. tank takes damage, then healer starts to heal). To be effective, you have to be rolling your heals before the damage hits, especially if it’s going to be heavy damage. This is, to some degree, good advice even for restore druids. Though feral, you might want to expend 5pts in Subtlety. And enchant your healing cloak with Subtlety. With a good tank (i.e. one who can generate aggro) you won’t have to worry as much about heal aggro, but I would not recommend main healing an instance without Subtlety.

    To heal heroics as feral (main heal, not off-heal) you will need to think about your team, anticipate who will be taking damage and when. Ferals do not have Swiftmend or Nature’s Swiftness, but if you are on the ball and the team is well geared/knows how to play, you shouldn’t have any problems. Examples of Heroics I main healed as feral, pre-nerfing: Shattered Halls, Shadow Labs, Steamvaults, Slave Pens, Sethekk Halls (pre-nerf= 2xGuards w/3k thiunderclaps … this was not fun).

    It’s a lot easier to heal restore, for sure. Restore druids HoTs tick for 2x or more what you’re going to be throwing as a feral, but with the deep mana pool (post-BC, in my current healing gear, I had 15.5K mana w/1400+ +heal) which allows you to use larger less conservative spells, you can do fine. And now we have Innervate.

    As a feral druid, I always favored Intelligence enchants over +healing, where I had a choice.

    Look me up on Zul’jin if you want to chat.

    - Alannon, GM Order of Azeroth

  14. Bradley says:

    Many thanks Alannon! That was very helpful to an aspiring multi-tasker.

  15. David Gejlemo says:

    How about:

    Cloak Of Eternity
    Crafted
    6 bolt of imbued netherweave
    6 primal earth

    76 armor
    +36 STA
    req level 69
    equip: increases defense rating by 23.

  16. Anonymous says:

    How about Cloak of Eternity?
    crafted

    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=24253

  17. BigBearButt says:

    I agree, Cloak of Eternity is a very nice Bind on Equip crafted cloak with a reasonable material list, that does an excellent job of getting a bear tank started.

    The armor is very low, but the high stamina and +Defense more than make up for it at when starting out.

    Thank you very much for mentioning it!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Great post! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

    Thanks for all your effort!

    Adohi
    Malygos

  19. Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to mention that the Cleansed Fel Pauldrons are better for kitty dps than tanking.

    With the new S1 Arena gear being offered as regular PvP honor rewards, the up and coming bear tank might want to look into the S1 shoulders.

    Regards,

    Cloetus (Eonar – Horde)

  20. Manny says:

    Are there alternatives to Manimal’s Cinch and Umberhowl’s Collar? I’ve recently respec’d to feral after being balance from levels 1 to 70. All the quest rewards I chose were for moonkin spec, thinking that I would never respec. Now I can only get crafted or dropped items, unless I havent done the quest for quest reward gear.

    Same goes for Mark of Tyranny. What is the next best to that trinket?

    Thanks for the article. It was VERY useful for me. I’m loving being feral spec more and more.

    Do you recommend equipping a healing staff when switching to caster form to heal yourself while in combat? There is an addon called ItemRack that can switch gear automatically based on druid form.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The new badge rewards that are available in 2.3 are fantastic for bear tanking. You should pay particular attention to the bracers (of the paw or some such), the belt and the boots. The bracers are simply the best in the entire game right now, and at only 25 badges are a steal. The belt and boots are 60 badges, but before you panic realize how easy badges are to get now. The belt is arguably on par with the best druid tanking belt in the game, the belt of natural power which is a VERY rare LW drop from SSC and you will pay a ton for. The boots are actually arguably better than the Black Temple drop of Boots of the Den Mother, the current best tanking boots.
    The badge reward for the new chest while tempting, should be passed on and you should just go do arena for a S2 or S3 one. The season 2 chest is on par with the tier 4, and the S3 is actually slightly better than the tier 5 chests. The new cloak is arguably better than the epic from Illhoof in Karazhan, and is at the least a good substitute for it if you cant get the Thoriumweave from Mech.
    As for druid tanking trinkets, there are VERY few good choices. The best choice is of course the Badge of Tenacity. A lot of druids will run the Mark of Tyranny or Smoking Heart of the Mountain. If you run Kara, Moroes Lucky Pocket Watch is a fantastic choice but is a low drop rate. The ultimate end game trinket for bear tanking is from Gurtogg in Black Temple, the Shadowmoon Insignia, as it provides a very healthy amount of Def and dodge. Barring those choices, I would probably recommend you run Shadow Labs and get an Adamantine Idol (forget the exact name been too long). This has an on use of armor (no it doesnt get the bear multiplier) and is decent until you get better. The resilence PVP trinket should not be overlooked as it can help you hit the uncrittable cap, and has the on use of removing movement impairing effects. Finally, if you have epic flying and do the Netherdrake line, the Commanders badge provides a ludicrious amount of stamina to the tune of 55 stamina, but with no other stats. Hope this is helpful

  22. Daz says:

    An option for the stylin’ purple hat I’ve had since 59 and still use well into 70 is the engineering Cogspinner Goggles (of the beast) 220 armor, 31 str, 31 agi, 45 stam.. takes 8 arcane dust to make and is random enchant, so it helps if you have a friend that’s an enchanter

  23. jam says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for this guide. I leveled a druid to play around with tanking and really enjoyed it. With the help of this guide, I dinged 70 last week, and should be fully ready for Kara tonight (going to get Verdant Gloves and run BM for last key, but already have 20k armor, ~13k health, 27% dodge).

    Having a good guild and a mage with 2k gold in the bank helped, but this guide really meant I could focus on what I needed, rather than just randomly questing and hoping to find something.

    Now I just need to see one for getting the gear for OTing Gruul. :)

  24. Felkan says:

    I’m currently lvl 65.5 with full rest XP and slow to level. I’ll most likely ding 70 in Nagrand or early in BEM. Currently, I have purchased/farmed all of the items on this list that I can to this point. Ignoring gems, I’ll come up way short of the 410 (415 is raid level) +def I need. Should I socket gems (in Clefthoof set, etc.) for +def to reach the limit at the expense of +sta and +agi? Or should I wear a few green “XXX of defense” or “XXX of the champion” items to boost my defense and socket gems with +sta/+agi? Or does it make more sense to socket gems with +def and wear a few “xxx of the tiger, etc.” items for extra +sta/+agi knowing I’ll replace the gems ($$) with +sta/+agi gems at a later time?

    I have a pair of gloves that have +40 def and might be able to acquire a ring with +def. I could wear those to fill the +def gap until I’m able to acquire naturally occurring +def items.

  25. Zakriah says:

    Thank you very much for putting together this guide. My Feral Druid, Zakriah (Cenarion Circle), is the only character after my main (a Rouge) that I’ve had enough fun with to level past 35. I spend most of my time DPSing in Cat form (LOVE IT!), but I’ve always collected healing and tanking gear whenever I could.

    Recently I’ve been doing more and more tanking (lacerate helps that), and I’ve been considering getting more into being a Bear tank. You list is EXTREMELY helpful to someone who is just starting to try to figure things out with Bear tanking. Thank you so much!

  26. Bonechewer Bear says:

    Hey BBB,

    Thanks for putting this listing together. I was wondering though if you could recommend another trinket aside from the Badge of Tenacity and the Darkmoon Card.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I just found out you can re-socket your gear, overwriting the current gems. Isn’t that great!!!

    That means you can add better gems as you get them.

    Time to get rid of those golden draenites!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Until Moroes Lucky Pocket Watch drops for me, I think I will continue to use Charm Of Alacrity, it works well with my Badge of Tenacity.

  29. Felkan says:

    It should be noted that as of 2.4, you can get a “starter” PvP set with PvE rep (and very little gold). Some of those pieces aren’t too bad and may have a place in your starter tanking kit.

    Here’s the link to the set on wowhead…

    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=742

  30. Lady Jess says:

    […] all she has to do is grow into her tanking gear. Thanks go to Big Bear Butt Blogger and his awesome list of druid starter tank gear she has alot of it in the bank. It’s rather intimidating going from the role of healing to […]

  31. Bullrush says:

    Thank you so much for this posting! I have been methodically picking up the items listed here in preparation for my first ever Kara experience.

    Last night I thought I’d run regular mech and see if I could upgrade my Bogstrok cape. Wouldn’tcha know it, the Thorium cape dropped! And later the Assassination Chest armor fell (I have the shoulders and legs too).

    Now I just need to get into Arc to grab the quest to get the Verdant gloves. Thx again for this wonderful post. You just saved this full time Dad a lot of time.

  32. […] get some welfare epics! A pre-Kara tanking set is not that hard to get. I’ve followed a good guide from my bear mentor Big Bear Butt (read druid goodness NOW!) to get most of my items for my tanking […]

  33. Kal says:

    One thing I don’t seem to find at all is a good list of pre-Kara gear for catform. Some of this is going to overlap, but a lot of it is not going to be optimal. Any suggestions on where to find ideas? Emmerald is okay but a bit unfocused (and some of the stat ideas are wrong in terms of priority).

  34. Daniel says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article r Butt Blogger » Druid tank starter gear at 70, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  35. […] Bear Butt – B^3 plays a Feral (tank) Druid and his Blog is as entertaining as it is informative.  He is also a regular contributor to WoW Insider and takes no crap from no one.  My kind of […]

  36. Qzz says:

    This list helped me a great deal when I hit the big 70. THANKS.

    The only change that needs to be made (because of patch 2.4), is the inclusion of the Dragonhide PVP set that is now available at the Rep vendors. I added the gloves and helmet to the kit you put together in the post above and hit the ground running at 70 with 23K armor and 13K health.

    Next step is the Earthwarden and all the badges I can get ahold of.

  37. Kent says:

    In terms of cloaks from instance drops, Kael’thas in Magister’s Terrace (normal mode) drops the Cloak of Blade Turning, which is an excellent bear tank cloak. The resilience, armor, and stamina are all great.

    Magister’s Terrace isn’t the easiest instance for a bear tank just gearing up, but speaking as someone who ran mech 10 times without Thoriumweave dropping (and then it dropped the next run after I got the Cloak of Blade Turning) if you’re outgearing regular mech it might be worth it just going straight to Magister’s Terrace.

  38. Nightshifter says:

    Hey love this list – would love to see one for cat form

  39. […] went straight to the acution house and purchased my Heavy Clefthoof set. I’ve been following BBB’s excellent list of starter feral druid tanking gear, and those three are a given. I gemmed them out with tons of […]

  40. darin says:

    Damn ur weapons are wrong

    We need agility not more defense after 415…..
    Get the kara staff…

  41. […] put a lot of work into finding gear for Tasmyn. I found BBB’s guide to starter feral tanking gear, and I’ve got most of it. So, after a few weeks of being 70, I had about 20,000 armor, 12,500 […]

  42. Dontee says:

    Put this in chat and if the number is NEGATIVE you are uncritable

    /script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(2.6-(GetCombatRatingBonus(CR_DEFENSE_SKILL)*.04+GetCombatRatingBonus(CR_CRIT_TAKEN_MELEE)),1,0.5,0)

  43. Dontee says:

    /script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(2.6-(GetCombatRatingBonus(CR_DEFENSE_SKILL)*.04+GetCombatRatingBonus(CR_CRIT_TAKEN_MELEE)),1,0.5,0)

  44. Brian says:

    I think the engineering headpiece should be added to the list (for those who choose to do engineering). It is a T4 equivalent headpiece that you can get at level 62, complete with a Meta Gem slot and a colored gem slot. You can also make a separate one for Resto and Balance should you decide to respec.

    Also, with the Sunwell content added there is an engineering recipe drop from the trash that will upgrade each headpiece to be T5 or T6 equivalent

  45. Joe says:

    With survival of the fittest being bumped to a 6% crit resisitance how important is defense still? Since we get more dodge from agility til you hit 50% dodge chance. shouldn’t we stack Agility, and Stamina gems and enchants?

  46.  

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