Do you have Bear Tankatude?

Funny thing I’ve noticed while running in all these Heroic PUGs lately.

I’ve done a bunch as the tank, and a bunch as a tree,  and I have yet to meet one single Bear tank in a PUG. They’ve all been Paladins, Warriors and Death Knights.

And a humorless bunch of sods, at that.

The folks I know that I’ve played with that HAVE played Bear tanks… well, they tend to be a bit more bouncy, a bit more lighthearted in my experience.

Perhaps it comes from playing a class that is less about looking like you got caught in an explosion at a cheese grater factory, and more about becoming one with nature… assuming, of course, that our version of Mother Nature is a bit of a cranky bitch towards those evil, demony and undead types.

Or perhaps it’s all a bit more fundamental than that.

Perhaps true Bear Tanking Attitude comes from the simple fact that, of all the classes in the game that can tank, we are the only ones that “go commando” into battle, waving our mighty wang in the enemies’ face and screaming “I’ve got a great big tonker and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it!”

Of course, the ladies amongst us Bear tanking types have their own style of doing things… but I think it can safely be said that at the very least, they are still used to tanking sans big metal tanky pointy bits, wearing nothing but fur and a pointy-toothed smile. 

It must be quite emasculating for the other tanks, don’t you think? No wonder they seem so dour.

In conclusion, I’ll share with you this rousing piece of artwork from Tesh that captures the very essence of Bear Tankatude for me.


This image is courtesy of the incredibly hard work, as I said, of Tesh, master of the blog Tish Tosh Tesh, a websight I enjoy for the wonderful metagaming and game design consideration discussions Tesh often holds there. When I mentioned earlier this year that I’d love a nice whimsical image to do up as a nice picture that I can wear proudly on a shirt for Christmas, he stepped right into the fray with this beautiful offering.

If you’d like to see more of this brilliant artists’ work, why not head over to the Art Portfolio section of his blog and check it out?

39 thoughts on “Do you have Bear Tankatude?

  1. This blog captures EXACTLY what I’ve always thought! I thought I was going mad when I pointed it out to my friends in some randoms last night and they looked at me like I’d gone mental. As a proud bear tank I always spam spacebar and the amazing right-click-frantic-mouse-spin. Unfortunately I’ve been kicked from a group more than once for attitude like that. 😦

    I think it must have something to do with the lore every single player follows whether they know it or not as they level up their characters. Death knights and warriors level up as dark, battle-hardened warriors, paladins are serious-business holy men, and druids…roll around in mud. :B


  2. I think it takes a special person to want to be a druid. I started out as a druid, because it was my first rpg, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be, and let’s face it druids are very flexible. I fell in love with the feral druid with the fierce bear, and the stealthy cat. My boyfriends warrior would get so jealous when I would bear attack, and then shift to cat and disappear. I think we have a great sense of humor, and don’t get bogged down in the isn’t my gear sic, and check out the new helm I just picked up. We don’t have to worry about all that we just play. I know on my server I hardly ever saw another druid even in Darnassus, but I’ve noticed over the last few months there are more and more low level druids that will become end game druids, which will make it all more fun.


  3. First off, long time reader here; enjoy your stuff.

    *grins* BBB, I -am- the bear tank when I feel like doing the heroic thing and not waiting for a ‘safe’ DPS slot. But yeah, outside of me doing it, most of the time it’s a warrior, DK, or pally tank doing the (as our other tree tree calls it) ‘pulling like there’s candy at the end of the instance’.

    However, one of the reasons I think that we might see less bears is the notion that we lack initial multitarget threat generation — and our itemization upgrade routes are sucky compared to what you can get as a dinnerwearer. (aka ‘plate armor’). I’ve had positively awful experiences tanking with ret paladins who love to attack the targets that I’m not directly attacking, and then make it into my fault that they pulled aggro.

    Though the latest cake taker was a warrior who managed to peel the first boss in AN off of me, and then asked (all sarcastically polite) how he managed to pull the boss off of me.

    Turned out he had 245/251 gear, including 5/6ths of the latest arena gear. Guy was doing 3x my DPS. :P, and even with my T9 6 second taunt, it wasn’t helping. Love some advice on how to fix this other than ‘let ‘im die’.

    On the other paw, I am pleased to report that our other feral bear tank and RL girlfriend has been tanking our 25 man/ICC, and I regularly main tank our ‘gear up the initiates’ 10/TOC. Bear tanks are representin’ over here, rar. 🙂



  4. @ Helistar Yeah, I regularly run H. VH and others that level as kitty “tank”. Sooo much fun to actively try and keep aggro as a cat. And if you have a shammy face-roll chain healer and a heavy melee group… awesome.


  5. Bear tanks are the best! I have a tank offspec on my pala main. Sometimes I even get to use it. Not too many people die when that happens, and I’m convinced they deserve it. But I much prefer tanking with my bear. The bear looks cooler (pala tier gear = ick), bounces better, and I just like the mechanic more. Their cooldowns rock and they’re fun. Who’d voluntarily tank on anything other than a bear? I mean really?

    *Glances furtively across the room.* Just don’t tell my husband the DK tank about this post.
    .-= Morrighan´s last blog ..ICC Lower Spire (10 and 25 Normal) Crib Sheet =-.


  6. Ran a PUG with a Bear tank yesterday. Besides having to stare at Bear butt, he did an excellent job. Seeing a lot of Tree healers lately, more so than traditional holy Priests. Love the tree dance!


  7. BTW, I wanted to say something about TJGypsy2’s post:

    “The other day I was in regular ToC, which is an instance I hate, doing the kitty dps thing. All of a sudden, our DK tank died, and chaos ensued. I was able to to pop bear form, pick up the boss, and save the wipe, and keep the dps alive, and then, when it was all over….i went kitty and vanished. 🙂 It was one of the greatest moments I’ve had in a PuG in a long time.”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Hunters may play the game on easy mode, and Paladins might play it on God mode… But Druids, we just cheat, hardcore.
    .-= Kaethir´s last blog ..New Mount! =-.


  8. Well, in my case of course I’ve not seen a single bear tank in a Pug…. it’s ME the bear tank 🙂
    But now that you mention it, even when pugging with my mage, I’ve NEVER hit a single bear tank…. I’ve had a uniform share of pala/Dk/warriors.

    BTW, want to have fun? Find a good healer and kitty-tank. And I mean full kitty spec and gear, 23kish HP and irrelevant armour and less-than-one threat multiplier. Of course don’t try this in halls of reflections (or any of the newer instances, for that matter), but most of the old ones can be kitty-tanked (“gauntlet” runs like the CoS corridor or the UP event require a shift to bear, but places like UK, VH are easy to do).

    @Linedan: a bear tank with 29k can be a tank in full hi-ilvl threat gear (dps enchant/gems, warrior dps trinkets/cloak/rings), when I tank in heroics this is usually the setup I prefer, since I still have enough HP and do a lot more damage.


  9. One of the things I’ve been saying at the beginning of my PUG is, “Okay, so how fast do you guys want to do this? Slow, Medium, Fast, or ‘Ravening Hellbeast Furball Rocket’?”

    Invariably, they all seem to choose that last one the most. <.<;


  10. Bear… I think your tanking brethren heard your call. Before you posted this, I had only one bear tank in a random pug… since then, I have had three of them!



  11. Bear tanks are a dying breed. The entire feral spec, really, seems to be losing its numbers. Every druid I see nowadays is either a tree or a laser chickens.
    This is sad. As a BC bear, I can honestly say that it was my favorite role out of every class/spec I’ve played thus far (my new main included). I think that’s why other tanks seem so surly; they’re jealous that they’re not as awesome as a bear tank.


  12. So far I’ve run at least 2 random heroics a day since last friday and I’ve had a bear tank for all but two of them… oh, wait… thats cause I was the bear tank in all but two of them… hmmmmm

    But, more to the point, I’ve been grouped with boomkins and trees on a number of occasions in random groups… including one random group where 3 of the 5 players were druids… 2 boomkins and me… so I’m thinking its a case of what seems like it might not be totally random in a small sample, really is when you look across all of the random groups going on.

    And commando is the only way to tank 🙂



  13. I’m a tree and have yet to heal a single bear tank in a heroic pug. Maybe my battlegroup just has a lack of bear tanks? My server certainly lacks bear tanks. Our guild currently has no feral tanks, though in BC, we had two actively raiding bear tanks. Both are still sitting at 70, while their owners now have 80 pally mains.


  14. Hey BBB, I didn’t know you were still going with the bear druid. I kind of stopped paying attention to the site a while back when hunter talk came along, but I recently overheard someone mention the site and came back to give it a look. Good to see your ramblings again =D


  15. To quote the Bear “I’ve got a great big tonker and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it!”, hmm, have you been reading Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett by any chance :), damn fine sentiment there bear and now I shall try to get me a horde of gnomes to charge into battle with called Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, Wee Jock, and No’-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock Jock


  16. Long time reader here,

    Seems to be a relative lack of Feral tanks all round at least on my server, remember reading somewhere a few weeks ago at how much the prevalence of DK’s and Pallies is still huge. I’ve been feral since the start of TBC (after being a healer all the way through vanilla) and love the essence that our class entails, its the ability to change and be both a supporting class and a main class all at the same time 🙂

    It’s that fact that we’re both a mixture of Winnie the Pooh and Iorek Byrnison at once which makes it fun for me 🙂


  17. I love the artwork and the sentiments!

    I’m dual spec bear/tree… I’ve done maybe 15 or 20 random heroics… and on all but one of them I’ve been the tank. So I don’t know what you’re talking about not seeing druid tanks… 😉


  18. Do bears wear plate? Someone hasn’t seen “the Golden Compass”yet ;p

    And bear tanks really do need a sense of humour at the moment. Have you seen what blizzard has done to them on the Gunship encounter? Rockets packs jammed up their arses 🙂


  19. Warriors have sexytools for rage :p charge gives rage, theres a skill that provides like 50 rage instantly and over time, theres a skill that gives more rage, theres a talent that gives rage for every miss / block whatver.. no us warriors dont run out of rage like bears do because we are ALWAYS ANGRY and if not we hit a button and BOY ARE WE ANGRY AGAIN 😀


  20. think someone said it before i did, the sistem prioritizes diversity in 4 steps:
    1- checks for leader to be selected
    2- tries to put in an enchanter
    3- tries to get difefrent armor wearing classes, and if this is possible then..
    4- will try and not group you with one from the same class.

    And it works. I have yet to see a druid in any of my groups, and i had only 2-3 rogues overall in about 10 random heroics per day since the sistem came up.


  21. I strongly belive that major factor of Bear atitude comes from Rage. Otherwise like all mana users our rage is always ticking, and lack of activity drains us. We are like shark that have to move to stay alive. When doing this at least I am trying to intervale healer when he drops under 10k. But is hard to drop your 100 rage for it. I don’t know if warriors have similar issues, or maybe we are just more concerned about our damage output.

    Funny think is that as soon as group starts timed COS I am killing cat, rat and 2 rouches. There is nothing worse that pull rage starved


  22. You bet your life I have Bear Tankatude! Full frontal feral, from 1-80, and I had a blast every minute. I’ve never been tempted to go boomy or leafy, although I have the utmost respect for those folks. On my server as well, there does seem to be a shortage of druids up front. Many great bear tanks that I looked up to from BC are walking around with unusually high mana levels these days, with even fewer ferals sporting rawrpride as a bear due to pallies and DK’s being so prevalent. And Linedan, I’ve seen a lot of the tank behavior you have. Tanks nowadays equate speed with skill, and while I may be done with an instance in 45 minutes, I sure didn’t have any fun. This is supposed to be a game, a fun diversion, so why hurry through it like work?
    .-= Matheo´s last blog ..Patchy Thinking =-.


  23. Now that you mentioned it BBB, I realized that every random group I’m with had either a Paladin, a Warrior or a DK as tank – never a Druid. And even more startling is that almost 70% of them is exactly as you mentioned: Dour, unexciting tanks who rushed mobs so he can vent some inexplanable frustration on them.

    I did met a different kind of tank on one of the other 30% though – she (it was a female Tauren) was a DK who is quite chatty and easygoing, so I don’t think it’s got anything to do with class. I could be mistaken though >.<
    .-= BlackDragon´s last blog ..Of Running Random Instances, PuGs and More Dailies =-.


  24. I totally have that Bear Tankatude! I love my furry bear butt and charging into a group of mobs and jumping all around is so much fun! My druid is now level 76, and I’ve done two whole levels using the dungeon tool – Bearcat or Tree! Healing as a tree has been a lot more fun than my priest and druid tanking is my first tank and it’s been a blast. Commando tanks for the win!


  25. “Perhaps true Bear Tanking Attitude comes from the simple fact that, of all the classes in the game that can tank, we are the only ones that ‘go commando’ into battle, waving our mighty wang in the enemies’ face and screaming ‘I’ve got a great big tonker and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it!'”

    And now every time I use Demoralizing Roar, that image will come into my head.


  26. I’ve been randoming on my little dirzy bear- and i get bored, just spam swipe over and over and OVER- I’m hoping it will get more exciting:)


  27. The very first random heroic PUG I ran (on my hunter Beltar) was Old Kingdom, and we had a druid tank. In fact, a druid tank with “only” 29k health…who did a great job, never lost agro, and never died despite chain-pulling the entire instance without taking one single pause for anybody (healer included) to get mana! Attention bear: YOUR BUTT WAS NOT ON FIRE, IT’S OK TO SLOW DOWN AND LET US LOOT.

    My wife’s main is dual spec cat/bear; she rarely tanks and is always kitteh in our raid, but is slowly picking up a set of bear gear to be able to do random heroics. Flexibility is good!
    .-= Linedan´s last blog ..Tirion Fordring is the Marlin Perkins of Icecrown. =-.


  28. I can sympathize with you there. I have all my original toons on the Muradin server… on the Horde side. I really got burnt out leveling the same old quests. Working on my Draenei hunter has been a nice change of pace so far… so I don’t foresee too much dread leveling a druid at this point (lol, and I will have my sugar daddies there to send me some bags, etal).


  29. Elegantdeath I know what you mean, I decided to start a Druid myself. Although I have only played alliance till now, I made a Tauren Druid “FurryNuts” I would have loved to make him alliance and be in the guild but I could not bring myself to level that side again. So thought I would try Horde. He’s only lvl 9 so far, but has been fun, god what a pain not to have a sugar daddy to send me bags and gold, don’t even have a second bag yet – lol. When I need a break from alliance side on Bhal its fun to go Horde for a level or 2.


  30. Elegant,

    You absolutely should give it a try. I have 4 80’s now, a Pally, a priest, a mage, and my druid, and the druid is by FAR the most enjoyable of the classes. Being able to do different jobs fairly well just by shifting forms has been a reward just in itself.

    The other day I was in regular ToC, which is an instance I hate, doing the kitty dps thing. All of a sudden, our DK tank died, and chaos ensued. I was able to to pop bear form, pick up the boss, and save the wipe, and keep the dps alive, and then, when it was all over….i went kitty and vanished. 🙂 It was one of the greatest moments I’ve had in a PuG in a long time.

    If you haven’t tried druid, you’ve really got to. You’ll love it!


  31. I so much want to level a druid… now that I have my hunter to 40 maybe I will think about it. Then again, I’ve been having tons of funs playing dps on my dk (thanks again guys!).


  32. Bear tanks are definitely more exciting. When I’m tanking heroics I like to jump around and have fun. Most other tanks just stand around and use their wimpy shields


  33. I’m getting MORE druid tanks than I’m used to, as a shaman healer. I’d say 2/5 pugs have a druid tank, the other three being about 1.5 pally, 1 warrior and .5 dk.


  34. You haven’t had a bear tank because you’ve been neglecting your Pallywhacker. 😉

    Although when I’ve been out on my mage, I think I’ve only been with one or two other bear tanks (and I’ve almost got my Perky Pug, so I’ve been using the mage a lot). I’m not sure what it is, but I’m guessing that the LFG system actually tries to balance out the classes in the PUGs. Not once have I been in a group with another mage (unless it’s a guildie). And if there have been duplicates, I suspect that they decided to chain-run stuff or guildies.

    Maybe it’s got something to do with limiting competition for gear? Or just trying to encourage the “bring the player, not the class” philosophy? Not sure. But I don’t think it’s a total lack of bear tanks, as it is moreso likely because you’re on your druid. Maybe you’ll see more if you go on your hunter?
    .-= Naturalregis´s last blog ..Arthas is a jerkface. =-.


  35. There’s a rumor going around that the DF takes armor class into account, such that as a leather-wearer yourself you’d be less likely to get a leather-wearing tank in your PuG. That might have something to do with it.


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