Bear Tanks in BWL

I had this long post written out detailing the advantages I’ve discovered as we progress through BWL, but suffice it to say, all of the threat management fights are completely trivialized by the monstrous amount of threat Bears generate, and with Imp LoH, GSP, and Inspiration I can already hit armor cap and start gearing for even more threat instead of mitigation.

Below is a log of us walking up to Broodlord for the first time and getting the kill like it was nothing (which isn’t what’s impressive, it’s my stats on the fight). I generated so much threat that I ended up tanking 7 of the 8 Knock Aways he cast during the fight. Keep in mind, we’re not a hardcore guild by any means (this log was of our second night ever in BWL) so pay no mind to rest of our average stats lol.

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TL;DR, Bears are still on top as tanks, and I’m determined to kill the meme. :bear:


We have a main bear tank (not the main tank except for certain encounters) and one of our restos can tank if needed. Druids played right make a noticeable difference to PvE progress and flow.


My alt is a bear at 54 and this is really encouraging :grin:


Everyone already knew what bears could do. You know, 16 year old game. I’ll just list the reasons not to use a bear:
Cant use consumables while shapeshifted, so no health pots or armor pots when planning to get chunked
Cant push off crits, so on an unlucky day you just get crit into the ground, where a shield using warrior will push off the crit with a block
Bad at handling fast attacking large groups of trash packs due to lack of flat damage reduction that blocking would provide
Itemization is extremely precise, failure to acquire specific items results in a terrible bear tank. Warriors have a LOT more items to fill the gap.

And thats about it. Notice I never mentioned threat. Its all itemization and lack of block. If you get around this somehow, yeah, bears work.


With spell batching, you can use consumables. On private servers bears couldnt tank chromag, but now they can with a cancelform, use sand, bear form 1 button macro. It is impossible to get hit as they are all done simultaneously because canceling form and using an item does not trigger a gcd. Bears can now refresh stoneshield potion midfight, along with use health potions/healthstones with zero chance of getting hit. This is a massive buff for bear druids in classic vs private servers.

Tanking more than 4 mobs - ya it sucks to not have a shield. Dont have bears tank more than 4 mobs, which literally only occurs in supression room/AQ40 scarab tunnel.

Itemization is precise - ya, give your bears the items they need.

Also didnt mention bears are far superior for tanking all magic damage heavy bosses as while they don’t have 10% mitigation from defensive stance, they have well more than 10% health than warriors. Ya this will require more healing from healers, but all that means is the 4 paladins assigned to spam heal the tank will have 30% overheal instead of 40%.


Do me a giant favor. Look at the log I posted and then reconsider your post, because these talking points do not actually play out in the real world. The actual real-world data do not support your talking points at all.

  • I took about 5,000 damage on average from mortal Strike. The other Warrior tanks who got hit by MS took 6,500, 5,900 and 5,600 damage respectively. None of us were crit. I also avoided 3 of the 9 MS hits aimed at me, or 33%.

  • Normal melee hits crit me 4.3% of the time, for an average of 641 dmg per crit, which is trivial when you have a 9k health pool with flask and LJC.

  • It’s not hard to acquire the gear required to make Bear tanking work. Basically all of the raiding gear for Bear tanks will be yours by default since Druids are rare in the raiding scene, and the dungeon gear just takes a small bit of dedication.

The very reason I made this thread and posted the actual log was to dispel these talking points, because they do not play out as some catastrophe in the real world.


What? Nothing small about MCP farming.


We have a bear tank in our guild. He does great and can pick up when we need to. He is typically there as back up. Doesn’t participate in some of the more essential swaps because we have enough warriors for that but will regularly get ony after coming down and easily off tanks some of the hard hitting trash mobs.

overall happy to have him, he honestly needs less attention as far as healing is concerned.

I mean, I’ll look at the log at home when im not phone posting at work. Do me a favor?
Post your macro for using a sand? Our bear tank was having some issues with that. Definitely needed to pop his sands and got smacked (and died) in human form trying to use his sand.
Like i was saying, if you find a way to deal with the issues posted, bears are fine. NOT dealing with said issues WILL cause issues though, hence the talking point.

Our bear tanks all the time.

I will edit this post in a bit with the macro unless someone beats me to it. Sorry for the semi-hostility in the last post. My goal is to show people that while it takes a bit more effort, it’s possible to get a TON of mileage out of Bear tanks and that they are an absolute boon to raid teams.

Power-shift macros handle this easily. When I kitty Tanked Nef last week, I kept Greater Stoneshield Potion rolling the entire time on a nearly 10min kill (our MT went down really early and we lost half the raid).

This meme is a dumb one and needs to die.

First, Druids never fall behind Warriors on Effective Health (EH) until you start counting on Inspiration procs in the AQ40 era. Without Inspiration, the Warrior can NEVER catch the Druid on EH. That means that any massive spike the Warrior needs to take, the Druid can soak more easily.

Second, even with Thunder Clap up and zero melee being stupid about their positioning, the boss is going to parry-haste off the Tank. Bosses all have (for now) a base swing timer of 2 seconds, but even with TC, the average amount of parry-haste is going to average out to around 1.941 with a 2.2 speed weapon, worse if you go faster, better if you go slower. That means there is a non-zero chance that even if you spam Shield Block off CD, you can take a small window where you ate two Blocked hits and are now back to your base stats for a third before the CD. To be fair, the chance is small, around 0.47% average, but it is there. All of this being said, a Warrior can eat a critical hit to the face and keep rolling, and if a Warrior can eat one and keep going, a Druid definitely can.

So… AoE pulls of half a dungeon? The most recent example we have of multiple tiny hits coming in all at once are the whelps in the Suppression Rooms… they aren’t dangerous to Tanks. They aren’t dangerous to DPS for that matter. The next up would be Razorgore but if you ever have more than 4-5 mobs on you, your side is either horrendously unlucky or you have some bad DPS.

The Block Value advantage doesn’t come into genuine play for raiding for two more expansions on specific Heroic-only encounters.

That’s a funny way of saying a Druid can achieve 4-5 pieces of Warrior gear growth with a single upgrade…

Also nothing in BWL requires BWL loot for a Druid, including soaking Broodlord’s MS and Nef while a kitty. When AQ40 comes out Druids mostly stay steady on EH and we gain everything else which are honestly luxuries like Avoidance and TPS stats. I don’t think you get just how insane it is that my boot upgrade last night doubled the Stamina and AP I had before, and nearly tripled the Armor.



Literally any post I’ve seen on here about druid tanks is very quickly followed with multiple BuT WaRrIOrS replies. We have a druid tank too and he’s doing fine. People need to lay off the warrior schlong a bit.


I don’t think anyone treats bears as a meme anymore lol, my guild runs a bear and he’s great


Bears are becoming more and more acceptable. My alt is a bear tank. I was off-tanking in MC at level 57 or so (yeah, I feel bad to the healer assigned to me then!)

Paladin tanks are also becoming a bit more accepted, too. Sure, they don’t have a taunt… but if you let them do their thing for a few seconds before nuking, they’re outstanding trash tanks, and work just fine for some bosses, depending on your guild’s tactics.

Our bear does a fine job.

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Best tank spec for each encounter:

Razorgore: Fury/Prot
Vaelastrasz: Feral
Broodlord Lashlayer: Feral
Firemaw: Fury/Prot
Ebonroc: Fury/Prot
Flamegor: Fury/Prot
Chromaggus: Fury/Prot
Nefarian: Fury/Prot

You can powershift consumables. Use macros.

Doesn’t matter. We’re already armor capped with Inspiration. Crits mean nothing when you only get crit for 1,500. Our health pool is also higher than a Warrior’s.

Wrong. We excel at taking large amounts of consistent damage, solely because we AREN’T reliant on avoidance to mitigate damage. Due to the vast majority of our mitigation coming from armor, our damage taken is far more frequent, but far less.

Also makes healing us far more pleasant. Ask literally ANY healer if they prefer to heal a Feral or a Warrior.

This is true of both Ferals and Warriors if you know anything about the game, though.

A Warrior wearing full Might and Wrath is going to have terrible threat and be a worthless tank on Vaelastrasz. A Druid wearing full threat gear is going to be a dead tank on Broodlord Lashlayer.

If either class/spec wears the wrong gear for the situation, they’re going to be terrible. Both have sufficient items available to them. Hell, Druid already has some of their BiS forever, i.e. we never replace them, even in Naxx.

Too bad I got rank 13 and the boots aren’t as good as 6/6. Until ZG, the boots are basically just mitigation boots for me. :frowning:

This is easily remedied with a macro. You can pop out, pot and go back into bear instantly.

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Looking at your log, your top damage dealer did 600 dps on Vael. Your raid dps is extremely low. Obviously, threat would never be an issue for you.

If your top dps did 1800-2000 dps on Vael, your bear wouldn’t have been able to keep threat. Not even close.


I haven’t noticed a bear gearing for threat to have any meaningful health advantage over a warrior.

Could you provide exact gear sets for me to look at?