Bear Tanks in BWL

The key take away is that none of you were crit. Nobody is going to argue that bears aren’t a better sponge for physical damage so long as crits and crushing blows don’t occur. The problem is when they do happen and it spikes your health down in a way that warriors can outright avoid with shield block. Assuming it doesn’t kill you, it’s more work for the healers; and unlike a burst damage mechanic, the crits/crushes are pure RNG. It’s a perfect cocktail for getting gibbed.

Bears have overall less avoidance than equally geared warrior tanks; point being that an impressive dodge streak for a bear can easily be matched by a warrior through dodge+parry. Avoidance isn’t an advantage of bears.

These aren’t crit/crushes that will matter, so I don’t know why you’ve brought it up. This seems like a reason to take bears into dungeons rather than raids.

But it is RNG. The warrior gear is also RNG, but they have more options which does mean that they’ll get decent gear more easily than a bear. All tanks share the benefit of prio for tanking gear. I’d say there’s more contention for bear pieces from other classes/specs than there are for tanking plate, tanking weapon, or a shield.

Bears are reliant on a best case scenario, and more gear will always mitigate the insta-gib RNG, but you will never escape the reality of crits/crushes making bears less reliable mitigation tanks than warriors. Bears excel on fights where those two mechanics don’t matter. So it’s always worth it for a raid to have a geared feral tank, but they’ll never replace warriors as main tanks.

The top warrior parses use recklessness, which brings their crit rate higher than their sheet crit. That is expected. 30 second fight with 100% crit chance for half of it. To argue that RNG is the reason warriors have higher parses isn’t really statistically sound.
The sample sizes are certainly large enough to eliminate RNG as a factor, but there are other variables other than RNG that contribute to some of the difference, mainly kill speed and world buffs.

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I hate WCL… I don’t get why it shows Songflower Serenade and two of three DM buffs but won’t show other crap like Mongoose, Jujus, etc.

So Recklessness, 15 sec of 100% critical strike, but my point remains, 81% critical hits on Heroic Strike which was spammed from start to finish still puts them ahead of their sheet crit rate, unless Warriors are passively rocking 62% crit after buffs but not including Recklessness.

I’m not arguing they’re RNG favored across the board, I’m arguing that the upper-most parses are going to be the RNG favored parses, as they are with every class. The highest possible parse a Mage can pull would be zero resists and insanely high critical hits beyond their sheet, which would favor Spell Power stacking to the exclusion of all other things as it is only a matter of iteration to hit that big parse than not.

So when I look at the World #1 Druid parse and see him rocking a critical hit rate below what my EH-focused gear places me at, and then I see he only improved his TPS stats by snagging +Hit, yeah RNG is a major factor at play for such comparisons.

Also the fact that Druids are parsing/playing at a rate of 7.89% compared to Warriors and sample sizing is much too small for Druids. 1470 parses is nothing given the number of dice rolls involved in just a 30 sec Vael fight, let alone the more common 45-55 sec pulls of which the Druid was a part of.

That I understand.

But there are 6 Druids in the world topping 600 DPS.

Not one of them reached 700 DPS.

Sub 1900 TPS.

The telling point is Rage dumping for a Druid is Swipe.

Swipe at best theoretical TPS can reach 14% of total TPS.

Most are achieving 12%+

Thats what the extra rage does for a Druid…12%+ additional Swipe for +220 TPS measured against near 1900 TPS.

Druids TPS scales with gear almost exclusively outside of Vael, and even then its a 12% boost or slightly more.

Warrior TPS scales with gear and rage, because HS is a far far far better rage efficiency dump than Swipe.

Its only 1 fight.

And fights in BWL still allow Warriors to face a boss with a significant reduction in tanking profile to elevate TPS.

But that sacrifice in tanking profile allows them to generate more rage…and their rage dumps are far better than Bears.

Will it always be this way, NO.

However Warriors will out threat a bear by 10 to 15% if they make that sacrifice currently.

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Using vael as any sort of benchmark is pretty stupid considering the unique nature of the fight.

Ferals and warriors can both be excellent tanks and both can generate more than enough threat. All the rest is a peen measuring contest. Why can’t warriors and ferals simply hold hands and blame the healers and dps as nature intended.


Again… subpar dice rolls on longer kills with no way to really tell who is using what buffs with any consistency. The top Druid parse is nearly a minute long fight. Sunder didn’t even start being stacked until 5 sec in, didn’t finish until nearly 10 sec. CoR went up at 6, Faerie Fire went up at 8, Gift of Arthas proc’d at 11, and one stack of Armor Shatter (Annihilator) went up at 45.

Compare that to the top Warrior parse where everything was up by 3 sec in, and the addition of Screech spam to beef up the Warrior even more defensively.

You’re refuting the top-end of a theoretical Druid by pointing to Druids in scenarios that aren’t even idealized compared to the many many many Warrior parses that are.


If you’re attempting to argue that druid TPS can match or surpass fury-prot TPS, then you’re sorely mistaken.

Actually Fasc I’m being very generouts.

In those parses Anim himself is the outlier.

Even in cat form, with a tanking spec, he is breaking 400+ dps in cat gear.

Most of the top Bear parses in the World atm are in R 12/13 PvP gear…which is amazing for Bear Druids…and outside of DFT their aren’t really upgrades available for those Bears.

Druids, even in AQ 40, dont get upgrades appreciable better until deeper in, and you will never replace the PvP legs or a second piece for the set bonus.

Warriors don’t have the gearing option, Bears do. Most of the top parses in the world are going to reflect that time investement.

The average Bear will NOT have access to that gear.

And yet most Bear proponents will use that as a yardstick and make those values seem commonplace…they are not.

i was told not to do anything for 15s while warrior gained threat on vael. after that i went ham. SORRY i pulled threat and wiped the raid at 48seconds in. (our last 2 vael kills were about 60s long)

all i did was MCP x2, wait, then x1 near the end of the prior duration. spammed maul and swipe, thats literally it. and i outpaced the fury/prot warrior MT who had a 15second lead over me.

bears rock on threat per second.

i have to frequently curb my output and just hang low while guild shouts “— watch your threat”

bears are objectively best single target threat generators in game unless you have a stupid raid of 40 paladins and someone spams gbok.


A world buffed fury prot warrior does more threat than a bear, even on vael. However at this point in the game, a bear with MCP does more TPS than a fury prot warrior when both of them don’t have world buffs. This may be changed with R13 gear and/or thunderfury.

You bring a bear to act as a fantastic 2nd/ 3rd tank while not soaking up dps gear and giving 3% crit to the main tank. Additionally they can act as good tanks for TPS fights if your main tank has lost world buffs and do more damage in cat form than your deep prot warrior offtank for fights that require 1 tank.

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Theory is nice, but let’s look at comparable vael fights of two big dogs in this thread: surfiehbk and ohshiftson. If you look at their respective best performances on vael, ohshiftson would have easily tanked surfie’s run, and held threat against higher dps performers.

Shift also didn’t have a TF like surfie’s tank, and BWL is a bit of a dry spot for feral itemization.

This is also one a fight that is nice for warriors by giving them essentially unlimited HS spam.

Not saying surfie or shift are better, worse, right, or wrong. I’m saying it’s theorycrafting without a purpose.

This. I love the number crunchers in here doing all the math and sims and using Vael as a benchmark when it is in fact an outlier and the only fight of its kind.

In the real world, with my average guild and average parses (which is the world most guilds are operating, not the absolute theoretical maximum that only 100 players in the world live in), Bears are going to beat out everything in threat, and my mitigation is also fine.

It is not the point of this thread to have a few mathematicians come in with sims of scenarios that in no way represent the world that 99% of the playerbase lives in. I’ll necro this thread 6 months from now when I finally get crit by Mortal Strike or Thrash and get instagibbed. People in this thread and many others like it seem to think “theoretically possible” means “will happen every pull”. In the actual world that we all live in, Bear tanks are doing amazingly in BWL and I encourage anyone who’s considering Bear tanking in BWL and beyond to go for it.


The argument has gone in several directions at once. Someone stated that a Druid simply couldn’t hold off a 1k DPS Fury Warrior, which is demonstrably untrue.

Then it turned to who is better for Vael and how much threat can a Druid or Warrior put out, and people pointed to lack of logs as proof. The top log for the Druid parse shows a bad RNG string on a longer fight duration with worse debuff uptime compared to the top log for the Warrior parse showing a great RNG string with a shorter duration and absolutely better debuff uptime. I can’t even tell if the Druid had a full compliment of world buffs because WCL inconsistently tracks that sort of information because it needs to see a fade or gain event on the log.

No, you’re missing the point. The idealized gear is only part of parsing high, and he’s not in idealized gear for that fight. Top parses occur when RNG favors you and his parse shows RNG taking a steaming dump on him.

Seriously… he averages 30% crit rate for the fight.

I mean pointing out the idealized best matters insomuch as… pointing out the idealized best. There is no doubts that a Warrior or a Druid can absolutely decimate the threat meters on Vael (or any fight for that matter), but the question is who leaves a finer spray of blood at the end of the carnage.

not even with world buffs because bears are multiplicative in nature. whatever you give to the warrior the bear will take off with it that much more.

the only thing that allows a warrior to outpace the bear is the fact that warriors went in first and got a lead, and now the bear is rage starved.

A fury prot without world buffs gets absolutely shafted. Might as well hearth, respec deep prot, and get a summon. A druid popping MCP has enough rage to spam maul nonstop even without world buffs.


No I’m not.

He has sacrificed tanking profile for TPS.

He is hit capped. And contrary to rumor Devilsaur is exceptional TPS gear.

He even counterweighted his MCP, and his bracers have +9 STR on them.

Because they are blues, and not epic PvP gear, means he sacrificed EH in exchange for TPS…while PvP gear means you don’t have to make that choice.

Its not like he is utilizing a Full mitigation profile, as others would do. He trusted his healers and pumped out the best DPS possible.

But don’t underestimate that he is an outlier. 420 DPS while cat, in a tank build, with no DFT, no enhanced FB, and no mana reduction on shifting should clearly point out his skill if you look for it.

Your talking about an incredibly skilled Druid, easily verified by attack rate percentages and ratios in resultant parses…who was geared for threat, using very solid gear for that very purpose.

His healers did an exceptional job, he trusted in them, and it got done.

Could he have done more DPS, clearly delineated by his crit rate…yes.

He would have pulled further afield of all other Bear Druids…in less gear.

Which would have further cemented that he is indeed an outlier.

Sephiroth, Broodlords Mortal Strike cannot crit. God help us if it could.

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How do you survive the 4th boss as a bear tank. I’m fire res capped and I get one shot.

lucky dodges, its almost impossible without gross overhealing from like 4 dedicated healers. so long as you dont take a shadowflame and a thrash crit at the same time you can get through it with 9k+ hp.

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As… does… any TPS set… it still isn’t idealized for TPS.

I’m not talking about Devilsaur, which remains a significantly powerful pair of items for TPS until ZG. I’m talking about Molten Helm, Fireguard Shoulders, Molten Belt, Smoking Heart of the Mountain, and the FR enchants.

He is in no way, shape, or form, an outlier. His gear is modestly spread and achievable by almost anyone and despite the advancements he made: HE STILL UNDERPERFORMED FOR THE STATS HIS GEAR IMPLY

I’m not sure why you’re muddying the TPS discussion with trying to have EH while also maintaining high TPS. In a full frontal assault with all relevant world buffs, a completely paper-thin geared Druid is still rocking 9-10k Health and 8-9k Armor (before Inspiration) depending on BWL drops. All the stat% buffs on top of one another just scale like crazy.

That’s the point you keep missing. For Vael, and only Vael, he parsed BELOW his stats.

Oh, and now I see why WCL can tell us about the two DM buffs he had. They fell off 10 seconds into the pull.

This wasn’t an outlier parse, not even close.

It absolutely can. That’s why Druids have to stack a ton of EH to ensure survival (and we can survive it), or risk going splat.