Don't worry about bears getting crushing blows

Crushing blows are not really a big deal when deciding on a feral tank. There’s a reason that bears have such high armor relative to the other tanks. It’s almost as if it’s by design. If you’re worried that a feral cannot main tank due to crushing blows, let me set your mind at ease.

First, what’s a typical warrior tank and a typical feral tank look like after they’ve raided kara/gruul/mag for a bit? I used seventyupgrades to generate two tank characters using some phase 1 presets to estimate this.

The warrior has 14,928 armor and the druid has 27,594 armor.

Let’s say each is fighting a boss that hits for 6,0000 unmitigated damage on a normal hit. The boss will therefore hit for 9,000 unmitigated damage on a crushing blow.

So, the warrior takes 2402 damage from the boss hit after damage reduction from armor and defensive stance.

The druid takes 1814 damage from the same boss hit after damage reduction from armor.

If the druid gets crushed he takes 2721 damage after damage reduction from armor.

I’m not saying any class is a better or worse tank. I’m just saying don’t believe the hype if you hear someone saying that crushing blows prevent bears from being MT or some other nonsense. Crushing blows are not a huge deal.


Diminishing returns. Whether a bear can tank hard hitting bosses in TBC I have no idea, we never saw them in our raid circle.

…but diminishing returns on armor is a very real thing, otherwise you could very easily end up getting hit for 0, and that’s why.

There are no diminishing returns on armor. Every point of armor provides the same amount of damage reduction as the previous. Against a lvl 73 attacker 1000 armor provides 7.716% reduction making a 1000 damage hit do 922.84 damage. Adding an additional 1000 armor provides 14.326% reduction making a 1000 damage hit do 856.74 damage. Which is (1- 922.84 / 856.74) * 100 = 7.716% damage reduction.


Yeah, I know about diminishing returns but the math still works out. As lowstrung said, there’s also no diminishing returns affecting time to live.

Bottom line, there’s really no reason to not take a bear based on survivability concerns other than certain fight mechanics. For example, I’d still want a warrior for deaden on RoS, I’d still prefer a pally for prince, etc.

“but diminishing returns!”

What are you even saying? What point are you trying to make?


Take total damage in Maully’s example. Let’s say the warrior and bear each take 10 hits with 50% of the bear’s hits being crushing blows (it will be far less than 50%):

Warrior: 2402 * 10 = 24020 total damage
Bear: 1814 * 5 + 2721 * 5 = 9070 + 13605 = 22675

Even when getting crushed half the time the bear is still taking less damage overall :slight_smile:

Anyone who’s interested here’s the actual formulas for armor based DR. Plug them into excel if you want to run the numbers yourselves:

Amount of DR based on armor level and attacker level:
B1: Armor amount
B2: Attacker level

B1/(B1 + 400 + 85*(B2 + 4.5*(B2 - 59)))

Amount of armor needed for specific DR and attacker level:
B9: Attacker level
B10: Target DR level

(467.5 * B9 * B10 - 22167.5 * B10) / (1 - B10)


Did you factor in Block Value at all? Most hits a Warrior will take during a raid boss will be blocked.

Did you factor in other raid buffs like Devotion Aura?

Merely calculating the amount of damage that each tank takes on an individual swing basis is a small piece to the puzzle. You have to do more analysis than that if you want to make an argument.

Aside from the miscalculations that I mentioned above…

How much damage each tank takes over an elongated period of time is not even a remotely good metric on which to grade tanks.

There are two primary things that a tank needs to do:

  1. Not die
  2. Hold threat

Most of the ways that tanks die is by getting bursted down 100-0 in less than 2 seconds by a combo of 2-3 attacks, counting specials and melee swings. Tanks gear to avoid getting comboed down such a timeframe.

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Of course the numbers above are an extreme oversimplification. The only point Maully is trying to make is that even though a bear won’t be crush immune it doesn’t make a bear any less of an effective tank than a warrior or pally. There seems to still be a bit of a stigma floating around about bear tanks and it’s good to try to dispel wrong thinking. In general a bear is as good as a warrior is as good as a pally for most fights in the game with a few exceptions that favor one class over the others.


Dont ever listen to anything that guy says.

Just popping in to add some value and state some facts.

  1. Bears have a soft cap on armor in TBC. This is the point where diminishing returns devalue armor to the point where you no longer stack bonus armor. That cap ends up being somewhere in the ballpark of ~78% physical damage mitigation after Ironskin potions, armor buff from priest & shaman, etc.

  2. Crushing blows were a thing in vanilla as well. While tanks can push crushes off the combat table in TBC, the high armor from bear form coupled with other factors gives bears a unique way to offset the extra damage they take. Time spent on beta shows bears being just as hardy even in T4 content as the other tanks.

  3. Bears have the highest health pool out of all the tanks, but they also have the highest avoidance (separate from mitigation). As a change in TBC, bears get 1% dodge per 10 points of Agi, down from 20. This significantly increases the amount of dodge a druid can stack, especially with so much leather dodge rating gear available in the game. It is not unheard of by T6 gear that a feral tank gets upwards of 60%+ avoidance from miss and dodge.

  4. Bears have a unique talent that gives them a chance to completely avoid AoE attacks. No other tank has this type of talent.

  5. Bears are by far the best offtanks in the game and far outperform other tanks in damage when not tanking. For this reason alone they will see play in all content over stacking prot paladins. When only 1 tank is required, prot paladin and prot warrior do very little damage, where bears can go cat and have near 100% effectiveness from talents put towards their damage.

For more info, feel free to join the druid discord at


Sure, I know all that, and bears aren’t really more subject to being burst down than any other tank. Not trying to do a full analysis, just answering the claims about crushing blows I’ve seen floating around lol.

The same warrior template that I used for my original post has 479 block value. It doesn’t change things appreciably. The value of block for a warrior is not as a survival stat on big hitting bosses, but does gain more value when multi-tanking or against fast attackers.

Edit: that and crushes occur 15% of the time. That is a druid will take a few hundred more damage than a warrior takes on a regular hit 15% of the time while taking less damage the other 85% of the time. At that rate, a druid could be expected to take a double crush about 2% of the time and take a whopping few more hundred damage.

This… doesn’t matter. Armor scales fairly linearly in terms of each point of Armor being roughly the same as the last. Armor hard caps at 75% which Bears can achieve fairly easily, but other Tanks cannot, which is why we can cover Crushing Blows so easily, on top of having massively superior total Health.

But the DR on Armor is to keep it from scaling better and better for every point. That’s presently the case for Dodge/Parry/Block/Miss, which is why Sunwell Radiance is a thing much later, and DR on Avoidance stats is a thing in Wrath and onward. Nevertheless, DR on Armor is not a penalty or detriment to Druids.

No. We cap out on Armor at 75% and that 75% is calculated based on the level of the attacker. There is no “soft cap”, there is only a hard cap where it ceases to give additional value of any kind.

This is actually false. You can go over 75% with armor buffs quite easily. This is possible in classic as well. The highest armor mitigation I have reached is 79% with Inspiration, Stoneshield, and LoH buff. This is also true on the TBC beta, armor doesn’t just stop at 75% when you get a temporary armor buff, there is simply no point in gearing towards armor when you reach that threshold, as there are other stats more important.

Boys, let’s not argue about the semantics of soft cap. Our goal is the same - to let the world know that we’re better than warriors and to put FC discord on suicide watch.

Edit: also, prepopping barkskin is actually good now, cyclone is godly, and swipe actually scales with AP.

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You can get over 75% tooltip reduction, but it doesn’t actually let you take less than that. I have logs galore proving this exact point in Classic where I take exactly 75% less damage on every hit and the only way I went up and over was on the raids we had Blessing of Sanctuary available.

Any amount over 75% against Boss level (+3) is entirely wasted.

The only semantics on soft cap I’m aware of are involving Inspiration where you can hit the hard cap with it, but you aren’t there without it. Otherwise, Armor itself has zero soft caps, just a fixed ceiling you can’t cross.

I have logs where I’ve exceeded 75%, but you won’t get there by just stacking armor. I’m not here to argue, there is a soft cap for armor. It exists in vanilla, and it exists in TBC. There is a point where you should not be stacking more armor because armor buffs exist, allowing you to drop high armor staves in favor of more FAP.

This is by definition a soft cap, please stop trying to misinform people and confuse people by saying there’s no soft cap. If you are stacking armor past a certain point, you are not playing your druid tank optimally. That’s not up for debate.

I just polled the druid discord BTW and I can tell you the soft cap for TBC is around 28k.

See, you guys both agree that 75% is the hard cap. Dramasoul is just saying that you may not want to gear to that cap because of consumes and auras and stuff. Let’s not fight brothers, if we do only the prot paladins win in the end.

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I was bear tank all of TBC. Tanked sunwell without a problem. Was one of the preferred tanks for Brut/M’uru.

Bears can MT just fine, and will tank just fine throughout the expansion


Exactly. That’s what I meant by ‘armor doesn’t just stop at 75%’, you’re going to push past that with armor buffs almost certainly. However you don’t want to waste your inspiration procs and Ironshield Potions, so the armor soft cap table exists to give you targets to hit so that doesn’t happen.

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There is no soft cap to Armor. It scales the same way from 0 to cap and it scales no more. This isn’t a debate because it is a settled matter. You can only achieve >75% reduction by adding additional flat damage reduction effects like Vanilla’s Blessing of Sanctuary. I don’t know what nonsense you’re pulling this from but there is no soft cap and there is an absolute hard cap on Armor.

Furthermore, comparing Armor to Feral Attack Power is flatly asinine because they serve entirely different purposes. If you need to survive burst, you stack Effective Health. If you don’t need to survive burst, you can stack TPS stats.

That’s… /headdesk

No. That isn’t what a soft-cap is. You’re comparing apples to footballs. Further, saying you can exceed 75% damage reduction is just an outright lie.

A - I don’t give two craps what they say when you’re pulling this kind of nonsense out of your rear.
B - Nothing special happens at 28k Armor.

I mean he isn’t though, he’s arguing as if there’s some point where DR “kicks in” to a severe degree which… just never happens. The formula is the same from 0% to 75%, and is damn close to linear in power gains from the first point of armor to the last.