Sep 042009

Mitigation and Avoidance

Ah, the most familiar leg of the triangle. Mitigation and avoidance, combined with healing (see Part 1), is how you survive long enough to actually take down boss massive HP pools solo, since your healing in feral form isn’t that great. As a bear, you have three main sources of M&A: Armor, Savage Defense, and Dodge.


  • Example Boss hits for 10k damage per attack, and attacks every 2s, giving him 5000 DPS (unmitigated).
  • We have 40k HP, 30k armor, 5000 AP, 42% dodge, and 40% crit.


Armor (or Damage Reduction) is your most important defensive statistic. Simply put, it reduces the damage from incoming melee attacks, which is typically the largest damage component of most fights. The formula for Armor is Armor*100/[Armor+(467.5*AttackerLevel – 22,167.5)], which can be reduced to [Armor / (Armor + 16,635)] x 100 for boss level mobs (skull = your level +3). Armor also has no diminishing returns…while it appears to (since you need more and more armor for each 1% of DR), each 1% of DR is more valuable than the last. Let’s use an example:

Using the assumptions above, with 0 armor, you die in 8 seconds. With 15k armor, you have 47.4% DR. This reduces EB’s DPS to 2629 and kills you in 15.21 seconds, for a 7.21 sec increase. With 30k armor, you have 64.3% DR, which reduces EB’s DPS to 1784 and kills you in 22.42 seconds, for a 7.21 sec increase. Got it?

Remember: Armor is useless against magical attacks…and bosses that debuff your armor (like Prince Malchezzar) can suck.

Savage Defense

Savage Defense is a very interesting mechanic. Basically, every attack that crits (including bleeds with Primal Gore) will proc SD, which will reduce the next hit by 1/4 of your attack power. Your basic rotation gives you 1.3 times to crit per second (counting melee/Maul, Mangle/Lacerate/Swipe, and Lacerate bleed, not acounting for haste). This means that in general, assuming you can keep up a full DPS rotation, you should have around 75% of hits affected by SD on a single target, and more on multiple targets. (Kalon at Thinktank has done much more extensive theorycrafting on this.) If you have 5k attack power, that means 75% of enemy attacks will be reduced by 1250, after they are already reduced by armor.
Essentially, what this means is that SD is GREAT for low-level stuff, and meh for raid-tanking. Continuing our example above, the boss currently doing 1784 DPS will now do 1315 DPS, which is roughly an extra 25% mitigation. Against something that hits really hard (like Patchwerk, for example, who does like 80k damage per attack), a 1250 damage reduction is a drop in the bucket, and gives you MAYBE 0.5% of additional mitigation.
Also, getting stunned sucks. I’ve actually died to Moroes trash when I got stunned and hit with the 0 armor debuff at the same time…ouch.


Avoidance is pretty simple for druids. Each boss melee attack has a 7.8% chance to miss + your dodge, which is usually slightly above 40%. I won’t do a full-on dodge analysis…just remember that it comes primarily from your agility, plus any extra dodge rating youy have.  Not counting agility procs (Mongoose, DM:G), you can generally expect about 50% avoidance while soloing, and much more on trash (which will have a much higher miss chance). Assuming 50% avoidance neatly reduces EB’s DPS in half, to 657 DPS.

Indestructible Potions

Indestructible Potions are GREAT. They give you an extra 3500 armor, and can be used twice (if you use one pre-pull). Using the stats above, an extra 3500 armor should reduce EB’s DPS to 595, which translates to 7440 HP saved, or twice that with two. A great improvement over a healing potion. They’re not as great for raids, where the threat is typically burst, not sustained damage, but are still very helpful.


Using the Healing calculation from part 1 (336 HPS), EB only does 321 sustained DPS, which gives you over two minutes to kill the boss. That’s where DPS stats comes into play, in the next installment.