Feb 072010
 

EDIT2: After Maintenance, it was apparently hotfixed to have only mobs that grant experience drop charms. This will make charm farming much more difficult, if you haven’t done so already. If you’re not looking forward to grinding, buy necklaces off the AH ASAP (price will most assuredly rise now). Thanks evan!

EDIT: Big change that I missed at first…the Love Fool no longer has 5 charges, so you’ll need 5 this year. Unsure if this is intended or not, but this will significantly increase the number of Tokens you need.

There are 16 achievements for this holiday, of which 12 are part of the meta, Fool For Love, which is required for What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. With Lunar Festival coming up next week, you don’t want to dawdle. Let’s get your charm(s) on.

Setting the Mood (Introduction)

Before you go rushing off, let’s explain how the holiday works. The primary thing you’ll need are Love Tokens, of which you’ll need 100 or so to complete the meta, or more for the optional achievements. Love Tokens can be acquired three ways:

  1. Two basic dailies, available from any major city. The first is immediately available, requires spraying 10 friendly NPC’s or players, and is very fast and easy. Rewards 5 Love Tokens. The second, Crushing the Crown, is only unlocked once you complete the Uncommon Scents questline (very short and easy, starts in SW/Org) and requires you to go to a certain area and kill a few easy mobs (varies based on level, lvl 75+ version is right outside Dal in Crystalsong). This is easy except for the fact that the spawn area will be COMPLETELY camped. Those of you on PvP servers may wish to pass up this daily. Also rewards 5 Love Tokens.
  2. A turn-in daily in each major city to that city’s faction leader. (so can be done 4x per day, once per city). Requires 1 Lovely Charm Bracelet (see 3), rewards 5 Love Tokens. You have to do this at least once in each city for the achievement, so be prepared.
  3. Finally, green or better mobs will randomly drop Lovely Charms on death if you have a Lovely Charm Collector’s Kit, available near the daily questgiver. (Unlike most everything else in the game, Lovely Charms are automatically added to your inventory if they drop and you’re eligible to loot them.). EDIT: As Kae and Keeva have pointed out, you have to get a killing blow to be eligible to get a charm, so healers are slightly disadvantaged for this. 10 Charms can be combined into 1 Lovely Charm Bracelet. The best use of Bracelets is to complete #2 (above), but if you’re pressed for time, 1 Bracelet can be turned in for 1 Love Token. You have to create 12 Bracelets for an achievement, so start farming! :) It’s actually quite easy..you can expect to get ~10 charms per heroic run if you’re still aiming for badges. If you just want to farm them fast, form a raid with someone and head to Ulduar 10…grab a demolisher or bike and start wiping out the dwarves that constantly respawn. I did this last night and had about 200 charms in ~20 minutes. (Tip: Charms stack in 10’s, which sucks, but Bracelets do NOT stack at all…so don’t combine them till you’re done.) If you can’t get in Ulduar for whatever reason, good alternatives are the Bombardment/Battle dailies in Icecrown or the chaingun in the mausoleum in Dragonblight (may need to be sub-80 for this one.) Edit: If you missed out on this, it’s been hotfixed to be only mobs that grant experience…no more free ride. However, it has also been hotfixed to drop to anyone in a group, so healers are no longer (overly) screwed. Another good strategy: If you have a leveling alt that you don’t care about getting the achievements on, have them pick up a charm kit and just quest away. My new pally picked up a kit at level 5, ran through all the Draenei starter quests (Azure Watch/Blood Watch) and ended up with about 200 charms that I mailed to my main.

There’s also a new boss that spawns in Shadowfang Keep which drops some ilvl 226 necks (just reskins of the EoC ones) and some fun vanity stuff, so check that out if you’re into that. Needed for a few non-meta achievements.

Quick and Dirty… (Checklist)

  1. Go to SW/Org and complete the questline that starts with “Uncommon Scents.”
  2. Get 120 Lovely Charms and convert them into Bracelets. (See #3 above.) (Charming)
  3. Find a group (or just solo, if you can) for UK/OK/HoS to get the Bouquet. Drops from Keleseth/Taldaram/Maiden, respectively. (My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose)
  4. Get 60+ 100+ Love Tokens, or 100+ 140+ if trying for optional achievements. It’s best to start early on this, as you can get 30 per day easily via the dailies (See #1 and #2 above), and you need to do them all at least once anyway. You can still do it if you wait until the last minute, but it’ll take quite a bit more grinding. (Dangerous Love, Nation of Adoration)
  5. Buy 10 Silver Shafted Arrows and 3×5 Handfuls of Rose Petals and start looking for the race/class combos you need. Dal’s generally your best bet. Shoot random players while looking. (Fistful of Love, Shafted!)
  6. Buy Bags of Candies, open and eat until you get all 8. (Be Mine!) I’m 99% sure these are tradable, so it may be to your benefit to find someone else who needs the achievement as well. It appeared to me, though, that there were 4-5 common candies, 2-3 uncommon ones, and 1 rare one (that took me 6 bags to get).
  7. Buy 10 Love Rockets, fire them. (The Rocket’s Pink Glare)
  8. Buy some alcohol (enough to get completely smashed) and some perfume…head to IF/UC and use all three, then /kiss the relevant NPC. (Flirt with Disaster)
  9. Find a friend/guildy. (This may be hard for some people…gold helps :))
  10. Buy a Box of Chocolates and a Romantic Picnic Basket. Open the Box…if you have bad luck and don’t get all four, buy another. Go to Dal, use the picnic basket, get your friend to sit down with you at it (you need to have the buff) and eat one of each chocolate. (Lonely?, Sweet Tooth)
  11. Buy 5 Love Fools…use the Love Fool and /pity in the 5 specified locations. EDIT: This is a big change from last year that I missed at first, where one had 5 charges. Thanks Timezombie. (I Pitied the Fool) To get into Naxx, group with your friend and create a raid (you can do it right when you zone in, no need to kill anything). You’re done for the meta! (Fool for Love)
  12. (optional) Get more tokens and buy a Silver Shafted Arrow (Perma-Peddle) and Lovely Dress Boxes until you get a Lovely Black Dress (Lovely Luck is on Your Side).
  13. (optional) Kill the Apothecary Trio in SFK (Tough Love). This can be done once per day per character. If you’re VERY “lucky”, you might win the Big Love Rocket! (Big Love Rocket).

…Or Slow and Tender (Achievement Details)

Be Mine!

Requirement: Eat the eight “Bag of Candies” heart candies listed below.
How to Complete
: Bags of Candies can be bought from the merchant for 2 Tokens, and have 10 random candies in them. Unless your luck is good, you’ll have to buy 2 or 3 (or 5 or 6…grrr) to find all eight at least once. (I believe they’re also tradable.)

Charming

Requirement: Create 12 Lovely Charm Bracelets.
How to Complete: Create 12 Lovely Charm Bracelets. :) See #3 above.

Dangerous Love

Requirement: Assist the Steamwheedle Cartel in stopping the sinister Crown Chemical Co. plot.
How to Complete: Complete the Crushing the Crown daily quest at least once. See #1 above.

Fistful of Love

Requirement: Use a Handful of Rose Petals on 11 different race/class combinations.
How to Complete: You can buy 5x Handfuls from a merchant for 2 Tokens. (Annoying, since there’s 11 combinations, so you’ll need 6 Tokens…you do need a handful for the next achievement, though, so save at least one.) Then, you just have to find them. Good luck with the Troll Rogue.

Flirt With Disaster

Requirement: Get completely smashed, put on your best perfume, throw a handful of rose petals on Jeremiah Payson or Sraaz and then kiss him. You’ll regret it in the morning.
How to Complete
: Get some alcohol from an Innkeeper (or use your Brewfest stuff for style points), then buy (any) Perfume for 2 tokens from a merchant (you hopefully have some Handfuls already, if not, get those as well). Go to IF/UC, find your respective NPC, get smashed, use the perfume, toss the roses, and /kiss. Horde Note: Apparently, there’s no alcohol for sale in UC, so get some before you make the trip.

I Pitied The Fool

Requirement: Pity the Love Fool in the locations specified below.
How to Complete: Buy 5 Love Fools for 50 Tokens from the merchant, then drop one and /pity them in each listed area (Wintergrasp, Arathi Basin Blacksmith, Naxxramas, Battle Ring of Gurubashi Arena and The Culling of Stratholme). You will have to be 80 to get into Naxx, so hurry up and level if you’re not there yet. (The fool does last 10 days from purchase, so you could conceivably finish this one after the holiday was over and still get credit for the Meta).

Lonely?

Requirement: Enjoy a Buttermilk Delight with someone in Dalaran at a Romantic Picnic during the Love is in the Air celebration.
How to Complete: Buy a Romantic Picnic Basket (10 Tokens) and a Box of Chocolates (10 Tokens) from the merchant. Find someone else, pop your basket, wait till they sit down with you (and you get the Romantic Picnic buff), then open the Box and eat a Buttermilk Delight for credit. (You may want to open the box first to make sure you get a Buttermilk Delight…but that spoils the fun. ) :)

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

Requirement: Obtain a Bouquet of Red or Ebon Roses during the Love is in the Air celebration.
How to Complete: Just like the Winter Festival hats, these drop from Northend instance bosses, specifically Maiden of Grief in Halls of Stone, Prince Keleseth in Utgarde Keep or Prince Taldaram in Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. Normal or Heroic. UK’s the easiest, obviously.

Nation of Adoration

Requirement: Complete the Lovely Charm Bracelet daily quest for each Horde or Alliance capital.
How to Complete: Complete the Lovely Charm Bracelet daily quest for each Horde or Alliance capital. :) See #2 above.

Shafted!

Requirement: Shoot 10 players with the Silver Shafted Arrow.
How to Complete: Buy 10 Arrows for 10 tokens from the merchant…then start shooting. :)

Sweet Tooth

Requirement: Sample all four the Love is in the Air candies.
How to Complete: Buy a Box of Chocolates for 10 tokens, open and eat. Best done while doing the Lonely? achievement. May need to buy two.

The Rocket’s Pink Glare

Requirement: Shoot off 10 Love Rockets in 20 seconds or less.
How to Complete: Buy 10 Rockets for 10 tokens, put them on your hotbar, and fire away.

Big Love Rocket (not required for meta)

Requirement: Obtain the Big Love Rocket from Apothecary Hummel in Shadowfang Keep during Love is in the Air.
How to Complete: Get a group for the boss, kill him, get the VERY rare drop AND win the roll. :). This is actually a Feat of Strength (worth 0 points).

Lovely Luck Is On Your Side (not required for meta)

Requirement: Open a Lovely Dress Box and receive a Lovely Black Dress.
How to Complete: Lovely Dress Boxes cost 20 tokens. Grind tokens and buy until you get lucky.

Perma-Peddle (not required for meta)

Requirement: Obtain a permanent Peddlefeet pet by procuring a Truesilver Shafted Arrow.
How to Complete: Buy the Truesilver Shafted Arrow for 40 Tokens from the merchant.

Tough Love (not required for meta)

Requirement: Defeat the trio of Crown Chemical Co. apothecaries in Shadowfang Keep.
How to Complete: Get a group, go to SFK, and beat them down. :) You don’t really need a tank, but you will need a healer. You’ll get two items to become immune to perfume OR cologne; Hummel’s attacks are all perfume, Baxter’s attacks are all cologne, and Frye uses both. Have two players go immune to perfume/cologne respectively and “tank” Hummel and Baxter to the sides- the rest burn down Frye, then the others, staying out of clouds as much as possible. (Melee, you’ll need to switch which immunity item you’re using, as Baxter/Hummel have cologne/perfume auras. Ranged can fire away.)

Jan 032010
 

Introduction

To start out our gearing guide, we’ll look at the things that won’t change much: your glyphs, professions, and enchants. I’ll then take a quick general look at gems and consumables, and finish with a look at the raid buffs that best benefit feral DPS’ers.

Note: For each item, I’m including an approximate dps value for a T9 feral in a well-balanced 25-man raid. Take the numbers with several grains of salt, as everything scales off each other. Really, it’s better to look at the ratios. I’m specifically not giving numbers for buffs for that reason.

EDIT: Doh, hit publish before adding links. Wowhead links up now.

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Savage Roar (~190 dps) – Recommended. An extra 3% damage is hard to beat.
  • Glyph of Rip (~133 dps) – Recommended. It’s not sexy like the Shred glyph, but an extra 4 seconds on Rip is always good.
  • Glyph of Shred (~225 dps) – Recommended. 2 extra seconds on Rip for each Shred, up to 3? Yes please.
  • Glyph of Berserk (~84 dps) – Situational. An extra 5 seconds of Berserk is basically 50 more energy every 3 minutes. On a static fight, the other glyphs are better, but if you’re moving/target switching a lot and can’t get 2-3 shreds in consistently to maximize your Shred Glyph, consider this.
  • Glyph of Mangle (~25 dps) – Not recommended. Even in the worst-case situation (mangle duty, not talented into Imp. Mangle) this is worse than the other options.

Professions

Your professions can give your DPS a good boost. As always, the overall “best” choice is BS/JC (extra sockets and better gems gives much more flexibility for gemming), but don’t feel constrained by that, as the differences are rather small.

  • Jewelcrafting: 3 +34 agi/ArPen gems, which replace 3 +20 gems (~58 dps)
  • Blacksmithing: 2 extra sockets (+40 Agi/ArPen) (~56 dps)
  • Engineering: +340 haste/12s once per minute on gloves, normalizes to +68 haste, which replaces +44AP glove enchant (~56 dps)
  • Alchemy: +80AP Mixology bonus on Flask of Endless Rage (~50 dps)
  • Enchanting: +40AP enchant on rings (~50 dps)
  • Inscription: +80AP shoulder enchant bonus (~50 dps)
  • Leatherworking: +80AP bracer enchant bonus (~50 dps)
  • Tailoring: +400 AP proc with roughly 30% uptime; normalizes to +120AP, which replaces +22 agi cloak enchant (~45 dps)
  • Skinning: +40 crit bonus (~40 dps)
  • Herbalism: Small self-heal (0 dps)
  • Mining: +60 Stamina (0 dps)

Enchants

Head: Arcanum of Torment (~50 dps)
Notes: If your rep isn’t high enough for the top-end enchant, the old BC rep chant or the PVP chant are mediocre replacements. (For the cost, though, you might as well just wait until you rep up, shouldn’t take long. )

Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Axe (~40 dps)
Alternatives: Master’s Inscription of the Axe (scribes, ~90 dps), Lesser Inscription of the Axe (~30 dps)
Notes: Get the best Sons of Hodir chant you can, or train inscription and skip it entirely. (Remember they’re BtA now so only one toon needs to Hodir repgrind)

Back: Major Agility (~32 dps) or Greater Speed (~30 dps)
Alternatives: Swordguard Embroidery (tailors, ~85 dps), Flexweave Underlay (engineers, ~33 dps)
Notes: Both are pretty close; Major Agility is slightly better, but may be worse if you’re over white crit cap. Swordguard is much better than either if you’re a tailor.

Chest: Powerful Stats (~25 dps)
Alternatives: Super Stats (~20 dps)
Notes: Get the best you can afford.

Wrist: Greater Assault (~30 dps)
Alternatives: Fur Lining – Attack Power (leatherworkers, ~80 dps)
Notes: The expertise enchant is not competitive.

Hands: Crusher (~27 dps) or Major Agility (~26 dps)
Alternatives: Hyperspeed Accelerators (engineers, ~83 dps)
Notes: Crusher for pure DPS pieces, Major agi for shared pieces.

Legs: Icescale Leg Armor or LW equiv (~68 dps)
Alternatives: Nerubian Leg Armor or LW equiv (~49 dps)
Notes: Get the best you can afford.

Feet: Icewalker (~27 dps) or Superior Agility (~22 dps) or Greater Assault (~20 dps)
Alternatives: Nitro Boosts (engineers, ~24 dps)
Notes: Icewalker is superior if you need the +hit; if not, get one of the other two. Nitros are pretty close if you’re an engineer and want an extra Dash.

Rings: Assault (enchanters, ~25dps*2)
Alternatives: none
Notes: No-brainer here. If you can enchant your rings, do it.

Weapon: Berserking (~85 dps) or Massacre (~85 dps)
Alternatives: Mongoose (~75 dps), Greater Savagery (~65 dps), Executioner (~60 dps)
Notes: Mongoose is an excellent choice for a weapon that is shared between cat and bear sets. Some people prefer Massacre’s permanent buff (+110 AP) to Berserking’s proc (+400 AP, generally 25-30% uptime)…they’re very close, so take your pick. I prefer Berserking of the two since it goes very well with a speed pot…that said, I stick with Mongoose. If you’re close to the ArPen hardcap, Executioner’s ArPen proc may be superior, but I wouldn’t generally recommend it. (Oh, and get Greater Savagery if you’re cheap.)

Gems

Gemming is where things get seriously complex, due to the multiple cap problem discussed above. Because of this, I’ll just discuss gemming in general here, and then talk more about proper gemming when I look at each gearset in later sections. I’m not specifically mentioning Dragon’s Eye varieties; substitute those if you’re a Jewelcrafter. (Note: If you’re still gearing up, feel free to substitute the blue or green variety of the gem listed. Bad players blow all their cash on epic gems/top-end chants in ilvl 187/ 200 gear, or worse, don’t gem/chant it at all. Good players realize that in comparison to a 200g epic gem, a 5g green gem has 60% of the stats and a 20g blue gem has 80%.)

Meta: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond (~230 dps)
Alternatives: Chaotic Skyflare Diamond (~220 dps)
Notes: A CSD may seem better if crit > agi for you, but realize that you have to socket 2 blues/purples to activate it, which results in less optimal gemming overall.

Red: Delicate Cardinal Ruby (~28 dps)
Alternatives: Fractured Cardinal Ruby (~28 dps), Bold Cardinal Ruby (~28 dps)
Notes: Red gems are the best overall gems. Delicate (agi) gems are the best default choice, but once you go over white crit cap or come close to capping ArPen, Fractured (ArPen) is superior. If you have capped both agi and ArPen, Bold (str, which doesn’t cap) is the fallback. (Yes, at this gear level, individual gems are within rounding distance of each other.)

Yellow: Deadly Ametrine (~26 dps)
Alternatives: Agility combos (Deft Ametrine, Glinting Ametrine), Strength combos (Inscribed Ametrine, Fierce Ametrine, Etched Ametrine) (all around ~26 dps), Hit/Exp (Accurate Ametrine) (~24 dps)
Notes: Generally, yellow sockets should be matched with yellow gems to get socket bonuses, unless the socket bonus is worthless or the item has a blue slot also which you’re not matching. If agi is better than str for you, grab a 10 agi/10 X gem, with X being whichever substat benefits you best…if str is better, do likewise with a 10 str/10 X. I’ve included the 10 hit/10 exp gem as a possibility; it’s not competiti may come out very well when I model full T10 gear.

Blue: Nightmare Tear (unique, ~28 dps)
Alternatives: Shifting Dreadstone (~14 dps)
Notes: Unlike yellow gems, blue gems are pretty bad, DPS-wise. You should fill one blue socket with a Nightmare Tear, which is good, and shared bear pieces can take an agi/stam gem, but normally you’ll just slot in whichever red is best for you and forego the socket bonus.

Consumables

Nom nom nom.

Food: Blackened Dragonfin (agi, ~65 dps)
Alternatives: Hearty Rhino (ArPen, ~65 dps), Dragonfin Filet (str, ~65 dps), Fish Feast (AP, ~55 dps)
Notes: Pretty simple: eat for whatever your best stat is. Fish Feasts are slightly suboptimal, but they’re much better than nothing.

Flasks/Elixirs: Flask of Endless Rage (~115 dps)
Alternatives: Guru’s Elixir (~60 dps)
Notes: The flask is really your only good option, as the other elixirs don’t even come close. Guru’s Elixirs are dirt cheap though, so feel free to use them for content that doesn’t merit a 40g flask.

Scrolls: Scroll of Agility VIII (~45 dps) or Scroll of Strength VIII (~45 dps)
Notes: People usually overlook scrolls, but if you’re in a group that doesn’t have a DK/Shaman (for Horn of Winter/Strength of Earth totem), these scrolls can give you a bit of a buff.

Potions: Potion of Speed (~600 dps while active, so about ~30 dps for a 5 minute fight)
Notes: Try to stack with any +AP/+Crit procs, if you can. If you have good coordination with your tank, you can pop one right before the pull, get a few seconds of buff out of it, and still be able to pop a full one 2m in. Not super useful, but helpful.

Raid Buffs

While you don’t really have any control over this, here’s a list of the (major) raid buffs/debuffs which will increase your DPS, with a note over who brings what and a rough estimate of how big a buff it is. I’ve included our own buffs for comparison. TLDR version: bribe your RL to bring an enhancement shaman and a ret pally.

  • Improved Icy Talons/Improved Windfury Totem (+20% haste, frost DK or enhancement shaman; any shaman can drop regular WF totem for a 16% buff): +6% DPS, +5% unimproved
  • Abomination’s Might/Trueshot Aura/Unleashed Rage (+10% AP, blood DK/marks hunter/enhancement shaman): +6% DPS
  • Horn of Winter/Strength of Earth Totem (+155 str/agi, any DK/shaman, enhancement shamans can talent for an additional +23): +5% DPS, +6% improved
  • Sunder Armor/Expose Armor/Acid Spit (20% enemy armor reduction, any warrior/rogue/certain hunter pet): +5% DPS
  • Blessing of Might/Battle Shout (+550 AP, any warrior/paladin, ret paladins/DPS warriors can talent for an additional +137): +4% DPS, +5% improved
  • Blood Frenzy/Savage Combat (+4% physical damage taken, arms warrior/combat rogue): +4% DPS
  • Blessing of Kings (+10% base stats, any paladin, +8% version available to all classes via item): +4% DPS, +3% unimproved
  • Leader of the Pack/Rampage (+5% melee crit, feral druid/fury warrior): +4% DPS
  • Arcane Empowerment/Ferocious Inspiration/Sanctified Retribution (+3% damage, arcane mage/BM hunter/ret paladin): +3% DPS
  • Heart of the Crusader/Master Poisoner/Totem of Wrath (+3% crit, ret paladin/mutilate rogue/elemental shaman): +2% DPS
  • Mark of the Wild (+51 all stats, armor/resistances, any druid, +37 version available to all classes via item): +2% DPS
  • Mangle/Trauma (+30% bleed damage, feral druid/arms warrior): +1% DPS (Note: this refers to someone else putting up the debuff, meaning you can drop Mangle from your rotation. No bleed debuff will drop your DPS by about 10% or so.)
  • Imp. Moonkin Form/Swift Retribution (+3% haste, balance druid/ret pally): +1% DPS

Well, that’s it for this wall o’ text. In part 2, I’ll put out a gear list for a T9 geared druid (badges/new heroics) and look at his stat values, to see how the gemming shakes out. Later!

Jan 032010
 

Welcome to the 3.3 Cat Gearing guide! Icecrown is upon us, and it’s time to shred Arthas and his minions, piece by piece. (Since they’re undead, after all. Quick thought: exactly how do my bleed attacks hurt them, anyway? Thankfully, there’s some backup firepower.)

Ferals are in a very interesting place right now, theorywise; our stats have risen to the point where we are bumping into multiple caps, and proper gemming seems to change on a daily basis. (This is due to the fact that gear ilevel is higher than the devs expected pre-Wrath, because of hardmodes.) This is not an exclusively feral problem, by any means, but it does make optimization very difficult. While there have been many things written about gearing options, most haven’t taken enough variables into account. Proper suggestions for a HM raider, vs a new raider, are very different; however, too many people have attempted to synthesize gear decisions into an overly simplistic decision matrix that may or may not be applicable.  

So, for my gear advice, I’ll actually build three “BIS lists,” and provide advice for each:

  • The 5-man/alt “casual player.” This player doesn’t raid frequently or on a high level, but is interested in good performance. Gear focused around non-raiding pieces (ilvl 232/badge 245).
  • The progression raider. This player wants to maximize his DPS to complete the story and finish off LK. Gear focused around normal-mode 25-man raiding (ilvl 264). (If there’s interest, I may work one up for 10m strict raiders.)
  • The hardmode raider. This player will pull out all the stops to boost their dps…or they’re going to be benched for someone else. No gear limits.

Before getting to those sets, though, I’ll start with some discussion on the things that won’t change (much), like enchants, metagems, buffs, etc. I’ll eventually roll all of this into the overall cat guide that I”m putting together. Anyway, on to Part 1! As always, leave me comments and I’ll fix anything that’s wrong. :)

Oct 202009
 

This is the continuation of my [Glory of the Hero] achievement guide; see part 1 here. Today, we’ll tackle the harder instance achievements; Oculus, AK/AN, and Gundrak.

The Oculus
Note: It’s generally easier, assuming your healer is decent, for him to heal from the ground rather than on an Emerald Drake. While he’s very vulnerable, as long as the drakes stay at max healing range and kite Arcane Spheres the same way, he should be okay.

  • [Experienced Drake Rider]
    On three different visits to The Oculus, get credit for defeating Ley-Guardian Eregos while riding an Amber, Emerald, and Ruby drake on Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    No real strategy to this. Hardest part is finding Oculus PUG’s.
  • [Amber Void]
    Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in your party using an Amber Drake.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    The easiest of the Void achievements. Not complicated, strategy wise, just load up on Ruby Drakes and pick away at Eregos’s health.
  • [Emerald Void]
    Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in your party using an Emerald Drake.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: Good healer (or 2 average ones)
    As noted above, this just takes a decent healer. Have the healer dismount on one of the islands surrounding Eregos, pull Eregos to that spot, and kill him there. 1 Ruby + 3 Ambers will do the trick (or 1 + 2 if you want to run 2 healers, to be extra safe). For the Arcane Sphere kiting phases, just have the drakes do a quick, tight loop around the center circle, and come back to the starting platform.  Remember that healers can buff the drakes: the priest Fortitude buff is exceptionally helpful.
  • [Make It Count]
    Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty within 20 minutes of Drakos the Interrogator’s death.
    Challenge: Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Obviously, work out who’s riding which drakes, and the strat for Eregos before you kill Drakos. Don’t stop to loot; it’ll all be there to get later if you want it.
    1. As soon as Drakos dies, everyone grab their assigned drake. I recommend 4 amber/1 ruby (for the heal  from ground strategy) or 3 amber/1 ruby/1 emerald.
    2. Fly straight up, then east, and have the whole group fly directly above  their landing location on the construct platform. Have all the Amber drakes pop their timestop at the same time. (Why? Timestop puts 5 stacks of shock charges on each enemy drake affected by the timestop, which makes the first shock lance from the amber that timestopped hit for about 40% of the enemy drake’s HP. However, these charges are per player: 3 or 4 ambers popping timestop simultaneously, then firing one lance at each drake, will clear the platforms lightning fast.) It’s better to clear more than less; I’ve seen many more achievement runs fail because an extra drake started attacking the dismounted party, then fail because they ran out of time.
    3. Kill the eastern constructs, fly to center ring, clear it all the way around, fly to western platform, kill drakes, kill constructs.
    4. Fly to boss platform, kill drakes (this is the one where most people pull drakes on, so clear this one well), kill boss.
    5. Fly up, fly to third boss spots, kill mobs, kill third boss.
    6. Fly to a base platform, finish off any whelps that aggroed, buff drakes, pull Eregos, kill. (See Ruby Void for tips on fast Eregos DPS.) I did this in a group with Ulduar 10-level gear…the first attempt, we had about 7 individual deaths, miscommunications, everything, and still killed Eregos in about 21:30. The 2nd attempt, everything went smooth, and we downed him in about 16 minutes.
  • [Ruby Void]
    Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in your party using a Ruby Drake.
    Challenge: Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: No; Voice chat highly recommended
    The hardest of the voids, simply because Amber Drakes have no effective way to deal with the adds that Eregos spawns. There’s several ways to do this, however.
    1. Fast burn: Go 1 Emerald/4  Amber (or healer on ground/4 Amber, or 5 Amber if you’re feeling cocky). 1 Amber is assigned as “main channeler,” and continuously channels Rift while the other Ambers spam Lance.  This will quickly build the channelers Shock Charge stack. Once the “main channeler” reaches 10 stacks of Shock Charge, he calls for “group channel,” and the rest of the Ambers start channeling Rift. Channel 1 then stops channeling Rift and fires a single lance, which will detonate for huge damage. This will instantly stack 10 stacks of Shock Charge for the other Ambers channeling Rift. He then calls “main channel,” starts channeling Rift; the rest of the group fires one lance, which does mega-huge damage, and stacks the main channeler’s stacks to 10 instantly. Repeat. While all this is going on, have one drake time stop at 8 seconds after pull, and a 2nd and 3rd drake timestop immediately after the first; if done correctly, Eregos will be pushed into 60% HP and phase without ever spawning whelps. Again, repeat with Ambers 4, (5)1, and 2 8 seconds after he phases back in for 60%-20%, and then back to 3 and 4 for kill.
    2. Grind it out: Go 3 Amber, 1 Emerald, 1 ground healer (or 2 Emeralds).  The Ambers will be rotating time stops every 20 seconds (use the in-game stopwatch to time it…/sw). Once an Amber time stops, that will stack 5 charges on each whelp currently up; 1-2 Lance shots will down the whelp. Other than that, DPS as above, or if channel rotating proves difficult, assign 1 drake to permanently channel (except when whelp downing). 1 Emerald keeps the Nightmare debuff up and heals; the other Emerald/healer heals. Note that Eregos will eventually go immune to the time stops, which is fine; the point is dropping whelps.

Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom

  • [Respect Your Elders]
    Defeat Elder Nadox in Ahn’kahet on Heroic Difficulty without killing any Ahn’kahar Guardians.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: 2nd tank or good DPS.
    Easiest way of doing this is to have the MT kite Nadox to the base of the stairs outside his room (the little nook with the small spiders to the right of the stairs) while having an OT/DPS in his room hold the spawning guardians. I’ve done this successfully with an enh shammy as the OT.
  •  [The Party's Over]
    Defeat Prince Taldaram in Ahn’kahet on Heroic Difficulty with less than 5 people.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Not difficult. Kick the unlucky 5th (one of the DPS) right before the pull; the 5th can DPS for a full minute until he’s yanked out of the instance. Obviously, that person won’t get the achievement, so they’ll have to try again the next day.
  • [Volazj's Quick Demise]
    Defeat Herald Volazj in Ahn’kahet on Heroic Difficulty in 2 minutes or less.
    Challenge: Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: High DPS; warrior tank and healer with dps offspec makes things easier
    The challenge for this achievement, obviously, is getting through Insanity. Volazj starts to cast Insanity at 66% and 33% health, which creates 4 “clones” with 14k HP.  Everyone is phased to where they can only see clones of the rest of their party; once a person kills his or her first 4 clones, he is phased into another person’s phase, where he can help them kill their 4, and so on. This achievement can be completed without any adjustments with a good group, but here’s some tips to make it easier:
    1. If the healer has a DPS offspec, have them switch to it. Volazj doesn’t hit too hard (though he can wipe out a tank that’s low from fighting clones) The game looks at your talent spec when deciding the clone’s behavior, so a resto druid can go boomkin, for example, and still wear resto gear to heal. This makes killing clones MUCH easier.
    2.  Warrior tanks can spell reflect Volazj’s Mind Flay’s for good damage.
    3. A high DPS group can go through the first Insanity, then burn Volazj from 33%-0% before he casts it the second time (or have DoTs kill him during second Insanity, etc.) Easier if you have a healer DPS’ing.
    4. You can remove your weapons before cloning, and wield them right after, to gimp your clone.
  •  [Volunteer Work]
    Defeat Jedoga Shadowseeker in Ahn’kahet on Heroic Difficulty without killing any Twilight Volunteers.
    Challenge: Easy-Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Jedoga enrages when the Volunteer reaches her; have any melee DPS back off until she loses the enrage, then go back in. Hits hard while enraged; requires a well-geared tank and healer.  

Azjol-Nerub

  • [Watch Him Die]
    Defeat Krik’thir the Gatewatcher in Azjol-Nerub on Heroic Difficulty while Watcher Gashra, Watcher Narjil and Watcher Silthik are still alive.
    Challenge: Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: A good kiter (who is preferably a tank), a well-geared MT
    I’ve attempted this achievement many many times, and the basic strategy most people try (two tanks) is very difficult.  The elites all do random web wraps and stuns, so most two-tank attempts usually fail when the healer, or both tanks, get wrapped. A much better strategy involves kiting.
    1. After clearing the first two pulls, work out the agro strategy. The kiter has to agro one mob out of each of the three groups; a hunter or rogue can MD/TotT a group if needed. For example, on my druid (starting in bear), I hit one group with Faerie Fire, hit the 2nd with a taunt, and had the 3rd MD’d to me. This needs to happen quickly to prevent the kiter from taking too much damage (or a wrap).
    2a. Once the three groups are aggroed, the kiter heads up the tunnel, preferably popping a Swiftness Potion or equivalent to get some speed, and stops before the instance door. If done correctly, it’ll take the add groups a good 25-30 seconds to reach you. Stay alive as long as you can; once you die, the adds will return to attack the rest of the party, but they’ll still have to make it the rest of the way back down the tunnel.
    2b. Meanwhile, the rest of the party charges Krik’thir and nukes him down. Note that no abilities can be used which generate global threat (heals, buffs, etc), as the kiter only has contact agro. Once the kiter is dead and the adds are returning, heals can be used; however, I’ve found it easier to use a well-geared tank and 3 DPS and just burn the boss. If your healer has dualspec, try it and see how it works.
  • [Hadronox Denied]
    Defeat Hadronox in Azjol-Nerub on Heroic Difficulty before he webs the top doors and prevents more creatures from spawning.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Have a character that can drop combat (NE/Rogue/Hunter) pull the first mob and drop…this will despawn everything. Everyone runs down the tunnel, and burns the boss when he pops. It can be done legitimately by fast killing, but it’s harder. This achievement is also buggy as hell, in my experience.
  • [Gotta Go!]
    Defeat Anub’arak in Azjol-Nerub on Heroic Difficulty in 3 minutes or less.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Not much to say here; just need decent DPS.

Gundrak

  • [Snakes. Why'd It Have To Be Snakes?]
    Defeat Slad’ran in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty without getting snake wrapped.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Kite the boss up the long spiral ramp, kill at top. Slad is also a good DPS check for [Less-Rabi]; if you can kill Slad in 14-15s then you’ve got a good shot at burning Rabi.
  • [Less-rabi]
    Defeat Moorabi in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty while preventing him from transforming into a mammoth at any point during the encounter.
    Challenge: Very Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: Shaman, 4DPS + tank for burn method
    This is easily the hardest 5-man achievement to get for GotH, and as such, I’ll go over Moor-abi’s mechanics in a bit greater detail than usual. Transformation is his key spell, which must be interrupted to prevent him from transforming. It operates under the following rules:
    -First cast 10s into pull; recast every 10s thereafter, or every 5s if below 50% HP. If locked out from spellcasting for over 5s (Shield Bash, Counterspell) while under 50%, will generally recast as soon as able.
    -Has a 4s cast time that speeds up in an inverse relationship with Moorabi’s health; i.e. a 2s cast time at 50% health, a 1s cast time at 25s, etc.
    -Can also randomly cast Quake which will stun the party for 2s (and kill the attempt, generally).With these mechanics in mind, there are two strategies that are commonly used.
    1. Fast burn. With this method, you’re looking to interrupt his first cast and kill him before he gets his second off, so you need to down him in 18s or so. He has 431k HP, so you’re looking at about 24,000 party DPS over that span (if the tank can pull 2k, that’s about 5.5k DPS per person). This is pretty high, so you’ll need a shaman for Hero/BL, as well as speed potions for all DPS’ers (and just plain good gear- 220 level). Have the tank interrupt the first cast, as late into the cast time as possible, and nuke. This was the strat our group used, and we got it on our 2nd attempt in 17s.
    2. Controlled burn. This method revolves around timing the casts (every 5s) and interrupting them, preferably with a shammy specced into Reverberation (whose interrupt is on a 5s CD). This method works in theory, but lag/randomness/other factors seem to pop up regularly to throw off the timing, causing the interrupt to go off right before the cast starts, etc. Still workable, but I recommend the first strategy.
  • [What the Eck?]
    Defeat Gal’darah in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty while under the effects of Eck Residue.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Kill Eck. Don’t die. Kill Gal’darah.
  • [Share The Love]
    Defeat Gal’darah in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty and have 5 unique party members get impaled throughout the fight.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: 2nd tank
    Not hard, just requires a 2nd tank. Gal’darah will randomly impale 2 people during every rhino phase, but never the tank, so have the OT taunt Gal’darah once he’s been impaled, and wait until everyone gets it, then kill.   

That’s it! Enjoy your Red Proto-Drake. If you manage to pull off Less-Rabi, consider adding a few more people and having a go at zerging Sarth 3D; the DPS requirements are fairly comparable. Have fun!

Oct 192009
 

Interested in bagging a Red Proto-Drake? Want that achievement that everyone’s (ok, not really) talking about? You’re in the right place. This guide will cover all the strategies for those pesky heroic achievements, so you never have to run them again (except for the emblem daily…or guildies…or alts…aggh!) This guide goes roughly in achievement difficulty order, so we’ll cover the easier instances today: UK/UP, VH, HOS/HOL, CoS, DTK, and Nexus. Come back in a couple days for Part 2, where we’ll cover strategies for the harder ones in a bit more detail. (And yes, bear guide part 3 is still coming, got sidetracked by this project.)

Utgarde Keep

  • [On The Rocks]
    Defeat Prince Keleseth in Utgarde Keep on Heroic Difficulty without shattering any Frost Tombs.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    You may already have this achievement by accident, it’s that easy. Just burn the boss and let people come out of tombs on their own.

Utgarde Pinnacle

  • [The Incredible Hulk]
    Force Svala Sorrowgrave to kill a Scourge Hulk on Heroic Difficulty in Utgarde Pinnacle.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    While Svala is being Chatty Cathy, have the tank grab the Scourge Hulk from the tunnel to her right (there’s a second one in the back of the room if you stuff up) and DPS it down to less than 9k health (make sure not to kill it though). Treat the boss like normal and during the sacrifice portion of the fight, ignore the adds and let your tank drag the Hulk to where he will be hit by the sword.
  • [Lodi Dodi We Loves the Skadi]
    Defeat Skadi the Ruthless in Utgarde Pinnacle on Heroic Difficulty within 3 minutes of starting the gauntlet event.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    First, have your group gather 6 harpoons (2 for three people). Start the gauntlet, sit at the entrance, and kill the mobs as they run to you. A harpooner spawns every other wave so you’ll have to kill 12 waves (this is the boring part). Not difficult as long as you don’t fall asleep and stand in the frost breath. Once you have 6 harpoons, have everyone run into the previous room to despawn the gauntlet. Once despawned, have everyone run up to the harpoons, send one person back to trigger the event, and on the first pass, havev the DPS fire all their harpoons to bring Skadi down. Kill as normal. This will also get you the next achievement, [My Girl Loves to Skadi All the Time]. Note: I’m not a fan of using “tricks” or “exploits” for achievements since they usually get fixed quickly…but I don’t see another way to do these two achievements.
  • [My Girl Loves to Skadi All the Time]
    Defeat Skadi the Ruthless in Utgarde Pinnacle on Heroic Difficulty after having killed Grauf from 100% to dead in a single pass.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    See above, same strategy.
  • [King's Bane]
    Defeat King Ymiron in Utgarde Pinnacle on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in the party triggering Bane.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Ymiron will cast Bane every 20s, but the timer resets every time he runs to a boat (which happens at every 20% of his life; 80%, 60%, etc.) He only has 566k HP in heroic, which means you only need about 6k party DPS.  3 halfway-competent DPS should be able to manage that, no problems, so you probably have this one already.

The Violet Hold

  • [Defenseless]
    Defeat Cyanigosa in The Violet Hold without using Defense Control Crystals and with Prison Seal Integrity at 100% while in Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Most people don’t even know about the crystals, so you’ll usually get this on your first or second VH run.
  • [Lockdown!]
    Defeat Xevozz, Lavanthor, Ichoron, Zuramat the Obliterator, Erekem, and Moragg in The Violet Hold on Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: RNG
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Luck and patience…that’s it for this one.
  • [Dehydration]
    Defeat Ichoron in the Violet Hold on Heroic Difficulty without allowing any Ichor Globules to merge.
    Challenge: Easy + RNG
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    If you see Ichoron get selected, tell your DPS to go click a crystal after each knockback. Crystal kills the globules instantly. 
  • [A Void Dance]
    Defeat Zuramat the Obliterator in The Violet Hold without killing any void sentries.
    Challenge: Moderate + RNG
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Pure DPS race, needs a decent healer and DPS to keep up with the damage.

Halls of Stone

  • [Good Grief]
    Defeat the Maiden of Grief in the Halls of Stone on Heroic Difficulty in 1 minute or less.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Kill boss, collect achievement. A good 3-man group could beat this timer.
  • [Brann Spankin' New]
    Defeat the Tribunal of Ages encounter in the Halls of Stone on Heroic Difficulty without allowing Brann Bronzebeard to take any damage.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Totally based on your tank’s skill at using their AoE ability every CD to grab every mob. Maybe slightly challenging for warriors.
  • [Abuse the Ooze]
    Defeat Sjonnir the Ironshaper in the Halls of Stone on Heroic Difficulty and kill 5 Iron Sludges during the encounter.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Ah, an actual strategy is required here! Tank Sjonnir at the door, put the healer behind him in the pathway to the center area, and the DPS in the center area. DPS kills adds and burns Sjonnir to under 50%, then stops DPS. At <50% DPS, Oozes will start spawning every few seconds from the platforms on both sides and moving towards the center. When they reach the center, they’ll look for another Ooze; 2 Oozes will combine to make an Iron Sludge, which does a nasty AOE poison volley. The safer-but-slower strategy is to assign one DPS to kill all oozes coming from one side; this increases Sludge creation time significantly. Kill 5 Sludges, burn the boss down, and you’ve got it.

Halls of Lightning

  • [Lightning Shock]
    Defeat General Bjarngrim in the Halls of Lightning on Heroic Difficulty while he has a Temporary Electrical Charge.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Pull Volkhan while he’s charged (he changes every platform) He just hits a bit harder than usual, still a joke to a reasonably geared group.
  • [Shatter Resistant]
    Defeat Volkhan in the Halls of Lightning on Heroic Difficulty without allowing him to shatter more than 4 Brittle Golems.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Pull boss, have tank off-tank golems, collect achievement.
  • [Timely Death]
    Defeat Loken in the Halls of Lightning on Heroic Difficulty in 2 minutes or less.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Staying alive is the challenge, not DPS. This was probably the boss that caused the most wipes in 3.0, as healers in blues simply got overwhelmed by damage. If the healer can keep everyone alive, you’ll get this easily.

The Culling of Stratholme

  • [The Culling of Time]
    Defeat the Infinite Corruptor in The Culling of Stratholme on Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    The famous “drake run.” Not much in the way of special strategy involved here; the Infinite Corruptor despawns 25 minutes after the first pack of enemies come in, so you have to have an all-around good group which can move quickly.
  • [Zombiefest!]
    Kill 100 Risen Zombies in 1 minute in The Culling of Stratholme on Heroic Difficulty.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No, but having two tanks makes it easier
    Not difficult, but requires some precise tactics.
    1. Kill the first waves, Meathook, and the second waves as normal.
    2. Have the tank kite the second boss into the inn, with party following.
    3. Hold the second boss(Salramm) in the inn for about two minutes, while all the zombies in the streets outside respawn.
    4. Kill the second boss.
    5. Wait for Arthas to arrive outside the inn; step out and talk to him, taking care to not pull the zombies outside. Follow him and kill boss 3(Chrono-Lord) as normal; talk to Arthas to have him open the bookcase and the path leading to the last street.
    6. Have either a 2nd tank or a good DPS’er run back through the streets to pull  as many zombies as possible(without killing any). Take off damage reflecting abilities, like Thorns, Ret Aura, etc. There are 85 total in the first streets. The rest of the party waits in the back street near Arthas.
    7. Once the puller gets back to the party, kill the 85, then kill 15 more on the back street in a minute (easy). Ding!

Drak’Tharon Keep

  • [Consumption Junction]
    Defeat Trollgore in Drak’Tharon Keep on Heroic Difficulty before Consume reaches ten stacks.
    Challenge: Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No (shammy helps)
    After being pulled, Trollgore casts Consume on himself  every 15s. This buff gains one stack for every target (either player or enemy) in his line-of-sight. This may or may not count for things like pets, treants, etc; it’s best to not use those abilities, just to be safe. There are two possible strategies for this, depending on your party’s DPS.
    1. Quick burn (good DPS group)- Have the tank pick up the boss and position him in such a manner where the healer is in LOS to the tank but not the boss. (The entrance tunnel, the archway to the right of the stairs, or the corners besides the stair are all good places.) One DPS runs up the stairs, out of LOS of Trollgore, and burns down adds as they spawn. This means Trollgore will only have 3 players in LOS (tank and two DPS). This gives you a minute to burn him down, which requires about ~7500 DPS divided between the three characters on the boss.
    2. Coordinated burn- Same as above, but the DPS must run out of LOS when Consume is cast. Since it’s on a regular 15s timer, this isn’t too difficult; just stay out of LOS while you wait for the first cast; once it’s cast, pop in, DPS for 10s, pop out, wait for cast, etc. This gives you plenty of time, but requires good observation skills. Macro:
    /rw Consume cast, in for 10s!
    /in 10 /rw OUT OF LOS NOW!
  • [Oh Novos!]
    Defeat Novos the Summoner in Drak’Tharon Keep on Heroic Difficulty without allowing any undead minions to reach the floor.
    Challenge: Easy
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    Easiest GotH achievement. I’ve run DTK 10+ times with pugs, and I’ve NEVER seen an undead reach the floor, even in a horrible group.
  • [Better Off Dred]
    Engage King Dred in Drak’Tharon Keep on Heroic Difficulty and slay 6 Drakkari Gutrippers or Drakkari Scytheclaw during his defeat.
    Challenge:  Moderate
    Special Group Composition Needed: No, but a 2nd tank or healer helps for undergeared groups
    Wait for Dred to path to the back of his enclosure, pull 2-3 of the small dinos, AOE them down to about 10%, then pull Dred and quickly finish the adds. Then send a DPS to pull the last ones singly (or just wait…Dred will call them in singly every so often). Once six are killed, kill Dred. It’s a bit challenging for undergeared groups since the bleeds from Dred and the adds stack, so having a 2nd healer (or a 2nd tank for the adds) can help.

The Nexus

  • [Split Personality]
    Defeat Grand Magus Telestra in The Nexus on Heroic Difficulty after having killed her images within 5 seconds of each other during both splits.
    Challenge: Moderate/Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: No
    This achievement just requires good group coordination. Assign each DPS to one image (or better, one mark, and have the tank mark them up when they split). Have the DPS burn each image to 20%, then stop DPS. Once all three are at 20%, the tank calls for AOE, and they are quickly AOE’d down. If they are too spread out for effective AOE, the tank calls out re-engage, and each DPS kills its target as fast as it can, then helps others if needed. It’s best to put a class that can interrupt on the frost image, since due to a bug, the frost image will not die while it is casting blizzard (unless interrupted). Do this 2x.
  • [Chaos Theory]
    Defeat Anomalus in The Nexus on Heroic Difficulty without destroying any Chaotic Rifts.
    Challenge: Moderate/Hard
    Special Group Composition Needed: A full melee DPS group is very difficult; a mage makes this achievement much easier (Dampen Magic)
    This achievement has several things to consider.
    – The rifts spam a low-damage chain lightning on the closest player to them, which chains to other players within 15 yards.
    – At 75%, 50%, and 25%, Anom goes immune to all damage for 30s, stops moving, and charges the rifts he is nearby to do more damage.
    –  The rifts spawn wraiths, which do a low-damage Arcane Missiles on their agro target.
    Essentially, the tank needs to stay 15 yards away from the rest of the party, and closer to the rifts then the party, at almost all times. Here’s the strat (clear all trash first, even the packs you don’t usually clear):
    1. Have the tank grab Anom where he stands(upper round platform), with the healer/ranged dps at the back of the platform. Burn him to 75%.
    2. Once he goes immune, have the tank move to the center of the lower round platform, with the melee/healer/ranged dps moving to the back of the lower platform. Tank picks up wraiths, ranged DPS knocks them down, melee stays put.
    3. Once Anom goes unimmune, he’ll agro on the tank. All DPS quickly burn him to 50%, then repeat part 2, with tank moving to the bottom of the ramp leading to lower platform, and ranged/melee/healer jumping off the back of the lower platform and moving to back edge of that section. Kill wraiths.
    4. Same thing again; once Anom is at 25%, tank moves to spot where healer/ranged group was standing, all others move to keep the same spacing; kill ton of wraiths, finish Anom.
    5. If you’re stuck with a full melee group that really wants the achievement, you can kite Anom pretty much anywhere in the instance, so try the whole thing on the run.
  • [Intense Cold]
    Defeat Keristrasza in The Nexus on Heroic Difficulty without allowing Intense Cold to reach more than two stacks.
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate, depending on class
    Special Group Composition Needed: No, but a dispeller can help out for certain classes.
    (Note: This is an individual achievement.)
    Intense Cold is a debuff that stacks on you once every second; however, moving/jumping clears it. The difficulty is dealing with Crystal Chains, which snares you; use whatever ability you have that breaks snares (mages can blink, locks can port, druids can shapeshift, etc.) If you’re having trouble, grab a PvP trinket/Free Action Potion for additional breaks. If you’re REALLY having trouble, bribe a class with a dispel (pally/priest/shaman) to dispel you first, every time it hits.

Link to part 2 here.

Sep 292009
 

Part 0: Introduction
Part 1: Why Play a Bear Tank?
Part 2: Talent Overview, Builds, Leveling
Part 3: Abilities, Rotation, Cooldowns
Part 4: Gear/Glyphs/Enchants/Gems/Consumables
Part 5: Addons and Other Resources

In this section, we’ll discuss all the relevant feral talents, put them together into some talent builds, and also talk about leveling as feral a little bit. Grab a drink, and let’s dive in. (Note: For almost all talents, you either invest full points or no points, so I’ll only list the description for the full point investment here.) Note: If you want to skip the talent wall-o-text and go right to the builds/leveling advice, click here.

Balance

(Feral druids will never take a talent from the balance tree.)

Feral Combat

Feral Combat, Tier 1:

Ferocity, 5 points. Reduces the cost of your Maul, Swipe, Claw, Rake and Mangle by 5 Rage or Energy.
Get it, no questions. Large DPS/TPS increase.

Feral Aggression, 5 points: Increases the Attack Power reduction of your Demoralizing Roar by 40% and the damage caused by your Ferocious Bite by 15%.
This is a very situational talent. Demo Roar, by itself, is an essential ability for boss tanking, (16% melee damage reduction). The imp. version tacks on another 1% DPS reduction per point. For 25-man progression raiding, that extra 5% reduction in boss damage is very important. However, you’ll give up a lot of hybrid DPS utility. IMHO, best picked up only for progression fights where tank survivability is an issue. (Gormok, Vezax, etc).

Feral Combat, Tier 2:

Feral Instinct, 3 points: Increases the damage done by your Swipe ability by 30% and reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Prowling.
Without this, you will struggle mightily at AOE tanking. Recommended, but skippable on a situational basis.

Savage Fury, 2 points: Increase the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 20%.
Must-take talent for DPS/TPS.

Thick Hide, 3 points: Increases your Armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 10%.
Very good talent for mitigation. The 10% increase stacks multiplicatively with the 400% increase from Dire Bear Form. Required for tanking, though the least-important “required” talent.

Feral Combat, Tier 3:

Feral Swiftness, 2 points: Increases your movement speed by 30% in cat form and increases your chance to dodge while in cat form, bear form and dire bear form by 4%.
2 talent points for 4% dodge? No-brainer, grab it.

Survival Instincts, 1 point: When activated, this ability temporarily grants you 30% of your maximum health for 20 sec while in Bear Form, Cat Form, or Dire Bear Form. After the effect expires, the health is lost.
Your best cooldown ability, will save your bear butt in a pinch, especially when glyphed. Also allows for insane HP numbers to win tank HP pissing contests.  Get it.

Sharpened Claws, 3 points: Increases your critical strike chance while in Bear, Dire Bear or Cat Form by 6%.
Nothing too great here for Bear, but you need it to unlock two essential Tier 4 talents, so take it.

Feral Combat, Tier 4:

Shredding Attacks, 2 points: Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 18 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 2.
A purely DPS talent, but a good one. Recommended for a hybrid build.

Predatory Strikes, 3 points: Increases your melee attack power in Cat, Bear and Dire Bear Forms by 150% of your level and 20% of any attack power on your equipped weapon. This talent now also causes the druid’s finishing moves to provide a 7/13/20% chance per combo point to make the next Nature spell with a cast time below 10 seconds instant cast.
Some extra AP…the insta-cast nature spells part (new in 3.2.2) will be great for leveling, but not much use for raids. Talent is meh but required, so take it.

Primal Fury, 2 points: Gives you a 100% chance to gain an additional 5 Rage anytime you get a critical strike while in Bear and Dire Bear Form and your critical strikes from Cat Form abilities that add combo points have a 100% chance to add an additional combo point.
Great for rage generation. Take it.

Primal Precision, 2 points: Increases your expertise by 10, and you are refunded 80% of the energy cost of a finishing move if it fails to land.
Expertise is great for boosting your DPS/TPS, and a lot of early leather doesn’t have any. Reccommended, though less necessary once you get to the soft expertise cap. This is also an excellent hybrid talent, as you will probably not be hitcapped.

Feral Combat, Tier 5:

Brutal Impact, 2 points: Increases the stun duration of your Bash and Pounce abilities by 1 sec and decreases the cooldown of Bash by 30 sec.
PVP talent. Skip it.

Feral Charge, 1 point: Teaches Feral Charge (Bear) and Feral Charge (Cat).
Very good for tanking/hybrid DPS, as the mobility lets you get to adds faster, and the interrupt can be helpful on some fights. It’s skippable for a max survivability build, though.

Nurturing Instinct, 2 points: Increases your healing spells by up to 70% of your Agility and increases healing done to you in Cat Form by 20%.
PVP/semi useful Cat talent. Skip it.

Feral Combat, Tier 6:

Natural Reaction, 3 points: Increases your dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form by 6%, and you regenerate 3 rage every time you dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form.
Essential tank talent. Take it.

Heart of the Wild, 5 points: Increase your Intellect by 20%. In addition, while in Bear or Dire Bear Form your Stamina is increased by 10%, and while in Cat Form your Attack Power is increased by 10%.
More stam = less dead. Take it.

Survival of the Fittest, 3 points: Increases all attributes by 6% and reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%. Also grants 33% bonus armor in Bear form and Dire Bear Form.
The best tanking talent in the tree, by far. Makes you uncrittable (540 defense? who cares?), huge stat boost, and big armor buff, all in 3 little points. Need I say take it?

Feral Combat, Tier 7:

Leader of the Pack, 1 point: While in Cat, Bear or Dire Bear Form, the Leader of the Pack increases the ranged and melee critical chance of all party members within 45 yards by 5%.
Awesome talent for raidbuffs, take it. Even if there’s another feral, you need it for PotP anyway.

Improved Leader of the Pack, 2 points: Your Leader of the Pack ability also causes affected targets to have a 100% chance to heal themselves for 4% of their total health when they critically hit with a melee or ranged attack. The healing effect cannot occur more than once every 6 sec.
This talent is absolutely godly for soloing/leveling. Unfortunately, it doesn’t proc off of bleeds, but you’ll still see it pop every 7-8 secs or so if you’re steadily attacking. In a raid, it’s helpful, but it can be skipped.

Primal Tenacity, 3 points: Reduces the duration of fear effects by 30%, reduces all damage taken while stunned by 30% while in Cat Form, and reduces the mana cost of Bear form, Cat form and Dire Bear form by 50%.
PVP talent, skip it.

Feral Combat, Tier 8:

Protector of the Pack, 3 points: Increases your attack power in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 6%, and the damage you take is reduced while in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 12%.
Essential tank talent, take it.

Predatory Instincts, 3 points: While in Cat form, increases the damage from your melee critical strikes by 9% and decreases the damage taken from area of effect attacks by 30%.
DPS-only talent, skippable.

Infected Wounds, 3 points: Your Shred, Maul, and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target. The Infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 25% and the attack speed by 20%.
Essential debuff for boss tanking. However, of all the tanks, ferals probably spend the most, utility-wise, to pick this up, so it’s optimal if another tank can keep this up.

Feral Combat, Tier 9:

King of the Jungle, 3 points: While Enraged in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form, your damage is increased by 15%, and your Tiger’s Fury ability also instantly restores 60 energy.
The bear buff is pretty useless. (you generally want to avoid using Enrage while tanking a boss, because of the armor reduction). However, its one of the best talents for kitty DPS. Hybrid specs only.

Mangle, 1 point: Mangle the target, inflicting damage and causing the target to take additional damage from bleed effects for 12 seconds. This ability can be used in Cat Form or Dire Bear Form.
A key part of both the bear and cat DPS rotations. You’d be foolish not to get this.

Improved Mangle, 3 points: Reduces the cooldown of your Mangle (Bear) ability by 1.5 sec., and reduces the energy cost of your Mangle (Cat) ability by 6.
This is a very marginal ability for 3 points. Without delving deeply into the rotation (I’ll save that for part 3), it lets you Mangle every third attack, instead of every fourth. While good in theory, it causes GCD clashes with FFF, which is also on a 6s CD. It’s a “small” DPS/TPS boost, so I generally wouldn’t recommend it.

Feral Combat, Tier 10:

Rend and Tear, 5 points: Increases damage done by your Maul and Shred attacks on bleeding targets by 20%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Ferocious Bite ability on bleeding targets by 50%.
Required for decent tank DPS/TPS.

Primal Gore, 1 point: Grants the periodic damage from your Lacerate and Rip abilities the ability to critically hit.
While this isn’t a huge DPS upgrade, Lacerate crits do proc Savage Defense, so it’s worth it. Obviously required for hybrid specs.

Feral Combat, Tier 11:

Berserk, 1 point: When activated, this ability causes your Mangle (Bear) ability to hit up to 3 targets and have no cooldown, and reduces the energy cost of all your Cat Form abilities by 50%. Lasts 15 sec. You cannot use Tiger’s Fury while Berserk is active. Clears the effect of Fear and makes you immune to Fear for the duration.
Not required, per se, but VERY helpful for burst DPS, and required for hybrid DPS. When tanking H CoS, I regularly am first or second on the overall DPS meters due to effective use of this talent. (And I’ve never failed to get the drake, either.)

Restoration:

(Not every talent is viable for Ferals…I’ll only list the ones that are, and their feral components.)

Restoration, Tier 1:

Improved Mark of the Wild, 2 points: Increases the effects of your Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild spells by 40%, and increases all of your total attributes by 2%.
A buff for all, and a mini-Kings for you. Take it.

Furor, 3 points: Gives you 60% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear or Dire Bear Form, and you keep up to 60 of your energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form.
I’m listing the 3pt version here, since this talent is essentially filler to get into Tier 2 (and you’ll be investing 2 points in IMOTW). The rage/energy on shifting is nice for changing to/from DPS, but it’s not necessary at all.

Restoration, Tier 2

Naturalist, 5 points: Increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 10%.
Huge damage buff. Required for all feral builds.

Natural Shapeshifter, 3 points: Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 30%.
Horrible talent, but required for Master Shapeshifter. Certain builds only.

Restoration, Tier 3

Intensity, 3 points: Allows 50% of your mana regeneration to continue while casting and causes your Enrage ability to instantly generate 10 Rage.
This talent used to be somewhat helpful, but the Enrage buff has made the talent worthless. Skip it.

Omen of Clarity, 1 points: Each of the Druid’s damage, healing spells and auto attacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the Mana, Rage or Energy cost of your next damage, healing spell or offensive ability by 100%.
This is, point-for-point, the highest DPS talent for kitty DPS. That said, it’s not that great for bears, as rage is typically not a major issue.

Master Shapeshifter, 2 points: Natural Shapeshifter Grants an effect which lasts while the Druid is in the respective shapeshift form. Bear Form – Increases physical damage by 4%. Cat Form – Increases critical strike chance by 4%.
This talent is essentially 5 points (since you have to pick up the totally worthless Natural Shapeshifter to get it), and it’s not that great for 5 points. Take it only for a high-DPS build (or if you’re lucky enough to have another tank to pick up the attack speed debuff from IW).

Talent Builds at 80

Base + IW (0/53/10), 8 pts to spend
This is your baseline Bear build. At this point, you can choose to go in several different directions. (Infected Wounds may or may not be baseline, depending on your situation, but I include it here to get down the tree.)

Hybrid Tank/Soloing/DPS  (0/60/11)
This is my preferred build. It adds OoC, Shredding Attacks, KOTJ, and ILOTP, to give you excellent DPS and soloing ability. This build lacks Predatory Strikes- if you don’t care about the soloing ability, feel free to drop ILOTP for 2/3. To max it, you’ll have to drop something more valuable, like a point from Feral Instinct (-10% swipe damage), IW (+6% boss attack speed), Feral Charge, or something else. Obviously, if someone else is putting up the attack speed debuff, dropping points from IW is not a big issue.

MaxSurvival (0/60/10), 1 filler pt
This build adds 5/5 Feral Aggression, to give you the Improved Demoralizing Roar debuff (-5% boss melee DPS) and ILOTP, with a filler point to use where you’d like.

MaxDPS/TPS (0/53/16), 2 filler pts, drops IW
This build goes for maximum bear DPS/TPS. It drops IW to pick up Imp. Mangle in the Feral Tree, and picks up OoC and NSS + MS. This leaves you with 2 points to use where you’d like, probably ILOTP (or back into IW, if you don’t have someone else to apply the debuff, and you don’t mind it being slightly weaker).

 Leveling

I’m not going to mince words…leveling a feral druid kinda sucks to start. You don’t get catform until level 20, and even then, cat form doesn’t really come into its own until you get Ferocious Bite/Ravage at 32. Balance, with root + nuke, is boring (kill, drink, kill, drink), but much easier.  That said, this is a feral guide, so you’re sticking it out. :) (See Lissanna’s druid leveling guide for a TON more info as well.) I’m assuming you’re doing the majority of your leveling via questing/BG’s, as it’s almost impossible to find groups for low-level instances (and bears don’t make great tanks until 40 anyway, when they get Dire Bear). Lissanna has some more info on talents in her guide if you do choose to go that route.

1-9:
No feral forms until bear at 10…so pretend to be a caster for a while.

10-19: 5/5 Ferocity, 2/2 Savage Fury, 3/3 Feral Instinct
You get bear at 10, but your only attack is Maul…a stronger autoattack! Yay. If you can make it through the first few levels, you get a glyph slot at 15 (buy Glyph of Maul ASAP; for minors, get one of Dash/Thorns/Aquatic Form) and Swipe (AOE attack) at 16. You should now be pulling two enemies at all times. (Three shouldn’t be too bad, as long as you can root it.) Rejoice that you now get travel form at 16, and cry when it becomes obsolete at 20.

20-29: 2/2 Feral Swiftness, 3/3 Sharpened Claws, 2/2 Primal Fury, 3/3 Predatory Strikes (feel free to pick up Survival Instincts instead if you’re dying frequently).
Like I mentioned above, cat isn’t so hot when you first get it. Claw and Rake (lvl 24) are your only two usable abilities for leveling, as most stuff won’t last long enough for a Rip DOT to really be effective. It’s your choice whether to play weak cat or slow bear. If you decide to stay cat, swap your Glyph of Maul for a Glyph of Claw. Do get in the habit of going cat in non-mount areas when you need to get somewhere, to save time.

30-39: 1/1 Feral Charge, 2/2 Shredding Attacks, 1/2 Brutal Impact, 1/1 Survival Instincts,  5/5 Heart of the Wild
Well, your talents aren’t so hot for these levels, but you finally start getting some usable cat abilities. Ferocious Bite/Ravage/Pounce at 32+36 finally gives you a finisher, a couple good stealth openers, and some options. With a point in Brutal Impact and 2 points in Shredding Attacks, you can get off a Pounce and 2 Shreds before the enemy can retaliate, regen to 35 energy, and FB to finish the enemy off, or Rip if needed. Don’t forget about the instant-cast nature spells from Predatory Strikes…toss yourself a heal, or root an enemy, etc.

40-49: 1/1 Leader of the Pack, 2/2 Imp. Leader of the Pack, 3/3 Survival of the Fittest,  3/3 Predatory Instincts, 1 free feral point (your choice)
With Improved Leader of the Pack, things become much easier, due to the constant self-heal. With Dire Bear/Savage Defense, tanking is now quite doable as well, though you’ll need a decent healer since you haven’t picked up any dodge talents.

50-59: 1/1 Mangle, 3/3 King of the Jungle,  2/2 Imp. MOTW (resto tree), 3/5 Furor, 1/5 Naturalist
You are now OP. Mangle rocks. Toss Claw off your bars…Mangle’s your primary attack from here on out (when not shredding). KOTJ makes Tiger’s Fury go from useless to awesome, as you just got a whole lot burstier. You can almost forget DoTs now…Pounce/Mangle/Shred/TF/Mangle/FB kills stuff fast. Or, hell, just charge and Rake/Mangle/TF/Mangle/Mangle, wait, FB. Not quite as fast, but much less setup time. Now, you have a choice after KOTJ. You can either go into the Resto tree to pick up Naturalist/OOC, and come back for the rest of Feral, or you can go for Berserk now. I prefer the first option, but it’s your decision. Also, new glyph, though there’s not much for ferals to choose from at this level (Most of your choices buff Rip, which you’ll hardly use while leveling).

60-69: 4/5 Naturalist (max), 1/1 Omen of Clarity, 1 free feral point, 4/5 Rend and Tear
Not much to say here. YOu get Maim at 62, which can be used as a (horrible) interrupt, and Lacerate at 66, a key part of the bear tanking rotation. Enjoy flight form at 60…all those collect X quests just became 10x easier.

70-80: 1/5 Rend and Tear, 1/1 Berserk, 1/1 Primal Gore, 8 free points
The big additions here are Swipe (Cat) at 71, and Savage Roar at 75. For soloing, neither is much use. Get used to Savage Roar, however, as it’ll be a major part of a feral DPS rotation.

Wow..3000 words…if you’re still here, congrats. :) Probably should have broken this post into two. Ah well. I’ll be putting up Part 3 in the next few days, going over actual rotations for bears at 80…I’ll see you then.

Sep 282009
 

Part 0: Introduction
Part 1: Why Play a Bear Tank?
Part 2: Talent Overview, Builds, Leveling
Part 3: Abilities, Rotation, Cooldowns
Part 4: Gear/Glyphs/Enchants/Gems/Consumables
Part 5: Addons and Other Resources

So, you’re considering playing a bear tank? Excellent choice! In my (admittedly biased) opinion, feral tanks are the strongest all-around tanks in the game, and the easiest tank class to learn to play. Let’s run down the bear’s strengths as a tank, shall we?

Strengths

Highest HP and armor of all the tanking classes. While the difference isn’t as great as it used to be, bears still have, in general, the largest health pools and the highest armor. (Slightly above DK’s, and well ahead of paladins and warriors.) As a tradeoff, you have generally the lowest avoidance of any of the tanking classes, since you cannot block or parry. In encounter terms, this means that you will take average damage consistently, with other classes being much “spikier” in terms of their health. Arguments still rage about which is “better,” but in my opinion, druids are the easiest tanks to heal for most encounters.

Easiest gearing of all the tanks. This one isn’t even close. All other tanks have to constantly worry about gearing/gemming enough defense (540) to be uncrittable. Bears are automatically uncrittable, via a talent (Survival of the Fittest). Crafted gear is mediocre for other tanks, but very good for new bears and remains situationally useful. There are three plate classes (war/pally/DK) which compete for gear, and only two leather classes, one of which is fairly rare (rogue). A bear can hit 80, grab some inexpensive crafted gear, and jump straight into heroics; a war/pally/DK will have to get carried as a sub-par DPS or run some normal instances. PVP gear is generally suboptimal for the other tanking classes, but is very viable for bears. Now, in some ways, this can be seen as a negative…if you like complexity, you may prefer a different tank class.

Easiest learning curve of all the tanks. Bears are pretty easy to play competently. Trash pack? Spam swipe/maul. Boss? mangle/FF/lacerate/(maul), repeat. Dying? Barkskin/FR/SI.  I don’t have much experience with the other tanks, but from my limited knowledge, they’re much more fiddly. (Again, this can be seen as a negative.)

Good damage/threat when tanking. We’re not the best at single-target threat (see paladins), but we compare well to DK’s and warriors, depending on gear. For AOE threat, we do okay, and have the advantage of being the only class with a no-CD, instant AOE, so we can easily grab threat on all adds.

Excellent damage/threat when not tanking. Again, this one isn’t even close, as we can shift to cat form and really do some appreciable DPS. DK’s do okay, pallies do okay (depending on raid damage), warriors are awful…but none are close to catform DPS.

Good raid utility. While our buffs don’t stack quite as well as a pally (I’d rather have 2 pallies than 2 druids, for example), our Innervates and battle rezzes can easily make the difference between a kill and a wipe.

Hybridization means never being bored. Druids are the only class in the game that can play all four roles…tank, healer, melee DPS, and ranged DPS. Unlike other players, who have to roll (and gear) alts to play different roles, you can just switch gear and talents and you’re ready to rock.

Great solo class. If you’re interested in going back to complete old instance/raid content solo, a bear is probably the second-best option in the game (after blood DK’s). Good AOE dmg plus automatic self-healing plus Savage Defense = win.

Weaknesses

Lack of complexity. As mentioned above, bears are pretty easy to learn, gear, and play. This, combined with the optimal gearing strategy for bears at the moment (stack stamina and rely on healers), can be pretty boring. This is why I recommend learning how to feral DPS/ranged DPS/heal well on an offspec.

Interrupts. Find a warrior/DK. We get a charge interrupt (which is only occasionally useful) and a interrupt on a one-minute cooldown…that’s it. Pallies get screwed here as well.

Cooldowns. Our defensive cooldown abilities are weaker, comparatively, then other classes. Yes, they can be used more often, but the relative weakness contributes to the “boring” factor of druid tanking. On a warrior, for example, you can see a damage spike incoming, pop shield wall, and know that saved you. On a druid, you pop what you have, and pray your healers are on the ball.

That’s it for part 1. if anyone has anything to add,please post it in the comments. I’ll be moving on to Part 2, where I discuss Bear talents and talent builds, in a day or two. Have a great day!

Sep 282009
 

Hello, and welcome to The Fluid Druid feral (bear) tanking guide! Over the next five sections, I will show you everything you need to know to be an expert bear, capable of taking on anything Arthas can throw at you. (With proper healing support, of course.) Some admin notes: This guide is written on the intermediate level, and assumes you are familiar with basic WOW skills and mechanics, such as movement, targeting, and cooldowns, and basic WOW terminology (DPS, aggro, threat, etc.) I will briefly cover early-game tanking, but much of the content is intended for max-level players. (I also use the words “bear tank” and “feral tank” interchangeably, by the way.) I will cover the following topics:

Part 0: Introduction
Part 1: Why Play a Bear Tank?
Part 2: Talent Overview, Builds, Leveling
Part 3: Abilities, Rotation, Cooldowns
Part 4: Gear/Glyphs/Enchants/Gems/Consumables
Part 5: Addons and Other Resources

Note: This guide is current as of patch 3.2.2a. Feedback is appreciated.