Tuesday, December 2, 2008

[Druid] The bear T7 list - pre and post 3.0.4, part 1.

The link to the second part of the gear list - jewelry, idols and weapons.

Here's the first installment of the gear list for bears. It's very large, so I decided to break it up into leather and non-leather items. This is all about the leather. I'll provide a link back when I do the non leather later today.

As you might have noticed from recent posts, I've been favoring agility over stamina stacking. Why? Because while stamina does help time to live and does give your healers a buffer for healing you, after a certain point it simply isn't useful. If you never dip below 30% health, that 30% health is basically wasted itemization. Sure, it looks great when you do LFG and it's nice to impress the n00bs with that 55k survival instincts/defender's code proc. But it doesn't really help with, ya know, tanking.

Agility, however, is always good no matter what. While dodge is subject to diminishing returns, each point of agility provides the same survivability no matter what. This is the same principle as armor; while armor doesn't give the same value for each point in terms of percentage reduction, each point gives a linear reduction of damage from the next. If you think of it that way, you can see why stacking agility makes sense. Agility also provides the most avoidance per point (raid buffed or not), crit, and a bit of armor. It is the only stat that gives mitigation, avoidance, and threat for a druid.

So here's the deal: you should have a good amount of health. That good amount is entirely based on your raid setup. I can't tell you how much you need. But here are some benchmarks to consider:
Patchwerk-25 hits the offtank for about 22k if you're a heroic-geared druid. 20k if you're naxx-geared.
Malygos-25 has a breath attack that can do 30k, plus a quick melee attack that does another 4k.
Sartharion-25 + 3 adds can (depending on the debuffs) hit for 35-39k.

Personally, I'm aiming for 42k raid buffed. That's enough to eat two hateful strikes with only HoTs rolling - and in practice that will not happen due to the other tank having more health at that point. It's enough to take on all other bosses. But again, this is entirely depending on what your situation is. And I won't cry all that much if I end up with only 40k.

Because of this change in philosophy, I've changed the rankings to favor agility heavily over stamina. This does alter the pre-naxx list, which is why I've kept these separate. I still think the pre-naxx gear list is correct because gearing up for naxx, you do want stamina aplenty. However, once you start collecting pieces that goes a bit lower in priority.

Threat and damage is still not a consideration in this list. I can understand why it might be - and if there's enough interest, I'll go back and revisit what I think the best threat stats are for a bear and how to optimize for it - but for normal tanking, at least right now, threat is simply not important.

The rating system I use is based on wowhead, and this is the weight:
Agility 110
Dodge 75
Stam 70
Defense 65
Armor 50
Expertise 22

That's for the leather pieces only. The nonleather pieces will have their own separate ranking system.

A big, special note here: this will be applicable and weighted for 3.0.4 changes. When there is a significant difference, I will list the values pre and post-nerf. Note that this only really affects jewelry and to a lesser extent a couple of leather pieces (the 226 ilvl pieces vs the 187 blues, if you're wondering) In general, there are very few pieces with no armor that also have good druid stats. In any case, the pre-3.0.4 change will be blisted in parenthesis.

A quick look into this reveals that if you're going to keep T6 gear for some reason (threat, perhaps?), the best pieces to keep are the bracers and belt. The worst are the legs and head.

Onto the rankings.

  1. Valorous Dreamwalker Rainments - 127.02 Heroic Gluth, Heroic 4 Horsemen, Archavon the Stone Reaper
  2. Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Robes -126.81. Arena rating, arena points.
  3. Chestpiece of Suspicion - 122.32. Heroic Instructor Razuvius, Heroic Gluth.
  4. Tunic of Dislocation - 119.92. Normal Gothik the Harvester, normal Gluth.
  5. Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Robes - 119.80. Arena rating, arena points
  6. Heroes' Dreamwalker Rainments - 119.72. 80 emblems of heroism, normal Gluth, normal 4 horsemen
  7. Tunic of Indulgence - 119.64. Normal Grobbulus, Normal Gluth
  8. Chestguard of the Recluse - 119.35. Heroic Malygos
  9. Polar Vest - 117.37. *Leatherworking BoE.
  10. Blade-Scarred Tunic - 113.47. Normal Sartharion.
  11. Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Robes - 111.97. honor
  12. Harness of Carnal Instinct - 109.59. Sunwell Plateau
  13. Darkheart Chestguard - 108.60. Exalted with Knights of the Ebon Blade
  14. Crystal-Infused Tunic - 104.80. Heroic Nexus
  15. Exotic Leather Tunic - 101.55. quest in Utgarde Pinnacle
  16. Eviscerator's Chestguard - 98.90. Leatherworking BoE.
  17. Thunderheart Chestguard -94.31. Black Temple
-The Valorous gear wins! Just barely. The Polar Vest is included because, honestly, it's not that bad and would be a good starting piece if you didn't have T6 or a quest reward. I'd still take the Exotic Leather over it for starting due to the expertise and AP, but I can see a reasonable disagreement - especially if you used it for stamina here. Still, it will quickly become outpaced by anything in Naxx. Also note how close things are to each other here - upgrades aren't big until you get to the top few.


  1. Footwraps of Vile Deceit - 89.31. Heroic Loatheb, Heroic Gluth.
  2. Deadly Gladiator's Boots of Triumph - 89.23. Arena rating, arena points.
  3. Hateful Gladiator's Boots of Triumph - 83.83. Arena rating, honor points
  4. Polar Boots* - 82.78. Leatherworking BoE.
  5. Boots of the Worshipper - 76.76. Normal Faerlina, normal Gluth.
  6. Slag Footguards - 76.38. Heroic Halls of Lightning
  7. Boots of Captain Ellis - 76.33. 40 emblems of valor.
  8. Dawnwalkers - 74.97. Heroic Anub'Rekhan, Heroic Gluth.
  9. Boots of the Whirling Mist - 74.29. Heroic Halls of Stone.
  10. Boots of the Neverending Path - 72.55. Exalted with Argent Crusade.
  11. Gorloc Muddy Footwraps - 72.47. Heroic Gundrak
  12. Jormscale Footpads - 70.25. Leatherworking BoE
  13. Thunderheart Treads - 67.82. Sunwell Plateau
  14. Rhino Hide Kneeboots - 64.59. Quest in Gundrak
  15. Shadowmaster's Boots - 63.09. Black Temple
- The boot slot has so little, it's not funny. The Polar boots are actually pretty good largely because of how little there is and the ratio between agility and stamina compared to the next best thing; if you must get one polar piece, this is the best one to get. The difference between the three heroic drops is very small, so don't kill yourself to get one if you've already gotten another.


  1. Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves - 84.64. Arena rating, arena points.
  2. Handwraps of Preserved History - 81.68. Quest in CoT Strat
  3. Valorous Dreamwalker Handgrips - 80.61. Heroic Archavon, Heroic Sartharion
  4. Gloves of Fast Reactions - 80.61. Heroic Sapphrion
  5. Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves - 79.36. Arena Rating, arena points
  6. Rapid Attack Gloves - 77.82. Normal Razuvious, normal Gluth.
  7. Dislocating Handguards - 77.13. Heroic Faerlina.
  8. Frosted Adroit Handgrips - 75.33. Heroic Malygos.
  9. Heroes' Dreamwalker Handgrips - 75.33. 60 emblems of heroism.
  10. Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves - 73.80. honor
  11. Gloves of the Forest Drifter - 66.35. Sunwell Plateau
  12. Eviscerator's Gauntlets - 65.38. Leatherworking BoE.
  13. Seafoam Gauntlets - 65.15. Leatherworking BoE
  14. Gloves of Immortal Dusk - 63.09. Leatherworking BoE (requires sunmotes)
  15. Discarded Slaughterhouse Gloves - 57.83. Quest in icecrown
  16. Thunderheart Gauntlets - 58.65. Mount Hyjal
-Even with a higher weight on base armor, even with the agility changes, the Handwraps of Preserved History remain the best PvE bear tanking gloves. The gap is pretty small between this and the Valorous, so I'd recommend the Valorous to get the 4-piece bonus.


  1. Hood of the Exodus - 116.40. Heroic Gothik or Gluth.
  2. Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm - 114.44. Arena rating, arena points
  3. Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm - 107.68. Arena rating, arena points
  4. Valorous Dreamwalker Headguard - 107.07. Heroic Kel'Thuzad.
  5. Weakness Spectralizers - 105.36. Engineering BoE (requires engineering rating)
  6. Helm of the Vast Legions - 103.49. Normal Sapphiron.
  7. Heroes Dreamwalker Headguard - 101.71. Normal Kel'Thuzad.
  8. Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm - 100.36. honor
  9. Mask of the Watcher - 92.25. Heroic Oculus
  10. Shroud of Darkness - 90.92. Heroic Violet Hold
  11. Mask of the Fury Hunter - 86.43. Sunwell Plateau
  12. Thunderheart Cover - 79.90. Mount Hyjal
  13. Cover of Silence* - 95.79. Heroic Thadius or Gluth.
  14. Headguard of Retaliation* - 87.35. quest in Utgarde Pinnacle
  15. Eviscerator's Facemask *- 86.28. leatherworking BoE
- Hood of the Exodus is a superb bear piece, and better than the T7. This should likely be the thing you go for over KT's head if at all possible. Note that the pieces with *s do not have metagems, and this ranking does not quite do the metagem system correctly. You should always, always have the Austere Earthsiege Diamond. Always.


  1. Valorous Dreamwalker Legguards - 117.94. Heroic Archavon, 75 emblems of valor, Heroic Thaddius.
  2. Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Legguards - 117.63. Arena points, arena honor, heroic Archavon.
  3. Leggings of the Honored - 116.25. Heroic Sartharion + 2 adds.
  4. Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Legs - 110.87. Arena rating, arena points
  5. Heroes' Dreamwalker Legguards - 110.62. Normal Thaddius
  6. Leggings of Fleeting Moments - 110.46. Heroic Gothik.
  7. Gored Hide Legguards - 105.13. Heroic Gundrak.
  8. Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Legs - 103.29. honor
  9. Leggings of Discord - 103.20. Normal Maexxna.
  10. Mind-expanding Leggings - 102.66. Revered with Kirin Tor
  11. Infectious Skitterer Leggings - 101.68. Heroic Maexxna.
  12. Ravenous Leggings of the Furbolg - 101.15. heroic utgarde pinnacle
  13. Chain Gang Legguards - 97.17. BoE from Violet Hold
  14. Leggings of the Immortal Beast - 93.78. Sunwell Plateau
  15. Eviscerator's Legguards - 90.48. Leatherworking BoE.
  16. Constellation Leggings - 90.28. Normal Halls of Stone.
  17. Tameless Breeches - 80.38. Badges.
  18. Tattooed Deerskin Leggings - 80.00. Quest in Violet Hold
  19. Thunderheart Leggings - 78.98. Black Temple
- Leggings of the Honored may deserve to be #1 here - they have a ton of stamina and a lot of armor due to their being level 226. They just don't have the agility that the Valorous or Deadly legs do, and if you're going for your 4-piece it's not worth it to remove this and have to get your T7 head. Per commenter Tygrathel, the Gored Hide leggings are really strong going into Naxx, and are better than a few options from there (thanks Tygrathel!) though I'd still recommend something with more stam when starting out.


  1. Valorous Dreamwalker Shoulderpads - 93.83. Heroic Loatheb, 60 emblems of valor.
  2. Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders - 93.83. Arena rating, arena points
  3. Trollwoven shoulders - 89.84. Leatherworking BoE
  4. Heroes' Dreamwalker Shoulderpads - 88.29. Normal Loatheb.
  5. Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders - 88.29. arena rating, arena points
  6. Concealment Shoulderpads - 87.23. Heroic Sartharion.
  7. Spaulders of the Careless Thief - 83.83. Heroic Nexus
  8. Spaulders of Egotism - 82.78. Heroic Razuvious.
  9. Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders - 82.47. honor
  10. Spaulders of Resumed Battle - 79.75. Normal Noth.
  11. Sprinting Shoulderpads - 79.32. Heroic Ahn'kahet
  12. Demontooth Shoulderpads - 74.13. Sunwell Plateau
  13. Eviscerator's Shoulderpads - 73.80. Leatherworking BoE.
  14. Thunderheart Pauldrons - 70.15. Black Temple
- The trollwoven shoulders remain very strong and should be a high priority pre-Naxx. Note how small an upgrade the T7 are over the Trollwoven; these should be a low priority to get until other gear has been achieved, and should be one of the later emblem purchases.


  1. Deadly Gladiator's Belt of Triumph - 79.92. Arena rating, honor
  2. Hateful Gladiator's Belt of Triumph - 74.77. arena rating, honor
  3. Trollwoven Girdle - 73.94. Leatherworking BoE
  4. Polar Cord* - 73.47. Leatherworking BoE.
  5. Sharp-Barbed Leather belt - 73.36. heroic utgarde keep
  6. Stalk-skin Belt - 71.13. Heroic Heigan.
  7. Belt of the Tortured - 69.72. Heroic Patchwerk.
  8. Jorach's Crocolisk Skin Belt - 69.17. Emblems of Heroism
  9. Blistered Belt of Decay - 69.13. Normal Grobbulus.
  10. Ley-whelphide belt - 65.94. normal and Oculus
  11. Glitterscale Wrap - 62.78. Revered with Oracles
  12. Eviscerator's Waistguard - 61.17. Leatherworking BoE.
  13. Thunderheart Waistguard - 56.30. Sunwell Plateau
  14. Don Alejandro's Money Belt - 55.48. Mount Hyjal
  15. Waistguard of the Great Beast - 52.40. 60 Badges.
  16. Belt of Natural Power - 52.30. Leatherworking BoE
- The belt availability for bears is horrible. Just atrocious. At least that makes it easy. If you get lucky and get the belt from UK, go with that. Otherwise, make a trollwoven girdle and be done. The deadly belt is a big upgrade and is likely worth grinding honor for, whenever it comes out.

  1. Thrusting Bands - 60.30. Heroic Noth.
  2. Deadly Gladiator's Armwraps of Triumph - 59.77. Arena rating, honor
  3. Sinner's Bindings - 57.25. Heroic Maexxna.
  4. Hateful Gladiator's Armwraps of Triumph - 55.71. arena rating, honor
  5. Wristwraps of the Cutthroat - 52.76. BoE, 60 emblems of valor.
  6. Bindings of the Tunneler - 52.55. Heroic Utgarde Keep
  7. Dragonfriend Bracers - 52.04. Exalted with Wyrmrest Accord
  8. Cuffs of Dark Shadows - 50.92. Heroic Heigan.
  9. Drake-champion's Bracers - 50.05. Heroic Oculus
  10. Thunderheart Wristguards - 46.23. Sunwell Plateau
  11. Eviscerator's Bindings - 47.07. Leatherworking BoE
  12. Njorndar Furywraps - 46.45. Quest in Icecrown
  13. Vindicator's Dragonhide Bindings - 45.94. BC PvP honor
  14. Band of the Swift Paw - 38.78. badges
- The thrusting bands, thanks to their balance of stam, agi, and expertise come out very strong here, just barely edging out the PvP bracers. The badge wristwraps are an okay alternative, but I would spend this after you've gotten basically everything else you might want, as heroics and pvp and vendor items are close to it, and 60 emblems is quite a bit.


Techwolf359 said...

Under Head Gear:

Shroud of Darkness - 90.92. Heroic Violet Eye

Violet Hold, not Violet Eye

Nothing major. :)

Techwolf359 said...

By the way, I had previously been using Rawr to compare gear, but when it decided to put Cloak of Tormented Skies higher than the Durable Nerubhide Cape, I began to get concerned. Most of my gear is on your list, thankfully. Looking to start Heroics at the end of this week.

Anonymous said...

Helm of Cheated Fate has been missed from you list, it should come in just under Shroud of Darkness

Kalon said...

Techwolf - Hah, thanks. And I completely understand why Rawr does that, because pre 3.0.4 that really is better; losing 2000 armor is just not acceptable for a bit of dodge.

Good luck with running heroics. One really nice think is that Utgarde Keep is one of the easiest heroics to run and has 3 very strong upgrades. The belt at the end is particularly good.

Kalon said...

Anonymous - Helm of Cheated Fate is worse than either Mask of the Watcher or Shroud of Darkness; I don't usually list more than 2 heroic rewards.

The big clincher for it is that it has no meta, and as a result loses out on that 2% armor. That's a huge hit for bears. I'd rather have the thunderheart helm with that meta than helm of cheated fate without it.

Shamad said...

Thanks a lot for this, helps us lazybears get our head around a few things, glad to see I've made quite good investments picking up bracers from Maexxna and the dawnwalkers, which I personally rank a bit higher for the hit. And just as I wrote this the 2nd part came up, more reading to be done :)

Anonymous said...

Whilst you may think that the meta is so important that it is worth keeping T6 over it, you have to realise that most people never got the chance to get that item. The Helm of Cheated Fate is within reach of the vast majority. (but that is a huge discussion and a bit off-topic)

The Helm of Cheated Fate has more armour and agility but only 2 less stamina than the lowest item in your list, the Eviscerator's Facemask. Are you downranking the cheated fate so much due to possible parry-haste counters?

Kalon said...

Anon -

I absolutely appreciate your use of whilst. :)

Like I said before, the list only had listed the best in a given category. It isn't listing every single possible or reasonable selection. The Eviscerator Facemask is listed because it can be crafted and it happens to be the best crafted item. The Helm of Cheated Fate isn't listed because two other heroic helms are.

That's really it. It's a decent helm and certainly better than the eviscerator gear, but I didn't want to make lists where every single item is discussed or ranked. That's what Emmerald's is for. In this case, I kept every item that was on my pre-naxx list on this one, so that everyone could see how they all rank together without having to go back and forth.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Great work Kalon, thanks for taking the effort of putting this together.

I wonder - can you elaborate on how you arrived at those specific weights for the stats? I agree with them for the most part, but I'd really like to take a look at the the math.

Do you have plans for compiling similar lists for Cat gear?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand wowhead's weight system. You gave armor a weight of 50, yet an item with 200+ armor only has a total score of 60. When I'd expect the score to be at least 200*50. What exactly is going on?

Techwolf359 said...

UK has some good upgrades, but I've already crafted my Trollwoven Shoulders/Belt. Still, it's a good place to start at to see how well my gear (and possible group) holds up before digging into something like HoL or Oc.

Anonymous said...

I looked into the wowhead weight system a bit more, if you click on an item's weight while in the list view you will toggle between 3 formats. As a percentage (top item is 100%), as a small number like 60.5 and as a total number like 25k.

The 25K number is computed as I would expect, stat1 * weight1 + stat2 * weight2 == big number, etc. The percentage view is easy to understand. I have no clue how they came up with the small numbers. It is the small numbers you have been using. Any ideas where those come from?

Kalon said...

Hey, Korhaug - thanks for coming by and the kind words.

On the weight scale I used: I wanted to weight the itemization cost of agility and stamina the same, and then give an edge slightly to agility. Because stamina is 50% cheaper than any other stat (hence why gems have 16 agi and 24 stam) my weights are close to the 99/66 ratio you would see, though I weight agility a bit more. For dodge/defense, I wanted to give them a value close to stamina but not so much that it's insane. (not that it matters for leather pieces). For Expertise, I kept the ratio that I had used previously, making it about 1/5th as valuable per point as agility.

There really wasn't much in the way of me computing specific ratios. I compared results using Rawr, Toskk's guides and Emmerald and came up with my own weights. It's very much subjective and very much what I would do. However - the end result of this, if you follow the gear, is 42k health buffed, 55% avoidance, 37k armor and a good amount of threat. That's the numbers I"m aiming for right now.

Felkan, I believe the small number is a reasonable weighted value based on the overall values but not as a percentage. I also think that it has to do with the scores of all items that were processed and taking a median value of them and scaling from there. It is basically a 'how much better is item A compared to item B', which is why I use it. I'll look into it more and find out though. Thanks!

Techwolf - you absolutely want the Feral Enraged Staff from there, and the bracers are really good too. Since there are only three bosses and each boss is basically a tank & spank, it goes fast and can be run every day without pain. Keep doing it some. :)

Anonymous said...

Just thougt you'd like to know, the link for item 9 in your wrists catagory is not working properly. It links to Dragonfriend Bracers, when I think you intended it to link to Drake-champion's Bracers.

Karthis said...

Great lists - I've been meaning to do this for a while, but the push to 80 with my schedule has been all-consuming.

I don't trust any gear lists with stamina ranked well above agility, so when I made my pre-Naxx list I weighted them almost equally. Interesting to see that you put agility a fair margin ahead of stamina though - I guess it all depends on what your health currently is.

Kalon said...

Kostamojen - thanks for pointing that out. It should be corrected now. Oops.

Karthis, thanks. :) The main reason that agility is ranked so high is because agility comes at such a high price relative to stamina. If you weight agility and stamina the exact same, stamina will always be 'better' due to how much it costs in ilvl budget. And like I said, health is just not an issue right now. More on that in a bit.

Anonymous said...

Kalon, not sure I should comment on a post this old, but I wanted your opinion. I'm a Druid LW and I'll hit 80 in a couple levels. I'll immediatly power level my LW up then with all the leather I've collected, and was thinking along the way I'd make almost the entire Eviscerator's Set for myself. Most of them should be upgrades. Is that a good gear plan to start out grinding those heroics while I get geared up using your list? most of the Eviscerator's are fairly low on your lists, but i figure I have to start somewhere.
I'm finding I still have a lot of the gear I had from 70 even at 77, including the Tameless Breeches you told me to get.

Anyway, thanks for the info that you provide, I use it all the time!

Kalon said...

Copey - the Eviscerator set is perfectly fine for doing most of the heroics. Definitely go for the Trollwoven Shoulders as soon as you can, but for the rest the Eviscerators should serve. Make sure to check out the normal instances too - especially the quest rewards. Doing normal Halls of Stone gives a good chest, and doing normal CoTStrat gives one of the best gloves in the game.

Anonymous said...

Why there isn't chest #9?

BTW very good guide! It's good to have it when you doubt about what item is an upgrade :D

Anonymous said...

Hi, Short Question. I got Sinners Bindings with a +27 Agi Gem, should i still go for the Trusting Bands, cause of the hit and expertise?

Kalon said...

Anon - number 9 is a super secret drop that I'm not willing to tell you about. Some spoilers have to be kept around, ya know? Or I just messed up the HTML.

Brotea, my personal answer would be not to change 'em. The difference between the two is really minor. I would be going for almost every other piece of gear first - partially because it's likely to be a bigger upgrade for you, and partially because those thrusting bands are likely to be a bigger upgrade for someone who doesn't have these. If you were really short on expertise I might consider the thrusting anyway, but really - it's likely not worth the effort.

Anonymous said...

You might want to add these to the list:


15 wintergrasp marks of honor

and especially:


40 wintergrasp marks of honor

both are pretty much copies of the hateful gladiator counterparts with critical strike changed to armor penetration

Anonymous said...

Great list!

For legging, I would like to recommend
Legguards of Swarming Attacks

Socket it with a +24 stam gem and +55 stam armor kit and you're get a whopping +178 stamina.

It dropped on my first Heroic. ;p