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:
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.
- Valorous Dreamwalker Rainments - 127.02 Heroic Gluth, Heroic 4 Horsemen, Archavon the Stone Reaper
- Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Robes -126.81. Arena rating, arena points.
- Chestpiece of Suspicion - 122.32. Heroic Instructor Razuvius, Heroic Gluth.
- Tunic of Dislocation - 119.92. Normal Gothik the Harvester, normal Gluth.
- Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Robes - 119.80. Arena rating, arena points
- Heroes' Dreamwalker Rainments - 119.72. 80 emblems of heroism, normal Gluth, normal 4 horsemen
- Tunic of Indulgence - 119.64. Normal Grobbulus, Normal Gluth
- Chestguard of the Recluse - 119.35. Heroic Malygos
- Polar Vest - 117.37. *Leatherworking BoE.
- Blade-Scarred Tunic - 113.47. Normal Sartharion.
- Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Robes - 111.97. honor
- Harness of Carnal Instinct - 109.59. Sunwell Plateau
- Darkheart Chestguard - 108.60. Exalted with Knights of the Ebon Blade
- Crystal-Infused Tunic - 104.80. Heroic Nexus
- Exotic Leather Tunic - 101.55. quest in Utgarde Pinnacle
- Eviscerator's Chestguard - 98.90. Leatherworking BoE.
- Thunderheart Chestguard -94.31. Black Temple
- Footwraps of Vile Deceit - 89.31. Heroic Loatheb, Heroic Gluth.
- Deadly Gladiator's Boots of Triumph - 89.23. Arena rating, arena points.
- Hateful Gladiator's Boots of Triumph - 83.83. Arena rating, honor points
- Polar Boots* - 82.78. Leatherworking BoE.
- Boots of the Worshipper - 76.76. Normal Faerlina, normal Gluth.
- Slag Footguards - 76.38. Heroic Halls of Lightning
- Boots of Captain Ellis - 76.33. 40 emblems of valor.
- Dawnwalkers - 74.97. Heroic Anub'Rekhan, Heroic Gluth.
- Boots of the Whirling Mist - 74.29. Heroic Halls of Stone.
- Boots of the Neverending Path - 72.55. Exalted with Argent Crusade.
- Gorloc Muddy Footwraps - 72.47. Heroic Gundrak
- Jormscale Footpads - 70.25. Leatherworking BoE
- Thunderheart Treads - 67.82. Sunwell Plateau
- Rhino Hide Kneeboots - 64.59. Quest in Gundrak
- Shadowmaster's Boots - 63.09. Black Temple
- Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves - 84.64. Arena rating, arena points.
- Handwraps of Preserved History - 81.68. Quest in CoT Strat
- Valorous Dreamwalker Handgrips - 80.61. Heroic Archavon, Heroic Sartharion
- Gloves of Fast Reactions - 80.61. Heroic Sapphrion
- Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves - 79.36. Arena Rating, arena points
- Rapid Attack Gloves - 77.82. Normal Razuvious, normal Gluth.
- Dislocating Handguards - 77.13. Heroic Faerlina.
- Frosted Adroit Handgrips - 75.33. Heroic Malygos.
- Heroes' Dreamwalker Handgrips - 75.33. 60 emblems of heroism.
- Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves - 73.80. honor
- Gloves of the Forest Drifter - 66.35. Sunwell Plateau
- Eviscerator's Gauntlets - 65.38. Leatherworking BoE.
- Seafoam Gauntlets - 65.15. Leatherworking BoE
- Gloves of Immortal Dusk - 63.09. Leatherworking BoE (requires sunmotes)
- Discarded Slaughterhouse Gloves - 57.83. Quest in icecrown
- Thunderheart Gauntlets - 58.65. Mount Hyjal
- Hood of the Exodus - 116.40. Heroic Gothik or Gluth.
- Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm - 114.44. Arena rating, arena points
- Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm - 107.68. Arena rating, arena points
- Valorous Dreamwalker Headguard - 107.07. Heroic Kel'Thuzad.
- Weakness Spectralizers - 105.36. Engineering BoE (requires engineering rating)
- Helm of the Vast Legions - 103.49. Normal Sapphiron.
- Heroes Dreamwalker Headguard - 101.71. Normal Kel'Thuzad.
- Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm - 100.36. honor
- Mask of the Watcher - 92.25. Heroic Oculus
- Shroud of Darkness - 90.92. Heroic Violet Hold
- Mask of the Fury Hunter - 86.43. Sunwell Plateau
- Thunderheart Cover - 79.90. Mount Hyjal
- Cover of Silence* - 95.79. Heroic Thadius or Gluth.
- Headguard of Retaliation* - 87.35. quest in Utgarde Pinnacle
- Eviscerator's Facemask *- 86.28. leatherworking BoE
- Valorous Dreamwalker Legguards - 117.94. Heroic Archavon, 75 emblems of valor, Heroic Thaddius.
- Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Legguards - 117.63. Arena points, arena honor, heroic Archavon.
- Leggings of the Honored - 116.25. Heroic Sartharion + 2 adds.
- Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Legs - 110.87. Arena rating, arena points
- Heroes' Dreamwalker Legguards - 110.62. Normal Thaddius
- Leggings of Fleeting Moments - 110.46. Heroic Gothik.
- Gored Hide Legguards - 105.13. Heroic Gundrak.
- Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Legs - 103.29. honor
- Leggings of Discord - 103.20. Normal Maexxna.
- Mind-expanding Leggings - 102.66. Revered with Kirin Tor
- Infectious Skitterer Leggings - 101.68. Heroic Maexxna.
- Ravenous Leggings of the Furbolg - 101.15. heroic utgarde pinnacle
- Chain Gang Legguards - 97.17. BoE from Violet Hold
- Leggings of the Immortal Beast - 93.78. Sunwell Plateau
- Eviscerator's Legguards - 90.48. Leatherworking BoE.
- Constellation Leggings - 90.28. Normal Halls of Stone.
- Tameless Breeches - 80.38. Badges.
- Tattooed Deerskin Leggings - 80.00. Quest in Violet Hold
- Thunderheart Leggings - 78.98. Black Temple
- Valorous Dreamwalker Shoulderpads - 93.83. Heroic Loatheb, 60 emblems of valor.
- Deadly Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders - 93.83. Arena rating, arena points
- Trollwoven shoulders - 89.84. Leatherworking BoE
- Heroes' Dreamwalker Shoulderpads - 88.29. Normal Loatheb.
- Hateful Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders - 88.29. arena rating, arena points
- Concealment Shoulderpads - 87.23. Heroic Sartharion.
- Spaulders of the Careless Thief - 83.83. Heroic Nexus
- Spaulders of Egotism - 82.78. Heroic Razuvious.
- Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Spaulders - 82.47. honor
- Spaulders of Resumed Battle - 79.75. Normal Noth.
- Sprinting Shoulderpads - 79.32. Heroic Ahn'kahet
- Demontooth Shoulderpads - 74.13. Sunwell Plateau
- Eviscerator's Shoulderpads - 73.80. Leatherworking BoE.
- Thunderheart Pauldrons - 70.15. Black Temple
- Deadly Gladiator's Belt of Triumph - 79.92. Arena rating, honor
- Hateful Gladiator's Belt of Triumph - 74.77. arena rating, honor
- Trollwoven Girdle - 73.94. Leatherworking BoE
- Polar Cord* - 73.47. Leatherworking BoE.
- Sharp-Barbed Leather belt - 73.36. heroic utgarde keep
- Stalk-skin Belt - 71.13. Heroic Heigan.
- Belt of the Tortured - 69.72. Heroic Patchwerk.
- Jorach's Crocolisk Skin Belt - 69.17. Emblems of Heroism
- Blistered Belt of Decay - 69.13. Normal Grobbulus.
- Ley-whelphide belt - 65.94. normal and Oculus
- Glitterscale Wrap - 62.78. Revered with Oracles
- Eviscerator's Waistguard - 61.17. Leatherworking BoE.
- Thunderheart Waistguard - 56.30. Sunwell Plateau
- Don Alejandro's Money Belt - 55.48. Mount Hyjal
- Waistguard of the Great Beast - 52.40. 60 Badges.
- Belt of Natural Power - 52.30. Leatherworking BoE
- Thrusting Bands - 60.30. Heroic Noth.
- Deadly Gladiator's Armwraps of Triumph - 59.77. Arena rating, honor
- Sinner's Bindings - 57.25. Heroic Maexxna.
- Hateful Gladiator's Armwraps of Triumph - 55.71. arena rating, honor
- Wristwraps of the Cutthroat - 52.76. BoE, 60 emblems of valor.
- Bindings of the Tunneler - 52.55. Heroic Utgarde Keep
- Dragonfriend Bracers - 52.04. Exalted with Wyrmrest Accord
- Cuffs of Dark Shadows - 50.92. Heroic Heigan.
- Drake-champion's Bracers - 50.05. Heroic Oculus
- Thunderheart Wristguards - 46.23. Sunwell Plateau
- Eviscerator's Bindings - 47.07. Leatherworking BoE
- Njorndar Furywraps - 46.45. Quest in Icecrown
- Vindicator's Dragonhide Bindings - 45.94. BC PvP honor
- Band of the Swift Paw - 38.78. badges