Friday, January 23, 2009

[Druid]The Anti-tank: maximizing DPS for fun and profit

The above was what I found when I searched for 'anti tank' in images. It turns out that there were such a thing as 'anti tank dogs' in Russia which had explosives wrapped around them and then were sent to go kill tanks. They didn't work because, well, they were trained to find food under Russian tanks, which meant they tended to blow up their friends as well as enemies. But the image was too awesome to pass up. There's your history lesson for the day.

A disclaimer: This is not for starting tanks. This is not for those struggling on progression content. This is not a guide on how to gear up for Naxx if you haven't already.

As Karthis pointed out recently, kitty DPS is now really, really fun and challenging. Runy at UnbearablyHoT linked to a couple addons that help manage the difficult priority scheme of kitty rotations. Flyv's talked about doing cat and bear for a while now.

And now I've caught the bug.

I think it starts innocently. "Hmm, I wonder how much DPS manglespam can actually do?". Then you look, and it's not so bad. Then you wonder if you got King of the Jungle for a bit more energy, whether you could get a nicer rotation and take advantage of that juicy 50% crit bonus on ferocious bite. Then you start wondering about whether things like improved mangle are REALLY that important, and get shredding attacks.

You know, just to try it out. Just for a bit. Just to see how it feels.

Then you start beating other DPS players on fights. You start beating other melee in your crappy, unenchanted blues and suboptimal spec. "This is pretty good", you think. "I'm almost at the point where I can tank with the best of them and DPS pretty well with the same spec! All I need is a gear swap, and I'm good to go for whatever! "

Welcome back, TBC ferals. We missed you.

Then 3.0.8 hits, and yeah, for some of you (like me) your armor got reduced in your better tanking spec. It's a bummer, but your threat should still be pretty strong and you're still scaling ridiculously with stamina for things like Sarth3D. You still have stupid mitigation on Patchwerk. You still do great damage on trash.

Then you accidentally put on your cat gear and look at your character sheet in bear...and are shocked as your armor increased by 50%.

Then you start wondering...what's the difference between cat and bear gear any more?
Both have stamina.
Both have agility.
Both have the same amount of armor, at least on leather.
Furthermore, because of the change to armor on jewelry, agility on those DPS jewelry pieces becomes pretty valuable, and those DPS rings, amulets and cloaks start looking really decent.

So what's the difference? Really, it's about how you gem and enchant it. Otherwise it's basically exactly the same.

The question then becomes whether it's possible and reasonable to tank in cat gear with a cat hybrid spec. That's the holy grail, right there - can you tank reasonably well without switching gear for cat? Can you do kitty DPS reasonably well without switching gear? Can you have one spec AND gear set that does great cat damage and great bear damage while being able to tank?

Because if you're the best slot for an OT, bar none. You can DPS on KT for the first half of the fight, do competitive DPS, and then go tank a couple adds in the second half. You can tank one of Thaddius's friends and then jump down and kill Thaddius while the other tank goes nuts. You can obliterate trash as cat and if something goes wrong or you draw aggro, just switch to bear and beat the hell out of 'em that way. You can DPS on Malygos in P1, tank and DPS in P2 and go to town later.

Or you can just tank the hell out of things and put out so much threat even paladins get jealous.

So what would this mythical gearset look like? Well, there are two approaches we can do, and I'll cover both. The first is to maximize survivability while trying to do the most damage as bear and cat. The second is to maximize damage as cat while doing okay on survivability as bear.

Maximizing Damage

For maximizing damage, the main thing is the enchants that we don't normally want in bear. The amount of DPS we gain from agility vs strength is pretty small - but the big enchants change a lot. The secondary thing is things like trinkets and to a lesser extent rings. But we'll get there shortly.

For your weapon and idol, remember that you can swap gear when you change forms, all on the same GCD. So we can have a totally different weapon and idol. This will allow you to get a lot of expertise and a different enchant on the weapon for bear and pure dps for cat. Something like...Inevitable Defeat would be good if you want to maximize threat. Still, it's going to lose out to Journey's End, but that's a good placeholder. This also allows you to enchant your DPS weapon with massacre or berserk, which is much better than mongoose too. :)

So gem like crazy for agility, hit and expertise. This sounds suspiciously like the guide for bears already, and you'd be right - except for certain slots. Those slots are the ones with DPS-centric enchants, and that's what I'll cover now.

For the head, you'll want to get a head with a metagem and use relentless earthsiege and the arcanum of ferocity. Both of these are strictly DPS-only, so you don't want to wreck your normal set with them. (or maybe you do, but I'd advise against it). The difference between this enchant and gem is about 4% DPS alone, so that should give you some motivation. Since it's DPS, you should go for strength or hit too.

For the shoulders, it's the better axe vs better pinnacle enchants from Hodir. This is actually something that you can skip out on if you want to; the gain from the enchant is not that much. Still, I find that leather dps shoulders drop often, so you should be able to pick them up okay.

For the legs, well, leg quality differs drastically from item to item, but the big thing is the leg enchant. The DPS leg enchant is roughly 1.5% more DPS as well, by itself. Try and get Leggings of the Honored if at all possible (yes, this is Sarth2d), as they have more armor and a huge amount of hit, great for both roles.

For the bracers, it's mostly whether you have leatherworking or not. The huge AP bonus is another 1.5% DPS right there, but giving up 90 stamina is really tough. Again, try and get another good set of bracers and use them.

For your jewelry Favor of the Dragon Queen gives great DPS and is one of the better survival necks in the game now. For rings, the Greatring of Collision is exceptional but hard to find (drops off of 10-man Sarth2D). The Strong-handed ring is another good option for both. Hemmoraging Circle is a nice compromise too, but not great. On the cloak, try and pry from their cold, dead hands the Drape of the Deadly Foe, but more likely spend the badges on Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak.

For trinkets, the #1, by far, is Darkmoon Card: Greatness. Good benefits for both specs. For the other, I'd recommend a hit trinket like Grim Toll if you can do it.

If you're following along, this is what you'd have assuming good gear elsewhere:
Head: Valorous + Relentless and arcanum of ferocity and agililty gems
Neck: favor of the dragon queen
Shoulders: valorous + greater axe + agility gems
Cloak: drape of the deadly foe + major agility
Chest: Chestguard of the recluse (better for threat thanks to the expertise) + powerful stats + agility
Wrists: Wristwraps of the cutthroat + attack power (I'm assuming leatherworking here)
Gloves: Valorous + major agility
Belt: Belt of the Tortured + socket & agility
Legs: Leggings of the honored + icescale + agility/expertise stam (for meta)
Feet: Footwraps of vile deceit (or dawnwalkers) + superior agility + agility/hit (for metagem)
Rings: Greatring of Collision + 6 all stats, Strong-Handed ring
Trinket: Darkmoon Card Greatness, Grim Toll
Weapon: Journey's End + Massacre (for cat), Origin of Nightmares + Mongoose (for bear)
Idol: Idol of Worship for cat, idol of terror for bear

Now let's plug that in for Rawr.
Stats for bears, raid-buffed: 36.8k armor, 56.3% avoidance, 37k health. 3621 DPS, and a nice even 8000 TPS.
Stats for cats, raid-buffed: 5081 DPS, 48% crit

That's pretty awesome. It's also ideal in terms of buffs, single target rotation, etc. And has some really absurd gear. Still...this is what's possible. Note that there's nothing here that really is a make or break item, either. Grim toll is nice, but mirror of truth will do well too. Favor of the Dragon Queen is great, as is Chestguard of recluse, but a lot of the ilvl 213 items will do similarly.

Something to note is that if you replace all the agility gems with strength and replace the compromise slots (DM:G with strength, one of the rings) you only gain about 40 DPS, but lose a good couple % of dodge. Honestly, I don't think it's worth it.

Maximizing Survivability.
For this, we're starting with the bear first and then making a couple compromises for cats. That means more stamina and mostly changes in the enchants.

The first thing to realize is that we don't have to change much of the gear. This was kind of a surprise to me too, actually; I was rallying to make the tanking rings, amulets and cloak not as good as they are, but really it doesn't take all that much. Agility is just that good, and a lot of the time the stamina is very competitive. Still, we're going to swap one ring at least, and one trinket; there's no need to go for a pure threat trinket here. Note that if you can get your hands on two Darkmoon cards (one for strength, one for agi), in theory those would be the two best trinkets in the game for bears and two of the three best for cats. I'm not sure whether you can do that though - they're unique-equipped, but they're different item registries.

So we'll change the greatring to a gatekeeper. We'll get back our 2% meta and normal head enchant. We'll get our tanking leg and shoulder enchants back. And we'll go with those wrist enchants.

Head: Valorous + Austere and arcanum of Stalwart Protector and agililty gems
Neck: favor of the dragon queen + agility gem
Shoulders: valorous + greater pinnacle + agility gems
Cloak: drape of the deadly foe + major agility
Chest: Chestguard of the recluse (better for threat thanks to the expertise) + powerful stats + agility
Wrists: Wristwraps of the cutthroat + stamina (I'm assuming leatherworking here)
Gloves: Valorous + major agility
Belt: Belt of the Tortured + socket & agility
Legs: Leggings of the honored + frosthide + agility/expertise stam (for meta)
Feet: Footwraps of vile deceit (or dawnwalkers) + superior agility + defense/stam (for metagem)
Rings: Gatekeeper, Strong-Handed ring
Trinket: Darkmoon Card Greatness, Valor Medal (or essence if you wanted)
Weapon: Journey's End + Massacre (for cat), Origin of Nightmares + Mongoose (for bear)
Idol: Idol of Worship for cat, idol of terror for bear

Bear stats: 37900 armor, 55% dodge, 38.2k health (or 40k health with essence long with 53.8% dodge). 3043 DPS, 6747 TPS
Cat stats: 4565DPS, 46% crit

The difference in the mitigation and avoidance values isn't that high, shockingly - but the difference in the TPS/DPS is pretty amazing. This should illustrate the new math: the difference between DPS and tanking gear is overall quite small.

Now clearly you shouldn't use this on Sarth3D. And this takes advantage of all the raid buffs you can get normally, so if you're doing 10-mans this might not be perfect (though it won't be far off, and having a tank who can DPS regularly in 10-mans is pretty advantageous).

Also, this is Rawr. Rawr's damage models aren't perfect. I think it overvalues armor penetration significantly, for instance, which is why Wristwraps of the Cutthroat are showing up so high. But it's going to be close, and it's going to be spot-on with respect to avoidance, mitigation and survival in bear form.

Since my gear set for Sarth3D is basically set, I think I'm going to start working on this set now. And yes, I'll be using that dps set full time, thank you very much. :)


Runycat said...

Glad I'm not the only one thinking about this. Great post, Kal, and excellent picture to go along with.

Karthis said...

Look out! The itch is spreading!

I do all of my trash tanking, and 90% of my offtanking duties in my DPS gear - I only break out the pure bear gear these days for when I'm MTing something mean (or soaking on Patchwerk).

Thanks for the always insightful look at the numbers!

Anonymous said...

Nice post man! a lot of fun, and exactly how I'm thinking about gearing the spec these days. Just proves you can get creative in ways that arent immediately obvious. I remember you lamented the lack of uncrttability juggling - and my response ot this was "chill out, there'll be other games to play".

To me, this way of thinking is what it means to think deeply about a spec and to be creative with it, roll with the changes, and evolve as Blizzard's thinking evolves. Its so much more fun than lamenting the loss of things we all used to do in the past.

Phil Jackson said...

I don't see this as a big surprise, with the guide you set up about the pre/post patch gear guide had a lot of "dps" rings and amulets getting a lot better in terms of tanking. I know I switched out a blue ring for an epic dps ring with loads of agility/stamina on it. While this wont really help a feral that is only a MT (sort of myself) all the OT druids out there this is a large buff. Though do we want to be placed into that only an OT role that we saw in BC?

Anonymous said...

I usually use Idol of Perspicacious Attacks instead of Idol of Terror for more threat/dmg.

Marino said...

Came to that conclusion myself yesterday. I was doing naxx 10 (second week of undying failing because the MT disconnected on the second boss, the rest was perfect run, where the week before after a perfect run with KT at 30% I, offtank, had 2 mobs on me and got frostblasted at the same time).

Anyway yesterday I was at KT and went dps. Forgot I also had to pick up abominations in phase 1. Went to bear and found myself 1k less armor and still at 40+% dodge.

As to professions, I am enchanter/inscriber. That makes the shoulders as different in dps/tanking as the bracers are for leatherworkers like you and the pants are in general.
Same goes for my rings. I can choose between 40 stamina or 64 ap.

So hybrid gear for me is a bit harder. (PS are you skinner also? Would it not be better to have skinning on an alt and get an other profession that is more useful in raids? (JC/Inscription/Enchanting/Alchemy).

This for me means that my cat gear has way less stamina. Selfbuffed 21k cat vs 26k bear (not in bearform).
Still I have 35k health in catgear.

Instead of farming for a hybrid set I would like to make a case for tanking in pure cat gear (with feral staff).
As said, 35k health, 35k armor and 40% dodge is good enough to tank...
Is it?

In most fights you are either always dpssing or constantly holding agro from something. If you need to hold agro you can't go catform and it would be the best to just simply stay bear in full tanking gear.

A list of fights where you can dps a great amount of the time:

Malygos: Phase 2: Tanking 2 of those adds on platforms. I did that in 3.03 in pure cat gear. With new armor it is even more easy.
Anub'Rekhan: Take that/those crypt guards in cat gear. No problem.
Grand Widow Faerlina: Depends on tactic. If you decide to kill the adds go dps gear, otherwise just stay tank. Good chance that with the frenzy they'll want you to MT though.
Grobbulus: Tanking the slimes in cat gear is easy. Watch your mana though if you shapeshift too much.
Thaddius: The 2 mini bosses in the beginning are not what should get you killed ever. Just go for catgear tanking.
Kel'Thuzad: 25 man you tank the adds, so tanking gear. 10 man tank a few abominations in catgear and dps the shit out of KT in phase 2. The MT can take the adds easy (might assist in getting the adds to him)

The only case for making a hybrid maximized gear would be if you wanted to dps KT in 25 man in the first 55%. I'd say don't.
For 1: there is a new melee class. There are shamans, rogues, druids, warriors, paladins and now deathknights. This fight was designed when you were either alliance and had no elemental shamans or you were horde and had no retribution paladins. Instead of 4 different melee classes there now are 6! Most raids have lots of melee (because it is fun!) and they have to divide behind KT. If you as a feral dps go there you endanger the raid.
1 there is one more person in a crowded area already. You add one more possible target for frostblast and that can kill people.
2 You can die! You are not healed form a frostblast because 2 others were also in a frostblast or you can you miss a fissure because a DK is throwing aoe around. One add tank (you) is dead and that can very likely wipe the raid.

Instead just stand there in caster form way in the back for the first 55% of the fight. Assist a bit in healing, innervate someone and just stand there in caster form. This way you can get targetted for the mana burn explosion thingy. You save mana from a healer and since you are nowhere near anyone you will not kill someone doing that.

My opinion, save yourself the trouble and use catgear.

Jacob said...

You'd rank the Valorous head over the Hood of the Exodus? Using the Cat and Bear stat valuations you posted a while ago, I have Exodus outrank Valorous for both roles, and only Cover of Silence beats Exodus for Cat.

My problem with Rawr was that even when I was in blue gear, it was valuating Stam so much higher than Agi that I was becoming a major mana sponge, and it never updated to the raid gear.

Kalon said...

Runy and Karthis - thanks. :) This, I admit, is not one of the things I anticipated along the big armor nerf. I suspect it's not what blizzard expected either. But it's going to be damn fun.

Anon1 - I agree. Being creative with the specs and the plans and doing what others don't expect you to is, well, what ferals have been doing all along. If prot warriors are the bread & butter tanks, ferals are the mad scientists.

Phil Jackson - I don't know about 'want' exactly. Right now druids are one of the better choices for a guild's best-geared tank, as they can do Sarth3D, Malygos and add a huge benefit to Patchwerk. No other tank carries the kind of benefit that a feral does. At the same time, they have the advantage that when they're not tanking, they can DPS - and they can do so in the same spec and the same gear. If I were a raid leader and I had ferals as tanks it'd be hard not to have them in a hybrid role because they do it so well and every other tank sucks at it so much. DKs are the only other tanking class that remotely rocks compared to druids when OTing, but their dps is not nearly as good in the same gear.

Anon2 - Perspicacious attacks is a good choice, but I figure you should try and maximize as much survivability as you can when switching weapons/idols. If you want to max threat, you should go for pure strength anyway. This wasn't about maximizing threat as a bear; this was about maximizing damage as a cat while being able to tank nearly anything as a bear.

Marino, ideally I shouldn't be a herbalist, but I need to be able to make some amount of money and my wife is an alchemist. It helps pay the bills. Ideally I'd be a jewelcrafter if I wanted to maximize both tanking and DPS. I wouldn't recommend doing pure cat gear, simply because of the gemming. The max damage gearset has agility gems but dps enchants, and it works out fairly well overall - but you lose quite a bit of armor and dodge if you go for strength over agility, and don't gain that much for damage. Still, we're not talking that many changes overall; a couple of rings here and there, maybe a change to how much hit/expertise you stack. That's about it.

Jacob, thanks for coming by. I'd use the hood of the exodus for both if the damn thing would ever drop. The gear choices I made were not entirely ideal in every slot; I picked things that honestly I had or could obtain fairly easily. There will be better choices in some slots, in any case. You should also check out Rawr now. Thanks to feedback from folks like you, they've instituted a soft cap in survivability (basically stam) which is set to around essentially 35k stamina, give or take a bit. More than that and stamina becomes much less valuable. It results in far more sane choices for gearing, especially when choosing raid buffs. Check it out; it's quite slick.

Anonymous said...

What does patch 3.08 mean for feral druids?
As this article show feral druids willl be AWSOME OT. No other tank can compare to feral druids as OT (maby DK but I dont know much about DK).
Patch 3.08 is therefore a HUGE buff to kittens (can go OT anytime they want) and druid who want to be OT.
What does patch 3.08 mean for feral druid who want to be MT?
Lets take a look at Paladin tanks in BC. Were they awfull MT or why did most guild not use paladins as MT? Because they were AWSOME as AoE tanks (you might say they were they only real choice as AoE tank for some fights). Paladin tanks in BC did not MT much, not because they were bad MT, but because they were AWSOME AoE tanks. Their awsomeness was their downfall (if they wanted to MT).
Druids will have some of the same issues for MT in progression fights. Do the RL ask the tank that is awsome at tanking AND DPSing (the druid) to MT or do the RL ask the tank that is awsome as tank and medicore as DPS to tank? And the other tank to OT. On progression fights the choices seem clear.
Therefore if you as a feral druid has your main focus as being the guilds MT then pathc 3.08 is a HUGE nerf (not because druids loose some armor but because druids got a HUGE buff as OT).

PS: Kalon I have been reading your post for some time and they have been of high quality (though I did see the buff to druid OTing when I first read the post about the suposed armor nerf). I do think you should post the stats in the article as "unbuffed" (at least in brackets) because saying "raid buffed" is subjective and make it hard to compare stats.
Keep up the good work:)

Anonymous said...

Very nice post!
Coming from a guild with a TON of tanks, I am more and more tempted to move away from a pure tanking mindset to try and maxx out my cat damage while keeping up good stats to tank Heroics or 10man content, what build would you suggest for that?

Olvar said...

After I got some decent gear in BC I've always had a "Hybrid" equip. It was basically my T4 def helmet, Wildfury, Badge of Tenacity, and Darkmoon Card Vengance combined with badge feral equip and DPS rings and cloak.
Of course I was no longer crit-immune, but I successfully tanked almost all heroics with it, and the only bosses in Karazhan for which I was crit-immune were Nightbane, the Prince, and Netherspite.

In Lich King crit-immunity is a no-brainer with the right talents. I've tanked the 10-man PvP boss (forgot the name) with cat gear because I was too lazy to change it.
Currently I'm having some threat issues, because I'm a little bit behind, while our damage dealers already have lots of Naxx equip (I have none so far) and some even don't know what to get for their emblems of heroism anymore (I only have the dodge trinket and Mirror of Truth yet).
So far I've been unsuccessful in getting Staff of Trickery, and Shrouded Mysteries just doesn't cut it. I feel like I'm in the same position I was in BC when I still had the Braxxis staff, trying to get the reputation for the Earthwarden, while especially the casters were in all epics already.
When I saw that even the new fishing pole would have more FAP than my current staff, I had someone in the guild make me the Titansteel Destroyer yesterday. Sure, it isn't the best tanking weapon, since it lacks avoidance. But at least I seem to have more threat in my hybrid equip now. My damage changed from about 1000 to 1400 DPS while tanking.

Still trying to get Staff of Trickery though, as it's the better tanking weapon in my opinion. I'm also trying to get the Enraged Feral Staff, but currently threat seems to be my biggest issue, not mitigation.

As for Darkmoon Card Greatness: It's gonna be a while until I'll be able to get it. On my server the deck is selling for 12000 gold, individual cards between 500 and 1500 gold. My current gold is constantly between 2000 and 3000 gold, and Titansteel Destroyer set me back by 1600.

Ultimately the quest for a better weapon and trinket continues (and I really need a helmet with meta socket as well)...

But back on topic:
Yes, pure DPS or hybrid equipment definately makes sense for trash and even some of the bosses. And the better your gear is, the more bosses will be tankable in more DPS oriented gear.
In my case the armour difference is only about 1K between tank and DPS. Even one of our DK tanks was surprised, although their gear was changed similarly with patch 3.0.8.

Mekias said...

I like being an OT. I get to both tank and dps, the two roles I never get to play as my main is a resto shaman.

Speaking as a healer, though, be careful on certain fights of trying to tank in cat gear. If what you're tanking hits pretty hard, there's no such thing as a "good enough" tanking set.

On a talent level, I am extremely reluctant to give up any tanking talents. That leaves me with 3 points to spend in KotJ, Shredding Attacks, or Predatory Instincts. I opted for KotJ because I love it and it gets me using Tiger Fury more often. But I have to mangle-spam to DPS. How far inferior is this to shredding? Are you willing to give up any other talents for DPS-related ones?

Kalon said...

Anon3 - thanks for coming by. It's a good idea to post the stats unbuffed; I'll do that later today. And yes, I came to the same conclusion as well. It's going to be tough to be a MT as a feral because they're just too good of an OT right now. That's personally okay with me; I like being able to tank anything and being able to DPS anything. But it's not really great for a lot of others.

Anon4 - you can check out my current build. It drops improved LotP and improved Mangle for shredding attacks and predatory instincts. I may be getting back iLotP; while I don't miss it at all in raids, I do miss it a lot soloing. I don't miss imp mangle whatsoever though, and as far as I can tell my numbers for single target threat were essentially correct.

Olvar - thanks for coming by, and good luck getting those to drop. The fishing pole is surprisingly satisfying to beat people up with. Titansteel Destroyer certainly is a good stopgap measure while you find something else. And the DM:G - well, I'd recommend talking to your inscriptionist friends and seeing about doing some trading of herbs for cards. They should be going down significantly in price now that they made the change to inks being purchasable. Then just farm normally and spend the money on cheap herbs for milling.

Mekias, thanks for coming by. On really hard fights that I knew I'd be tanking on, I'd be going for a more tank-oriented set. That's why I recommended having a different helm, shoulder, leg and (your profession of choice) items. Those are the big difference makers for enchants. If you don't have those, I wouldn't recommend doing something like this - but all it really takes is a T7.10 downgrade from T7.25. It's not too bad.

As to not taking any talents from tanking - yes and no. I don't think taking talents from any of the core mitigation talents is wise. But taking talents away from threat generation? Not a real issue, especially if you're planning on wearing high-DPS/TPS gear anyway. Like I said above, I took away points from improved mangle and lotp. Neither are essential tanking talents, especially for raids. But both make damage in cat far, far better. It may be that in the future a max threat build is important for bears, but for now (and with the huge threat discrepancies among the 4 tanking classes) I think 3% less threat is likely fine.

Kalon said...

Oh, and Mekias - one last thing.

I opted for KotJ because I love it and it gets me using Tiger Fury more often. But I have to mangle-spam to DPS. How far inferior is this to shredding? Are you willing to give up any other talents for DPS-related ones?

I saw an increase personally of about 700 DPS when I went to a shred rotation. Manglespam is okay, especially if you have improved mangle and 2pT6, but it quickly is eclipsed by better gear.

Mekias said...

Imp LotP is good for solo'ing and to regen mana on fights like Sapphiron and Heigan. I feel like I have to pop into caster and help heal during the non-dps phases. But this probably wouldn't be a big deal if I was in our regular Naxx runs. I usually get in the "alts & friends" Naxx runs which means things are quite a bit harder.

I don't think I'd miss the Bear part of Imp Mangle but in solo'ing and pvp, I'm a mangle machine. I guess I don't want to give it up (at least not yet).

I had Shredding attacks briefly but didn't ever have enough energy to keep up Rip/Savage Roar. But I don't have Glyph of Rip or Glyph of Mangle and I think that was before my two piece Tier 7. Maybe it's a bit easier with those things.

I do REALLY enjoy competing on the dps meters. Brings me back to my old alliance rogue in vanilla wow.

Nostraphex said...

Thanks for the answer Kalon, Anon4 here, and your build look pretty interesting to me. I believe to that I would be sad without iLotP, but I wonder, what would you sacrifice for it?

Beefheart said...

Great guide been looking for something like this for a while...Olvar if you get the chance go for the Staff of the Plague Beast for tanking as it has the added armor on it - I use the Staff of Trickery for my Cat DPS. I'm still only in basic T7 / crafted epics with both nice Staffs pre 25man Naxx and I'm easily keeping up with a Naxx geared enhancement shaman and a fury warrior for DPS, even with some pretty wacky and on-the-fly rotations( why oh why must those damn mobs MOVE!), but when we need an OT it's always me as I have 5K more health than the warrior, even after 3.0.8. I'm loving my hybrid catbear more than I ever have.

rivendael said...

Hi Kalon, thanks for the article. I've tanked 25man trash in cat gear for some time now, mostly going by feel (i.e. "I think the healers can cope and everything looks ok") but it's good to have the hard numbers to back this up.

I've yet to dare OTing some bossfights in cat gear but now I'm definitely more confident to give it a shot.

One more thing, could we also discuss the glyphs that would be best for the dual-use spec that you have? Currently I'm running with Glyph of Maul and Frenzied Regen (for bear) and Glyph of Rip (for cat). While Growl is useful, I figure if I'm putting more hit gems on my gear overall, there would be less critical need for it. In your opinion, what would you go for?

Kalon said...

rivendael, thanks for coming by. :)

On glyph selection, I'm using the rip, maul and frenzied regen glyphs. I'm very tempted to drop frenzied regen. It simply doesn't seem to work particularly well as an ohshit button should; it helps me recover from bad times, but doesn't immediately save me. I should likely macro it to something like:
/cast frenzied regeneration
/use runic health potion
/use fel healthstone

Which might work, but it feels pretty weak. I think you need maul for bear at this point. It's tempting to go with mangle too. Rip is really important for cat dps. I don't like having to refresh mangle all the time, but getting rid of frenzied regen is likely too costly.

Torosso said...

I am using the same set of glyphs,
Rip, Maul and Frenzied Regen

I don't use it as an additional button.

I have it macro-ed with SI.

/cast Survival Instincts
/cast Frenzied Regen

Using it like that gives the heals time land when your in the poo. When a they do land they get that big bonus which is usually really needed at that time.

Its not going to help very much if you don't have incoming heals on you.

Wintersdark said...

heh I've been running a hybrid cat/bear dos spec since wotlk hit. I dps'd and tanked heroics in levelling blues, dps'd and tanked naxx25 in heroic gear. No problems whatsoever. While tanking, I generate absurd threat, have 29k health unbuffed, and while I don't top damage meters tanking, I do achieve dps that would be considered respectable .

In kitty, I get very nice dps. Again, not chart topping, but I'm competetive in the top 5.

It works really well, and has all along. Our healers can easily handle the extra damage I take (what, 10% more?) and in trash pulls? Start kittyswiping till your out of energy/tv/etc, go bear and swipe/maul spam. Awesome dps.

I'm very comfortable switching from dps to tank and back - even within a fight (typically with a weapon swap, but not always), and do well with both.

I have no mt aspirations with this build (though I have when our 'proper' tanks are unavailable, but I'm by far the highest dps offtank. Paired with a prot warr/paly, we're golden.

Jacob said...

I don't suppose you have any Pawn values or the "relative stat values" from Rawr for this setup, do you? My guild hasn't run EoE yet, but I have some items that are "Better" for general bear values.

Or is it just "gem agility" with agi-heavy tank gear?

Anonymous said...

Nice post thank you, it will help guide me in the right direction. Maybe I missed it. there were a lot of posts. In the raid buff stats that you posted which talent build were you using?