Wednesday, October 28, 2009

[Druid] Use this spec AT YOUR OWN PERIL, EARTH HUMAN

That's And a...tasmanian devil? Google images never fails me.

One of the odd things that I see from time to time is people armorying me to get the 'default' spec for tanking, using it blindly because they assume that if I'm doing it, it's optimal.

Well, naturally it is. I am the allmighty Kalon, and nothing I say could ever be wrong.

The question you should ask yourself is this: if Kalon's doing the optimal spec, what is he optimizing for? And with that, I bring you the totally wacky 56/15 spec. Or here, if you like the armory.

Okay, the first thing you're probably thinking is: the hell?

Most of the stuff is the same as what I've mentioned in the bear FAQ and even in the antiquated core tanking talent post. But there are some oddities that I'll mention. First, though, let me explain the reasoning.

This is a tanking talent tree only for main tanking, and it assumes that during a fight you will only be tanking. Cat DPS is incidental. Tanking when not being attacked is not the issue and should not be accounted for. This is also not designed to tank multiple adds.

Furthermore, this is for specifically tanking Anub'arak in heroic mode. For Anub'arak, you do not want improved Leader of the Pack; the healing is too random to count on, but gives too much healing to want to keep around. As such, removing it is very good; for our kill, removing it removed about 300,000 healing, which essentially meant removing 2100 HPS on the boss.

It also assumes essentially infinite rage situations; while tanking, you're expected to be taking massive damage. Rage should not normally be an issue.

With these things in mind, here are some of the controversial calls.
  1. No Omen of Clarity. If you have infinite rage, Omen of Clarity is pointless for bear tanking; it gains you nothing. It's unpredictable anyway. It's essential for good cat dps (even with bear talents), but since we don't care about that in this spec, it's gone. It's essentially one point wasted.
  2. No Ferocity. This is such a no-brainer to take; druids have been trained since birth to pick this. 5 less rage on mauls, swipes, and mangles? Of COURSE this is a good talent.
    Except that in infinite rage situations, it's not that important. It does mean that with a streak of avoidance you will get rage-starved; this happened to me a couple times. It also means that it's very, very important to pull with a full 40 rage (or more)But for the most part I didn't miss it when tanking Anub', or Beasts, or Twins. It's not necessary to get to tier 2 either if you're taking Feral Aggression.
  3. No Improved Leader of the Pack. Normally this is something that at least one feral in the raid should have; it's stabilizing and a decent amount of heals, and usually points are there for it. In this case, however, Anub'arak needs to have exactly the right amount of deliberate and predictable healing so that we can limit the healing as much as possible. That means unpredictable heals that we can't rely on to passively heal a group have to go. Honestly, we didn't miss this at all in the fights save perhaps Faction Champs.
  4. Feral Aggression and Infected Wounds are needed. This is because our warrior is going maximum threat/deep wounds, which means no improved Demo Shout. And I need to make sure the slow effect is up on my target, so Infected Wounds is required too. This is a requirement for our fights in general, so no big change here.
  5. Improved Mangle AND Master Shapeshifter? Wow. Yeah, that's right - with the above changes I have enough points to take basically anything that improves threat throughout the fight. King of the Jungle isn't taken because I can't use it; I must not have 25% armor reduction. But I can take the above. Improved Mangle actually deserves some credit here. Because I'm having to do things like demo roar and refresh my lacerate stack early so that neither drop off during freezing slash, the rotation doesn't look like a rotation so much as a priority system. And if you're doing a lot of other things anyway, being able to mangle more actually improves your rotation and your threat quite a bit. I need to work out exactly how much, but I'd ballpark it at more like 4-5% instead of 2.5-3%. It also helps uptime with your Idol of the Corrupter, so that's nice too.

    And on this, as much damage as you can muster is good. For our kill I managed to do 2800 DPS, which isn't bad on a single target using primarily survival gear.
  6. No Maul Glyph. Another one that I miss - but if you've read me before, you know that I think glyphs are the new flask. Still, this has some explanation. I don't actually care about growl that much on Anub'arak, but it was important that my mauls don't hit another target. This is because occasionally a burrower would get close enough to me that I'd hit it with maul if I wasn't lucky - and that might mean that it went to me instead of the add tank. That meant instant wipe. Easy to fix - just swap glyphs back and forth, and you're set.
The end result was a fairly strong MT build. Only a couple times on bad avoidance streaks did I have any rage issues. My DPS sucked when switching to cat on adds, but not so much that it mattered hugely.

Heroics, though...were a totally different experience. It was like playing through molasses. Just painful. Fortunately I outgear content enough that if need be I'll just switch to my DPS spec and tank that way. I won't have PotP or NR or a lot of important tanking talents, but it won't matter. I'll have the essential speedy attacks, and taking more damage will mean more rage.

It's also a really horrible spec to solo in without imp lotp.

Ony was also a bit hit and miss; the transition from p2 to p3 left me with a lot of threat to make up, and not a lot of rage. It wasn't the funnest thing ever.

Still - it was great to have a substantial threat gain from what I had had before. Mauls hit for more, and mangles were going off all the time. It felt a lot more in control, and most importantly I did significantly more damage while keeping all of my necessary survival talents. If you want to go against some of the 'standard' experiences - you might try it.



jonhuang said...

I had a spec like that when tanking Sarth+3. Only I dropped all my damage and threat mechanics so I could pick up Balance of Power for the chance to resist spells. Worked pretty well.

Still, you have to be jealous of Deathknights and the incredible flexibility of three different tanks specs.

pedro said...

with t10 set bonus, i guess king of the jungle becomes a pure threat talent, so it might be a good option in the future.

Keltar said...

Love your work! And would realy like to hear your take on this:
I think this even changes the way we should be picking gear right now.
Like moving the wowhead values for defense and dodge 1/3 of the original value ?

Anonymous said...

A combat parse of our best p1 & p2 shows ~80k healing from ILotP in ~6 minute period.

I'm very curious as to how you calculate the 300k healing from ILotP alone in P3.

With crit rates being what they are, and with the enforce ICD ILotP healing is actually very consistant.

Kalon said...

Keltar, I'll post about that either tonight or tomorrow, since I'm getting tired of saying the same thing over and over. But yeah, it should reduce defense, dodge and agility some in value.

Anon, I don't know what to tell you other than my logs have substantially more healing than that in our P3. Perhaps most of that healing before that was overheal? In our P3 where I had it, imp lotp was responsible for 370k healing.

It's not consistent enough to count on for saving people from LS. It only goes off every six seconds, and that's if they crit; if they don't for some reason, it can be as long as 8 or 10. The 4% health is more than enough to heal them, but all it takes is one or two bad crit streaks and they're dead.

Anonymous said...

That is a point, I'll take another look at it when we get into P3.

I still think it's a pretty big jump to assume that a large portion of ILotP healing is 'bad' and directly translates to healing on the boss. I'd be interested in your logic for this.

Seems to me that ILotP, Judgement of Light & Healing Stream totem would combine to allow nearly no outside direct healing required to deal with the leach on melee, although a HoT may be useful.

And what would be your suggestion regarding Judgment of Light?

Kalon said...

For us, Anon - all healing via imp LotP was overhealing because we knew we had enough healing via healing stream or JoL to not worry about it. Therefore I can absolutely say with certainty that all imp LotP healing was bad. The only healing that it wasn't 'bad' for was healing on tanks.

The logic is as follows: we aren't going to heal anyone more than they need to be healed. For most people that meant zero direct heals. Any healing beyond that would simply be drained again via leeching swarm over time. So if you are sitting at 1k health, you'll get hit by leech for 300. If you were sitting at 1.8k health thanks to LotP, you'd be hit by leech for 480. That's 180 health taken that heals him that wouldn't have happened otherwise, except for imp lotp since we were already assuming JoL.

JoL heals more than enough for melee. Healing stream was used only for the ranged and for a couple of people like the hunters/rogues who would occasionally go out of range and not be attacking Anub. On our kill, we didn't use LotP at all, nor did we heal anyone directly aside from PC targets and the tank.

So at least for us - imp lotp was completely superfluous.

par said...

kickarse post

Joshua Muñoz said...

What about


Only difference is substituting 2 points in Primal Precision for Shredding Attacks, I think. No Imp. LotP cause my feral cat friend has it.

Kalon said...

Joshua Muñoz - losing primal precision is a horrible idea. Expertise is the best threat stat by far for bears; shredding attacks does almost nothing for bears. The only way primal precision is 'bad' is if you have 56 expertise skill - which equates to something like 400 expertise rating. And expertise rating is very, very hard to come by.

Heck, it'd be much better to take those two points in SA and put them in ferocity. They'll reduce more rage overall for you. You maul every attack; 2 less rage on mauls alone is better than 2 less rage per lacerate.

Samuel said...

Now where have I seen a spec like that before >.>...

Though I keep OOC for those odd times I find my self Off Tanking and or when Running Heroics.

On the LotP thing, it's a catch 22, if there is a fight where a melee raid member will go more than 5-7 seconds without being at full health, it will be good, if not, then it turns into largely overheal. =/