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Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a new bear at 80, part 3

Allison Robert


Not a slot with a lot of options, but the ones you've got are very good.

Enchant: In general, Enchant Boots -- Tuskarr's Vitality is the way to go. If you're really hurting for avoidance, try Enchant Boots -- Superior Agility. If you want more health, Enchant Boots -- Greater Fortitude.
  • Footpads of Impending Death: Leatherworking BoE. Like the Bladeborn Leggings (above), these will be hellishly expensive to have made. Unlike the leggings, they don't interfere with your ability to get a tier bonus, and they are definitely worth getting unless you're in a guild that's farming heroic Marrowgar-25 (who drops Frostbitten Fur Boots, the bear's best-in-slot -- but Footpads of Impending Death are a close number two).
  • Relentless Gladiator's Boots of Triumph: Dropped by Koralon and Toravon, or available for 34,100 honor.
  • Footpads of Silence: Another Leatherworking BoE, and considerably cheaper than their 264 brother (but, if it were me, I'd just farm the Wrathful boots rather than spend the money).
  • Treads of Dismal Fortune: Dropped by the Black Knight in heroic Trial of the Champion.
  • Blighted Leather Footpads: Drops in the Captain's Chest in heroic Halls of Reflection.

The easiest combination to swing out of the following will be the Ashen Verdict reputation ring (provided you can get to friendly or better with them, and that's quick) and a Clutch of Fortification.

Enchant: If you're an enchanter, you'll want to slap Enchant Ring -- Stamina on both.
  • Ashen Band of Endless Courage: You do have to step inside Icecrown Citadel for this one, but you don't ever have to hit a boss to farm up the ilevel 277 reputation ring. I'll grant that farming Ashen Verdict reputation is a fairly boring way to experience an otherwise engaging and interesting raid.
  • Harbinger's Bone Band: An Icecrown Citadel BoE zone drop. Check the auction house, or ask around your realm to see if anyone's willing to sell it.
  • Signifed Ring of Binding: Dropped by Onyxia-25. A surprisingly good piece, not least because of the meaty armor allocation -- and you may find use for the resistance at some point down the line.
  • Clutch of Fortification: Available for 35 Emblems of Triumph.
  • Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance: The cat reputation ring is a decent hybrid piece if you switch between the two specs frequently.
  • Runed Ring of Binding: Dropped by Onyxia-10. The 10-man version of the ring described above.
  • The Leviathan's Coil: I wouldn't ordinarily list this one because it's a raid drop, but if you get Razorscale Must Die! as a weekly raid quest on your realm, you'll be going through Flame Leviathan to get to her. This is still an extremely good bear ring.
  • Runed Band of the Kirin Tor: I am not fond of these rings (thousands of gold for what amounts to a free hearthstone isn't worth it, in my humble opinion), but this is another OK hybrid piece if you switch between bear and cat frequently.
  • Signet of Winter: You may occasionally find this Ulduar BoE on the auction house, but I would not go looking for it over any of the other pieces listed here due to the +parry on it.

Trinkets are hard to rank, and it's a tough slot to fill outside of raids. Ironically, even in raids it's the hardest slot to fill, because everyone and his brother is going to be after them. You may want to try getting as many of the following as possible, and simply switching them in and out to suit different fights.

If you're a jewelcrafter, you will want to make both a Figurine: Monarch Crab and a Figurine: Ruby Hare.

Alchemists will want to make an Indestructible Alchemist's Stone.

Engineers will want to make a Sonic Booster, which is especially helpful because it helps with threat generation in addition to being a stamina boost.
  • Corroded Skeleton Key: Available for 60 Emblems of Frost.
  • Glyph of Indomitability: Available for 50 Emblems of Triumph.
  • The Black Heart: Dropped by the Black Knight in normal Trial of the Champion.
  • Darkmoon Card: Greatness: Still amazing, and an equally good hybrid piece for cat DPS. Accept no substitutes.
  • Essence of Gossamer: Dropped by Hadronox in heroic Azjol-Nerub.
  • Ick's Rotting Thumb: Dropped by Ick and Krick in heroic Pit of Saron. Raw dodge is not as useful to us as agility (hence ranking this below DMC:G), and the use effect is so-so, but a good piece if your dodge isn't as high as you'd like.

The weapon is by far the biggest nuisance. With the introduction of the Battered Hilt/Quel'dalar questline, the #1 slot for non-raid weapons is pretty easy to pick, but it'll require a lot of luck or a lot of gold on your part.

Sorry, folks -- there's no real way to cheap out on this one. If you have a lousy weapon, then unless the rest of your gear is jaw-droppingly good, you're probably going to have threat issues versus geared DPS. The bear's unfortunate dependence on weapons is something we've talked about earlier (and it should get fixed with the stat changes in Cataclysm), and I would really recommend trying to get a PUG raid for somewhere if for no other reason than getting a decent weapon.

Enchant: Mongoose.
  • Lightborn Spire: Reward from the Battered Hilt quest line. Very, very expensive, but the quest line alone is worth it. If you don't have the money to shell out for one of these, then either hope for a lucky roll while you're running the Icecrown heroics, or try solo farming the first pull in heroic Forge of Souls (doable even for a bear in mediocre gear; just Root one of the skeletons if you can't tank them both). It's probably going to be long and boring, but at least you won't face the agony of losing Hilts to players who respond, "LOL, it's the third one I've gotten."
  • Reinforced Thunderstrike: Dropped by Onyxia-25.
  • Reclaimed Thunderstrike: Dropped by Onyxia-10.
  • Orca-Hunter's Harpoon: Dropped by Marwyn in heroic Halls of Reflection.
  • Marrowstrike: Dropped by Argent Confessor Paletress in heroic Trial of the Champion.
  • Silvery Sylvan Stave (Alliance)/Staff of Feral Furies (Horde): Available for 25 Champion's Seals at the Argent Tournament. Due to the armor on it, this tends to rank above a few Naxx pieces and technically outranks Marrowstrike, but Marrowstrike still beats it hands down for threat generation.

Idol of the Crying Moon is really fantastic, but there's no denying that Lacerate-stacking is more suited to single-target tanking. For 5-man tanking or anything where you've got to worry about AoE, Mutilation is the top pick, but Corruptor's not too far behind (and is even a slightly greater contribution to Time To Live) assuming you're using Mangle on cooldown.

Every week, Shifting Perspectives treks across Azeroth in pursuit of truth, beauty and insight concerning the druid class. Sometimes it finds the latter, or something good enough for government work. Whether you're a Bear, Cat, Moonkin, Tree or stuck in caster form, we've got the skinny on druid changes in patch 3.3, a look at the disappearance of the bear tank, and thoughts on why you should be playing the class (or why not).

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