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Shifting Perspectives: Gearing a bear druid in patch 4.2

Allison Robert
07.26.11
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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This week, it's not like we're doing dailies for our health.

Mmmm. Fresh meat gear, nicely charred by all that flame-broiling action in the Firelands these days. High time to update our gear lists!

Stat priority for bears in patch 4.2 remains armor, stamina, agility, mastery, crit, expertise, hit, and haste. Rather than rehash territory we've already covered in our first set of bear gear guides for Cataclysm, the lowest piece I'm going to list in each slot is the best available piece from 5-mans, reputation, or the new Molten Front vendors. If you're starting from absolutely nothing and need some ilevel 333/346 gear to tide you over, I would recommend the previous bear guides. Otherwise, your goal should be to get to at least the lowest piece in each slot on this list.

As always, I'm bypassing PVP gear because so much itemization is wasted on resilience. However, if you want to use it and you've got a better piece than would otherwise be available from PVE, knock yourself out. This week, we'll cover the helm through boot slots, and next week, we'll tackle rings, trinkets, weapons, and relics.



To reiterate for anyone returning to the game as of patch 4.2, these are the ilevels you can expect at each tier of content:
  • ilevel 333 Pre-heroic blues and honored reputation blues
  • ilevel 346 Heroic blues and revered reputation blues
  • ilevel 353 Epics from the Zandalari 5-man heroics
  • ilevel 359 Normal tier 11 raid epics and exalted reputation epics
  • ilevel 365 Molten Front epic rewards
  • ilevel 372 Heroic tier 11 raid epics
  • ilevel 378 Normal tier 12 raid epics
  • ilevel 391 Heroic tier 12 raid epics
Gear comparison is fairly easy these days unless you have to judge the worth of a random proc. As a general rule, higher-ilevel pieces are preferable to their lower-ilevel counterparts, simply because they'll always have more primary stats (e.g., agility and stamina). All pieces at the same ilevel will have the same primary stats, so gear's usually ranked by how attractive its secondary stats are. As a bear, go for anything with mastery on it before you go for anything else, and avoid haste if you can (unfortunately you often can't). I ran into problems on the earliest version of this list by ranking everything according to its heroic version only. Without doubling the size of this article, I've still got a bit of that problem here trying to rank gear that doesn't have a heroic version, like the Tsanga's Helm below. Pay attention to your ilevels.

If you have a piece sitting around that's not listed here, just check the ilevel and compare it against the list to see where it'll fall.

Helm

Enchant Arcanum of the Earthen Ring (requires Earthen Ring revered)NeckShoulders

Enchant Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz or Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal (requires Therazane exalted)Cloak

Enchant Enchant Cloak - Protection or Enchant Cloak - Major AgilityChest

Enchant Enchant Chest - Greater Stamina or Enchant Chest - Peerless StatsBracers

This is still a problem slot. You may get an excellent pair of bracers off Alysrazor. Then again, you might not.

Enchant Enchant Bracer - Agility or Enchant Bracers - Major StaminaGloves

In annoying contrast to the bracer slot, we are still spoiled for choice with gloves.

Enchant Glove Reinforcements, Heavy Savage Armor Kit, Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery, Enchant Gloves - Major AgilityBelt

Enchant Ebonsteel Belt BuckleLegs

Enchant Charscale Leg ArmorBoots

Enchant Earthen Vitality or Assassin's Step; as a tank, you really do need a boot enchant with increased run speed
Shifting Perspectives helps you gear your bear druid at 85, tempts you with weapons, trinkets and relics for bears, then shows you what to do with it all in Feral Druid Tanking 101. We'll also help you gear your resto druid.

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