Tank leveling spec updated

So, when I got my leveling guide ready for 4.0.1, it wasn’t complete. I didn’t have a tank leveling build ready to go on release date. Since then, I’ve gotten tank leveling questions from multiple people. So, over the weekend, I finally got together the tank leveling talent spec and posted it on the blog. I also posted the tank talents on the forum version of the guide.

I still have a lot more work to do for the leveling guide, for sure.

One piece of advice I am getting from low-level druids is that thorns is doing a lot of damage right now for balance-spec (caster) druids when things are hitting you.  Thorns is a spell you learn at level 6. So, if you are leveling up a druid right now, remember that thorns will do a lot of damage to something that is beating up on you with melee damage. You can’t cast thorns in bear or cat form, BUT you could potentially cast it on yourself before you pull when you are soloing (though note that it doesn’t last very long). Thanks to all the druids who contacted me to let me know how good thorns is now!

Posted in Feral Bear tanking, Leveling, Moonkin Balance DPS, Patch 4.0.1

8 comments on “Tank leveling spec updated
  1. Aleanathem says:

    Not being able to cast that while in forms is a nuisance now. I hope Blizzard takes the time to change it to be castable in forms.

  2. Chardonnay says:

    Always enjoyed your guides Lissanna but if I could just suggest a point of clarification.

    I understand your writing the guid with the intent the bear is leveling past 80 as evident by the statement,
    “Natural shapeshifter (Resto T1) – Needed to unlock Master shapeshifter when you can level up to 81.”

    My suggested would be to make the intend of the guide more clear. Currently (4.0.1) taking natural shapeshifter at 77 and 79 does not assist in the leveling progress and not worth the points since we can’t take master shapeshifter right now. I can think of better uses for the two points for more burst with king of the jungle or stampede for a leveling bear laughs in the face of the suggested 3 player quests. I would understand the reasoning that leveling bears might not have things living long enough to benefit from endless carnage so that might be more a wotlk raiding or cata dungeon talent.

    But without the point of clarity it could further confuse readers as to what the end result at 80 during 4.0.1 should look like.

    If in the beginning instead of saying 4.0.1 leveling guide, it might be clearer to say 4.0.3 where the points being spent on the way to master shapeshifter make sense and leveling occurs so quickly optimizing points between levels isn’t necessary.

    • Lissanna says:

      Yeah, I was going to do the full build to 85, but the calculator I was playing with stopped at 80 and confused me, and I couldn’t figure out where to put the two points, because, well, I don’t actually play a tank druid (so making a leveling build is hard for me to do). When I have time, I’ll try to update it with your suggested changes.

      I was trying to avoid KotJ & stampeed because I got scolded when I put them in the cat spec, so I wasn’t sure what to do about them in the bear spec.

      The goal of the leveling spec is to cater to what would be more useful as they level (rather than having a build that will work for raiding at level 80 when they get done). I changed it to stop at at level 75 and told them them to put the last 2 points (at 77 & 79) wherever they want. The leveling guide isn’t about the end-result, but the journey. In some cases, I actually try to time when you get talents based on what abilities you have at that level (I did this less for bear than I did for cat). Also, my cat & moonkin builds stop early for the same reason (because a level 85 progression would put those points in Natural Shapeshifter, too).

      • Chardonnay says:

        Right I understood where you were going with it.
        Just while leveling natural shapeshifter with the mana reduction isn’t that helpful. Although maybe the other options might not be as well…

        I had thought about when I was leveling my druid and I was trying to think about what abilities I used most. One thing that stuck out in my mind was how I did heal myself when I was leveling. Maybe nurturing instincts would be a more helpful place to spend them.

        Although the increase healing in cat isn’t that helpful, the heals you are doing to yourself would be increased. Pre-hotting yourself with stronger heals before pulling mobs or faster health recovery after the mobs go down.

        It is all up for debate/opinion but some food for thought =)

  3. tyra says:

    Typo on
    “•31, 33, 35 (Tier 3) – This is an important tanking talent, which increases your armor and reduces the chance that things will crit you.”

    You forgot the talent name (thick hide)

    •37 & 39 – Infected wounds (tier 2) – put two more points here to fill out the talent.

    It’d probably be better to go straight for lotp @ 39, then Brutal impact, then back to fill out Fury swipes.

    Looks good up until
    •57 & 59 – King of the jungle (Tier 3) Put two points here to fill out points you need to unlock other talents

    Most bears aren’t a fan of the whole “10% extra damage taken on enrage.” Unless/until that gets changed, i’d recomend just going for endless carnage (no good when you first get it, but itll help with pulv later).

    57-EC (1/2)
    59-63 R&T
    65 Pulv or EC

    Pulv is debatable at 65 or 67. Since it’s only odd levels, it’s up to you whether you want to be able to get it at 66, or wait another level. It might be confusing, getting it before you should actually use it, though.*

    * I would actually ask the devs to lower it to 65, for newbie bears.

    — Rest is good

    ps: outside of KOTJ–> EC, your build really is raid ready. ;D

    Great job!


    Whoever scolded you about stampede and kotj for cats is wrong. (they’re good/great talents, respectively). However, they’re considered kind of meh for tanking.

    If people get confused by taking EC before pulv, i’d recomend pulling the points and putting them into Stampede. (it’s not min/max, but it might be understand since they’ll actually use charge).

  4. tyra says:

    There’s no edit button- Sorry!

    * I would actually ask the devs to lower it to 65, for newbie bears.

    ^– I meant lower Lacerate.

  5. tyra says:

    More spam! ;_;

    If you want to go to 85, you need to use the Cata link:
    As opposed to the Live link;


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