Druid Tank Guide: Druid Tanking Gear, Spec & Tips

As we mentioned in our druid guide, the form to use for tanking as a druid is the bear. The advantage of being a druid tank is that you can heal yourself in emergency situations if needed and survive and keep the team alive and even resurrect others. As a tank, you’ll be leading the group in an instance or raid and setting the pace of the combat.

Ensure that you spec  your talent points for tanking, as well as spec your gear for tanking as well. See here for more about how to:

Druid tank spec with talents

How to druid tank spec with gear

Druid tanking glyphs

You will need all of these specs (especially talents and gear) chosen properly to tank at the mid to high levels, otherwise you’ll take too much damage and not survive combat.

As a druid tank, here are the things that you have to know:

1. Repair before the big quest,  instance or raid

Prepare for your role by repairing all armor before a major quest or instance or raid, in a major city or town, as after you start an instance it will be difficult to get a repair. This is unless you have a warlock in your team to create a portal, so that you can hearth to repair and then to get back via summoning. You can do this if you need repairs urgently during a long instance!

2. Get the best buffs you or your team can offer

Buff yourself with druid buffs of Mark of the Wild/Gift of the Wild and Thorns, unless there’s a druid healer in your party with better or higher ranked version of your buff. In this case, get them to buff you.

3. Use threatmeter addon

Use a threatmeter to see who in your party is drawing the most threat. As a tank, you play your role to keep the mobs on you, and at the same time keep an eye on your team to see whether you will need to draw a mob away from your dps or healer in your party.

4. Draw the mobs the best way possible

Set the pace of the instance by drawing a mob or mobs to your team. The decision as to whether to draw one or two or more mobs will depend on the levels of the mobs. Also, whether they’re casters which can cause havoc with totems or spells, whether they’re elite, and their proximity to each other.

If you want to draw a small number of mobs but not more, draw them to an area that is out of sight to the other mobs. You should tell your team to stay in a certain area before you draw them back to where you are, otherwise you’ll draw unwanted mobs if your team members rush in and agro too many mobs. It helps if everyone in the team knows that you as the tank is the leader and sets the pace but some people don’t know the various roles, so just hint and remind them what to do.

If you’re not sure about the situation ahead and it’s difficult to assess, go into prowl form and check out the situation more closely this way to decide what you need to do.

5. Mark the mobs the dps should attack, with a skull, a cross and circle.

This will indicate which mobs to target and which priority. Your dps members must know which mobs to attack so that you kill one set of mobs before moving on to another. You can set your targets to key binds such as F1 to F3 so you can easily do this during the instance.

6. Ensure that you have your task bar set up for effective tanking as a druid.

In bear form, make sure that your abilities are set to an order that makes sense to you as a tank. Foe example, you can place the taunting abilities first, then the enrage ability, then the damage abilities, so you can use them in this approximate order from left to right. You can keybind them to number 1 to 0 as well as place them on the action bar. For example, you can set them to something like this:

Attack – put you into attack mode where you will swipe every few seconds when a mob is in range.

Faerie Fire (feral) – to draw a mob as well as to reduce their armor for 5 minutes, and do some damage when in bear or dire bear forms.

Growl – to taunt a mob towards you.

Challenging Roar – use this instead if you want to taunt all mobs towards you, instead of just one.

Enrage – to increase rage so that you can perform the damage abilities to follow which require rage.

Demoralizing roar – to reduce the melee damage by mobs for 30 seconds.

Swipe – to damages nearby enemies. This helps to keep the agro on all nearby mobs.

Bash – to stun mobs for 30 seconds.

Maul – increases your melee damage, so use this repeatedly to increase the effect of your next melee.

Frenzied Regeneration – use if you need to heal, as it converts rage to heal over 10 seconds.

7. Keep the attention of the mob/s on you by attacking the mob and being the biggest threat, and so the mob is not targeting the others, ie not the dps or healer.

When you’re doing this, keep an eye on the threatmeter to check if you need to taunt a mob off another person in your party such as a dps or healer. If you are using a chat system, then they can verbally tell you that they’ve got a mob on them, but if not, it will be even more important for you to pay attention to the threatmeter.

8. Beware of patrols.

If you notice that a patrol is coming back and is about to attack your healer or dps, then taunt them as well. As a leader, you should look out for these events and warn your party. But if you forget, you should notice that someone is being attacked and draw the mob off them as this happens.

Often patrols will be killed before you reach a certain area, but often they maybe coming the other way so are still alive, and may even be in groups, and also be elites. So watch out for them.

9. Watch out for runners.

Some mobs will be runners and run to collect the other mobs. If you have a dps or healer that has entangling ability, then they should entangle them and stop them from getting the mobs. Often they do this when they are low on health. It is a good idea to check before the instance or combat to see who can do this and can watch out for this situation and entangle the runners as needed.

If needed and you have enough health and you know the runner is going to a huge group of mobs that your team is not ready to handle right at this point, you can use your entangling roots ability and come out of bear form for a moment to do this, then return to bear form.

10. Set the pace accordingly after combat and check if your healer need to mana up, as after all, they are the one keeping you alive during combat.

Druid tanks often have better knowledge of what it’s like to be a healer as they can do that role themselves. The most important thing is to let the let the healer know that there’s a big boss coming up and that they should be mana’d up.

Also, if you’re going to run into a room and gather all the mobs for a huge combat or are facing many higher level mobs or elites, then let the healer know that you may need a pre-heal as you run towards them or early heal just after you contact the mobs. This can save your life when your healer is doing the preheal.

Note that if the healer does a pre-heal on you that they may take agro and if this happens, may fall in health very fast. In this case, get the mob off the healer as soon as possible, It’s often better to tell the healer to do an early heal instead of the pre-heal for this reason.

When you’ve got your druid tanking gear, druid tank build by talents as well as know how to tank, then you’ll be a real great tank in any situation.


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