Saturday, 29 January 2011

Bear tank crowd control

I'd like to talk about crowd control options when you are Bear tanking, which you personally as the tank can bring. In today's heroics, you need all the crowd control you can get, and sometimes you need to step up and do it yourself. Doing Shadowfang Keep with 2 mages and a warlock for CC? Isn't everything in there undead? Argh!

Cyclone is on a 1.7 second cast and immobilizes the target for only 6 seconds. It does work on everything, but 6 seconds isn't a decent amount of time and is probably only useful when other forms of CC won't work. Casting it will push you out of Bear form too. I've not used this at all so far.

Entangling Roots
Entangling Roots is on a 1.7 second cast and will root something in place for 30 seconds. It works on everything and works everywhere since patch 4. With the Glyph it is instant cast (although in 4.0.6 at the moment, they have nerfed the glyph badly). Casting it will push you into caster form.

This is a prime form of crowd control and I use it at the beginning of a pull while in caster form. I'll root a mob just before the other CC goes off, shift into bear and then FFF the skull while it runs toward me. Combine with having your own Regrowth ticking on you, you can easily crowd control one mob and get the others. Because Roots works on any type of mob, it is a most excellent filler CC if the DPS don't have useful CC, and it tends to break just after the primary kill target dies (or the skull and cross if you're lucky), so 30 seconds is a good duration.

Some Druids don't even train this, but hibernate is a useful CC spell with a 1.5 second cast. Of course it can be used on beasts, so you can hibernate the pets of various hunter mobs in instances.

However it can be used on Dragonkin, and this is where the bear (or cat) becomes a powerhouse of crowd control in Grim Batol. Polymorphs don't work on dragonkin, fear will (so will Hunter traps and Rogue Sap), but if you are mage-heavy you are stuffed. In Grim Batol I have had to root one mob then quickly hibernate another dragonkin, get another feared and tank the rest. Being at maximum range while trying this trick is important, as you are in caster form for around 1.5 seconds after the roots go off. If you're quick on the keys!

Whether to prefer Hibernate or Entangling Roots is tricky, hibernate lasts 40 second vs 30 seconds for roots, you are in Bear so cannot recast either, but roots won't always break with damage whereas hibernate will. I tend to go with Roots usually because it works on everything, using Hibernate if needed.

Nature's Grasp
For kiting many adds, Nature's Grasp is awesome. It is instant cast and does not push you out of Bear form, so on fights where you need to pick up adds and they are not being nuked (like Setesh in Halls of Origination) NG is very useful.

Of course as a Bear, you are the crowd control for anything which hasn't been CCed, but that would make a short post!


  1. Read the title of this post as "Beer Tank"

    I am disappointed with the lack of beer in this post.

  2. Sorry, it might have been more interesting if it was Beer Tank actually!