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  • Author: Oxykitten
  • Date: November 17, 2021
  • Expansion: WoW Classic

Intro

Welcome to our Pre-raid BiS guide for Feral Tanks in WoW Classic: Season of Mastery. The purpose of this guide is to present the very best items available before accessing raid content in Phase 1 of Season of Mastery. This guide will intentionally omit PvP and reputation pieces, which take more time and effort than accessing raids and therefore are unrealistic to obtain before raiding. Sets are divided into: “Threat focused,” which skews gear to be less tanky but generate more threat; “Mitigation focused,” which skews gear to be more tanky but generate less threat; and “Balanced,” which uses a good mix of threat and mitigation for general use. You should use the appropriate set depending on how hard a boss hits and how much threat your DPS generate. It should be noted that a Threat Focused set is almost never appropriate for Alliance tanks, as Blessing of Salvation massively reduces threat requirement.

I am also working on a complete Phase 1 BiS guide for Feral Tanks and DPS, as well as guides for other facets of Feral gameplay; these will all be published in due course, so stay tuned!

Pre-raid BiS

The tabs below will show and discuss BiS items for each slot in balanced, mitigation-focused, and threat-focused sets. The first section of each tab will show the complete BiS set; each following section shows enchants, alternative options, and the rationale for each choice in every slot. The “Balanced” tab will show all slots; the other tabs will only show slots which are different from that in the balanced set.

Mask of the Unforgiven is the Best in Slot pre-raid head option for all sets. The hit chance on it is very strong, and puts it significantly ahead of all three listed alternatives. The alternatives are very close in value to each other. Keep in mind that, for any encounter where you will DPS for a portion of a fight (such as after the add you are tanking has died), you should wear Wolfshead Helm instead. Also, Shadowcraft Cap is extremely strong for Rogues wanting to build their dungeon set; I would recommend passing on it if there is a Rogue in your dungeon group.

Arcanum of Rapidity is extremely strong for Feral Tanks and should be used on your helm and legs in all sets.

Beads of Ogre Might is the Best in Slot pre-raid neck option for all sets. They are earned as part of the Dungeon set questline (starting with Just Compensation) and therefore take some gold and effort to get; the listed alternatives are good options until then.

Truestrike Shoulders are the Best in Slot pre-raid shoulder option for balanced and threat-focused sets. They are rare and highly contested, but are definitely worth trying to get. Atal’ai Spaulders of the Bear can be solo farmed by Druids in the Sunken Temple, but the “of the Bear” variety have a 0.42% drop chance. The “of the Monkey” variety are comparable to Flamescarred Shoulders, and have a slightly better 1.68% drop chance. Dark Warder’s Pauldrons can be farmed with two druids, or a druid and a rogue. Wyrmhide Spaulders are an easily accessible quest reward.

Phantasmal Cloak is the Best in Slot pre-raid back option for all sets. It can be hard to attain as many Scholomance groups will skip Jandice Barov, but it is a very strong cloak and worth pushing your group for. Stoneskin Gargoyle Cape is a decent alternative, and though it drops off a rare spawn in Stratholme, I (anectodally) saw it many times in Classic WoW. Sergeant’s Cape is comparable to both these cloaks, and is extremely easy to get; a single week of PvP can bring you straight to Sergeant rank.

The two cloak enchants listed are roughly equal in value, with Agility being slightly better threat and Feral DPS value, and Defense being slightly better mitigation. The choice is yours, and quite inconsequential.

Breastplate of Bloodthirst is the Best in Slot pre-raid chest option for all sets. In fact, if not using PvP gear it is the best chest option in Phase 1! Naturally, it is not easy to get; it requires several expensive materials including Pristine Hide of the Beast, a rare skinning drop from The Beast in Upper Blackrock Spire. Tombstone Breastplate and Cadaverous Armor are good alternatives from Scholomance, and Mixologist’s Tunic can be solo farmed from Blackrock Depths; I’d recommend getting this first.

Blackmist Armguards are the Best in Slot pre-raid bracer option for all sets. Throughout Phase 1, these are equalled only by Forest Stalker’s Bracers, which require Exalted with your faction’s Warsong Gulch reputation. Bracers of the Eclipse and Wristguards of Renown are suitable alternatives.

For your wrist enchant, Stamina and Strength are equal, with Stamina being more tanky and Strength giving more threat. Note that Strength is also good for Feral DPS, so if you intend to use the item in both sets (Bracers of the Eclipse are also DPS BiS) I would recommend enchanting Strength.

Devilsaur Gauntlets are the Best in Slot pre-raid hand option for balanced and threat-focused sets. Although the alternatives listed are, in a vacuum, better than Devilsaur Gloves, the set bonus when worn with Devilsaur Leggings makes the Devilsaur set the best option.

Cloudrunner Girdle is the Best in Slot waist pre-raid option for all sets. However, it is quite rare, with an 8% drop chance off Quartermaster Zigris in Lower Blackrock Spire. Serpentine Sash and Frostbite Girdle are fairly easy alternatives until Molten Belt, which can be bought on the Auction House but is excluded from this guide as it requires materials found in Molten Core to craft.

Devilsaur Leggings are the Best in Slot pre-raid leg option for Balanced and Threat-focused sets. This is because of the strong set bonus when paired with Devilsaur Gauntlets. Abyssal Leather Leggings of Striking are BiS if using a different item in the hand slot. The 3 best leg items are all bind on equip and can be bought on the Auction House.

Boots of Ferocity are the Best in Slot pre-raid boot option for all sets. They depend on a player in the group doing or having done the dungeon set questline – Pads of the Dread Wolf or Shadefiend Boots may be easier to pick up early on.

The Minor Speed boot enchant is incredibly important for a tank, and far more impactful than other enchants.

Myrmidon’s Signet and Blackstone Ring are the Best in Slot pre-raid ring options for Balanced and Threat sets. Myrmidon’s Signet can be very expensive, so any of the alternative rings are good and easily attained.

Mark of Tyranny and Blackhand’s Breadth would be the best in slot trinkets for all sets. Unfortunately, they are both quest rewards from the same quest! Therefore, the Best in Slot trinkets are Mark of Tyranny or Blackhand’s Breadth alongside Smoking Heart of the Mountain. Which to choose is up to you; in a balanced set, they are equal. Mark of Tyranny is better for mitigation, Blackhand’s Breadth is better for threat. Because Blackhand’s Breadth is also BiS for Feral DPS, I recommend picking Blackhand’s Breadth.

Mark of the Chosen is a very strong trinket when activated, but keeping the proc active, especially as an offtank, can be unreliable. Hand of Justice is not a bad trinket, but with the spell batching changes implemented at the end of Classic, it is far weaker for Feral Tanks than it used to be.

Gnomish Battle Chicken is a trinket made by Gnomish engineers that, when used correctly, increases the melee haste of all party members by 5%. This is an absolutely massive buff, making it by far the best trinket in the game when used. I do not list it as BiS because it has a 30 minute cooldown (meaning you’ll want other trinkets while it is on cooldown), but it is absolutely worth leveling engineering for and using as often as possible. Note that while you can craft Smoking Heart of the Mountain and then drop enchanting, but continue using the trinket, you must be an engineer to use Gnomish Battle Chicken.

Manual Crowd Pummeler (MCP) is the best weapon in the game for Feral Druids. Its on-use effect increases haste by 50%, which increases the Druid’s threat by around 45%! There is no alternative to it, as not even Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian comes remotely close to the threat provided by MCPs. Unfortunately, MCPs only have 3 charges, and therefore many must be farmed from Gnomeregan to use in raids. Because of this, it is not feasible for a druid to use MCPs in every dungeon and raid trash mob.

Unyielding Maul is the best pre-raid Non-MCP weapon option for balanced and mitigation sets. It is easily attained from a Dire Maul: Tribute chest, which can either be earned as a group or solo farmed by a Hunter (in SoM, you need to be in the instance when the King is killed to be eligible for loot). It is far better than Warden Staff as it can be enchanted with an Iron Counterweight; this enchant applies to the Druid’s swing timer and provides a lot of value. Iron Counterweights can and should be applied to MCPs too, but you’ll need a new one for each Pummeler so it’s quite a commitment!

A note on Impervious Giant and hit cap: While it is better than Bonecrusher, a decent proportion of its value comes from the 1% increased hit chance it gives. You will find that the full BiS set suggested here already reaches 9% hit (which is the cap). Wearing Impervious Giant when already hit capped would make it quite weak, which is why it is listed below Bonecrusher. This set reaches the hit cap because the items with hit on them happen to be good enough to do so; there is no need to be hit capped, as even if you are capped, your Mauls have a 20.5% chance to be dodged or parried, and your DPS players need to be prepared for that possibility. You should think of hit cap as a limit, not a goal; like we see with Impervious Giant, hit cap is simply something that can limit your gearing choices since there is no value to hit above the 9% cap.

BiS: Idol of Brutality

Idol of Brutality is the only idol available in the game for Feral Tanks. Luckily, it is very powerful and worth getting as soon as possible.

Atal’ai Spaulders of the Bear are the best in slot option for a mitigation-focused set. They can be solo farmed by Druids in the Sunken Temple, but the “of the Bear” variety have a 0.42% drop chance. The “of the Monkey” variety are also strong, and have a slightly better 1.68% drop chance. The threat generated with Truestrike Shoulders is good enough that they remain a good alternative in a Mitigation-leaning set. Dark Warder’s Pauldrons can be farmed with two druids, or a druid and a rogue.

Slaghide Gauntlets of the Bear are the Best in Slot pre-raid hand option in a mitigation-focused set. They are a rare drop (2.3% drop chance) off Urok Doomhowl in Lower Blackrock Spire; an optional and difficult boss that is not often killed. The “of the Monkey” variety are nearly as good, and considerably more common at 15.5% drop chance. Otherwise, sticking to the Devilsaur set is likely your best bet.

Abyssal Leather Leggings of Striking are the Best in Slot pre-raid leg option for mitigation sets when paired with Slaghide Gauntlets of the Bear/Monkey. Without these gloves, you should stick to Devilsaur in all sets because of the strong set bonus when paired with Devilsaur Gloves.

Myrmidon’s Signet and Ring of Protection are the Best in Slot pre-raid ring options for Mitigation sets. Myrmidon’s Signet can be very expensive, so any of the alternative rings are good and easily attained.

Blackhand’s Breadth and Rune of the Guard Captain are the Best in Slot trinket options for a threat-focused set. Rune of the Guard Captain is only available for Horde players, so Alliance can rely on Hand of Justice – which is rare and desired by all melee players – as a second threat trinket. Hand of Justice is not a bad trinket, but with the spell batching changes implemented at the end of Classic, it is far weaker for Feral Tanks than it used to be. Considering this, I would recommend Alliance players use Blackhand’s Breadth and Smoking Heart of the Mountain in all sets.

Gnomish Battle Chicken is a trinket made by Gnomish engineers that, when used correctly, increases the melee haste of all party members by 5%. This is an absolutely massive buff, making it by far the best trinket in the game when used. I do not list it as BiS because it has a 30 minute cooldown (meaning you’ll want other trinkets while it is on cooldown), but it is absolutely worth leveling engineering for and using as often as possible. Note that while you can craft Smoking Heart of the Mountain and then drop enchanting, but continue using the trinket, you must be an engineer to use Gnomish Battle Chicken.

Manual Crowd Pummeler (MCP) is the best weapon in the game for Feral Druids. Its on-use effect increases haste by 50%, which increases the Druid’s threat by around 45%! There is no alternative to it, as not even Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian comes remotely close to the threat provided by MCPs. Unfortunately, MCPs only have 3 charges, and therefore many must be farmed from Gnomeregan to use in raids. Because of this, it is not feasible for a druid to use MCPs in every dungeon and raid trash mob.

Bonecrusher is the best pre-raid Non-MCP weapon option for a threat-focused set. It is easily attained from a quest in Dire Maul. It and other maces are far better than Warden Staff as they can be enchanted with an Iron Counterweight; this enchant applies to the Druid’s swing timer and provides a lot of value. Iron Counterweights can and should be applied to MCPs too, but you’ll need a new one for each Pummeler so it’s quite a commitment!

A note on Impervious Giant and hit cap: While it is better than Bonecrusher, a decent proportion of its value comes from the 1% increased hit chance it gives. You will find that the full BiS set suggested here already reaches 9% hit (which is the cap). Wearing Impervious Giant when already hit capped would make it quite weak, which is why it is listed below Bonecrusher. This set reaches the hit cap because the items with hit on them happen to be good enough to do so; there is no need to be hit capped, as even if you are capped, your Mauls have a 20.5% chance to be dodged or parried, and your DPS players need to be prepared for that possibility. You should think of hit cap as a limit, not a goal; like we see with Impervious Giant, hit cap is simply something that can limit your gearing choices since there is no value to hit above the 9% cap.

Thank you for taking the time to read our Feral Tank Pre-raid BiS guide for Season of Mastery. I hope it was helpful, and if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below, or find me as Oxy on the Druid Classic discord.

 

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