Yes, this really is what will fill your screen about 90% of the time if you choose to be a bear in the upcoming expansion.
Nah, I’m just kidding but to be fair, druids do have a slight issue with being a bit more…chubby than their plate wearing counterparts so if you’re planning on running around as a druid come Cataclysm and you’re a bit leery about controlling a character that looks as though they should be skipping on those extra midnight snacks, this isn’t for you.
For those of you not scared away but the unsightly fat bear, you’re in luck! Being a druid has a wonderful perk attached to it, namely, versatility. Every role you can fill in a raid or dungeon, whether it’s melee/ranged DPS, healer or tank, the druid can fill, and handily. What this means is that if you choose to tank as a druid, you’ll never really lack for options should you want a change of pace, whether you feel like dealing some damage or saving lives.
While there are many upcoming changes to the class as a whole as with every other aspect of the game, the core role of the bear as a raid tank will likely not change.
The druid is a wonderful tank to choose when it comes to survivability and damage mitigation. Druids are blessed with the highest health pool and the highest armor value; the armor making them the easy choice to deal with hard hitting physical mobs while the higher health pool makes them an easy choice for tanking magical damage as while they’ll take them same amount of damage as the other tanks, their higher HP makes them easier to keep up.
Ask any healer if they’d prefer to heal a tank that drops in spikes or one that takes a bit more damage but drops at a steady and regular pace and nine times out of ten, they’ll opt for the second. Geared properly, a druid tank has a proper place in any raid encounter with their access to an in combat resurrection and Innervate and have often been chosen over their other tanking counterparts for that purpose.
Cataclysm has the further benefit of bringing some new toys to the table such as Stampeding Roar which acts as a Heroism/Bloodlust for movement speed. While such a skill may admittedly be situational, in the instances where it would be helpful, it’ll be very helpful.
All of these benefits don’t come without cost, however. Due to the fact that they are a class built for versatility rather than to fill a single role, their tradeoffs come in the form of a slightly bland playstyle when it comes to tanking and a noticeable lack of some of the signature tanking moves held by their brethren that lets them tank with a bit of flash and pizzazz.
As a druid, you’ll never be sought after due to your ability to prevent your own death through an Ardent Defender proc, nor will you be called upon to zip across the battle like a pinball like a warrior and you lack any and all of the little perks of being a death knight (biggest of which is the ability to yank your enemy towards you).
However, as that same druid, you’ll never be bored and confined to a single role in a raid. As a druid, you will save an attempt with your battle res one day and get the job done by the skin of your teeth.
As a druid tank in Cataclysm, you will become an incredibly tough, furry, and immovable rock for your squishy raid members to hide behind and they will love you for it so if all of that sounds appealing, get started on that druid today and we’ll see you in the expansion, another bear added to the ranks.