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Frostyboi Critbear - Sinnergy's Werebear 0.7.9d

Hey there! I don’t stream or make videos or anything of the sort, so if someone wants to take that up - go for it! I will outline my take Werebear gameplay and outline it in this post - my hope is that anything that might be missing or not “optimized” for endgame gameplay is critiqued and bettered for not only myself but all other players looking for an endgame werebear option!

When I created the this primalist I fully intended to shoot for a cold damage based werebear, but as it turns out that is only partially possible in the games current state - so that concept is where this build started, but certainly isn’t married to :slight_smile: .

The Core Skills and Passives will be listed below (and passives taken up to level 100):

Ice Thorns
Dagger Thorns - 3/4
Bramble Armor - 2/2
Spell Thorns - 4/4
Ritual Briar - 6/6
Thorn Shaper - 2/6
Shamanistic Fury - 3/3

Battle Howl - 4/4
Wild Calling - 3/3
Aspect of the Panther - 1/1
Frenzy - 2/2
Feline Hunter - 3/8
Apex Predator - 4/4
Way of the Hunt - 3/8

Werebear Form
Rip and Tear - 4/4
Innervating Blow - 1/1
Thick Skin - 3/3
Iron Hide - 2/3
Woodland Bear - 1/1
Ursine Heart - 5/5
Wizened Claws - 1/1
Star Claw - 1/1
High Tail - 2/3

Entangling Roots
Nourish - 5/5
Roots of Lapp - 1/1
Bountiful Harvest - 1/1
Mana Bloom - 1/1
Imbued Sap - 3/3
Grove Master - 3/3
Reclamation - 1/4
Lasting Briar - 5/5

Thorn Totem
Forested Expanse - 3/3
Eternal Forest - 3/4
Grove Mind - 1/1
Memories of Eterra - 2/5
Venom Tipped Thorns - 3/5
Ice Thorn Totems - 1/1
Frost Attunement - 1/1
Torrent of Thorns - 3/3
Lethal Thicket - 2/4
Unhollow Core - 1/1

You might notice that we do not taken Ursine Wisdom as is seen in many builds - it is not necessary to sustain 100% uptime once you have a polearm with strong implicit melee crit chance (ideally 7% on a Sovnya) and spell damage to pump the crit chance a bit (also why we take things like Rootborn wrath and Briarskin for efficiency in the passive tree). Furthermore, the primary mana dump being Roar, gains mana efficiency with attunement - you should be able to have no issues with mana if you have ~25+ attunement.

You might also notice that I do not go with Thorn Shield in my variant - this is because I feel that the defensive stats are overkill, and the freeze/chill that comes from the constant proc’ing is far more useful, and we even get to add a bit more damage in the mix with the totem synergy. Also, to a lesser extent fits the “flavor” that I originally wanted to find a build route for - but that’s just an added bonus!

Finally, while entangling roots is pretty standard for a werebear build, the thorn totem differs from any build that I’ve seen so far in that I take ice totem and attunement for chill/freeze utility, and then go south for the more “focused fire” benefits of Unhollow core. I have tried using 2 of the points from Torrent of Thorns in Spriggan Hearts as a variant, but found that with the cones already firing at 170 degrees and targeting enemies, that more projectiles seems to have better effect.


Primalist Base
Natural Attunement - 8/8
Primal Strength - 6/8
Survival of the Pack - 6/6
Berserker - 5/5

Ursine Strength - 8/8
Savagery - 1/8
Ambush - 1/8
Boar Heart - 5/5
Porcine Constitution - 5/5
Primal Strength - 2/5

Silent Protector - 5/8
Totemic Fury 5/5

Blood Claws - 6/6
Woodlore - 8/8
Spirit Claws - 8/8
Rootborn Wrath - 5/5
Eternal Nature - 10/10
Briarskin - 6/10
Oakenform - 6/6
Ursine Maw - 2/8
Briarguard - 8/8

The passive nodes are pretty plug n chug in a top down order as listed until lvl 85, the exception being that I would hold off on Oakenform 6/6 and the shaman tree until last. Otherwise, hit your 25 base, into 22 beastmaster (the shark/boar aspects are very nice to have), and finish up with 53 points into druid - which will bring you to level 84 assuming all passive points from quests are gathered. Follow up to 94 with the shaman tree picking up the 5/5 totemic Fury, and finish it off with 6/6 into Oakenform.

The passives seem mostly self-explanatory to me, and I chose ice thorns over summon bear as I found that the bear just always dies and is a pain to keep hitting “A” while running through monos, so no Natural Duality in the tree, naturally :rofl: . I hope this thread opens discussion on “value points” and where some points might be adjusted to maximized overall value. Or just tear the build apart in general, that’s cool too!

I will include the tunklab link to look over items but will also discuss the item selection a bit, too.

Firstly, in order to make this bear work you will need to have at least one Spined Ornate totem (% chance to summon thorn totem on hit). I find that just one (assuming 6%+) is enough, and ideally that one has 10% chance. They can take a little while to find, so running 2 is excellent to make sure totems are popping all the time - otherwise you want to get as much spell damage on your totems as possible in the other slots. In an ideal world (I certainly don’t have this lineup) the following totems would be taken:

Spined Ornate Herot Idol of Prophecy (summon totem chance/spelldmg w/totem)
Dryad’s Grand Heorot Totem of Prophecy x3 (spelldmg while xform/spelldmg w/totem)
Vigorous Large Nomad Idol of Stars (%hp/shared spelldmg)

A key feature of this build is attaining spell damage to be able to utilize the Wizened Claws and Star Claw passives - ergo the spell damage on the helm/chest/ammy/ring. I elected to dump dodge, take set gb to 100%, csa to 100%, and then 3set of armor/void and 3set of poison/necro. The bear gets a lot of elemental resists from attunement and passives, so this is the most balanced format I have come to find. I make sure to take elemental protections on the weapoon for an efficient elemental protections boost without going for set. All suffix/protection slots can be adjusted as needed to balance protections, so long as you maintain 100% gb and 100% csa. Personally I find the Legacy of the Quiet Forest belt to be very efficient, so I went with that as I didnt need to have the belt for a gbset slot.

This post will be editted and updated along the way should insights be made, and critique from the community help to develop it! Sorry about the formatting, I might update that too if I feel inspired at a later date. Tear it apart, yall!

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If I’m not mistaken, the damage buff from attunement in Avatar of the Wild only applies when you are not in werebear form, so the points are “wasted” there. If you are perma-werebear, then the nodes can be better used elsewhere. I went down the Culling route, with 1 less point in Battle Howl. Culling is really nice to have - doesn’t seem to be doing much, but you tend to notice it more when you don’t have it.

I like the extra cooldown on charge from Hightail in Werebear. It’s great for mobility having it on 2 seconds rather than 4. Costs 2 points, but makes gameplay nice and fast. 1 point doesn’t really give a big benefit and 3 points is not necessary.

I use bear, not totems and not played the char for a few weeks.

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Avatar of the Wild reads: Swipe hits deal more damage (4%/per) for each point of Attunement you have. I might be missing something, but it would seem that swipe gets 4% dmg per point of attunement :slight_smile: .

I agree that two points in Hightail feels better - I have been swapping that point back and forth, trying to decide if the value of 3 flat damage in Pummel is better or not - but I think I agree with you that 2 points in High tail feels better, and will probably change that in the build.

I’ve tried many many variants of skills and nodes and this point and feel that bear is just clunky, and that ice thorns/thorn totems is the most fluid route. But you could absolutely interchange any of those skills to preference. Granted, if you want bear, you’ll want to make sure to pick up Natural Duality, and Artor’s Loyalty passive nodes along the way :slight_smile:

Thanks, for the input Madriax! Lemme know if I’m missing something with Avatar - might need to speak with devs if not working properly!

Avatar of the wild in Human for -> Adds attunment to the skill tags so you get 4% more dmg / attunment.
Bear Swipe (swipe in bear form) skill tags without “Avatar of the wild” -> already has a 4% more dmg / attunment from the getgo.
So it’s useless to take if you have ~100% uptime and frees up at least 2 points in the skilltree.

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I see, I just respecced the skill and saw the change only applies to swipe in human form. In which case it certainly makes more sense to just put the points into “Ways of the Hunt”

Thanks @Macknum and @Madriax

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YW… I wondered myself and skilled back and forth for a while untill I saw no real dmg range differences.

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Thanks for sharing.

The reason we can skip Ursine Wisdom is not related to crit. Crit refunds the Swipe mana cost but not the mana cost of Roar.

Wearbear roar gets 2% mana efficiency from attunement. So with 50 attunement, the roar will completely refund its mana cost from roots.

Edit - Removed the link and just copy and paste to save people time.

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Excellent note - thank you @BladeAndShadow! Adjusting the notes now :slight_smile:

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How effective is the freeze from this build? Have you tried it out in arena?

I have mostly been doing monos, but I cleared a 140 arena earlier (lvl88) without much trouble. Might need to increase HP pool a tiny bit to help with big hits. My resistances arent awful but could be improved. My bear is 88 currently so not “optimal” yet, but has decent gear.

For general context, I guess, I’m sitting at 895 hp right now with 60% res across the board, with the exception of armor at 81%, poison at 72%, void 63%. This is all while standing in bear form in town.

With better optimized gear (quite a few of my pieces have only 3 affixs - so could be pushing much higher res numbers) and pushing lvl 100, I could see this clearing 250? I can’t verify that until I push xp, I can let you know about that in the near future if I push :slight_smile:

The freeze feels good, though, especially on waves with a lot going on. Can use totems to zone while using charge to deal with separate packs. Roar often puts my armor/res through the roof (9k+ armor regularly when roaring in mob packs).

Side Note: Couple things that I’ll have to toy with that come to mind

  1. Spirit wolves vs 3 more points into way of the hunt/wengarian reach

  2. moving 5 passive points (probably from oakenform) over to keep ~100% uptime on shark

  3. I like the idea that you presented in other forum on using an axe and the ancestral weaponry node - but I dont know that its possible to hit 100% crit without using an affix or implict - but at some point will have to toy will what that passive setup could maybe look like if able to hit a proper crit threshhold

  4. Havent tested the Sundering thorns route on ice thorns, yet. Could be nice? Could drop ice thorns all together and keep bear going? As I said, bear just feels wasted once you go past 40+ arena.

Are you the guy I was arguing with on chat about protections and % resist?

I don’t have 100% crit anymore because of the T5 nerfs, but I have

Base crit - 5% + 9% (from 2hd axe) = 14% base

Increased crit from skills - 175%

Increased crit from passives - 140% (could be more but I didn’t take all the passives)
Increased spell damage from passives - 35% (so this also gives 35% crit)

Increased spell damage from helmet/chest - 134%
Increased spell damage from idols - 62%

Total = 14% * ( 1 + 546% ) = 90.4%

But I actually still have 99% uptime because roots restores my mana. I haven’t worked on my wearbear this patch but I would find a way to get a little more crit. Maybe better idols.

how are us mere mortals meant to figure out that Spell Damage adds crit ? the tooltip doesnt say and when you equip an idol with it the sheet crit doesnt change ?

It’s in the Star Claw tooltip in the Werebear skill tree.

Remember, it only applies - and shows up in your stat sheet crit chance - when you are actually in werebear form, not human form.

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Well that is promising! So you’re running Melee crit+flat damage on the 2HAxe in place of ATS+flatdmg? Thank you for sharing! Gives me hope about feeling out the Ancestral Mastery swap :slight_smile:

@Nelluced I’m not sure - maybe? I hop on general chat every now and then, have it disabled most of the time. There are a couple great forum discussions and videos on the topic, though!

@TheRealIronMan, @Madriax gave the answer, but yes, we take both Wizened Claws (for the added melee damage) and Star Claw (for added crit) that both apply when we take spell damage. The tooltip reads as such on both nodes in the passive trees, and as @Madriax said, only applies while in bear form :slight_smile:

I don’t remember if my 2nd prefix is attack speed or flat damage. Both are good options and probably depends on your luck. However the increased melee or physical damage prefix is inferior on this build because we should already have lots of increased damage.

Thanks for the explanation. They way people were talking about it made me think it was some sort of global conversion thing i didn’t know about.

I’ve leveled a druid with this method but i cannot find ANY idol with “x% on hit to summon thorn totem” and I GOT TO LVL 70!, any ideas where to farm idols?

There isn’t anywhere to go to target farm items, you just need to kill more stuff. That said, some idols are incredibly rare, such as the chance to proc Smite on throwing attack hit idols. I’ve seen 2 of them on my current character & probably 8 in total since idols were introduced and all of them were on a Paladin (though the devs say that shouldn’t have any impact).