The second Pet Lore-master’s can command is the Bear.
The bear can be used to tank for you, but it won’t tank forever, since it does not do enough damage or aggro to be a constant threat. Like the raven, our furry friend brings a few different skills to the lore-master’s arsenal, and all of them fit the lore-master’s debuffing and crow-controlling role. The bear also attacks slower than the raven, meaning that he will flank less.
Let’s take a look at the bear’s active skills:
Roaring Challenge: This skill enables the bear to call to himself any target near him. It works as a forced challenge, meaning that no matter the enemy’s threat against you or your friends, the enemy will forcefully turn to the bear for 10 seconds. After those 10 seconds are over, the enemy will go back to its previous target.
TIP: Be careful when using this skill in a group. You don’t want the designated tank (Guardian, Warden or Champion usually) to run around because the bear stole the boss’s aggro. You can, however, use this skill if a new enemy is on the field and it’s attacking some of your squishier friends, like your healer.
TIP: If you are alone, the bear can take one enemy of you. Since it has a 20m range, the mob will have to go all the way to the bear and back while you attack him from range or mezz him from afar with Blinding Flash.
TIP: When you get a few more hard-hitting (and induction heavy) skills, you can use the bear’s forced taunt to get some breathing room to launch those attacks.
Shatter Arms: This skill will damage the bear’s target and will put a debuff on it. Whenever the Bear shatter’s arms, that foe will receive 10% extra damage from melee and ranged sources. While the lore-master only has one melee skill (Staff-strike) and its auto-attack, if you are grouped with other non-tactical classes, like Champions and Hunters they will appreciate the extra damage.
TIP: Although the Lore-master is a tactical class, some tests have shown that a big part of their damage can come from melee (Staff-strike and auto-attack). If you are comfortable in being up close with your enemy and leaving the relative safety of your ranged attacks, that is something to consider. We will talk a bit more on this subject later on, so look forward for some future tips.
TIP: Since this debuff is more aimed when you are group, you can warn your fellows if you use this skill. That way they can use their more damaging attacks and get a little extra damage in a fight.
Bear Hug: This damaging skill will also stun the bear’s target for 3 seconds. While stunned, the enemy cannot attack or avoid your own attacks, but they can miss or be resisted. I will talk about the differences between mezzes (or dazes) and stuns on a future post, since there seems to be a few misconceptions about this two mechanics.
TIP: You can use this stun the same way you use raring challenge. In a group you can use it more safely, even on the main tank’s target (if he is not immune and most bosses are) or to give your healer’s a few seconds of breathing room. Solo you can use it when you want to cast a bigger attack and your enemy’s attacks are slowing your induction.
Bears and Food:
Bears have a special item you can buy or trade that is specially made for them. Those items are a type of bear food called Honey and Oats. There are various types of this food, from the most basic that you can buy from the lore-master class trainer to more advanced types which you can buy or trade from other players that have the cook profession. Honey and Oats also has various level ranges, so as you and your bear level up you can access better types of food.
Honey and Oats will increase your bears perceived threat, meaning they will look more threatening to enemies, thus tanking better for you. They will also received various bonuses to damage mitigation, meaning that they will take less damage from enemy attacks, requiring less heals.
The bear is also a useful pet. It flanks less than the raven but it also does more damage. It’s more sturdy and will hold it’s own with a few heals here and there. When solo you can use it more as an off-tank than as your tank. If you are up against more than 2 enemies, you can mezz/daze one target and send the bear to attack and distract another target while you take care of your own. The bear will survive until you can take care of it’s target. All the bears skills are also useful in a group. Specially Shatter Arms since it will raise your fellowships damage output. Save Roaring Challenge and Bear Hug as emergency skills to save your healer or another group member from unexpected company.