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World of Warcraft Classes Druid «Guardian»

Guardian Druid PvE guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

 A Guardian Druid transforms into a ferocious and die-hard bear ready to protect its allies at the cost of its own… skin.

Contents

Introduction

Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:

Advantages:

  • Survives burst physical damage really well;
  • Handles burst magic damage well, too;
  • Capable of delivering powerful birst AoE damage even to remote targets;
  • Has a mass sprint for the raid.

Disadvantages:

  • Demands constant healing done by someone else;
  • Average damage on a single target.

Basic information on the spec:

A Guardian Druid has access to all Druid’s basic Forms: Travel Form, Cat Form and Bear Form; and if talented, the Moonking Form, too. The main Form, for sure, is the Bear one. In this Form, a Druid has one key resource – Rage which is spent on active damage decreasing and Health restoring abilities.

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Glossary

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Main abilities

 

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Talents

General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.

Tier 1. Lvl 15.

  • Brambles. A passive aura absorbing a minor share of damage and reflecting it back onto your enemies. While under Barkskin, this aura passive deals Nature damage to all the closest enemies once a second.
  • Bristling Fur. For 8 secs allows you to accumulate Rage depending on the received damage. CD 40 secs.
  • Blood Frenzy. Whenever your Thrash deals damage, you accumulate 2 Rage.

* In raid encounters, Bristling Fur would be the best choice survival-wise as it generates most Rage, which, in its turn, can be spent on abilities increasing your survival.
Brambles hardly even touch upon survival, but it is the best talent for damage dealing.
Blood Frenzy may prove interesting in long AoE combats where you’re subject to continuous damage taking.

 

Tier 2. Lvl 30.

* In general, none of the talents affects your survival or damage dealing.
The standard choice would be Guttural Roars as more frequenter and farther in range sprints are the best option for your raid.
Wild Charge is quite a situation-tied talent. Take it if you need extra mobility.

 

Tier 3. Lvl 45.

  • Balance Affinity. Passively increases your abilities’ active range by 5 m and gives you the following several abilities:
    Moonkin Form. CD 1.5 min; in this Form, your Armor rating is elevated by 200%, and you also get 4 abilities typical of this Form. You can utilize those abilities only while in Moonkin Form.
    Starsurge has a 10-sec CD, deals Astral damage and increases your next Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath inflicted damage by 20%.
    Lunar Strike deals Arcane damage to the main target, plus more damage to all the enemies within the range of 5 m.
    Solar Wrath deals your enemy Nature damage.
    Sunfire deals Nature damage to the main target, and some damage to all the enemies within the 5-m range of it. It also eaves a DoT that deals damage for 12 more secs.
  • Feral Affinity. Passively grants you a 15% running speed boost. Increases your Energy restoring speed, grants access to Combo Points and the following abilities in this form:
    Shred is only available in the Cat Form, demands 40 Energy; deals physical damage to a target. If the latter tagged with your bleedings, the spell deals 20% more damage. When cast from Stealth, deals 50% more damage, and doubles Crit. Generates 1 CP.
    Rake costs 35 Energy, deals physical damage and leaves a 15-sec long DoT. It also slows your target down by 50% for 12 secs. When cast from Stealth, the spell deals 100% more damage and stuns the target for 4 secs. Generates 1 CP.
    Rip – only from Cat Form – for 30 Energy, spends 1 to 5 CP and applies a bleeding effect on the target for 24 secs. The more CP spent, the heavier the damage.
    Ferocious Bite – only in Cat Form – initially costs 25 Energy and spends 1 to 5 CP; deals physical damage (the more CP spent, the heavier the damage). Spending additional 25 Energy, increases the damage by no more than 100%. If the target is left with under 25% Health, Ferocious Bite renews Rip instantly.
    Swipe, for 40 Energy, deals physical damage to all the enemies within the range of 8 m. The targets tagged with your bleeding effects receive 20%more damage. Generates 1 CP.
  • Restoration Affinity. Passively grants you Ysera’s Gift which restores 3% of your max HP count once every 5 secs. If your Health is at 100%, the spell restores the same portion of HP to the nearest injured ally.
    Rejuvenation instantly applies an HoT on the selected ally healing them for 15 secs.
    Healing Touch is a long-cast spell restoring a medium portion of Health to an ally.
    Swiftmend insantly restores a major portion of HP to an ally. CD 30 secs.

* The most attractive talent in terms of survival is Restoration Affinity. You get passive healing in the form of Ysera’s Gift. While not tanking, you can also help healing others with your Swiftmend.
If no extra healing is necessary, your default choice would be Balance Affinity. It helps you deal damage to an area with more efficiency which is particularly good if your targets are spread all over the place.
If you’re interested in increasing your Haste continuously, you’re free to choose Feral Affinity.

 

Tier 4. Lvl 60.

  • Mighty Bash. Can be cast from any form; stuns your enemy for 5 secs. CD 50 secs.
  • Mass Entanglement. Allows you to immobilize the selected target and all the enemies within the 15-m range of it for 30 secs. Any damage dealt to the entangled enemies cancels the effect.
  • Typhoon. In any form, throws back all the enemies within the 15-m range in front of you and dazes them for 6 secs.

* The Tier offers you control options which means the decision is completely up to you.
As a tank, you benefit most from choosing Typhoon as it allows you to create, for some time, some space between you and your enemy in a dangerous situation in Mythic+.
Mighty Bash is a nice one, too, if you need continuous stun on a particular target.
Mass Entanglement is an extremely occasional talent as the entanglement effect is cancelled by any damage dealt to the targets which results in the talent being rather inefficient.

 

Tier 5. Lvl 75.

* Galactic Guardian is your best choice for Rage generation. You’ll have to add Moonfire in your rotation. Balance’s Legendary shoulder Lady and the Child combine great with this talent.
Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc is your best burst damage dealing option which also helps you generate a lot of Rage. That Rage can be converted into survival as well as damage dealing.
Soul of the Forest isn’t really relevant in any situation nowadays.

 

Tier 6. Lvl 90.

* Guardian of Elune is the most efficient talent on the Tier as it significantly boosts your survival and leeching.
Survival of the Fittest is also a nice option, but it is more situation-oriented, in case you need to often utilize your cooldowns.
Earthwarden works for you if you need to stand up to constant damage that is not frequent, like powerful auto attacks of a Boss.

 

Tier 7. Lvl 100.

  • Rend and Tear. In Bear Form, Thrash also increases the damage you deal to the target and reduced the one you take yourself from that target, by 2% per each Thrash‘s effect.
  • Lunar Beam. A beam of moonlight strikes your position. This light deals Arcane damage to all the enemies as well as restores your Health. Action time – 8 secs. CD 1 min 15 secs.
  • Pulverize. Used only in Bear Form. Absorbs 2 Lacerate effects on the target and deals physical damage thus reducing your whole incoming damage by 9% over 20 secs.

* The most effective in terms of both survival and damage dealing on a small target count is the talent Pulverize.
With multiple targets, Rend and Tear would be of more interest in both aspects. If you’re using Elize’s Everlasting Encasement, the talent becomes the best in any situation, provided you maintain the stacks of Thrash
.

 

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Artifact

Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.

Relics

A Guardian Druid utilizes 1 Fire, Blood and Life relics.

In general, Guardian scales really well-off weapon ilvl as those parameters bring up stamina. There still is a very potent trait increasing Thrash‘s damage dealing by 10%. Not only this trait gives your DPS a powerful boost, but it also entitles you to restoring more Health with your Frenzied Regeneration whose heal depends on damage dealing. Here is the relic ranking. For your convenience, their values are equaled to your artifact ilvl:

With Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc:

Single target:

  1. Jagged Claws 19
  2. Vicious Bites 6
  3. Mauler 4

AoE:

  1. Jagged Claws 9
  2. Vicious Bites 7
  3. Mauler 4

With Galactic Guardian:

Single target:

  1. Jagged Claws 32
  2. Vicious Bites 5
  3. Mauler 4

AoE:

  1. Jagged Claws 18
  2. Vicious Bites 6
  3. Mauler 5

Other traits are not taken into account here, hence their value may be considered equal to 0.

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Netherlight Crucible

Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.

Tier 2. Here you face your first crucial choice between Light and Shadow. The choice made on this Tier makes one of the edge talents on Tier 3 unavailable for you. Your objective is to pick a way of the highest ilvl equivalent sum on both Tiers.
If you have Jagged Claws on Tier 3, and it’s in one of the edge-bound positions, you need to build your way up to it overlooking any benefits that may come on Tier 2, provided you’re playing with Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc.

With Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc:

Single target:

  1. Torment the Weak 23
  2. Infusion of Light, Secure in the Light 22
  3. Chaotic Darkness, Shadowbind 19
  4. Shocklight, Dark Sorrows 6
  5. Light Speed, Murderous Intent, Master of Shadows 5

AoE:

  1. Infusion of Light, Secure in the Light 13
  2. Torment the Weak, Infusion of Light, Dark Sorrows 12
  3. Chaotic Darkness 11
  4. Shocklight, Master of Shadows, Light Speed 7
  5. Murderous Intent 6

With Galactic Guardian:

Single target:

  1. Torment the Weak 23
  2. Infusion of Light, Secure in the Light, Shadowbind 18
  3. Chaotic Darkness 16
  4. Shocklight, Dark Sorrows, Light Speed 5
  5. Murderous Intent, Master of Shadows 4

AoE:

  1. Infusion of Light, Dark Sorrows 13
  2. Secure in the Light, Torment the Weak, Shadowbind 12
  3. Chaotic Darkness 11
  4. Shocklight 8
  5. Shocklight, Master of Shadows, Light Speed 7

Tier 3. Like it said before, in Tier 2 the traits may be equal in their value to those of Tier 3.

With Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc:

Single target:

  1. Jagged Claws 19
  2. Vicious Bites 6
  3. Mauler 4

AoE:

  1. Jagged Claws 9
  2. Vicious Bites 7
  3. Mauler 4

With Galactic Guardian:

Single target:

  1. Jagged Claws 32
  2. Vicious Bites 5
  3. Mauler 4

AoE:

  1. Jagged Claws 18
  2. Vicious Bites 6
  3. Mauler 5

Other traits are not taken into account here, hence their value may be considered equal to 0.

If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game (only for dps):

cruweight^128821^ilvl^1^252799^13.1^252922^58.36^200440^2.94 6:3.43 7:3.65^252875^125.34^200409^3.13 6:3.3 7:3.68^208762^3.12 6:3.74 7:3.29^252888^112.74^252091^10.62^252191^11.39^252906^137.32^252088^13.36^253070^126.89^253093^126.1^end

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Legendaries

A Guardian Druid has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.

Luffa Wrappings increases your Thrash‘s damage and range by 25%. The best Legendary for dealing AoE damage. Obviously, your Mythic+ pick.

Elize’s Everlasting Encasement increases the max stack count of Thrash to 5 on a target. Combines perfectly with Rend and Tear and Luffa Wrappings.

Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds has a bunch of stats and empowers one of the talents on Tier 3 by 75%. Also, one of the best.

Fury of Nature increases your Bear Form Arcane and Nature damage dealing by 30%. You also restore your Health equal to 30% of the damage delivered by those damage schools. This Legendary is a compulsory element in the combination of the talent Galactic Guardian and the Legendary shoulders Lady and the Child. One of the best DPS options.

Dual Determination grants your Survival Instincts a third charge and reduces the restoring time for each of them by 15%. Perfect for encounters with frequent burst damage. The Legendary can come in handy in both raids and high Mythic+.

Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus grants you an absorbing shield for 15% of your max HP once every 30 secs. Provides stable additional survival and has a huge number of secondary stats.

Cinidaria, the Symbiote makes your attacks deal 30% of additional damage to the targets with over 90% Health. It also restores your Health equal to 100% of the damage you deal. Only used for its DPS option, if used at all.

Soul of the Archdruid grants you the talent Soul of the Forest for free. Quite a mediocre Legendary, even though it does enhance Rage generation and slightly increases DPS.

Oakheart’s Puny Quods makes your Barkskin restore 45 Rage instantly plus 30 Rage more over 3 secs. An average Legendary in all respects.

Skysec’s Hold makes your Frenzied Regeneration restore additional 12% of your max HP over 3 secs. This one is of more interest for solo gaming when you have no other healing sources.

Sephuz’s Secret gives you, passively, 2% Haste and 10% moving speed. Activated with your interruptions, incapacitations, paralysis, stuns, the proc increases your Haste by 25%, and your moving speed by 70%. A rather average DPS option considering the proc can be basically triggered per CD. It can, however, make more use than Elize’s Everlasting Encasement in case everyone dies out too quickly.

Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn grants you an absorbing shield for 30% of your max Health stock. The shield lives for 10 secs or until broken. Once the active time is over, the shield deals damage equal to 75% of the absorbed damage spreading it evenly among all the enemies around you. An average Legendary in all respects.

Insignia of the Grand Army empowers the traits of Netherlight Crucible’s Tier 2 by 50%.

The Sentinel’s Eternal Refuge is a craft Legendary of no value. Only used by fresh-off characters for the ilvl and the stats until they get 2 Legendaries.

* Lady and the Child, in spite of the fact it’s a Balance Legendary, works perfectly for Guardian and is an amazing AoE alternative to the bracers in AoE. Also, a very potent DPS Legendary on a single target when combined with the cloak.

Now, let’s put together a ranking for these Legendaries depending on the aspects they’re used for:

For survival:

  1. Ekowraith;
  2. Soul of the Archdruid;
  3. Dual Determination;
  4. Skysec’s Hold;
  5. Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn;
  6. Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus;
  7. Elize’s Everlasting Encasement (if you’re using the talent Rend and Tear and you have the opportunity to maintain all 5 stacks, you can attribute this one to the top-3 Legendaries);
  8. Oakheart’s Puny Quods.

For dps:

  1. Luffa;
  2. Fury of Nature;
  3. Lady and the Child;
  4. Ekowraith;
  5. Cinidaria, the Symbiote;
  6. Soul of the Archdruid;
  7. Sephuz’s Secret;
  8. Elize’s Everlasting Encasement;
  9. Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn;
  10. Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus;
  11. Skysec’s Hold;
  12. Dual Determination;
  13. Oakheart’s Puny Quods.

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Gameplay

Playing a tanking specialization engages both damage dealing and survival. The latter often depends on how well you deal damage. This is why we’re going to begin with the basic ability priority:

Single target:

  1. Mangle per CD;
  2. Moonfire per proc, with Galactic Guardian talented;
  3. Thrash per CD;
  4. Pulverize, if talented, on 2+ stacks of Maul to maintain the buff.
  5. Maintain Moonfire on the target.
  6. Maul, if you need to dispose of some Rage; but keep in mind that your active defensive abilities use Rage, too, so be careful when spending Rage.
  7. Swipe, if all the other condition have been met.

2-3 targets:

  1. Thrash per CD;
  2. Mangle per CD;
  3. Moonfire per proc, with Galactic Guardian talented;
  4. Pulverize, if talented, on 2+ stacks of Maul to maintain the buff.
  5. Maintain your Moonfire on as many targets as possible.
  6. Maul to dispose of Rage, provided you don’t need to utilize your active defensive abilities.
  7. Swipe.

* In case you’re not the active tank at the moment, or you’re not interested in additional Rage, you can replace Mangle with Swipe all the way through.

4+ targets:

  1. Thrash per CD;
  2. Mangle per CD;
  3. Moonfire per proc, with Galactic Guardian talented;
  4. Pulverize, if talented, on 2+ stacks of Maul to maintain the buff.
  5. Swipe.

* In case you’re not the active tank at the moment, or you’re not interested in additional Rage, you can replace Mangle with Swipe all the way through.

Active defensive abilities.

Among those are Ironfur and Frenzied Regeneration.

Ironfur reduces damage taking due to increasing your Armor Rating. It’s recommended to be cast right before receiving major physical damage. If you have already received damage, and your raid’s healers cannot heal you up quickly enough, just take a safety measure and cast it anyway.

Frenzied Regeneration should be used based off the opposite principle – after you’ve received major damage. This is exactly the situation when you can get max benefit from it. When you’re in a raid or in Mythic+, you may encounter situations where your healers are not able to pay you any attention due to their own relocations or because they’re busy healing other members of the group/raid. This is the perfect moment for you to cast your Frenzied Regeneration. Also, in a generic Boss tanking situation, there is no point in letting the cooldown idle even if you’re not planning to receive major damage. This is why you can keep using one stack, even though a part of it might overheal.

Using potent defensive cooldowns.

There are basically 3 of them – Survival Instincts, Barkskin and Rage of the Sleeper.

Survival Instincts reduce damage taking by 50% for 6 secs; the ability has 2 charges with a 4-min CD each. This defensive CD is extremely powerful, and it should be utilized straight before receiving massive damage.

Barkskin has a 90-sec CD, but its efficiency is somewhat lower, too – it only reduces the damage for 20%. The duration, on the other hand, is 12 secs. Can be utilized even while under the influence of any character control effects. Like Survival Instincts, Barkskin should be cast right before damage taking.

Rage of the Sleeper reduces your incoming damage by 25% for 10 secs, works once every 90 secs. It also allows you to get a 25% leech and become immune to various control spells over its active period. This one is also to be used right before you receive damage.

* All the aforementioned cooldowns are better used directly before you receive major damage. Still sometimes there are situations when you or your healer make a mistake, and you end up with a low HP level. That would be the time for you to utilize your saves as it would increase your chances of staying alive so that your healers manage to up your HP.

The talent Bristling Fur, if used for max Rage generation, should not be utilized alongside any defensive abilities because the amount of Rage generated depends directly on the amount of damage taken.
Rage = 100 * damage taken / Max HP. Which is equal to the Health percentage, meaning if you lose 43% of your Health in an attack, you get 43 Rage.

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Stats

The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:

Survival:

Ilvl > Versatility >= Mastery > Haste > Crit > Agility

DPS:

Agility >= Haste > Crit >= Versatility > Mastery

The current specialization’s Mastery increases max Health and healing efficiency.

Haste reduces GCD and the interval between the automatic attacks which increases Rage generation and spell casting speed. It also reduces the restoring time for your Mangle, Thrash and Frenzied Regeneration which allows you to up your damage dealing and survival.

As a DPS stat, Crit increases the chance of delivering double damage with your abilities. As a defensive stat, on the other hand, it increases your Delect Rating in 1:1 proportion.

Versatility increases your damage dealing and your healing. It also cuts half of that value off the incoming damage.

Ilvl is a combination of stamina and Armor Rating which play a crucial role in your survival as they directly increase your max Health and reduce incoming damage.

Agility increases your Power of Attack which, in its turn, increases your damage dealing.

Based on the aforementioned characteristics, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.

* Versatility is the most reasonable choice, because it’s a great secondary stat for survival and proves to be quite beneficial for DPS. If you want to focus on dealing damageand forget about survival, channel your effort towards Haste.

  1. Gems:
  1. Chants:
  1. Food:
  1. Flasks and Potions:

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Set bonuses

T19:

  • 2 pieces: Your abilities have a 10% higher chance of triggering Gore.
  • 4 pieces: Utilizing Mangle reduces your next Ironfur or Frenzied Regeneration cost by 5 Rage. The effect stacks up, up to 2 times.

T20:

  • 2 pieces: Frenzied Regeneration‘s restoring time is reduced by up to 40% depending on your current Health level. The lower your HP level was when you cast the ability, the sooner it is going to restore.
  • 4 pieces: The remaining restoring time for your Frenzied Regeneration is reduced by 1 second per 20 Rage spent.

T21:

  • 2 pieces: Absorbing the effect of Gore cuts 1 second off Barkskin‘s restoring time.
  • 4 pieces: When Barkskin‘s active time is over, all the healing cast on you, is empowered by 10% for 20 secs.

 

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Macros

Kick with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.

/cast [mod:shift,@focus][]Skull bash

 

Combat resurrection at cursor’s position:

/cast [target=mouseover] Rebirth

 

As a tank, you could really use a macro to cancel Paladin’s Blessing of Protection:

/cancelaura Blessing of Protection

 

Moonfire at cursor’s position could come in handy, too:

/cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead][]Moonfire