Home World of Warcraft Classes Guardian Druid 8.2

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

Introduction

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

Advantages:

  • Survives burst physical damage really well;
  • Has a mass sprint for the raid.

Disadvantages:

  • Demands constant healing done by someone else;
  • Average damage on a single target.
  • Has nothing against magic

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

Tier 1 Talents Guardian Druid

  • 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. A standard raiding choice that allows to absorb the damage increasing your damage.
  • Blood Frenzy. Whenever your Thrash deals damage, you accumulate 2 Rage. The best choice for m+, the more targets the more Rage you get
  • Bristling Fur. For 8 secs allows you to accumulate Rage depending on the received damage. CD 40 secs. It is also a good talent for raiding, it is used if you lack survivability and need to stack up more Ironfur.

 

Tier 2. Lvl 30

Tier 2 Talents Guardian Druid

  • Tiger Dash. Replaces “Dash”. Activates cat form and increases the movement speed by 200%, reducing gradually over 5 sec, Take it if you need to move a lot on encounter.
  • Ursol’s Vortex. Conjures a vortex of wind for 10 sec, reducing the movement speed of all enemies within 8 yards by 50%. The first time an enemy attempts to leave the vortex, winds will pull that enemy back to its center. Can be used in any form. It is a good talent for m+ because it’s an additional control.  
  • Wild Charge. Depending on the form, triggers one of the abilities with a 15-sec CD:
    In your regular form, it flies you to an ally’s position.
    Moonkin Form – a leap backwards.
    Bear Form – a surge towards your enemy that immobilizes them for 4 secs.
    Cat Form – a leap behind your enemy’s back dazing them for 3 secs
    Travel Form – a leap 20 m forward.
    In your Aquatic Form, your swimming speed grows by 150% for 5 secs. A standard raiding choice.

 

Tier 3. Lvl 45

Tier 3 Talents Guardian Druid

  • Balance Affinity. Passively increases your abilities’ active range by 3 m and gives you the following several abilities:
    Moonkin Form. CD 1.5 min; in this Form, your Armor rating is elevated by 125%, 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.
    Regrowth – Heals a friendly target and puts a HoT for 12 sec.  
    Swiftmend insantly restores a major portion of HP to an ally. CD 25 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

Tier 4 Talents Guardian Druid

  • 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

Tier 5 Talents Guardian Druid

* Galactic Guardian is your best choice for Rage generation. You’ll have to add Moonfire in your rotation.  It is used in m+ and raids..

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

Tier 6 Talents Guardian Druid

* 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

Tier 7 Talents Guardian Druid

  • 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 Rend and Tear

So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:

  1. Brambles
  2. Galactic Guardian
  3. Guardian of Elune
  4. Rend and Tear

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Azerite traits

In BFA typical sets were removed and Azerite armor took their place. Now every chest/helmet/shoulders have a few rings for traits that you need to chose.

  • Layered Mane. Ironfur” increases your agility by 10%, and has a chance to grant 2 applications. The best survivability trait, you can have it
  • Bonded Souls. our spells and abilities have a chance to trigger a Soulbond for 15 sec. During soulbond every 5 sec you and your nearest ally are both healed and gain haste for 5 sec. A great trait with an often proc that grants haste and heals you and your ally..
  • Twisted Claws. Direct damage from  “Thrash” has 50% chance to grant you agility for 12 sec, stacking up to 5 times. A good trat that grants you a lot of agility if you are lucky.
  • Masterful Instincts.Increases your mastery and armor for 30 sec after “Survival Instincts” expires. A good trait for mythic+ if you need additional survivability on a boss.

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Essences

These ratings are based on simulations, statistics of WarcraftLogs and players experience.

MAJOR

  • Vision of Perfection (Source: “Operation: Mechagon” drop) – strong choice for aoe encounters
  • Azeroth’s Undying Gift (Source: Eternal Palace drop) – powerful CD with short duration. Might give you a chance to survive some strong abilities
  • Nullification Dynamo (Source: Mechagon Reputation) – strong CD, that absorbs lots of damage and removes harmful effects
  • Anima of Life and Death (Source: Mythic+ dungeons) great againt multiple enemies
  • The Crucible of Flame (Source: Heart of Azeroth level) becomes a great tool for aditional dps increse, especially at level 3

MINOR

  • Nullification Dynamo (Source: Mechagon Reputation) – best passive magical damage reduction essence
  • Memory of Lucid Dreams (Source: Nazjatar questing) – good choice for extra healing and damage reduction
  • Stand your Ground  (Source: Nazjatar reputation) – best option at mythic+ and other heavy aor encounters

 

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. Maintain Moonfire on the target.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 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. Should be on you with 100% uptime because armor reduces received physical damage.

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 2 of them – Survival Instincts, Barkskin

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.

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:

Ilvl > Versatility >  Haste > Mastery> Crit > Agility

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.

Gems:

Leviathan’s Eye of Agility
Versatile Dark Opal 50 vers

Chants:

– Rings: Accord of Versatility
– Weapon: Enchant Weapon – Versatile Navigation, but for dps Force Multiplier is better

Food:

Raid feast for stamina or Bil’Tong for Versatility

Flasks and Potions:

Greater Flask of the Currents 360 agility
Superior Battle Potion of Agility
Potion of Unbridled Fury against 1 target
Potion of Empowered Proximity 4+ targets

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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

 

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What’s next?

 

  1. Leveling. If your character has been inactive since the previous expansions, the best  option to level up it is by Timewalking dungeons. You will gain a lot of experience, but there is one big disadvantage of leveling this way. Timewalks are available only for one week during a month, but Overgear is always here.
  2. Equipment. At high level, the most important thing for you will become your gear. WoW is a multiplayer game, that’s why we recommend for you to play it with your friends, or to find a new friends for mythic+ runs. If you have any trouble with it – Overgear may help you to find not just friends for a run, but a complete well geared and experienced group that also will be glad to trade all the loot you need.
  3. Raids. Raids are the top-tier PvE content in the game. That’s why the equipment’s base ilvl is higher than anywhere else. These dungeons require knowing all the tactics and have a good gear to kill the bosses. The possibilities of Overgear might let you skip those criteria.

Azerite. It is also not the best idea to forget about the Heart of Azeroth and not to feed it with more Azerite. Ignoring this won’t make your character stronger. The easiest way to do it – just complete all the world quests with Azerite rewards everyday. You can get extra azerite from Island Expeditions. Companions can be found at Overgear.

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