Guardian Druid Tank Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (MoP 5.4)

149 comments
Guardian Druid Art Image
General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Guardian Druids in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Guardian Druid guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Arielle, (@ArielleEJ), a prominent Guardian Druid theorycrafter and the main author of The Inconspicuous Bear (a very respected Guardian Druid resource).

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Feline Swiftness Displacer Beast Wild Charge
30 Ysera's Gift Renewal Cenarion Ward
45 Faerie Swarm Mass Entanglement Typhoon
60 Soul of the Forest Incarnation Force of Nature
75 Disorienting Roar Ursol's Vortex Mighty Bash
90 Heart of the Wild Dream of Cenarius Nature's Vigil
+ show color blind markers - hide color blind markers
  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents are now viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance Icon Dust of Disappearance (and Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90). You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents offer a choice between 3 means of increasing your movement abilities.

  • Feline Swiftness Icon Feline Swiftness is a passive ability that increases your movement speed by 15% at all times.
  • Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast is an active ability that teleports you 20 yards forward, activates Cat Form Icon Cat Form, and grants you a 50% increase in movement speed for 4 seconds.
  • Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge is an active ability that differs based on the shapeshift form you are in, as follows:
    • No shapeshift form: you fly to an ally's location.
    • Bear Form Icon Bear Form: you charge an enemy, immobilizing them for 4 seconds.
    • Cat Form Icon Cat Form: you leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds.
    • Travel Form Icon Travel Form: you leap forward 20 yards.
    • Aquatic Form Icon Aquatic Form: your swim speed is increased by 150% for 5 seconds.

The choice here will come down to either Feline Swiftness Icon Feline Swiftness or Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge. If the benefits of Wild Charge will be needed during the encounter (charging to mobs and/or immobilizing them), then Wild Charge will be a great choice. Otherwise, Feline Swiftness will probably be the go-to choice.

Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast has some situational uses in some encounters, but keep mind that you will lose all your Vengeance when you are automatically shifted into Cat Form Icon Cat Form.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents offer a choice between 3 healing spells.

  • Ysera's Gift Icon Ysera's Gift is a passive spell that heals you for 5% of your maximum health every 5 seconds. If you are at maximum health, then it heals the most injured party or raid member within 100 yards.
  • Renewal Icon Renewal is a self-heal for 30% of your maximum health with a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward is a buff that you can place on a friendly player, lasting up to 30 seconds. When the player takes damage, Cenarion Ward activates a 6-second HoT on the player, consuming Cenarion Ward in the process.

Your choice of talent here is based on your personal preference and on what your situation calls for.

Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward is currently the best option for this tier in terms of survival, since it has the highest healing throughput.

Ysera's Gift Icon Ysera's Gift is entirely passive and it does not require any management.

Renewal Icon Renewal provides an excellent self-healing cooldown, essentially a minor defensive cooldown. It scales with your health, which makes it even better, and it is off the global cooldown. It is not better than Cenarion Ward, although it is easier to use, so if you want to have an on-demand large heal, you can try this talent out.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents offer a choice between 3 crowd control spells.

  • Faerie Swarm Icon Faerie Swarm is a spell that replaces Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire, upgrading the latter spell to also slow the target's movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds.
  • Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement roots all enemies in an area around the target for up to 20 seconds.
  • Typhoon Icon Typhoon is a spell that affects enemies in a cone in front of you, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 seconds.

The choice between these talents is entirely situational and, in any case, it is unlikely to play any part in your performance.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 offers a choice between 3 performance-enhancing talents.

  • Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest passively causes your Mangle Icon Mangle to always generate 30% more rage, and to deal 15% more damage.
  • Incarnation: Son of Ursoc Icon Incarnation: Son of Ursoc reduces the cooldown of your offensive abilities and of Growl Icon Growl to 1.5 seconds, for 30 seconds. This ability has a 3-minute cooldown.
  • Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature is an active ability that summons a treant which taunts your current target and attacks it for 15 seconds. The treants have 40% of the Guardian Druid's maximum health, and 4 times their amount of armor. Force of Nature has a maximum of 3 charges, and a new a charge is added every 20 seconds. Otherwise, it has no cooldown. The treants do not taunt raid bosses.

Currently, Incarnation: Son of Ursoc Icon Incarnation: Son of Ursoc is the best choice in terms of damage done and burst rage generation, but simply for rage generation, Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest is better. Soul of the Forest has the added benefit of being entirely passive, making it easy to manage.

Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature can be a useful talent in situations where there are adds that deal high amounts of damage and are generally problematic. It is also worth noting that the treants' stats update dynamically, so using Savage Defense Icon Savage Defense while treants are active will increase their chance to dodge. All that said, this talent is quite lackluster when compared to the other two.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents offer a choice between 3 crowd control spells.

  • Disorienting Roar Icon Disorienting Roar is an AoE disorient that lasts for 3 seconds and affects all enemies in a 10 yard radius.
  • Ursol's Vortex Icon Ursol's Vortex is a targeted AoE slow. When enemies first try to leave the slowing area, they are pulled back in.
  • Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash is a single target 5-second stun.

The choice between these talents is entirely situational and, in any case, it is unlikely to play any part in your performance.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents offer a choice between 3 talents that affect your gameplay.

  • Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild increases your Stamina, Agility, and Intellect by 6% at all times. Additionally, with a 6-minute cooldown, it allows you to viably perform roles outside of your specialisation, for 45 seconds.
    • allows you to DPS in Cat Form Icon Cat Form, by increasing your Agility, Expertise, and Hit Chance;
    • allows you to DPS as a caster, by increasing your Spell Damage and Hit Chance, and reducing the mana cost of all your damaging spells by 100%;
    • allows you to heal efficiently, by increasing the healing of your spells by 100% and reducing the mana cost of your healing spells by 100%;
  • Dream of Cenarius Icon Dream of Cenarius is a passive ability that increase the healing from Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch by 20%, the Critical Strike chance of Mangle Icon Mangle by 10%, and causes your Mangle critical strikes to have a 40% chance of making your next Healing Touch or Rebirth Icon Rebirth instant-cast, free of cost, and castable in all forms. When Healing Touch is used with this proc, it benefits from your Attack Power instead of from your Spell Power.
  • Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil is a 90-second cooldown that increases all healing and damage done by 12% for 30 seconds. While Nature's Vigil is active, all single target healing spells also damage a nearby enemy for 25% of the healing done, and all damaging spells heal nearby allies for 25% of the damage done.

Dream of Cenarius Icon Dream of Cenarius is the best choice in this tier, provided that you can efficiently cast Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch.

Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild provides the greatest DPS boost (assuming that you do not need to be tanking and you can use it).

Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil is easiest to use, but it is not as powerful as the other two.

8. Major Glyphs↑top

Only Major Glyphs play a relevant role in the gameplay of a Guardian Druid. Minor Glyphs are either cosmetic, or they provide meaningless, out-of-combat benefits.

In this section we discuss the relevant Major Glyphs for Guardian Druids. Note that, while useful, these glyphs do not play too great a part in your performance and you can perform quite well without them.

Glyph of Might of Ursoc Icon Glyph of Might of Ursoc makes your Might of Ursoc Icon Might of Ursoc 20% more powerful, but it increases its cooldown by 2 minutes. If the encounter you are progressing on requires that you need an extra "edge" to survive a particularly difficult moment, this glyph can be excellent.

Glyph of Survival Instincts Icon Glyph of Survival Instincts reduces the cooldown of Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts by 60 seconds, but also reduces its duration by 50%. In normal circumstances, this glyph will probably have limited use (which is not to say that it couldn't still be useful sometimes). However, if some boss abilities that need serious mitigation come at fixed intervals of time of less than 3 minutes, then this glyph can prove very useful.

Glyph of Stampeding Roar Icon Glyph of Stampeding Roar increases the range of Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar by 30 yards. If using this ability is vital to your raid's strategy, this glyph is excellent.

Glyph of Rebirth Icon Glyph of Rebirth is very useful if you intend to use your Rebirth Icon Rebirth, since it allows the target of your Rebirth to come back to life with full health, meaning that they do not risk instantly dying again to environmental damage.

Glyph of Faerie Fire Icon Glyph of Faerie Fire increases the range of your Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire by 10 yards. This could occasionally be useful when you want to reach an add that recently spawned far away from you.

Glyph of Fae Silence Icon Glyph of Fae Silence causes your Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire to silence the target for 3 seconds, when used in Bear Form Icon Bear Form, but gives Faerie Fire a 15 second cooldown. In situations where you need to pull ranged mobs to melee range frequently (such as in Challenge Mode dungeons), this can be useful.

9. Minor Glyphs↑top

The only minor glyph worth mentioning is Glyph of Grace Icon Glyph of Grace, which reduces the damage you take from fall damage even when you are not in Cat Form Icon Cat Form. While this is not likely to be of use often during PvE progression, it can sometimes help.

10. Changelog↑top