Guardian Druid Tank Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on Apr 14, 2019 at 20:30 by Faide 25 comments

This page will be a comprehensive guide to you in choosing your Azerite traits and gear for your Guardian Druid. It is updated for the latest World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth — Patch (8.1.5), and it is best understood if read together with our Heart of Azeroth guide.

1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Guardian Druid

When comparing two Azerite Gear pieces, the most important consideration is whether it has one or more of our strong S tier traits on it. Generally, this is all you need to know to make a decision; our best Outer Ring traits are worth taking over virtually any reasonable item level increase in terms of defensive value, and you should aim to always have one of these traits in every Azerite Armor slot. Beyond that, having strong Inner Ring traits is the second priority, though these are typically less important than the Outer Ring traits.

When considering an Azerite Armor piece's offensive value, it is strongly recommended that you sim your character using a tool like Raidbots to determine the most optimal setup. It is nearly impossible to accurately account for all the factors at play with a general guideline, but typically a minor DPS difference between two traits will be outweighed by an increase in item level.

2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Guardian Druid

2.1. How to Use this List

S Tier traits are the strongest traits available. They will provide the most benefit to you in almost all circumstances, and you should aim to get these traits on your gear whenever possible.

A Tier traits are situationally strong or provide good throughput, but are not as strong as S Tier traits in all situations.

B Tier traits are typically weaker bonuses that are either too inconsistent or unreliable for general use, or they provide minor bonuses that do not have a significant impact on your ability to tank.

C Tier traits do not provide relevant tanking-related combat bonuses, and should not be considered for survivability purposes. Note that while they should not be used for survivability, they do provide significant offensive bonuses.

The traits within each tier are presented in no particular order.

2.2. Outer Rings Traits for Guardian Druid

2.3. S Tier

  • Layered Mane Icon Layered Mane causes Ironfur Icon Ironfur to have a 10% chance to apply a second stack, and also increase your Agility (and therefore your Armor) while it is active.
  • Twisted Claws Icon Twisted Claws causes Thrash Icon Thrash to have a 50% chance to increase your Agility for 12 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
  • Bonded Souls Icon Bonded Souls causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to trigger a Soulbond for 15 seconds. During Soulbond, every 5 seconds you and your nearest ally are both healed for a large amount and gain a moderate amount of Haste for 5 seconds.

2.3.1. A Tier

  • Treacherous Covenant Icon Treacherous Covenant increases your primary stat by a large amount while you are above 50% health. However, you take 15% increased damage while below 20% health.
  • Burst of Savagery Icon Burst of Savagery causes your Gore Icon Gore-empowered Mangle Icon Mangles to grant Mastery for 5 seconds and has a 15% chance to activate Gore again.
  • Masterful Instincts Icon Masterful Instincts grants Mastery and Armor after Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts expires.
  • Ancients' Bulwark Icon Ancients' Bulwark grants you Versatility while you are not moving, and heals you over time while you are moving. This trait is exclusive to Alliance players and has no Horde equivalent.
  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion gives your damaging ability a chance to do damage over 6 seconds to the target, healing you for the damage done.
  • Secrets of the Deep Icon Secrets of the Deep causes your spells to have a chance to spawn a Surging Droplet nearby, which you can collect to increase your primary stat for 18 seconds. Rarely, a Void Droplet will be created instead, which increases your primary stat for twice as much as Surging Droplet's when collected.
  • Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to create a zone standing in which increases your primary stat.
  • Tradewinds Icon Tradewinds causes your spells to have a chance to grant you Mastery for 15 seconds. When this buff expires, it jumps once to a nearby ally at half duration and amount.
  • Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth gives your abilities a chance to increase all your secondary stats for a minute, stacking up to 4 times. Getting a new proc will refresh the duration, so you will keep this at 4 stacks throughout an entire fight.
  • Synaptic Spark Capacitor Icon Synaptic Spark Capacitor gives your abilities a chance to put a debuff on your target. This debuff will deal damage to enemies within 8 yards of the target with the debuff, and causes them to do 5% less damage to you. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.

2.3.2. B Tier

  • Guardian's Wrath Icon Guardian's Wrath causes Maul Icon Maul to deal extra damage and reduce the cost of your next Ironfur Icon Ironfur by 15 Rage, stacking up to 3 times.
  • Gory Regeneration Icon Gory Regeneration causes Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration to heal for more, and also causes Mangle Icon Mangle to increase the duration of an active Frenzied Regeneration by 1 second per target hit, up to a maximum of 3 seconds.
  • Waking Dream Icon Waking Dream causes Ysera's Gift Icon Ysera's Gift to heal every 4 seconds, and heal for an additional amount for each of your active Rejuvenation Icon Rejuvenations. This is not selectable in Guardian spec, but will work if you select it as Restoration and then switch back to Guardian. Additionally, this trait only works if you are talented into Restoration Affinity Icon Restoration Affinity.
  • Seductive Power Icon Seductive Power causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to conjure Bwonsamdi. If you approach him, you gain a small increase to all stats for 5 minutes, stacking up to 5 times. If you fail to heed his call, you lose one stack.
  • Incite the Pack Icon Incite the Pack causes you to occasionally increase your Mastery and that of up to two nearby allies for 20 seconds.
  • Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 seconds. Killing enemies refreshes this effect.
  • Meticulous Scheming Icon Meticulous Scheming causes you to gain a buff for 8 seconds that transforms into a 20-second Haste buff after you cast 3 different spells while it is active.
  • Relational Normalization Gizmo Icon Relational Normalization Gizmo causes your spells to have a chance to grant you a primary stat and maximum health buff or Haste and 50% movement speed for 10 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
  • Anduin's Dedication Icon Anduin's Dedication / Sylvanas' Resolve Icon Sylvanas' Resolve causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat for 10 seconds. If an ally dies nearby you also instantly gain this effect. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Bracing Chill Icon Bracing Chill causes your heals to have a chance to apply Bracing Chill to the target. Healing a target with Bracing Chill will heal for an additional amount and move Bracing Chill to a nearby ally, up to 6 times.
  • Last Gift Icon Last Gift / Retaliatory Fury Icon Retaliatory Fury causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to grant Mastery and an absorb shield . Note that this is a PvP trait; also, taking damage from a member of the opposite faction has a chance to activate this effect, making these traits much strong in PvP content.
  • Stronger Together Icon Stronger Together causes your abilities to have a chance to plant a factional banner for 6 seconds, empowering yourself and up to 4 allies with the spirit of the Alliance.

2.3.3. C Tier

  • Wild Fleshrending Icon Wild Fleshrending causes Shred Icon Shred and Swipe Icon Swipe to deal additional damage if your target is suffering from Thrash Icon Thrash.
  • Power of the Moon Icon Power of the Moon causes Moonfire Icon Moonfire to deal additional damage instantly. This is not selectable in Guardian spec but it will work if you select it in Balance and switch back to Guardian. The second component of this trait (the chance to grant Lunar Empowerment Icon Lunar Empowerment) does not work in Guardian.
  • Rezan's Fury Icon Rezan's Fury causes your damaging abilities to have a chance to summon a Child of Rezan, which deals Physical damage to your target and causes them to bleed for additional damage over 12 seconds.
  • Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 14 seconds.
  • Ruinous Bolt Icon Ruinous Bolt gives your abilities a chance to summon a Soul (pet) by your side for 14 seconds. The Soul deals Shadow damage to a random nearby target.
  • Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 12 seconds. This duration can be extended by landing Critical Strikes up to a maximum of 18 seconds.
  • Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast gives your damaging abilities a chance blast the target for extra Nature damage, and cause the target to take 20% more damage from your next blast. When the bonus damage reaches 100%, the next blast will Critically Strike, and reset the bonus damage back to 0%.
  • Tidal Surge Icon Tidal Surge gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal some Frost damage to the target and slow it by 20%.
  • Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back gives your abilities a chance to shoot a dagger at your target, applying a damage over time effect for 12 seconds, stacking up to 4 times. If you shoot this dagger when behind the target, it will apply 2 stacks.
  • Barrage Of Many Bombs Icon Barrage Of Many Bombs gives you a chance to fire a clusterbomb at your current target. When the bomb gets close, it explodes into smaller bombs which do AoE damage when they hit the ground.
  • Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw Icon Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw causes your spells to have a chance to heal up to 4 allies for a large amount. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
  • Battlefield Focus Icon Battlefield Focus / Battlefield Precision Icon Battlefield Precision gives your abilities a chance to apply stacks of a debuff to the target. This debuff causes them to take more damage from all raid members. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Stand As One Icon Stand As One gives your abilities a chance to drop a Banner for 6 seconds, which buffs you and 4 nearby allies with their primary stat, and increases maximum Health.
  • Liberator's Might Icon Liberator's Might gives your abilities a chance to give you Haste, and even more Critical Strike for 10 seconds.

2.4. Middle Ring Traits for Guardian Druid

2.4.1. S Tier

  • Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins grants you a chance on taking damage to heal every 3 seconds for 18 seconds. Reaching full health will cancel this effect early.
  • Crystalline Carapace Icon Crystalline Carapace causes incoming damage that is greater than 10% of your maximum health to grant you Armor and deal damage to your attacker.

2.4.2. A Tier

  • Ablative Shielding Icon Ablative Shielding causes damage that takes you below 40% of your maximum health to grant you Armor for 10 seconds. Taking further Physical damage will reduce the Armor bonus granted. This can only occur every 30 seconds.
  • Winds of War Icon Winds of War causes incoming damage to grant you Dodge for 3 seconds, stacking up to 10 times.
  • Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon passively increases your Mastery and Leech.
  • Lifespeed Icon Lifespeed passively increases your Haste and Avoidance.
  • On My Way Icon On My Way passively increases your Versatility and Speed.

2.4.3. B Tier

  • Shimmering Haven Icon Shimmering Haven grants a chance on taking damage to create a pool beneath your feet for 10 seconds. While you stand in this pool, your maximum health and Armor are increased.
  • Earthlink Icon Earthlink increases your primary stat, with the exact amount cycling between a minimum value and maximum value every 6 seconds.

2.4.4. C Tier

  • Strength in Numbers Icon Strength in Numbers grants a chance on taking damage to increase your maximum health for each nearby enemy for 15 seconds.
  • Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames causes your damaging spells to have a chance to grant a Critical Strike buff for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
  • Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Nature damage to the target, and a smaller amount of damage to nearby targets.

2.5. Inner Ring Traits for Guardian Druid

2.5.1. S Tier

  • Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage heals you when you take damage. It can not occur more often than every 6 seconds.
  • Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses causes you to gain a moderate absorb shield when surrounded by 4 or more enemies, but can only occur once every 15 seconds.
  • Gemhide Icon Gemhide causes you to gain Avoidance and Armor for 10 seconds when you take damage that exceeds 10% of your maximum health.

2.5.2. A Tier

2.5.3. B Tier

  • Auto-Self-Cauterizer Icon Auto-Self-Cauterizer grants you a chance, when taking damage, to self-heal for a large amount and remove most bleed effects as well as slowing nearby enemies by 30% for 5 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
  • Vampiric Speed Icon Vampiric Speed causes you to self-heal and gain Speed for 6 seconds whenever an enemy you damaged dies.
  • Switch Hitter Icon Switch Hitter causes an ability from your chosen Affinity to grant an additional bonus for 20 seconds.

2.5.4. C Tier

  • Reawakening Icon Reawakening causes an ally resurrected by your Rebirth Icon Rebirth to absorb damage over 15 seconds.
  • Longstrider Icon Longstrider increases your movement speed by a percentage of your highest secondary stat, with a maximum movement speed gain limit.
  • Self Reliance Icon Self Reliance causes you to be healed every 3 seconds while no enemies are within 12 yards of you.

3. Azerite Traits Details and Rotation Changes for Guardian Druid

Some of your Azerite Traits can have big impact on the way you play the game, select your gear and even affect talent choices. It is important to understand how they work with each other and on their own.

If you have Gory Regeneration Icon Gory Regeneration, every Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration you cast should be immediately followed by a Mangle Icon Mangle, in order to always gain 1 extra second of healing. If you are also talented into Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc Icon Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc, you will be able to gain up to 3 additional seconds of Frenzied Regeneration by casting Mangles.

While the presence of Burst of Savagery Icon Burst of Savagery does not directly change your spell priority, be aware that Mangle Icon Mangle's cooldown can be reset immediately following a Gore Icon Gore-empowered Mangle Icon Mangle cast.

4. Azerite Gear

Here is a list of the best pieces of Azerite gear you can obtain from currently available content.

This setup prioritizes having one Layered Mane Icon Layered Mane and as many Twisted Claws Icon Twisted Claws as possible. Having Bonded Souls Icon Bonded Souls and Treacherous Covenant Icon Treacherous Covenant are secondary to that.

5. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Guardian Druid. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

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