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Guardian Druid Tank Easy Mode

Last updated on Mar 18, 2018 at 15:23 by Vlad 187 comments

Table of Contents

This page is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialisation without being overwhelmed by the numerous subtleties and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.

1. The Basics of Guardian Druids

Guardian Druids have high health pools and active mitigation (Ironfur Icon Ironfur) that can have a very high uptime (100%), which helps provide a stable damage intake. Combined with the ability to heal themselves based off of recent damage intake (Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration), Guardian Druids are currently well suited to tanking in all situations.

They also provide the raid with something no other tank can bring, in form of Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar (coupled with the Guttural Roars Icon Guttural Roars talent) to give your raid a huge movement speed boost which can be invaluable for the raid when faced with encounters where movement is paramount.

Your main goal throughout fights will be to maximise your Rage generation, and then use this Rage on the various active mitigation abilities at your disposal in order to keep yourself alive.

2. Talent Choice for Guardian Druids

These choices are optimised for ease of use. That said, only viable talents are suggested and the gains in survivability and DPS from choosing only the "best" talents are not game-breaking.

3. Stat Choice

Currently, you will want to prioritise secondary stats as follows:

  1. Versatility;
  2. Mastery;
  3. Haste;
  4. Critical Strike.

4. Basic Rotation for Guardian Druids

  1. Use Mangle Icon Mangle.
  2. Use Thrash Icon Thrash.
  3. Use Moonfire Icon Moonfire (to keep the debuff up).
  4. Use Swipe Icon Swipe.
  5. Use Maul Icon Maul (to dump excess Rage).

This rotation is the go-to for Rage generation no matter the amount of targets. However, for damage output against more than one target, Thrash Icon Thrash has a much higher priority than Mangle Icon Mangle, and Swipe Icon Swipe overtakes Mangle at 4+ targets.

5. Active Mitigation Abilities for Guardian Druids

Your rotation is mainly there to generate Rage for you, which you should then invest into your active mitigation ability, Ironfur Icon Ironfur, as well as into Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration for healing or Maul Icon Maul for damage.

When choosing to spend your Rage, you will have to consider if the damage you are taking is Physical or not; if it is, you should aim to always have at least one stack of Ironfur Icon Ironfur active. Remember that you are able to have multiple stacks of Ironfur up at once, but each application will always run out independently of the others, which means that while you should avoid Rage capping, it is always a good idea to have some Rage available in case you want to use another Ironfur to reduce damage further, or even to self-heal with Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration.

Whereas Ironfur Icon Ironfur is an ability that that should be used pro-actively, Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration is reactive in nature. You should only use it after you have taken a lot of damage in the previous 5 seconds, since this will ensure that you are actually healed by it and you are not wasting Rage and charges.

As for Maul Icon Maul, it is only to be used as a way to dump Rage for damage, usually when damage intake is low or non-threatening.

6. Cooldown Usage for Guardian Druids

As a Guardian Druid, you have 3 important defensive cooldowns.

  • Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts reduces all damage taken by 50% for 6 seconds. It has 2 charges, and a 4-minute recharge time. This is a very strong cooldown, best used against truly threatening nukes, since it does not last long and it is therefore not generally great at reducing high sustained damage. In any case, however, it will give your healers 6 seconds to bring you back to high health.
  • Barkskin Icon Barkskin reduces all damage taken by 20% for 12 seconds, with a 90-second cooldown. Barkskin can be used while you are stunned, incapacitated, or asleep. This is your go-to cooldown when damage starts ramping up or when you are up against magic damage; it lasts for a long time, making it perfect for reducing sustained damage.
  •  Icon Rage of the Sleeper reduces all damage by 25% for 10 seconds, and together with the  Icon Embrace of the Nightmare artifact trait adds 25% leech to its defensive capabilities, but also makes it serve as an offensive cooldown, increasing damage by 25%. In many ways, Rage of the Sleeper and Barkskin Icon Barkskin are used in the same way, since they both have relatively short cooldowns. Rage of the Sleeper, however, is usually prioritized in case you want some extra damage output as well, or simply because it is stronger and provides leech which can definitely end up making quite a difference when AoE tanking.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Treckie, who has been a long-time leading tank who has competed for world first kills for 5 years. He is one of the casters for both last year's and this year's upcoming Mythic Dungeon invitational. You can watch his stream on Twitch and you can follow him on Twitter.

7. ChangeLog

  • 18 Mar. 2018: Made many updates to the page to account for updates made to other parts of the guide.
  • 12 Sep. 2017: Updated Tier 5 talent suggestion.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Made a small update to tier 1 talents.
  • 07 Jul. 2017: Updated the page to account for updates made to other parts of the guide (stats, rotation, and talents).
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Updated the page to account for the removal of Mark of Ursol and for changes to Maul in Patch 7.2.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017: Updated the rotation to include Pulverize usage, and made a mention of choosing Pulverize as the tier 7 talent.
  • 17 Dec. 2016: Added easy mode page.
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