Guardian Druid Essences — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Guardian Druid, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Guardian Druids
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Default Choice of Essences for Guardian Druid
As a general guideline, assuming you are not required to use a special purpose essence for a specific encounter, your essence choice should be:
- Raiding with a defensive setup
- Raiding with an offensive setup (Single Target)
- Raiding with an offensive setup (Multitarget)
Essence Rankings for Guardian Druid
Mandatory Essences for Guardian Druid
- Worldvein Resonance's minor power occasionally creates a Lifeblood Shard near you for 18s, boosting your primary stat, and that of nearby allies if they also have the minor essence selected. This is a strong essence, which scales very well with group size. Its major power was buffed massively in Patch 8.3, now increasing stat gain from primary shards by 300% for 18 seconds on use, making this one of the best major essences for Guardian, due to the massive defensive and offensive bonus gained from a large amount of Agility.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams doubles your Rage generation briefly. This applies to all sources of Rage generation, including auto attacks, incoming auto attacks, Rage gain from talents such as Bristling Fur and Blood Frenzy, and abilities that generate Rage. This essence significantly increases overall Rage generation, allowing you to cast more Ironfurs or Mauls over a raid encounter or dungeon run. The minor essence is also quite powerful, occasionally refunding 50% of the cost of your spenders. Notably, if the refund procs while the major essence is active, the refund is also doubled. This essence will be the default choice for general purposes.
- Nullification Dynamo's Empowered Null Barrier grants you a magic absorption shield, and also dispels all harmful effects from you when it is cast. The shield itself is unremarkable, but the dispel is situationally very powerful. The minor grants a passive magic absorption shield and at Rank 3 reflects the damage which it absorbs back making it one of the most powerful defensive and offensive minor essences in the game. Take this essence if it is Rank 3 or above only and there is magic damage in the fight or dungeon.
- Anima of Death has a similar effect to the Idol of Indiscriminate Consumption trinket, however the essence also deals damage to you and therefore must hit at least one target to break even in healing. This essence provides a very potent heal on a moderate cooldown, and is also one of the few essences available to Guardians that does not split damage among multiple enemies. Its minor power is not especially noteworthy. You will want to have this essence available for Mythic+ dungeons and multi-target raid encounters.
- Conflict activates the Sharpened Claws PvP talent in PvE content and in the open world without War Mode enabled. This essence is by far the strongest multi-target DPS choice, if you can cast Maul frequently enough to maintain a high uptime on the buff. The downside is a loss in defensiveness, since you will not be casting Ironfur as often. The minor has a chance to grant a stacking Versatility buff, which is extremely strong as a minor as Versatility is our best stat.
- The Crucible of Flame's Concentrated Flame is a ramping single-target attack, that resets after three uses. Crucible of Flame's major effect has the highest single-target DPS of any essence. The ability can also be used to heal yourself or allies, but it does not heal enough to be useful for that purpose. The minor effect has a chance to apply a stacking DoT that deals a small amount of damage and can be quite potent with some luck.
- Endurance is an extremely strong defensive minor essence for us, with the added bonus of Corruption resistance.
- The Formless Void ( Replica of Knowledge + Symbiotic Presence) is an interesting essence, allowing us to copy any essence from other specs, the minor on this is also good, granting a passive Agility and Haste proc when another player in your group uses an essence and will likely be one of our highest DPS minors.
Situational Essences for Guardian Druid
- Vision of Perfection has a chance to activate Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc, even if you do not have that talent selected. While not the strongest essence in raids, it does add some fun and flavour into the rotation for M+ and is completely passive, if you prefer not to add additional buttons into your rotation. The minor effect is also quite strong, reducing the cooldown of Survival Instincts by 20%. This effect stacks with Survival of the Fittest, bringing the final cooldown to just over two minutes. Take this essence if you want to make your rotation a little more interesting. This is also exceptionally strong in Mythic+ dungeons
- Aegis of the Deep grants flat damage reduction on incoming attacks. Generally, flat damage reduction is weaker than percent-based reductions, and this essence in particular is quite weak compared to the alternatives. The minor essence grants Versatility based on how many enemies are nearby, which may be useful in Mythic+ dungeons where you are surrounded by many mobs. It too is outclassed by some of the other minor essences available.
- Sphere of Suppression's Suppressing Pulse slows nearby enemies' movement speed, as well as their attack speed. If you hit a slowed enemy, you also gain movement speed. The minor is a weaker passive version of the major, with the additional effect of granting you Haste when you are hit. This is a utility pick that may see use in Mythic+ dungeons if you ever need to kite enemies without being hit.
Lackluster Essences for Guardian Druid
These essences should only be picked if you have a real, tangible use case for them.
- Ripple in Space allows you to teleport to a target location after a brief period. It may see use in PvP, or if a particular strategy for a raid boss requires a teleport, but this essence is not useful for general purpose. Its minor power may be worth using, provided you are in a position to move large distances to activate it (such as in a Mythic+ dungeon).
- Azeroth's Undying Gift provides a large damage reduction on a short cooldown. This essence will be especially useful for enhancing your defensive cooldown rotation against raid bosses, or may even allow you to survive deadly attacks that would otherwise kill you. The minor essence is also quite powerful, granting you a large portion of Armor when you are at low health, further improving your survivability. This essence is for raid encounters where tank damage is very high.
- 14 Jan. 2020: Updated for Patch 8.3, all setups adjusted for new essences and Worldvein.
- 01 Oct. 2019: Large reorganization of essences.
- 07 Jul. 2019: Updated for Mythic+ Season 3 and The Eternal Palace.
- 27 Jun. 2019: Updated rankings with post-patch observations.
- 24 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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