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Guardian Druid Tank Gear, Legendaries, and Best in Slot (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Mar 18, 2018 at 15:29 by Vlad 187 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

This page is a gear reference for Guardian Druids. It lists your best items and Legendaries, gives you gearing advice, and shows you how you will be competing for loot with other classes.

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 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.

1. Best in Slot List for Guardian Druids

We are currently not providing a Best in Slot list, but we do make trinket, Set Bonus, and legendary item recommendations below.

When it comes to gearing, the item level of the items always comes in question, thus a list to blindly follow will not do much good, since any item can be competitive if it comes with a socket or if it is sufficiently Warforged/Titanforged. Defensively, the only thing to really try to avoid are items with Critical Strike. A general rule of thumb is that if the item has Critical Strike, it needs to be either 10 item levels higher OR have a socket (15 item levels for jewelry), to really compete with a piece that has Versatility/Mastery/Haste. Mythic+ can also proc high item level pieces, which means they are highly competitive as well.

2. Trinkets for Guardian Druids

2.1. Non-Raid Trinkets

Darkmoon Deck: Immortality Icon Darkmoon Deck: Immortality is the strongest trinket out there for reliable Physical damage reduction, despite its item level being capped at 900. Remember that the extra armor from this trinket is not further increased by Bear Form Icon Bear Form or Ironfur Icon Ironfur.

Writhing Heart of Darkness Icon Writhing Heart of Darkness makes your Critical Strikes debuff the target to do less damage against you. It has a very high and reliable uptime, although it requires you to deal damage to the target constantly. It loses strength where you might be running in and out of melee range or swapping targets a lot, but for single target it is very powerful.

Unstable Arcanocrystal Icon Unstable Arcanocrystal provides an amazing set of secondary stats and because of it, this is easily one of the strongest trinkets out there; its strength and weakness comes from being passive, but in most cases that ends up working in your favour.

Horn of Valor Icon Horn of Valor can be a strong trinket for burst damage output when combined with Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc Icon Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc, used with the Luffa Wrappings Icon Luffa Wrappings legendary for really high AoE burst damage. Unfortunately, its cooldown does not line up very well with Incarnation, but can be used effectively if swapped out and in depending on if you plan on using Incarnation soon or not.

Various Stat Sticks, most commonly gained from Relinquished tokens, can proc fairly high, and can give you a nice mix between damage and survivability. While generally more DPS-oriented (as Agility does not do much defensively), they can be nice if you have limited options.

Deteriorated Construct Core Icon Deteriorated Construct Core is a great DPS trinket for Guardian Druids using Fury of Nature Icon Fury of Nature, as it is considered Nature damage and thus the damage is increased by the Legendary.

2.2. Raid Trinkets

Aggramar's Conviction Icon Aggramar's Conviction is very lackluster due to the Agility part being weak defensively, together with a Versatility proc that is (at this stage) way less powerful than that of Concordance of the Legionfall Icon Concordance of the Legionfall. While the Aggramar's Fortitude proc will heal you to full health, due to it being unreliable when that actually happens, the trinket does not have great personal defensive value. With that being said, you will be able to slowly upgrade this trinket to item level 1000, and it greatly helps the rest of the raid to obtain the Pantheon proc to empower their trinkets, making it a lot more attractive to use in Antorus, and you will be harming your raid by not using it.

Aman'Thul's Vision Icon Aman'Thul's Vision is essentially an item level 1000 Unstable Arcanocrystal Icon Unstable Arcanocrystal. It is great for all the same reasons that Unstable Arcanocrystal is great, but in addition to that it has two other procs. 2200 Avoidance straight up caps you at 20%, and it adds about 10% Leech which is pretty good; the speed is always welcome as well. When empowered by the Pantheon, it is a lot of Strength for damage purposes, but best of all is that it is another way to empower Pantheon trinkets, as this needs 4 unique Pantheon buffs to work (only in Antorus). Note that this trinket is legendary but does not count as a legendary when counting how many you can have equipped; it does instead count as a Pantheon trinket, of which you can only use one.

Apocalypse Drive Icon Apocalypse Drive is a solid defensive trinket if auto-attacks are troublesome. However, that is usually not something Druids have issues with, so it has limited uses. Stat-wise, it really only has Haste, but the on-use effect is where it shines. This trinket, when used, absorbs 1+ million damage from each of the next 10 melee attacks against you for the next 20 seconds. Realistically, it allows you to save a bunch of Rage against melee attacks since you might not even need to use Ironfur Icon Ironfur at that time.

Diima's Glacial Aegis Icon Diima's Glacial Aegis is Antorus' much much better version of Tomb of Sargeras' Feverish Carapace Icon Feverish Carapace; you can instead choose when to proc it. Its 4.500 Armor for 12 seconds on a 1-minute cooldown is really solid on any fight with periods of increased Physical damage intake.

Eye of F'harg Icon Eye of F'harg/Eye of Shatug Icon Eye of Shatug is an interesting trinket pair you can swap between mid-fight. Defensively, with the high Stamina and Versatility, Eye of Shatug is a strong option on encounters with high incoming damage; it will just increase your survivability flat out. Eye of F'harg is a weaker option defensively, but instead features Agility and Armor. It is a nice option in the form of stat stick that you can shift in combat should you suddenly feel you need more or less survivability. It also provides a very small buff to the other tank should he be wearing one as well.

Riftworld Codex Icon Riftworld Codex is quite an interesting trinket. Unfortunately, it has Critical Strike on it, which is generally pretty weak defensively, but it also features 3 different procs, which all helps you out defensively, in varied ways. It is quite powerful in low healing situations, and its proc rate seems to be somewhere between 4-6 procs per minute (instead of the 3 procs it says it should have). The trinket itself procs off of damage taken, either providing you with a HoT, a shield, or a kind of immolation aura that heals you for 300% of the damage dealt. Effectively, both the HoT and the immolation aura work the same way, healing you over time, with the immolation aura getting a lot stronger against multiple enemies. The shield, however, is fairly strong. Overall it is a pretty weak trinket due to its unreliability in raids, but very solid in 5-mans due to multiple targets and less healing intake from multiple sources.

Smoldering Titanguard Icon Smoldering Titanguard is the trinket to use against big hits this tier. While the shield is going to be incredibly big, it will only last for 3 seconds, and you can not move or use abilities during this time. This one is a strong option against bosses with really hard-hitting abilities that tanks have to soak with big cooldowns.

Reliquary of the Damned Icon Reliquary of the Damned is a Stamina trinket that outperforms Infernal Contract Icon Infernal Contract if you need an extra cooldown. Its use effect is not quite as strong, but it has no backlash effect, and passively gives you a solid amount of effective health, making it harder for you to die in the first place.

3. Tier 21 Set Bonuses for Guardian Druids

These set bonuses are very underwhelming and really not worth sacrificing item level for, and you should simply go for gear with higher item level if you can. The 2-piece will, in best case scenarios, reduce the cooldown of Barkskin Icon Barkskin by about 6-8 seconds per minute, which is not exactly awful but definitely not strong enough to consider sacrificing much item level for.

Looking at the 4-piece, it increases healing taken after Barkskin Icon Barkskin by 10% for 20 seconds, this lasts a while but unless you are taking a lot of damage constantly, the threatening damage was done during Barkskin, and the increased healing afterwards will not really do much. You are likely better off surviving if you simply had higher item level pieces instead.

The best set pieces, in order, are:

  1. shoulders;
  2. chest;
  3. legs;
  4. gloves;
  5. cloak;
  6. helm.

The 4-piece Tier 20 Set Bonus is still decently strong for survival. It is best when you can make really decent work of Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration without the content being too spiky in terms of damage intake, best suited for fights where you take a lot of DoT damage, or frequent but small hits.

4. Legendary Items for Guardian Druids

Legendary items have a high item level of 1000, which makes them extremely strong. They are so strong, in fact, that a legendary item is always going to be worth equipping over any other item you might have in that slot.

However, there is a limitation on the number of legendary items you can have equipped at any one time (by default 1, but by now most players should be able to equip 2). Since some legendary items are better than others, if you have more items than the limit, you will have to choose which ones to equip.

Below, we will do our best to guide you through this process, as well as provide any other relevant information.

Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds Icon Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds is straight up the strongest defensive legendary out there. Its main benefit comes from increasing the effect of Thick Hide Icon Thick Hide by 75%, effectively making it reduce damage taken by 10.5% instead (+4.5% damage reduction). It also comes with a lot of main stats and 3 secondary stats since, it is item level 1000.

Soul of the Archdruid Icon Soul of the Archdruid is a solid choice against Physical damage intake. Since it increases Rage generation it should be combined with Galactic Guardian Icon Galactic Guardian for maximum Rage generation. This is a fairly strong Legendary when most if not all the threatening damage you take can be mitigated by Ironfur Icon Ironfur, as it will make it easier to keep Ironfur up with more than one stack.

Dual Determination Icon Dual Determination increases the maximum stacks of Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts to 3, and also reduce its cooldown. This can be a very valuable legendary on encounters that favor frequent usage of big cooldowns, which is not always the case and not a great legendary for general use, but if regular damage is non threatening but you have to survive a big hit where Barkskin Icon Barkskin or Rage of the Sleeper Icon Rage of the Sleeper just is not safe enough, this is a good alternative.

Elize's Everlasting Encasement Icon Elize's Everlasting Encasement is a very balanced legendary when paired with Rend and Tear Icon Rend and Tear, since it increases maximum stacks and it effectively raises the damage done and reduces damage taken from 6% to 10%. This means that defensively, you get +4% damage reduction from the Thrash Icon Thrash debuffs. While this might look competitive with Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds Icon Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds, if it is survivability you are looking for, you would be better off with using Pulverize Icon Pulverize (as it provides 9% damage reduction) and a legendary that further increases survivability. That said, it also increases damage done to the target by the same amount, coupled with the fact that Thrash now has a 5-stack ticking instead of 3, effectively doubling the DoT from the stacks. This is a great option when you want a little bit of both damage and survivability, but should mainly be considered an offensive legendary.

Lady and the Child Icon Lady and the Child, while technically a Balance Legendary (and only lootable in Balance specialisation), it does work for Guardian as well. And surprisingly, this is a very competitive option, especially when it comes to multiple targets. On single target, it is still strong when coupled with Fury of Nature Icon Fury of Nature, since both increase the damage Moonfire Icon Moonfire deals, however defensively it does not do much on single target. Coupled with Galactic Guardian Icon Galactic Guardian in AoE situations, however, is where it shines, as whenever Galactic Guardian triggers, it casts a Moonfire on a target, and this Moonfire is duplicated and empowered by Galactic Guardian when using Lady and the Child, which means it also gives Rage. In AoE situations, you do not want to use the actual Moonfire proc yourself, but rather let it be used up when another Galactic Guardian Moonfire triggers, and it turns out to be quite a bit of a Rage gain on any fight where there is a second target able to be hit.

Fury of Nature Icon Fury of Nature is, by itself, a strong option offensively, and pairs exceptionally well with Lady and the Child Icon Lady and the Child (in both cases you will be using Galactic Guardian Icon Galactic Guardian). Defensively, it is a rather weak option due to its only strength being the self-heal; 30% of all Arcane and Nature damage dealt is not all that much, but it adds up when you are constantly taking damage. It is still not a good choice defensively, but it is a small benefit if you are already using it for damage.

Archimonde's Hatred Reborn Icon Archimonde's Hatred Reborn is a good trinket when you want more frequent cooldowns; in many cases it is a good alternative to Dual Determination Icon Dual Determination, that does better if the hits are more frequent but maybe less powerful. It also explodes for 75% of the damage absorbed, split between all nearby enemies, making it effective both offensively and defensively. Its main issue is that it locks up a trinket slot, but certainly has its uses.

Sephuz's Secret Icon Sephuz's Secret can be a decent legendary where you can proc it (most easily achieved through Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash and Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement). It can be useful in Mythic+ dungeons if you can make good use out of the proc with Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc Icon Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc, or during cooldowns such as Rage of the Sleeper Icon Rage of the Sleeper to get some more abilities in during their duration, since all abilities recharge faster with Haste. It is generally outshined in Mythic+ by Lady and the Child Icon Lady and the Child + Fury of Nature Icon Fury of Nature, but if you lack that combination, Sephuz can work.

Oakheart's Puny Quods Icon Oakheart's Puny Quods is generally a pretty weak Legendary since it gives you more survivability when you are already using a cooldown. Technically, against a big Physical damage hit, it can prove effective to guarantee having Barkskin Icon Barkskin up coupled with 3 or even 4 stacks of Ironfur Icon Ironfur every minute.

Skysec's Hold Icon Skysec's Hold increases healing done by Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration by 12% of your maximum health over 3 seconds. Effectively, all it does is give you a secondary HoT when using Frenzied Regeneration, that heals you for 4% of your health every second. This can be useful in scenarios where you are not taking much damage, since Frenzied Regeneration will not heal you for much, but if there are any healers around you, the healing from the boots will not matter. But when you are taking a lot of damage, Frenzied Regeneration will overpower Skysec's Hold and make its heal almost irrelevant.

Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus Icon Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus gives you a shield for 15% of your maximum health every 30 seconds; this sounds a lot better than it actually is, even considering Druids' high health. The legendary will produce decent numbers over the course of the fight, if you do not take advantage of knowing when the shield will come, you are getting a lot less out of this legendary than you could. If the shield pops up during a moment when you are not taking much damage in the first place, its effect (while effective healing due to being a shield) will kind of be wasted. And since you are constantly taking damage as a tank, the shield is eaten up very quickly, making it hard to keep against big hits. The item is guaranteed to have a socket, and 3 passive stats, making it passively an okay throughput legendary.

Insignia of the Grand Army Icon Insignia of the Grand Army's strength depends on your Netherlight Crucible traits; it is therefore difficult to judge, but defensively it is certainly quite weak compared to your other options. Offensively, with the perfect Light/Shadow traits, it could end up providing solid single target damage. But, it is an easy to obtain legendary you can use until you get better ones.

5. Loot Competition for Guardian Druids

Regarding the loot you will get from raid or dungeon bosses, you will compete with other classes in the following cases:

Item Type Competing Classes
Tier Tokens Death Knights, Balance/Feral/Restoration Druids, Mages, and Rogues
Leather Armor Demon Hunters, Balance/Feral/Restoration Druids, Monks, and Rogues
  • Amulets
  • Cloaks
  • Rings
Everyone
Trinkets Blood Death Knight Druids, Vengeance Demon Hunters, Brewmaster Monks, Protection Paladins, and Protection Warriors

6. ChangeLog

  • 18 Mar. 2018: Completely revamped the entire page, with most sections being entirely re-written.
  • 03 Dec. 2017: Updated set bonus recommendations.
  • 07 Jul. 2017: Updated the survivability legendary ranking.
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Updated Set Bonus and legendary item recommendations.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: Slightly updated the survivability legendary ranking.
  • 22 Jan. 2017: Added Archimonde's Hatred Reborn legendary trinket to legendary item rankings.
  • 09 Jan. 2017: Added Tier 19 Set Bonus recommendation, and updated the legendary rankings.
  • 16 Dec. 2016: Added a mention that Darkmoon Deck: Immortality is currently the best trinket, and re-ordered the legendary item ranking slightly.
  • 19 Sep. 2016: Updated pre-raid trinket mentions slightly.
  • 09 Sep. 2016: Added BiS list.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Updated trinket and set bonus recommendations.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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