Guardian Druid Tank Guide — Shadowlands 9.2.5

Last updated on May 31, 2022 at 00:05 by Pumps 18 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Guardian Druid guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.2.5. Here, you will learn how to tank as a Guardian Druid in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons. We cover everything from the basics all the way to min-maxing techniques to optimize your survivability.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Feral Tank Druid guide.

1.

Guardian Druid Overview

Guardian Druid is a sturdy tank that manages damage intake through having strong passive reductions, a large health pool, increased healing received from Mastery, and a stackable active mitigation with Ironfur Icon Ironfur. They are an excellent sponge tank and once you have acquired enough gear they are mostly self-sufficient with a unique playstyle unlike any class. They bring good utility to raid and Mythic+ groups as a tank.

Guardian Druids excel against encounters where a large majority of incoming damage is Physical or Melee damage.

This guide focuses specifically on Guardian Druid. As such, the more general aspects of tanking will not be covered here. If you'd like to learn more about tanking in general, we recommend you read our tanking guide.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +High health pool and short cooldowns allow for stable damage intake.
  • +Stackable, no-cooldown active mitigation in Ironfur Icon Ironfur.
  • +Flexible hybrid off-healing capabilities through the Affinity talents and Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild.
  • +Good raid utility in Rebirth Icon Rebirth and Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar.
X Weaknesses
  • -Relatively low DPS and threat output as pure bear.
  • -Mediocre magic mitigation.
  • -Lack of a unique Raid buff/debuff.
3.

Patch 9.2.5 Changes for Druids

We are maintaining a list of changes for Druids, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Guardian's specific changes from the previous patch, 9.2, to hear our thoughts on the tier set bonuses that arrived at that time.

3.1.

Mage Tower Challenge

From Patch 9.1.5 onward, both Legion Timewalking and the Mage Tower have returned. As such we have created a separate guide detailing what you can expect from the Mage Tower challenge available to Guardian Druids.

Overall, Guardian got significantly stronger with the arrival of Shadowlands, gaining Berserk Icon Berserk back as a baseline cooldown, as well as Barkskin Icon Barkskin and Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts getting their cooldowns reduced. This means they have many more tools to actively cycle through.

Patch 9.1.5 has removed the AoE cap on Swipe Icon Swipe which has made threat easier to maintain on larger pulls and should be a slight damage increase on AoE-heavy encounters and dungeons.

4.

Leveling and Getting Started as a Guardian Druid

Before you begin leveling, you may want to take a quick look at our Addons page, as setting up your UI before you begin will allow you to get more comfortable with where things are and improve your gameplay significantly. Levelling as a tank has quite a few advantages, one of the main ones being the amount of mobs you can comfortably pull and survive thanks to your powerful defensive capabilities. Levelling as a tank is also great in a group, as all your party members will appreciate your ability to quickly tag and collect mobs. It can also be a fantastic way to learn your rotational abilities and get more comfortable with the spec. Starting to play a tank may be daunting at first, but if you are seeking a better understanding of leveling as a Guardian Druid, you can look at our leveling guide below.

5.

Basics of Playing a Guardian Druid

Being one of the tank specializations, your main goal first and foremost is to stay alive and to ensure that you have aggro on all of the enemies, so that they are not on your weaker party/raid members. To tank efficiently as a Guardian Druid, you will try to generate as much Rage as possible, with spells like Mangle Icon Mangle and Thrash Icon Thrash. This Rage can be spent defensively, with Ironfur Icon Ironfur and Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration, or offensively, with Maul Icon Maul. You can learn about all the various Guardian spells that will be at your disposal by reading the Spell Summary page.

To get a quick rundown of how the class works in practice, you can look into the Easy Mode guide linked below. This page will go over all the things you will need to know to play the class.

If you are already slightly familiar with what Guardian Druids can do, you may benefit from heading to our more in-depth breakdown of Talents and the Rotation linked below. This will cover everything you need to play Guardian Druid optimally.

6.

Gearing up as a Guardian Druid

There are quite a few different things to consider when looking at how to gear and it can be overwhelming at the beginning. To start with, you can take a look at our Best in Slot guide linked below. This will go over the best gear available to you from Mythic+ and Raid content.

Understanding what stats to go for on your gear is an integral part of knowing which gear will be good for you or not. The same goes for other gear improvements like enchants, consumables and gems. Fortunately, we have pages dedicated to all of that information to assist in finding what is the best for you.

7.

Guardian Druid in Shadowlands

Shadowlands introduced a lot of new features, and even brought back some old features. Legendaries are back once again to provide us with some unique choices that can completely alter how we play; this time, however, we must craft them before we can use them, and this can take a while.

Covenants and Soulbinds are new expansion features that allow us to pick between 4 different groups (sort of like factions) that all provide us with unique signature abilities like Adaptive Swarm Icon Adaptive Swarm and Convoke the Spirits Icon Convoke the Spirits. To get a better understanding of which ones benefit Guardian Druids the most, take a look at the guides below.

8.

End-Game as a Guardian Druid

Once you have made it to the maximum possible level, you can begin your journey into the main end-game activities, Raiding, Torghast, Mythic+, and PvP. Starting with Mythic+ is a good choice, as you only need 5 players and it can be done at any time. Progressing into raids, you will likely need to find a guild, especially if you want to do Mythic raid content.

For PvP, however, it is likely you will find more success as Resto/Balance or Feral, although Guardian does have some viability, especially in Rated Battlegrounds. For whichever end-game content you are focusing on, if not all three, we have guides to assist you on how to perform at your very best.

9.

How to Improve as a Guardian Druid

After you have become more comfortable playing as a Guardian Druid, you may benefit from browsing our pages on common mistakes or frequently asked questions by people who also play Guardian. Not everything will be immediately clear to everyone and these pages hopefully can clear up any confusion or misconceptions quickly, allowing you to further improve and progress.

10.

Guardian Druid Viability in Shadowlands

After receiving numerous buffs in the pre-patch and now scaling further into the expansion, Guardian is in a very competitive state in both raids and dungeons. Their defensive power has been boosted quite significantly, making Guardian Druid one of the most stable and fun to play tanks in the game. In Patch 9.2 Guardian is one of the top tanks in both Mythic+ and Raids alike. Tier set bonuses have been added, with the Architect's Aligner Icon Guardian Druid 4-Piece making it significantly easier to maintain threat on those larger pulls.

11.

Changelog

  • 31 May 2022 (Torghast): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (how to improve page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (simulations page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (easy mode page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (FAQ page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (spells page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (gear page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (talents page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (addons page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (Legendaries): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (rotation page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (enchants page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (mythic+ page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (stats page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 31 May 2022 (this page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 12 Mar. 2022 (Sepulcher of the First Ones page): Updated Lords of Dread and Rygelon tips.
  • 07 Mar. 2022 (Sepulcher of the First Ones page): Updated with tips from Heroic week.
  • 28 Feb. 2022 (Sepulcher of the First Ones page): Page added.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (Torghast): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (mythic+ page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (stats page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (rotation page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (Legendaries): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (enchants page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (talents page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (addons page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (spells page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (FAQ page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (easy mode page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (gear page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (this page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (simulations page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (Patch 9.2 Analysis): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2022 (how to improve page): Page reviewed and approved for the launch of Patch 9.2.
  • 15 Jan. 2022 (Patch 9.2 Analysis): Page added with initial thoughts and information.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (simulations page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (gear page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (addons page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (mythic+ page): Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (Legendaries): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (easy mode page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (this page): Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 01 Nov. 2021 (FAQ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 09 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Page added.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (addons page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Legendaries): Added new Covenant Legendaries.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (gear page): Added Domination Shards and sockets.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (simulations page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Updated with Covenant-specific Legendaries.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (FAQ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (this page): Updated for Patch 9.1, removed Patch 9.0.5 note.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 02 May 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Page created with initial information.
  • 22 Apr. 2021 (rotation page): Added covenant ability section.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (easy mode page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Reorganized Conduit list, updated Soulbind paths, removed note on old Pelagos buff interaction, and updated Fleshcraft for 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Moved UFR up to best legendary for Mythic+ due to scaling.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (this page): Removed Patch 9.0.2 note.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Torghast): Reorganized Anima Power Tier list.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Added Valor upgrade suggestions.
  • 31 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Added Raid BiS and updated Trinkets.
  • 31 Dec. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated Barkskin/SI cooldowns.
  • 31 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Updated Agility potion for Mythic+.
  • 31 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated Castle Nathria builds and added some mythic notes.
  • 31 Dec. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added Night Fae Niya tree and updated covenant rankings.
  • 06 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated for Castle Nathria release.
  • 06 Dec. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for Season 1 of Shadowlands.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 25 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Removed Essence note.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Updated for shadowlands, removed BFA notes.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Added Berserk, updated for Shadowlands release.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for Shadowlands, removed out of date info.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Updated for shadowlands release, added berserk.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated for shadowlands release, added Berserk.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (this page): Updated for Shadowlands release.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Shadowlands, added trinkets and gear from dungeons.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for Night Fae buffs.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Added all new shadowlands enchants and consumables.
  • 19 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page created.
  • 19 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated lvl 35 talent Typhoon to Heart of the wild
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 01 Oct. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Edited talent trees and essences for all bosses.
  • 19 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added several more tips for bosses based on post-launch observations and experience.
  • 07 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Page added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Reviewed tips and talents after raid release.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated for the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Battle of Dazar'alor guide for Guardian Druids.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 13 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated all bosses with information after Heroic week.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added.
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