Guardian Druid Tank Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on May 13, 2019 at 20:30 by Faide 25 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Guardian Druid guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5. 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.

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. While Guardians may take more damage than other tanks, this is offset by their increased healing received. They bring good utility to raid groups and are an excellent raid 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. Patch 8.1.0 Changes for Guardian Druid

2.1. Added/Removed Spells

2.2. Changed Spells

  • Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar's cooldown has been reduced from 2 minutes to 1 minute.
  • Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge is no longer on the global cooldown.
  • The damage of all Guardian abilities has been increased by ~12%.

3. Guardian Druid's Strengths

  • Strong passive damage reductions
  • Stackable, no-cooldown active mitigation in Ironfur Icon Ironfur
  • Good raid utility in Rebirth Icon Rebirth and Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar
  • Able to perform flexible hybrid duties through the affinity talents

4. Guardian Druid's Weaknesses

  • Moderate damage and threat output, has to sacrifice significant amounts of survivability to be competitive
  • Weak self-sustain leads to a heavy reliance on healers
  • Poor magic damage mitigation

5. Guardian Druid Viability in the Current Patch

Guardian Druid currently struggles to find a place among the other tanks in terms of filling a niche. They perform reasonably well in raid environments due to their ability to mitigate a large amount of Physical damage and to scale up their mitigation with damage intake through Bristling Fur Icon Bristling Fur, however they struggle significantly with magic damage intake outside of their defensive cooldowns. Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar continues to be a strong raid cooldown, however its value is strongly tied to how an encounter is designed; in Battle of Dazar'alor, there are several fights for which Stampeding Roar could prove very useful or even necessary, which may be a reason to bring a Guardian Druid to the raid.

In dungeons, the focus on self-reliance and utility puts Guardians at a disadvantage in terms of viability. Often, due to limited healer globals and attention, Guardians simply cannot sustain themselves enough to execute the large trash pulls that are required to do higher Mythic+ keys. The addition of Ursol's Vortex Icon Ursol's Vortex in Patch 8.1 improves our crowd control and utility potential significantly, which will make Guardian a more attractive dungeon tank than in the previous patch.

6. Changelog

  • 13 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Reviewed tips and talents after raid release.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (this page): Updated for the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (gear page): Updated for the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (stats page): Updated for the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (talents page): Updated for the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 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 (how to improve 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.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (this page): Updated viability section for Mythic+ Season 2.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for Season 2, including information about Reaping.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Mythic+ Season 2 and Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Updated for Mythic+ Season 2 and Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 04 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated talent recommendations and utility spells.
  • 17 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Added responses to questions about racials and viability.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Wild Charge global cooldown change.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): This page has been for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 22 Nov. 2018 (this page): Added Strengths/Weaknesses and Viability sections.
  • 20 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated trait priorities and added a Gearing section.
  • 13 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated all bosses with information after Heroic week.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Mythic+ release.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Uldir raid release.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Uldir raid release.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated several traits for raid release.
  • 19 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Wild Fleshrending hotfixes and added a few notable non-Guardian traits.
  • 17 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Masterful Instincts.
  • 15 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Added section for catweaving in execute.
  • 15 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Gory Regeneration nerfs.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page added.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Page added.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page added.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page added.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth.
  • 25 Jul. 2018 (spells page): Updated Hibernate description.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (stats page): Updated offensive stat priority based on new simulations.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Added Luffa Wrappings, and updated some numbers for the stat squish.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (how to improve page): Added "Not Casting Enough" and "Facing Away From Enemies" mistakes.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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