Guardian Druid Tank Guide — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1

Last updated on Oct 12, 2020 at 22:51 by Pumps 4 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Guardian Druid guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1. 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 WoW Classic content, please refer to our 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.
  • -Mediocre magic mitigation.
3.

Shadowlands Changes for Druids

We are maintaining a list of changes for Druids for Shadowlands, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, which you can access using the link below. We also have pages for the new Covenant abilities and Anima Powers.

Overall, Guardian is looking to get 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 we will have many more tools to actively cycle through.

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.

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, 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.

8.

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.

9.

Guardian Druid Viability in the Current Patch

After receiving numerous buffs in the previous patch and now scaling into the final tier of the expansion, Guardian is in a very competitive state in both raids and dungeons. Their defensive power has been boosted quite significantly by the amount of Agility and secondary stats we will be acquiring, increasing Armor gained from Ironfur Icon Ironfur greatly and raising our dodge significantly, making Druid one of the most stable and fun to play tanks in the game in 8.3. Guardian is shaping up to be one of the top tanks in both Mythic+ and Raids alike.

Self-sustain is still a weak point for Guardian; even with the significant buff to Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration's healing capacity, it is still on the global cooldown and therefore difficult to use as an emergency heal. As our health pool increases, this is becoming less of an issue.

10.

Changelog

  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this 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 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats 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 (Essences page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (azerite traits and gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 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.
  • 13 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Reviewed tips and talents after raid release.
  • 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 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated for 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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