Warning It appears that you may be blocking the ads, and we are fine with it (read more here). That said, it would really be awesome if you decided to whitelist our website or make a donation :) You can also send us Bitcoins (1DEkropiHPWBmfJxogFaXQscfzhmdpTti4)!

Guardian Druid Tank Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Mar 18, 2018 at 15:25 by Vlad 186 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Guardian Druids in World of Warcraft Legion 7.3.5. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

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. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Brambles Brambles Bristling Fur Bristling Fur Blood Frenzy ? Blood Frenzy
30 Guttural Roars Guttural Roars Intimidating Roar Intimidating Roar Wild Charge ? Wild Charge
45 Balance Affinity Balance Affinity Feral Affinity ? Feral Affinity Restoration Affinity ? Restoration Affinity
60 Mighty Bash ? Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement ? Mass Entanglement Typhoon ? Typhoon
75 Soul of the Forest Soul of the Forest Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc ? Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc Galactic Guardian Galactic Guardian
90 Earthwarden ? Earthwarden Guardian of Elune Guardian of Elune Survival of the Fittest ? Survival of the Fittest
100 Rend and Tear Rend and Tear Lunar Beam Lunar Beam Pulverize Pulverize

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Guardian Druids

Brambles Brambles Bristling Fur Bristling Fur Blood Frenzy ? Blood Frenzy
  • Brambles Icon Brambles is a passive effect that causes all attacks made against you to have an amount of their damage absorbed and reflected back to the attacker. Moreover, if you choose Brambles, while Barkskin Icon Barkskin is active, you pulse a small amount of Nature damage to all nearby enemies every second.
  • Bristling Fur Icon Bristling Fur is an active ability with a 40-second cooldown. For its 8-second duration, you gain Rage from damage taken.
  • Blood Frenzy Icon Blood Frenzy causes Thrash Icon Thrash to generate 2 Rage each time it deals damage.

Bristling Fur Icon Bristling Fur is definitely the best talent for Rage generation. This talent should be standard choice for most fights. It excels on encounters where it might be advantageous to have a couple of Ironfur Icon Ironfur stacks at a given time; assuming you are taking a fair amount of damage beforehand, you will get a lot of Rage to spend on Ironfur and Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration. Against sustained physical damage, this can be a lot stronger than Barkskin Icon Barkskin/ Icon Rage of the Sleeper, as it can make you easily keep 3+ stacks up over its duration.

Blood Frenzy Icon Blood Frenzy is decent for long term cleave/AoE situations. Since the Thrash Icon Thrash DoT ticks once every 3 seconds, this effectively gives you 10 Rage per 15-seconds per target or 30 Rage per minute for each target available. Few bosses allow for this talent to very potent, however it can have some use in high Mythic+ content where enemies might live a longer time.

Brambles Icon Brambles is passive, making it easy to use but defensively it incredibly useless. It is the only talent in this tier that does not generate Rage, but instead it can be used to do a small amount of extra damage. It can do a bit of damage in AoE situations, as the damage pulses all around you on each target, but we only recommend taking Brambles if you are not concerned with survivability and just want to improve your damage output.

3. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Guardian Druids

Guttural Roars Guttural Roars Intimidating Roar Intimidating Roar Wild Charge ? Wild Charge

This tier provides you with 3 situational talents, and the choice will depend on your playstyle and the requirements of the encounter.

That said, Guttural Roars Icon Guttural Roars will be the superior talent in this row in almost every case. The raid utility this talent brings is in many cases strong enough to make Druids the most preferred tank on an encounter, regardless of its other strengths and weaknesses.

Intimidating Roar Icon Intimidating Roar and Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge suffer from the same issue, which is that neither of them really brings anything new to the table. Incapacitating Roar Icon Incapacitating Roar already disorients targets, and its main use is to interrupt targets that may be stun immune due to diminishing returns, and the only thing Intimidating Roar will do is make sure they are crowd controlled for 3 full seconds instead. And Wild Charge is rarely worth it due to Druids already having a charge in form of Skull Bash Icon Skull Bash; while Wild Charge has a slightly longer range, it would only be preferable if you have to save Skull Bash for something else later on. It can also be used in Travel Form Icon Travel Form to leap forward 20 yards without having a target, or in caster form to jump to a player's position, but it is still a very weak talent.

4. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Guardian Druids

Balance Affinity Balance Affinity Feral Affinity ? Feral Affinity Restoration Affinity ? Restoration Affinity

For most situations, Balance Affinity Icon Balance Affinity is the go-to talent. It is excellent for Mythic+ for the extra range on AoE abilities like Thrash Icon Thrash and Swipe Icon Swipe, but it works for all abilities including auto-attack, Mangle Icon Mangle, and Skull Bash Icon Skull Bash. This talent makes it easy to keep doing your rotation while running around and picking up enemies.

Feral Affinity Icon Feral Affinity is an obvious choice if you ever find yourself wanting a little bit more movement speed against a certain encounter. While it gives you the abilities to deal damage in Cat Form Icon Cat Form, it is realistically never really worth doing so, and you are better off staying in Bear Form Icon Bear Form and generating Rage.

The heal of Restoration Affinity Icon Restoration Affinity is, realistically, pretty weak and slow to have much of a meaningful impact, even if it does add up in total over a longer fight; it could see use in places where there is little to no incoming healing on you. While it is most effective when the heal goes on other players as the percentage-based healing is based off of your maximum health and Guardian Druids have a lot of health, it would require you to be at full health right before the heal would come in, which is too unreliable to count on (although it can sometimes happen).

An important note for this talent row is that the legendary Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds Icon Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds increases the effects of all these 3 talents by 75%. Balance Affinity Icon Balance Affinity becomes +9 yards, Feral Affinity Icon Feral Affinity becomes 26% movement speed, and Restoration Affinity Icon Restoration Affinity heals you for 5.25% of maximum health every 5 seconds.

5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Guardian Druids

Mighty Bash ? Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement ? Mass Entanglement Typhoon ? Typhoon
  • Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash is an active ability with a 50-second cooldown, which stuns the target for 5 seconds. It is usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown, which roots the target and all enemies within 15 yards of them in place for 30 seconds. Damage done to rooted targets may break the effect. Mass Entanglement is usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Typhoon Icon Typhoon is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown. It knocks back all targets within 15-yards in a cone in front of you, dazing them for 6 seconds. It is usable in all shapeshift forms.

The choice between these talents is very situational, as they are all different forms of crowd control.

In most situations, you will get the most use out of Typhoon Icon Typhoon, since it has a lot of use in Mythic+, where you can interrupt mobs that might have been stunned too many times, and assuming they can be knocked back in the first place, you can use this to interrupt again.

Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement is a better version of Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots, as you can cast it while in Bear Form Icon Bear Form. It breaks very easily on damage, but can be used to keep certain mobs from reaching you.

Finally, Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash could be better should single target lockdown be more important.

6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Guardian Druids

Soul of the Forest Soul of the Forest Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc ? Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc Galactic Guardian Galactic Guardian
  • Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest causes Mangle Icon Mangle to generate 5 additional Rage and to deal 25% more damage.
  • Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc Icon Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc is an active ability with a 3-minute cooldown. It does not trigger the global cooldown. For its duration, your armor is increased by 15%, the cooldown of all melee abilities and Growl Icon Growl is reduced to 1.5 seconds, and Mangle Icon Mangle hits up to 3 targets.
  • Galactic Guardian Icon Galactic Guardian gives your damaging abilities a 7% chance to automatically cast a free Moonfire Icon Moonfire on the target. When this happens, the next Moonfire you cast (within 15 seconds) generates 8 Rage and deals 300% increased damage.

Against a single target, Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest is generally the better talent in terms of Rage generation, especially if you are able to really invest a lot of Rage into Ironfur Icon Ironfur.

Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc Icon Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc is a strong burst talent, and is particularly good in Mythic+ where you might be doing a big pull every 2-4 minutes; you will be able to not only easily pick everything up because you have no cooldown on Thrash Icon Thrash and do a lot of burst damage (this is especially powerful with Luffa Wrappings Icon Luffa Wrappings), but you will also get a small survivability boost. While Mangle Icon Mangle also has reduced cooldown and casting nothing but Mangle will make for quite a bit of Rage generation, Thrash generally has a higher priority even on single target due to Pawsitive Outlook Icon Pawsitive Outlook procs dealing damage and generating Rage. The damage is basically equal (if not higher with Thrash, depending on the amount of Jagged Claws Icon Jagged Claws relics you have).

Galactic Guardian Icon Galactic Guardian is a really strong option for Rage generation as well, compared to Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest, and definitely takes the lead when you consider multiple targets, which gives Galactic Guardian increased chances of proccing. While Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc Icon Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc might be stronger for straight up burst AoE damage, Galactic Guardian becomes a menacing AoE alternative if you have the legendaries Fury of Nature Icon Fury of Nature and Lady and the Child Icon Lady and the Child. The 8 Rage from casting Moonfire Icon Moonfire when you have a proc up also applies to Lady and the Child Moonfires if a Galactic Guardian proc is active, meaning that for maximum Rage generation, you actually do not want to consume it (unless it is about to run out), if there is a second target that Moonfire can jump to.

7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Guardian Druids

Earthwarden ? Earthwarden Guardian of Elune Guardian of Elune Survival of the Fittest ? Survival of the Fittest

Guardian of Elune Icon Guardian of Elune is generally the go-to talent in this row. Mangle Icon Mangle increases the duration of your next Ironfur Icon Ironfur, which makes it a lot easier to always keep one stack active, which means you save quite a bit of Rage to just maintain an Ironfur stack and you are able to more easily keep higher stacks for when damage goes up. This proves really effective against long term high physical damage that is mitigated by Ironfur. It also empowers Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration by 20%, which is a sizeable increase. When playing with Guardian of Elune, it is recommended you adapt your usage of active Mitigation slightly in order to try to get most of them empowered, but keep in mind that Ironfur is only increased in duration, not strength, meaning if you need multiple stacks up for a big nuke, you should disregard trying to buff them with Guardian of Elune.

Earthwarden Icon Earthwarden generates one stack per target hit by Thrash Icon Thrash (Pawsitive Outlook Icon Pawsitive Outlook) procs do NOT grant a stack); this means that this talent scales very well when there are multiple targets that can get hit while they do hit you back, thus consuming the stacks by auto attacking. While Earthwarden only reduces damage against auto-attacks, if you can manage to consistently have stacks up, the damage reduction against auto attacks that it provides will allow you to save Rage (or even cooldowns) to use against special attacks. Because of this, Earthwarden performs very poorly when AoE tanking, and it is probably even inferior to other talents against a single target unless the boss spends a lot of time casting or has a slow attack speed (which would allow you to maintain the stacks).

Survival of the Fittest Icon Survival of the Fittest is a good choice if you find yourself needing Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts a lot more often; coupled with Dual Determination Icon Dual Determination, you will almost cut its cooldown in half, which can be very strong should the encounter have big nukes you might not be equipped to handle with just active mitigation. It does also reduce the cooldown of Barkskin Icon Barkskin, so it is a decent talent if you find the general damage intake to be fluctuating a lot, in which case you will have cooldowns a bit more often to help deal with it.

8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Guardian Druids

Rend and Tear Rend and Tear Lunar Beam Lunar Beam Pulverize Pulverize
  • Rend and Tear Icon Rend and Tear increases your damage done to targets affected by Thrash Icon Thrash, and reduces the damage you take from these same targets, by 2% for each stack of Thrash that is active on them.
  • Lunar Beam Icon Lunar Beam is an active ability with a 75-second cooldown which summons a beam of light at your location for 8 seconds. Any enemies in the beam take Arcane damage every second, and you are healed every second while in the beam. Note that the beam's location is fixed, and does not follow you as you move.
  • Pulverize Icon Pulverize is an active ability that consumes 2 stacks of Thrash Icon Thrash on the target, dealing Physical damage to them in exchange, and reducing all damage you take by 9% for 20 seconds.

Rend and Tear Icon Rend and Tear is passive and therefore easy to "use". It works very well with Elize's Everlasting Encasement Icon Elize's Everlasting Encasement, as it increases the maximum stack to 5, and its total damage increase and damage reduction caps at 10%, which is pretty solid. Its ease of use and the ability to both reduce damage intake and increase damage output makes it the default talent for most cases.

Lunar Beam Icon Lunar Beam has very limited use. While it is fairly strong together with Fury of Nature Icon Fury of Nature, it is still weaker for general upkeep than Rend and Tear Icon Rend and Tear, but it then works as a cooldown every 75 seconds, which could technically be useful if timers work out perfectly for that, which is however unlikely to happen.

Pulverize Icon Pulverize is generally the best survivability cooldown, and while Elize's Everlasting Encasement Icon Elize's Everlasting Encasement with Rend and Tear Icon Rend and Tear allows for 10% instead of 9% damage reduction, it also locks up a legendary slot, which means that with Pulverize you can instead choose another legendary and you should be better off defensively.

9. ChangeLog

  • 18 Mar. 2018: Completely rewrote all sections.
  • 03 Dec. 2017: Added a mention that Typhoon does not trigger Sephuz's Secret.
  • 12 Sep. 2017: Updated tier 5 talent discussion.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Changed Blood Frenzy (tier 1) from recommended to situational and updated Mass Entanglement's description.
  • 07 Jul. 2017: Clarified that Soul of the Forest is now viable against a single target.
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Slight rewrites to account for the removal of Mark of Ursol in patch 7.2.5.
  • 22 Apr. 2017: Clarified that Wild Charge when in Travel Form causes you to jump to the location of an ally, and not to fly to them.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: Updated Intimidating Roar description to account for changes made to it in Patch 7.2.
  • 14 Feb. 2017: Updated description of Restoration Affinity to correctly reflect that it heals for 1.5% of maximum health per 5 seconds.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Updated the description of Soul of the Forest following the official patch note release.
  • 09 Jan. 2017: Updated talent descriptions to account for Patch 7.1.5 and improved the tier 2, 5, 6, and 7 discussions.
  • 16 Dec. 2016: Revised Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc as a situational (?) talent, and updated the description of Restoration Affinity.
  • 25 Oct. 2016: Patch 7.1 changes.
    • Updated the description of Galactic Guardian (causes 10 Rage to be generated, down from 15, and increases the damage of the next Moonfire by 300%).
    • Added a mention that Incarnation is now off the global cooldown.
  • 08 Oct. 2016: Slightly updated the discussion of the Guardian of Elune and Lunar Beam talents.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 20 Jul. 2016: Revised tier 1 and 5 talent discussions.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
Force desktop version
Force mobile version