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Guardian Druid Tank Spell Summary in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Jul 25, 2018 at 19:51 by Faide 7 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list the spells that you will often use as a Guardian Druid.

The other pages of our Guardian Druid guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Faide, a Guardian Druid theorycrafter, moderator for the Dreamgrove Druid discord, and owner of Dreamgrove.gg, a Druid community website. He raids in Synergy on Bleeding Hollow US. You can follow him on Twitter.

1. Introduction

If you are new to Guardian, this is a great place to start to get an understanding of how the spec works. On this page we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for within the specialisation, how they interact with each other and also with important cooldowns. If you already have experience with Guardian and are comfortable with it in Legion, it is recommended you skip this section and move on to the rest of the guide.

2. Main Resource of Guardian Druids

Your primary resource is Rage. Rage is generated from several sources — passively from auto-attacking (4 Rage per melee) and from being auto-attacked (3 Rage per unavoided hit, can only occur once per second), from several talents (both active and passive), and from using your rotational abilities Mangle Icon Mangle and Thrash Icon Thrash. Rage does not decay in combat, but after leaving combat will begin to decay quickly back to 0. Entering Bear Form Icon Bear Form will grant 20 Rage, and will give you a few seconds grace period before your Rage starts decaying. Exiting Bear Form empties your Rage bar.

You can spend Rage in one of three ways; on your active mitigation spell, Ironfur Icon Ironfur, on your self-heal, Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration, or on a hard-hitting attack, Maul Icon Maul. Rage management is a critical part of playing Guardian effectively.

3. Basic Abilities for Guardian Druids

These are your core skills that are available regardless of talents, and form the core gameplay of the specialization.

Growl Icon Growl is your taunt ability. This forces the target to attack you for 3 seconds and increases the threat you generate against that target for that duration. Making good use of the taunt "window" involves using your high damage abilities to take advantage of the increased threat.

Mangle Icon Mangle deals damage to one target (increased against targets that have a bleed active), and generates 8 Rage on use. It is your primary damage dealing spell and Rage generator.

Maul Icon Maul costs 45 Rage and deals damage to one target. It is used as a Rage dump when you are not taking damage, in order to prevent capping on Rage. If you are struggling to manage Rage, it is better to neglect this ability in favor of Ironfur Icon Ironfur.

Thrash Icon Thrash damages all enemies in an 8-yard radius, generates 5 Rage, and applies a 15-second bleed effect on them, which can stack up to 3 times.

Swipe Icon Swipe deals damage to enemies in an 8-yard radius, does not cost or generate any Rage, and has no cooldown. This is your filler spell, which you should only use if more powerful spells are not available.

Moonfire Icon Moonfire deals Arcane damage over time. Keeping Moonfire ticking at all times is an important factor in dealing good damage and therefore generating good threat.

4. Important Procs for Guardian Druids

The primary proc mechanic for Guardians is Gore Icon Gore. Casting Thrash Icon Thrash, Swipe Icon Swipe, Moonfire Icon Moonfire, or Maul Icon Maul (your main rotational spells), have a chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle Icon Mangle and make your next Mangle generate 4 additional Rage. Spending Gore procs as soon as you get them is important in order to not overwrite them and waste the additional Rage generation.

If you are talented into Galactic Guardian Icon Galactic Guardian, there is a secondary proc mechanic. Most damage sources (except for Moonfire Icon Moonfire and the reflect from Brambles Icon Brambles) have a chance to trigger a free Moonfire on the target of the damage event. Additionally, when this proc occurs, your next Moonfire will generate 8 Rage and deal 300% additional damage.

5. Active Mitigation for Guardian Druids

Guardians have one active mitigation ability, Ironfur Icon Ironfur. Ironfur costs 45 Rage and increases your Armor by 75% of your Agility for 7 seconds. Multiple applications of Ironfur can overlap, meaning that the armor increase will stack, but the duration will not. For example, if you use Ironfur, and then use it again 3 seconds later, you will have 2 applications of Ironfur for 4 seconds, granting you 150% of your Agility as Armor. After 3 seconds, the first application will have expired, leaving you with 75% of your Agility as Armor for 4 more seconds. Ironfur is the primary way to spend Rage, and keeping it up as often as possible will help reduce your damage intake.

Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration heals you for 24% of your maximum health over 3 seconds. The heal occurs in 4 ticks with the first tick occurring instantly, and the remaining occurring once per second. Frenzied Regeneration has 2 charges and a 36 second cooldown, reduced by haste. Frenzied Regeneration healing is not subject to our Mastery's increased healing (Mastery: Nature's Guardian Icon Mastery: Nature's Guardian), however it still scales with Mastery in that Mastery increases your maximum health and therefore the amount Frenzied Regeneration will heal for.

6. Cooldowns for Guardian Druids

As a Guardian Druid, you have two important baseline cooldowns.

  • Barkskin Icon Barkskin reduces all damage you take by 20% for 12 seconds, on a 90 second cooldown. Barkskin is usable while stunned, incapacitated, or asleep. This will be your first line of defense against dangerous spike damage, as well as your primary way of reducing magic damage, or simply as risk mitigation to smooth your damage intake for your healers. It has a short cooldown, so use it liberally!
  • Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts reduces all damage you take by 50% for 6 seconds. Survival Instincts has 2 charges and a 4 minute recharge time. This is your major defensive reduction, to be used against lethal spike damage or "tankbuster" mechanics. Its short duration and long cooldown means it should be used sparingly.

7. Additional Utility for Guardian Druids

  • Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar increases the movement speed of you and your allies within 15 yards by 60% for 8 seconds. This is a tremendously powerful raid cooldown, especially on encounters that require coordinated raid movement.
  • Incapacitating Roar Icon Incapacitating Roar disorients enemies within 10 yards of you for 3 seconds. This can double as an area of effect interrupt in dungeons, against enemies who are not immune to disorients.
  • Rebirth Icon Rebirth allows you to resurrect allies in combat. Note that it is quite expensive and risky to use combat resurrect as a tank, and it is generally recommended that a non-tank perform the resurrection if available.
  • Dash Icon Dash is your personal movement speed cooldown, putting you into Cat Form Icon Cat Form and increasing your movement speed by 60% for 10 seconds.
  • Skull Bash Icon Skull Bash interrupts enemy spell casts. Note that if you are out of melee range of your target when you cast Skull Bash, you will charge into range regardless of if the target is casting or not. This means you can effectively use Skull Bash as a pseudo-charge, at the expense of putting your interrupt on cooldown.
  • Soothe Icon Soothe dispels all enrage effects on a target. In particular, this works on the Raging affix in Mythic+.

The following spells are usable by Guardians, but will cancel Bear Form Icon Bear Form and therefore should not be used in combat.

  • Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots is a long-term crowd control that snares an enemy in place for 30 seconds. Damaging the target will break this effect.
  • Hibernate Icon Hibernate is another long-term crowd control that puts the target to sleep for 40 seconds. Hibernate is similar in function to Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots, except that it incapacitates enemies entirely. For example, caster enemies that have Entangling Roots applied to them will continue to cast while in range, and enemies that melee attack will attempt to melee players in melee range. Enemies suffering from Hibernate will not attempt to attack anyone until Hibernate expires or is broken, although wandering into range of a Hibernated enemy will put them into combat with you. Hibernate only works on Beasts and Dragonkin.
  • Remove Corruption Icon Remove Corruption is a single target dispel. It can remove Curse and Poison effects.

8. ChangeLog

  • 25 Jul. 2018: Updated Hibernate description.
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