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PVE Guardian Druid Guide

Posted Tue, Jul 30, 2013 by Messiah


Current as of Patch 5.4


Role | Talents & Glyphs | Stat Priority | Reforging
Cooldowns | Single Target Tanking | AOE Tanking


This guide aims to provide all of the most critical information that you need to know so that you can play a Guardian Druid, at level 90 in PVE content.  It covers talents, glyphs, stats, reforging, and rotations. 

This guide will assume that since you are level 90 you will be able to take the basic information and run with it, simple topics like addons, macros, targeting, and more are not covered.

The Role of a Guardian Druid

As a Guardian Druid your role in a group is to be the Tank.  Guardian druids are fairly new to the game, having only gotten their own spec with the launch of Mists of Pandaria. Previously they had to split their spec and talents with Feral druids as both tank and melee DPS druids had to use the feral spec.

In addition to being able to tank, Guardian Druids provide several other benefits to a group. Just a few of those benefits are as follows:

Druid Tier 6

Druids have some of the coolest looking sets but you rarely see them because you spend so much time in different forms.

  • Provides Mark of the Wild which grants a 5% boost to most stats.
  • Provides the Leader of the Pack buff while in feral form, graning a 5% boost to critical strike chance.
  • Druids can resurrect even while in combat with Rebirth.
  • Can provide Barkskin buff to anyone that requires it to reduce incoming damage by 20% for a short time.

Guardian Druid Talents and Glyphs

Guardian Druids work pretty well under the talent system in Mists of Pandaria with no real issues. The MoP talent system means that for the most part you are free too chose talents and glyphs that you like rather than specific ones.  There are however a few specific talents and glyphs that are required for the best Tanking performance.

As a Guardian Druid you should select the talents and glyphs listed below for the best survival and threat. In any slot not listed though, feel free to take whatever talent or glyph you like best.

Incarnation: Son of Ursoc (Tier 4 talent) - This talent grants you an improved bear form for 30 seconds at a time on a 3 minute timer. While in the improved form your melee damage abilities and growl all go to 1.5 second cooldowns.

This talent is pretty much manditory as it provides you with a solid boost to damage and threat every 3 minutes. Being able to growl every 1.5 seconds means you can taunt in enemies that take off and manage large groups. The increased damage by lowering the cooldown on your abilities also means more threat which will keep the enemies on you.

Nature's Vigil (Tier 6 talent) - This talent provides a 3 minute cooldown ability that boosts all healing and damage by 10% for 30 seconds. In addition any damage that is caused heals nearby allies for 25% of the damage done and any healing done deals 25% damage to a nearby enemy.

This talent allows you to boost your damage, and therefore your threat, for 30 seconds at a time. In addition it will provide some raid healing to those around you while it is active.

Glyph of Rebirth (Major Glyph) – Rebirth brings back your target with full health.

This is a great glyph for bringing people back and ensuring that they do not die from AOE or accidentaly right away. Since there are no glyphs that are really required for tanking anyway this is a good choice.

Guardian Druid Stat Priority

It is critical to understand your stat priority for any class as going after the wrong stats can dramatically lower your performance. As a tank spec this is even more important as sub-optimal performace can cause a wipe of the whole party or raid.

The stat priority for a Guardian Druid is as follows:

Stamina > Agility > Hit (to 7.5) = Expertise (to 15%) > Crit > Haste > Mastery > Dodge

Important Notes:

  • Stamina is a fairly obvious stat for a tank to need since it provides additional health and allows you to take hits. However, do not stack too much as you will be giving up other stats doing so, take enough to survive a few hits but remember to focus on other stats too.

  • Hit and Expertise- These stats are key to maintaining high DPS and therefore high threat. Hit will require 2550 rating points to reach 7.5% hit which will remove the chance to miss a boss, and 5100 rating points to reach 15% expertise which will remove a bosses attempt to parry or dodge your attacks.

  • Crit – This is a strange stat for a tank, however since you gain extra rage as a Guardian Druid when you crit it will allow you to use your rage abilities more often.

  • Mastery - This provides additional armor, which will reduce the incoming damage you take over time, making you easier to heal.

Reforging as Guardian Druid

When reforging simply follow the stat priority above for Guardian Druids and move the lowest stat to the highest stat that the piece does not have on it. Remember to adjust priorities as you reach both the Hit and Expertise caps. This means that until you reach each of them, your priority will be Hit then Expertise, but after both are capped you move to focusing on Crit.

If your gear has these two stats…

Reforge this stat…

… to this stat

Hit + Expertise

Do not reforge

Do not reforge

Hit + Crit

Crit

Expertise

Hit + Haste

Haste

Expertise

Hit + Mastery

Mastery

Expertise

Hit + Dodge Dodge Expertise

Expertise + Crit

Crit

Hit

Expertise + Haste

Haste

Hit

Expertise + Mastery Mastery Hit
Expertise + Dodge Dodge Hit
Crit + Haste Haste Hit
Crit + Mastery Mastery Hit
Crit + Dodge Dodge Hit
Haste + Mastery Mastery Hit
Haste + Dodge Dodge Hit

Guardian Druid Cooldowns

There are several cooldowns available to you as a Guardian Druid that boosts your tanking ability as well as a few generic utility cooldowns. They are as follows:

Berserk – This reduces the cost of your abilities by 50% for 15 seconds based on a 3 minute cooldown. As a tank this allows you to grab threat on a large number of targets quickly by spamming your Mangle ability.

Growl - This is probably one of your most important cooldowns since it allows you to pull aggro off of other players. It is on an 8 second cooldown, and many times you will need it at least that often.

Might of Ursoc and Survival Instincts – Both of these cooldowns are really good to help survive through high damage phases. Might of Ursoc raises your health total briefly while Survival Instincts lowers all incoming damage for a short time. Both are on 3 minute cooldowns.

Rebirth - This is a major cooldown as it is one of the few abilities that can bring a player back to life during combat. It has a 10 minute cooldown, so it is really only once per fight. Save it for another tank or another healer and you will need to make sure you don't have threat while you cast it.

Guardian Druid Single Target Tank Rotation

bear form
When tanking there really is no set rotation. Instead as with most classes it is mostly based by situation or priority.

The general priorty order that you should use when targeting a single target is as follows:

1 - Faerie Fire – If no one else is providing the debuff then make sure you keep this applied, however you should try to get someone else to do it.

2 - Savage Defense (Consumes rage) - Increases your dodge by 45% for 6 seconds. Costs 60 rage.

3 - Frenzied Regeneration (Consumes rage) - Use this whenever you have enough rage left over and need the self heal. Costs 60 rage.

2 - Mangle (builds rage) – Use on cooldown to build rage.

3 - Thrash – Use this to ensure that you keep your bleed up on your target and keep your weakend blows debuff active.

4 - Lacerate – Use on cooldown and keep the stack at 3 to ensure maximum bleed effects.

5 - Maul - Use this whenever your Tooth and Claw procs which will boost the damage it causes.

Guardian Druid AOE Tanking Rotation

As a Guardian Druid you have very simple tanking rotataion.

Any time there are more than 2 enemies your rotation will become Mangle, Thrash, and Swipe. Try to keep mangle active on as many enemies as possible while using swipe and thrash the rest of the time.

Comments on Guardian Druids

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