WoW Guardian Druid Tank Guide

WoW Guardian Druid Introduction

Guardian Druid has gone over a number of reworks since beta and it seems like they’re still trying to fully figure it out, having to balance four specs with three roles into one class tree is very difficult and means there will be talents along the way you won’t be needing in a lot of content but does provide many benefits in the outdoor content. With varying builds in the spec tree, you have a lot of options on how defensive you’d like to play and what your rotation priority can be.

Community perception is unfortunately against Bear at the moment, the meta is formed around what can do the highest end bleeding edge keys and bear admittedly suffers in that department, where their shortcomings become amplified. If you are going after Keystone Master or Hero, this tank is perfectly capable of doing so without any problems and has unique solutions to some boss encounters that make it easier than some other tanks.

WoW Guardian Druid Strengths & Weaknesses


1. Good self sustain and Powerful Offensives
2. A number of unique utilities for control, stops, positioning and off healing
3. Easy entry level of play, High level of skill expression


1. Incoming Magical damage mitigation
2. A number of dead talents on the class tree
3. Limited options of builds due to rigid pathing

WoW Guardian Druid Tier Sets

How the 10.1 Tier set changes the playstyle

2pc: When you take damage, Mangle and Thrash damage and Rage generation are increased by 15% for 8s and you heal for 6% of damage taken over 8s.

4pc: Maul/Raze damage is increased by 20% and casting Ironfur or Maul/Raze increases your maximum hp by 3% for 12s, stacking up to 5 times.

The increase in damage to our core three physical abilities means that while it may not be the meta option, the alternative physical builds will be a lot more competitive. Guardian druid damage was admittedly underrated, I’ve been running physical build in keys for the latter have of the season and have been competing with my other tanks or out right beating some. The issues of Guardian have been surviving in high keys, the addition of the 6% stagger bonus on tier will add a considerable amount of healing to your kit, as long as you can live the hit, adding to this Ursoc’s Fury will now be replenished quicker for bigger and more consistent shields by the increased damage gained by the tier.

The increase in Rage Generation deserves its own paragraph, when you take damage gain 15% increased rage generation. The struggles with guardian druid aren’t all going to be fixed with this, but the rage gen gained is high enough to be noticeable, keeping up Ironfur stacks is going to be easier in the end and you should be gaining enough rage to dedicate more spent rage to Maul/Raze without the Tooth & Claw proc if you want to play more aggressively without sacrifice any more physical tankiness.

WoW Guardian Druid Stats

Guardian Druid’s are a leather armor Agility based spec. While gearing, Agility is king, ilvl before secondaries. Agility also directly affects the Armor gain of Ironfur.

  • Haste: Like most tanks, Haste decreases the global cooldown of our abilities making the rotation flow quicker, it also increases our melee attack speed. Mangle, Thrash and Frenzied Regeneration’s cooldown is directly reduced by Haste as well, three of our core abilities while speeding up the ticks to our Moonfire DoT and Thrash Bleed. With all that in mind, Haste becomes a very important stat for Bear.
  • Critical Strike: It’s rather unfortunate that Critical Strike doesn’t grant us a whole lot in comparison to some other tanks, simply makes healing(Frenzied Regen excluded) and damage deal double damage.
  • Mastery: A stronger defensive stat than offensive, Mastery grants bears more maximum health and attack power. Important not to dump, but not focus either.
  • Versatility: Increases damage and healing done, and reduces incoming damage(50% value). Stats like this have direct benefits for Bear where everything it does is valuable to us.

Remember to prioritize Agility over secondaries while gearing.

Finding a balance between damage and survivability can be tricky for tanks, Critical is common on leather gear, while in that process you’ll be trying to find more ways to gain Haste and Versatility and dumping the high levels of critical strikes you’ll be easily gaining.

Survivability: Haste > Versatility > Mastery (survival) >/= Critical Strike (offensive)

WoW Guardian Druid Enchants, Gems & Consumables

Note: I will be updating this section as further testing occurs after the tuning passes has finished. New embellishments have arrived in 10.1, perhaps changing our Best in Slot embellishment items. Its best to use caution in the first couple of weeks of a new patch to wait on tuning passes before crafting some items. Be aware. 


  • Haste Gems are your best options in most cases mostly due to the rarity of Haste gains on gear. Versatility is also a great option to increase tankiness.


  • The best weapon enchant is Sophic Devotion. Sophic will provide you with an Agility proc with good uptime, good both defensively and offensively.
  • For weapon consumables, the Howling Rune provides a sizable haste bonus for 2 hours, to be used in all content.


  • Tepid Versatility: This phial is cheap and grants you a chunk of vers, Bears love Versatility, this will provide benefits in all content
  • Glacial Fury: Like Frozen Devotion, this is also a damage proc Phial that only has offensive benefits, but can do a lot of damage if you aren’t worried about yourself defensively.


  • Cloaks: Regenerative Leech is the better all around enchant. Rage of the Sleeper gives Bears A LOT of Leech on a 1m CD, if you’re worried about healing outside of that window, this is a good play. Bears also have a touch slower base movement speed then some other tanks, HomeBound Speed is also a nice way to gain quicker movement speed.
  • Bracers: Speed, Leech or Avoidance are solid options here depending on content.
  • Rings: Devotion of Haste and Devotion of Versatility depending on which stat you feel you need most.
  • Boots: Watch’s Loam, a nice stamina increase
  • Pants: Fierce armor kit, what used to be a consumable is not a permanent enchant gaining our primary stat and stamina.
  • Chest: Waking Stats is a simple primary stat buff.

WoW Guardian Druid Talents

Coming into 10.1, Guardian Druid has a number of builds that can work in its favour, depending on which playstyle you enjoy. Laser bear is in the forefront for the meta pick, although the physical alternatives are not far behind it (and personally, more fun).

Laser Bear

This build utilizes moonfire for damage and damage reduction as well as healing. Spread your moonfires as much as possible while you rely on Galactic Guardian procs

Guardian Druid 10.1 Lazer

Build Code:


Physical Build

This build focuses heavily on physical damage to gain big absorbs and lots of self healing variations in Dream of Cenarius Regrowth, After the Wildfire & Frenzied Regeneration healing. This blends a more beginner friendly rotation, lots of defensives and self or off healing. Below are two codes, one for the main build, the other with our dispel opted into, since dispels are going to be important you may have to sacrifice a lot of things things to get it.

Guardian Druid 10.1 Physical No Dispel

Build Code Without Dispel:


Guardian Druid 10.1 Physical Dispel

Build Code With Dispel:


WoW Guardian Druid Class Tree

The class tree for Guardian Druid has a lot of utility to be able to opt into or out, unfortunately the amount of points you have to spend to commit to one piece of utility can feel costly. At the end of the day we have far more access to great utility than we did in Shadowlands.

Baseline Abilities

Barkskin: A small damage reduction on a short cooldown. Reliable and customizable for increased Damage reduction, increased duration and reduced CD.

Mangle: Single Target damaging ability that requires Bear Form

In the spec tree you automatically begin with points in Frenzied Regeneration and Thrash, two core abilities of bear with varying talents that you can customize what these two talents can do for you.

  • Frenzied Regeneration (baseline): A large portion of your max HP is healed back over 3 seconds.
  • Thrash (baseline): AoE ability that places a stacking bleed (x3) on the enemies hit.
  • Improved Swipe (default): Now I’ve been saying #MakeSwipeDoSomething for some time and this talent doesn’t change that. Swipe is an AoE talent that does damage, that’s it, doesn’t generate rage, spend rage or offer any utility at all, hence is on the lowest priority of abilities to press. When everything else is on CD, press swipe.
  • Killer Instinct (default): Gain 6% Physical damage reduction and a 6% armor gain as a passive.
  • Improved Barkskin (default): Increased the duration of Barkskin by 4s.
  • Verdant Heart (default): Frenzied Regeneration and Barkskin increase all healing received by 20%. This effects Frenzied Regen but also all other healing, this includes the healing received by your healers.
  • Ironfur (baseline): Your main active mitigation, although as active mitigation goes, it is admittedly on the weaker side. This mitigation is stackable and will be your main rage spender. Ironfur will give you a sizable armor stack for a baseline 7s. Unfortunately armor does nothing magical damage but will increase your tankiness in physical damage scenarios.
  • Starfire (pathing, flex): Can’t be used in Bear form, can be used in Owl Weaving.
  • Sunfire (pathing, flex): Can’t be used in Bear form, can be used in Owl Weaving. This ability however does have a 40 yard range and has an 8 yard range from your primary target putting an 18s DoT on them. Can be used in pulling multiple mobs from range before quickly entering back into Bear form to tank them where you like.
  • Moonkin Form (pathing, flex): Gives you access to Balance druids “chicken” form,