Guardian Druid Review - Battle for Azeroth Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth Class Reviews and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Guardian Druid. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Guardian Druid community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Guardian Druid Guide
is a Guardian theorycrafter, expert in the Dreamgrove, and raider in Strawberry Puppy Kisses on Area 52-US. Follow him on
is a Guardian theorycrafter, moderator and expert in the Dreamgrove, guide writer, SimC dev, and raider in Synergy on Bleeding Hollow-US. Follow him on
is a regular in the Dreamgrove, and raider in Pure on Turalyon-EU.
remains one of the strongest active mitigations of all tanks, through sheer consistency in uptime and damage reduction. Rage generation has improved in most situations, which helps us maintain more stacks at higher averages. Guardian looks to be a very stable and consistent raid tank, in terms of raw damage smoothing.
The talent rows have opened up with the removal of legendaries. Notably,
on the 75 row (and to a lesser extent,
on the 100 row) is no longer a must-take talent due to its interactions with legendaries, which will introduce some decision making back into the talent tree.
The addition of
were welcome improvements to our utility in small group content.
affords us more options to skip packs or control mobs, and
looks to be very strong against the numerous enrage effects that are present in BfA dungeons, in particular the Raging affix in Mythic+.
The return of Catweaving is good news for anyone who enjoyed the playstyle in early Legion, and to those who are looking for a challenging rotation to reward them with a small DPS gain. Some may argue that catweaving being a gain is not a good thing, since it promotes selfish, non-defensive play for a DPS gain, but it’s nice to at least have the option to play it.
has been aggressively nerfed. What used to be a tool used to consistently and quickly rebound from high burst damage is now a slow, long-cooldown heal over time, and turned us into a tank with near total reliance on healers at any moderately dangerous level of damage.
The loss of Rage of the Sleeper, and lack of compensation for it, has left us without an offensive cooldown in our base kit. As a result, Guardian gameplay is very slow with no points of excitement like you would find on a tank with an offensive cooldown. You can talent into
to fix this, but the cost of losing the consistent Rage generation of
is very high and has a significant impact on your survivability.
Another side effect of losing the artifact is the removal of many quality-of-life improvements found in artifact traits. The most noticeable is the loss of the
trait, which gave us the ability to keep mobs at a distance while giving yourself and your healer time to catch up in healing or drop stacks of Necrotic. Now that it’s gone, Guardian has almost zero kite potential; their only movement option that doesn’t drop
(which was also nerfed with the removal of Guttural Roars).
Despite the addition of
, Guardian utility in dungeons continues to be on the weaker side when compared to other tanks. We have very poor mass crowd control, poor self-healing, and poor kiting potential as outlined above.
The base Guardian rotation is extremely simple, by design. We have a single proc mechanic
, and 4 core rotational buttons (one of which is a maintenance DoT). Our spenders
do not interact with each other and present a very binary choice of either mitigation or damage, which makes for a non-engaging experience. This is somewhat addressed by talents that spice things up (
, for example), but in cases where these talents are worse than their alternatives, what we’re left with is a core rotation that does not feel very rewarding to play.
Give Guardian an offensive cooldown. This would go a long way toward increasing the enjoyment of the spec, as you have something to look forward to pressing every so often.
Restore our group utility by giving us either improved mass crowd control (e.g.
), improved self-sustain (e.g.
), improved kiting potential (e.g.
), or some combination of the three.
off the global cooldown. It’s already far weaker than its Legion version, but having to spend a global to cast just feels bad.
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