Hey! I’m Tokaine, the best tank you’ve never heard of and the number 1 advocate for T.D.M (Tank Damage Matters). I’ve been tanking since cataclysm, mainly playing protection warrior until legion where I branched out into other tank classes as I climbed the world ranks.
Guardian Druids has for long been known as a meat-shield that has very high HP. This makes druids very good against magic damage as their high health pool allows them to take a couple of extra hits, however they do take quite a fair bit of magic damage.
In Shadowlands, druids have a strong self-heal in Frenzied Regeneration. They also have a good set of cool-downs to use and rotate through. Survival Instincts being the front-runner and the most powerful damage reduction available to the different tank specs. Additionally Ironfur is guardians stackable active mitigation which you can stack up to ridiculous levels during Berserk.
What has changed
There are no class changes to guardian druid in 9.1.
In the Sanctum of Domination there are special types of gear which drop with “Domination Sockets” in them, these sockets grant powerful bonuses from Shards of Domination which you obtain from killing the raid bosses. If you have 3 of the same type of shard you are able to obtain a powerful set bonus that works in both the raid and torghast, the 3 set bonuses are as followed:
- Unholy - Chaos Bane grants you a stacking main stat buff based on the level of your shard, at 15 stacks you gain a massive main stat buff for 15 seconds before it resets and starts stacking again.
- Blood - Blood Link places a DoT on your primary target which leeches health from them healing you for the amount of damage it deals, it heals an ally if you are full health.
- Frost - Winds of Winter makes it so your critical strikes start storing up a % of the critical hits damage and after 20 seconds it will explode and deal all the stored up damage, you are then granted an absorb for 100% of the damage dealt by the winds.
Our 4 new covenant specific legendaries are as followed:
- Kyrian - Kindred Affinity, this legendary gives you and your linked partner a bonus to a specific secondary stat based on their covenant, when you empower your bond the bonus is then doubled. The bonus stats are:
- Kyrian - Mastery by 100
- Necrolord - Versatility by 5%
- Venthyr - Critical Strike by 5%
- Night Fae - Haste by 5%
- Necrolord - Unbridled Swarm, this legendary gives your Adaptive swarm a 60% chance to split into two swarms every time it jumps target.
- Venthyr - Sinful Hysteria, this legendary increases the duration of Ravenous Frenzy by 0.2 seconds every time it is applied. Additionally, when Ravenous Frenzy ends you will still keep Sinful Hysteria for 5 seconds and it will not stun you when it ends.
- Night Fae - Celestial Spirits, this legendary reduces the cooldown and duration of Convoke the spirits by 50%, the added bonus is that convoke has an increased chance to use an exceptional spell or ability (Think full moon and feral frenzy).
The only legendary that might have a potential use case is the Night Fae one. This is just due to the fact that you are able to get 16 stacks of Grove Invigoration every 1 minute instead of 2. This is highly speculative and still probably does not outweigh the benefits of other legendaries though.
In Shadowlands guardian druid got a couple of good changes. This has pushed the spec to be a strong tank in Mythic+ and pretty much the best tank in PvP. Additionally when you utilise cat and owl weaving, you are able to pump out ludicrous tank damage which is really strong during progress when every point of damage matters.
Cyclone, Infected Wounds, Tooth and Claw as well as Berserk were all added to the spec. Blizzard also added a lot of strength to Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc as it now makes your Frenzied Regeneration cooldown faster, as well as making Ironfur cost only 20 rage during the duration. This together with the legendary Ursoc's Fury Remembered makes guardian a really strong tank in Mythic+.
If you want to play a guardian druid in PVP, the legendary Legacy of the Sleeper makes you immune to CC for the duration of Incarnation, this makes you the best at defending bases as well as flag carrying. If we ever get to equip 2 Shadowlands legendaries at the same time, guardian druids will definitely be considered one of the strongest tanks as they have some really good legendaries that synergize together.