Guardian Druid Playstyle and Rotation Guide

Patch 10.2.7 Last Updated: 7th May, 2024
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Playstyle & Rotation

Single Target Rotation:

  1. Maintain Moonfire DoT
  2. Maintain 3 stacks of Thrash (5 stacks if talented into Flashing Claws)
  3. Tooth and Claw proc’d Maul
  4. Maul to not cap rage and if you don’t need to spend it on Ironfur
  5. Mangle
  6. Thrash
  7. Galactic Guardian proc’d Moonfire
  8. Swipe as filler

Multi Target Rotation:

  1. Maintain Moonfire DoT (ignore this at 4 or more targets)
  2. Maintain 3 stacks of Thrash (5 stacks if talented into Flashing Claws)
  3. Tooth and Claw Proc’d Raze
  4. Raze to not cap rage and if you don’t need to spend it on Ironfur
  5. Thrash
  6. Mangle
  7. Galactic Guardian proc’d Moonfire
  8. Swipe as filler

The rotation does vary slightly based on target count, see below for max damage variations assuming you still maintain Moonfire / Thrash at the appropriate target counts:

  • 2-5 Targets: Alternate between Mangle and Raze
  • 6-10 Targets: Mangle to generate rage but use Raze as much as possible
  • 11-14 Targets: Thrash to generate rage but use Raze as much as possible
  • 15+ Targets: Alternate between Thrash and Raze


  1. Heart of the Wild (if talented)
  2. Moonfire
  3. Barkskin
  4. Thrash
  5. Mangle
  6. Incarnation
  7. Thrash
  8. Mangle
  9. Rage of the Sleeper
  10. Follow respective rotation rules

Vicious Cycle: If talented, you’ll want to try and not waste any of the buff stacks, which cap at 3 for both Mangle and Maul / Raze. Note that both Raze and Incarnation buffed Mangle will provide 1 stack per target hit, so you’ll reach the 3 stack cap much more quickly when using these in AoE. On top of this, having this talent alongside Raze in AoE pushes up the priority of Mangle above Thrash while in Incarnation, up to about 10 targets.

Galactic Guardian: This talent received a significant nerf in AoE with patch 10.1.5, as proc’s of this ability will now refresh previously unused procs instead of consuming them. When used in lower target count situations this means you’ll want to use these procs as you get them as opposed to waiting until the very end of the duration, following the above priority list. 

However, in patch 10.2 it seems an interaction with this Talent and Twin Moonfire was added, where the additional moonfire casted when getting a proc will actually consume the Galactic Guardian proc for additional damage and rage generation, making this tandem of talents quite good in AoE situations.

Raze: When taking this talent, using both the ability in general as well as Tooth and Claw procs remains a high priority in all target counts and should be used over Maul in 2+ target situations where you don’t care about priority target damage.

Thorns of Iron: If you’re using a build centered around Thorns of Iron (not just running thorns of iron in another build) you’ll want to exclusively dump rage into ironfur to maximize your damage thanks to the talent setup, only using Maul or Raze when you get a Tooth and Claw proc to use it for free. However, with the current tier bonus amplifying Maul and Raze but not Thorns of Iron, currently using builds centered around this talent are not recommended.


Cooldown Usage:

You have 4 major defensive cooldowns to cycle between, Berserk / Incarnation, Survival Instincts, Barkskin, and Rage of the Sleeper. In addition, you also have smaller DRs depending on your talents with Scintillating Moonlight, Tooth and Claw procs and Rend and Tear stacks, as well as a other forms of mitigation such as a DR against auto attacks in Earthwarden, a single target DR in Pulverize and a self-absorb shield based on your Thrash, Maul, and Raze damage in Ursoc’s Fury. In terms of self-healing, you have Frenzied regen, Moonfire damage thanks to Elune’s Favored and After the Wildfire from spending rage.

Notably, out of these abilities, Incarnation, Rage of the Sleeper and Tooth and Claw are significant damage increases on top of being good defensively. So, unless you require them to live a certain pull or boss mechanic, you should try to maximize the number of times you can use these abilities and procs. In particular, for Rage of the Sleeper, you’ll usually want to use this during Incarnation once you’ve built up some rage and hopefully have at least 1 Tooth and Claw proc so you can dump rage into several mauls or razes immediately to maximize the damage amp it provides.

Outside of this, you’ll want to do your best never to overlap your Barkskin, Survival Instincts, or Rage of the Sleeper durations, as for most incoming damage, just having one of these up is more than enough to survive with your other tools, and overlapping them results in worse damage reduction overall as they stack multiplicatively instead of additively.

For frenzied regen uses, don’t underestimate its power as a proactive heal, especially during boss encounters where damage patterns are very predictable. Using a charge just before a large hit can allow you to quickly heal back up on your own, meaning you can save a defensive you would’ve used for that hit for something else.

Outside of cooldowns and abilities listed above, your primary form of mitigation is Ironfur, which you’ll want to try to maintain 1 stack of this buff at as close to 100% uptime as possible whenever you’re taking physical damage. Note that additional uses of Ironfur will not refresh previous uses, however stacks can overlap so there is value to have multiple ironfurs up at one time, though this does have significant diminishing returns at higher stack counts.

In AoE scenarios, you will likely be spamming this to dump rage as our rage generation with Blood Frenzy is very high, especially if you’re in Incarnation, and spending as much rage as possible while not wasting any is very important to fuel Ursoc’s Guidance CDR and After the Wildfire healing. In ST scenarios, you’ll be using this much less, but again a good general rule is to try and just have 1 stack up while tanking, though in scenarios where you don’t feel threatened feel free to dump rage into Maul instead for additional damage and of course the previously mentioned absorb shield if talented into Ursoc’s Fury.


With current tuning and the importance of spending rage to get value from Ursoc’s Guidance CDR and After the Wildfire’s healing, both catweaving and boomboxing are currently not worthwhile.