Playstyle & Rotation
Like most tanks your abilities are based on a priority system, the main goal is to always keep your DoT’s ticking while generating and dumping rage.
- Keep Moonfire up and ticking.
- If you’re going to cap rage use Maul.
- Use thrash if your target is not at 3 stacks
- Use Mangle
- Use Thrash
- Use Moonfire with a Galactic Guardian Proc (if the talent is selected)
- Use Maul to dump rage if you don’t need to use the rage for Ironfur or Frenzied Regeneration
- Use Swipe
This rotation assumes 0 weaving. If you are Cat weaving you want to swap into cat every few cycles of the rotation and use Rake, Shred X2, Rake and Rip. It is really important to keep Rip up on the target.
- Use Thrash
- Keep Moonfire on all targets
- Mangle if you need the rage for Ironfur/Frenzied Regeneration
- Moonfire with a Galactic Guardian Proc on up to 3 targets
- Maul to dump rage on up to 3 targets
- Use Swipe
You should make sure you keep moonfire up on everything, even if you’re fighting 4+ targets, keep moonfiring till you have it up on everything and then just spam Thrash. Mangle if you need rage.
Guardian druid is an incredibly strong and versatile tank, often having an answer to every problem a tank can face. They have some of the highest single target damage out of all the tanks as well as having some of the highest burst AoE. Additionally they have a wide array of legendaries which are all strong under different circumstances.
Guardian druid is probably the strongest tank defensively when played with a full defensive setup. Their legendary The Natural Order's Will turns Barkskin into one of the best CD’s in the game, overloading it, as well as having a wide array of endurance conduit options that all synergise with the legendary this makes guardian an unstoppable machine when played correctly. Additionally, guardian has a Survival instinct which is a 6 second 50% Damage reduction adding even more to their kit. Guardian is a simple tank to play but it also has a very high skill ceiling to play it to its maximum, this comes through weaving.
Weaving, why you should care about it
If you’ve read through this guide you’ve probably seen me mention weaving countless times. Weaving is when you change into cat or moonkin form based on your chosen affinity. Not only is this a more engaging playstyle but it also fully maximises what a druid can do. It is true, druids are just a strong meatball of a tank when you only play bear but you’re really only using about 75% of the total power a guardian can bring. Weaving takes practice and it also requires good knowledge of the fight, knowing the very brief windows you have to shift into a none tank form and do some damage. If done correctly this will increase your dps by around 40%. Just a note that none of the current sims actually sim weaving by default and you should check out the druid discord for a guide on how to sim weaving properly.
One class to rule them all
So druid is arguably the most versatile class in the game, able to fill all roles at a moments notice. However, this bleeds over into the general playstyle of Guardian as with the different affinities you have such a flexible kit that branches off the base Guardian form that you really can fill any crack in your roster. The only downside to druid is that they don’t bring a buff like Monk, DH or warrior. If you’re just getting into tanking or even just getting into the game, druid is an exceptional choice as it will allow you to try all 4 aspects of the game, Tanking, Melee and ranged DPS as well as healing. Druid is one of my favourite classes and in its current inception it is one of the most fun tanks to play when you really start learning how to weave in and out of your other forms!