Guardian Druid playstyle and rotation guide

Patch 10.1 Last Updated: 26th May, 2023
Tactyks Guardian Druid Author

Playstyle & Rotation

General Rotation (less than 6 targets)

  1. Maintain moonfire DoT
  2. Maintain Thrash DoT
  3. Tooth and Claw proc’d Maul
  4. Galactic Guardian proc’d moonfire if <3s left on the proc duration
  5. Maul if <4 targets and you don’t need to spend rage on ironfur
  6. Thrash
  7. Mangle
  8. Swipe as filler

Multi Target (6 or more targets):

  1. moonfire during pull to get it on a few targets initially
  2. Thrash
  3. Tooth and Claw Proc’d Maul if 6 targets
  4. Mangle
  5. Swipe as filler

The idea here is that with a large enough target count, moonfire will maintain itself thanks to a high amount of Galactic Guardian procs from having a lot of damage instances. So, you don’t need to actively spread it to the entire pack while grouping or maintaining it throughout the pull. Also, using a Galactic Guardian proc’d Moonfire above 7 targets is a DPS loss to just swiping anyways.


  1. Heart of the Wild
  2. moonfire
  3. Thrash
  4. Mangle
  5. Incarnation
  6. Thrash
  7. Follow respective rotation rules

Vicious Cycle: If talented, you’ll want to try and ensure you don’t waste any of the buff stacks, which cap at 3 for both mangle and maul / raze. Note that both Raze and Incarnation buffed Mangles will provide 1 stack per target hit, so you’ll reach the 3 stack cap much quickly when using these in AoE.

Tooth and Claw: If you want priority damage or mitigation against a specific mob, then it is completely fine to use these procs in higher (>6) target count situations despite it being less overall damage. When spec’d into Raze, you’ll want to use these regardless of target count for both damage and mitigation.

Galactic Guardian: Proc’s of this ability will USE, not waste, previous procs, so you actually only ever want to use these if the proc is about to expire (as noted in the rotation above). The ICD on these procs is 2s.

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 as opposed to Maul which you stop using procs for at 6 targets.

Thorns of Iron: If you’re using a Thorns of Iron build (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.


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 from Scintillating Moonlight and Tooth and Claw procs, a DR against auto attacks from Earthwarden, and depending on your talents you may also have a single target DR in Pulverize and a self-absorb shield 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, both Incarnation and Rage of the Sleeper 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 both of these abilities. 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 immediately to maximize damage output.

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.

In M+ Scenarios where you are in high target counts, if you feel like you need more defensiveness against a specific mob (that has a tank buster, for example), feel free to use Tooth and Claw procs on them despite it being a DPS loss so you can benefit from the 15% DR it applies. If you’re running Raze instead of Maul this is actually a DPS increase as well.

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 CDs, your primary mitigation is Ironfur, which you’ll want to try to maintain at as close to 100% uptime as possible while taking physical damage. In AoE scenarios, you will likely be spamming this to dump rage as our rage generation is very high in AoE, especially if you’re in Incarnation and want to use as much rage as possible to fuel Ursoc’s Guidance CDR and After the Wildfire healing. In ST scenarios, you’ll be using this much less, but again trying to maintain 100% uptime while tanking. If you don’t need to Ironfur, dump your excess rage via Mauls for damage.


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.