Guardian Druid playstyle and rotation guide

Patch 10.0 Last Updated: 11th Jan, 2023
Tactyks Guardian Druid Author

Playstyle & Rotation

General Rotation:

<6 Targets

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

Multi Target:

>=6 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. Incarnation
  5. Thrash x2 to get 3 stacks of the debuff
  6. Follow respective rotation rules

Vicious Cycle: If talented, you’ll want to try and ensure you never cast more than 3 mangles or 3 mauls in a row, so you don’t waste any stacks of the damage buff.

Tooth and ClawIf 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

Gore: In higher difficulty content, you may reach a point where Gore proc’d mangles are higher priority due to the defensive benefits provided by your tier set (5% DR and HoT).

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.


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, Tooth and Claw procs, and Gore procs (2p), as well as a DR against auto attacks from Earthwarden. In terms of self-healing, you have Frenzied regen, Moonfire damage thanks to Elune’s Favored, After the Wildfire, and a HoT from using Gore procs (4p).

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 feel like you need general defensiveness in the same situation, you can prioritize use of gore procs more for the 5% general DR, again at the cost of damage.

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.