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Legion Guardian Guide


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 Post subject: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:40 pm 
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Legion Guardian Guide


Version History





Patch VersionChanges MadeAuthor
7.0.3 - August 27, 2016
  • Guide Published.
Arielle


Index


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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:41 pm 
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Introduction

Hello Guardians!

I present to you the Legion Guardian Guide!

It's important to remember that this guide isn't meant to teach you how to tank per se. It is meant to inform and empower you to be the best Guardian you can be. There previously existed some very detailed and well-written threads discussing critical tanking skills on the "Tanking" role forum. Unfortunately Blizzard decided to remove all of them, so I can no longer link to that content. Maybe sometime in the future I'll attempt to re-create that information here, but today is not that day.

Of course if you're already an experienced tank and are just looking for a consolidated source of information, then this guide is still for you :D

As always the information in this guide is based on various sources, but mostly mine. Special thanks to Theck, Pawkets, Ahanss, and Navv for helping out in various ways throughout the Beta and pre-patch. Thanks also to the many forumites here at TiB and on Discord for constantly providing questions and information about Guardians in any form of content.

I would like to give a special thanks to Reesi, Lissanna, and Sunnier for the guidance they've given me over the past several years. I've learned a lot from them, and I hope I'll be able to use this knowledge to write a guide that people can use to improve their play.

Sources

Before we go, a quick note on where the information that makes up this guide comes from. As anyone will tell you, a good guide is built on 2 parts math, 1 part practical experience. I've tried to do that as much as possible here but unfortunately since I work during PST/PDT daytime hours, it's not possible for me to participate in any raid testing. So this guide is based on the following information:

  • Basic math and knowledge of game mechanics.
  • Simulations using Simulationcraft.
  • Discussion and analysis with other Guardians.

It's entirely possible that during these processes I've gotten something wrong, or a situation will arise that was not previously encountered. Don't be surprised if this guide is updated early and often in Legion. Simulations should especially be taken with a grain of salt, since it's very hard to program a real raid scenario for tanks since it involves doing healers as well which is pretty impossible. But it's still good information to have if you know how to use it.

I've also included a collection fo all of the simulations I've run that contribute to the assessments and conclusions provided in this guide. Be aware that it's very likely that these will need to be re-run at least once (possibly more) as the APL is updated and/or changes are made to Guardians during the initial launch period.

Download Sim Results Here.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:42 pm 
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Game Mechanics

Resolve

Resolve is dead. RIP Resolve.

Rage

The abilities Guardians use to survive - called Active Mitigation - consume our resource: Rage. Rage is generated in the following ways:

  • Mangle generates 6 Rage when used (or 11 if you have the talent Soul of the Forest). Mangle's base cooldown is 6 seconds, and is reduced by Haste.
  • Auto-Attacks generate ~7.85 Rage per attack that deals damage. Your base auto-attack speed is 2.5 seconds.
  • Thrash generates 4 when used, and an additional 2 every tick (on every target) if you have the talent Blood Frenzy.
  • Bristling Fur generates Rage based on damage taken relative to your current average maximum HP, based on item level. For every percentage of that HP value you take in damage you gain 1 Rage.
  • Galactic Guardian generates 15 Rage every time you consume a proc.
  • Shifting into Bear Form will set your Rage to 20.

Using one of the following abilities will allow you to use something that generates Rage (Indirect Generation):

  • Incarnation: Son of Ursoc removes the cooldown on any offensive Bear ability for 30 seconds. This includes Mangle, meaning you can press Mangle every global cooldown to generate the maximum amount of Rage. Incarnation has a 3 minute cooldown. Note that while this now includes the old "chaining" property of Berserk, targets to which Mangle chains will not generate any Rage.
  • Gore grants a chance to reset the cooldown of Mangle and cause it to generate an additional 4 Rage every time you use one of your other rotational abilities. Note that a target must be struck in order for the reset to occur.
  • Temporary buffs such as Heroism/Bloodlust or Trinket Procs can also indirectly increase Rage Generation by increasing Haste.

You can probably tell that the most common of these either reset or completely remove the cooldown on Mangle.

RPS Targets

Just by putting on gear - even 840 item level - we generate enough Rage to meet our needs for choosing between Ironfur and Mark of Ursol while still having enough available for Frenzied Regeneration when needed. Therefore any additional Rage is purely used for Ironfur. As a result RPS targets continue to not be information a player should be concerned about in Legion.

Suppressions

Something that previously hasn't been very well understood by most players is the concept of suppressions. That is if you're attacking (or if something is attacking you) and there is a level difference the higher level character (or mob) has an advantage in combat. Remember that all tank specializations are innately incapable of missing, or having their attacks dodged or parried by mobs up to 3 levels higher than them. These are the stats that are affected by suppressions:

  • Miss: For every 1 level difference, the chance the higher level combatant's attacks will miss their target is reduced by 1.5%. Additionally the chance the lower level combatant's attacks will miss their target is increased by 1.5%. This effectively means that a boss mob will never "miss" you.
  • Dodge: For every 1 level difference, the chance the higher level combatant's attacks will be dodged is reduced by 1.5%. Similarly the chance the lower level combatant's attacks will be dodged is increased by 1.5%.
  • Parry: For every 1 level difference, the chance the higher level combatant's attacks will be parried is reduced by 1.5%. Similarly the chance the lower level combatant's attacks will be parried is increased by 1.5%.
  • Critical Strike: For every 1 level difference, the chance the higher level combatant's attacks will score a critical strike is increased by 1%. Similarly the chance the lower level combatant's attacks will score a critical strike is reduced by 1%. Tanks don't have to worry about being hit by critical strikes since all of them have a talent that reduces the chance of this happening to 0 against a boss level mob.
  • Armor: The physical damage reduction provided by the armor of the lower level combatant decreases as the level of the higher level combatant increases. To find out what kind of damage reduction you receive, use this simple formula: (DR=Armor/(Armor+K)). "K" for a raid boss is 8164.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:42 pm 
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Character Stats

Primary Stats

The only two primary stats of consequence are Agility and Stamina. Intellect and Strength obviously still exist, but there is now a function in WoW which automatically swaps the primary stat of the item to whatever is appropriate for your spec. That means if you switch between say Guardian and Resto, your gear will automatically swap to Intellect from Agility.

The same is true for most jewelry. However some trinkets may be tagged to only function for certain specializations.

Agility

Agility is the primary stat for all melee leather specializations. Agility has the following effects at level 100:

  • 1 Agility = 1 Attack Power
  • ?? Agility = 1% Dodge before diminishing returns (I forget the exact conversion at the moment). Note that the relative conversion of Agility to Dodge has been dramatically reduced for Guardians in Legion.

Stamina

Stamina continues to be one of the two primary stats to obtain for increasing your survival. Stamina does the following:


Secondary Stats

Secondary stats have once again undergone a major shift in Legion.

Bonus Armor

Bonus Armor as it existed in Warlords is dead. It still exists in certain places (for example Unbending Potion) but is only treated as additional armor that (a) doesn't grant attack power and (b) isn't multiplied by a Guardian's abilities.

Mastery

The Guardian Mastery has again been replaced in Legion. Mastery: Primal Tenacity now grants additional Health and Healing Received per point, in addition to the normal Attack Power. The defensive portion of our Mastery is extremely strong, and makes it one of our best survival stats. However for overall damage it's not as good as some other stats, unless you are using Brambles.

  • 350 Mastery Rating = 1 Mastery = +0.5% Health and Healing Received, and 1% Attack Power

Critical Strike

Critical Strike Rating now grants an equal amount of Dodge Rating. It obviously remains the best burst damage stat, but because the only defensive benefit is dodge and not all damage is avoidable, its defensive value is going to have a direct relationship to the kind of damage you're taking.

  • 350 Critical Strike Rating = 1% Critical Strike (Melee/Ranged/Spell)

Versatility

Versatility remains completely unchanged in Warlords. However because of the unreliability of Crit and Haste's effectiveness being directly died to several different abilities, it is one of a Guardian's most powerful stats along with Mastery. It's also one of the best DPS stats available, especially when in AoE situations and using Brambles.

  • 400 Versatility Rating = 1% Damage Done, 1% Healing Done, and 0.5% Reduced Damage Taken

Haste

Haste has four effects. First it increases how fast your auto attacks occur - thus increasing Rage generation. Second it lowers the GCD and the cooldown of any ability which is on the GCD, thus increasing the frequency of Gore procs. Third it increases the recharge rate of Frenzied Regeneration. Fourth it adds additional ticks to Moonfire. All of these combine to make Haste one of the best DPS stats if you are not using Brambles.

  • 325 Haste Rating = 1% Haste

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:43 pm 
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Abilities

Like all other classes and specializations Guardians have had some changes to their class and specialization abilities. Some have we no longer have access to, others have changed drastically, and there are even a few new ones.

Removed

These abilities have been removed from the Guardian toolkit. Some have been made only available to other specializations, while others have been removed entirely. While this list may seem daunting at first, remember that a lot of these buttons we rarely, if ever, actually used. In reality it's not actually as bad as it appears.


Changed

These abilities have all changed in some way or another. This list will only include abilities that have significant mechanic changes, as a lot of the changes are purely numbers tweaking. If any ability changes are not mentioned here, they are likely to abilities that Guardians do not actually care about. As a rule if a utility ability (such as Stampeding Roar) requires a specific form, you will automatically be shifted into that form upon use. This affects almost everything in the Druid toolkit.

  • Mangle now deals 375% weapon damage (20% extra to bleeding targets) and generates 6 Rage when it hits. Mangle has a 6 second cooldown which is reduced by Haste, however Gore gives every other rotational ability a 15% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle and cause it to generate an extra 4 Rage when next used.
  • Maul now deals 100% weapon damage, an additional 20% to bleeding targets, and costs 20 Rage. Maul has a 3 second cooldown which is reduced by Haste. The only time you should be using Maul is when you aren't actively tanking something, or you are going to waste Rage from capping.
  • Thrash now deals 213.6% AP in damage on the initial hit, and 13.4% AP in damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds per stack.
  • Bear Form's Armor modifier is now 200% and the Stamina modifier is 55% at level 100.
  • Frenzied Regeneration now has 2 charges, costs 10 Rage and heals you for 50% of the damage taken in the last 5 seconds, or 5% of your maximum health, whichever is higher. While it has a limited number of uses, it is by far the most Rage-efficient way to handle damage.
  • Barkskin now has a 90 second cooldown.
  • Thick Hide now reduces all damage taken by 10%.
  • Survival Instincts now has a recharge rate of 4 minutes. 6 second duration.
  • Disorienting Roar is now baseline.
  • Nurturing Instinct now increases spell power by 120% of your attack power.
  • Rebirth now castable in Bear Form, costing 10 Rage.

New

These are new abilities that Guardians have received in Legion. Note this will only include things that are not talents.

  • Swipe has returned as our filler ability, dealing 216% weapon damage (20% extra to bleeding targets).
  • Moonfire is now our maintenance DoT, dealing 60% SP in damage initially, and 60% SP every 2 seconds for 16 seconds.
  • Ironfur is now our primary way of mitigating physical (non-bleed) damage, granting 100% additional armor (multiplying armor from Bear Form) for 6 seconds. Multiple uses will stack. Costs 45 Rage.
  • Mark of Ursol is now our primary way of mitigating magical damage, granting 30% reduced magical damage for 6 seconds. Multiple uses will extend the duration in a "pandemic" fasion. Costs 45 Rage.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:44 pm 
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Talents

Here we will talk about the talents available to Guardian Druids in Legion. Some of these have been dramatically changed, while others have been removed and a whole host of new talents have been added. Note that these talents have been previously analyzed here and not much has changed since then, other than the Affinities.

Level 15

  • Brambles absorbs and reflects damage from each damaging event back to the attacker. Damage is only dealt as long as the attacker is in melee range. The damage can crit and is increased by versatility, but the absorbtion is not.
  • Bristling Fur generates Rage based on damage taken relative to the maximum health for your average item level. For each percentage of your calculated average health taken you generate 1 Rage.
  • Blood Frenzy each time Thrash ticks on any target, you generate 2 Rage.

This is definitely one of the best designed sets of talents we have in Legion, as each has its own purpose and area it excels in. Brambles is excellent for DPS, and only gets better the more targets you add (think Mythic+). Bristling Fur rewards skillful use with huge amounts of Rage on a short cooldown (again Mythic+, or raids). Blood Frenzy is a general-use passive talent which can be used in almost any situation and is a great starter talent.

Level 30


Most people will immediately assume that Guttural Roars is the only option in this row. However you have to remember that (a) not every encounter has a use for a Roar, (b) if you do you may not even need a 30yd one, and (c) if you do and still need a 30yd one, it's entirely possible you won't need it ever 60 seconds. However Displacer Beast is the talent that really loses, since it also activates the shapeshifting cooldown when used (since you automatically change form). That means you can't use any offensive buttons for 3 seconds after Displacer Beast is activated. Wild Charge continues to be a totally valid choice for a lot of kinds of content.

Level 45

  • Balance Affinity increases maximum range by 5 yards and grants access to a number of Balance abilities.
  • Feral Affinity grants 15% passive movement speed and access to a number of Feral abilities.
  • Restoration Affinity heals you for 1.5% of your maximum health every 5 seconds and grants access to a number of Restoration abilities

Here you make another clear choice between survival and damage, depending on the encounter and how you can maximize the effectiveness of the chosen affinity. With Balance you can do something called "Moonweaving" where you shift out to drop a Sunfire in AoE. It's also the best affinity for kiting, due to the increased range. With Feral you can do something the community has called "Catweaving", where you dump your full energy bar in Cat Form and shift back into Bear Form for Mangle, Thrash, and Maul while waiting for a full energy bar again. Unlike Moonkin form (which has the same Armor bonus as Bear) "Catweaving" is only safe when not tanking anything.

Restoration is of course only really useful when there are telegraphed periods where your additional healing will be effective.

Level 60

  • Mighty Bash stuns a target for 5 seconds.
  • Mass Entanglement roots enemies in an area for 20 seconds.
  • Typhoon knocks enemies within 15 yards in front of you backwards, and dazing them.

For this row the choice is really between Bash and Typhoon. Mass Entanglement might end up being used for achievements again, but generally it's pretty useless.

Level 75

  • Soul of the Forest increases Rage generated by Mangle 5, and increases its damage by 15%.
  • Incarnation: Son of Ursoc removes the cooldown from all offensive abilities, and causes Mangle to chain to up to 3 targets.
  • Galactic Guardian when you deal damage (excluding procs or Moonfire DoT damage) you have a chance to proc a free Moonfire on the target which took damage, and when you next cast Moonfire you will generate 15 Rage.

Incarnation's only strength is as a DPS cooldown, as the additional targets hit will not generate any Rage. It excels in cleave situations (2-3 targets), especially when combined with Rage of the Sleeper. Otherwise the best talent in almost every situation - by a pretty significant margin - is Galactic Guardian. If you don't feel comfortable managing the Moonfire procs, you can always fall back to Soul of the Forest.

Level 90


Of these, Guardian of Elune is the most general purpose. Earthwarden's niche is for single targets where the swing interval is 1.5s or more. Anything faster than that (including dual wielding) and its value relative to Guardian of Elune drops dramatically. Survival of the Fittest fills a similar role to the old Bristling Fur or the old Survival Instincts glyph where if you don't need the additional cooldowns, you're better off taking one of the other two talents.

Level 100

  • Rend and Tear each stack of Thrash increases damage you deal, and reduces damage you take from that target.
  • Lunar Beam creates a beam of light that damages any enemy touching it while healing you.
  • Pulverize works very similarly to how it did in Warlords, except it only requires 2 stacks.

Pulverize and Rend and Tear are pretty even when considering a single target. However once you start adding targets Rend and Tear's damage increase starts to outweigh the small survival benefit of Pulverize. However once you acquire Elize's Everlasting Encasement Rend and Tear will be superior when you can maintain 5 stacks. In burst DPS scenarios, Lunar Beam is the best option especially when combined with Rage of the Sleeper.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:44 pm 
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Gameplay

So now that we've covered all of the boring stuff we can get to the real question: What should you do when you actually go to play your Guardian in Legion?

Gear

There will be a separate thread for an actual pre-raid or T19 gear list going up sometime in the near future. However I can talk about the kinds of things you'll be looking for in your gear when levelling or running dungeons.

  • Item Level - Armor plus Stamina (and therefore Item Level) is by far the most powerful set of stats for Guardians in Legion. To the level of approxmiately five to six times whatever the next closest stat is. Since Armor and Stamina are only influenced by item level, typically the highest level piece of gear that has armor will be your best choice.
  • Versatlity/Mastery - Versatility and Mastery are always the strongest overall survival stats you can get. There's some room for variance between the two, so you can simply treat them as equal value when picking gear.
  • Haste - Haste isn't as valuable as either Versa or Mastery, but it's still useful. Especially for DPS since it increases the number of ticks of Moonfire, which is by far the highest DPET ability we have.
  • Crit - Crit is by far the strongest stat at reducing damage that can be dodged. However most situations include a significant component of damage that cannot be dodged, greatly reducing its overall effectiveness. However if there is ever a situation where all damage can be dodged, Crit's value will at least equal that of Haste and possibly exceed it.

So the overall stat priority will look something like:

  • Item Level >>> Versatility ~= Mastery > Haste >= Crit

Gems

Gems in Legion come in two varieties. There is a single primary stat gem (in our case Saber's Eye of Agility) that can be socketed. After that single gem, you can socket whichever secondary stat you wish. Simply follow the priority established earlier to choose which stat to use.

Enchants

Enchanting has also seen a bit of an overhaul in Legion, as weapons can no longer be enchanted.


Professions

There are no longer any distinct advantages for having any single profession (except Engineering I think). Anything that increases player power is available to everyone, so pick whatever professions you enjoy the most.

Rotation / Ability Usage

  • Single Target: Mangle > Thrash > Moonfire Maintenance > Swipe. The idea here is that you always press Mangle and Thrash whenever they are available. The rest of your rotation is devoted to generating as many Mangles as possible, while maintaining Moonfire. If you take Galactic Guardian then you have a choice between DPS (ignoring the Moonfire procs entirely) or survival (using the procs as they are generated). Further, if you take Pulverize you'll be using it whenever you hit 3 stacks of Thrash. While you *can* still refresh it with 6s or less remaining on the buff (It has the "pandemic" mechanic built in, so any remaining duration (up to 30%) will be added to the standard 20s), you're leaving a lot of DPS on the table by doing so. Obviously you would only ever want to replace a Swipe when doing so.
  • Cleave (2-4): Mangle > Thrash > Moonfire Maintenance > Swipe. If you have Galactic Guardian the only time you should cast Moonfire for survival purposes is if you have a proc. If your goal is DPS you should never cast Moonfire in a cleave situation while you have Galactic Guardian, as the procs will usually end up refreshing themselves especially if you are "Moonweaving".
    AoE (5+): Mangle > Thrash > Swipe. Same rules apply to AoE with regards to Galactic Guardian and Moonfire procs.

As for how you spend your Rage once you generated it....

  • Ironfur increases your armor by 100% (110%) for 6 seconds, costs 45 Rage, and can stack infinitely (although in practice you'll never reach the Armor cap). Ironfur's usage is only limited by the amount of resources you can generate. This is your primary source of “Active Mitigation” against bosses, and how you reduce physical damage that does not penetrate Armor.
  • Frenzied Regeneration heals you for 50% of the damage taken in the last 5 seconds or 5% of your maximum health, whichever is higher. Costs 10 Rage. 2 charges with a 24 second recharge which is reduced by Haste. Frenzied Regeneration will be your way of handling damage that bypasses Ironfur, and recovering from large spikes.
  • Maul deals 100% weapon damage. Costs 20 Rage. Should only be used when (a) you are not tanking and (b) are about to cap your Rage.
  • Mark of Ursol reduces magic damage you take by 30% for 6 seconds, costs 45 Rage, and can be refreshed "pandemic" style. This is your primary method of handling magical damage.

There are some possible special tactics involving using either Balance or Feral affinities depending on the situation. These will not be documented here initially, however they will be added in the future if they continue to remain viable.

Consumables

Nowadays consumables only really come in three (3) varieties: Food, Elixirs/Flasks, and Potions.


Addons

As some of you may or may not be aware, I recently took some time to redo my UI. I don't really recommend doing this in the middle of a progression raid tier, and it's definitely easiest during an expansion change. There are several different areas that as a Guardian you should focus on. I'll try to cover them individually and let you know what I've chosen for each particular need. Remember that as with any UI mod, the goal is to keep you focused on the action, instead of staring at the periphery of your screen to gather information.

  • Boss Timers: This one is kinda self explanatory - and probably everyone knows what it means by now. The point here is to provide information in a better way than what the game does (and Blizzard actually assumes you have one of these by the way). There are different varieties - I think the most common ones are Bigwigs and DBM - and it doesn't really matter which one you pick to be honest. Just pick one.
  • Unit Frames: Blizzard took a step in the right direction by allowing you to finally be able to move your character portraits in the default UI. However having a mod to give you that level of control (and so much more) is just better. I personally use Xperl because that's what I've had since ..... Vanilla? But there are tons of different ones. This isn't "required" per se, but will help you a lot.
  • Action Bar: Lets be honest, the default Blizzard action bar is shit. You can't move it, it takes up too much room, and they're in random places on the screen. Action Bar mods allow you to fix all of that. I use Bartender, but again there are different ones available.
  • Threat Mod: Blizzard doesn't actually have anything that allows you to track numerical threat values on a target. Get something that does that. Trust me. You'll want/need it for tank swaps in MoP. I use Omen, not sure what else there is.
  • Nameplate Mod: Again - what seems to be a common theme here - the Blizzard nameplates are shit. I only recently installed Tidyplates, and oh-my-god-it's-the-most-amazing-thing-ever. I'm not even kidding. Get it, or another nameplate mod with similar functionality. You won't regret it.
  • Cooldown Tracker / Auras: Again, the whole point is to keep your eyes on what you are doing, not staring at your action bars to figure out when you can use your abilities. The point of Auras or Cooldown Timers is to make that information readily available to you - so you don't have to go searching for it. Personally I use a combination of Droodfocus (essentially a collection of Auras tailored to Guardians and Ferals), and Forte Xorcist (I like their cooldown bar). However it's important to remember that the functionality of these bundled addons can be replicated in something like WeakAuras, which I know is also very popular. Regardless of what solution you go with, you should definitely have one.
  • Random Stuff: There are other little things I have to make other parts of the game easier to manage. I have a bag mod (Bagnon), a chat mod (Prat), and maps (Atlas). Obviously this section is pretty much pick and choose what you think would be cool.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:45 pm 
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Artifact

The new shiny added in Legion is the concept of an "Artifact" weapon. This is your weapon for the entire expansion and it comes with a bunch of possible enhancements to our existing abilities. These various enhancements can be acquired in any number of different methods. I've laid out what is probably the ideal trait acquisition path below, along with an image to illustrate (courtesy of WoWHead).

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue

Image

Relics

The second piece of the artifact is the idea of "relics". Relics are essentially gems that can grant a bonus to an existing trait and an item level increase. For the most part you'll just want the highest item level increase. However since most of the relics you can obtain for the first few weeks are all the same item level anyway, I've listed ones you should particularly be on the lookout for from dungeons.

Blood:

Fire:

Life:

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 28th, 2016, 1:46 pm 
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Glossary / Acronyms

AM: Active mitigation
AMR: Ask Mr Robot
CD = cooldown
DB: Displacer Beast
DPS: Damage per Second
DR: Diminishing Returns
DTPS: Damage Taken per Second
EH: Effective Health
FR: Frenzied Regeneration
GS: Guardian Spirit
HoP/BoP: Hand of Protection aka bubble
HoSac/Sac: Hand of Sacrifice
HT: Healing Touch
IB: Ironbark (perhaps/Ice Block)
Inc = Incarnation (talent)
LoS: Line of sight
MMO: MMO-Champion (normally) or Massively Multiplayer Online (a genre of games i.e. WoW)
PPM/RPPM: Procs per minute/Real procs per minute
PM: Passive Mitigation ~ rare
PS: Pain Suppression
RNG: Random Number Generator (or normally short hand for meaning just "Random")
RPS: Rage per Second
SB: Skull Bash
SI: Survival Instincts
SotF: Soul of the Forest, Survival of the Fittest
SR, Roar: Stampeding Roar
TDR: Total Damage Reduced
TiB: the Inconspicuous Bear - your beloved guardian forum and blog
TMI: Theck Meloree Index
TPS: Threat per Second
TTL: Time to live
WoL: World of Logs
YG: Ysera's Gift

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 29th, 2016, 9:39 pm 
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First of all, I really like this guide. It's detailed, it's organized, and it's (mostly) accurate. It's nice to have a guide where I don't have to worry if the writer knows what they're talking about :).

However, if you know me, you know I love to nit-pick, and I have some nit-picking urges to take care of before Legion hits.

First off, in Abilites-Changed:
Arielle wrote:
Mangle now deals 340% weapon damage (20% extra to bleeding targets)
Maul now deals 100% weapon damage, an additional 20% to bleeding targets,
Mangle is 375% WD, and Maul does not deal additional damage to bleeding targets. Just typos here, I'm pretty sure the Maul part is a leftover from the old ability list since the "additional damage to bleeding targets" doesn't show up in the rage section later.

Also I think that second "changed" header is supposed to be a "new", or something along those lines.

Second, from Talents-Level 45:
Arielle wrote:
With Balance you can do something called "Moonweaving" where you shift out to drop a Sunfire in AoE.
I recall looking at this, and Moonkin->Sunfire->Bear was not a direct damage increase over Swipe x3. However, if you have very high haste, or if you're running galactic guardian and the extra moonfire procs have time to tick (or ideally, both), it can pull ahead.

More to the point, while you do keep +200% armor in moonkin form, it's still not at all an acceptable tanking form. Switching from bear to moonkin costs you:
  • Crit immunity
  • Stamina mods from bear form and leather specialization (total 62.75% stamina)
  • All active ironfur and frenzied regeneration buffs (these fade instantly if you're not in bear)
  • All but 20 of your rage

It's a little better than cat, but it's still pretty dangerous to do, especially since you're less likely to be tanking nothing in AoE. I don't see this being a viable strategy unless the bear is really careful not to kill themselves.

Finally from Gameplay-Rotation / Ability Usage-Single Target
Arielle wrote:
Further, if you take Pulverize then you can refresh it with 6s or less remaining on the buff. It has the "pandemic" mechanic built in, so any remaining duration (up to 30%) will be added to the standard 21s. This gives you a pretty decent amount of latitude when determining what GCD to use Pulverize on, as ideally you want to replace a Swipe if at all possible.
Well for one thing, 20s, but that's obviously a typo. Otherwise this is technically accurate, and useful information for the purposes of pure mitigation or multiple targets.

The problem is that it's not particularly relevant to single target tanking, because you'll be refreshing pulverize more often than that. Pulverize (finally) hits hard enough to be worth using regardless of the buff, so after the initial application, you'll want to be replacing a swipe with pulv whenever you hit 3 stacks of thrash. This is a small rage loss, since pulv can't proc gore, but it greatly increases the damage you'll get out of the talent; without it, you're losing enough DPS compared to R&T that it's not really worth considering.


That's all I see for now (as I said, mostly accurate :)).


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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 31st, 2016, 3:36 am 
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Does pulverize really hit hard enough to compensate for the loss of dot damage from thrash due to having to re-stack to 3? That's a nice change if so, but I guess it removes any kind of complexity from using pulverize.

Edit:

I suppose thinking about it some more, if pulverize only removes 2 stacks instead of 3 and you time pulverize so that you thrash immediately after (or asap) and pulverize fills a global that would have been swipe. then you're only losing slightly over 1 thrash CD worth of 1 stack of thrash...which isn't much.

I guess this means that for single target fights where there isn't a tank swap, I may give pulverize a shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 31st, 2016, 9:33 am 
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You can't always replace the global before thrash, since you don't want to delay mangle and usually can't guarantee it won't be available. What you can always do is:

Thrash -> X -> Mangle if available, else Pulverize -> Pulverize if you haven't already -> Thrash.

Not sure if it's optimal, but it'll always fit pulv in without delaying mangle or thrash. Doing this you're averaging about 2 thrash stacks, so the DoT damage you lose is roughly half of the DoT damage you deal.

I still wouldn't recommend pulv though. It was roughly 6% DPS in pre-patch (when ignoring maul), but artifact traits would hurt it; both through costing more thrash/mangle damage and through having higher base damage for R&T to multiply. It should be "competitive" with R&T in single target, but not really making up for the added complexity and lack of flexibility outside ST.

(and if someone wants to sim it, make sure to check the values on swipe/pulv compared to melee swings. Going off the guide's sim results, there's a pretty simple but large issue with swipe, and I don't know why pulv is only doing ~611% WD in them.)


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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: August 31st, 2016, 11:57 am 
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Definitely worth more investigation, but like you say the gain if any, may not be worth it.

By the way, on the subject of guide things, I think the post about addons needs updating. Mentions needing threat meters because of mop, (btw skada does treat also in addition to omen... I think details must also). Additionally you mention fortexorcist when I'm pretty sure you just use weakauras now. Speaking of weakauras, links to wag.io and weakauras.online and maybe the thread here would be good.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: September 1st, 2016, 12:11 am 
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Quote:
That's all I see for now (as I said, mostly accurate :)).

Good catches. All fixed.

Will re-do the addons section tomorrow probably.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: September 5th, 2016, 1:43 am 
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I have a question regarding the stat distribution on gear. How much haste would you recommend having as a tank? At the moment I have around 17% haste and feel like I can keep at least one Ironfur up all the time, being starved only on few occasions. The problem starts when I want to apply another stack of Ironfur or a Mark of Ursol (as well as having enough rage for a FR in case of spike damage). I'm trying out Brambles at the moment, but I did use Bristling Fur earlier and that worked wonders on large trash pulls, but I'm looking for more consistency. Ty!


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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: September 5th, 2016, 3:12 am 
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I think that's part of the decision making you have to do as a tank, getting to haste levels to keep 2 stacks of iron fur up 100% of the time and have spare for FR seems like it would be quite ridiculous, especially at this gear level. Also I think most people are going for versatility and mastery at the moment over haste.

It's just a balancing act between incoming damage and your active mitigation, i.e. 100% 1 stack ironfur, or 2 stacks of ironfur when dmg is high but at the cost of 100% uptime. If you're just doing trash pulls in dungeons though, you can consider it a little differently, as you can choose how many trash packs you pull, so if you're good to go, have lots of rage etc. then pull a little more and get your cds up.

In terms of consistency, do you mean you're looking for how you can take the least amount of damage all the time? If so, I think you need to reconsider your approach, some times you need to take a little more damage in one place so you can take a LOT less somewhere else.

for dungeons I'm currently running:
brambles
roars
resto affinity (although i may try balance tonight...pulling with sunfire seems like it could be cool).
bash/typhoon
GG (although i've also tried running incarnation, i feel like GG gives more consistent dmg in the dungeon but the burst can be very useful)
Survival of the fittest (for more cds to pull bigger packs more often, and also to get more out of brambles)
Lunar beam

Like this I almost always have something for each pack, or I just stack all the things together and do 1million dps....depends on the dungeon. Like this I feel that pulls are consistent, I can keep a good pace through the dungeon, and I have a lot of self sustain and survivability.

As a side note however, have you tried blood frenzy if you're doing dungeons and want to get lots of rage for ironfur and such, seems very strong for aoe when you want lots of rage consistently on every pack. in which case I'd probably run
BF
roars
balance/resto
bash/phoon
GG
GoE
Lunar beam

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: September 5th, 2016, 3:57 am 
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When I say consistency I mean getting more procs from Gore and GG, which both can be theoretically increased with haste (although at some point the gcd will soft-cap it). Trash packs seldom pose a problem, especially larger ones, thanks to RotS, Barkskin with Brambles and Lunar Beam (it's fun to beat all the dps classes :D).

The problem is longer fights with no or few adds, and with mixed physical and magical damage. And I know how the whole thing works, FR makes up for the moments of no active mitigation very well. I guess this is more a theoretical question than anything and that it might have been asked a bit too early (since few fights last that long or pose a great threat). I have already done all the mythic dungeons and no boss fight was a wipe-fest.

I'm just one of those guys who likes to ponder whether the hood with mastery/haste is better than the one with mastery/versatility or haste/versatility. Haven't beta'd too much so I'm a bit at a loss. Also some other sources on the Interwebs seem to like haste over versatility, hence why the question was sparked in the first place.


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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: September 5th, 2016, 4:44 am 
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I quite like haste personally, but for 2 identical items apart from one being mastery/haste and one mastery/versatility I think the difference is going to be quite small, haste will give you more dps and more flexibility with active mitigation, but versatility will be more consistent for damage reduction.

I guess to go back to the original question of how much haste would you recommend as a guardian, I think the answer is as much as you feel comfortable with. Even with no/very little haste on gear you should have plenty of rage. On the other hand, there's a couple of places on the interwebs where you can find people recommending haste over all other stats for guardian....which I don't think many people would agree with.

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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: September 8th, 2016, 9:45 am 
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Can anyone please give me a stat break down that I can use on AMR. I am trying to optimize but that site says to go Armor > Leech > Versatility > Mastery > Stamina > Avoidance > Haste > Agility > Main Hand Damage > Critical Strike > Movement Speed


This is my first post on here but I am hoping to become a better bear tank this expansion
by being more proactive with gearing and question asking when it comes to my class. Oh and lots and lots of practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Legion Guardian Guide
PostPosted: September 8th, 2016, 10:35 am 
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Bloodclawz wrote:
Can anyone please give me a stat break down that I can use on AMR.

Not really. It changes a lot based on not only your gear, but also the kind of content you want it for.

The sims linked in the guide contain weights you can use if you want. Just be aware that those are only valid for the particular damage pattern used in the sim.

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