5.3 is almost upon us! As with every path I’m here to analyze the upcoming changes so you don’t have to. What should you care about? What should you ignore? Let’s find out!

Class Changes

We’ll start out with the class changes in the 5.3 patch which affect Guardians:

Mark of the Wild had its mana cost reduced to 5%, down from 10%.

Slightly easier to buff. Ok.

Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.

Great change for 25m Guardians, and all Druids really. Long overdue if you ask me, but definitely glad it’s here now.

Force of Nature is no longer on global cooldown and summons a single Treant. The Treant no longer has a control bar, immediately uses its special abilities on the Druid’s current target, and accumulates 1 charge every 20 seconds up to a maximum of 3 charges.

This is a great design change for FoN, but unfortunately it still remains pretty useless. Having to compete against Incarnation makes it incredibly difficult for anything to be as good. It’s a step in the right direction, but you can still safely ignore it.

Mastery: Nature’s Guardian is now 33% stronger (2% per point instead of 1.5%).

This doesn’t really change anything. All it does is decrease the amount of Mastery you need to meet a given EH threshold. The value of Mastery relative to Stamina for EH is still quite terrible. For more information, check out my previous post about EH.

General Changes

There’s a few general changes that are happening as well.

Players can now choose to receive loot for specializations other than the one that’s currently active. This feature can be accessed by right-clicking on the character portrait and selecting the option from the drop-down list. Loot specialization is available for bonus rolls, Raid Finder, and Pandarian quest rewards. Please check out the blog: Patch 5.3 Adds Off-Spec Loot and Rewards for an in-depth explanation of how the Loot Specialization system will work.

This is pretty neat for LFR anyways. Simply pick “Feral” instead of “Guardian” for most bosses, as all “Guardian” does is add a bunch of quasi-useless tank trinkets to the loot table.

Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to bonus rolls. Each bonus roll that does not provide loot has a progressively better chance to award loot to the player.

How many times have you used a bonus coin and not gotten anything? The idea behind this is to make those bonus rolls feel more good, and less like a waste of time.

Items upgradable by Valor now require 250 Valor to upgrade per 4 item levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 item levels per item. This is retroactive to all items that use Valor.

Item upgrades are back! The question everyone will promptly ask is “What do I upgrade first?” The answer is as always “Whatever you won’t replace any time soon.” If it’s a tie certain slots like weapons, chest, legs, helm, and trinkets go first. After that you obviously pick thunderforged pieces, and then regular pieces.

Other Changes

The only thing that I can think of that isn’t covered in the patch notes is that the bug where Rune of Re-Origination wouldn’t give Guardians the correct amount of stats when in Bear form will now be fixed. This doesn’t change anything in terms of what items you want, but it’s still a bug fix.

Thanks everyone! Enjoy patch 5.3!


  • Gwyddionn says:

    I’d like to know if you’ve seen or heard of any changes to Guardian DPS. A prime example is that 2 weeks ago I did Wind Lord on LFR for giggles. During the add phase I was at about 1.1m dps for that entire phase and finished the boss with a 680k dps overall and 34% or so of the overall dmg. Just did it again tonight (5.3 – Thurs) and finished the fight faster overall, pretty much the same gear overall (524.5 equipped) and ended the fight with an overall of 399k dps. Can you think of anything in particular that has changed for us with the patch?

    • Arielle says:

      Sorry for being late on the comments.

      Thrash was bugged and not critting for a couple of days after the patch. It’s fixed now though.

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