Hello Guardians!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. This is primarily due to a lack of things to talk about, but also because I’m just really busy with GM things. However the 6.2 patch notes came out this past week, which means there’s now a lot to comment on, and discuss. So let’s get started.

Patch 6.2 Changes

Frenzied Regeneration now refunds a proportional amount of excess healing dealt back to the Druid as Rage.

I tested this on the PTR and Frenzied Regeneration now returns an amount of rage proportional to the amount overhealed. If it’s 100% overheal then you get a 60 Rage refund, 90% overheal is 54 Rage, and so on.

Strictly speaking this is definitely a buff, but the more interesting part is what it does to our decision making. Since we no longer have to worry about wasting Rage to overhealing, we’re now more concerned (at least, more than before) about healing efficiency. That is, whether or not we’re going to heal something that would’ve been healed anyway or not. I don’t expect it to become a major part of any gameplay, but for min-maxing performance I think it’s something to consider.

Thrash now deals 10% more damage.

We knew that Guardian AoE was a little underpowered compared to other tanks. This is just a buff to address that issue. Nothing else to really discuss.

Bear Form now increases armor by 285% (up from 250%) for Guardian Druids.

A tiny armor buff. It’s just a 10% buff (350% – 385%) overall, which is about a 4% increase in damage reduction (~48% to ~50%) for me in my current gear. Nothing spectacular, but nothing horrible either.

Healing Touch no longer cancels Bear Form for Guardian Druids.

This is just a quality of life thing. It negates the need for a no-shift macro when using Dream of Cenarius. You still can’t “cast” Healing Touch while shapeshifted, but you should no longer have to worry about accidentally dropping form when using a DoC proc either.

Savage Defense now also reduces physical damage taken by 25%.

This buff is very strange. It’s only 20% on the PTR, but even that’s enough to cause some problems. Namely with Guardian of Elune. Since GoE already grants you 100% dodge, the extra physical damage reduction mostly goes to waste. There are situations like Gruul and Oregorger where it would be beneficial to reduce special attack damage. But that benefit is far outweighed by the loss from just taking Pulverize. I ran a few sims to confirm my suspicions.


Mythic T17


Mythic T18 Guesstimate


Mythic T18 Physical Only Guesstimate

We’re back to square one, with no use for GoE that involves physical melee swings. That’s a damn shame, since there are some people that legitimately enjoy the playstyle of GoE. So what can we do to fix it? Well, not with any kind of buffs to Savage Defense. Without a compensating change to GoE, any buff to Savage Defense is going to drastically reduce the usefulness of GoE possibly to the tune of irrelevancy. An easier thing to do would be buff T&C and/or FR. Or just increase our passive defenses.

Dream of Cenarius’ effect can now be stored for up to 40 seconds (up from 20 seconds) for Guardian Druids.

Another nice quality-of-life change. This makes it easier to hang on to a proc until you really need it.

Force of Nature’s summoned Treant now deals 100% more damage.

Meh? I mean, don’t get me wrong it’s nice to have the damage buff. But there still needs to be situations where taking them is a better idea than simply staying with SotF. Those don’t really exist right now other than proving grounds.

Datamined Items

There are also a couple of datamined items that I wanted to comment on, including the legendary ring!

Stalwart Guardian – All damage received is reduced by (Attack power * 15 / 100) (increased by Attack Power). This effect cannot absorb more than 90% of an attack.

This trinket can range from extremely good to average depending on the situation. For AoE situations or anything with a lot of damage events this trinket is insane. It should be noted that given other tank trinkets have some kind of offensive part to them, this one must as well. The design of the trinket seems to point towards some kind of damage reflection. We’ll have to wait and see though.

T18 4pc Bonus – Savage Defense also reduces the cost of Frenzied Regeneration and Tooth and Claw by 50%.

I’m definitely not a huge fan of this bonus, especially given the already existing buff to Savage Defense. Between the two it feels like we’re supposed to be almost impossible to kill while Savage Defense is up. But the moment it goes down, kersplat. I feel like there’s something missing here, possibly from the 2-pc bonus. I’ll refrain from any further judgements until we know what the 2pc bonus actually is.

Use: Activates the power of Sanctus. All Sanctus-wearing allies are empowered, reducing all damage taken by ( – 772 /- 100)%, and causing all damage and healing to be equally shared between them, for 15 sec. (2 min shared cooldown).

I actually kind of like the new ring. It’s essentially a tank cooldown that basically gives you access to the effective health of your co-tank for the duration. That’s pretty neat. Obviously th eencounter design will dictate how/when you should use it, but I still like the way it works.

Other Notes

A few other changes have also been noticed on the PTR.

  • Displacer Beast no longer shifts you from Bear to Cat form.
  • Dash is now usable while in Bear form.

Credit to Asakawa on the forums for finding these. The Displacer change especially is a nice quality-of-life thing. The loss of Rage from shifting is what primarily prevents it from being useful in more than niche situations.

Final Boss

Khaelyn and I had the chance to be on Final Boss a little over a week ago. You can check out the VOD below.


  • Bearforceone says:

    Thanks for the write-up! Tbh I’m most excited about being able to dash in bear form haha! XD Hopefully that stays and is not just an oversight.

  • ike says:

    @ArielleEJ Based on latest T18 tier set for Blood DK, The Latest T18 tier sets for blood DK is way overpower for already powered class! Kind of double the HPS for blood DK, which makes them the best healer!

  • ike says:

    I am very support the SD Buff, before this buff, SD seem useless, and with FR the bear just look like mini blood death knight which makes the bear mechanism meaningless!

  • Skruff says:

    Nice summary. Thanks, Arielle.
    The QoL improvement are great (Displacer/Dash in Bear form, DoC duration buff, etc).
    FR refund also very nice. I like to be able to “top off” with an instant small heal.
    SD buff bothers me. As mentioned, it seems to conflict with GoE. I liked GoE. Not having Pulverize means not having to maintain Pulverize and Lacerate stacks. This allowed me to focus on other things, like tab lacerating around on adds, trashmobs, or the “other” boss (ie Hans/Franz or Iron Maidens). If we are now going back to Pulverize, I’d really like to drop at least one other active ability for a passive. I think a prime candidate would be taking YG over CW. Problem is that CW is sooooooo much better, that even if I’m willing to give up a little in exchange for simplification, the difference here is huge. As I recall, there seemed to be some consensus that a YG buff from 2% to 3% wouldn’t make it too strong; CW would still be a little better, but not overwhelmingly superior. Has there been any “inside” talk about a possible buff to YG?

  • Ibahalii says:

    Nice guide here. and some good theory crafting supported by PTR play, However:
    I think you are overlooking what they are doing to SD, even in combo with GoE.
    There are many fight where SD does not work in a GoE stack. due to the ‘not being able to dodge magic attacks’ this is where the pulverize comes in more handy compared to the GoE.
    The damage reduction towards physical schools in those fight becomes even more important. since no bear is at 100% dodge with SD running(Without GoE). There is still the chance of receiving a smack to the face from a boss. and that is where the 25%(or 20%) kicks in, to just lower that damage while maintaining your pulverise stacking it to a 35%(or 40%) damage reduction to said attack.

    Also i think you made a small type which will mess with your math in overall.

    you wrote:
    ‘ Bear Form now increases armor by 285% (up from 250%) for Guardian Druids.

    A tiny armor buff. It’s just a 10% buff (350% – 385%) overall, which is about a 4% increase in damage reduction (~48% to ~50%) for me in my current gear. Nothing spectacular, but nothing horrible either.’

    Now ofc the math and formala’s are all fine and okey. nothing to say about that.

    But where i think you go wrong is that 350 – 385% is a little more then 10%..it is a 35% buff. resulting in more then a 4% reduction. which will put you over your 48% ~ 50%


    • Arielle Arielle says:

      3.5 * 1.1 = 3.85

      It’s not the kind of damage that matters for GoE, it’s whether or not the attack can be dodged. It’s competitive with Pulverize where most of the damage is avoidable. But yes, if the damage skews more towards the avoidable kind then Pulverize will be better.

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