I used to be a little more prompt with these, but since I’m running a guild now that takes up the huge majority of my free time. In any case, 6.2 is here and of course I’m going to let you know what to be concerned about if you’re a Guardian!
Of course the thing that everyone wants to know about is “What has changed for Guardians?” Well, that’s why I’m here. Well, most of the reason I’m here.
Thrash now deals 10% more damage.
The long awaited buff to our AoE is here! It’s unfortunate that we had to wait until now, but even a small buff like this will be enough to address our AoE issues relative to other tanks. It’s also a welcome improvement for Challenge Modes.
Bear Form now increases armor by 285% (up from 250%) for Guardian Druids.
It’s a very small buff. In the end it comes out to between 4% and 5% additional damage reduction which, while not totally ignorable, is pretty ignorable. In the end you won’t even notice the difference but hey, a buff is a buff.
Healing Touch no longer cancels Bear Form for Guardian Druids.
A quality-of-life improvement that eliminates the need for everyone to use a cancelaura macro for Healing Touch.
Savage Defense now also reduces physical damage taken by 20%.
The patch note says “25%” but it’s incorrect, the buff is a 20% reduction. This is the most significant out of all of the changes, as it boosts the minimum amount of damage prevented to 0.8 swings from 0 for Savage Defense. The median also increases to 2.24 swings, however there is also a reduction in the amount of damage prevented by Primal Tenactiy. This reduction isn’t anything that you’ll notice as a player, but it is there.
Dream of Cenarius effect can now be held for up to 40 seconds (up from 20 seconds) by Guardian Druids.
Another great quality-of-life change. I argued pretty vehemently for this during Beta, and it’s nice to see that the change has finally been implemented.
Force of Nature’s summoned Treant now deals 100% more damage.
O-kay? Everyone knows what the issues with Treants are right now from a survival standpoint anyway, so a 100% damage bonus does nothing to address that. However the change does push it slightly ahead of SotF for overall DPS since it lines up nicely with cooldowns and trinkets. Not that anyone cares.
Guardian of Elune (Guardian) now also passively increases the Druid’s chance to dodge by 10%.
A required buff in order to keep GoE at least somewhat competitive with Pulverize. In a raid environment the talent is still relegated to “what can I cheese” status, but it is still the best talent for CMs.
Of course with any new raid instance the question “what items do I want” arises! Well, there are lots of different things to shoot for this tier. And by “things” I mean “trinkets”.
- 2 Piece Bonus: Our 2 piece bonus this tier is excellent. Boring, but excellent. You definitely want to grab this as soon as you can. You can also run 2pc/2pc with T17 Gloves/Shoulders and T18 Legs/Chest.
- 4 Piece Bonus: Our 4 piece bonus is not particularly that great for raiding scenarios. You’re never going to be pooling 90 Rage to use Frenzied Regeneration after Savage Defense. However it is great for soloing, since you will often do precisely that.
- Seed of Creation: This tier also re-introduces the idea of class-specific trinkets. Unfortunately ours is only strong for AoE situations or situations with lots of damage events. Also remember that it has a “thorns” effect where it will do damage equal to a percentage of your attack power. Note that this won’t be equal to the amount absorbed, as that is increased by Resolve.
- Tyrant’s Decree: Great pure survival trinket. This is more valuable for Guardians because we have Ursa Major.
- Warlord’s Unseeing Eye: Again, an amazing pure survival trinket. The secondary stat (Haste) is terrible, but the passive effect is very good. During PTR it scaled infinitely with incoming damage, and it’s not clear whether or not that has persisted onto live.
- Anzu’s Cursed Plume: A great upgrade from Blast Furnace Door. Definitely get your hands on it.
- Tablet of Turnbuckle Teamwork: Oddly enough, Tablet is still a great option because of the on-use Bonus Armor. However it won’t compete with higher difficulty HFC trinkets. Still a good one to have around though.
- For the rest of your gear, there’s generally only one choice. That choice will either be the god combination of Multistrike/Mastery, or whatever piece of gear has the most of the stat you want – Mastery or Multistrike. Those of you doing Mythic raiding will probably trend towards Multistrike, and those doing mostly Heroic or Normal will likely trend towards Mastery.
- If you’re looking for “stat weights” or something to that effect, I’m waiting until I have reliable damage information from Mythic HFC to post those. I have values from PTR, but it’s unclear what will have changed since then.
Just a really quick note that the Guardian guides that we maintain across the interwebs have all been updated for 6.2. These are:
Just a friendly reminder that if a guide is not on this list, I can’t vouch for its accuracy.
Additionally, I’ve decided that I won’t be doing any Mythic video guides for this or any subsequent tiers. The fact is that our guild just doesn’t clear Mythic fast enough for any information in them to be useful for anyone else, and Khaelyn’s written guides on Summonstone and our forums are more than enough to help anyone that’s looking for Mythic-specific information. I’m still going to do the heroic guides though, as they will continue help a large number of people.