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ArielleEJ

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  1. [Guardian] - 6.2 Guide and Discussion

    Warlords of Draenor Guardian Guide Version History November 12, 2014 (6.0.2) - Guide Published. January 15, 2015 (6.0.2) -Updated Gameplayby updating AoE, and adding a "Cleave" rotation. June 21, 2015 (6.2) - Updated for latest patch changes. Index Introduction Game Mechanics Stats Abilities Talents / Glyphs Gameplay Introduction Hello Guardians! I present to you the Warlords of Draenor Guardian Guide! It's important to remember that this guide isn't meant to teach you how totankper 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 As always the information in this guide is based on various sources, but mostly mine. Special thanks to Theck, Hamlet, Pawkets, Ahanss, Dayani, Serrinne, Esoth, and Sheep for helping out in various ways throughout the Beta. Thanks also to the many forumites here at TiB for constantly providing questions and information about Guardians in any form of content. I would like to give a special thanks to Reesi and Lissanna 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 usingSimulationcraft. Extensive Challenge Mode testing. 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 Warlords. Simulations shouldespeciallybe 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. Game Mechanics Resolve The tanking problem child of the past two expansions is finally dead. Vengeance is gone, replaced with a new similar ability:Resolve. Resolve is essentially the defensive function of Vengeance without any of the offensive benefits. However, it has also been toned down a lot. The detailed workings of Resolve aren't really that important. Whatis importantare the following notes: Resolve only multiplies healing you do to yourself. It does not affect percentage heals (Ysera's Gift,Renewal,Nature's Vigil, orMastery: Primal Tenacity). In a mythic raid situation you can expect to be at or near the cap (240%) most of the time. There is no benefit to "abusing" Resolve like there was with Vengeance. Diminishing returns from multiple damage sources is gone. For more details on how resolve works you can check outTheck's detailed discussionon the original implementation of Resolve, orAhanss' more recent analysis. These details aren't important for everyday tanking, but they are nonetheless and interesting read. Rage The abilities Guardians use to survive - called Active Mitigation - consume our resource: Rage. Rage is generated in the following ways: Manglegenerates 10 Rage when used (or 15 if you have the talentSoul of the Forest). Mangle's base cooldown is 6 seconds, and is reduced by Haste. Auto-Attacksgenerate 5 Rage per attack that deals damage (does not include Multistrikes). Your base auto-attack speed is 2.5 seconds. Lacerategenerates 2 Rage when used, and has a chance to reset the cooldown onMangle. Thrashgenerates 1 Rage whenever it deals damage (not including Mulistrikes), per target. Critical Strikesof Auto-Attacks or melee special abilities will generate 8 Rage on impact. Note that Thrash only needs to critically strike once to trigger this effect, but can only trigger it once. ShiftingintoBear Formwill set your Rage to 10. Using one of the following abilities will allow you to use something that generates Rage (Indirect Generation): Incarnation: Son of Ursocremoves 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. Berserkremoves the cooldown on Mangle and causes it to strike up to 2 extra targets for 15 seconds. Berserk has a 3 minute cooldown. It should be noted that the extra targets struck are not causing any Rage to be generated on regular hits. However critical hits on the extra targets will generate 8 Rage. Whether this is intended or not is unknown. Temporary buffs such as Heroism/Bloodlust or Trinket Procs can also indirectly increase Rage Generation by increasing Haste or Critical Strike. You can probably tell that the most common of these either reset or completely remove the cooldown on Mangle. While this also increases our DPS, both Incarnation and Berserk should primarily be held in reserve as Rage cooldowns unless you know exactly when you need to have them available. RPS Targets Just by putting on gear - even 615 item level - we generate enough Rage to meet our needs for bothSavage DefenseandTooth and Claw. Therefore any additional Rage is used exclusively forFrenzied Regeneration. As a result any concept of "RPS Targets" is no longer relevant, since the only target is 5 RPS (60 Rage / 12 seconds) and that is met even if you are completely naked. Further the lowest possible RPS (i.e. completely naked) is ~8.5 or so. SinceMaulnow only costs 20 Rage, the base cost forTooth and Clawis reduced to 2 RPS. Since 2 + 5 < 8.5, there's no additional RPS target needed. 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. 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 5234. Weapon Damage Something that might seem relatively minor at first, but is actually pretty significant. The Attack Power -> Weapon Damage conversion ratio has been updated to 3.5 AP = 1 WD. Character Stats Primary Stats The only two primary stats of consequence are Agility and Stamina. You will never actively seek out Strength or Intellect gear. The only exception to this is an Intellect weapon for use with the new talentHeart of the Wild. However I'll cover that later. Remember that in Warlords of Draenor the primary stat on leather armor will swap between Agility and Intellect depending on the specialization you are currently playing. So there is no longer any reason to worry about what kind of leather you're equipping beyond the secondary stat combinations. Agility Agility is the primary stat for all melee leather specializations. Unlike Mists, it directly influences the power of your active mitigation abilities (since Vengeance is now gone). Agility has the following effects at level 100: 1 Agility = 1 Attack Power, 1.155 Buffed 1 Agility = 1 Nature Spellpower ?? Agility = 1% Dodge before diminishing returns (I forget the exact conversion at the moment) Stamina Stamina continues to be one of the two statistics to obtain for increasing your survival. Stamina does the following: 1 Stamina = 60 HP, 90.09 Buffed in Bear Form Secondary Stats Secondary stats have undergone a major shift again in Warlords of Draenor. Several are gone, with new ones stepping up to take their place. Bonus Armor Bonus Armor has replaced both Dodge and Parry has the "tank only" secondary stat. This stat can only appear on jewellery and cloaks. It functions in exactly the same manner that it always has, with the exception that it now provides Attack Power in addition to armor thanks to the existence ofBladed Armor. It is intended to be the best possible secondary stat you can have, and it meets that goal with flying colours (except when it comes to pure Magic damage). 1 Bonus Armor = 1 Armor 1 Bonus Armor = 1 Attack Power, 1.1 Buffed Mastery The original Guardian Mastery has been replaced with a new one calledMastery: Primal Tenacity. It triggers an absorption shield equal to 1.5% * Mastery when you take most kinds of physical damage (excluding Sonic and Bleed), and a shield does not currently exist. Note that there is additionally something we're calling the "20% Rule" when it comes to triggering the shield. If the existing shield is 20% or less of the size of the shield thatwouldbe created when you take damage, the existing shield will be consumed and a new one will be created. Further, the size of this shield is not changed by any other absorption effects includingTooth and Claw. It also increases your attack power by 1% * Mastery. 110 Mastery Rating = 1 Mastery = +1.5% Shield Size and 1% Attack Power Critical Strike Critical Strike continues to be the best stat to increase your Rage generation. It also is the single best stat for increasing the amount of self-healing you can do from the Level 30 and 90 talents, andFrenzied Regeneration. Therefore Crit is not strictly a mitigation stat, but it is still a reasonably competitive survival stat with other secondaries (excluding Mastery and Bonus Armor). 110 Critical Strike Rating = 1% Critical Strike (Melee/Ranged/Spell) Multistrike One of the brand new stats in Warlords is called Multistrike. This is a somewhat more consistent but less "bursty" version of Critical Strike. Almost any spell or ability can trigger a Multistrike, except tank active mitigation abilities. To determine whether a Multistrike occurs the game will roll your Multistrike percentage twice for each relevant event and each success will trigger an additional event that is 30% of the size of the source event. Specifically for Guardians some Multistrikes can trigger an effect calledUrsa Majorwhich is a temporary health buff. That is the primary tank benefit of using Multistrike gear. SinceUrsa Majorhas so many triggering events (primarily thanks to Lacerate) it is by far the single best survival stat. However since it requires time to achieve the maximum average bonus, it is typically less preferred than Mastery or Bonus Armor for situations with high physical damage. 66 Mulistrike Rating = 1% Multistrike Versatility The second new stat in Warlords is called Versatility. It's a fairly simple stat that functions as an additional multiplier to your damage, healing, or damage taken. It's good at a lot of different things but not the best one at any. Think of it as a "jack of all trades" stat. 130 Versatility Rating = 1% Damage Done, 1% Healing Done, and 0.5% Less Damage Taken Haste Haste has three effects. First it increases how fast your auto attacks occur - thus increasing Rage generation and frequency ofTooth and Clawprocs. Second it lowers the GCD. The third and final effect is to increase the chance some RPPM - or "Real Procs Per Minute" - effects will occur. Note that Haste does not affect all such procs in this manner, only some of them. 90 Haste Rating = 1% Haste 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. Rake- Feral Only Vengeance - Replaced withResolve Bear Hug Rip- Feral Only Swipe- Combined intoThrash Pounce Track Humanoids Hurricane- Balance Only Leader of the Pack- Feral Only Nature's Grasp Innervate Ravage Hibernate Might of Ursoc Tranquility- Restoration Only Enrage Maim Symbiosis 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 asStampeding Roar) requires a specific form, you will automatically be shifted into that form upon use. This affects almost everything in the Druid toolkit. Manglenow deals 400% weapon damage and generates 10 Rage when it hits. Mangle has a 6 second cooldown which is reduced by Haste, howeverLaceratehas a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on impact. Maulnow deals 120% 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, to apply aTooth and Clawproc, or your total Rage generation exceeds what you need to stay alive. Faerie Firenow deals 32.5% AP in damage, and has no cooldown at level 100. This means it is purely a ranged threat and/or pulling tool unless you haveGlyph of Fae Silenceglyphed. Savage Defensecosts 60 Rage and increases your chance to Dodge by 45% for 6 seconds. Has 2 charges that regenerate at a rate of 1 charge every 12 seconds. If you expend more than one charge within 6 seconds the durations are additive. This is your primary "Active Mitigation" ability. Thrashnow deals 64.35% AP in damage on the initial hit, and 44% AP in damage every 2 seconds for 16 seconds. Thrash now also triggersPrimal Fury. This can only happen once per use, but any target hit can trigger it. Laceratenow deals 115% AP in damage, and an additional 29.22% AP in damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The DoT damage stacks up to 3 times. Lacerate has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle when it hits a target. Bear Form's Armor modifier is now 285%, Stamina modifier is 30% at level 100, but no longer increases the Critical Strike Rating and Haste Rating gained from items by 50%. Frenzied Regenerationnow costsup to60 Rage and heals you for a maximum of 6*AP*Resolve*Versatility. If less than 60 Rage is consumed, you will be healed for an amount proportional to the maximum. This is the ability you use to handle damage that is not on the combat table (Magic, Bleeds, etc.). Barkskinhas a 60 second cooldown again. Rejuvenationnow heals for 228% of spell power. Only relevant to questing orHeart of the Wildusage. Thick Hidenow only reduces damage taken from Magic sources by 10%, and reduces the chance you will be parried by 3%. Also makes you crit-immune to bosses. Revivenow costs 4% of base mana (best change). Travel Formnow controls Flight, Aquatic, and Travel forms. Primal Furynow only generates 8 Rage from special ability crits, but all melee abilities can trigger this effect. Tooth and Clawnow allows you to store up to 3 charges at level 100. Reduces damage of auto-attacks by 2.4*AP*Resolve*Versatility. Only affected by Resolve when the target is hitting you. Mark of the Wildnow also grants 3% Versatility. Ysera's Giftnow only heals for 2% every 5 seconds (Guardian only). Renewalnow heals for 22% when used. Cenarion Wardnow heals for 879.9% Nature Spellpower. Typhoonnow only has a 15 yard range. Soul of the Forestnow causes Mangle to generate 5 additional Rage. Nature's Vigilnow heals a nearby friendly target for 40% of the damage dealt, excluding Thrash. This obeys the new smart-healing rules. Survival Instinctsnow has 2 charges with a recharge rate of 2 minutes. 6 second duration. Talents and Glyphs Here we will talk about the talents available to Guardian Druids in Warlords of Draenor. These haven't changed much from Mists, except for the obvious addition of the level 100 talents. Level 15 - Movement Feline Swiftnessincreases your movement speed by 15%. Stacks additively with other movement speed increases, including boot enchants andStampeding Roar. Displacer Beastteleports you forward 20 yards, activates Cat Form, and grants a 50% movement speed increase. 30 second cooldown. Wild Chargehas a different effect depending on what form you are in. Bear form charges you towards and enemy and roots them (normal Bear charge), whereas in caster form you can leap to a nearby ally. 15 second cooldown. The obvious loser here is Displacer Beast since it forces you into Cat Form. There are no longer any inherently bad things about shifting out of Bear form - aside from the obvious - but it can still be problematic. Historically there have been situations where Displacer Beast is advantageous, but those are few and far between. You'll find yourself most often picking between the two remaining talents based on the encounter you're doing. I'd go with Feline Swiftness as the default, switching to Charge if you need it. Displacer Beast is exceptionally useful for instant burst movement, just remember that you lose all of your normal defences until you're back into Bear Form. Level 30 - Healing Ysera's GiftHeals you for 2% of your max HP every 5 seconds. If you're already at full health, acts as a smart heal instead. Renewalinstantly heals you for 30% of your maximum health. 2 minute cooldown. Cenarion Wardplaces a buff on your target that triggers a HoT effect every 2 seconds for 6 seconds the next time they take damage. 30 second cooldown. Cenarion Ward is far and away the best option in this tier, since it is affected byResolve. The other two are not, but do scale with HP. However given that for most difficult content you will be at - or close to - the Resolve cap anyway, Cenarion Ward is the best choice. If optimal performance is not a concern for you, feel free to pick one of the other two talents. In those cases I'd probably go with Ysera's Gift. Level 45 - Kiting Faerie Swarmadds a 50% snare that lasts 15 seconds to FFF. Can affect multiple targets. Mass Entanglementinstantly root your target in place for 20 seconds. 30 second cooldown. Typhoonknocks back targets up to 15 yards in front of the caster, dazing them for 6 seconds. 30 second cooldown. This now shares diminishing returns with other knockback effects in PvP. Faerie Swarm allows you to permanently keep a large number of targets slowed, making it incredibly useful for kiting. Typhoon is the talent that sees the most use in raid/dungeon content by a huge margin. Mass Entanglement has no target limit. It has isolated utility in PvE. Level 60 - Effectiveness Soul of the ForestcausesMangleto generate an additional 5 Rage on hit. It also increases the damage by 15%. Incarnation: Son of Ursoctransforms you into an armored bear. While in this form all offensive abilities have their cooldowns removed for 30 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. Force of Naturehas 3 charges. Each charge summons a treant when expended. Each treant has 40% of your total health, 4x your armor, dynamically updates stats, and lasts for 15 seconds or until it perishes. The summoned treantcannot taunt boss level mobs. 20 second recharge. Unfortunately since the minions summoned by Force of Nature can't actually taunt boss level mobs, that severely (and probably rightly so) limits their usefulness in a raid situation. Further while they can't hold threat worth a damn, they do provide a comparable DPS boost to the other two options. Unfortunately that's all they provide. Incarnation provides great burst Rage generation and DPS, but doesn't work with Pulverize. On the other hand Soul of the Forest provides more consistent Rage generation over time, while giving you about the same amount of damage and synergizing well with Pulverize. Both talents are definitely viable options, and you can freely choose between them. I recommend SotF if you go with Pulverize, and Incarnation if there's a specific use for it. FoN is just mostly a waste of time. Level 75 - Crowd Control Incapacitating Roardisorients all targets within 10 yards for 3 seconds. 30 second cooldown. Ursol's Vortexcreates a vortex that attempts to suck nearby enemies in. Enemies within 8 yards also have their movement speed reduced by 50%. Lasts 10 seconds. 1 minute cooldown. Mighty Bashstuns a target for 5 seconds. 50 second cooldown. Like T3 most of these talents have a negligible impact on most raid encounters. Vortex is great for Challenge Modes, and there are some encounters where having one of these talents can be beneficial. Level 90 - Hybridity Heart of the Wildgrants you increased effectiveness when performing roles that you are not specialized for - for 45 seconds. 6 minute cooldown. Dream of Cenariusincreases the critical chance of Mangle by 10%, and has a 40% chance to grant a 40 second buff whenever Mangle crits. This buff allows you to instantly cast Healing Touch or Rebirth while in Bear form. The Healing Touch will use AP instead of SP, thus scaling with Bonus Armor and Mastery. Also increases the healing of Healing Touch by 20%. Nature's Vigilcauses your single target damage abilities to heal a nearby target for 40% of the damage done, and your single target healing abilities to damage a nearby target for 25% of the healing done. 30 second duration, and 1.5 minute cooldown. Dream of Cenarius easily provides the most constant healing of any of the talents, at the cost of a slight DPS/RPS (5-10%) loss because of the consumed GCDs. However a Healing Touch is the single most valuable GCD you can press for survival (assuming no overheal), so the loss is worth it. Nature's Vigil is definitely recommended as the "starter" talent of this tier. The healing provided is much less significant than DoC, but it's substantially easier to use. The biggest benefit is that it lines up nicely with both Berserk and Incarnation, allowing you to macro them together for maximum effectiveness. Heart of the Wild is the top DPS and burst healing talent when you can make use of it. However you need to have a spellpower weapon to make the most out of using the healing and caster portions of the talent. Recommended when there is an encounter where you can make use of it effectively. Level 100 - Ultimates Guardian of Eluneincreases the Dodge granted by Savage Defense to 100% and grants 10% base dodge, but reduces the duration to 3 seconds. The recharge rate and Rage cost are now also reduced by your base Dodge chance. Pulverizedeals 400% weapon damage and grants a buff that reduces damage taken by 15% for 12 seconds. Requires 3 stacks of Lacerate to use. Bristling Furreduces all damage taken by 40% for 3 seconds. The choice here really depends on your needs for a given situation. Do you need an extra cooldown? Take Bristling Fur. Is there a mechanic you can cheese by dodging it, or are you in an AoE situation (like CMs)? Take GoE. Otherwise you will pick Pulverize. Glyphs I've listed all of the relevant Guardian glyphs below. Glyph of Survival Instinctsreduces the duration by 3 seconds, but also reduces the recharge time by 40 seconds. Glyph of Graceallows the class abilityFeline Graceto work in any form. Glyph of Stampeding Roarincreases the radius by 30 yards. Glyph of Fae Silencecauses FFF to also silence the target for 3 seconds when used in Bear Form. Also increases the cooldown to 15 seconds. Glyph of Faerie Fireincreases the range on FFF by 10 yards. Glyph of Maulcauses Maul to now hit an additional target for 50% damage. Glyph of Rebirthnow resurrects players with 100% health. I'd consider glyphingGlyph of Graceall of the time since it's a minor glyph that has the potential to be very beneficial on some encounters.Glyph of Maulprovides no direct survival benefit, but there aren't many great options for Guardians now anyway.Glyph of Rebirthis no longer mandatory but still a nice glyph to pick up. Honestly these are mostly an encounter-by-encounter decision. For raid content you'll want to consider havingGlyph of Stampeding Roarglyphed at almost all times. However you'll want to remember to shuffle glyphs in and out as you need them. 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 WoD? Gear There will be a separate thread for an actual pre-raid or T17 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 is by far the most powerful stat for Guardians in Warlords of Draenor. To the level of approxmiately twice whatever the next closest stat is. Since Armor is only influenced by item level, typically the highest level piece of gear that has armor will be your best choice. BA/Mastery- Bonus Armor, Mastery and Multistrike are always the best stats you can get. These also don't tend to conflict too much since BA is limited to a small number of slots. After Tier 17 it's become pretty clear that there's only really one stat priority: Bonus Armor > Mastery/Multistrike > Versatility > Haste >> Crit Gems There's been yet another pretty significant shift in terms of how gems operate in Warlords of Draenor. Primary stats are no longer available to use as gems. Instead only combinations of secondary stats can be chosen. Further, socket colours are entirely gone. The only sockets that appear on Warlrods are prismatics - which are normally obtained as a "bonus" to a drop. The first thing to remember is that gems are still costly and time consuming to replace. So you want to pick something that will last you for the long haul as opposed to an individual fight. That is unless you can afford to switch every encounter somehow. That being said you should be primarily gemming for Mastery by usingGreater Mastery TaladiteorMastery Taladite. Stamina gems are still an option if you need them. Enchants Enchanting has also seen a bit of an overhaul in Warlords. The number of possible slots to enchant has been reduced significantly. Here are my recommendations: Cloak:Mastery & Movement Speed (Gift of Mastery) Neck:Gift of Mastery Ring:Gift of Mastery Weapon:Mark of Blackrock Professions With the addition of Garrisons in Warlords, professions are no longer as exclusive as they once were. If memory serves, they've also removed any profession-specific bonuses. So it really doesn't matter what professions you pick, as long as you pick something you find fun. Rotation / Ability Usage I've written about this before, but I feel now is a good time for a quick recap. So what is the new ability "rotation"? Single Target:Mangle>Lacerate>ThrashMaintenance. The idea here is that you always press Mangle whenever it is available. The rest of your rotation is devoted to generating as many Mangles as possible, while maintaining your two bleeds. If you take Pulverize then you can refresh it with 3.5s 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 12s. This gives you a pretty decent amount of latitude when determining what GCD to use Pulverize on. Cleave (2-4):KeepThrashup >Mangle>1xTab-Lacerate. With the change to Thrash, it is no longer superior either for DPS or survival for cleaving on 2-4 targets. At 5 targets it's DPS neutral but a Rage loss since Primal Fury is calculated on per-target hit with Thrash. It's still good to maintain Lacerate on 2-3 targets though. AoE (5+):Mangle>Thrash. Pretty simple. As for how you spend your Rage once you generated it.... Savage Defenseincreases your chance to Dodge by 45% for 6 seconds, costs 60 Rage. Savage Defense has 2 charges, and regenerates them at a rate of 1 charge per 12 seconds. This is your primary source of “Active Mitigation” against bosses. Frenzied Regenerationheals you for up to 6*AP*Resolve*Versatility for a cost of 60 Rage. If you do not have 60 rage all available Rage will be consumed and you will be healed for a relative percentage of the maximum amount. Frenzied Regeneration will be your way of handling damage that cannot be Dodged (Magic, Bleeds, etc.). Mauldeals 120% weapon damage and appliesTooth and Clawto your primary target when it is up. Costs 20 Rage. With the reduced Rage cost it now trumps Frenzied Regeneration in the priority list, and should be used whenever it is available - but only when a Tooth and Claw use is available. Tooth and Clawhas a 40% chance to proc from an auto-attack that hits a target. When applied the target will be debuffed and will have its damage reduced by 2.4*AP*Resolve*Versatility. This amount stacks with multiple applications, and only expires when an auto-attack by the target hits someone. So it works very well with Savage Defense. Applied to the target by using Maul. Resolve is only calculated when the target is swinging at you. Consumables Nowadays consumables only really come in three (3) varieties: Food, Elixirs/Flasks, and Potions. Food:Braised Riverbeastis your best option unless you need Stamina. Elixirs/Flasks:Greater Draenic Agility FlaskorGreater Draenic Stamina Flaskdepending on your needs. Potions:Draenic Armor PotionorHealing Tonic. Given the amount of self healing we have, I'd lean towards the armor potion. 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 tofinallybe 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. This post has been promoted to an article
  2. [Guardian] - 6.2 Guide and Discussion

    Warlords of Draenor Guardian Guide Version History November 12, 2014 (6.0.2) - Guide Published. January 15, 2015 (6.0.2) -UpdatedGameplayby updating AoE, and adding a "Cleave" rotation. June 21, 2015 (6.2) - Updated for latest patch changes. Index Introduction Game Mechanics Stats Abilities Talents / Glyphs Gameplay Introduction Hello Guardians! I present to you the Warlords of Draenor Guardian Guide! It's important to remember that this guide isn't meant to teach you how totankper 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 As always the information in this guide is based on various sources, but mostly mine. Special thanks to Theck, Hamlet, Pawkets, Ahanss, Dayani, Serrinne, Esoth, and Sheep for helping out in various ways throughout the Beta. Thanks also to the many forumites here at TiB for constantly providing questions and information about Guardians in any form of content. I would like to give a special thanks to Reesi and Lissanna 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 usingSimulationcraft. Extensive Challenge Mode testing. 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 Warlords. Simulations shouldespeciallybe 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. Game Mechanics Resolve The tanking problem child of the past two expansions is finally dead. Vengeance is gone, replaced with a new similar ability:Resolve. Resolve is essentially the defensive function of Vengeance without any of the offensive benefits. However, it has also been toned down a lot. The detailed workings of Resolve aren't really that important. Whatis importantare the following notes: Resolve only multiplies healing you do to yourself. It does not affect percentage heals (Ysera's Gift,Renewal,Nature's Vigil, orMastery: Primal Tenacity). In a mythic raid situation you can expect to be at or near the cap (240%) most of the time. There is no benefit to "abusing" Resolve like there was with Vengeance. Diminishing returns from multiple damage sources is gone. For more details on how resolve works you can check outTheck's detailed discussionon the original implementation of Resolve, orAhanss' more recent analysis. These details aren't important for everyday tanking, but they are nonetheless and interesting read. Rage The abilities Guardians use to survive - called Active Mitigation - consume our resource: Rage. Rage is generated in the following ways: Manglegenerates 10 Rage when used (or 15 if you have the talentSoul of the Forest). Mangle's base cooldown is 6 seconds, and is reduced by Haste. Auto-Attacksgenerate 5 Rage per attack that deals damage (does not include Multistrikes). Your base auto-attack speed is 2.5 seconds. Lacerategenerates 2 Rage when used, and has a chance to reset the cooldown onMangle. Thrashgenerates 1 Rage whenever it deals damage (not including Mulistrikes), per target. Critical Strikesof Auto-Attacks or melee special abilities will generate 8 Rage on impact. Note that Thrash only needs to critically strike once to trigger this effect, but can only trigger it once. ShiftingintoBear Formwill set your Rage to 10. Using one of the following abilities will allow you to use something that generates Rage (Indirect Generation): Incarnation: Son of Ursocremoves 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. Berserkremoves the cooldown on Mangle and causes it to strike up to 2 extra targets for 15 seconds. Berserk has a 3 minute cooldown. It should be noted that the extra targets struck are not causing any Rage to be generated on regular hits. However critical hits on the extra targets will generate 8 Rage. Whether this is intended or not is unknown. Temporary buffs such as Heroism/Bloodlust or Trinket Procs can also indirectly increase Rage Generation by increasing Haste or Critical Strike. You can probably tell that the most common of these either reset or completely remove the cooldown on Mangle. While this also increases our DPS, both Incarnation and Berserk should primarily be held in reserve as Rage cooldowns unless you know exactly when you need to have them available. RPS Targets Just by putting on gear - even 615 item level - we generate enough Rage to meet our needs for bothSavage DefenseandTooth and Claw. Therefore any additional Rage is used exclusively forFrenzied Regeneration. As a result any concept of "RPS Targets" is no longer relevant, since the only target is 5 RPS (60 Rage / 12 seconds) and that is met even if you are completely naked. Further the lowest possible RPS (i.e. completely naked) is ~8.5 or so. SinceMaulnow only costs 20 Rage, the base cost forTooth and Clawis reduced to 2 RPS. Since 2 + 5 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. 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 5234. Weapon Damage Something that might seem relatively minor at first, but is actually pretty significant. The Attack Power -> Weapon Damage conversion ratio has been updated to 3.5 AP = 1 WD. Character Stats Primary Stats The only two primary stats of consequence are Agility and Stamina. You will never actively seek out Strength or Intellect gear. The only exception to this is an Intellect weapon for use with the new talentHeart of the Wild. However I'll cover that later. Remember that in Warlords of Draenor the primary stat on leather armor will swap between Agility and Intellect depending on the specialization you are currently playing. So there is no longer any reason to worry about what kind of leather you're equipping beyond the secondary stat combinations. Agility Agility is the primary stat for all melee leather specializations. Unlike Mists, it directly influences the power of your active mitigation abilities (since Vengeance is now gone). Agility has the following effects at level 100: 1 Agility = 1 Attack Power, 1.155 Buffed 1 Agility = 1 Nature Spellpower ?? Agility = 1% Dodge before diminishing returns (I forget the exact conversion at the moment) Stamina Stamina continues to be one of the two statistics to obtain for increasing your survival. Stamina does the following: 1 Stamina = 60 HP, 90.09 Buffed in Bear Form Secondary Stats Secondary stats have undergone a major shift again in Warlords of Draenor. Several are gone, with new ones stepping up to take their place. Bonus Armor Bonus Armor has replaced both Dodge and Parry has the "tank only" secondary stat. This stat can only appear on jewellery and cloaks. It functions in exactly the same manner that it always has, with the exception that it now provides Attack Power in addition to armor thanks to the existence ofBladed Armor. It is intended to be the best possible secondary stat you can have, and it meets that goal with flying colours (except when it comes to pure Magic damage). 1 Bonus Armor = 1 Armor 1 Bonus Armor = 1 Attack Power, 1.1 Buffed Mastery The original Guardian Mastery has been replaced with a new one calledMastery: Primal Tenacity. It triggers an absorption shield equal to 1.5% * Mastery when you take most kinds of physical damage (excluding Sonic and Bleed), and a shield does not currently exist. Note that there is additionally something we're calling the "20% Rule" when it comes to triggering the shield. If the existing shield is 20% or less of the size of the shield thatwouldbe created when you take damage, the existing shield will be consumed and a new one will be created. Further, the size of this shield is not changed by any other absorption effects includingTooth and Claw. It also increases your attack power by 1% * Mastery. 110 Mastery Rating = 1 Mastery = +1.5% Shield Size and 1% Attack Power Critical Strike Critical Strike continues to be the best stat to increase your Rage generation. It also is the single best stat for increasing the amount of self-healing you can do from the Level 30 and 90 talents, andFrenzied Regeneration. Therefore Crit is not strictly a mitigation stat, but it is still a reasonably competitive survival stat with other secondaries (excluding Mastery and Bonus Armor). 110 Critical Strike Rating = 1% Critical Strike (Melee/Ranged/Spell) Multistrike One of the brand new stats in Warlords is called Multistrike. This is a somewhat more consistent but less "bursty" version of Critical Strike. Almost any spell or ability can trigger a Multistrike, except tank active mitigation abilities. To determine whether a Multistrike occurs the game will roll your Multistrike percentage twice for each relevant event and each success will trigger an additional event that is 30% of the size of the source event. Specifically for Guardians some Multistrikes can trigger an effect calledUrsa Majorwhich is a temporary health buff. That is the primary tank benefit of using Multistrike gear. SinceUrsa Majorhas so many triggering events (primarily thanks to Lacerate) it is by far the single best survival stat. However since it requires time to achieve the maximum average bonus, it is typically less preferred than Mastery or Bonus Armor for situations with high physical damage. 66 Mulistrike Rating = 1% Multistrike Versatility The second new stat in Warlords is called Versatility. It's a fairly simple stat that functions as an additional multiplier to your damage, healing, or damage taken. It's good at a lot of different things but not the best one at any. Think of it as a "jack of all trades" stat. 130 Versatility Rating = 1% Damage Done, 1% Healing Done, and 0.5% Less Damage Taken Haste Haste has three effects. First it increases how fast your auto attacks occur - thus increasing Rage generation and frequency ofTooth and Clawprocs. Second it lowers the GCD. The third and final effect is to increase the chance some RPPM - or "Real Procs Per Minute" - effects will occur. Note that Haste does not affect all such procs in this manner, only some of them. 90 Haste Rating = 1% Haste 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. Rake- Feral Only Vengeance - Replaced withResolve Bear Hug Rip- Feral Only Swipe- Combined intoThrash Pounce Track Humanoids Hurricane- Balance Only Leader of the Pack- Feral Only Nature's Grasp Innervate Ravage Hibernate Might of Ursoc Tranquility- Restoration Only Enrage Maim Symbiosis 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 asStampeding Roar) requires a specific form, you will automatically be shifted into that form upon use. This affects almost everything in the Druid toolkit. Manglenow deals 400% weapon damage and generates 10 Rage when it hits. Mangle has a 6 second cooldown which is reduced by Haste, howeverLaceratehas a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on impact. Maulnow deals 120% 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, to apply aTooth and Clawproc, or your total Rage generation exceeds what you need to stay alive. Faerie Firenow deals 32.5% AP in damage, and has no cooldown at level 100. This means it is purely a ranged threat and/or pulling tool unless you haveGlyph of Fae Silenceglyphed. Savage Defensecosts 60 Rage and increases your chance to Dodge by 45% for 6 seconds. Has 2 charges that regenerate at a rate of 1 charge every 12 seconds. If you expend more than one charge within 6 seconds the durations are additive. This is your primary "Active Mitigation" ability. Thrashnow deals 64.35% AP in damage on the initial hit, and 44% AP in damage every 2 seconds for 16 seconds. Thrash now also triggersPrimal Fury. This can only happen once per use, but any target hit can trigger it. Laceratenow deals 115% AP in damage, and an additional 29.22% AP in damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The DoT damage stacks up to 3 times. Lacerate has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle when it hits a target. Bear Form's Armor modifier is now 285%, Stamina modifier is 30% at level 100, but no longer increases the Critical Strike Rating and Haste Rating gained from items by 50%. Frenzied Regenerationnow costsup to60 Rage and heals you for a maximum of 6*AP*Resolve*Versatility. If less than 60 Rage is consumed, you will be healed for an amount proportional to the maximum. This is the ability you use to handle damage that is not on the combat table (Magic, Bleeds, etc.). Barkskinhas a 60 second cooldown again. Rejuvenationnow heals for 228% of spell power. Only relevant to questing orHeart of the Wildusage. Thick Hidenow only reduces damage taken from Magic sources by 10%, and reduces the chance you will be parried by 3%. Also makes you crit-immune to bosses. Revivenow costs 4% of base mana (best change). Travel Formnow controls Flight, Aquatic, and Travel forms. Primal Furynow only generates 8 Rage from special ability crits, but all melee abilities can trigger this effect. Tooth and Clawnow allows you to store up to 3 charges at level 100. Reduces damage of auto-attacks by 2.4*AP*Resolve*Versatility. Only affected by Resolve when the target is hitting you. Mark of the Wildnow also grants 3% Versatility. Ysera's Giftnow only heals for 2% every 5 seconds (Guardian only). Renewalnow heals for 22% when used. Cenarion Wardnow heals for 879.9% Nature Spellpower. Typhoonnow only has a 15 yard range. Soul of the Forestnow causes Mangle to generate 5 additional Rage. Nature's Vigilnow heals a nearby friendly target for 40% of the damage dealt, excluding Thrash. This obeys the new smart-healing rules. Survival Instinctsnow has 2 charges with a recharge rate of 2 minutes. 6 second duration. Talents and Glyphs Here we will talk about the talents available to Guardian Druids in Warlords of Draenor. These haven't changed much from Mists, except for the obvious addition of the level 100 talents. Level 15 - Movement Feline Swiftnessincreases your movement speed by 15%. Stacks additively with other movement speed increases, including boot enchants andStampeding Roar. Displacer Beastteleports you forward 20 yards, activates Cat Form, and grants a 50% movement speed increase. 30 second cooldown. Wild Chargehas a different effect depending on what form you are in. Bear form charges you towards and enemy and roots them (normal Bear charge), whereas in caster form you can leap to a nearby ally. 15 second cooldown. The obvious loser here is Displacer Beast since it forces you into Cat Form. There are no longer any inherently bad things about shifting out of Bear form - aside from the obvious - but it can still be problematic. Historically there have been situations where Displacer Beast is advantageous, but those are few and far between. You'll find yourself most often picking between the two remaining talents based on the encounter you're doing. I'd go with Feline Swiftness as the default, switching to Charge if you need it. Displacer Beast is exceptionally useful for instant burst movement, just remember that you lose all of your normal defences until you're back into Bear Form. Level 30 - Healing Ysera's GiftHeals you for 2% of your max HP every 5 seconds. If you're already at full health, acts as a smart heal instead. Renewalinstantly heals you for 30% of your maximum health. 2 minute cooldown. Cenarion Wardplaces a buff on your target that triggers a HoT effect every 2 seconds for 6 seconds the next time they take damage. 30 second cooldown. Cenarion Ward is far and away the best option in this tier, since it is affected byResolve. The other two are not, but do scale with HP. However given that for most difficult content you will be at - or close to - the Resolve cap anyway, Cenarion Ward is the best choice. If optimal performance is not a concern for you, feel free to pick one of the other two talents. In those cases I'd probably go with Ysera's Gift. Level 45 - Kiting Faerie Swarmadds a 50% snare that lasts 15 seconds to FFF. Can affect multiple targets. Mass Entanglementinstantly root your target in place for 20 seconds. 30 second cooldown. Typhoonknocks back targets up to 15 yards in front of the caster, dazing them for 6 seconds. 30 second cooldown. This now shares diminishing returns with other knockback effects in PvP. Faerie Swarm allows you to permanently keep a large number of targets slowed, making it incredibly useful for kiting. Typhoon is the talent that sees the most use in raid/dungeon content by a huge margin. Mass Entanglement has no target limit. It has isolated utility in PvE. Level 60 - Effectiveness Soul of the ForestcausesMangleto generate an additional 5 Rage on hit. It also increases the damage by 15%. Incarnation: Son of Ursoctransforms you into an armored bear. While in this form all offensive abilities have their cooldowns removed for 30 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. Force of Naturehas 3 charges. Each charge summons a treant when expended. Each treant has 40% of your total health, 4x your armor, dynamically updates stats, and lasts for 15 seconds or until it perishes. The summoned treantcannot taunt boss level mobs. 20 second recharge. Unfortunately since the minions summoned by Force of Nature can't actually taunt boss level mobs, that severely (and probably rightly so) limits their usefulness in a raid situation. Further while they can't hold threat worth a damn, they do provide a comparable DPS boost to the other two options. Unfortunately that's all they provide. Incarnation provides great burst Rage generation and DPS, but doesn't work with Pulverize. On the other hand Soul of the Forest provides more consistent Rage generation over time, while giving you about the same amount of damage and synergizing well with Pulverize. Both talents are definitely viable options, and you can freely choose between them. I recommend SotF if you go with Pulverize, and Incarnation if there's a specific use for it. FoN is just mostly a waste of time. Level 75 - Crowd Control Incapacitating Roardisorients all targets within 10 yards for 3 seconds. 30 second cooldown. Ursol's Vortexcreates a vortex that attempts to suck nearby enemies in. Enemies within 8 yards also have their movement speed reduced by 50%. Lasts 10 seconds. 1 minute cooldown. Mighty Bashstuns a target for 5 seconds. 50 second cooldown. Like T3 most of these talents have a negligible impact on most raid encounters. Vortex is great for Challenge Modes, and there are some encounters where having one of these talents can be beneficial. Level 90 - Hybridity Heart of the Wildgrants you increased effectiveness when performing roles that you are not specialized for - for 45 seconds. 6 minute cooldown. Dream of Cenariusincreases the critical chance of Mangle by 10%, and has a 40% chance to grant a 40 second buff whenever Mangle crits. This buff allows you to instantly cast Healing Touch or Rebirth while in Bear form. The Healing Touch will use AP instead of SP, thus scaling with Bonus Armor and Mastery. Also increases the healing of Healing Touch by 20%. Nature's Vigilcauses your single target damage abilities to heal a nearby target for 40% of the damage done, and your single target healing abilities to damage a nearby target for 25% of the healing done. 30 second duration, and 1.5 minute cooldown. Dream of Cenarius easily provides the most constant healing of any of the talents, at the cost of a slight DPS/RPS (5-10%) loss because of the consumed GCDs. However a Healing Touch is the single most valuable GCD you can press for survival (assuming no overheal), so the loss is worth it. Nature's Vigil is definitely recommended as the "starter" talent of this tier. The healing provided is much less significant than DoC, but it's substantially easier to use. The biggest benefit is that it lines up nicely with both Berserk and Incarnation, allowing you to macro them together for maximum effectiveness. Heart of the Wild is the top DPS and burst healing talent when you can make use of it. However you need to have a spellpower weapon to make the most out of using the healing and caster portions of the talent. Recommended when there is an encounter where you can make use of it effectively. Level 100 - Ultimates Guardian of Eluneincreases the Dodge granted by Savage Defense to 100% and grants 10% base dodge, but reduces the duration to 3 seconds. The recharge rate and Rage cost are now also reduced by your base Dodge chance. Pulverizedeals 400% weapon damage and grants a buff that reduces damage taken by 15% for 12 seconds. Requires 3 stacks of Lacerate to use. Bristling Furreduces all damage taken by 40% for 3 seconds. The choice here really depends on your needs for a given situation. Do you need an extra cooldown? Take Bristling Fur. Is there a mechanic you can cheese by dodging it, or are you in an AoE situation (like CMs)? Take GoE. Otherwise you will pick Pulverize. Glyphs I've listed all of the relevant Guardian glyphs below. Glyph of Survival Instinctsreduces the duration by 3 seconds, but also reduces the recharge time by 40 seconds. Glyph of Graceallows the class abilityFeline Graceto work in any form. Glyph of Stampeding Roarincreases the radius by 30 yards. Glyph of Fae Silencecauses FFF to also silence the target for 3 seconds when used in Bear Form. Also increases the cooldown to 15 seconds. Glyph of Faerie Fireincreases the range on FFF by 10 yards. Glyph of Maulcauses Maul to now hit an additional target for 50% damage. Glyph of Rebirthnow resurrects players with 100% health. I'd consider glyphingGlyph of Graceall of the time since it's a minor glyph that has the potential to be very beneficial on some encounters.Glyph of Maulprovides no direct survival benefit, but there aren't many great options for Guardians now anyway.Glyph of Rebirthis no longer mandatory but still a nice glyph to pick up. Honestly these are mostly an encounter-by-encounter decision. For raid content you'll want to consider havingGlyph of Stampeding Roarglyphed at almost all times. However you'll want to remember to shuffle glyphs in and out as you need them. 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 WoD? Gear There will be a separate thread for an actual pre-raid or T17 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 is by far the most powerful stat for Guardians in Warlords of Draenor. To the level of approxmiately twice whatever the next closest stat is. Since Armor is only influenced by item level, typically the highest level piece of gear that has armor will be your best choice. BA/Mastery- Bonus Armor, Mastery and Multistrike are always the best stats you can get. These also don't tend to conflict too much since BA is limited to a small number of slots. After Tier 17 it's become pretty clear that there's only really one stat priority: Bonus Armor > Mastery/Multistrike > Versatility > Haste >> Crit Gems There's been yet another pretty significant shift in terms of how gems operate in Warlords of Draenor. Primary stats are no longer available to use as gems. Instead only combinations of secondary stats can be chosen. Further, socket colours are entirely gone. The only sockets that appear on Warlrods are prismatics - which are normally obtained as a "bonus" to a drop. The first thing to remember is that gems are still costly and time consuming to replace. So you want to pick something that will last you for the long haul as opposed to an individual fight. That is unless you can afford to switch every encounter somehow. That being said you should be primarily gemming for Mastery by usingGreater Mastery TaladiteorMastery Taladite. Stamina gems are still an option if you need them. Enchants Enchanting has also seen a bit of an overhaul in Warlords. The number of possible slots to enchant has been reduced significantly. Here are my recommendations: Cloak:Mastery & Movement Speed (Gift of Mastery) Neck:Gift of Mastery Ring:Gift of Mastery Weapon:Mark of Blackrock Professions With the addition of Garrisons in Warlords, professions are no longer as exclusive as they once were. If memory serves, they've also removed any profession-specific bonuses. So it really doesn't matter what professions you pick, as long as you pick something you find fun. Rotation / Ability Usage I've written about this before, but I feel now is a good time for a quick recap. So what is the new ability "rotation"? Single Target:Mangle>Lacerate>ThrashMaintenance. The idea here is that you always press Mangle whenever it is available. The rest of your rotation is devoted to generating as many Mangles as possible, while maintaining your two bleeds. If you take Pulverize then you can refresh it with 3.5s 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 12s. This gives you a pretty decent amount of latitude when determining what GCD to use Pulverize on. Cleave (2-4):KeepThrashup >Mangle>1xTab-Lacerate. With the change to Thrash, it is no longer superior either for DPS or survival for cleaving on 2-4 targets. At 5 targets it's DPS neutral but a Rage loss since Primal Fury is calculated on per-target hit with Thrash. It's still good to maintain Lacerate on 2-3 targets though. AoE (5+):Mangle>Thrash. Pretty simple. As for how you spend your Rage once you generated it.... Savage Defenseincreases your chance to Dodge by 45% for 6 seconds, costs 60 Rage. Savage Defense has 2 charges, and regenerates them at a rate of 1 charge per 12 seconds. This is your primary source of “Active Mitigation” against bosses. Frenzied Regenerationheals you for up to 6*AP*Resolve*Versatility for a cost of 60 Rage. If you do not have 60 rage all available Rage will be consumed and you will be healed for a relative percentage of the maximum amount. Frenzied Regeneration will be your way of handling damage that cannot be Dodged (Magic, Bleeds, etc.). Mauldeals 120% weapon damage and appliesTooth and Clawto your primary target when it is up. Costs 20 Rage. With the reduced Rage cost it now trumps Frenzied Regeneration in the priority list, and should be used whenever it is available - but only when a Tooth and Claw use is available. Tooth and Clawhas a 40% chance to proc from an auto-attack that hits a target. When applied the target will be debuffed and will have its damage reduced by 2.4*AP*Resolve*Versatility. This amount stacks with multiple applications, and only expires when an auto-attack by the target hits someone. So it works very well with Savage Defense. Applied to the target by using Maul. Resolve is only calculated when the target is swinging at you. Consumables Nowadays consumables only really come in three (3) varieties: Food, Elixirs/Flasks, and Potions. Food:Braised Riverbeastis your best option unless you need Stamina. Elixirs/Flasks:Greater Draenic Agility FlaskorGreater Draenic Stamina Flaskdepending on your needs. Potions:Draenic Armor PotionorHealing Tonic. Given the amount of self healing we have, I'd lean towards the armor potion. 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 tofinallybe 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.
  3. [Guardian] Mists of Pandaria 5.4

    For anything outside of heroic raiding it doesn't matter. Effective usage of SD, T&C, and FR will get you much farther than your particular gear/gem choices will. There's nothing in normal mode that is even a credible threat to your survivability outside of doing silly things like solo-soaking Blood Rage or 1-tanking Thok. We have so many tools to prevent / smooth damage spikes this tier that they become less and less of a problem the more gear you get: Massive EH 30 second CD Barkskin Tank Meta Tank Cloak It's not that Mastery is "bad" per se, it's just not as versatile as RPS stats and provides 0 DPS.
  4. [Guardian] Mists of Pandaria 5.4

    Never gem Mastery unless you're sharing the gear with Feral. Only gem Stamina as a last resort after Trinket(s)/Flask/HotW swapping (so you should never really need to do it) or you really like socket bonuses.
  5. [Guardian] Mists of Pandaria 5.4

    Contents 1Introduction 1.1Important Note: 2Game Mechanics 2.1Guardian Specialization 2.2Vengeance 2.3Rage 2.4RPS Targets 2.5Tooth and Claw 2.6Suppressions 2.7Weapon Damage 3Primary Stats 3.1Agility 3.2Stamina 4Secondary Stats 4.1Dodge 4.2Mastery 4.3Critical Strike 4.4Expertise 4.5Hit 4.6Haste 5Abilities 5.1Symbiosis 6Talents and Glyphs 6.1Level 15 - Movement 6.2Level 30 - Healing 6.3Level 45 - Kiting 6.4Level 60 - Effectiveness 6.5Level 75 - Crowd Control 6.6Level 90 - Hybridity 7Gameplay 7.1Gear 7.2Gems 7.3Enchants 7.4Legendary Cloaks 7.5Professions 7.6Rotation / Ability Usage 7.7Consumables 7.8Bearcatting 7.9Addons Introduction Hello Guardians! I present to you the Mists of Pandaria 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. That being said there are some very important basic tanking skills that will directly affect your "mileage" as it were. Instead of rehashing all of that content here, I'll just provide links to the relevant sources. Crowd Control, Interrupts, and You - By Whynot Going Walkabout: A Tanking Movement Guide - By Jey Tao of Tanking - By Sceilence So You Want To Be A Tank - A Beginner's Guide - By Gruklaar Combat tables, diminishing returns and PANDAS - By Waniou FAQ & Informal Tank Comparison - By Krinu 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. As always the information in this guide is based on various sources, but mostly mine. Special thanks to Fasc, Tangedyn, and Hinalover for assisting with the base formulae back in 5.0. Extra thanks to Hamlet and Theck for helping with crazy stuff like approximating RPPM trinkets. Extra special thanks to Buraan for being what amounts to a guinea pig. Thanks also to the many forumites here at TiB for constantly providing questions and information about Guardians in any form of content. I would like to give a special thanks to Reesi and Lissanna 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. Important Note: This guide is essentially a copy&paste of the original guide from The Inconspicuous Bear. As such this iteration of the guide is not yet fully suited to an EJ audience, nor will it be immediately be updated with new information since TiB always comes first. Game Mechanics Guardian Specialization Druids gain a 4th specialization with the launch of Mists of Pandaria. The new specialization Guardian will be the Druid's dedicated tanking specialization. This comes complete with Guardian-only abilities, tier sets, and a new Mastery. Please make sure you are using the correct specialization before you go and try to tank anything! ^.^ Vengeance Vengeance is the attack power buff that is granted to tanks when they take damage in PvE content. Previously you would gain 10% of the melee damage taken as Attack Power up to a cap of (10% Base Health + Buffed Stamina). In Mists of Pandaria the way Vengeance is gained and lost has changed to scale with the content you are doing. The new formula is as follows: 0.015 * UnmitigatedDamage + OldVengeance * OldVengeanceSecondsRemaining / 20 Whenever you take damage, you gain 1.5% of that unmitigated damage as Attack Power. This Attack Power then decays over time, losing 5% of its value every second as long as you are taking damage. If you dodge a melee attack you will still gain Vengeance as if it had actually hit you. Note that this does not apply to "special attacks" that can also be dodged (Garalon's cleave for example). Blizzard has stated that all sources of damage that are directed at the player now contribute to Vengeance instead of just melee attacks. So things like magical damage, bleeds, and special attacks will also now grant Vengeance. However this does not include environmental effects like fire on the ground. This means it is no longer advantageous to "stand in bad" during an encounter. Vengeance caps at your maximum health, this has no actual affect on gameplay since if it gets that high in a normal situation you're going to be dead anyway. The decay rate will still even out relative to the incoming damage to give you a somewhat constant level of Vengeance. When something hits you the game will attempt to "bump" you up to what it thinks is 50% of the max based on the damage you just received. Special attacks not included in the "floor" calculation, meaning you can't take an extremely large hit from a special attack to spike your Vengeance super high. When you taunt a target that is currently attacking another tank, you will be given half of that tank's Vengeance. Further, in order to prevent that tank from instantly pulling off of you again all taunts temporarily grant the tank a 200% bonus Vengeance modifier for 4 seconds. This is in addition to the passive +700% bonus that you receive for just being a tank. Together, this means you will generate a total of 1400% threat (7*2) when you taunt a target. Lastly, Vengeance has diminishing returns when tanking multiple targets. The formula for this diminishing returns is as follows: The Nth strongest (based on pre-mitigation average auto attack DPS) mob that has hit you in the last 5 seconds grants 1/Nth of full vengeance with their attacks. N is recalculated on every hit taken. Note that the DR does not affect Challenge Mode dungeons. Rage Rage is no longer generated from taking damage. Instead Guardians now generate Rage from landing attacks on our enemies. You will gain Rage from performing one of the following actions (Direct Generation): Mangle generates 5 Rage when used (or 6.5 if you have the talent Soul of the Forest). Mangle has a 6 second cooldown. Auto-Attacks generate ~10.85 Rage per attack that deals damage. Your base auto-attack speed is 2.5 seconds. Enrage generates 20 Rage when used, and an additional 10 Rage over the next 10 seconds. Enrage has a 60 second cooldown. Critical Strikes of either Mangle or Auto-Attack will generate 15 Rage (Mangle Critical Strikes will generate 19.5 additional Rage if you have the talent Soul of the Forest). Shifting into Bear Form will set your Rage to 10. Before going any further you should already be able to tell that the overwhelming bulk of our Rage Generation comes from Critical Strikes. Therefore our goal should be trying to maximize the number of those we get. The easiest way to do this is to simply stack Critical Strike Rating. Not only is that an awesome stat by itself, but while in Bear form we get an extra 50% Critical Strike Rating. This makes Critical Strike the single best Rage Generation statistic to stack. Using one of the following abilities will allow you to use something that generates Rage (Indirect Generation): Incarnation sets cooldown on any offensive Bear ability to 1.5 seconds 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. Berserk removes the cooldown on Mangle and causes it to strike up to 2 extra targets for 10 seconds. Berserk has a 3 minute cooldown. It should be noted that the extra targets struck are not causing any Rage to be generated on regular hits. However critical hits on the extra targets will generate 15 (or 19.5) Rage. Whether this is intended or not is unknown. Landing a hit with Lacerate, Thrash, or FFF has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle. Temporary buffs such as Heroism/Bloodlust or Trinket Procs can also indirectly increase Rage Generation by increasing Haste, Critical Strike, Agility, Hit, or Expertise. Although I don’t recall the last time I saw a temporary Hit or Expertise proc/buff. You can probably tell that the most common of these either reset or completely remove the cooldown on Mangle. While this also increases our DPS, both Incarnation and Berserk should primarily be held in reserve as Rage cooldowns unless you know exactly when you need to have them available. RPS Targets Below you will find a link to a spreadsheet describing how much Rage you need to be able to generate to maintain 100% Savage Defense uptime for a given tank interval. These intervals range from 12-42 seconds. You seldom see a swap interval shorter than 7 seconds, which has the same RPS requirements as if it was 12. On the other end of the spectrum 42 seconds is the maximum amount of time you can keep Savage Defense up before you start to lose uptime to the recharge rate of 9 seconds. Anything higher than 42 seconds is simply 6.66666~ RPS (60 Rage / 9 Seconds). The second column denotes the amount of Rage you could potentially bank in a given interval while not Tanking. Essentially the assumption is that you will bank at minimum 60 Rage, otherwise you're just doing it wrong. The third column expresses how much RPS you need to be capable of generating to bank the desired amount of Rage within the time allotted. Since time spent "banking" actually starts right after you hit the last Savage Defense, the total time available is actually Interval + 6. The fourth column describes how much RPS is needed to generate the Rage required to maintain 100% Savage Defense uptime for the duration of the tanking interval. First you determine the number of 6 second "sections" there are in a given interval and subtract 1 since any Rage generated during the last "section" is actually "banked". Then subtract the amount of Rage "banked" from the amount of Rage needed. Since the amount of Rage needed is a fixed number based on the length of the interval (60, 120, 180, etc.) this is pretty easy to find. Finally, divide the amount of Rage required by the amount of time you have to generate it and you end up with the RPS required to meet that goal. The last column is simply the amount of time you need in order to "bank" the desired amount of Rage, based on the RPS required to maintain Savage Defense at 100% uptime (column 4). Again this is another interesting number to note, as you will see that the higher your RPS is, the lower the amount of time you need to spend "banking" it. It should be noted that for the purposes of these calculations it is assumed you do not shift into Bear form at all - and thus do not trigger the extra 10 Rage from shifting. You almost never want to shift out of Bear form anyway unless absolutely required, in order to keep applying Tooth and Claw to reduce the damage taken by your co-tank. In any case, if you wish to download the spreadsheet and play with it yourself, you can find it here. Tooth and Claw One thing to note is that the addition of Tooth and Claw the RPS target for any given interval is increased from anywhere betwee 3 and 5 RPS. This value depends on your haste since the proc rate is a flat 40%. With 0% haste you have a 87.04% chance (1 - (0.6^4)) every 10 seconds you are auto-attacking a mob (4 swings) assuming you are both Hit and Expertise capped. Since Maul costs 30 Rage that turns into an additional 3 RPS required. Once you get up to 20% haste this additional target goes up to 3.75 RPS, and so on. 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. 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: DamageReduction = TargetArmor / (TargetArmor + 4037.5*AttackerLevel – 317117.5). Weapon Damage Something that might seem relatively minor at first, but is actually pretty significant. All base weapon damage has been doubled. This has a cascading effect onto those abilities that scale from weapon damage such as [spell]33878[/spell]. As a result, you will see nerfs to these abilities. Just remember that while the actual percentage on the ability has gone down the actual damage dealt has gone up significantly. Primary Stats The only two primary stats of consequence are Agility and Stamina. You will never actively seek out Strength or Intellect gear. The only exception to this is an Intellect weapon for use with the new talent Heart of the Wild. However I'll cover that later. Agility Agility has historically been the character statistic that you seek out above all others for most of Cataclysm. However Agility will no longer significantly directly affect a mitigation ability like it did with the Cataclysm version of Savage Defense. While Frenzied Regeneration still scales off of Attack Power, it will not gain a substantial direct benefit from Agility. Agility has the following effects at level 90: 951.158596 Agility = 1% Dodge before diminishing returns 1259.51806640625 Agility = 1% Melee Critical Strike chance 1 Agility = 2 Attack Power, 2.31 Buffed (2.4486 with Heart of the Wild) Stamina As previously mentioned your Vengeance cap will be directly influenced by your Stamina. However you will be dead if you reach that cap anyway, so it's not relevant to worry about. Stamina still continues to be the single best statistic to obtain for increasing your survival. Stamina does the following: 1 Stamina = 14 HP, 19.404 Buffed in Bear Form (20.56824 with Heart of the Wild) Increases the minimum amount Frenzied Regeneration will heal by 2.5 per point Secondary Stats The big change in Secondary Stats since Cataclysm is that Haste is no longer worth almost nothing. One of the biggest changes in Mists of Pandaria is that there will now be 50% more secondary stats on gems, but more on this later. Dodge Dodge's purpose as a secondary stat has remained completely unchanged. However the amount of Dodge gained per point of rating has decreased - otherwise we'd approach absolutely insane numbers (well, even more insane than we already get) when Savage Defense is up. It still technically reduces more damage on average than Mastery - but only if that damage is on the combat table. However since "handling" damage via our new active mitigation tools is far more efficient, you should not be actively seeking out Dodge as a secondary stat. 885 Dodge Rating = 1% Dodge before diminishing returns Mastery Along with a new specialization Guardians are also receiving a brand new Mastery called Nature's Guardian. The new Mastery grants an additional 2% armor per point of Mastery, with a base of 16% (8 * 0.02). This bonus acts as a final multiplier on all armor your character has. This means it also affects Bonus Armor which is defined by additional armor in green text on a few items. The most obvious example of this is a [Kiril, Fury of Beasts] which will actually grant you a minimum of 869 bonus armor instead of the 790 that appears on the item. Mastery grants less overall TDR than Dodge for damage that is on the combat table, but it also has the advantage of increasing physical EH for damage that doesn't penetrate armor. 600 Mastery Rating = 1 Mastery = 2% Armor increase Critical Strike Instead of directly contributing to mitigation or survival as it did in Cataclysm, Critical Strike instead allows you to make more choices. This is accomplished by drastically increasing Rage generation through Primal Fury. Critical Strike grants on average more Rage generation than Hit/Expertise, however it does so in a similar manner to how Dodge vs Mastery works at preventing damage. In other words it provides more average Rage generation at the expense of making it more "spikey". A secondary effect is that the critical strike chance of spells - like Healing Touch - is also increased. For Rage generation purposes, melee Critical Strike has a soft cap of 76% against bosses which shows as 79% on your character sheet. Additionally Bear Form increases the Critical Strike rating from items (including Elixirs) by 50%. 600 Critical Strike Rating = 1% Critical Strike (Melee/Ranged/Spell) Expertise Expertise has been significantly reworked. In Cataclysm Expertise reduced the chance your melee attacks would be Dodged or Parried at the same time, up to a certain point labeled the "softcap". This is no longer the case. Expertise now reduces Dodge, and then Parry. Additionally while reducing the chance an enemy will Dodge your melee attacks, Expertise will also reduce the chance a damaging spell cast will miss a target. For Guardians this will only really affect FFF. Since Tooth and Claw only occurs when your auto-attack hits a target (including Blocks and Glancing blows) Expertise increases the chance you will receive a T&C proc on a given melee swing. Think of it like a 2-roll system. The first 3 + Max(0, (1.5 * (Target Level - Your Level))) percentage points will reduce the chance your attacks will be dodged. It will also reduce the chance your offensive spell casts will miss. The next 3 + Max(0, (1.5 * (Target Level - Your Level))) percentage points will reduce the chance your attacks will be parried. 340 Expertise Rating = 1% Expertise For reference the new caps are: vs Level 90: 6% = 2040 Expertise Rating vs Level 91: 9% = 3060 Expertise Rating vs Level 92: 12% = 4080 Expertise Rating vs Level 93: 15% = 5100 Expertise Rating Like Critical Strike, Expertise doesn't directly contribute to mitigation or survival. Instead it provides more Rage for you to do with what you please. As previously mentioned it won't provide as much average Rage generation as Critical Strike, but it will provide more consistent generation. Hit The only change to Hit is the cap reduction. When attacking a boss level mob the Hit cap is now 7.5%, down from 8%. Otherwise Hit has identical functionality to Expertise, including Rating -> Percentage. For reference the new caps are: vs Level 90: 3% = 1020 Hit Rating vs Level 91: 4.5% = 1530 Hit Rating vs Level 92: 6% = 2040 Hit Rating vs Level 93: 7.5% = 2550 Hit Rating Haste Haste has three effects. First it increases how fast your auto attacks occur - thus increasing Rage generation and frequency of Tooth & Claw procs. Second it lowers the GCD on "spells". For Guardians this mostly just refers to FFF. This second part turns out to be a bit of a pain in the ass, because all of our melee abitilies are on a fixed 1.5s GCD. This can cause downtime in the rotation of fractions of a second. Guardians also receive a bonus 50% Haste Rating from gear just for being in Bear Form. 425 Haste Rating = 1% Haste. The third and final effect is to increase the chance some RPPM - or "Real Procs Per Minute" - effects will occur. Note that Haste does not affect all such procs in this manner, only some of them. Abilities 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 280% weapon damage and costs no Rage, but more importantly it generates 5 Rage when it hits. Mangle has a 6 second cooldown, however Lacerate, Thrash, and Faerie Fire all have a 25% chance to reset it. Maul now deals 110% weapon damage, however it still costs 30 Rage. Maul has a 3 second cooldown. In Cataclysm and eras of unlimited Rage it was typically advantageous to macro Maul into all of your buttons. No longer. The only time you should be using Maul is when you aren't actively tanking something, to apply a Tooth and Claw proc, or your total Rage generation exceeds what you need to fully sustain your own healing. Swipe now deals 247 + 22.48% AP in damage, and 20% extra to bleeding targets for no Rage cost. Swipe has a 3 second cooldown. A nice synergy with Thrash has been added. Since its damage is lower than that of FFF and it doesn't have a chance to reset Mangle you should never use it on a single target. Swipe is now AoE only. Rebirth now resurrects your target with 60% health baseline, instead of 20%. This means the [Glyph of Rebirth] is no longer mandatory. The cooldown on Skull Bash has been changed to 15 seconds Baseline, and no longer costs Rage. Faerie Fire now deals 10 + 30.2% AP in damage, and grants 3 stacks of the new armor debuff Sunder Armor baseline. FFF has a 6 second cooldown (15 seconds glyphed). Since the debuff only lasts 30 seconds most tanks will be charged with its upkeep on the target. Also has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle when used. Savage Defense now costs 60 Rage and increases your chance to Dodge by 45% for 6 seconds. Has 3 charges that regenerate at a rate of 1 charge every 9 seconds. If you expend more than one charge within 6 seconds the durations are additive. This will be your primary "Active Mitigation" ability. Thrash now deals 19.1% AP in damage on the initial hit, and 14.1% AP in damage every 2 seconds for 16 seconds. Thrash has a 6 second cooldown. Causes the Weakened Blows debuff which reduces physical damage dealt by 10%. This debuff lasts 30 seconds. Also has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle when it hits a target. This only happens once per use, not once per target hit. Lacerate now deals 61.6% AP in damage, and an additional 5.12% AP in damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The DoT damage stacks up to 3 times. Lacerate has a 3 second cooldown. Lacerate has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle when it hits a target. Bear Form now increases the Critical Strike Rating and Haste Rating gained from items by 50% in addition to previous effects. The Stamina modifier has also been changed to 40%. Frenzied Regeneration now costs up to 60 Rage and heals you for max(2.2*(AP-Agi*2), Sta*2.5). If less than 60 Rage is consumed, you will be healed for an amount proportional to the maximum. This is the ability you use to handle damage that is not on the combat table (Magic, Bleeds, etc.). No longer increases your maximum health. Bash is now a talent. Feral Charge has been renamed Wild Charge and is now a talent. Shapeshifting now also removes roots in addition to snares. The critical strike reduction on Thick Hide now applies to all attacks. This is a PvP only change. Barkskin now has a 30 second cooldown. While not nearly as big as either of the two previous lists Guardians (and Druids in general) have gained a few new abilities in 5.0.4. Might of Ursoc increases your current and maximum health by 30% for 20 seconds. The extra health is lost when the effect ends, but your current health is not reduced. Bear Hug stuns the target and deals 10% of the Druid's health in damage every second for 3 seconds. The Druid is immobilized for the duration. You can still dodge while using Bear Hug, but it still deals a lot less damage than anything else you could be pressing while tanking. Still great for soloing. Symbiosis is the new spell Druids learn at level 87. More info on this below. Tooth and Claw is a new ability granted to Guardians at level 32. Every melee auto-attack that hits a target has a 40% chance to grant this buff. It causes your next Maul to reduce the physical auto-attack damage dealt by the target. This only affects the primary target if you are using the [Glyph of Maul]. Symbiosis Symbiosis is our new level 87 spell. For a 6 second cast, the Druid essentially "bonds" with their target, granting them a new ability and gaining one from their target. The ability the target gains is determined by what class and specialization they are, and similarly the spell the Druid gains is determined by their targets class and the specialization of the Druid. Like with any Druid, you don't particularly care what your target gets if you have the opportunity to gain something particularly awesome. In that vein, I don't really care what I give my target. As a tank I'm mostly concerned about getting something that will help me stay alive, or handle additional targets in some manner. The abilities we gain are listed below by the class they come from: Death Knight: Bone Shield. This is easily the best option in terms of a damage reduction cooldown for a specific ability. The only problem is that this version of Bone Shield lacks the ICD on draining charges that the Death Knight version comes with. So save it for something Impale-esque. Hunter: Frost Trap. This is amazing for kiting - if any situations like that come up (think Maloriak). Mage: Frost Armor. I'm sorry, but this is absolute shit. Frost Trap is better in every concievable manner. Not only that, but with Infected Wounds and Faerie Swarm which are both better (by a 20% snare margin), there's no reason to ever take this. Monk: Elusive Brew. This is by far the best option for simple damage reduction from things on the combat table. Ideally you would be able to swap between a Monk and a Death Knight based on the fight. Paladin: Consecration. This is the 2nd best possible DPS ability. It functions exactly like the Paladin version in that it's totally fire-and-forget. It doesn't do that much damage to a single target, but it would be useful to plant down to pick up adds that spawn at a predetermined location. Priest: Fear Ward. No. Just. No. Rogue: Feint. This would be useful to reduce damage when you aren't actually tanking something. However if you are tanking something you will almost always have enough Vengeance to make Frenzied Regeneration a better choice for spending Rage. Shaman: Lightning Shield. Easily the biggest DPS increase. The only downside is that it has the same problem that Thorns used to. However it does so much more damage than Consecration. It lasts for 10 minutes and has unlimited charges. Warlock: Lifetap. The only possible use I can think for this is for trying to bank Rage for a tank swap when you have nothing to autoattack. But even in that situation I'd almost just take Elusive Brew or Bone Shield instead and use a cooldown for the swap itself. Honestly I'm just not a huge fan of this, but I bet someone could find a use somewhere. Warrior: Spell Reflect. I can see this possibly being useful for Challenge Mode dungeons. But nothing else. Ever. Of the options listed above, casting on a Monk or a Death Knight is the clear winner in terms of survivability or TDR. Shaman wins for pure DPS, followed by Paladin. Hunter provides great kiting utility. The rest of them have variable levels of uselessness. Everything else is mostly just shit. Talents and Glyphs The new talent trees are divided into 6 "tiers". Supposedly they are supposed to represent different types of Druid abilities, but we find it's just much easier to name them according to the level at which you get them. Each tier has 3 talents to choose from. The tiers of talents become available at levels 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 respectively. Level 15 - MovementFeline Swiftness increases your movement speed by 15%. Stacks additively with other permanent movement speed increases, including boot enchants and Cat Form. Does not stack with temporary buffs like Dash or Stampeding Roar. Also no longer stacks with the movement speed bonus from the PvP set. Displacer Beast teleports you forward 20 yards, activates Cat Form, and grants a 50% movement speed increase. 30 second cooldown. Wild Charge has a different effect depending on what form you are in. Bear form charges you towards and enemy and roots them (current Bear charge), whereas in caster form you can leap to a nearby ally. 15 second cooldown. The obvious loser here is Displacer Beast. Anything it does either Wild Charge or Feline Swiftness can do, and do better. The two remaining talents are chosen based on the encounter you're doing. I'd go with Feline Swiftness as the default, switching to Charge if you need it. Displacer Beast is exceptionally useful for instant burst movement, just remember that you lose all of your Vengeance when you use it. Level 30 - HealingYsera's Gift Heals you for 5% of your max HP every 5 seconds. If you're already at full health, acts as a smart heal instead. Renewal instantly heals you for 30% of your maximum health. 2 minute cooldown. Cenarion Ward places a buff on your target that triggers a HoT effect every 2 seconds for 6 seconds the next time they take damage. 30 second cooldown. Ysera's Gift offers incredible sustained throughput that can not only heal yourself, but injured members of your raid. Even though it lacks the direct control of Cenarion Ward, it's definitely a viable talent option. Cenarion Ward provides a hefty amount of throughput either on you or another raid member. However Renewal still synergizes very nicely with Might of Ursoc for an "OH SHIT" button, plus it's also off the GCD. All of these talents have their place, and it's up to you to decide what you want. Ysera's is by far the best talent for soloing, CW can be good in almost any content, and I'd definitely recommend Renewal for Challenge Modes or Proving Grounds. Level 45 - KitingFaerie Swarm adds a 50% snare that lasts 15 seconds to FFF. Can affect multiple targets. Mass Entanglement instantly root your target in place for 20 seconds. 30 second cooldown. Typhoon knocks back targets up to 30 yards in front of the caster, dazing them for 6 seconds. 30 second cooldown. This now shares diminishing returns with other knockback effects in PvP. Faerie Swarm allows you to permanently keep 2 targets slowed, making it incredibly useful for kiting. Typhoon is the talent that sees the most use in raid/dungeon content by a huge margin. Mass Entanglement has no target limit. It might be useful for Proving Grounds, but I'm not convinced. Level 60 - EffectivenessSoul of the Forest causes Mangle to generate an additional 30% Rage on hit. It also increases the damage by 15%. Incarnation transforms you into an armored bear. While in this form all offensive abilities have their cooldowns reduced to 1.5 seconds for 30 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. Force of Nature has 3 charges. Each charge summons a treant when expended. Each treant has 40% of your total health, 4x your armor, dynamically updates stats, and lasts for 15 seconds or until it perishes. The summoned treant cannot taunt boss level mobs. 20 second recharge. Unfortunately since the minions summoned by Force of Nature can't actually taunt boss level mobs, that severely (and probably rightly so) limits their usefulness in a raid situation. Further they don't scale with weapon damage and will re-target if they lose aggro on their current target. Incarnation remains provides great burst Rage generation and DPS. On the other hand Soul of the Forest provides more consistent Rage generation over time, while giving you about the same amount of damage. Both talents are definitely viable options, and you can freely choose between them. I recommend SotF for new Guardians, and Incarnation for more advanced users or if there's a specific use for it. FoN is just mostly a waste of time. Level 75 - Crowd ControlDisorienting Roar disorients all targets within 10 yards for 3 seconds. 30 second cooldown. Ursol's Vortex creates a vortex that attempts to suck nearby enemies in. Enemies within 8 yards also have their movement speed reduced by 50%. Lasts 10 seconds. 1 minute cooldown. Mighty Bash stuns a target for 5 seconds. 50 second cooldown. Like T3 most of these talents have a negligible impact on most raid encounters. Vortex is great for Challenge Modes, and there are some encounters where having one of these talents can be beneficial. Level 90 - HybridityHeart of the Wild grants you increased effectiveness when performing roles that you are not specialized for - for 45 seconds. Also grants you a permanent 6% Agility, Intellect, and Stamina. 6 minute cooldown. Dream of Cenarius increases the critical chance of Mangle by 10%, and has a 40% chance to grant a 20 second buff whenever Mangle crits. This buff allows you to instantly cast Healing Touch or Rebirth while in Bear form. The Healing Touch will use AP/2 instead of SP, thus scaling with Vengeance. Nature's Vigil causes your single target damage abilities to heal a nearby target for 25% of the damage done, and your single target healing abilities to damage a nearby target for 25% of the healing done. Also increases your healing and damage by 12%. 30 second duration, and 1.5 minute cooldown. Dream of Cenarius easily provides the most constant healing of any of the talents, at the cost of a slight DPS (5-10%) loss because of the consumed GCDs. However since saving someone in your raid from certain death will almost always be more valuable than whatever DPS you lose, it's definitely worth it if you can manage the procs well. Remember to have a healing addon like Grid or Vuhdo set up if you want to maximize your effectiveness with this talent. Nature's Vigil is definitely recommended as the "starter" talent of this tier. It provides pretty decent splash "smart" healing, and a small DPS increase. The biggest benefit is that it lines up nicely with both Berserk and Incarnation, allowing you to macro them together for maximum effectiveness. Heart of the Wild is the top DPS and burst healing talent when you can make use of it, or if you need the extra Stamina (you won't for the most part). However you need to have a spellpower weapon to make the most out of using the healing and caster portions of the talent. Recommended for the most advanced users only. Glyphs Another pretty substantial change is in the Glyph system. Prime glyphs have been completely removed, leaving only major and minor glyphs. Even then these consist of mostly pretty wide open choices. Some of them you'll even find yourself switching on a fight-by-fight basis. I've listed all of the relevant Guardian glyphs below. [Glyph of Berserk] reduces the duration by 6 seconds, but also reduces the cooldown by 1 minute. [Glyph of Thorns] allows the class ability Feline Grace to work in any form. [Glyph of Nourish] increases the health gain by 20%, but also increases the cooldown by 2 minutes. [Glyph of Savage Roar] increases the radius by 30 yards. [Glyph of Lacerate] causes FFF to also silence the target for 3 seconds when used in Bear Form. Also increases the cooldown to 15 seconds. [Glyph of Faerie Fire] increases the range on FFF by 10 yards. [Glyph of Maul] causes Maul to now hit an additional target for 50% damage. [Glyph of Rebirth] now resurrects players with 100% health. [Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration] now increases healing received by 40% for 6 seconds when used, and always costs 50 rage. I'd consider glyphing [Glyph of Thorns] all of the time since it's a minor glyph that has the potential to be very beneficial on some encounters. [Glyph of Maul] is pretty useless so I'd avoid it unless you need the extra damage for some reason. [Glyph of Rebirth] is no longer mandatory but still a nice glyph to pick up. Honestly these are mostly an encounter-by-encounter decision. Some of these "new" glyphs will convert from existing ones, while others will have to be obtained brand-new from a scribe. For raid content you'll want to consider having [Glyph of Savage Roar] and [Glyph of Berserk] glyphed at almost all times. However you'll want to remember to shuffle glyphs in and out as you need them. Pretend [Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration] doesn't exist. It's a trap glyph. 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 MoP? Gear There will be a separate thread for an actual pre-raid or T14 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 is by far the most powerful stat for Guardians in Mists of Pandaria. To the level of approxmiately twice whatever the next closest stat is. Since Armor is only influenced by item level, typically the highest level piece of gear that has armor will be your best choice. There are potential differences - say you're hit/exp capped and your higher level piece is hit/exp vs your crit/mastery piec - but those will be dealt with inside a gear list itself. Rage Generation - Rage Generation stats are king regardless of the kind of content you're doing. Tanks value consistency above all else, and this definitely applies to Rage generation. While Crit and Haste will both provide more raw RPS, it won't be as consistent as if you cap both Hit and Expertise. For all Guardians I definitely recommend capping both Hit and Expertise and then devote extra points to Crit until you reach the softcap, then Haste. Sockets - Gear with sockets wins over anything at an equal item level, as long as it doesn't have Mastery. There's been a change to gems that means secondary stat gems are worth 100% more than primary stats (50% more than Stamina). This means that gemming any secondary stat is going to be superior to gemming Agility. Gemming Stamina for EH is considered a last resort. The best way to reforge is for consistent RPS: Max DPS/Consistent RPS: Hit=Exp (to caps) > Crit (to softcap) > Haste > Mastery > Dodge This setup will work well for any type of content. If you want suggestions for a specific encounter, check out TiB's Raiding and Dungeons forum. Gems As previously mentioned there's been a pretty significant shift in terms of how gems operate in Mists of Pandaria. Instead of primary and secondary stats both providing the same amount, secondary stats now provide an additional 100% value over primary stats (50% over Stamina) on gems. This means that a gem like Dodge, Mastery, or Crit is suddenly worth more than any kind of Agility gem. That's all well and good, but what does it really mean in terms of what you do? The first thing to remember is that gems are far more costly and time consuming to replace than simple reforges. So you want to pick something that will last you for the long haul as opposed to an individual fight. That is unless you can afford to switch every encounter somehow. Here are some general guidelines to follow in terms of gemming: As with reforging, gem for consistent RPS. If you find you need extra Stamina (pertinent only to Heroic level raiding), consider gemming for Stamina as an absolute last resort. That being said, here's a quick and dirty list of what you should put in each colour socket: Blue: [solid River's Heart], [Confounded Wild Jade], [Jagged Wild Jade], [Guardian's Imperial Amethyst], [Accurate Imperial Amethyst] Red: [Precise Primordial Ruby], [Crafty Vermilion Onyx], [Wicked Vermilion Onyx] Yellow: [smooth Sun's Radiance], or [Quick Sun's Radiance] if beyond the Crit softcap. For your Meta gem there are two options. If you're doing any kind of Heroic progression raiding I definitely recommend going with [indomitable Primal Diamond]. At almost a 50% uptime, this gem is incredible for tanks. However you will definitely want to have a second helm with [Capacitive Primal Diamond] for when it's time for funsies, or you need an extra DPS boost. Enchants Enchanting follows pretty much the same philosophy as gemming with one exception. Always, always, always, always, always get a movement speed boot enchant. Always. There is no excuse for this. In any case, here's your list: Cloak: Stamina or Critical Strike Chest: Stamina Feet: Agility + Movement Speed Hands: Expertise or Haste Legs: [ironscale Leg Armor] or [shadowleather Leg Armor] Shoulders: [Greater Ox Horn Inscription] or [Greater Tiger Claw Inscription] Weapon: Dancing Steel, however once you reach the Crit softcap Windsong is much better. Wrist: Agility or Stamina Legendary Cloaks I thought I'd make a note about this here. There are two cloak options [Qian-Le, Courage of Niuzao] and [Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen]. I generally recommend going for the "tanking" cloak primarily, because making up that missing 1000 Expertise is a huge pain in the ass. However feel free to pick up the DPS cloak as well. Use the same sort of logic as you would for the Meta gems. Use the tanking cloak for progession, and the DPS cloak for funsies or you need the extra DPS. Professions I wrote a blogpost about this previously. So instead of rehashing the entire thing I will introduce you to the wonders of copy&paste. Blacksmithing: 2 extra gem sockets. This totals to 640 secondary stats (Crit, Dodge, etc.), 320 Agility, or 480 Stamina. Value increases with epic gems. Herbalism: Lifeblood gives 2880 Haste Rating for 20 seconds. Lifeblood has a 2 minute cooldown. This averages around 480 Haste Rating - give or take depending on encounter length. Skinning: Master of Anatomy grants 480 Critical Strike Rating. Leatherworking: The Leatherworking only bracer enhancements grant an additional 330 Agility or 750 Stamina over the existing options. Jewelcrafting: The special Jewelcrafter gems grant 320 Primary or Secondary Stats, or 480 Stamina. Inscription: The Scriptionist (I made a word!) only shoulder enchant grants 320 Agility or 480 Stamina. Enchanting: Ring enchants grant 320 Agility or 480 Stamina. Alchemy: Since you will be using Armor + Crit or Mastery Elixirs, you will gain 480 Bonus Armor and 240 Mastery or Crit. Engineering: Synapse Springs grant 2940 of your highest primary stat (Agility/Str/Int) for 10 seconds. This averages to 490 - give or take depending on the encounter. Phase Fingers currently grant 20520 Dodge Rating, but this appears to be a typo. Mining: Toughness grants 480 Stamina. Just from looking at the above, you can immediately see that Blacksmithing is by far the biggest contributor at 640 stats, adding even more when epic gems come out. After that Skinning, Engineering, and Alchemy all look to be so close that there's no real disadvantage to taking one over the other. The rest of the professions kind of lag behind. So if you're a total min-maxing kind of a player, you will want Blacksmithing. After that you can pick whatever suits your needs the best. For the rest of the Guardians out there, it won't really matter what professions you pick, but I'd stay away from Herbalism. Rotation / Ability Usage I've written about this before, but I feel now is a good time for a quick recap. So what is the new ability "rotation"? Single Target: Mangle > Lacerate > Thrash Maintenance > Faerie fire. The idea here is that you always press Mangle whenever it is available. The rest of your rotation is devoted to generating as many Mangles as possible, while maintaining your two debuffs - Weakened Blows and Sunder Armor. Since FFF does more damage than a simple impact hit of Thrash, you should use FFF whenever Thrash still has at least 6 seconds left and neither Mangle or Lacerate are available. AoE: Mangle > Thrash > Swipe. Pretty simple. The big difference here is that you always press Thrash whenever it is up and Mangle isn't. It actually does more damage with its initial hit than Swipe does, even on a bleeding target. Use Swipe to fill in the gaps. As for how you spend your Rage once you generated it.... Savage Defense increases your chance to Dodge by 45% for 6 seconds, costs 60 Rage. Savage Defense has 3 charges, and regenerates them at a rate of 1 charge per 9 seconds. This is your primary source of “Active Mitigation” against bosses. Frenzied Regeneration heals you for up to max(2.2*(AP-Agi*2), Sta*2.5) for a cost of 60 Rage. If you do not have 60 rage all available Rage will be consumed and you will be healed for a relative percentage of the maximum amount. Frenzied Regeneration will be your way of handling damage that cannot be Dodged (Magic, Bleeds, etc.). Maul deals 110% weapon damage and applies Tooth and Claw to your primary target when it is up. Costs 30 Rage. Despite the fact that there is now a mitigation component, it is still worse than both of your other mitigation oriented options. Use Maul when you are close to or at 100 Rage, Frenzied Regeneration would cause at least 50% overheal, and Savage Defense is not up. For new players I'd recommend ignoring this completely until you are comfortable with Savage Defense and Frenzied Regeneration. Tooth and Claw has a 40% chance to proc from an auto-attack that hits a target. When applied the target will be debuffed and will deal max(0.88*(AP-Agi*2), Sta*2.5). This amount stacks with multiple applications, and only expires when an auto-attack by the target hits you. So it works very well with Savage Defense. Applied to the target by using Maul. Consumables Nowadays consumables only really come in three (3) varieties: Food, Elixirs/Flasks, and Potions. In Cataclysm it was pretty simple. GET ALL THE AGILITY - which made it very cheap for progression. Nowadays if you want to get the most out of your Guardian you will need ot invest a sizable amount more $$$. Food: [Recipe: Chun Tian Spring Rolls] or some other Stamina food. Elixirs/Flasks: Primarily you will want to outfit yourself with [Mad Hozen Elixir] and [Mantid Elixir]. However [Flask of the Earth] is also available if you need more EH. Potions: [Potion of the Mountains] or [Virmen's Bite]. Be prepared to have stacks upon stacks of both of these depending on the situation. Bearcatting One of the more obvious casualties Guardians will notice is that our DPS in Cat form has dropped substantially. During bosses with prolonged tank swaps, feel free to dump excess Rage into Maul when you aren't tanking something. Just make sure you keep yourself alive with Frenzied Regeneration, and you bank 100 Rage when it's your turn to tank. 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 explanitory - 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), a reforge calculator (ReforgeLite), and maps (Atlas). Obviously this section is pretty much pick and choose what you think would be cool. For reference there is an existing thread where other users from the forums have been posting their WeakAuras scripts. If you have some to share, or are looking for one to solve your problem(s) go check out this thread - The Inconspicuous Bear Forums • View topic - [5.1] WeakAuras for Guardian. Click here to view the guide
  6. Contents 1Introduction 1.1Important Note: 2Game Mechanics 2.1Guardian Specialization 2.2Vengeance 2.3Rage 2.4RPS Targets 2.5Tooth and Claw 2.6Suppressions 2.7Weapon Damage 3Primary Stats 3.1Agility 3.2Stamina 4Secondary Stats 4.1Dodge 4.2Mastery 4.3Critical Strike 4.4Expertise 4.5Hit 4.6Haste 5Abilities 5.1Symbiosis 6Talents and Glyphs 6.1Level 15 - Movement 6.2Level 30 - Healing 6.3Level 45 - Kiting 6.4Level 60 - Effectiveness 6.5Level 75 - Crowd Control 6.6Level 90 - Hybridity 7Gameplay 7.1Gear 7.2Gems 7.3Enchants 7.4Legendary Cloaks 7.5Professions 7.6Rotation / Ability Usage 7.7Consumables 7.8Bearcatting 7.9Addons Introduction Hello Guardians! I present to you the Mists of Pandaria 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. That being said there are some very important basic tanking skills that will directly affect your "mileage" as it were. Instead of rehashing all of that content here, I'll just provide links to the relevant sources. Crowd Control, Interrupts, and You - By Whynot Going Walkabout: A Tanking Movement Guide - By Jey Tao of Tanking - By Sceilence So You Want To Be A Tank - A Beginner's Guide - By Gruklaar Combat tables, diminishing returns and PANDAS - By Waniou FAQ & Informal Tank Comparison - By Krinu 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. As always the information in this guide is based on various sources, but mostly mine. Special thanks to Fasc, Tangedyn, and Hinalover for assisting with the base formulae back in 5.0. Extra thanks to Hamlet and Theck for helping with crazy stuff like approximating RPPM trinkets. Extra special thanks to Buraan for being what amounts to a guinea pig. Thanks also to the many forumites here at TiB for constantly providing questions and information about Guardians in any form of content. I would like to give a special thanks to Reesi and Lissanna 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. Important Note: This guide is essentially a copy&paste of the original guide from The Inconspicuous Bear. As such this iteration of the guide is not yet fully suited to an EJ audience, nor will it be immediately be updated with new information since TiB always comes first. Game Mechanics Guardian Specialization Druids gain a 4th specialization with the launch of Mists of Pandaria. The new specialization Guardian will be the Druid's dedicated tanking specialization. This comes complete with Guardian-only abilities, tier sets, and a new Mastery. Please make sure you are using the correct specialization before you go and try to tank anything! ^.^ Vengeance Vengeance is the attack power buff that is granted to tanks when they take damage in PvE content. Previously you would gain 10% of the melee damage taken as Attack Power up to a cap of (10% Base Health + Buffed Stamina). In Mists of Pandaria the way Vengeance is gained and lost has changed to scale with the content you are doing. The new formula is as follows: 0.015 * UnmitigatedDamage + OldVengeance * OldVengeanceSecondsRemaining / 20 Whenever you take damage, you gain 1.5% of that unmitigated damage as Attack Power. This Attack Power then decays over time, losing 5% of its value every second as long as you are taking damage. If you dodge a melee attack you will still gain Vengeance as if it had actually hit you. Note that this does not apply to "special attacks" that can also be dodged (Garalon's cleave for example). Blizzard has stated that all sources of damage that are directed at the player now contribute to Vengeance instead of just melee attacks. So things like magical damage, bleeds, and special attacks will also now grant Vengeance. However this does not include environmental effects like fire on the ground. This means it is no longer advantageous to "stand in bad" during an encounter. Vengeance caps at your maximum health, this has no actual affect on gameplay since if it gets that high in a normal situation you're going to be dead anyway. The decay rate will still even out relative to the incoming damage to give you a somewhat constant level of Vengeance. When something hits you the game will attempt to "bump" you up to what it thinks is 50% of the max based on the damage you just received. Special attacks not included in the "floor" calculation, meaning you can't take an extremely large hit from a special attack to spike your Vengeance super high. When you taunt a target that is currently attacking another tank, you will be given half of that tank's Vengeance. Further, in order to prevent that tank from instantly pulling off of you again all taunts temporarily grant the tank a 200% bonus Vengeance modifier for 4 seconds. This is in addition to the passive +700% bonus that you receive for just being a tank. Together, this means you will generate a total of 1400% threat (7*2) when you taunt a target. Lastly, Vengeance has diminishing returns when tanking multiple targets. The formula for this diminishing returns is as follows: The Nth strongest (based on pre-mitigation average auto attack DPS) mob that has hit you in the last 5 seconds grants 1/Nth of full vengeance with their attacks. N is recalculated on every hit taken. Note that the DR does not affect Challenge Mode dungeons. Rage Rage is no longer generated from taking damage. Instead Guardians now generate Rage from landing attacks on our enemies. You will gain Rage from performing one of the following actions (Direct Generation): Mangle generates 5 Rage when used (or 6.5 if you have the talent Soul of the Forest). Mangle has a 6 second cooldown. Auto-Attacks generate ~10.85 Rage per attack that deals damage. Your base auto-attack speed is 2.5 seconds. Enrage generates 20 Rage when used, and an additional 10 Rage over the next 10 seconds. Enrage has a 60 second cooldown. Critical Strikes of either Mangle or Auto-Attack will generate 15 Rage (Mangle Critical Strikes will generate 19.5 additional Rage if you have the talent Soul of the Forest). Shifting into Bear Form will set your Rage to 10. Before going any further you should already be able to tell that the overwhelming bulk of our Rage Generation comes from Critical Strikes. Therefore our goal should be trying to maximize the number of those we get. The easiest way to do this is to simply stack Critical Strike Rating. Not only is that an awesome stat by itself, but while in Bear form we get an extra 50% Critical Strike Rating. This makes Critical Strike the single best Rage Generation statistic to stack. Using one of the following abilities will allow you to use something that generates Rage (Indirect Generation): Incarnation sets cooldown on any offensive Bear ability to 1.5 seconds 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. Berserk removes the cooldown on Mangle and causes it to strike up to 2 extra targets for 10 seconds. Berserk has a 3 minute cooldown. It should be noted that the extra targets struck are not causing any Rage to be generated on regular hits. However critical hits on the extra targets will generate 15 (or 19.5) Rage. Whether this is intended or not is unknown. Landing a hit with Lacerate, Thrash, or FFF has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle. Temporary buffs such as Heroism/Bloodlust or Trinket Procs can also indirectly increase Rage Generation by increasing Haste, Critical Strike, Agility, Hit, or Expertise. Although I don’t recall the last time I saw a temporary Hit or Expertise proc/buff. You can probably tell that the most common of these either reset or completely remove the cooldown on Mangle. While this also increases our DPS, both Incarnation and Berserk should primarily be held in reserve as Rage cooldowns unless you know exactly when you need to have them available. RPS Targets Below you will find a link to a spreadsheet describing how much Rage you need to be able to generate to maintain 100% Savage Defense uptime for a given tank interval. These intervals range from 12-42 seconds. You seldom see a swap interval shorter than 7 seconds, which has the same RPS requirements as if it was 12. On the other end of the spectrum 42 seconds is the maximum amount of time you can keep Savage Defense up before you start to lose uptime to the recharge rate of 9 seconds. Anything higher than 42 seconds is simply 6.66666~ RPS (60 Rage / 9 Seconds). The second column denotes the amount of Rage you could potentially bank in a given interval while not Tanking. Essentially the assumption is that you will bank at minimum 60 Rage, otherwise you're just doing it wrong. The third column expresses how much RPS you need to be capable of generating to bank the desired amount of Rage within the time allotted. Since time spent "banking" actually starts right after you hit the last Savage Defense, the total time available is actually Interval + 6. The fourth column describes how much RPS is needed to generate the Rage required to maintain 100% Savage Defense uptime for the duration of the tanking interval. First you determine the number of 6 second "sections" there are in a given interval and subtract 1 since any Rage generated during the last "section" is actually "banked". Then subtract the amount of Rage "banked" from the amount of Rage needed. Since the amount of Rage needed is a fixed number based on the length of the interval (60, 120, 180, etc.) this is pretty easy to find. Finally, divide the amount of Rage required by the amount of time you have to generate it and you end up with the RPS required to meet that goal. The last column is simply the amount of time you need in order to "bank" the desired amount of Rage, based on the RPS required to maintain Savage Defense at 100% uptime (column 4). Again this is another interesting number to note, as you will see that the higher your RPS is, the lower the amount of time you need to spend "banking" it. It should be noted that for the purposes of these calculations it is assumed you do not shift into Bear form at all - and thus do not trigger the extra 10 Rage from shifting. You almost never want to shift out of Bear form anyway unless absolutely required, in order to keep applying Tooth and Claw to reduce the damage taken by your co-tank. In any case, if you wish to download the spreadsheet and play with it yourself, you can find it here. Tooth and Claw One thing to note is that the addition of Tooth and Claw the RPS target for any given interval is increased from anywhere betwee 3 and 5 RPS. This value depends on your haste since the proc rate is a flat 40%. With 0% haste you have a 87.04% chance (1 - (0.6^4)) every 10 seconds you are auto-attacking a mob (4 swings) assuming you are both Hit and Expertise capped. Since Maul costs 30 Rage that turns into an additional 3 RPS required. Once you get up to 20% haste this additional target goes up to 3.75 RPS, and so on. 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. 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: DamageReduction = TargetArmor / (TargetArmor + 4037.5*AttackerLevel – 317117.5). Weapon Damage Something that might seem relatively minor at first, but is actually pretty significant. All base weapon damage has been doubled. This has a cascading effect onto those abilities that scale from weapon damage such as [spell]33878[/spell]. As a result, you will see nerfs to these abilities. Just remember that while the actual percentage on the ability has gone down the actual damage dealt has gone up significantly. Primary Stats The only two primary stats of consequence are Agility and Stamina. You will never actively seek out Strength or Intellect gear. The only exception to this is an Intellect weapon for use with the new talent Heart of the Wild. However I'll cover that later. Agility Agility has historically been the character statistic that you seek out above all others for most of Cataclysm. However Agility will no longer significantly directly affect a mitigation ability like it did with the Cataclysm version of Savage Defense. While Frenzied Regeneration still scales off of Attack Power, it will not gain a substantial direct benefit from Agility. Agility has the following effects at level 90: 951.158596 Agility = 1% Dodge before diminishing returns 1259.51806640625 Agility = 1% Melee Critical Strike chance 1 Agility = 2 Attack Power, 2.31 Buffed (2.4486 with Heart of the Wild) Stamina As previously mentioned your Vengeance cap will be directly influenced by your Stamina. However you will be dead if you reach that cap anyway, so it's not relevant to worry about. Stamina still continues to be the single best statistic to obtain for increasing your survival. Stamina does the following: 1 Stamina = 14 HP, 19.404 Buffed in Bear Form (20.56824 with Heart of the Wild) Increases the minimum amount Frenzied Regeneration will heal by 2.5 per point Secondary Stats The big change in Secondary Stats since Cataclysm is that Haste is no longer worth almost nothing. One of the biggest changes in Mists of Pandaria is that there will now be 50% more secondary stats on gems, but more on this later. Dodge Dodge's purpose as a secondary stat has remained completely unchanged. However the amount of Dodge gained per point of rating has decreased - otherwise we'd approach absolutely insane numbers (well, even more insane than we already get) when Savage Defense is up. It still technically reduces more damage on average than Mastery - but only if that damage is on the combat table. However since "handling" damage via our new active mitigation tools is far more efficient, you should not be actively seeking out Dodge as a secondary stat. 885 Dodge Rating = 1% Dodge before diminishing returns Mastery Along with a new specialization Guardians are also receiving a brand new Mastery called Nature's Guardian. The new Mastery grants an additional 2% armor per point of Mastery, with a base of 16% (8 * 0.02). This bonus acts as a final multiplier on all armor your character has. This means it also affects Bonus Armor which is defined by additional armor in green text on a few items. The most obvious example of this is a [Kiril, Fury of Beasts] which will actually grant you a minimum of 869 bonus armor instead of the 790 that appears on the item. Mastery grants less overall TDR than Dodge for damage that is on the combat table, but it also has the advantage of increasing physical EH for damage that doesn't penetrate armor. 600 Mastery Rating = 1 Mastery = 2% Armor increase Critical Strike Instead of directly contributing to mitigation or survival as it did in Cataclysm, Critical Strike instead allows you to make more choices. This is accomplished by drastically increasing Rage generation through Primal Fury. Critical Strike grants on average more Rage generation than Hit/Expertise, however it does so in a similar manner to how Dodge vs Mastery works at preventing damage. In other words it provides more average Rage generation at the expense of making it more "spikey". A secondary effect is that the critical strike chance of spells - like Healing Touch - is also increased. For Rage generation purposes, melee Critical Strike has a soft cap of 76% against bosses which shows as 79% on your character sheet. Additionally Bear Form increases the Critical Strike rating from items (including Elixirs) by 50%. 600 Critical Strike Rating = 1% Critical Strike (Melee/Ranged/Spell) Expertise Expertise has been significantly reworked. In Cataclysm Expertise reduced the chance your melee attacks would be Dodged or Parried at the same time, up to a certain point labeled the "softcap". This is no longer the case. Expertise now reduces Dodge, and then Parry. Additionally while reducing the chance an enemy will Dodge your melee attacks, Expertise will also reduce the chance a damaging spell cast will miss a target. For Guardians this will only really affect FFF. Since Tooth and Claw only occurs when your auto-attack hits a target (including Blocks and Glancing blows) Expertise increases the chance you will receive a T&C proc on a given melee swing. Think of it like a 2-roll system. The first 3 + Max(0, (1.5 * (Target Level - Your Level))) percentage points will reduce the chance your attacks will be dodged. It will also reduce the chance your offensive spell casts will miss. The next 3 + Max(0, (1.5 * (Target Level - Your Level))) percentage points will reduce the chance your attacks will be parried. 340 Expertise Rating = 1% Expertise For reference the new caps are: vs Level 90: 6% = 2040 Expertise Rating vs Level 91: 9% = 3060 Expertise Rating vs Level 92: 12% = 4080 Expertise Rating vs Level 93: 15% = 5100 Expertise Rating Like Critical Strike, Expertise doesn't directly contribute to mitigation or survival. Instead it provides more Rage for you to do with what you please. As previously mentioned it won't provide as much average Rage generation as Critical Strike, but it will provide more consistent generation. Hit The only change to Hit is the cap reduction. When attacking a boss level mob the Hit cap is now 7.5%, down from 8%. Otherwise Hit has identical functionality to Expertise, including Rating -> Percentage. For reference the new caps are: vs Level 90: 3% = 1020 Hit Rating vs Level 91: 4.5% = 1530 Hit Rating vs Level 92: 6% = 2040 Hit Rating vs Level 93: 7.5% = 2550 Hit Rating Haste Haste has three effects. First it increases how fast your auto attacks occur - thus increasing Rage generation and frequency of Tooth & Claw procs. Second it lowers the GCD on "spells". For Guardians this mostly just refers to FFF. This second part turns out to be a bit of a pain in the ass, because all of our melee abitilies are on a fixed 1.5s GCD. This can cause downtime in the rotation of fractions of a second. Guardians also receive a bonus 50% Haste Rating from gear just for being in Bear Form. 425 Haste Rating = 1% Haste. The third and final effect is to increase the chance some RPPM - or "Real Procs Per Minute" - effects will occur. Note that Haste does not affect all such procs in this manner, only some of them. Abilities 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 280% weapon damage and costs no Rage, but more importantly it generates 5 Rage when it hits. Mangle has a 6 second cooldown, however Lacerate, Thrash, and Faerie Fire all have a 25% chance to reset it. Maul now deals 110% weapon damage, however it still costs 30 Rage. Maul has a 3 second cooldown. In Cataclysm and eras of unlimited Rage it was typically advantageous to macro Maul into all of your buttons. No longer. The only time you should be using Maul is when you aren't actively tanking something, to apply a Tooth and Claw proc, or your total Rage generation exceeds what you need to fully sustain your own healing. Swipe now deals 247 + 22.48% AP in damage, and 20% extra to bleeding targets for no Rage cost. Swipe has a 3 second cooldown. A nice synergy with Thrash has been added. Since its damage is lower than that of FFF and it doesn't have a chance to reset Mangle you should never use it on a single target. Swipe is now AoE only. Rebirth now resurrects your target with 60% health baseline, instead of 20%. This means the [Glyph of Rebirth] is no longer mandatory. The cooldown on Skull Bash has been changed to 15 seconds Baseline, and no longer costs Rage. Faerie Fire now deals 10 + 30.2% AP in damage, and grants 3 stacks of the new armor debuff Sunder Armor baseline. FFF has a 6 second cooldown (15 seconds glyphed). Since the debuff only lasts 30 seconds most tanks will be charged with its upkeep on the target. Also has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle when used. Savage Defense now costs 60 Rage and increases your chance to Dodge by 45% for 6 seconds. Has 3 charges that regenerate at a rate of 1 charge every 9 seconds. If you expend more than one charge within 6 seconds the durations are additive. This will be your primary "Active Mitigation" ability. Thrash now deals 19.1% AP in damage on the initial hit, and 14.1% AP in damage every 2 seconds for 16 seconds. Thrash has a 6 second cooldown. Causes the Weakened Blows debuff which reduces physical damage dealt by 10%. This debuff lasts 30 seconds. Also has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle when it hits a target. This only happens once per use, not once per target hit. Lacerate now deals 61.6% AP in damage, and an additional 5.12% AP in damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The DoT damage stacks up to 3 times. Lacerate has a 3 second cooldown. Lacerate has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle when it hits a target. Bear Form now increases the Critical Strike Rating and Haste Rating gained from items by 50% in addition to previous effects. The Stamina modifier has also been changed to 40%. Frenzied Regeneration now costs up to 60 Rage and heals you for max(2.2*(AP-Agi*2), Sta*2.5). If less than 60 Rage is consumed, you will be healed for an amount proportional to the maximum. This is the ability you use to handle damage that is not on the combat table (Magic, Bleeds, etc.). No longer increases your maximum health. Bash is now a talent. Feral Charge has been renamed Wild Charge and is now a talent. Shapeshifting now also removes roots in addition to snares. The critical strike reduction on Thick Hide now applies to all attacks. This is a PvP only change. Barkskin now has a 30 second cooldown. While not nearly as big as either of the two previous lists Guardians (and Druids in general) have gained a few new abilities in 5.0.4. Might of Ursoc increases your current and maximum health by 30% for 20 seconds. The extra health is lost when the effect ends, but your current health is not reduced. Bear Hug stuns the target and deals 10% of the Druid's health in damage every second for 3 seconds. The Druid is immobilized for the duration. You can still dodge while using Bear Hug, but it still deals a lot less damage than anything else you could be pressing while tanking. Still great for soloing. Symbiosis is the new spell Druids learn at level 87. More info on this below. Tooth and Claw is a new ability granted to Guardians at level 32. Every melee auto-attack that hits a target has a 40% chance to grant this buff. It causes your next Maul to reduce the physical auto-attack damage dealt by the target. This only affects the primary target if you are using the [Glyph of Maul]. Symbiosis Symbiosis is our new level 87 spell. For a 6 second cast, the Druid essentially "bonds" with their target, granting them a new ability and gaining one from their target. The ability the target gains is determined by what class and specialization they are, and similarly the spell the Druid gains is determined by their targets class and the specialization of the Druid. Like with any Druid, you don't particularly care what your target gets if you have the opportunity to gain something particularly awesome. In that vein, I don't really care what I give my target. As a tank I'm mostly concerned about getting something that will help me stay alive, or handle additional targets in some manner. The abilities we gain are listed below by the class they come from: Death Knight: Bone Shield. This is easily the best option in terms of a damage reduction cooldown for a specific ability. The only problem is that this version of Bone Shield lacks the ICD on draining charges that the Death Knight version comes with. So save it for something Impale-esque. Hunter: Frost Trap. This is amazing for kiting - if any situations like that come up (think Maloriak). Mage: Frost Armor. I'm sorry, but this is absolute shit. Frost Trap is better in every concievable manner. Not only that, but with Infected Wounds and Faerie Swarm which are both better (by a 20% snare margin), there's no reason to ever take this. Monk: Elusive Brew. This is by far the best option for simple damage reduction from things on the combat table. Ideally you would be able to swap between a Monk and a Death Knight based on the fight. Paladin: Consecration. This is the 2nd best possible DPS ability. It functions exactly like the Paladin version in that it's totally fire-and-forget. It doesn't do that much damage to a single target, but it would be useful to plant down to pick up adds that spawn at a predetermined location. Priest: Fear Ward. No. Just. No. Rogue: Feint. This would be useful to reduce damage when you aren't actually tanking something. However if you are tanking something you will almost always have enough Vengeance to make Frenzied Regeneration a better choice for spending Rage. Shaman: Lightning Shield. Easily the biggest DPS increase. The only downside is that it has the same problem that Thorns used to. However it does so much more damage than Consecration. It lasts for 10 minutes and has unlimited charges. Warlock: Lifetap. The only possible use I can think for this is for trying to bank Rage for a tank swap when you have nothing to autoattack. But even in that situation I'd almost just take Elusive Brew or Bone Shield instead and use a cooldown for the swap itself. Honestly I'm just not a huge fan of this, but I bet someone could find a use somewhere. Warrior: Spell Reflect. I can see this possibly being useful for Challenge Mode dungeons. But nothing else. Ever. Of the options listed above, casting on a Monk or a Death Knight is the clear winner in terms of survivability or TDR. Shaman wins for pure DPS, followed by Paladin. Hunter provides great kiting utility. The rest of them have variable levels of uselessness. Everything else is mostly just shit. Talents and Glyphs The new talent trees are divided into 6 "tiers". Supposedly they are supposed to represent different types of Druid abilities, but we find it's just much easier to name them according to the level at which you get them. Each tier has 3 talents to choose from. The tiers of talents become available at levels 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 respectively. Level 15 - MovementFeline Swiftness increases your movement speed by 15%. Stacks additively with other permanent movement speed increases, including boot enchants and Cat Form. Does not stack with temporary buffs like Dash or Stampeding Roar. Also no longer stacks with the movement speed bonus from the PvP set. Displacer Beast teleports you forward 20 yards, activates Cat Form, and grants a 50% movement speed increase. 30 second cooldown. Wild Charge has a different effect depending on what form you are in. Bear form charges you towards and enemy and roots them (current Bear charge), whereas in caster form you can leap to a nearby ally. 15 second cooldown. The obvious loser here is Displacer Beast. Anything it does either Wild Charge or Feline Swiftness can do, and do better. The two remaining talents are chosen based on the encounter you're doing. I'd go with Feline Swiftness as the default, switching to Charge if you need it. Displacer Beast is exceptionally useful for instant burst movement, just remember that you lose all of your Vengeance when you use it. Level 30 - HealingYsera's Gift Heals you for 5% of your max HP every 5 seconds. If you're already at full health, acts as a smart heal instead. Renewal instantly heals you for 30% of your maximum health. 2 minute cooldown. Cenarion Ward places a buff on your target that triggers a HoT effect every 2 seconds for 6 seconds the next time they take damage. 30 second cooldown. Ysera's Gift offers incredible sustained throughput that can not only heal yourself, but injured members of your raid. Even though it lacks the direct control of Cenarion Ward, it's definitely a viable talent option. Cenarion Ward provides a hefty amount of throughput either on you or another raid member. However Renewal still synergizes very nicely with Might of Ursoc for an "OH SHIT" button, plus it's also off the GCD. All of these talents have their place, and it's up to you to decide what you want. Ysera's is by far the best talent for soloing, CW can be good in almost any content, and I'd definitely recommend Renewal for Challenge Modes or Proving Grounds. Level 45 - KitingFaerie Swarm adds a 50% snare that lasts 15 seconds to FFF. Can affect multiple targets. Mass Entanglement instantly root your target in place for 20 seconds. 30 second cooldown. Typhoon knocks back targets up to 30 yards in front of the caster, dazing them for 6 seconds. 30 second cooldown. This now shares diminishing returns with other knockback effects in PvP. Faerie Swarm allows you to permanently keep 2 targets slowed, making it incredibly useful for kiting. Typhoon is the talent that sees the most use in raid/dungeon content by a huge margin. Mass Entanglement has no target limit. It might be useful for Proving Grounds, but I'm not convinced. Level 60 - EffectivenessSoul of the Forest causes Mangle to generate an additional 30% Rage on hit. It also increases the damage by 15%. Incarnation transforms you into an armored bear. While in this form all offensive abilities have their cooldowns reduced to 1.5 seconds for 30 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. Force of Nature has 3 charges. Each charge summons a treant when expended. Each treant has 40% of your total health, 4x your armor, dynamically updates stats, and lasts for 15 seconds or until it perishes. The summoned treant cannot taunt boss level mobs. 20 second recharge. Unfortunately since the minions summoned by Force of Nature can't actually taunt boss level mobs, that severely (and probably rightly so) limits their usefulness in a raid situation. Further they don't scale with weapon damage and will re-target if they lose aggro on their current target. Incarnation remains provides great burst Rage generation and DPS. On the other hand Soul of the Forest provides more consistent Rage generation over time, while giving you about the same amount of damage. Both talents are definitely viable options, and you can freely choose between them. I recommend SotF for new Guardians, and Incarnation for more advanced users or if there's a specific use for it. FoN is just mostly a waste of time. Level 75 - Crowd ControlDisorienting Roar disorients all targets within 10 yards for 3 seconds. 30 second cooldown. Ursol's Vortex creates a vortex that attempts to suck nearby enemies in. Enemies within 8 yards also have their movement speed reduced by 50%. Lasts 10 seconds. 1 minute cooldown. Mighty Bash stuns a target for 5 seconds. 50 second cooldown. Like T3 most of these talents have a negligible impact on most raid encounters. Vortex is great for Challenge Modes, and there are some encounters where having one of these talents can be beneficial. Level 90 - HybridityHeart of the Wild grants you increased effectiveness when performing roles that you are not specialized for - for 45 seconds. Also grants you a permanent 6% Agility, Intellect, and Stamina. 6 minute cooldown. Dream of Cenarius increases the critical chance of Mangle by 10%, and has a 40% chance to grant a 20 second buff whenever Mangle crits. This buff allows you to instantly cast Healing Touch or Rebirth while in Bear form. The Healing Touch will use AP/2 instead of SP, thus scaling with Vengeance. Nature's Vigil causes your single target damage abilities to heal a nearby target for 25% of the damage done, and your single target healing abilities to damage a nearby target for 25% of the healing done. Also increases your healing and damage by 12%. 30 second duration, and 1.5 minute cooldown. Dream of Cenarius easily provides the most constant healing of any of the talents, at the cost of a slight DPS (5-10%) loss because of the consumed GCDs. However since saving someone in your raid from certain death will almost always be more valuable than whatever DPS you lose, it's definitely worth it if you can manage the procs well. Remember to have a healing addon like Grid or Vuhdo set up if you want to maximize your effectiveness with this talent. Nature's Vigil is definitely recommended as the "starter" talent of this tier. It provides pretty decent splash "smart" healing, and a small DPS increase. The biggest benefit is that it lines up nicely with both Berserk and Incarnation, allowing you to macro them together for maximum effectiveness. Heart of the Wild is the top DPS and burst healing talent when you can make use of it, or if you need the extra Stamina (you won't for the most part). However you need to have a spellpower weapon to make the most out of using the healing and caster portions of the talent. Recommended for the most advanced users only. Glyphs Another pretty substantial change is in the Glyph system. Prime glyphs have been completely removed, leaving only major and minor glyphs. Even then these consist of mostly pretty wide open choices. Some of them you'll even find yourself switching on a fight-by-fight basis. I've listed all of the relevant Guardian glyphs below. [Glyph of Berserk] reduces the duration by 6 seconds, but also reduces the cooldown by 1 minute. [Glyph of Thorns] allows the class ability Feline Grace to work in any form. [Glyph of Nourish] increases the health gain by 20%, but also increases the cooldown by 2 minutes. [Glyph of Savage Roar] increases the radius by 30 yards. [Glyph of Lacerate] causes FFF to also silence the target for 3 seconds when used in Bear Form. Also increases the cooldown to 15 seconds. [Glyph of Faerie Fire] increases the range on FFF by 10 yards. [Glyph of Maul] causes Maul to now hit an additional target for 50% damage. [Glyph of Rebirth] now resurrects players with 100% health. [Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration] now increases healing received by 40% for 6 seconds when used, and always costs 50 rage. I'd consider glyphing [Glyph of Thorns] all of the time since it's a minor glyph that has the potential to be very beneficial on some encounters. [Glyph of Maul] is pretty useless so I'd avoid it unless you need the extra damage for some reason. [Glyph of Rebirth] is no longer mandatory but still a nice glyph to pick up. Honestly these are mostly an encounter-by-encounter decision. Some of these "new" glyphs will convert from existing ones, while others will have to be obtained brand-new from a scribe. For raid content you'll want to consider having [Glyph of Savage Roar] and [Glyph of Berserk] glyphed at almost all times. However you'll want to remember to shuffle glyphs in and out as you need them. Pretend [Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration] doesn't exist. It's a trap glyph. 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 MoP? Gear There will be a separate thread for an actual pre-raid or T14 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 is by far the most powerful stat for Guardians in Mists of Pandaria. To the level of approxmiately twice whatever the next closest stat is. Since Armor is only influenced by item level, typically the highest level piece of gear that has armor will be your best choice. There are potential differences - say you're hit/exp capped and your higher level piece is hit/exp vs your crit/mastery piec - but those will be dealt with inside a gear list itself. Rage Generation - Rage Generation stats are king regardless of the kind of content you're doing. Tanks value consistency above all else, and this definitely applies to Rage generation. While Crit and Haste will both provide more raw RPS, it won't be as consistent as if you cap both Hit and Expertise. For all Guardians I definitely recommend capping both Hit and Expertise and then devote extra points to Crit until you reach the softcap, then Haste. Sockets - Gear with sockets wins over anything at an equal item level, as long as it doesn't have Mastery. There's been a change to gems that means secondary stat gems are worth 100% more than primary stats (50% more than Stamina). This means that gemming any secondary stat is going to be superior to gemming Agility. Gemming Stamina for EH is considered a last resort. The best way to reforge is for consistent RPS: Max DPS/Consistent RPS: Hit=Exp (to caps) > Crit (to softcap) > Haste > Mastery > Dodge This setup will work well for any type of content. If you want suggestions for a specific encounter, check out TiB's Raiding and Dungeons forum. Gems As previously mentioned there's been a pretty significant shift in terms of how gems operate in Mists of Pandaria. Instead of primary and secondary stats both providing the same amount, secondary stats now provide an additional 100% value over primary stats (50% over Stamina) on gems. This means that a gem like Dodge, Mastery, or Crit is suddenly worth more than any kind of Agility gem. That's all well and good, but what does it really mean in terms of what you do? The first thing to remember is that gems are far more costly and time consuming to replace than simple reforges. So you want to pick something that will last you for the long haul as opposed to an individual fight. That is unless you can afford to switch every encounter somehow. Here are some general guidelines to follow in terms of gemming: As with reforging, gem for consistent RPS. If you find you need extra Stamina (pertinent only to Heroic level raiding), consider gemming for Stamina as an absolute last resort. That being said, here's a quick and dirty list of what you should put in each colour socket: Blue: [solid River's Heart], [Confounded Wild Jade], [Jagged Wild Jade], [Guardian's Imperial Amethyst], [Accurate Imperial Amethyst] Red: [Precise Primordial Ruby], [Crafty Vermilion Onyx], [Wicked Vermilion Onyx] Yellow: [smooth Sun's Radiance], or [Quick Sun's Radiance] if beyond the Crit softcap. For your Meta gem there are two options. If you're doing any kind of Heroic progression raiding I definitely recommend going with [indomitable Primal Diamond]. At almost a 50% uptime, this gem is incredible for tanks. However you will definitely want to have a second helm with [Capacitive Primal Diamond] for when it's time for funsies, or you need an extra DPS boost. Enchants Enchanting follows pretty much the same philosophy as gemming with one exception. Always, always, always, always, always get a movement speed boot enchant. Always. There is no excuse for this. In any case, here's your list: Cloak: Stamina or Critical Strike Chest: Stamina Feet: Agility + Movement Speed Hands: Expertise or Haste Legs: [ironscale Leg Armor] or [shadowleather Leg Armor] Shoulders: [Greater Ox Horn Inscription] or [Greater Tiger Claw Inscription] Weapon: Dancing Steel, however once you reach the Crit softcap Windsong is much better. Wrist: Agility or Stamina Legendary Cloaks I thought I'd make a note about this here. There are two cloak options [Qian-Le, Courage of Niuzao] and [Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen]. I generally recommend going for the "tanking" cloak primarily, because making up that missing 1000 Expertise is a huge pain in the ass. However feel free to pick up the DPS cloak as well. Use the same sort of logic as you would for the Meta gems. Use the tanking cloak for progession, and the DPS cloak for funsies or you need the extra DPS. Professions I wrote a blogpost about this previously. So instead of rehashing the entire thing I will introduce you to the wonders of copy&paste. Blacksmithing: 2 extra gem sockets. This totals to 640 secondary stats (Crit, Dodge, etc.), 320 Agility, or 480 Stamina. Value increases with epic gems. Herbalism: Lifeblood gives 2880 Haste Rating for 20 seconds. Lifeblood has a 2 minute cooldown. This averages around 480 Haste Rating - give or take depending on encounter length. Skinning: Master of Anatomy grants 480 Critical Strike Rating. Leatherworking: The Leatherworking only bracer enhancements grant an additional 330 Agility or 750 Stamina over the existing options. Jewelcrafting: The special Jewelcrafter gems grant 320 Primary or Secondary Stats, or 480 Stamina. Inscription: The Scriptionist (I made a word!) only shoulder enchant grants 320 Agility or 480 Stamina. Enchanting: Ring enchants grant 320 Agility or 480 Stamina. Alchemy: Since you will be using Armor + Crit or Mastery Elixirs, you will gain 480 Bonus Armor and 240 Mastery or Crit. Engineering: Synapse Springs grant 2940 of your highest primary stat (Agility/Str/Int) for 10 seconds. This averages to 490 - give or take depending on the encounter. Phase Fingers currently grant 20520 Dodge Rating, but this appears to be a typo. Mining: Toughness grants 480 Stamina. Just from looking at the above, you can immediately see that Blacksmithing is by far the biggest contributor at 640 stats, adding even more when epic gems come out. After that Skinning, Engineering, and Alchemy all look to be so close that there's no real disadvantage to taking one over the other. The rest of the professions kind of lag behind. So if you're a total min-maxing kind of a player, you will want Blacksmithing. After that you can pick whatever suits your needs the best. For the rest of the Guardians out there, it won't really matter what professions you pick, but I'd stay away from Herbalism. Rotation / Ability Usage I've written about this before, but I feel now is a good time for a quick recap. So what is the new ability "rotation"? Single Target: Mangle > Lacerate > Thrash Maintenance > Faerie fire. The idea here is that you always press Mangle whenever it is available. The rest of your rotation is devoted to generating as many Mangles as possible, while maintaining your two debuffs - Weakened Blows and Sunder Armor. Since FFF does more damage than a simple impact hit of Thrash, you should use FFF whenever Thrash still has at least 6 seconds left and neither Mangle or Lacerate are available. AoE: Mangle > Thrash > Swipe. Pretty simple. The big difference here is that you always press Thrash whenever it is up and Mangle isn't. It actually does more damage with its initial hit than Swipe does, even on a bleeding target. Use Swipe to fill in the gaps. As for how you spend your Rage once you generated it.... Savage Defense increases your chance to Dodge by 45% for 6 seconds, costs 60 Rage. Savage Defense has 3 charges, and regenerates them at a rate of 1 charge per 9 seconds. This is your primary source of “Active Mitigation” against bosses. Frenzied Regeneration heals you for up to max(2.2*(AP-Agi*2), Sta*2.5) for a cost of 60 Rage. If you do not have 60 rage all available Rage will be consumed and you will be healed for a relative percentage of the maximum amount. Frenzied Regeneration will be your way of handling damage that cannot be Dodged (Magic, Bleeds, etc.). Maul deals 110% weapon damage and applies Tooth and Claw to your primary target when it is up. Costs 30 Rage. Despite the fact that there is now a mitigation component, it is still worse than both of your other mitigation oriented options. Use Maul when you are close to or at 100 Rage, Frenzied Regeneration would cause at least 50% overheal, and Savage Defense is not up. For new players I'd recommend ignoring this completely until you are comfortable with Savage Defense and Frenzied Regeneration. Tooth and Claw has a 40% chance to proc from an auto-attack that hits a target. When applied the target will be debuffed and will deal max(0.88*(AP-Agi*2), Sta*2.5). This amount stacks with multiple applications, and only expires when an auto-attack by the target hits you. So it works very well with Savage Defense. Applied to the target by using Maul. Consumables Nowadays consumables only really come in three (3) varieties: Food, Elixirs/Flasks, and Potions. In Cataclysm it was pretty simple. GET ALL THE AGILITY - which made it very cheap for progression. Nowadays if you want to get the most out of your Guardian you will need ot invest a sizable amount more $$$. Food: [Recipe: Chun Tian Spring Rolls] or some other Stamina food. Elixirs/Flasks: Primarily you will want to outfit yourself with [Mad Hozen Elixir] and [Mantid Elixir]. However [Flask of the Earth] is also available if you need more EH. Potions: [Potion of the Mountains] or [Virmen's Bite]. Be prepared to have stacks upon stacks of both of these depending on the situation. Bearcatting One of the more obvious casualties Guardians will notice is that our DPS in Cat form has dropped substantially. During bosses with prolonged tank swaps, feel free to dump excess Rage into Maul when you aren't tanking something. Just make sure you keep yourself alive with Frenzied Regeneration, and you bank 100 Rage when it's your turn to tank. 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 explanitory - 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), a reforge calculator (ReforgeLite), and maps (Atlas). Obviously this section is pretty much pick and choose what you think would be cool. For reference there is an existing thread where other users from the forums have been posting their WeakAuras scripts. If you have some to share, or are looking for one to solve your problem(s) go check out this thread - The Inconspicuous Bear Forums • View topic - [5.1] WeakAuras for Guardian.