Class tree feels lackluster for Guardian

Lots of passive stuff, things I already had but now have to choose between, lackluster and only three (??? why three? How does Gaurdian get just 3 and say, warr gets SEVEN and can easily get 2+).

Protector of the Pack looks nice but requires Dream of Cenarius to be at all useful. I have to spend points to get access to things in other forms I previously had, but now don’t for some reason, and if I do I might lose a passive bonus or something.

There’s just nothing all that interesting in there - like they ripped out a bunch of stuff we had already and are now making us spend points to get back even less than we originally had, with less flexibility.

I like the laserbear option and rage of the sleeper looks interesting, but it just feels like Guardian druid Got Less with this talent tree, and can’t even make use of one of the capstones to boot without another capstone in the spec tree.

Unless I’m missing something somewhere, which hopefully I am?

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And the issue in having to waste points into Boomkin abilities for the added range talent, and points on Feral for added speed. The interaction between talents for Protector of the Pack is gross, and should have considered placement in both trees.

The tree design is incredibly disappointing, especially when you have trees like Prot Warrior.


Lol, I was trying to avoid being too whiny, but I had an edit I made and then deleted that was just ‘why would I ever play guardian when prot warr exists’.

They seem to have a beautifully designed talent tree - both spec and class, tbh.

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The class and spec tree for bear are both just bad. The layout is very restrictive and the synergy is wimpy at best.
It is sad how they just didnt care to legitimately fix these problems and instead just doo a massive buff rather then fix the trees.


Yup, incredibly bad design which is brute-forced through tuning.

I legitimately could not trust rolling Druid if one were only to focus on Guardian.


I’ve always enjoyed Druid because it has four spec options, and I only both tanking and healing, with occasionally doing DPS. But laser chicken is looking meh, feral still seems to be…feral, regardless of numbers. Resto looks like it was mutilated the least, but Guardian was always my favorite.

Heck even paladin is better off these days, even with how they still gotta deal with the awful dusk-dawn mechanic.

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The last two class tree points had me scratching my head as to where I’d put them. Basically ended with dumping them into restoration and Balance spells that I’ll rarely if ever use. Might be different if the capstones were better for bear, but they are all pretty lackluster imo. :woman_shrugging:

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Honestly, I’ve been leveling a Guardian Druid and I enjoy that it’s simpler and a lot of the talents are passive.

That’s just me though. I wouldn’t begrudge others for wanting a more complex rotation/playstyle.

Which is fair! I’m all for there being less mechanically complex tanks, especially since there’s a tank shortage in queues and I know not everyone wants the game to be like some sort of directional parry thing where you have to read the boss attack patterns.

My beef with Guardian is that:

  • There’s a lack of natural synergy between the class tree and the spec tree, and probably even w/in those trees but the main example right now is Protector of the Pack (class tree capstone, boosts your Regrowth healing based on damage done up to a cap, and Dream of Cenarius, spec tree on the left side just before the bottom left capstone, that lets you instant-case Regrowth once every 20 seconds depending on crit strike. The problem here is that Protector of the path is not only worthless - but actively HARMFUL to actually use as a Guardian druid if you don’t take Dream of Cenarius, because otherwise Regrowth will have a cast time, which will take you out of bear form, which is generally just…immediate death. So it feels bad for an entire capstone to be worthless without another node in a different tree. This also applies to other spells in the class tree, such as Regeneration, Wild Growth, etc, all of which will take you out of form and yes, they’re helpful for off healing if you’re not actively tanking at the moment, but that kind of…defeats the point of your role then, doesn’t it. Kinda kills the class fantasy, imo, of a hybrid-ish spec. And I can’t use them while tanking, which is what I would use Guardian for, so if I can only use them when NOT tanking it just feels bad, imo. It doesn’t really matter except for niche scenarios.

  • Passives. If you don’t have 100% uptime on at least one stack, you’re doing something horribly wrong. Brewmaster had this issue a while back - the Shuffle buff was considered the ‘main’ tanking mechanic, but it was in the same situation where it was brainlessly easy to get 100% uptime and that was ‘expected’, which was horrendously boring and…Well, at that point, why not just make it a passive buff of some sort, since it’s effectively passive in the first place? And that’s (part of, probably, it was a while ago) part of how Brewmaster got the more interesting brew-chuggin’ mechanic. If buff management becomes 100%, easily, it’s more of a passive buff than active mitigation at that point. Of course there are other buttons, and you can ‘burst’ Ironfur stacks, but still.

  • Passive talents. What’s the point of talent trees if they don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things? To a certain extent, having passive bonuses can work - a guardian druid can take more passive mitigation buffs at the start of an xpac, or if they’re super confident and skilled take a little more damage. That level of customization can be nice. But, after a certain point, it becomes just like Ironfur - if it’s 100% of the time, and there’s so MANY that you’ll be taking anyway, or something is so broadly applicable that you’ll always take it no matter what, what’s the point? A sense of stat progression is important to a certain degree, but will 2% extra armor or 2% extra damage significantly impact how the gameplay feels? What if it’s five of those choices, for different things? What if it’s movement speed? Meta players will math it out and folks not interested in that level of detail still won’t be interested. Also, Druid has a lot more skills in general than other classes because, well, four specs, different forms, etc. So Blizzard actually removed a lot more from Druid so they could give it back in the class tree - you have to spec into Rip these days, even! The main bleed combo spender! You have to spec into Swipe, the main AoE spammable. Nobody except boomkins will ever not take that.


  • Druid has awkward class and talent trees, where some nodes are useful only if you take another node in another tree - otherwise a capstone node is actively detrimental if you take it.
  • Druid doesn’t really have particularly ‘active’ mitigation, since its main mitigation mechanic/rage spender, Ironfur, is basically a passive. AFter a certain point, might as well make the first stack a passive buff, then give lower uptime on the new ‘first’ stack.
  • Druid has (well, had) a lot of skills and passive buffs (movement speed, etc) that you now must pick and choose between. Some of this is fine, but no matter what you do, you not only still will be loosing out, but you won’t be able to use the majority of the stuff regardless (in content where having a tank matters, ever seen them use Wild Growth? Idk maybe you have, but insofar as I Know it doesn’t generally happen, but they’ll have the skill anyway to get Ursol’s Vortex/entangle, innervate, vigil, etc).

TLDR to the TLDR: Druid has a lot of ‘stuff’, but very little actual interesting depth or synergy between the stuff it has, and the stuff it does end up happening feels bad to have, as opposed to what I imagine should be the intended ‘cool! This build feels cool :D’.

Blizzard could make a single stack of Ironfur completely, 100% passively kept, give Guardian an entirely new active-ish mitigation mechanic (while keeping all the other stuff, such as thrash, laserbear, etc) and it would, imo 1) Make players who care about that stuff (like me!) happy, while 2) Players who want a simpler experience probably wouldn’t even notice and would have a completely or near-completely unimpacted experience.

Hopefully that excessive chunk of text clears up my thoughts and feelings on the matter xD


I can agree with this.

Hell, I already macro’d Mangle and Ironfur together so half the time I forget it even exists.

Also yeah, having to take useless abilities to reach actual useful passives and abilities is always a bummer.

Maybe you can make a case for it if you were DPS as Wild Growth could theoretically come in clutch if healer dies, and you want to spot some heals to finish the encounter.

For the Tank though?


And even on DPS specs, you don’t really use it unless things go very, very wrong. Maybe in certain fights where there’s DPS downtime but still damage going out and you have nothing better to do. I don’t expect to use Purge on a shaman particularly often as part of my regular rotation on every single pack or boss, but druid healing skills are…Well, requiring far more investment and are far more prevalent than that. I’d love to see them have more of a presence, since we have to spend so many points to get through em.

I would honestly be thrilled if Druid has some sort of sub-mechanic, such as mana (of which they only have like, a tenth of the mana pool of a healer when not in heal spec), that was used in some way. And a way to either spend it on damage, mitigation, or off-healing while in-form. Could only really get a couple of wild growths in every so often, or regens or w/e spell, but it’d be a really cool way to add some extra oomph and synergy to the hybrid part of the class that otherwise has been lackluster for a very long time. Add in an interaction with the rest of the kit so it doesn’t spiral out of control and make bear tank an auto-main-pick in every scenario and that’d be lovely. Difficult, yes, but it’s definitely go a long way to justifying the horrendously boring Ironfur mechanic, and help justify putting points in those skills to get to other things.

Bear lacks a really coherent primary tanking mechanic - and it either needs to get one, or it needs to get enough of some lesser/little-r interactions to make up for it, imo. And that would be a really cool way to do it, tuning aside.

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