Battle for Azeroth is upon us! Here’s a list of the most common questions I get asked about launch day and leveling as a Guardian Druid.
Should I level as Guardian?
Guardian is a great candidate for leveling! Leveling as a tank has historically been very strong, as it allows you to pull a ton of mobs at once and AoE them all down while not taking a lot of damage and healing back what little you do take. Especially if you’re coming into BfA slightly behind the gear curve you won’t be able to one-shot mobs in a DPS spec, so the extra survivability boost will be a big help.
If you’re leveling in a group, it might be more efficient for you to level in Balance spec. With a full party, enemies won’t live long enough for you as a tank to be fully effective. Right now Balance’s dots are hitting very hard making them ideal for leveling as they can pull mobs from long range and the rest of the group can AoE them down as they come in. If you want to know more about leveling as Balance, check out the Balance leveling FAQ.
What legendaries should I wear?
For leveling, movement speed is king. I recommend Sephuz's Secret for the guaranteed movement speed boost every 30 seconds (you can proc it with Skull Bash, Bear Wild Charge, Entangling Roots, Hibernate, or Incapacitating Roar).
For a second legendary, you can go for another movement speed boost from Ekowraith, Creator of Worlds paired with Feral Affinity, or you can take a damage boosting legendary like Lady and the Child. Personally I don’t think the movement speed from Ekowraith will be strong enough to outweigh the potential DPS gain from Lady and the Child, but some people have had success with it on beta.
You can also use The Sentinel's Eternal Refuge, but it’s not nearly as good for leveling in BfA as it was in Legion when it was introduced. You still get the movement speed buff from killing enemies, but the flight buff does not work in BfA zones and shapeshifting cancels Wisp Form, which makes this option less palatable than the alternatives.
Remember at 116 that your legendaries are disabled, so at that point you can replace them with upgrades from questing.
What talents should I be running?
Here is my recommended setup:
If you have War Mode enabled, I recommend the following honor talents:
What Azerite traits should I look for?
For leveling, I definitely recommend going for the stronger damage-dealing traits, since they will boost your leveling speed and you will replace them once you hit max with higher ilevel gear. You can find an unofficial list of the strongest simming traits on Bloodmallet.
At max level, you should be looking for the big three:
For a detailed breakdown of azerite traits and what they do, refer to the Azerite Analysis.
What trinkets should I use?
Whatever deals the most damage from what you have. Refer to the Legion offensive trinket sims. Bonus points if you have a Hunger of the Pack.
What’s the stat priority?
For leveling? Seriously?
Just take item level upgrades, don’t worry about secondaries.
What weapons do Guardians use now?
You should be using polearms. You can technically also equip staves and 2H maces, but from my experience polearms are the only 2-handers you will be able to find with Agility on them. Fun fact: Guardians can’t actually dual wield fist weapons, the Claws of Ursoc were a special exception.
What about professions?
There are a few different schools of thought here. I’ll list a few notable ones.
- Inscription allows you to craft Contracts at max level, which reward you with bonus reputation for completing world quests. These have been significantly nerfed recently, meaning Inscription isn’t mandatory anymore but it is still a nice boost.
- Alchemy will let you transmute Expulsom (the new Blood of Sargeras-equivalent for BfA), and gives you access to the Surging Alchemist Stone. Additionally, having early access to the new flasks and potions can be quite profitable.
- Leatherworking will be extremely valuable pre-raid as you get access to high item level gear very early (355 pants and boots that will increase to 370 during heroic week and 385 during mythic week).
You should keep all of your green and blue questing gear until you’re max level in order to put them in the Scrapper for mats.
What tank should I play?
Play what you enjoy! Your personal enjoyment matters way more than any perceived “strengths” or “weaknesses” that a class may have. If you enjoy playing the spec, you will perform better on that character than if you force yourself to play something you hate because it’s supposedly stronger.
Will Guardian be good in BfA?
I suggest you read the BFA Guardian Preview for a full answer.
The TL;DR is that yes, Guardian will be competitive in BfA. As raid tanks we are looking to be near the top due to our powerful damage reduction and consistent active mitigation. In dungeons, we are suffering due to a lack of utility, self-sustain, and kiting potential, but it remains to be seen how much this will actually impact our viability in keys.
How do I play Guardian at max level?
Refer to the Guardian Guide, which is up to date for Battle for Azeroth.
Where do I need to be at launch?
When the expansion goes live you’ll get a quest pushed to your quest log to turn in at Magni Bronzebeard in Silithus, so you’ll want to be nearby at or around that time.
Should I have War Mode enabled?
If you’re leveling right at launch, absolutely. The experience gain is massive, and it’s very unlikely that you’ll see any of the opposite faction running around while everyone is still leveling.
If you’re leveling a day or two later, you may want to reconsider as people will be maxed out and looking to grief stragglers.
What order should I do the zones in?
In whatever order you prefer! You’ll have to do every zone to completion for the maximum reputation bonus (and to unlock world quests), so don’t stress too much about which zone to do first. The end of zone Azerite rewards don’t matter a ton either, since as mentioned above the traits you use to level with won’t be the ones you do dungeons/raids with and you’ll be looking to replace them right away, so don’t worry too much about maximizing those.
Should I level using dungeons?
If you absolutely want to min-max your time to 120, you can queue into random dungeons using LFG until level 114 since the experience reward is quite good and will give you a head start over those who are questing. After 114 you lose that bonus, reducing the amount of experience you gain significantly. I am aware of some groups who are doing this to get to max level and open up world quests as fast as possible, so that they don’t miss out on a potential reset of rewards.
That being said, I wouldn’t recommend it. Time to max level is far less important in BfA than it has been in the past, as mythic dungeons don’t unlock until the next day. There is no guarantee that you will actually miss out on any world quests by just questing, and you will want to do the full storyline in each zone for the reputation gains anyway, so you might as well do them while leveling.
At the end of the day, the difference is extremely minor and you should do whatever your preferred leveling method is. It will make almost no difference in the grand scheme of things, so play the way you want to.
Are there any items I should bring with me?
You absolutely want to have a few stacks of Skystep Potions, Gunshoes, and (if you’re Horde) Goblin Glider Kits if you want to maximize your leveling. These will reduce your travel time significantly across the open world.
Additionally, you may want to bring some Legion consumables (Flask of the Seventh Demon, Potion of Prolonged Power, Lavish Suramar Feast/Sugar-Crusted Fish Feast) with you just for the minor stat boosts they provide (they’ll plummet in value as soon as the expansion launches, so you might as well use them if you have them).
What should I do once I hit 120?
If you’re leveling right at launch, as soon as you hit 120 you should have access to world quests and daily quests and all non mythic-only dungeons (you technically unlock one of the two mythic-only dungeons right away, but it won’t be available until Tuesday). You should complete as many as you can, then finish whatever is left of the War Campaign questline to unlock the second mythic-only dungeon. You can also queue into normal/heroic dungeons to start grinding gear if you want.
Mythic dungeons don’t unlock until reset on Tuesday, so you don’t need to worry about squeezing in a world tour before then.
For a full overview of launch content, check out the Wowhead launch survival guide. Happy leveling!