Guardian Talents in Legion

Welcome to the new digs! One of the reasons for the change is that my old site wouldn’t allow me to use Wowhead tooltips, which for a supposedly WoW-centric blog just won’t work. Links just aren’t as good as being able to look at the thing I’m discussing.

Patch 7.0.3 is live, and there’s a lot to love. The wardrobe function is awesome, and the Bear and Cat Forms got a nice lil’ polish, but I’ll get into that later. Right now I want to focus on the new talents that have dropped, and I hope to provide a different perspective on them than you might get from other sites and blogs.

I love the opening up of all specs; I want to give lazerchikin a shot at some point, just for the hell of it. Talents are closer now more than ever to what Blizz kept telling us they wanted them to be: something plastic, meant to fulfill the needs of the moment. I think the problem may be us old codgers, the ones who remember talents as being a very serious decision, something you had to pay money to change, and that you had to go all the way back to Stormwind or Org to adjust. We have a good deal of mental re-training to do.

I also think that we’re further away than ever from mandatory talents, although there will always be That Guy or Girl, the one who sees you in a regular dungeon and says,

[Dickholedps]: OMG I can’t believe you took [The Fun Talent]! Don’t you know [The Theorycrafted Talent] is a .000000000001% DPS increase if your in mythic gear with a BiS trinket proc on a single boss in the current endgame raid!?!?!??! Ur such a NOOOOOOOB XD

All data here is presented as experiential and anecdotal, coming as it does from the mind of someone who does not find Excel an even remotely sensual experience. Your mileage may vary, and if Icy Mr. Elitist Spot tells you something different, by all means listen. I’m looking at the talents from the perspective of someone who’s going to do regular dungeons and heroics, not raids. If you want raid-focused analysis and some stats to wank to, Arielle is right down the hall.

Let’s jump on in!

Level 15

While threat really isn’t a tanking issue anymore, part of me still uses good snap threat as a yardstick. I suppose it’s just my BC upbringing, but I hate to see a mob go after that mage who prematurely ejaculates his DPS all over the mobs I just pulled. Pop Barkskin, Wild Charge in, and that’s a ton of damage to epoxy those mobs to me. Bristling Fur looks like a new way to micromanage my rage (yawn), but Blood Frenzy looks like a nice passive rage bump, and a good reason to keep honest on my Thrash uptime, assuming it procs off off the Thrash DoT, and I can see no reason why it wouldn’t. I’ll probably go with Brambles until I hit heroics.

Level 30

Wild Charge is still the best one for me. If I were raiding I might pick Guttural Roars for the increased raid movement speed, but I don’t see myself choosing Displacer Beast for any extended period of time.

Level 45

Yay! the sort-of return of bearcat! The affinities give you an almost-complete toolkit for the other spec, enough that I most likely won’t be able to overtake a fully-specced cat on the meters, but I should be able to keep up. I got to play around with my talents in a couple of Timewalker dungeons this weekend, and I felt a bit squishy, so I think I’ll go Resto Affinity for now.

Level 60

Yawnsville. Mighty Bash, I guess, provided it’s a proper stun that interrupts boss mechanics like other tanks get, but if not, I’ve had some use out of Typhoon when trash pulls go sideways. Pop Typhoon, run like a scaredy-bear, and use Ever-Blooming Frond, which has now been consigned to use only in Draenor. Mass Entanglement seems to be maybe a world PvP talent, as it’s ill-suited to precision CC in a dungeon.

Level 75

I really like using Moonfire in Bear Form, especially after losing Faerie Fire, my only ranged pull. However, I also lost both Cat and Bear Berserk, and not having a rawr button is quite disconcerting, so I think I’ll go with Incarnation here. Galactic Guardian seems pretty cool, but a 10% chance is a bit too low for me, and then I’d have to make sure to pop a Moonfire right after to get all its benefits, and I have enough to worry about as it is.

Level 90

Earthwarden seems like baking the old Tooth and Claw into a talent, which I was never fond of to begin with. No tank ever said, “Damn! That last autoattack flattened me!” It’s always a magic attack or some special that smears tanks, but Ironfur and the new Mark of Ursol should make things much better. However, more damage reduction is an absolute good, so I’m going to see how Earthwarden feels. GoE and SotF aren’t bad options either. I’m currently using SotF, but I’ll try the other two to get a feel for them.

Level 100

Pulverize–the spell that just will not fucking die. It showed up, disappeared, showed up as a talent, vanished, and now it’s back once again. I may be more receptive to it since I’ve played a death knight with pre-patch Blood Tap and am now used to the “build up charges and use them” mechanic. Lunar Beam is fun, especially with Galactic Guardian to create the fabled discobear that Blizzard Watch describes, but it doesn’t move with me, which drops its value a bit. I’m currently running with Rend and Tear, but after a bit of testing I may give Lunar Beam another pass.

Next time I hope to be looking at the Feral talents and even the death knight as well, so stay tuned and please feel free to discuss below.