With the new alpha build in place for World of Warcraft: Legion, it seems a good time to check out some of the significant changes coming to every class with the arrival of the expansion in Summer 2016. While the Demonology Warlock, Outlaw Rogue and Survival Hunter are undergoing the most drastic changes, all other classes and specs have also been revamped in one way or another to fit what Blizzard calls the “core fantasy” for each.
From the Blizzard site for Legion Guardians:
Guardian Druids exemplify the term “force of nature.” With the Claws of Ursoc to aid them, they will become a formidable wall of fur and rage, withstanding any who dare face their might.
Let’s begin with a look at the Guardian Druid’s artifact, the Claws of Ursoc. Depending on the way that players customize and “level” the Claws, the Guardian Druid in bear form will take on a number of different looks, one of which you can see below.
Forged from titansteel by the titanic watcher Keeper Freya, these claws were her gift to the great bear Ursoc, one of the Wild Gods. He wielded the claws in countless battles until his death during the War of the Ancients. Although his body faded away, the claws remained, and legends say a fragment of his spirit lingered within them. After wrestling the claws away from Ursoc's furbolg followers, a band of druids took the claws to the Emerald Dream, sought out Ursoc's spirit, and returned the claws to him for safekeeping.
The artifact, of course, brings a host of traits to place at the disposal of the Guardian Druid. Most are brand new with Legion, although there are some traits that are being brought over from Warlords of Draenor in a slightly different form than before. As with all artifacts, leveling them up will bring a different set of traits to bear for the...bear and will give the shapeshifted Druid a unique look depending on how many traits are unlocked and in what combination. Blizzard has said that eventually all traits will be unlocked via questing, PvP, raiding, dungeons, etc.
Here is the current early alpha build on the Claws of Ursoc:
As with all of the class specifications, it is the available talents that have undergone the most drastic change. In many tiers, the talents are either completely new or they have been rearranged for Legion. In the list below, only the new or realigned talents are included. You can compare the currently existing talents to the upcoming Legion talents by clicking the images below.
Brand new talents in each row are starred.
Level 15 - Two new talents, one realigned
*Brambles: Sharp brambles protect you absorbing and reflecting up to * damage
Pulverize (realigned from level 100): A devastating blow that consumes 3 stacks of Lacerate on the target to deal 420% physical damage and reduces damage taken by 15% for 12 seconds
*Blood Frenzy: Lacerate also generates 1 Rage per stack each time it deals damage over time
Level 30 - 1 new talent, 2 realigned
*Gutteral Roar: Increases the radius of Stampeding Roar and Incapacitating Roar by 200%. Reduces the cooldown of Stampeding Roar by 50%
Displacer Beast (formerly in Level 15): Teleports the Druid up to 20 yards forward, activates Cat form and increases movement speed by 50% for 4 seconds
Wild Charge (formerly Tier 15): Grants a movement ability that varies by shapeshift form
Level 45: All three talents are new to Guardians
*Balance Affinity: Gain Astral Influence to increase the range of all abilities by 5 yards and learn Moonkin form, Starsurge, Lunar Strike, Solar Wrath and Sunfire abilities
*Feral Affinity: Gain Feline Swiftness and learn Shred, Rip, Ferocious Bite and Swipe
*Restoration Affinity: Gain Ysera’s Gift and gain Rejuvenation, Regrowth and Swiftmend
Level 60: All three talents are realigned
Mighty Bash (formerly level 75), Mass Entanglement (formerly level 45), Typhoon (formerly level 45)
Level 75: One new talent, two realigned
Soul of the Forest (formerly level 60) and Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc (formerly level 60)
*Galactic Guardian: Your damage has a 5% chance to trigger a Moonfire and Moonfire also reduces the damage that enemies deal to you by 5%
Level 90: Two new talents, one realigned
*Earthwarden: Every 6 seconds, gain a charge of Earthwarden up to 3 charges. Earthwarden reduces the damage of the next autoattack you take by 30%
Guardian of Elune (formerly level 100)
*Survival of the Fittest: Reduces the cooldowns of Barkskin and Survival Instincts by 50%
Level 100: Two new talents, one currently in this tier
*Rend & Tear: Lacerate also increases your damage dealt to the target and reduces your damage taken from the target by 2% per stack
*Lunar Beam: Summons a beam of lunar light at your location for 8 seconds. Every 1 second, the beam will heal you for * and deal 100% of attack power in Arcane damage to enemies
Bristling Fur: (no change)
From the sound of the talents above and the passive/active skills that Guardian Druids will gain access to via the Claws of Ursoc, it sounds like the spec will become a much more viable tank class in Legion with its lesser reliance on agility and movement. Standing toe-to-toe with the enemy will become standard with bears becoming a literal wall of bone and fur!