Guardian pets are one of three types of pets that can be summoned/created.
- They will enter into combat on their summoner's behalf, much as a combat pet will, but cannot be directly controlled. They react as a combat pet set on Aggressive and Follow.
- They are generally summoned on a temporary basis, unlike combat pets or Small Pets.
Most guardian pets "share a cooldown" with other guardian pets of 1 minute.
Most non-consumable items (of all varieties) that generate guardian pets have a longer cooldown period than 1 minute. For these items, it is more descriptive to say that they force a global "guardian pet item" cooldown of 1 minute.
This means that while you may not summon a second guardian within that 1 minute, you may use each of your pet summoning items in turn. For instance, once you've waited a minute after using your , you can then use your trinket.
Many guardian pets are created by and for engineers.
Some engineered guardian pets are consumable items, and can be used only once per item:
Other engineered guardian pets are reuseable. These generally take the form of trinkets. While these pet may be killed by damage, you simply wait for their cooldown and you can use them again. Their cooldowns range from 1/2 hour to one hour between uses.
Engineering pets scale with the Engineer's skill level, and their damage output increases. However, they have the same amount of hit points as the level they started as.
These are non-engineering items that summon Guardians:
- (consumable, reward from )
- (consumable, loot from Ghost Saber)
- (consumable, 80, requires friendly reputation with the Cenarion Expedition)
- (quest reward in Winterspring)
- (quest reward in Western Plaguelands)
- (loot from Onyxia)
- (loot from Balnazzar in Stratholme)
- (reputation reward from Timbermaw Hold)
- (loot from Illidan Stormrage)
- (loot from The Headless Horseman)
Many of these guardians are summoned by talent abilities, while others are summoned by passive talents or regular abilities.
- The Balance Druid level 15 talent summons three guardian treants.
- Fire Elementals, Earth Elementals, and Storm Elementals summoned by Shamans are guardians unless the Shaman has the talent , which causes them instead to be controllable pets.
- Warlocks can summon an Infernal, Darkglare, or a Demonic Tyrant as guardians, depending on the warlock's specialization.
- The Demonology specialization for Warlocks is heavily based around rapidly summoning short-lived demonic guardian minions:
- summons up to 3 Wild Imp minions, based on Soul Shards consumed.
- summons 2 Dreadstalker minions.
- The level 60 talent summons a Vilefiend minion.
- The level 90 talent summons a Felguard minion. Unlike the Felguard from , this Felguard is an uncontrollable guardian minion.
- The level 90 talent periodically summons the same Wild Imp minions that Hand of Gul'dan summons, and also has a chance to summon one of a number of other random demonic minions.
- The level 100 talent summons random demonic minions every time the warlock spends Soul Shards while it is active.
- Landing a killing blow with the damage from the level 30 talent has a low chance to summon a Doomguard minion.
- The PvP talents , , and all summon guardian minions.
- Paladins can summon a .
- Death Knights have a large variety of guardian pets available:
- The Unholy ability summons 8 ghoul guardians, and the Unholy ability summons up to 4 ghoul guardians depending on the number of Festering Wounds consumed.
- The level 90 Blood talent randomly spawns short Bloodworm guardians.
- The Blood ability and level 100 Unholy talent both summon guardians.
- Beast Mastery Hunters can summon guardian animals with the level 15 talent , the level 100 talent , and as a random chance when casting with the Azerite trait .
- The Windwalker Monk ability summons 2 guardian spirits, splitting the monk's damage between themself and the two uncontrollable spirits.