Outer and Second Ring:
For this section I will only be mentioning good traits, starting with offensive traits of the outer and second ring.
Arcanic Pulsar: Increases the damage of your starsurge and after 9 starsurges gives you celestial alignment/incarnation for 6 seconds (as well as astral power every time it procs). This one is by far the best option for balance druid but it loses most of its value after getting one.
The general rule is: get 1x arcanic pulsar and then go for the ones I will list below.
Streaking Stars: It’s the best single target trait and it heavily increases our single target burst potential (which makes it very good for raiding). This trait is pretty straightforward, for every ability that you cast that isn’t repeated during your celestial alignment window, it deals “X” amount of damage. When you have celestial alignment activated, make sure to not repeat the same spell to make full use of it. It deals damage on spell impact, so keep that in mind if you want to min-max your damage to the fullest when your celestial alignment is about to expire.
Loyal to the end provides a stacking mastery buff for each person in the raid that uses this trait. At max benefit, this trait is really strong. You also gain an increased bonus when your friends in the raid with this trait die. This trait is a very strong option in progression scenarios.
Power of the Moon: Solid for sustained multi target, pretty much completely useless on single target. Don’t get more than one of these if you decide to use it on sustained multi target.
Gutripper: one of the better options for single target. It also has a higher proc rate on execute fights, which makes it even more worthy in many progression situations. It gains very little from increased targets.
Heed my call is similar to gutripper, but it also has a cleave effect, making it a better option in cleave situations.
Overwhelming power is a haste proc which is beneficial on both single and multi target. It sims the highest out of all the third ring traits but it loses most of is effectiveness when you take damage. With a recent 8.3 nerf, it lost some of its value.
Other traits aren’t really worth mentioning as they will pretty much not have a place anywhere.
Azerite traits rotation changes
Arcanic Pulsar: This trait doesn’t drastically change anything in our gameplay with the exception of situations where you want to save your “proc” for a burst window phase.
Streaking stars: Just make sure to not cast the same ability twice in a row to be the most effective with this trait. Now it deals damage on spell impact, not on spell cast. This trait has a modifier (33%) when using incarnation, to make sure that incarnation isn’t too strong for burst situations.
Recommended Azerite traits
In pretty much every scenario you want to use the following traits:
- 1x Arcanic Pulsar
- 3x Streaking Stars
- 2x Loyal to the End (if you can't get 2 of these, blightborne infusion/undulating tides is probably the best alternative for raiding)
Yes, even in M+. The fact our AoE is one of the weakest in the game and there’s basically no trait that makes it good, you’ll always want to go for single target or 2 target options.
Almost all of the new essences won’t be of any use for us, with the exception of Breath of the Dying, which will turn into the best minor we have once you have it at rank 3.
We don't really change our essences much. The main options will always be the following. None of these essences really alter your rotation.
Purification protocol can also be viable in AoE situations, but it only works on stacked groups of targets.
As a general rule, always make sure to sim your character to determine which trinkets are best for you (also based on the item level of the drop).
Anu-Azshara, Staff of the Eternal - This staff is from Queen Azshara and is going to potentially be a great tool for progression as it gains strength the longer the fight goes on which allows you to drop a MASSIVE raid-wide heal. You’ll likely be using a higher item level weapon once the patch hits, so make sure you don’t delete this as it could prove to be an important tool on some progression fights.
There are 3 main corruption affixes that you might want. Keep in mind there will be tuning changes, especially considering how overpowered infinite stars currently is, but listed in order:
Check out the charts below to give you an idea of what might be best.
I will make sure to update the guide to give more up-to-date information.