Balance Druid

Patch 8.1.5

Written by Lorgok Last Updated: 18th Apr, 2019

Playstyle & Rotation

General Rotation

Apply and maintain your dots on the target.

Cast solar wrath when you don’t have any empowerments and you need to generate AP. If you can cleave 2 targets, lunar strike becomes your AP generator ability.

Cast starsurge to consume AP. Starsurge will grant you charges of empowerments (lunar empowerment and solar empowerment), which cap at 3 and are consumed by casting lunar strike and solar wrath. AVOID capping your empowerments.

Opener

Without nature’s balance

This is your opener WITHOUT nature’s balance, which in most cases you will be using. I will leave it here just in case, it will mostly be for M+ as you will use nature’s balance on pretty much every encounter for raiding. Begin your opener as far away from the target as possible.

  • Pre-cast solar wrath around 2.5 seconds before the pull, then as soon as the first finishes, you begin to cast another.
  • After you cast those 2, you can start applying your 3 dots.
  • After that, solar wrath to 40 astral power before popping your incarnation.

With nature’s balance

  • Open up by pre-casting solar wrath 2.5 before the pull.
  • Then go on with Starsurge so that you don't lose any of the AP pre-casting more solar wraths.  
  • After your starsurge is successfully cast, apply all your dots.
  • Get back to 40 AP (by casting solar wrath), and then pop your cooldowns.

Multi Target

For multi-target, other than keeping dots on all targets, your rotation will only change when you have 7+ targets (as long as you have one arcanic pulsar trait).

Same as your single target rotation with the exception of using starfall.

Unfortunately starfall is very undertuned, so you will most likely almost never end up using it, especially in raids.

Playstyle

Starlord:

To play the starlord build, you need a macro for a minor optimization.

/cancelaura starlord

This macro cancels the buff and allows you to reset the rotation every three starsurges. Your goal is to build 3 stacks of starlord buff and when there are 8 seconds left of the buff, cancel using the macro and spend all your AP immediately.

When using this macro and rotation, there is a 8-second cutoff on casting Starsurge. If you have to cast Starsurge at any point with 7 or 8 seconds remaining, it is better to cancel the buff and start your cycle over.

Incarnation / Celestial alignment :

In a single target fight, you should always use your Celestial Alignment/incarnation on cooldown. The only times where you’ll save it, its when there is multi-target or priority damage moments. You normally never want to keep your incarnation so long that you lose uses of it throughout the fight, except for situations where priority burst is a MUST have for your raid.

Fury of Elune:

On ST, simply use Fury of Elune on cooldown and together with Celestial Alignment/incarnation. In situations where there is AoE, simply use it on the target that is the most central of them all, as your fury of elune only hits targets around 8 yards from the target you have it on. Keep in mind if certain mobs jump/move as part of their abilities, avoid using it on them.

Force of nature:

Simply use Force of Nature on cooldown and make sure to use your treants on top of the target you want to attack as they take time to walk to their target in case they’re far (wasting damage).

Defensive cooldowns

Balance druids has a lot of defensive spells and healing utility. Our base kit gives us bear form, which grants extra HP and barkskin / regrowth, which you can use to heal yourself. Guardian affinity will also give you frenzied regeneration, which is another pretty strong defensive cooldown.

Resto affinity is the default choice and thanks to it giving you swiftmend, you will pretty much have an extra healing potion (as stated earlier) every 25 seconds just with the cost of one global cooldown.

Movement Improvements

A very important thing for us balance druids is to minimise unnecessary movement. After the loss of stellar drift in our single target and multi rotation (since BFA release), optimization of movements is more important than ever. If you know there is movement coming, do your best to hold 40 astral power so you can move and cast a starsurge.

It is very important that you try to move between global cooldowns of starsurges if you don’t need to immediately rush a position. Otherwise refresh spam your dots unless you have 40 AP.

You can also use wild charge, dash or tiger dash to sometimes save some time moving to then do more damage, but it’s not always appropriate to use those simply to gain some DPS (especially the latter ones).