Balance Druid

Patch 8.3

Written by Lorgok Last Updated: 13th Nov, 2019

Some content in this guide is based on PTR/early data

Updates will be made after raid progress is finished and more accurate information is available.

Raid Bosses

Ny'alotha

Wrathion

Single Target
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Trinkets: Standard

Essence: Standard

This boss is pretty straightforward for us on heroic mode. It's a full single target fight where you will just execute your rotation as you normally would.

During the smoke and mirrors phase, you can drop down a few starfalls and try to dot as many Crackling Shards as possible so that they’re killed BEFORE the phase ends, if you see any shard low hp before the phase ends, use your starsurges to make sure they die. Not killing them in time will cause the whole raid to get a STRONG dot applied, which could result in a wipe.

This mechanic if done properly, should be handled by whoever picks the scales of Wrathion, so a lot of that damage you do might end up being unnecessary.

It should be possible to see Ashwalker assassins in phase 2 using the track humanoid aura that cat form has.

Maut

Single Target
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Trinkets: standard

Essences: standard

Another fight where there’s only single target damage.

If by any chance you get hit by the knockback (by mistake, as it can be avoided), use your wild charge to prevent losing too much dps.

During stage 2, make sure to keep an eye on your hp bar and don't spell reflect your own damage too much or you might die.

The Prophet Skitra

Single Target
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Trinkets: standard

Essences: standard

Your main goal on this fight is to burst down the big adds that spawn on players as soon as possible.

During the intermission, pool as much astral power as possible while the assigned people find which copy you have to kill (you can also pre dot some of them, hoping that one you have dotted ends up being the one you’re meant to kill).

Dark Inquisitor Xanesh

Single Target
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Trinkets: standard

Essences: standard

This is a full single target fight where all you can do to improve your damage is min/maxing movement.

Remember that you won’t deal any damage to the boss when you become Voidwoken (during Void Ritual), meaning that you don’t want to randomly use your cooldowns while trying to get the Void Orb inside a portal.

The Hivemind

Multi Target
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Trinkets: Standard (unless you want to pad damage on aoe, then you could go for aoe trinkets)

Essences: Purification protocol might be of good use as a minor for this boss due to the amount of stacked adds

This is a heavy multi target fight. You want to try to aoe down as many adds as possible, while keeping both bosses dotted up and HEAVILY focusing Darters; they are adds that you want to keep cc’d and locked down for as long as possible since too many casts going through could result in a wipe (they do raid-wide damage).

A single big drone will randomly get buffed heavily (both damage and hp), when that happens, make sure to focus the high priority target as your tanks could die from its damage.

The most important target swap you want to do is when one of the adds starts casting volatile eruption. That cast will result in an immediate wipe. You have 20 seconds to burst it down before it does.

Shad'har the Insatiable

Single Target
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Trinkets: standard

Essences: standard

This is another very straightforward fight. The only special thing you might want to do is save your cooldowns for when the boss goes Frenzy (30%) so it dies faster during that phase.

Drest'agath

Heavy Multi Target
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Talents: twin moons

Trinkets: standard. You could use font of power from azshara here if you want to burst down the boss as much as possible during the 30 seconds window you get with void infused ichor.

Essences: standard

This is another heavy multi dot fight. The kill order will be decided by your raid leader. When focusing down the target that your raid leader wants to kill first, try to keep dots up on every add around the room (except for the boss, which will have any damage healed unless you have void infused ichor buff).

If your raid leader wants you to burst down the boss when you have the buff, then save your cooldowns for those times.

Il'gynoth

Single Target
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Talents: Twin moons

Trinkets: standard

Essences: standard

On the first phase, it's a normal single target fight. When people get mind controlled, make sure to free them as fast possible by damaging them.

After the boss reaches 100 energy, he goes in phase 2. Normally melees take care of interrupts, but if you see an interrupt going through for any reason on one of the organs, use your solar beam to avoid them spawning extra bloods.

When bloods spawn and they start fixing players, you shouldn’t hard swap to them unless someone is calling for help, but you should still make sure to multidot them so they slowly die. Do not AoE them down because multiple bloods dying at the same time will cause your raid to wipe as they explode upon death.

Vexiona

Multi Target
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Talents: twin moons

Trinkets: standard.

Essences: standard

Keep everything dotted here and aoe the adds down when they spawn, focus the add that could turn into another void ascendant  unless you intentionally want it to transform; too many up at once could cause a wipe, so follow your raid leader call. When the boss reaches 100 energy, Vexiona takes off and assaults players from the air. Make sure to dodge the boss’ breath so that you don’t die and when it’s passing nearby from above, you can dot it up despite it being in the sky for a little extra boss damage.

Try to save your cooldowns for the last phase because it’s a burst phase. Make sure to stay within 6 yards from other players or you will have your haste reduced. It's even more important to be next to someone during the heart of darkness cast, failing to do so will result in being feared.

Carapace of N'Zoth

Heavy Multi Target
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Talents: twin moons

Trinkets: standard

Essences: standard

This fight is heavy on multi-dotting and aoe. When the gaze of madness spawns, make sure to burst it down as soon as possible as it has a cast that DOES NOT have to be interrupted unless told so. This add finishing a cast will cause the raid to explode and take 110k damage per player + gain additional sanity. 

Also focus the shield of membranes.

The boss will periodically slam down a big tentacle, being struck by it will one shot you. Once it's on the ground, you will be able to get on top of it, which is very useful to dps down Horrific Hemorrhages. You are supposed to kill all of them before the tentacle disappears or it will result in a wipe. Make sure to hard swap to them (even by dotting and aoeing as there are many). Nightmare antigens that have high stacks should be your next focus. You generally want to aoe all of them down after all the Horrific Hemorrhages are dead.

In phase 2 you want to be sure to kill the synthesis growth as fast as possible and you generally want to have your cooldowns for when you can hit multiple at the same time (at the end of each tunnel). 

Phase 3 I currently don't have enough data (this is all written pre-patch). I will be updating this once mythic is over, including updates on EVERYTHING else.

N'Zoth the Corruptor

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Talents: Twin moons

Trinkets: standard

Essences: standard

Probably worth holding CDs for the damage increase buff on the add when you go into the portal.

Not enough data on this currently, I will update with much more detail after Mythic.

The Eternal Palace

Abyssal Commander Sivara

Single Target
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Essence choices depend on the fight's duration and your guild’s dps. If you’re able to use Guardian of Azeroth (Condensed Life-Force Major) twice then that is the better option, otherwise use vision of perfection.

This is a pure single target fight where the only important thing is to not get frozen while min-maxing your dps with movement (if you have frost Mark). Other than this, just execute your rotation normally and try to plan your casts around the knock-back from the boss (Crushing Reverberation).

Blackwater Behemoth

Single Target
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Another single target fight where there isn’t any special min-maxing involved. You can cheese a bit of extra damage by dotting the Pufferfish, but make sure to not kill it too early or your raid leader might get upset at you!

Essence choices depend on the fight's duration and your guild’s dps. If you’re able to use Guardian of Azeroth (Condensed Life-Force Major) twice then that is the better option, otherwise use vision of perfection.

Radiance of Azshara

Single Target
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Essence choices depend on the fight's duration and your guild’s dps. If you’re able to use Guardian of Azeroth (Condensed Life-Force Major) twice then that is the better option, otherwise use vision of perfection.

Another pure single target fight. Try to min-max your dps while moving and avoid tornadoes. If you use sivara’s trinket (shiver venom relic) and the big add in the intermission gets 4+ stacks, you can activate your trinket and deal some AoE damage (to gain some overall dps) on the small adds. Use your interrupt for the chain lightning from the small adds in the intermission.

Lady Ashvane

Single Target
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Essences choice depends on your guild’s tactic and raid dps. Guardian of Azeroth (Condensed Life-Force Major) in progression scenarios will outshine vision of perfection heavily.

Another standard single target fight but this time there are some priority targets to kill, the briny bubbles. Make sure to swap to those and use your single target abilities to free your friends. You can also sunfire one of them so that it refreshes on the boss and also spreads it to all 3 bubbles.

Based on your guild’s tactic, you want to save your cooldowns for the phases where the shield is down.

Make sure to use your defensive cooldowns properly to avoid unnecessary deaths from the heavy AoE damage.

Orgozoa

Cleave
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Essences: Vision of perfection is the better major essence choice here no matter what.

This is a cleave fight, make sure to always keep every single add dotted and to use your personal defensive cooldowns at the appropriate time to avoid deaths. 

During the intermissions, make use of your dash to reach the boss as fast as possible and if you are hit by any ability in that phase, use your wild charge to get back on the platform and avoid falling off. 

Adds normally just get cleaved down, but in the case your raid lacks damage on them you should hard swap to them to kill them before the next wave spawns.

Queen's Court

Multi DoT
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Essences: you should use vision of perfection as your major.

This is a multi-dot fight where you want to follow your normal single target rotation while keeping dots up on both targets. 

Don’t mindlessly dot the sparks when they spawn, as it could cause a wipe to your raid. Dotting them can help your raid and overall dps, but make sure to attack the one that you’re supposed to focus and never the third one. 

Save your defensives mostly for spark explosions.

Za’qul

Multi DoT
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Essences: Vision of Protection is by far the best option here and purification protocol as minor is also viable.

This is a pretty heavy multi-dot fight where you need to priority damage the Summoners until Phase 2. In Phase 2 you can only kill the ones you’re assigned to kill, not every single one. Save your barkskin for the boss’s AoE (Dread), you should always know when it’s coming as it has a timer/cast.

You probably want to save your cooldowns for when Summoners spawn, but it all depends on your guild’s tactic and timers.

Queen Azshara

Multi Target
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Essences choice depends on your guild’s kill timers and tactic, but vision of perfection is the better major option in most cases.

This fight has all kinds of phases. In phase 1, make sure to keep both azshara’s minions dotted and hard swap to the hulk when it spawns. Moonkin is very strong on target swapping, so make use of our strengths.

In phase 2, based on how much aoe your raid needs, the fight is full single target with just a small portion of time with low hp adds that you could sunfire + starfall (don’t bother too much though, moonkin’s aoe isn’t our strength). You can use typhoon to interrupt their cast before they break the middle ward if you fail to kill them in time.

Make use of your wild charge when you get beckon, so that you don’t get mind controlled.

Your barkskin should always be used at appropriate times, for example, when you have an arcane burst and you’re supposed to get dispelled.

Crucible of Storms

The Restless Cabal

2/3 Target Fight
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This is a simple multi-dotting fight when it comes to damage.

If you are tanking the boss, take Guardian Affinity instead of Restoration Affinity.

Incarnation chosen of elune is a much better option as you can allow yourself to make the most out of your damage window with the debuff.

If you’re not tanking the boss, use switch hitter with Restoration Affinity and ursoc’s endurance when the crushing doubt goes out so that you can absorb a good portion of damage and continue dpsing with the buff.

If you are assigned to tank Zaxasj, you will play differently. First of all, make sure to have Switch Hitter so you can cap your avoidance (thanks to frenzied regeneration on cooldown). Use externals and barkskin when the faithful adds explode as it's the most dangerous part of the fight for you.

You can use solar beam to interrupt witness the end.

Uu'nat

Single Target / Cleave
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Tier 75: Incarnation: chosen of elune is the safer of the talent choices. Although Starlord when played well might do more damage, especially in the last phase (which is the most crucial part of the fight), Incarnation will be the safest option.

Tier 90: I prefer playing twin moons here as some extra add damage is always helpful, but make sure to not moonfire around when people are mind-controlled.

You should normally always be able to soak a big void crash with barkskin if you want to make it easier for your raid in Phase 1.

It’s really important that you never get a double stack of the laser debuff. However, if you ever do, make sure to either ask for an external (if available and you’re not in a crucial phase) or use a personal cooldown to avoid dying.

In Phase 2 you can use your solar beam to interrupt the Primordial Mindbender that spawns the furthest away so that it will run to melee (unless you’re assigned in a rotation for interrupts, in which case do not randomly waste it).

In Phase 3 the fight is pretty straightforward, the most important thing is to bait oblivion tears to the edge of the room. Then make sure to save your defensives, especially barkskin, for phases where you take damage such as the laser combination with the boss’ AoE and assist players affected by the insatiable torments. Getting a double stack of the laser in this phase will most likely result in a death unless you have all of your defensives available.

Battle of Dazar'alor

Champion of the Light

Single Target
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This is one of the few bosses where the incandescent silver trinket can be used without worrying much about your team-mates or boss mechanics.

Just make sure to not face the add that blinds you, apart from that there is nothing really special about this fight.

As a balance druid, in mythic difficulty, you can make use of your solar beam range on the adds casting angelic renewal.

Grong, the Jungle Lord

Cleave
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Another boss where you can use the incandescent silver trinket without worrying too much, unless there are heavy healing problems and your healers demand you to be stacked with the raid the entire time.

Due to the high amount of damage, swiftmend and wild growth might end up saving you and some raid members from dying, so always keep an eye on your raid frame and don’t be afraid to help out healers.

Make sure to use your solar beam to interrupt the adds.

Jadefire Masters

Cleave
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From now on, make sure to unequip your incandescent silver.

This is a 2 target fight with periodic add spawns. There’s also a significant amount of movement as well as a knock up during the encounter. If for whatever reason your raid leader assigns you to soak one of the magma traps, use wild charge to mitigate the fall damage (and flap in worst case scenario if wild charge is on cooldown).

If your raid decides to use bloodlust after the first multi-sided strike dance, make sure to save your cooldowns for it.

During the Ring of Hostility maze run, be ready to press the warlock gateway to place yourself as fast as possible close to the wall (which on Mythic you’ll have to focus as soon as possible before the bull, path of niuzao, reaches you and wipes the raid).

While being up in multi-sided strike, if you’re confident with it, you can throw a few instant moonfire casts to the boss to gain some extra DPS.

Opulence

Single Target / AoE
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Here finally a boss where Fury of Elune will heavily outshine shooting stars.

I recommend you asking for the lightning add as he is more caster friendly than the flame add.

For gem choices:

  • Opal of unleashed rage is by far the strongest option DPS wise in a progression environment (as long as the boss gets to 2 adds waves).
  • Emerald of earthen roots is good if you are able to stand still and only get one add wave in the whole fight.
  • Yellow gem is quite underwhelming on balance druids in my opinion. We have very good damage in the last phase and we lack: an immunity, damage while moving and a blink ability which makes it one of our worst gem options.

In mythic, this fight will have an extra ability, called “trap”. It basically swaps your position with someone on the opposite add. Make sure to refresh all 3 of your dots right before you get swapped to min max your damage.

Also save your Fury of Elune cooldown for the adds in the last phase and on the opener. For higher min-maxing, you can start the encounter by dotting up the opposing add, clicking the gateway that normally warlocks place from one side to another, and while on your way to the correct/your assigned side, you can apply dots to your side’s add too.

Conclave of the Chosen

Single Target
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This is primarily a single target fight, with intermittent add spawns and some periods with heavy movement. Dotting the non-focused add will be totally useless as they will gain back all their health once the other dies.

On this fight you can spec mighty bash talent as an additional stun which will help the raid better control raptors (ravenous stalkers).

During the AoE damage from Paku’s special’s ability (Pa'ku's Wrath), remember the use of your Swiftmend and Wild Growth for additional healing to the raid.

On mythic, add focus will be a higher priority as well as helping your raid with dispelling Bwonsamdi’s wrath when your raid members affected with it are at low health.

King Rastakhan

Multi Target
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This is a four phase fight where you will have a phase with add cleave damage, a phase with pure ST damage and  phase with high priority damage.

Twin moons or stellar flare is dependent on what you think is best for your raid.

Be sure to keep all the adds dotted in phase 1 to min max your damage and make sure to re-apply your dots right before the boss phases (after killing the adds) so that when you’re stunned, dots keep ticking.

In phase 2, stay spread and focus on the zombie dust totems spawn, if needed also pool astral power to increase the damage on them.

You will most likely be assigned to go into the inside/death realm in phase 3 as moonkins have really strong cooldowns for that phase. Be sure to have your 3 minutes saved for that phase and get Bwonsamdi to 50% as fast as possible. In the intermission, during Inevitable End, use your instant abilities to do as much damage as possible while being dragged into the boss.

In the last phase be as far as you can from the boss before he casts Inevitable End so you can min/max doing your rotation, while moving only during instant starsurge casts.

High Tinker Mekkatorque

Single Target
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This is a full single target encounter with no damageable add spawns. Make sure to spec mass entanglement as it will be a game-changing ability for your raid. The ability is used to mass root the robots in place every time they spawn which will be very beneficial (often used along side a Death Knight's grip to position robots throughout the fight).

Make sure to save your 3 minute cooldowns for the last phase, as it is the most intense part of the fight. As this boss requires a lot of healing, remember to help your raid with swiftmend and wild growth.

In mythic difficulty, save your wild charge for any time you get knocked into the air. Use it immediately if you can, or wait to fall a bit and then use it to mitigate fall damage. If you believe you are going to take too much damage, you can flap in the last second.

Stormwall Blockade

Single Target
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In phase 1, other than focusing on the Sirens that cast Tempting Song on people and re-dotting an add before it changes platform (at 50%). There isn’t really anything special you can do on this fight other than:

  1. If your raid fails to kill the Tempting Siren adds and a priest won’t grip you, you can use wild charge as a last resort to not fall down.
  2. You can also use it to drop pools outside the platform and then wild charge back in, but I am heavily against it as it is not the safest of the plays for really small reward.

As phase 1 is the hardest part of the fight, you can use all your defensives, including healthstones and healing potions to survive (without worrying too much about the last phase).

In phase 2, just keep the adds always dotted and save your starsurges for when the tank stacks are applied to the add for maximum damage. If your raid calls for a slow, typhoon the adds going towards the boss and make use of your stag form/ cat form + dash in case you are assigned to clear pools for your raid.

If your raid won’t use a tank to soak the big pools or he’s dead for whatever reason, you should be able to solo soak pulls with bear form + barkskin.

Lady Jaina Proudmoore

Single Target
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This is another single target fight with add spawns in pretty much all phases. This fight on heroic is pretty straightforward. Try to min/max your damage while moving, kill the adds in phase 1 as soon as possible (if they are not mind controlled), dot up the Ordnance barrels in phase 2 when needed (make sure to not kill them at inappropriate times though) and in phase 3 just priority target the Prismatic Images. On heroic I normally use my cooldowns once in phase 1, once in phase 2 and once in the last phase.

Mythic Jaina is the final boss and it’s a lot different than heroic. It requires very strong positioning to min max your damage, good DPS and in general a solid class familiarity.

Phase One

In phase 1, when handling mechanics that force you away from the raid, make sure to use your wild charge and dash to not get frozen. Mythic has an ability throughout the entire fight called Freezing Blood that if you leave the group (so no allies nearby) for more than 6 seconds, you will get frozen. In phase 1 you want to min/max damage as much as possible while moving and keep your dots up on (and sometimes even burst down) the ballistas.

One small tip I can give for phase 1 is when you get rooted on the ground, you can shapeshift away and save yourself from getting extra stacks/save a dispel for healers.

Phase Two

At 60% the boss will phase, a personal suggestion here is to NEVER solar beam an add as it will drastically reduce the vision of your team-mates and eventually get them to be frozen.

In phase 2, as we are a high mobility class, we are one of the few classes that can make it to the further barrels with broadside. When you attempt to do so, make sure to ask for a grip to return to your group before you get frozen by Freezing Blood.

At 35%, start to plan out your arcanic pulsar stacks and get as much AP as possible as damage in the intermission + last phase is the most crucial of the entire fight.

Intermission

In the intermission, you normally (if the raid doesn't require lots of wall damage) want to attack the boss and keep the wall dotted until boss is in range (make sure to not get frozen though). Once the boss is out of range because ice starts catching up to the group, swap to the wall. On first progression pulls, you generally want to focus the wall down as you will not be gaining anything by min maxing boss damage for the last phase.

Last Phase

You can use your cooldowns in the last phase whenever you think there is the least amount of movement or you get the best procs (make sure to keep track of those, you will only be using your cooldowns once anyways).

When you get siegebreaker blast in the last phase, you can taunt the elemental  and kill yourself by just getting melee’d (make sure to immediately shapeshift away from bear form so you get one-shot). This will prevent a big portion of damage to the raid by “sacrificing”.