Patch 4.3 Balance Druid / Boomkin Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and rotation

Squawk! Squerk! Squark! Or, to put it another way, “Why yes, Boomkin are indeed imba. Would you pass the birdseed?”. With amazing AOE and pretty darn good single-target DPS, Balance druids are looking good as we battle dragons, elementals and, erm, another damn airship in Patch 4.3 – so, to get your Laz0rs firing as quickly as possible, here’s a guide to talent specs, glyphs, gemming, reforging, enchants, stats and your rotation in the latest patch.

Updated 29th November 2011, for Patch 4.3

Balance Druids in Patch 4.3

Not a lot has changed for us in this patch. We’ve got a new graphic for Hurricane and Wrath – whee! But other than that, we lazor as we lazored before. There are no major play or gearing changes in 4.3.

Our T13 set bonuses don’t change our gameplay either.

Balance Rotation / Priorities

Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, boomkin don’t have a fixed rotation any more. Instead, we have a priority system – use whichever ability is highest-priority and available.

Broadly, a Boomkin’s DPS depends on two things: keeping Damage Over Time spells up on all targets at all times, and getting from Eclipse to Eclipse as fast as possible.

Keep DoTs up, use Starsurge whenever possible, and otherwise either use the appropriate talent for your Eclipse or the direction your Eclipse meter is going.

  • Top Priority: Cast Insect Swarm and Moonfire on the target if they aren’t up already.
  • Second Priority: Cast Starsurge if it’s off cooldown for any reason.
  • Thiry Priority: If you have the Solar Eclipse buff active, cast Wrath. If you have Lunar Eclipse, cast Starfire.
  • Fourth Priority: If your eclipse gauge is heading for Solar, cast Starfire. If it’s heading for Lunar, cast Wrath.

Cooldowns: Use Force of Nature whilst it’s up, or save it for Bloodlust if that will be in a few seconds’ time. Use Innervate on yourself when you get below half mana if your group doesn’t require it on a healer – 4.2 nerfed it but it may still be used on healers sometimes. Use Starfall on any add phase.

AOE: Place Insect Swarm and Moonfire on any targets likely to survive most of their duration, and detonate Wild Mushrooms under the targets when the tank has finished moving them.

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Balance Talent Spec

This is a good standard Balance talent spec for 4.3

You may wish to drop points in Furor (Tier 1, Feral) or Moonglow (Tier 2, Balance) for Fungal Growth (Tier 6, Balance) if you’re on an add fight. In addition, if you find you’re never running out of mana, those talents can also be dropped for a minor survivability increase through Perseverance (Tier 2, Restoration).

Stats, reforging and gemming for Balance

Intelligence is the most important stat for Balance. After that, it’s Hit or Spirit to the cap (1742), then Haste, then Mastery. Crit is the least useful stat for Boomkin.

Reforging: Reforge to Spirit to the hit cap, then reforge to Haste. Reforge from hit above the cap first, if you have any, then Mastery and Crit.

Gems: Use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby in all sockets. unless the socket has a per-socket bonus of 20 Int or better. In blue or yellow sockets where the bonus is 20 Int or better, use Purified Demonseye (Int/Spirit) or Reckless Ember Topaz (Int/Haste).

Balance Druid Enchants

Remember, your professions may offer better enchants than these general-purpose options!

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Haste
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker (the run speed is very useful)
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Glyphs

  • Prime: Insect Swarm, Moonfire, Wrath. Swap Wrath for Starsurge on high movement fights.
  • Major: Starfall, Rebirth and one other of your choice.
  • Minor: Entirely your choice.
  • Official Forums Moonkin Guide – Yes, I’m recommending you go to the official forums. Breathe. This is a really, really good guide, with particular attention to massaging your rotation for maximum DPS.
  • MMO Champion Balance guide – Lengthy guide including an excellent pictoral explanation of Eclipse. Not up to 4.2 yet, but still worth a look.
  • Elitist Jerks Balance Druid Guide – as usual, an excellent resource, with more details on Eclipse amongst other things. Updated for 4.3.

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