If you’re squawking in confusion at the huge list of patch notes for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.2, with changes to talents, glyphs, abilities, and everything else, don’t worry! This quick-start guide will help Boomkin (ahem – Balance Druids) everywhere keep your feathers on and get your rotation, stat priorities, reforging, gems and everything else sorted out for Patch 5.2 and MoP, so you can be back to lax0ring everything in sight in no time!
Updated 5th March 2013 to WoW Patch 5.2
Balance Druid changes in WoW Patch 5.2
A few talent changes, but mostly to talents we don’t use. Heart of the Wild is now our go-to talent for Tier 6 after a nerf to Nature’s Vigil.
We’ve also had a damage buff. Woot! Or, as the case may be, twoot.
Balance “Rotation” and Priorities
The Balance rotation hasn’t really changed in MoP – it’s still all about keeping your Damage over Time spells up whilst getting in and out of Eclipse as fast as possible.
If possible, before combat begins use Astral Communion to move your Eclipse bar to one cast away from an Eclipse. Once combat has begun:
- Top Priority: If Sunfire or Moonfire isn’t running on your target, cast it.
- Second Priority: If Starsurge is available, cast it. If you’re in Lunar Eclipse and Starfall is available, cast that.
- Third 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.
This will get you going with Balance DPS. To improve your DPS more, focus on keeping your Sunfire and Moonfire active at all times, and try to cast both of them at the start and end of the appropriate Eclipse (Solar for Sunfire, Lunar for Moonfire).
Drop Wild Mushrooms before the pull, if possible, then simply spam Hurricane or Astral Storm on the pack.
- Use Celestial Alignment as often as possible, immediately after leaving an Eclipse.
- Rebirth is still important – make sure to have it bound for a combat res!
- Innervate is still a decent mana regeneration cooldown. Use it as soon as you get below 80% mana. With the Glyph, also provides some benefit if cast on others.
- Don’t forget Barkskin if something’s attacking you.
Remember to cast Mark of the Wild for the party or raid! Cast Symbiosis on a Mage if you can, and use Mirror Images on cooldown.
Also, Moonkin form. Remember to be in it. Seriously, I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen someone forget!
Balance Druid Talent Choices
Many Balance druid talent choices aren’t too relevant in 5.0 – although you’ll probably want to try out several choices for Tiers 2 and 4 in time. However, this is a good, easy-to-use talent build for now:
- Tier 1: Feline Swiftness
- Tier 2: Nature’s Swiftness – particularly useful for the instant, potent Rebirth.
- Tier 3: Faerie Swarm
- Tier 4: Incarnation – gives an additional damage cooldown. Use with Nature’s Vigil, on cooldown.
- Tier 5: Mighty Bash.
- Tier 6: Heart of the Wild.
Stats, reforging and gemming for Balance Druid
Intellect is still our most important stat, followed by Hit or Spirit to the cap (15% or 5100 rating), followed by Haste to the 5,273 breakpoint, then Critical Strike, followed by Haste and Mastery.
Reforging: Reforge for Spirit to hit cap, then for Haste until you reach 5,273 Haste, then Crit Strike. Reforge out of Hit above the cap first, then Spirit, then Haste and Mastery.
Gems: Use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby in Red sockets. in Blue sockets, use Purified gems (Int/Spirit) and use Potent gems (Int/Crit) in Yellow sockets.
Meta Gem: Burning meta gem.
No Boomkin glyphs have particularly massive effects.
Major: Glyph of the Moonbeast, Glyph of Rebirth, Glyph of Innervate
Balance Druid enchants and item enhancements
You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.
- Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
- Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
- Chest – Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats
- Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
- Hands – Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery
- Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Legs – Greater Cerulean Spellthread
- Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
- Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
- Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect
Want more Boomkinniness?
- Graylo has an extremely useful guide for boomkin over on his blog, Grey Matter
- When it comes back online, I’m informed this guide from the official forums is excellent.
- Icy Veins have a good, detailed guide to Boomkin mechanics, including a pretty good Eclipse section.
- Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.
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