Balance Druid / Boomkin Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

by on August 28, 2012


If you’re squawking in confusion at the huge list of patch notes for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4, 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 5.4 and MoP, so you can be back to lax0ring everything in sight in no time!

Updated 17th September 2013 to WoW Patch 5.4

Balance Druid changes in WoW Patch 5.4

Some talent changes.

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.

Single-target DPS

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).

AOE DPS

5 or less opponents: Run your DOTs on all opponents and use Starsurge as soon as possible.

6 or more opponents: : Drop Wild Mushrooms before the pull, if possible, then simply spam Hurricane or Astral Storm on the pack.

Cooldowns

  • 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 use your Symbiosis ability.

Buffs

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 5.4 – 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: Ysera’s Gift
  • 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.

Boomkin Glyphs

No Boomkin glyphs have particularly massive effects.

Major: Glyph of Stampede, Glyph of Rebirth, Glyph of Innervate
Minor: Whatever. None of them have any DPS effect.

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

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

bodai September 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm

what we don’t need expertise on boom just hit and crit to win if i missed it please show me ty

Reply

Hugh Hancock September 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

That’s correct – spellcasters in 5.04 don’t need Expertise.

Reply

Lzrchkn September 30, 2012 at 2:41 am

so no more haste? noxxic has crit behind haste?

Reply

Hugh Hancock October 1, 2012 at 10:32 am

Haste and Mastery are roughly equivalent, and both less good than Haste. That’s unclear on the guide – I’ll update it.

Reply

j September 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm

The 2 dots don’t maintain a debuff icon so are you simply guessing as to when to recast them? Or is there an addon that can help notify you when to reapply. Trying to count 14 seconds while playing at the same time is rather beyond me.

Reply

Hugh Hancock October 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

I’d recommend using an addon. Personally I use Need To Know, but there are a lot of DoT timers out there – use the one you like best.

Reply

khalton March 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Hugh, Graylo, of Grey Matter, has shut down his blog. He’s posted a “Goodbye Post” recently.

Reply

Hugh Hancock March 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

Oh, that’s a pity.

I’d still recommend his guide for now, at least as a backup. The mechanics of Boomkinning are still very similar to 5.0, and it’s a useful reference.

Reply

Batix March 22, 2013 at 12:21 am

Your gemming is all wrong.

Red sockets should be int/crit
Blue should be crit/spirit or hit
Yellow should be straight crit. :)

Reply

Hugh Hancock March 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Source? I’ve not seen those recommendations anywhere – and they ignore haste breakpoints, which implies to me that they might not be comprehensive. However, if you can point me to some reasoning/theorycraft/sims, I’ll take a look.

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Christian March 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Hi Hugh,
How can I calculate the respective haste breakpoint one?

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