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

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

Updated [guideupdated] to WoW Patch [patchnumber]

Balance Druid changes in WoW Patch [patchnumber]

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 [patchnumber] – 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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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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