Hello and welcome to the Balance Druid guide, In this guide I hope to cover the basics of the class and start to show you some of the move advanced moonkin play. Balance Druids have had a lot of attention in Mists of pandaria and look to be one of the strongest raiding specs going into the expansion.
Which Race should I pick?
The simple answer here is - if your horde you go Troll ( Berserking is an amazing CD )
if your alliance you go Worgen ( 1% crit is also insane for a boomkin )
As I'm sure you've all noticed the talent system has been completely redesigned for MoP. Giving us one out of 3 choices per 15 levels.
This is your basic set of talents for Mists. Although ill cover all talents that can be useful.
Wild Charge - This talent allows us to cut down on the time we would normally use to move around during combat. While in Moonkin form casting Wild Charge will cause us to bounce backwards ( think hunter disengage ).
While in Human form casting wild charge will cause you to fly towards a friendly target, almost like an anti life grip. This can be used to get to places in a hurry as you can charge to your own mushrooms if placed well, as well as to a friendly player.
Feline swiftness - Not much to say here, it's a static 15% run speed which again will cut down on the time you have to move, although I don't think it has the same utility as Wild Charge
Nature's Swiftness - A very good talent for PvP and PvE, being able to throw out instant heals and CC. I prefer this talent over renewal due to being able to throw out the heals onto another player to help out the healers, as well as some bosses requiring us to CC adds this comes in handy.
Renewal - Heals you for a flat 30% of your health, good for some fights if you're going to be taking a lot of damage at a specific point.
Typhoon - Works exactly how it did in Cataclysm except for it now deals no damage, it's purely there as a knockback.
Faerie Swarm - Slows the target by 50%, this can be good on some encounters where you have to kite mobs. But I still prefer typhoon overall.
Incarnation - One of the new cooldown's Balance druids got and it provides us with a lot of burst when combined with lunar eclipse. Remember the damage buff from this only affects are damage during eclipse.
Soul of the Forest - With good gear this talent doesn't get close to Incarnation however it can pull ahead when playing with low haste rating.
Ursol's Vortex - Is really the best choice in this tier, the other 2 talents won't get used enough to make them worth it in PvE. This talent can really come in handy for keeping adds off tanks to give the healers a bit of a break. Other than that none of these 3 get used a lot in PvE.
Nature's Vigil - provides us with another damage cooldown, but this can be used during periods of intense raid damage due to the fact it will heal nearby targets for a % of the damage you deal. Timing this right can potentially stop a wipe by helping out you healers.
Dream of Cenarius - I really dislike this talent although on a complete patchwerk fight it does pull ahead of NV. Although I would wait until you obtain your 4 set before using it as having to heal constantly before dotting can get very frustrating.
There are 4 main options here, although one of them depends on your talent choice.
- [Glyph of Stampede] is very nice, being able to cast stampeding roar without wasting the global going into cat form
First of all, always wear leather. No matter what the intellect upgrade it will never outweigh Leather Specialization. Having just one cloth item equipped means you loose its bonus.
Intellect > Hit = Spirit > Crit > Haste > Mastery
Your aiming for 15% Spell hit.
Intellect is the most powerful stat and should be stacked as much as possible. Hit / spirit is a must after intellect, missing as a Boomkin can be very rough as it's an potentially an extra spell to get into eclipse. After that follow the stat priority of Crit > haste > mastery.
For reforging you will need to follow the priority of Hit / Spirit ( to 15% ) > Crit > haste > mastery
In short this means you should always reforge out of mastery into Crit or Haste depending on what other stat is on the gear after your Hit capped. If you are hit capped always reforge out of Hit / Spirit first until you're as close to hit cap as possible ( never under it ).
Enchants are pretty straight forward. Here is what you should generally go for:
As for professions choice, Blacksmithing and Tailoring are the two best for a Boomkin, Blacksmithing will gain us 2 extra sockets, equal to +640 crit rating and Tailoring provides us with Lightweave Embroidery
UI and Getting Started
Personally I wouldn't even do anything till you download BalancePowerTracker and a DoT timer, I use ForteXorcist but there are many others dot timers out there. BalancePowerTracker is an alternative to the standard Eclipse tracking UI given by Blizzard and will make your life a lot easier, it shows the effect your next spell will have on your eclipse energy saving you having to do the quick mental math. You're going to want to be able to track your DoT's on mobs you aren't targeting so using an addon like tidyplates or Platebuffs can do this, this allows much better control when attempting to multi dot and 'roll' dots on a lot of mobs at the same time.
Here is links to the addons I consider a must for playing Boomkin.
First ill introduce a couple of the new spells that boomkins get:
Celestial Alignment - Simultaneously grants us the benefits of both eclipse's, refreshes the CD on starfall and causes are moonfire to apply the sunfire dot as well
Astral Communion - Allows us to channel for 4 seconds, gaining 25 lunar OR solar energy each second, we can use this to quickly get into an eclipse or to set up for the pull.
First thing you're going to need to get your head around is the idea of the Eclipse bar and the 4 stages you can be in. Pre Lunar, Lunar Eclipse, Pre Solar and Solar Eclipse.
Pre Lunar - You are building Energy to reach a Lunar Eclipse, you have no bonus damage at this stage. To gain Energy and move towards this Eclipse you cast Wrath. (Starsurge also moves you in the direction your already travelling) During this phase wrath generates 30 energy and Starsurge generates 40 energy
Lunar Eclipse - You are now in Lunar Eclipse, when in this state you receive a minimum 41% damage buff to Arcane Spells + benefits of more mastery on Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall, Starsurge and Hurricane. Upon entering Lunar Eclipse your starfall cooldown will reset and your starsurge + starfires will consume 20 energy
Pre Solar - You are now moving out of a Lunar Eclipse after casting enough Starfire's/Starsurges and enter a phase where u are moving towards your next eclipse without any damage modifications. During this phase your starsurge's and your starfire's will generate 40 energy each
Solar Eclipse - You are now in a Solar Eclipse and receive a 41% damage buff to your Nature spells + more from Mastery on Wrath, Hurricane, Mushrooms, Sunfire, Typhoon and Starsurge. During this phase your wrath will consume 15 energy and your starsurge will consume 20
Basically to move your Eclipse bar, you cast Wrath until Lunar procs and cast Starfire until Solar procs. Gets more complicated when your thinking of when to refresh Dots and also thinking about what Eclipse you want to be at a given time.
Now it's time to get into the rotation, In general the Boomkin rotation is fairly simple, we swap between eclipse's by casting wrath and starfire at the appropriate time while keeping our dots up - Sunfire + Moonfire.
The opener :
Ok so this is the most complicated bit of the Boomkin rotation, Ill list out all the spells in order.
Firstly were going to be casting Astral communion until were one cast off lunar eclipse.
Always remember to pre pot just before the pull.
Then open up with
Here we pop our cooldowns - Incarnation, Nature's Vigil + Berserk ( if your troll )
Starfire - till 0 energy - replace starfire with a starsurge proc whenever possible
Now we pop Celestial Alignment
Moonfire ( this will now apply sunfire due to Celestial Alignment )
Starfire spam - replace with starsurge whenever possible ( cast this until Celestial alignment ends and we enter solar eclipse )
From here we go back to the normal rotation
Make sure to keep moonfire + sunfire up 100% of the time.
Swap between eclipses, starfall on cooldown
Starsurge on cooldown
The only time we will change the rotation is when our cooldowns come back up, when they do head towards lunar eclipse and repeat the opener.
When movement comes into play the best thing to do is to just spam moonfire + sunfire, this will help maintain your dps with the initial damage as well as saving globals later that would of been spent refreshing dots.
A lot has changed for Boomkin aoe since cataclysm, shrooms have now been aoe capped ( this means that at 10 targets and over our mushrooms will do the same damage, just shared between the mobs ).
Hurricane has now had a massive buff and scales from lunar eclipse, this means lunar is now our aoe eclipse. The way I have found best is to apply moonfire to all targets ( not sunfire ) and then chain cast hurricane while keeping up moonfire on all target.
Whenever I use Astral Communion before a fight, I seem to always end up in Solar Eclipse. How do I change that? And an you just explain to me why crit is better than haste?
Anyhow Great Guide and thanks for the help!
Crit is currently better then haste due to our dot crits procing Shooting Stars for our insta starsurges which deal so much damage. Haste also lost a bit of value as we have alot less downtime between eclipses with the euophoria buff.
First, I believe it is better to pre-pot, Starfall, Wrath, THEN pop all CDs due to our DoTs being fixed damage based on current buffs; they don't gain a damage boost when Incarnation/NV are popped if they are already on the target.
Second, it is a DPS boost to apply Sunfire THEN Moonfire when you first hit Lunar Eclipse due to Lunar Shower. When in Solar Eclipse, Moonfire should come first followed by Sunfire. That way the eclipsed DoT gains a damage boost.
As for dotting when you have cooldowns up i prefer not to as currently my dots fall as my lunar eclipse does meaning it lines up perfectly with celestial alignment aswell as the fact i think its better to use as much time as you can during your cooldowns casting starfire / starsurge and wasting the 2 globals on dotting once there popped doesnt help.
And for applying sunfire > moonfire going into solar, yes it is better at time but it can also increase the downtime on your dots if moonfire drops first and then you wait until after sunfire to reapply it, it seems more effective overall to place on of the dots before the other on all occasions, which one doesnt really mastter as coming out of CA, both dots drop at exactly the same time.
Statweights & gemming
in t14, simulationcraft shows this stat values: Int = 1, SP = 0.84, Hit = 0.80, Crit = 0.46, Haste = 0.40, Mastery = 0.40 (depending on ur currend gear this could change slightly)
With this statvalues in mind, i dont think gemming 320 crit =147 is better than 160 int=160 in a red socket, especially with an int socket bonus. even in a yellow it is better to have 80int/160crit=153 than 320crit=147.
due to reforging its better to have the socketbonus on a blue gem and put a int/spirit in it and reforge other spirit off your gear than put a yellow in it and waste the bonus.
Crafting Professions have all 320 Int as a bonus but leatherworking with 330int
what you said is not right with the statvalues in mind.
640crit in the two sockets will only give 294,5 instead of leatherworking for 330.
Tailoring gives a huge int buff but its random and only for 15 seconds, if you have a bad day it could proc every time you are outside of eclipse...
For this i think Leatherworking with 330int and Engineering with the synapse springs wich you can use every minute with your eclipse or with extra raid dmg buffs or trinkets and with other support stuff like rocketboots, jeeves, parashoot etc. are the 2 best professions atm.
Rotation (with engineering)
as the other commend above said, the starting rotation should be :
plant mushrooms, AC 1 before lunar
starfall (fight starts)
ink & nv (~30seconds trinkets with 3 min cd)(now your engineer gloves have cd)
starfire (starsurge on proc) until 0 Energy (or until your gloves are rdy)
ca + berserk + gloves
Starfire +Mushrooms (starsurge on proc) until 1 second remaing on ca
moonfire (this gives the dots all benefits for the last time)
starfire (starsurge on proc) until solar eclipse
wrath (starsurge on proc) until one wrath away from leaving eclipse
From now on normal rotation but ive tried some things and i get better dps with this :
wrath until lunar eclipse
moonfire only (the solar buffed sunfire is still up)
starfire (starsurge on proc) till 1 cast away from eclipse end
with this you wont have a 100% uptime of dots but you only waste some uneclipsed ticks, but you have 1 more gcd and if you r doing it right you get both dots at the end of eclipse with ng buffed.
A few people have argued its better to go int > crit gems, if the stat values your posting are right then it is better to go int gems, but the stat values that ive seen and been getting valued hit around 0.6 making crit gems better then int gems unless your getting an intellect socket bonus so you would go for orange gems.
Tailoring is still well worth going, the proc has a high proc chance and its also guaranteed to be up in your opener which gives us some amazing burst.
The problem with engineering is that while synapse springs is a good CD, the static int when worked out really isnt that good, as for the other tinkers like rocketboots ( not counting jeeves etc... as its not a dps increase ) aren't really that helpful for a druid, if you have to move somewhere fast you have catform sprint, stampeding roar, wild charge ( if specced ).
As for the rotation, from what ive tested on beta + live, the dps difference between your rotation and mine is small, but i find myself doing more dps when i use my rotation, only reapplying dots when on the move or they are about to fall off. Aswell as dotting before popping NV + Incarnation s its been more beneficial to spend as much of that time as possible casting starfire / starsurge.
Hey Zamey! I'm playing feral druid and don't know if feral cat or moonkin is the best dps? What do you think is the best dps spec in MoP? I've been playing moonkin in cata and it was okey but now when I change to cat I cant get that good dps like the other fellas. Is boomkin higher dps in the raid/raids? Or am I just unused to play feral? I've exp in moonkin so know what to do also. / Nax =)