Balance druid guide

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Balance druid guide

Post  Eltorak on Fri May 06, 2011 3:27 pm

BALANCE DRUID GUIDE

Okey so the first thing you need to know about Balance druids is that they are range DPS fighters restricted to mana. This kind of druid is very well suited for PVE and although it is arguable if they are meant for PVP, in my opinion they are Smile Unlike in other classes you will use mostly if not only the balance talent tree. So lets start with that first.

Talents (points/tier):
*Starlight Wrath - Reduces the cast time of your Wrath and Starfire spells (5/1)
*Genesis - Increases the damage done by your periodic spell damage (5/1)
*Moonglow - Reduces the Mana cost of your Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall and Wrath (3/2)
*Nature's Majesty - Increases the critical strike chance of your Wrath, Starfire and Starfall (2/2)
*Improved Moonfire - Increases the damage and critical strike chance of your Moonfire spell (2/2)
*Brambles - Damage from your Thorns, Entangling Roots and done by your Treants is increased. In addition, damage from your Treants and attacks done to you while you have Barkskin active have a chance to daze the target for 3 sec. (3/3)
*Nature's Grace - All non-periodic spell criticals have a chance to grace you with a blessing of nature, increasing your spell casting speed by 20% for 3 sec. (3/3)
*Nature's Splendor - Increases the duration of your Moonfire by 3 sec and your Insect Swarm by 2 sec. (1/3)
*Nature's Reach - Increases the range of your Balance spells and Faerie Fire (Feral) ability and reduces the threat generated by your Balance spells. (2/3)
*Vengeance - Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Starfire, Starfall, Moonfire, and Wrath spells. (5/4)
*Celestial Focus - Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Starfire, Hibernate and Hurricane and increases your total spell haste. (3/4)
*Lunar Guidance - Increases your spell power by 12% of your total Intellect. (3/5)
*Insect Swarm - The enemy target is swarmed by insects, decreasing their chance to hit with melee and ranged attacks by 3% and causing Nature damage over 12 sec. (1/5)
*Improved Insect Swarm - Increases your damage done by your Wrath spell to targets affected by you Insect Swarm by 3%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Starfire spell by 3% on targets afflicted by your Moonfire spell. (3/5)
*Dreamstate - Regenerate mana equal to 10% of your Intellect every 5 sec, even while casting. (3/6)
*Moonfury - Increases the damage done by your Starfire, Moonfire, and Wrath spells by 10%. (3/6)
*Balance of Power - Increases your chance to hit with all spells by 4% and reduces your damage taken from all spells by 6%. (3/6)
*Moonkin Form - Shapeshift into Moonkin Form. While in this form the armor contribution from items is increased by 370%, damage taken while stunned is reduced by 15%, and all party and raid members within 100 yards have their spell critical chance increased by 5%. Single target spell critical strikes in this form have a chance to instantly regenerate 2% of your total mana. The Moonkin can not cast healing or resurrection spells while shapeshifted. The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of Polymorph and Movement Impairing effects. (1/7)
*Improved Moonkin Form - Your Moonkin Aura also causes affected targets to gain 3% haste and you to gain 30% of your spirit as additional spell damage. (3/7)
*Improved Faerie Fire - Your Faerie Fire spell also increases the chance the target will be hit by spell attacks by 3% and increases the critical strike chance of your damage spells by 3% on targets afflicted by Faerie Fire. (3/7)
*Owlkin Frenzy - Attacks done to you while in Moonkin Form have a 15 % chance to cause you to go into a Frenzy, increasing your damage by 10%, cause you to be immune to pushback while casting Balance spells and restore 2% base mana every 2 sec. Lasts 10 sec. (3/Cool
*Wrath of Cenarius - Your Starfire spell gains an additional 20% and your Wrath gains an additional 10% of your bonus damage effects. (5/Cool
*Eclipse - When you critically hit with Starfire, you have a 100% chance of increasing damage done by Wrath by 40%. When you critically hit with Wrath, you have a 60% chance of increasing your critical strike chance with Starfire by 40%. Each effect lasts 15 sec and each has a separate 30 sec cooldown. Both effects cannot occur simultaneously. (3/9)
*Typhoon - You summon a violent Typhoon that does Nature damage when in contact with hostile targets, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 sec. (1/9)
*Force of Nature - Summons 3 treants to attack the enemy target for 30 sec. (1/9)
*Gale Winds - Increases damage done by your Hurricane and Typhoon spells by 30%, and increases the range of your Cyclone spell by 4 yards. (2/9)
*Earth & Moon - Your Wrath and Starfire spells have a 100% chance to apply the Earth and Moon effect, which increases spell damage taken by 13% for 12 sec. Also increases your spell damage by 6% (3/10)
*Starfall - You summon a flurry of stars from the sky on all targets within 30 yards of the caster, each dealing Arcane damage. Also causes Arcane damage to all other enemies within 5 yards of the enemy target. Maximum 20 stars. Lasts 10 sec. (1/11)

For the talent tree click here


So thats the talent tree. Now what I would propose is use your 71 talents in this tree except Improved Faerie Fire and Gale Winds. Why those two? Simply because you don't have an additional 5 points to spare. Some might also hold a couple points for talents from another tree (like some feral abilities or simply the Gift of the Wild power-up in resto tree).
Okey so now lets start with the spells you use and how.

Spells
Buffs:
*Gift of the Wild - Increases all parties/raid Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by 5% and all magical resistances by X for 1 hour.
*Thorns - make attackers receive damage for every hit they make. To be used on yourself when soloing, when in raid use only on tank and heavy armored melee.
Debuff/DoT:
*Faerie Fire - decreases the enemy targets defense by 4% for 5 min and cause it unable to disappear.
*Moonfire - causes Arcane damage over 12 sec.
*Insect swarm - causes Nature damage and decreases enemies chance to hit by 3% over 12 sec.
*Entangling roots - roots the target in place and causes Nature damage over 27 sec. Damage may break it.
*Cyclone - breaks all attacks, makes the enemy unable to attack and be attacked for 8 sec.
*Hibernate - make a beast or dragonkin fall asleep for 45 sec. Any attacks break this spell.
Instant spells:
*Typhoon - deals damage, knocks enemy back, interrupts spells and stuns for a short time (stun bug)
*Barkskin - increases defense by 20% and negates spell pushbacks from attacks for 12 sec
*Nature's Grasp - has a chance to root attackers. Lasts 45 sec and has 3 charges.
*Force of Nature - summons 3 trents under your control to fight by your side for 30 sec.
*Innervate - restore your or ally mana for 20% of your total mana
*Sooth - minimize a beasts or dragonkin range of seeing you (means you can come closer to it without pulling it).
DPS:
*Wrath - deals average Nature damage (fast cast)
*Starfire - deals heavy Arcane damage (long cast)
Range DPS:
*Hurricane - deals damage to all nearby enemies every 1 sec for 10 sec and reduces their attack speed by 20% (requires channeling)
*Starfall - the most powerful wild range attack dealing Arcane damage for 10 seconds. Shapeshifting into other forms breaks this effect.

Fight
Alright so now that we have covered the talents and spell section the question is: how to fight effectively?
General
So the Balance spec casting is based on the Moonkin form, always be in it. It enchants the damage you and your party deals. Besides that it increases your armor by 370% which practically converts your leather armor to plate-like armor. You also get additional defense while stunned, increased mana regeneration and greater spell power. Your primary spells are Wrath (typical 2k dmg) and Starfire (typical 3k dmg). If you have a low level target just fire these and your done. When soloing a single mob start with a Starfire (as it has a long cast but deals the most damage). After you fire this the mob will start running at you so root it. Next throw a Faerie Fire to lower its defense. Cast a Moonfire and Insect Swarm to deal DoT. After that its usually Starfire/Wrath. Be on the look out for Solar and Lunar Eclipse. With a Solar spam Wraths one after another until its done (you deal from 4-6k damage per hit). If you get Lunar cast Starfire repeatedly (critics from 10-13k, 16k even if your really lucky). Also watch for Nature's Grace buff reducing the casting time of spells - always use it for a Starfire. When you want to interrupt a casters spell or a melee mob is closing in Typhoon him away. Don't forget about using trents, you can use them as DPS or as temporary tanks while you debuff your target. Watchout though so you don't aggro other mobs. When you are fighting in close combat throw up your barkskin to protect you and don't get spell pushbacks from hits. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to heal yourself cast Cyclone, move away (you might change to travel form to gain distance fast) and start healing yourself. When you see it drawing to its end you can root the enemy and continue to heal. REMEMBER that all restoration spells (except abolish poison and remove curse) make you to shapeshift out of Moonkin form. If you run out of mana use Innervate. Always use it first before you start drinking potions.
When engaging in multiple target combat if you have aggroed more them one mob and are desperate to stop some use Natures' Grasp to root them.
Typhoon also works well against them. When they come close to you use Hurricane as it deals damage to all and also slows down their attacks. However if the mobs have really much health its better to root and take one by one. Use Starfall but take care! It has a really wide range and will easlly pull unwanted mobs.
Raid
When in raid you don't have to worry about taking damage so you can concentrate on DPS only. Buff up your team with Gift of the Wild, though if there is a Resto druid in the party let him do it cause he usually has it upgraded. Throw thorns on the tank and heavy armored DPS. You shouldn't cast it on yourself, other casters or rogues/hunters. Why is that? Because these are not supposed to tank and if it happens that they take aggro it is easier for the tank to get the mobs attention back. Traditionaly start with debuffing the mob. Sent the trents and Starfall if it's safe. Then use mostly Starfire and occasionally Wrath when you get it's buff. Remember to cast Moonfire and Insect Swarm when it ends to keep up the DoT and keeping it cursed. Save your Innevrate for the healer, he usually gets OOM fast and needs it more then you. If you are getting out of mana switch to cat form or bear form (cat form best, but if the mob does damage to all melee attackers go in bear form) and DPS until you get some mana back. Although you are a range DPS druids are a hybrid class which means you can act as an DPS, tank or healer. Don't forget that! Some times it's useful to step out of the Moonkin form and aid the healer. If 2 party members die use your combat RES on one of them. When things look really bad use your Tranquility spell to heal all. Some times you need to aid the tank or take aggro of another caster. For this there is a simple way. Turn into bear form, cast Savage Roar to pull the mob. Then go back quickly into Moonkin form. Start casting is Hurricane repeatedly. When the mob has reach you throw up your Barkskin and Nature's Grasp. When you can't take it any more use Typhoon to get some distance. Don't forget your racial ability to hide, use it to loose aggro when needed. Some times its a good idea to back out of the battle, hide and drink some out of combat mana drink.
BG
Lets be honest it is really hard to live through a BG as a Balance druid. The most deadly opponents are rogues and warlocks since they sap/stun/fear you and you are pretty much helpless especially if another melee DPS comes to join him. The most effective way is if you have a healer on your back. If so you are able to fully unleash your wrath and kill with easy. But that doesn't happen a lot. So the tips are here:
-Don't run into the center of combat, take a position far away and strike.
-Use Faerie Fire on rogues, don't waste time on others.
-Use Starfall every time its not on cooldown
-Send trents on aggressive stance. -When in combat with melee face to face use Wrath as it has a shorter casting time and doesn't give your opponent enough time to break your spell. -Use Barkskin and Nature's Grasp when ever in face to face encounter.
-The key is distance so push them away with Typhoon, Cyclon them and run away a bit, root root root!
-Don't be afraid to use travel form to move fast
-When bound in Ice, shackled, or under another movement debuff (beside stun and fear) shapeshift to free yourself.
-Don't use Hurricane
-If casting Tranquility or trying to heal yourself always use Barkskin.
-Be creative, find a good spot to cast, hide in some bushes, use Shadowmeld, try prowling in cat form.
-A good tactic for defending (like the flag in Warsong or a Place in Arathi/Eye of the Storm) is to Shadowmeld and wait. When you see your victim Cyclon them. In the time you get release trents, activate Starfall, Barkskin, Natures Grasp and start casting Starfire.


There are probably many more things to cover up but for now I hope this will be enough for beginners. I hope this little guide helped you understand the gameplay of a Balance druid. I am aware that I might have made some mistakes or some of you disagree on some tactics or want to add something. There for all comments are welcome Smile
Cheers



by Eltorak

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Re: Balance druid guide

Post  Eltorak on Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:54 am

I just remembered that there is a slight modification in the talent tree that needs to be done once you get Tier10 balance gear. I can't write it know but once I'm back I'll link the modified tree.

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