Kazistrasz

[Balance] WoD 6.0 Guide: When the Stars Align

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WoD Balance 6.0 Guide: When the Stars Align

 

By: Kazistrasz

 

Edit: Since Kaz is no longer playing WoW any more, all changes made after Jan 11th 2015 are not accounted for in this guide.  On Jan 12th, there was a small change to haste (90 haste per 1%) and a small buff to mastery.  Most of what is said here is still true, but take the haste ratings with a grain of salt.

-Krazyito

 

This guide is written and will be maintained to reflect the best practices of Balance druid (boomkin) in Warlords of Draenor. It is the result of a combination of much work play testing, calculating in spreadsheets, and simulations through SimulationCraft.

 

Updated for Patch 6.0.3/Highmaul release

 

Table of Contents

I. Specialization Overview/What Has Changed

-->Ability Pruning

-->All About the DoTs

-->New Eclipse System

-->Core Spell Changes

II. Racial Perks Evaluated

-->Comparison

III. Talents & Glyphs Explained

-->Talents

-->Glyphs

IV. Stat Analysis

-->List of Stats

-->Stat Priority

V. Gear Acquisition & Tier 17 Bonuses

-->Tier 17 Bonuses

-->Best in Slot List

VI. Trinket Breakdown

-->Trinket by Trinket

-->Master List Ranking

VII. Gameplay Tips and Tricks

-->DoT Usage

-->Starsurge Usage

-->Cooldown Usage

-->General Raid Utility

-->AoE and Multi-Target Priority

-->Single Target Priority

-->Opening Rotation

VIII. Credits, Thanks, & Feedback

IX. Changelog

 

I. Specialization Overview/What Has Changed

 

In 6.0, the Balance spec was given a major overhaul to its Eclipse system, as well as various other changes. Let's start with the miscellaneous, smaller changes:

 

Ability Pruning:

  • Faerie Fire is now Guardian and Feral only.
  • Innervate is gone.
  • Might of Ursoc is gone.
  • Symbiosis is gone.
  • Nature's Swiftness and Tranquility are now Restoration only.
  • Lacerate and Maul are now Guardian only.
  • Mangle (Cat Form) and Swipe are now Feral only.
  • Thrash is now available (so useful).

Blizzard finally decided to address the idea that people were running out of places to put things on their bars without special mice, tons of modifiers, and tons of macros. So, basically, we've lost a little bit of our healing utility and defensive abilities both as a spec and as a class. Oh, and we can do less stuff while we're in ability_racial_bearform.jpgBear Form and ability_druid_catform.jpgCat Form, because we spend a lot of time in either of those.

 

All About the DoTs

 

Pandemic was originally a passive ability for warlocks in Mists of Pandaria, but has since become a core mechanic in the game. When you refresh spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire and ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire, you add their current duration at the next tick, up to 30% of the base duration. In short, refreshing spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire up to 12 seconds early or ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire up to 7 seconds early does not clip any of the duration. Additionally, DoTs no longer add entire ticks to their duration. Instead, the game simply adds a "partial" tick at the end of the DoT for the portion of a full tick leftover at the end. 

 

However, the single most important change to DoTs is the removal of snapshotting. Previously, when you cast a DoT, it took a "snapshot" of all of your stats and buffs at the moment you cast it and applied all of that across the DoT's entire duration. Meaning, if you had a 5-second buff that made you do double damage when you cast a 20-second DoT, it maintained that double damage for all 20 seconds. DoTs no longer do this and update with your current stats every tick.

 

New Eclipse System

 

Our Eclipse energy is now fully automated and no longer based on our spell-spellcasting. For the mathematically inclined, we gain and lose energy as a sine curve. For everyone else, the close to 0 our energy is, the faster we gain and lose it. The closer to 100 we are, the slower it goes. When our energy reaches 100, it pauses briefly. For a visual reference, a graph of our energy over time, with positive representing lunar energy and negative representing solar energy:

 

jA0SpzT.png

 

For the purposes of add-ons and WeakAuras, it's important to know that the game actually counts lunar energy as negative. 

 

When combat starts, we begin at 0 and gain lunar energy. Once combat ends, the cycle continues on for 30 seconds and then resets.

 

With this ever-changing, automatically-cycling Eclipse, our damage bonus has changed. We no longer reach 100 energy and get a monster buff until we reach 0 again. Instead, we always have some amount of bonus to our spells. At 100 lunar energy, we have maximum bonus to our lunar spells, base 30% and increased by mastery, but no bonus at all to solar spells. At 100 solar energy, our solar spells have our maximum bonus with no bonus for lunar spells. When we're perfectly balanced at 0 energy, we have half of our bonus (base 15%) to both spells together.

 

For a visual, here's a graph of our damage bonus for lunar and solar spells, assuming only the base bonus:

 

6uUdKgp.png

 

This will have significant implications on our rotation, to be explained later.

 

Core Spell Changes

 

spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire remains a single-target spell with a base cast time of 3 seconds. It benefits from lunar energy bonus.

 

spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath is another single-target spell with a base cast time of 2 seconds. It benefits from solar energy bonus. spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath has a lower Damage Per Execution Time than spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire.

 

spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge is an instant cast ability that gives either two stacks of spell_arcane_starfire.jpgLunar Empowerment or three stacks of spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgSolar Empowerment, matching your current energy type. Both buff your next spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire or spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath, respectively, by 30%. It benefits from your highest eclipse bonus. spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge has a very high Damage Per Execution time in its own right, increased further when considering the bonus you'll add over your next few spells. spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge now works on a charge system, having 3 charges and a recharge time of 30 seconds.

 

spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire is now very lengthy, single-target DoT, lasting a whopping 40 seconds. The base tick speed for spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire is 2 seconds. It benefits from lunar energy bonus and may only be cast during lunar energy (sharing a button with ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire). In addition, it has a 5% chance on tick (or 10% chance on critical tick) to proc Shooting Stars, granting another charge of spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge. Upon reaching 100 lunar energy, you gain a 5-second Buff called ability_druid_eclipse.jpgLunar Peak that doubles the initial damage component of spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire.

 

ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire is a less lengthy DoT that lasts for 24 seconds. While the initial damage is single-target, the DoT itself is then applied to every enemy within 5 yards of your target. The base tick speed for ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire is also 2 seconds. It benefits from solar energy bonus and may only be cast during solar energy (sharing a button with spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire). Like spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire, ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire also has a 5%/10% chance on tick to proc Shooting Stars. Upon reaching 100 solar energy, you gain a 5-second buff called ability_druid_eclipseorange.jpgSolar Peak that doubles the initial damage component of ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire.

 

ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall gives you a buff for 10 seconds that causes you to deal damage to all targets within 40 yards of you.  It benefits from lunar eclipse bonus and shares charges with spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge.

 

Because Blizzard thinks we have nostalgia about the most hated part of the spec's history, ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall now damages all targets within 40 yards, even if they are not in combat. Use caution when activating ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall when there is something nearby that needs to not be pulled. It is some of the difficulty can be alleviated by taking spell_druid_equinox.jpgGlyph of the Solstice and using ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire's new cleave function to quickly spread designate targets for ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall.

 

spell_nature_cyclone.jpgHurricane is an area-of-effect (AoE) ability that must be channeled to deal damage. It benefits from solar eclipse bonus, but is currently very weak and rarely worth using.

 

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II. Racial Perks Evaluated

 

For quite some time, we have complained about the imbalance of racials, and finally Blizzard has seen to fixing it. Whereas Night Elves have long had no impact on DPS and Trolls have reigned supreme, we'll now see a very minor difference from one race to another.

 

Alliance Perks

  • Night Elf: spell_holy_elunesgrace.jpgTouch of Elune = 1% haste at night and 1% crit chance during day. Yes, it seems silly, and we sort of expect them to change it before it goes live.
  • Worgen: ability_hunter_pet_wolf.jpgViciousness = 1% crit chance.

Horde Perks

  • Tauren: inv_misc_head_tauren_01.jpgBrawn = 2% crit damage and healing bonus.
  • Troll: racial_troll_berserk.jpgBerserking = 15% haste for 10 seconds on a 3-minute CD.

Comparison

Simulated through SimCraft, these evaluate as follows at  level:

  1. Troll - 37,242 DPS
  2. Night Elf - 37,239 DPS
  3. Worgen - 37,181 DPS
  4. Tauren - 37,151 DPS

*evaluated with a 0.08% margine of error

 

What this means is that your choice of race does not matter at all from a DPS perspective. The difference between the highest and lowest simming races is 0.24%. You should choose your race based on utility and usefulness. A few things to consider:

 

  • Night Elves have ability_ambush.jpgShadowmeld, which can occasionally help recover after wipes or even provide a temporary threat dump. Additionally, ability_racial_shadowmeld.jpgQuickness can be useful if there are adds that must be tanked by DPS for any reason.
  • Tauren have ability_warstomp.jpgWar Stomp, which is incredibly useful for controlling and limiting adds.
  • Trolls have inv_misc_idol_02.jpgDa Voodoo Shuffle, which can be useful if content has a significant amount of movement impairing effects.
  • Worgen have ability_racial_darkflight.jpgDarkflight, which can be extremely useful in case ability_druid_dash.jpgDash and spell_druid_stampedingroar_cat.jpgStampeding Roar are inadequate.

Or, you can simply pick the race that you like the looks of best. How you decide is up to you, but what race you pick doesn't actually matter.

 

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III. Talents & Glyphs Explained

 

Tier 1 (Level 15)

spell_druid_tirelesspursuit.jpgFeline Swiftness should be the default choice, as spell_druid_displacement.jpgDisplacer Beast requires two GCDs (one to use, and one to shift back into spell_nature_forceofnature.jpgMoonkin Form). spell_druid_displacement.jpgDisplacer Beast should be considered when you need to cover a long distance that would require two GCDs to move normally.

 

Tier 2 (Level 30)

  • Ysera's Gift passively heals you every 5 seconds or heals other raid members if you're full.
  • spell_nature_natureblessing.jpgRenewal essentially replaces the Mists of Pandaria version of Healthstone.
  • ability_druid_naturalperfection.jpgCenarion Ward will heal its target the next time they take damage.

Ysera's Gift is a good source of constant healing against constant damage and requires no attention. spell_nature_natureblessing.jpgRenewal is good for situations where raid damage is heavily centered in single hits or short bursts to help be one less person healers need to catch up. ability_druid_naturalperfection.jpgCenarion Ward should never be used.

 

Tier 3 (Level 45)

  • spell_druid_swarm.jpgFaerie Swarm simply gives you a single target slow.
  • spell_druid_massentanglement.jpgMass Entanglement is an AoE root ability.
  • ability_druid_typhoon.jpgTyphoon is a conal knockback.
  • Your choice here depends on the fight. If you need a good, single-target slow, take spell_druid_swarm.jpgFaerie Swarm. If you need to hold a lot of enemies in one place, use spell_druid_massentanglement.jpgMass Entanglementability_druid_typhoon.jpgTyphoon is good when you need another knockback in your raid, or just for general defensive purposes when stuns are not enough to limit an add's melee.

 

Tier 4 (Level 60)

ability_druid_manatree.jpgSoul of the Forest is the talent of choice for single target situations, being a 0.7% to 1.5% over other choices depending on your Tier 7 (Level 100) talent choice.

 

spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune is the choice for fights with two or more targets the majority of the time, being an increase over other talent choices by 2% or more, based on number of targets and Tier 4 (Level 60) talent choice.

 

Tier 5 (Level 75)

This tier is completely based around the fight. Where an extra stun is needed (assuming your raid somehow doesn't have enough baseline stuns), you can take ability_druid_bash.jpgMighty Bash. Most of the time that you're dealing with adds, spell_druid_ursolsvortex.jpgUrsol’s Vortex will be the talent of choice to help kite since ability_druid_demoralizingroar.jpgIncapacitating Roar does not always work on many adds and is broken by any damage.

 

Tier 6 (Level 90)

  • spell_holy_blessingofagility.jpgHeart of the Wild gives you a 45 second buff every 6 minutes that allows you to ghetto tank, ghetto melee, or ghetto heal effectively.
  • ability_druid_dreamstate.jpgDream of Cenarius causes refreshing your DoTs at 100 energy (or shortly thereafter) to do heal a nearby raid member.
  • achievement_zone_feralas.jpgNature’s Vigil causes your single-target spells to copy 30% of their damage as healing to nearby raid members.

achievement_zone_feralas.jpgNature’s Vigil should be your default choice here. ability_druid_dreamstate.jpgDream of Cenarius is incredibly weak healing, which you may not even get to use much of if your DoTs don't need to be refreshed at peak. spell_holy_blessingofagility.jpgHeart of the Wild should only be taken for a fight where the healing demanded in one phase is high enough to merit having a DPS completely stop DPSing to help heal.

 

Tier 7 (Level 100)

  • achievement_boss_valithradreamwalker.jpgEuphoria doubles the speed of your Eclipse cycle and reduces the cast time of your empowered spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire and spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath casts.
  • ability_druid_stellarflare.jpgStellar Flare is an extra DoT that does more damage (both initial damage and DoT damage) when you're at 0 energy than at either end of the cycle.
  • ability_druid_balanceofpower.jpgBalance of Power is a talent that makes your DoTs tick harder and removes the need to refresh them.

 

achievement_boss_valithradreamwalker.jpgEuphoria is the talent of choice for single target encounters, leading by 4% to 5% over other choices depending on your Tier 4 (Level 60) talent choice.

 

ability_druid_stellarflare.jpgStellar Flare is the choice for fights with two or more targets the majority of the time, being an increase over other talent choices by 7% or more, based on number of targets and Tier 4 (Level 60) talent choice.

 

Major Glyphs

 

We don't have much in terms of significant glyphs as Boomkin. None of our spec-specific glyphs are particularly useful. Note that Glyph of spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment is a DPS loss unless there were to be some mechanic to prevent you from casting 8 spells in 15 seconds. That said, I recommend the following:

  • spell_nature_reincarnation.jpgGlyph of Rebirth helps prevent raid members from dying again and saves healer mana when rezzed in combat.
  • spell_druid_stamedingroar.jpgGlyph of Stampeding Roar is especially useful in any fight where you will be using spell_druid_stampedingroar_cat.jpgStampeding Roar (in addition to range, it saves a GCD of having to shift back to spell_nature_forceofnature.jpgMoonkin Form)
  • ability_eyeoftheowl.jpgGlyph of Moonwarding is increased survivability for any fight where the damage you will be taking is not mitigated by armor (which is most mechanics).
  • ability_druid_dash.jpgGlyph of Dash can be useful for fights requiring a lot of movement.

Minor Glyphs

 

Minor glyphs have no affect on DPS and almost no increase on survivability.

 

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IV. Stat Analysis

 

With 6.0 comes the removal of Hit and Expertise as stats and the addition of Multistrike and Versatility. Including Haste, Crit, and Mastery, we now have five secondary stats. Additionally, gear will have a chance to roll additional, tertiary stats. These are varied, from things like movement speed to sockets to bonus item levels (a la Thunderforged/Warforged in Mists of Pandaria). Note that all Mastery Rating is increased by 5% (rounding up) by ability_druid_lunarguidance.jpgLunar Guidance.

 

Haste

 

Haste reduces our cast times, shortens our Global Cooldown, and makes our DoTs tick faster. As a side effect of making spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire and ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire tick faster, this increases how quickly we generate spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge charges via Shooting Stars.

 

Critical Strike

 

Crit gives all of our spells and DoTs a chance to deal double damage. It also gives our healing spells a chance to restore twice as much health, in circumstances when we need to help off-heal. In addition to the base function of crit, it also gives us more spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge charges. When spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire or ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire ticks crit, their chance to proc Shooting Stars doubles. 

 

Mastery

 

ability_druid_eclipse.jpgMastery: Total Eclipse

 increases our bonus Eclipse damage. With 0 mastery rating, we have a base 30% damage bonus. This means Mastery is an increase in damage to every spell that we cast.

 

Multistrike

 

Multistrike is a new stat that gives all of our abilities a chance to cast again. When we cast a spell or when a DoT ticks, two rolls are made by the game. Each roll has our Multistrike chance to repeat the spell/tick for 30%. These occur shortly after the initial hit and show a second (or third), smaller spell cast graphic. Note that only the damage is repeated. spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire and ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire do not apply additional "mini-DoTs" when their initial cast Multistrikes, and spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge Multistrikes do not give any extra stacks of Lunar Empowerment or Solar Empowerment.  Multistrikes crit independently of the original spell and are based on the non-critical damage of the spell. So, a spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire that crits for 60,000 and Multistrikes will only deal 9,000 (30% of the 30,000 the spell would have done on a non-crit).  Similarly, a spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire that crits for 30,000 and Multistrike crits will deal 18,000 damage.

 

Versatility

 

Versatility is a new stat that just provides a flat increase to damage and healing done as well as a flat reduction in damage taken.

 

Stat Priority

 

Upon hitting 100, and gearing up through normal gear levels (655 item  level), our stats are relatively close, with versatility being garbage. At  this point, a single point of int is worth more a little more than 2 of any other stat. You'll want to go with:

 

Int >>>> Haste >= Mastery >= Crit > Multistrike >> Versatility

 

Again, the gap between haste, mastery, and crit is very small, with the gap between crit and multistrike and then the gap between multistrike and versatility widening.

 

As we gear up and start heading towards mythic gear levels (685 and higher), our stats equalize a lot more. Mastery pulls ever so slightly ahead, but haste and crit essentially become equal. One point of int is now worth ever so slightly less than 2 points of secondary stats (except still worth more than 2 versatility). You'll roll with:

 

Int >>>> Mastery >= Haste = Crit > Multistrike >> Versatility

 

As gear increases, multistrike and versatility still lag behind. Again, the difference between mastery and haste is tiny, and the difference between haste and crit is indistinguishable. You could change stacking mastery, haste, and crit on enchants and see DPS differences of less than 100 out of 40k DPS. It's insignificant.

 

I can't say this enough: You're going to be using the item with the highest item level or with a socket, regardless of secondary stats. If you're putting more than 10 seconds of thought into your stats in regards to your DPS, you need to start focusing on logs and how you're playing. Stats aren't going to make a significant difference.

 

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V. Gear Acquisition & Tier 17 Bonuses

 

In WoD, gem sockets will be rare and enchants will be limited to weapons, rings, necks, and cloaks. This means that, for the most part, you won't have any options with your gear: you're stuck with whatever drops. You'll be using the highest item level piece you have for each slot while you gear up. Once you start getting multiple pieces of gear for a slot, you can start choosing the pieces you want to use.

 

Tier 17 Bonuses

 

Our tier is called Living Wood Battlegear:

 

The two-piece bonus reduces the cast time of our spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire and spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath by 12%. The four-piece bonus causes our spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath and spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire casts to take 3 seconds off the cooldown of spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment. Both of these bonuses are significant gains in DPS and should be met where possible. The piece to drop is the gloves, here. Let me be clear: It is more important that you get four pieces than you get the "correct" four pieces. Worry about which off-piece to use when you're nearly done gearing and can freely choose.

 

Best in Slot List

 

The following, specific set of gear provides the highest-simming DPS using crit-focused Enchants in Simulation Craft:

 

 

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VI. Trinket Breakdown

 

In the first tier of Warlords, there are eight trinkets for us to choose from. Due to the nature of trinkets and how they vary in effect from one to the next, they are the most complicated gear to choose. For these slots alone, a higher item level does not guarantee a better item. Luckily, I've gone through and done all the simulation work for you. When given the choice, take Darmac's Unstable Talisman and Goren Soul Repository. Now, here are all trinkets, in order of awesomeness, with DPS per item level, followed by a mastery list of all trinkets at all item levels normal and above.

 

Darmac's Unstable Talisman

 

inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb2.jpgDarmac’s Unstable Talisman gives a static amount of Intellect and procs a sizable amount of Haste for 10 seconds. Here are its stats by item level:

  • Normal (665): +220 Intellect; 1,913 Haste proc
  • Heroic (680): +253 Intellect; 2,200 Haste proc
  • Mythic (695): +291 Intellect; 2,530 Haste proc
  • Mythic Warforged (701): +308 Intellect; 2,676 Haste proc

When simulated using SimCraft, these are the DPS numbers using these version of inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb2.jpgDarmac’s Unstable Talisman, against a base of 30,980 DPS with no trinket equipped:

  • Normal (665): 33,300 DPS
  • Heroic (680): 33,618 DPS
  • Mythic (695): 33,973 DPS
  • Mythic Warforged (701): 34,133 DPS

Goren Soul Repository

 

inv_misc_trinket6oih_lanterna2.jpgGoren Soul Repository gives a static amount of Intellect and procs a sizable amount of Crit for 10 seconds. Here are its stats by item level:

  • Normal (665): +220 Intellect; 1,913 Crit proc
  • Heroic (680): +253 Intellect; 2,200 Crit proc
  • Mythic (695): +291 Intellect; 2,530 Crit proc
  • Mythic Warforged (701): +308 Intellect; 2,676 Crit proc

When simulated using SimCraft, these are the DPS numbers using these version of inv_misc_trinket6oih_lanterna2.jpgGoren Soul Repository, against a base of 30,980 DPS with no trinket equipped:

  • Normal (665): 33,275 DPS
  • Heroic (680): 33,596 DPS
  • Mythic (695): 33,926 DPS
  • Mythic Warforged (701): 34,102 DPS

Formidable Orb of Putrescence

 

 inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb2.jpgFormidable Orb of Putrescence gives a static amount of Intellect and procs a sizable amount of Mastery for 10 seconds. Here are its stats by item level:

  • Normal (655): +201 Intellect; 1,743 Mastery proc
  • Heroic (670): +231 Intellect; 2,004 Mastery proc
  • Mythic (685): +265 Intellect; 2,304 Mastery proc
  • Mythic Warforged (691): +280 Intellect; 2,437 Mastery proc

When simulated using SimCraft, these are the DPS numbers using these version of  inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb2.jpgFormidable Orb of Putrescence, against a base of 30,980 DPS with no trinket equipped:

  • Normal (655): 33,117 DPS
  • Heroic (670): 33,399 DPS
  • Mythic (685): 33,734 DPS
  • Mythic Warforged (691): 33,886 DPS

Furyheart Talisman

 

inv_ragnaros_heart.jpgFuryheart Talisman gives a static amount of Intellect and procs a sizable amount of Haste for 10 seconds. Here are its stats by item level:

  • Normal (650): +191 Intellect; 1,665 Haste proc
  • Heroic (665): +220 Intellect; 1,913 Haste proc
  • Mythic (680): +253 Intellect; 2,200 Haste proc
  • Mythic Warforged (686): +268 Intellect; 2,326 Haste proc

When simulated using SimCraft, these are the DPS numbers using these version of inv_ragnaros_heart.jpgFuryheart Talisman, against a base of 30,980 DPS with no trinket equipped:

  • Normal (650): 33,024 DPS
  • Heroic (665): 33,299 DPS
  • Mythic (680): 33,604 DPS
  • Mythic Warforged (686): 33,770 DPS

Blackiron Micro Crucible

 

inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb1.jpgBlackiron Micro Crucible gives a static amount of Intellect and has a stacking Multistrike proc for 10 seconds. Here are its stats by item level:

  • Normal (665): +220 Intellect; 131 Multistrike per stack, max 2,620 proc
  • Heroic (680): +253 Intellect; 150 Multistrike per stack, max 3,000 proc
  • Mythic (695): +291 Intellect; 173 Multistrike per stack, max 3,460 proc
  • Mythic Warforged (701): +308 Intellect; 183 Multistrike per stack, max 3,660 proc

When simulated using SimCraft, these are the DPS numbers using these version of inv_misc_trinket6oih_orb1.jpgBlackiron Micro Crucible, against a base of 30,980 DPS with no trinket equipped:

  • Normal (665): 32,996 DPS
  • Heroic (680): 33,274 DPS
  • Mythic (695): 33,580 DPS
  • Mythic Warforged (701): 33,716 DPS

Quiescent Runestone

 

inv_misc_trinket6oog_talisman2.jpgQuiescent Runestone gives a static amount of Intellect, Haste, and Multistrike. Here are its stats by item level:

  • Normal (655): +201 Intellect; +134 Haste; +134 Multistrike
  • Heroic (670): +231 Intellect; +154 Haste; +154 Multistrike
  • Mythic (685): +265 Intellect; +177 Haste; +177 Multistrike
  • Mythic Warforged (691): +280 Intellect; +187 Haste; +187 Multistrike

When simulated using SimCraft, these are the DPS numbers using these versions of inv_misc_trinket6oog_talisman2.jpgQuiescent Runestone, against a base of 30,980 DPS with no trinket equipped:

  • Normal (655): 32,945 DPS
  • Heroic (670): 33,194 DPS
  • Mythic (685): 33,510 DPS
  • Mythic Warforged (691): 33,643 DPS

Copeland's Clarity

 

spell_arcane_mindmastery.jpgCopeland’s Clarity gives a static amount of Intellect, and a sizable amount of Spell Power on use. Here are its stats by item level:

  • Normal (665): +220 Intellect; 1,467 Spell Power on use
  • Heroic (680): +253 Intellect; 1,687 Spell Power on use
  • Mythic (695): +291 Intellect; 1,940 Spell Power on use
  • Mythic Warforged (701): +308 Intellect; 2,052 Spell Power on use

When simulated using SimCraft, these are the DPS numbers using these versions of spell_arcane_mindmastery.jpgCopeland’s Clarity, against a base of 30,980 DPS with no trinket equipped:

  • Normal (665): 32,268 DPS
  • Heroic (680): 32,439 DPS
  • Mythic (695): 32,653 DPS
  • Mythic Warforged (701): 32,721 DPS

Shards of Nothing

 

inv_misc_trinket6oog_isoceles1.jpgShards of Nothing gives a static amount of Intellect, and a sizable amount of Haste on use. Here are its stats by item level:

  • Normal (655): +201 Intellect; 1,337 Haste on use
  • Heroic (670): +231 Intellect; 1,537 Spell Power on use
  • Mythic (685): +265 Intellect; 1,767 Spell Power on use
  • Mythic Warforged (691): +280 Intellect; 1,869 Spell Power on use

When simulated using SimCraft, these are the DPS numbers using these versions of inv_misc_trinket6oog_isoceles1.jpgShards of Nothing, against a base of 30,980 DPS with no trinket equipped:

  • Normal (655): 32,201 DPS
  • Heroic (670): 32,335 DPS
  • Mythic (685): 32,518 DPS
  • Mythic Warforged (691): 32,565 DPS

Master List Ranking

 

Here are all of the trinkets, ranked by DPS:

 

[top]

 

Gameplay Tips and Tricks

 

So now that we've covered everything about setting up, here's how to play the damn thing:

 

DoT Usage

 

You need to maintain a high DoT uptime. You should apply spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire and ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire to every target available that will live for at least 12 seconds. For ability_druid_stellarflare.jpgStellar Flare, you're going to need to apply it to any target that will live for its full duration.

 

Be careful when applying DoTs to multiple targets: only your most recent spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire and ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire can proc Shooting Stars. If your most recent target you applied them to dies, you'll need to get them back up on another target. When you put DoTs on a target, pay attention to it to know if it dies so you can quickly refresh DoTs on another target. When applying ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire to multiple mobs via its AoE cleave from achievement_worldevent_lunar.jpgAstral Showers, the "most recent" DoT is counted as the target you actually cast ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire at.

 

Using spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment can be tricky and throw off your DoT uptime. If, when activating spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment, your ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire would fall off before your next solar phase, use the very last GCD during spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment to refresh your DoTS with spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire.

 

Starsurge Usage

 

You need to spend spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge charges often. Remember that you have two sources of charges for spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge:

Going beyond this, you'll want to maximize spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge usage during spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment and trinket procs, like so:

  • Let yourself reach two charges of spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge right before you have spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment off cooldown during a lunar phase. This means you may be waiting on spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment to come off or you may simply be waiting to get out of solar. Dump all charges on spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire.
  • Dump all spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge charges during trinkets, unless spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment is going to come off Cooldown (see above). This is unnecessary for a haste proc. Mastery or Spell Power procs should be preferred.

 

Cooldown Usage

 

How and when you use your cooldowns varies slightly by your gear. If you have the 4-piece bonus, your spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment will have a dynamic cooldown that decreases as you cast spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire and spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath. You may also have spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune available if a fight calls for it.

 

When using spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune, you need to pay attention to fight length. If a fight has a duration where spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune will not be able to finish its recharge again (for example, a 5-minute fight where you can use spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune on the pull and 3 minutes in, but only those two times), you can and should delay it in favor of waiting for your next spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment (if you have the 4-piece bonus).

 

If you know you, based on fight duration, that you will not see another use of spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune and spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment, it is acceptable to hold them until your next trinket proc.

 

If and when spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune and spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment line up, you must cast spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune first and wait until your next spell to cast spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment. If you macro/use them both together, you will waste precious time of spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment during spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune's GCD.

 

General Raid Utility

 

We have some raid utility left after pruning, namely:

 

  • spell_nature_earthbind.jpgCyclone can be used as a temporary crowd control for targets that don't need to be attacked.
  • spell_nature_stranglevines.jpgEntangling Roots can similarly be used to crowd control a target that doesn't need to be attacked.
  • spell_nature_regeneration.jpgMark of the Wild gives all raid members 5% extra Strength, Agility, and Intellect as well as 3% Versatility.
  • spell_holy_removecurse.jpgRemove Corruption can be used to cleanse Curse and Poison effects from raid members.
  • spell_nature_reincarnation.jpgRebirth is a (now instant cast) combat rez that works on the new charge-system. Only use with raid leader approval.
  • ability_vehicle_sonicshockwave.jpgSolar Beam is a persistent AoE interrupt and silence for 8 seconds, incredibly useful for locking down spellcaster adds in a tight group.
  • ability_hunter_beastsoothe.jpgSoothe removes enrage effects from enemies.
  • spell_druid_stampedingroar_cat.jpgStampeding Roar is an AoE movement speed boost that can be used anytime the raid needs to cover a sizable distance quickly.
  • druid_ability_wildmushroom_a.jpgWild Mushroom now slows targets in its 5-yard area by 50% for 20 seconds. Only three can be placed at a time.
  • Remember, our Tier 3 (level 45), Tier 5 (level 75), and Tier 6 (level 90) talents also provide various forms of utility, as covered in the talents section.

AoE and Multi-Target Priority

 

  1. ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall* for two or more targets.
  2. Apply spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire and ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire to every available target.
  3. Apply ability_druid_stellarflare.jpgStellar Flare to every available target.
  4. spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge as normal
  5. spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire/spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath as normal.

Because Blizzard thinks we have nostalgia about the most hated part of the spec's history, ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall now damages all targets within 40 yards, even if they are not in combat. Use caution when activating ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall when there is something nearby that needs to not be pulled. It is some of the difficulty can be alleviated by taking spell_druid_equinox.jpgGlyph of the Solstice and using ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire's new cleave function to quickly spread designate targets for ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall.

 

Single Target Priority

 

  1. spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge if capped on charges and do not have spell_arcane_starfire.jpgLunar Empowerment/spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgSolar Empowerment up.
  2. ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall if you're capped on charges and have spell_arcane_starfire.jpgLunar Empowerment/spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgSolar Empowerment up.
  3. Refresh ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire with ability_druid_eclipseorange.jpgSolar Peak if it will fall off before the next solar phase.
  4. Refresh spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire with ability_druid_eclipse.jpgLunar Peak if it will fall off before the next lunar phase.
  5. spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge if at two charges or shortly before reaching two charges and spell_arcane_starfire.jpgLunar Empowerment/spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgSolar Empowerment are down and you are not about to be in lunar phase with spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment up.
  6. ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall if at two charges or shortly before reaching two charges and spell_arcane_starfire.jpgLunar Empowerment/spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgSolar Empowerment are down and you are not about to be in lunar phase with spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment up. and you are for some reason unable to cast spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge.
  7. spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge if spell_arcane_starfire.jpgLunar Empowerment/spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgSolar Empowerment are down and you have a non-haste trinket proc and you are not about to be in lunar phase with spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment up.
  8. spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire or spell_nature_wrathv2.jpgWrath

Opening Rotation

 

For Single Target:

  1. Pre-pot
  2. spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire
  3. spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment and any other cooldowns (racials, etc.)
  4. spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire (also applies ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire)
  5. spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge
  6. spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire
  7. spell_arcane_starfire.jpgStarfire
  8. Repeat 6-8 until spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment is about to fall off
  9. spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire (also refreshes ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire) with your last GCD during spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment
  10. Begin regular priority rotation

For Multi-Target:

  1. Pre-cast spell_druid_incarnation.jpgIncarnation: Chosen of Elune
  2. Pre-pot
  3. Pre-cast ability_druid_stellarflare.jpgStellar Flare at primary Target
  4. spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment and any other cooldowns (racials, etc.)
  5. ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall and again when it expires
  6. spell_nature_starfall.jpgMoonfire (also applies ability_mage_firestarter.jpgSunfire) to all available targets
  7. ability_druid_stellarflare.jpgStellar Flare to all available targets
  8. spell_nature_cyclone.jpgHurricane if 8 or more targets or spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgStarsurge and ability_druid_starfall.jpgStarfall until spell_nature_natureguardian.jpgCelestial Alignment ends
  9. Being regular priority rotation

[top]

 

VIII. Credits, Thanks, & Feedback

 

First, thanks to Gahhda, Eein, and the rest of the Simulation Craft team for keeping SimC up to date with every minor change Blizzard makes and tiny bits of feedback on improving the default Balance profile. Thanks to Zagam for letting me copy his format from his Demonology guide for warlocks and providing some assistance in playing with gear in SimC profiles. Thanks to Krazyito for helping me with some of the earliest testing of stuff in the beta.

 

If anything needs fixing or changing, post a reply here or send me a PM! For questions, you can reply here, make a post, or ask me in game (Kazistrasz#1988).

 

[top]

 

IX. Change Log

 

10/20/14: Guide finished and posted.

10/21/14: Fixed a tooltip error.

10/22/14: Fixed tooltips for Wrath. Fixed Force of Nature to reflect Blizzard abandoning their casts being buffed by eclipse damage.

10/30/14: Made changes around recent super-buff of Starfall.

12/3/14: Changes made to update stat priority and talent selection.

12/5/14: Rotation section updated to reflect new talent choices.

12/6/14: Rotation and talent sections re-fixed in regards to SimC change.

 

[top]

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I told you.

 

https://twitter.com/Celestalon/status/472231980902264832

 

 

Also I disagree with crit over mastery in most situations. Crit was pretty essential before becasue of starsurge procs and the crit damage, but with starsurge not being something we're looking to proc as often as possible mastery should buff our damage much more than crit in pretty much every situation.

 

I can see how keeping them close together is beneficial, but IMO mastery is better if you had to choose.

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I told you.

 

https://twitter.com/Celestalon/status/472231980902264832

 

 

Also I disagree with crit over mastery in most situations. Crit was pretty essential before becasue of starsurge procs and the crit damage, but with starsurge not being something we're looking to proc as often as possible mastery should buff our damage much more than crit in pretty much every situation.

 

I can see how keeping them close together is beneficial, but IMO mastery is better if you had to choose.

 

I stand corrected. I stand firmly on my position that they have brought back the single most-hated feature of the spec's entire history with that change.

 

Crit over mastery isn't an opinion-based thing. I've ran the sims. Switching from their Mastery before Crit build to Crit before Mastery was a 3% difference in DPS. They're close in the sense that the gap between them is significantly less than the leap from Mastery to Haste, but they're not so close that you can simply say, "I think Mastery should be better," out of opinion. Mastery is better right now at 90, but this isn't written for 90.

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Thank you for writing all this. I like the WoD changes. One thing that kinda worries me is the current Simcraft charts and how low Balance is. Though obviously everything is still in flux and the next build could buff or nerf any spec. I'm in a semi-hardcore raiding guild, and if I have to change dps mains I'm ok with that. The WoD changes are fun though and I'm liking my druid a lot more than my other characters!

 

Here are some spelling/formatting/grammar errors I noticed in section III. Talents & Glyphs Explained. 

 

Tier 1 (Level 15)

  • Ysera’s Gift changes based on form, but is essentially a hunter's Deterrence as Boomkin.

 

Tier 6 (Level 90)

  • Dream of Cenarius causes refreshing your DoTs at 100 energy (or shortly thereafter) to do heal a nearby raid member.
Edited by Athleticsol

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Hmmm... one's a tooltip error, and the other is just me being bad. Thanks!

 

It's not really worth swapping mains based on sims. First, the Sims you're seeing are all single-target. Boomkins increase in DPS better than most specs when multiple targets are added. More fights are multi-target than single-target. Also, you're going to perform better with the spec you're comfortable with. And as you said, they're not done with tuning at all. They'll be doing more with tuning as we get into WoD. What's going on right now isn't anything worth talking about.

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It's not really worth swapping mains based on sims. First, the Sims you're seeing are all single-target. Boomkins increase in DPS better than most specs when multiple targets are added. More fights are multi-target than single-target. Also, you're going to perform better with the spec you're comfortable with. And as you said, they're not done with tuning at all. They'll be doing more with tuning as we get into WoD. What's going on right now isn't anything worth talking about.

 

 

Relevant image....

 

http://imgur.com/3bkCqHj

 

(wouldn't let me insert as just image?)

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Jiminy Cricket! I'm down with them wanting to make Balance more competitive, but Star fall is an over buff I think. At that point, our AOL is going to be just stupid, and it's also coming dangerously close to being worth it on Single Target before I run some numbers to really check.

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Jiminy Cricket! I'm down with them wanting to make Balance more competitive, but Star fall is an over buff I think. At that point, our AOL is going to be just stupid, and it's also coming dangerously close to being worth it on Single Target before I run some numbers to really check.

 

I was always more of an MSN man myself. laugh.png

 

Seriously though, I knew balance wasn't showing super well, but... Daaayyyyyuum.

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Wasn't that the previous 6.0 buffs going into it? I don't remember

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Thanks for the write up, nice work!

 

That is a pretty crazy buff. We needed more damage, but the Starfall buff does seem extraordinary. 

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Not as far as I know. These were in a blue post on the 29th along with some other tuning things: frostbolt damage reduction, warrior bullshit stoppage.... slight hunter buffs/tweaks. According to the post, they could be live now, although I don't think they are, but I didn't read every blue post on the thread. 

 

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/15006811541?page=1

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Krazy - this is a new wave of tuning.

 

We really haven't been as behind as most people think. Most of the poor representation in logs right is due to most people still not having figured out how to play the spec with the changes. I went in with my guild last week and was almost always top 4 in our guild (even was the top DPS on a few of them) excepting Spoils. Of those that I wasn't, one is Thok which can't count since we can't cast jack when screeches speed up during Lunar unless we go stack a good bit of haste. In our guild, it's saying something. It'll be a huge jump in DPS now with this added - even if other classes/specs got buffs as well, they don't get near as big of a buff as we are.

 

TL;DR - Boomkins weren't as weak as people think, and they're going to be OP now.

 

Oh, and Starfall buffed by 75% is just silly. That's going to be more OP than Fire Nova. PvP will be even worse. Imagine two or three Boomkins going into IoC and letting Starfall go - That alone could come close to wiping the other team with such a huge buff.

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I meant weaker @ lv 100. Although I think this was partially movement based too. Our boomkins were doing well last night. I think one even topped it on Nazgrim. Then again, anything I say relating to WoD is purely hearsay based, as I never got a beta invite. =(

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There was never any serious live data coming out of the beta. The opportunity to even attempt any sort of legitimate DPS testing in a semi-realistic raid environment was heavily limited. Most of the data for 100 was sim-based.

 

While I understand that this is a buff largely with WoD in mind, it's at least partially based on where they see the spec right now since that's where they have a massive amount of "useful" player data.

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Krazy - this is a new wave of tuning.

 

We really haven't been as behind as most people think. Most of the poor representation in logs right is due to most people still not having figured out how to play the spec with the changes. I went in with my guild last week and was almost always top 4 in our guild (even was the top DPS on a few of them) excepting Spoils. Of those that I wasn't, one is Thok which can't count since we can't cast jack when screeches speed up during Lunar unless we go stack a good bit of haste. In our guild, it's saying something. It'll be a huge jump in DPS now with this added - even if other classes/specs got buffs as well, they don't get near as big of a buff as we are.

 

TL;DR - Boomkins weren't as weak as people think, and they're going to be OP now.

 

Oh, and Starfall buffed by 75% is just silly. That's going to be more OP than Fire Nova. PvP will be even worse. Imagine two or three Boomkins going into IoC and letting Starfall go - That alone could come close to wiping the other team with such a huge buff.

Ya I was also talking about WoD, and not level 90 damage. I'm doing fine currently in live raids. But in beta I was brutally behind a couple of days ago when my guild was doing some testing. Granted, the raid was on a whim and I wasn't nearly optimized stat wise (was all hasted out with random shit I threw on months ago), but I still didn't expect to be so far behind.

 

That kind of Starfall damage will be game breaking in certain fights.

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I'm so far behind on changes now =(

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Although from your guide it isn't stated specifically, but it is sub intended that CA should only be used in lunar phase. I'm a bit new to boomkin, I understand that starfire has a higher DPET than wrath, but why does CA need to be used during lunar phase, if CA makes all spells benefit from maximum eclipse?

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Your Starsurge will still empower Starfire if you use CA during Lunar. It's a non-negligible DPS gain to use it during Lunar instead of Solar unless it will cost you a CA use toward the end of the fight. Your DoTs and your Starfall and your Starsurge so the same damage regardless of Lunar/Solar usage for CA. It's that difference of Starfire doing more DPS than Wrath that makes it matter.

Blizzard's intention is never important when compared to what actually gets the best results out of the spec.

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Hello mate and thank your very much for this post.

There's only one thing i need to ask about the boomkin rotation.  When you choose the Euphoria talent (http://www.wowdb.com/spells/152222-euphoria), your balance cycle duration changes from 40 secs to 20, which means that your moonfire DoT will be up on the target (considering that you refresh it on a lunar peak) for 2 full cycles. Should I refresh it anyways on a lunar peak even when there are still 20 secs to go on the DoT duration or just refresh it when it is about to expire (on a lunar peak every 2 cycles)? 

Best regards

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Hi there. Thanks for the extremely informative post!

 

I'm wondering for a clarification on the stat priorities. I read your comment about simming our stats, and how crit is our best at higher gear levels. Does this still stand? And does this apply to both stellar flare and euphoria builds?

 

I only ask because it conflicts the official Icy Veins balance guide, and BOTH of these guides conflict with Ask Mr. Robot. I know some buffs were made to balance after you wrote this guide, so I just want to make sure this is still completely accurate.

 

Lastly, do you have approximate stat weights I could use for Ask Mr. Robot, with everything above considered?

 

Thanks so much.

Edited by Eend

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#1: Ignore Ask Mr. Robot completely. There's no reforging, so really no point in even bothering with using their website these days. Gemming is just pick your best stat.

 

#2: I haven't re-simmed it yet, because we're not yet at the point of raiding, and it's on my to-do list. I obtained mine by seeing what gave the highest DPS in SimC, and Cyous (who reviewed and provided the info for the class guide) got his from WrathCalcs. The difference? SimC is more of "in practice" while WC is more of "in theory". 

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Thanks so much for the informative answer. I mained shadow priest in BC/LK and it was great having a large active theorycrafting community. Glad to see people putting some time into optimising their boomkins.

 

I'll be checking back for updates frequently. Thanks again!

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Hello Kazistrasz! Nice guide!

 

Just a few questions, What do you think about the Darkmoon Trinket ? Sandman's Pouch

Should i keep upgrading him ?

For a fight with 2 targets like Twin Ogron, Should i use Starflare + Starfall all the time ?

 

Thanks for the amazing work! Keep it up!

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I'm planning to rerun all the sims tomorrow to come up with more answers for where we're at now and going forward in terms of gearing, stats, etc.

 

Right now, the sheer mat cost to upgrade those things makes it unfeasible and expensive. While we're getting ready to start raiding, it's not particularly better or worse than the other options we can get simply as drops.

 

Also, any time you're going to have two targets throughout the fight, you go to multi-target set-up.

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