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Balance Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Nov 27, 2016 at 07:41 by Vlad 129 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list your Balance Druid core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Balance Druid.

The other pages of our Balance Druid guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Xirips, one of the best Balance Druids in the world, who raids in Method. You can follow him on Twitter and you can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Single Target Rotation

The Balance Druid rotation is based on the following priority list.

  1. Apply and maintain Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Sunfire Icon Sunfire on the target.
  2. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge to consume Astral Power.
  3. Cast  Icon New Moon (and its other versions) to generate Astral Power. Make sure its charges are always rolling.
  4. Use Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath to generate Astral Power.
  5. Cast Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike, only to avoid wasting Lunar Empowerment Icon Lunar Empowerment charges (so, when you have 3 charges).

At all times, you should avoid generating Astral Power when you are at maximum capacity.

1.1. Opening Rotation

The ideal opening rotation at the start of the fight is as follows:

  1. Shortly before the pull, use your potion and pre-cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath.
  2. Cast  Icon New Moon.
  3. Apply Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Sunfire Icon Sunfire to the target.
  4. Cast Celestial Alignment Icon Celestial Alignment (or Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, if you have taken this talent).
  5. Cast Half Moon Icon Half Moon and Full Moon Icon Full Moon.
  6. Continue your normal rotation.

2. Multiple Target Rotation

The multiple target rotation is very similar to the single target rotation, with a few differences.

You should keep Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire up on any targets that will live longer than 6 seconds, and Stellar Flare Icon Stellar Flare on targets that will live longer than around 12 seconds. Also use  Icon New Moon (and its other versions) as you would against a single target.

You should still use Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath to generate Astral Power, as a rule. Against 3+ targets, a Lunar Strike that benefits from Lunar Empowerment Icon Lunar Empowerment is preferable to a Solar Wrath that is empowered, while against 4+ targets, even unempowered Lunar Strikes are better than empowered Solar Wrath.

To consume Astral Power, use Starfall Icon Starfall if you are fighting 3 or more enemies, and Starsurge Icon Starsurge otherwise.

3. Cooldown Usage

As a Balance Druid, you only have one DPS cooldown, by default: Celestial Alignment Icon Celestial Alignment. You should use this during periods of increased damage to the boss. In any case, it should be used as many times as possible during the encounter.

As a Balance Druid, you gain a few other cooldowns from your talents, which we explain below.

4. Optional Read: Mastering Your Balance Druid

While the rotations we gave in the previous sections will yield very good results, there are a few subtleties that you should understand in order to truly excel at your role.

4.1. Mastery: Starlight

Your Mastery: Starlight Icon Mastery: Starlight increases the damage of your Starfall Icon Starfall and Starsurge Icon Starsurge, and also increases the effects of your Empowerments (Lunar, Solar, and Stellar).

4.2. Artifact Ability

Your artifact weapon grants you the  Icon New Moon ability. This ability has 3 charges and a 15-second recharge time. It is peculiar in that when you cast New Moon, the ability (in your spellbook) changes to Half Moon Icon Half Moon, and casting Half Moon Icon Half Moon turns the ability into Full Moon Icon Full Moon. Cast Full Moon turns it back into New Moon, and the cycle repeats this way.

All 3 versions of the ability share the same number of charges and recharge time. However, they differ in other aspects.  Icon New Moon deals damage to a single target and generates 10 Astral Power. Half Moon Icon Half Moon deals more damage to the target and generates 20 Astral Power. Full Moon Icon Full Moon deals even higher damage to the main target, as well as reduced damage to all enemies in a radius around the target, and generates 40 Astral Power.

Throughout the guide, we refer to the ability simply as  Icon New Moon, but this signifies whichever version of the ability is currently active.

4.3. Lunar, Solar, and Stellar Empowerments

Each time you use Starsurge Icon Starsurge, you gain 1 stack of both Lunar and Solar Empowerment. These buffs increase the damage of your next Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike (Lunar Empowerment Icon Lunar Empowerment buff) and Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath (Solar Empowerment Icon Solar Empowerment buff). The exact amount depends on your Mastery. You can accumulate up to 3 stacks of each buff, but each Lunar Strike or Solar Wrath cast only consumes one stack.

Moreover, using Starfall Icon Starfall debuffs each affected target with Stellar Empowerment Icon Stellar Empowerment, which causes them to take increased damage from your Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire (the exact increase, again, depends on the amount of Mastery you have).

With regards to Stellar Empowerment, this will simply offer you a damage increase when multi-DoTting targets.

4.4. Emerald Dreamcatcher Playstyle

If you have the The Emerald Dreamcatcher Icon The Emerald Dreamcatcher legendary item, then your playstyle changes significantly. In the sections below, we cover this in detail.

4.4.1. Opening Rotation

Your opening rotation with The Emerald Dreamcatcher Icon The Emerald Dreamcatcher differs depending on whether or not your group is using Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust at the start or not. With Heroism/Bloodlust, it is as follows.

  1. Pre-pot and pre-cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath.
  2. Cast  Icon New Moon.
  3. Apply Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire.
  4. Cast Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune + Berserking Icon Berserking (since both are off the global cooldown, cast immediately after applying the second DoT).
  5. Cast Half Moon Icon Half Moon.
  6. Cast Full Moon Icon Full Moon.
  7. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  8. Cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath.
  9. Cast Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike.
  10. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  11. Cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath.
  12. Cast Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike.
  13. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge x4.
  14. Cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath x2 and Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike x2.
  15. Continue with a rotation that casts Starsurge Icon Starsurge and weaves in filler spells to build 80+ Astral Power and have 2 stacks of The Emerald Dreamcatcher Icon The Emerald Dreamcatcher, and dump all Astral Power into Starsurge again before Incarnation ends.
  16. Refresh any DoTs that have fallen off (ideally none if you have done the rotation correctly).

If you are not benefiting from Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust, then the opening rotation is as follows.

  1. Pre-pot and pre-cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath.
  2. Cast  Icon New Moon.
  3. Apply Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire.
  4. Cast Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
  5. Cast Berserking Icon Berserking, and Half Moon Icon Half Moon and Full Moon Icon Full Moon.
  6. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  7. Cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath.
  8. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  9. Cast Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike.
  10. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  11. Cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath x2.
  12. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge x3.
  13. Cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath x2 and Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike x2.
  14. Continue with a rotation that casts Starsurge Icon Starsurge and weaves in filler spells to build 60+ Astral Power and have 2 stacks of The Emerald Dreamcatcher Icon The Emerald Dreamcatcher, and dump all Astral Power into Starsurge again before Incarnation ends.
  15. Refresh any DoTs that have fallen off (ideally none, although depending on your Haste sometimes Sunfire Icon Sunfire will have fallen off near the end).

4.4.2. Rotation Priority System

Against a single target, make use of this priority system.

  1. Apply and maintain Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Sunfire Icon Sunfire on the target.
  2. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge to consume Astral Power and build The Emerald Dreamcatcher Icon The Emerald Dreamcatcher stacks.
  3. Alternate between casting empowered Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike to build Astral Power.
  4. When 2 charges of  Icon New Moon are available, begin looking for an opportunity to dump 2-stack Starsurge Icon Starsurges (over-capping empowerments in the process) to burn excess Astral Power.
  5. Replenish your Astral Power with 2 or 3 charges of  Icon New Moon, and resume the cycle of weaving filler spells between Starsurge Icon Starsurges.

In 2-target situations, simply perform the same rotation on the highest priority target while maintaining DoTs on all targets that will live longer than 6 seconds.

In 3+ target situations, replace step #4 with dumping excess Astral Power on Starfall Icon Starfall instead of Starsurge Icon Starsurge, so long as 3+ DoTted targets will survive the full duration of Starfall.

The exact spells you will be able to cast between Starsurge Icon Starsurges depends on your level of Haste. Refer to this chart (all credit to Gebuz) for the Haste breakpoints.

4.5. Detailed Cooldown Usage

4.5.1. Tier 1 Talents

Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature should be used on cooldown.

Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune should be used to burst down priority targets. Ideally, you should have 2 stacks of Lunar Empowerment Icon Lunar Empowerment active when you use it.

4.5.2. Tier 5 Talents

Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune replaces your Celestial Alignment Icon Celestial Alignment, and should be used in the same way.

Stellar Flare Icon Stellar Flare should be kept up on targets with the same priority as your other 2 DoTs, while in the case of multi-DoTting, it should only be applied if the target will live for at least roughly 12 seconds.

4.5.3. Tier 6 Talents

Astral Communion Icon Astral Communion should be used as often as possible throughout the fight, while making sure never to waste the Astral Power you are provided with.

If you have taken Blessing of the Ancients Icon Blessing of the Ancients, you should use Blessing of Elune Icon Blessing of Elune as the beneficial effect.

4.5.4. Tier 7 Talents

Careful preparation should be made before casting Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune.

  1. Ensure you will not have to move for several seconds.
  2. Have 2 charges of  Icon New Moon with the third charging up.
  3. Make sure Astral Communion Icon Astral Communion is off cooldown.
  4. Get as close to 100 Astral Power as possible; capping is fine but avoid overcapping.
  5. Make sure DoTs have been freshly applied. Refreshing DoTs during Fury of Elune will cut it drastically short.

During Fury of Elune, you should generate Astral Power using Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath, even against multiple targets.

5. ChangeLog

  • 27 Nov. 2016: Further detailed the Lunar Strike versus Solar Wrath usage in multiple target situations, and slightly updated the opening rotation.
  • 31 Oct. 2016: Removed the Mastery snapshotting section since it is no longer relevant.
  • 25 Oct. 2016: Updated the Full Moon description to account for Patch 7.1 changes.
  • 02 Oct. 2016: Made various improvements to the existing rotations, added a section about Mastery snapshotting, and also added a section about how The Emerald Dreamcatcher affects the playstyle.
  • 08 Sep. 2016: Updated the recommendations on when to use Lunar Strike.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 20 Jul. 2016: Fixed a small issue that recommended not to cap Empowerments, when in fact it should have said that you should not generate more Empowerments when you are capped.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Added Stellar Flare to the rotations, and added a mention about using Blessing of the Ancients as your tier 6 talent.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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