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Balance Druid DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Nov 27, 2016 at 07:41 by Vlad 136 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Balance Druids in World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

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. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Force of Nature ? Force of Nature Warrior of Elune Warrior of Elune Starlord Starlord
30 Renewal Renewal Displacer Beast Displacer Beast Wild Charge Wild Charge
45 Feral Affinity Feral Affinity Guardian Affinity ? Guardian Affinity Restoration Affinity Restoration Affinity
60 Mighty Bash ? Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement ? Mass Entanglement Typhoon ? Typhoon
75 Soul of the Forest Soul of the Forest Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Stellar Flare ? Stellar Flare
90 Shooting Stars Shooting Stars Astral Communion Astral Communion Blessing of the Ancients Blessing of the Ancients
100 Fury of Elune ? Fury of Elune Stellar Drift ? Stellar Drift Nature's Balance Nature's Balance

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Force of Nature ? Force of Nature Warrior of Elune Warrior of Elune Starlord Starlord
  • Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown that summons 3 Treants for 10 seconds. Force of Nature is targeted in an area, and the treants will taunt and attack targets in that area while they are alive.
  • Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune is an active ability with a 45-second cooldown which causes your next 2 Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strikes to be instant cast.
  • Starlord Icon Starlord passively causes your Lunar Empowerment Icon Lunar Empowerment Solar Empowerment Icon Solar Empowerment to reduce the cast time of their affected spells (Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath respectively) by 8%. This effect does not stack.

In this tier, we recommend Starlord Icon Starlord as the default choice in raiding and dungeon content.

Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature is only worth taking in dungeons or world content, where the taunt of the Treants is useful.

Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune is currently not competitive and should not be taken.

3. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Renewal Renewal Displacer Beast Displacer Beast Wild Charge Wild Charge
  • Renewal Icon Renewal is an active ability with a 2-minute cooldown. It heals you for 30% of your maximum health, it is usable in all shapeshift forms, and it is off the global cooldown.
  • Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast is an active ability that teleports you 20 yards forward, activates Cat Form Icon Cat Form, and grants you a 50% increase in movement speed for 4 seconds.
  • Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge is an active ability that is off the global cooldown and which differs based on the shapeshift form you are in, as follows:
    • No shapeshift form and Travel Form Icon Travel Form: you fly to an ally's location.
    • Moonkin Form Icon Moonkin Form: you leap backwards.
    • Bear Form Icon Bear Form: you charge an enemy, immobilising them for 4 seconds.
    • Cat Form Icon Cat Form: you leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds.
    • Aquatic Form Icon Aquatic Form: your swim speed is increased by 150% for 5 seconds.

In this tier, you will have to choose between movement and survivability. For a movement increase, Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast is by far better than Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge in almost every way, and should generally be the default choice (though Wild Charge may have some niche usefulness on certain encounters).

Alternatively, during fights with heavy damage (or progression raiding in general), Renewal Icon Renewal is a good source of self-healing that can help keep you alive. The choice between Renewal and Displacer Beast is yours.

4. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Feral Affinity Feral Affinity Guardian Affinity ? Guardian Affinity Restoration Affinity Restoration Affinity
;

To begin with, it is important to point out that these talents' active abilities are more or less worthless. Tanking, healing, or doing melee DPS as a Balance Druid is sub-optimal (or suicidal, in the case of tanking), so you should essentially never do it. Instead, it is the passive abilities of these talents that will determine your choice.

As the default choice, we recommend Restoration Affinity Icon Restoration Affinity, which will provide you with a steady stream of healing, and which also works well for dungeons and world content. In case you expect to take high damage in the encounter (over 50% of your maximum health over the course of 5 seconds, repeatedly), then Guardian Affinity Icon Guardian Affinity can be better (in order to obtain maximum benefit from this, you need to also stay in Bear Form Icon Bear Form for the duration of Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration).

Finally, Feral Affinity Icon Feral Affinity is a poor choice which simply cannot compete with Guardian Affinity.

5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Mighty Bash ? Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement ? Mass Entanglement Typhoon ? Typhoon
  • Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash is an active ability with a 50-second cooldown, which stuns the target for 5 seconds. It is usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown, which roots the target in place for 20 seconds, with the root effect spreading to nearby enemies. Damage done to rooted targets may break the effect. Mass Entanglement is usable in all shapeshift forms.
  • Typhoon Icon Typhoon is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown. It knocks back all targets within 15-yards in a cone in front of you, dazing them for 6 seconds. It is usable in all shapeshift forms.

The choice between these talents is largely irrelevant in terms of DPS performance. You will simply choose the one which you prefer most, or which best suits the encounter mechanics. That said, Typhoon Icon Typhoon will probably be the most useful talent in the majority of fights.

6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Soul of the Forest Soul of the Forest Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Stellar Flare ? Stellar Flare

The best choice in this tier is Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, in practically all situations. The only exception to this is taking Stellar Flare Icon Stellar Flare if you have the Oneth's Intuition Icon Oneth's Intuition legendary.

Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest is not competitive.

7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Shooting Stars Shooting Stars Astral Communion Astral Communion Blessing of the Ancients Blessing of the Ancients
  • Shooting Stars Icon Shooting Stars passively causes your Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire ticks to have a 10% chance to create a falling star, which deals Astral damage to the target and generates 4 Astral Power.
  • Astral Communion Icon Astral Communion is an active ability with an 80-second cooldown, which generates 75 Astral Power.
  • Blessing of the Ancients Icon Blessing of the Ancients is an active ability with a 15-second cooldown that allows you to switch between the Blessing of Elune Icon Blessing of Elune and Blessing of An'she Icon Blessing of An'she buffs. It is important to note that you will always have one of these buffs active if you have the Blessing of the Ancients talent.
    • Blessing of Elune increases the Astral Power generated by Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike by 25%.
    • Blessing of An'she grants you 2 Astral Power every 3 seconds.

These 3 talents are well balanced. Blessing of the Ancients Icon Blessing of the Ancients is a good default choice. Astral Communion Icon Astral Communion is the best choice when paired with Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune (Level 100 talent), while Shooting Stars Icon Shooting Stars is the best choice for extended multi-target cleave damage against 4+ targets for the majority of the fight.

8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Fury of Elune ? Fury of Elune Stellar Drift ? Stellar Drift Nature's Balance Nature's Balance
  • Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown. It deals Astral damage in a small radius every second, and costs 6 Astral Power to cast and 12 Astral Power per second after that, and lasting until you run out of Astral Power. You can re-cast Fury of Elune while it is active in order to change its location, free of cost.
  • Stellar Drift Icon Stellar Drift increases the radius of Starfall Icon Starfall by 30%, its damage by 20%, and allows you to cast while moving as long as you are inside Starfall's radius.
  • Nature's Balance Icon Nature's Balance causes Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike to extend the duration of Moonfire Icon Moonfire by 6 seconds, and Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath to extend the duration of Sunfire Icon Sunfire by 4 seconds.

Nature's Balance Icon Nature's Balance is the recommended default talent in this tier. Alternatively, in encounters during which you can reliable and consistently hit 2+ targets, you should use Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune (though having to stand still and generate Astral Power for this talent can be cumbersome).

Stellar Drift Icon Stellar Drift is suboptimal for cleave compared to Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune, but has uses on more spread-out AoE targets due to Fury of Elune's very small AoE radius. On a council-type fight where the bosses can not be stacked, or an add fight where they can not be tightly stacked, Stellar Drift will be superior.

9. ChangeLog

  • 27 Nov. 2016: Updated tier 3 and tier 7 talent recommendations, and changed the Shooting Stars recommendation to 4+ targets.
  • 02 Nov. 2016: Fixed a small issue where we were still referring to Thick Hide's old 10% damage reduction (it is now 6%).
  • 25 Oct. 2016: Patch 7.1 updates
    • Added a mention that Incarnation is now off the global cooldown.
    • Updated Guardian Affinity's description (Thick Hide now passively reduces damage by 6%, down from 10).
  • 02 Oct. 2016: Revamped tier 1, 3, and 5 talent sections.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 28 Jul. 2016: Revamped tier 5 and 7 talent discussions.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Corrected an error where we were recommending Astral Communion (in tier 6), whereas this talent is only viable if you can pair it with Fury of Elune (tier 7), which is not currently the case. We now correctly recommend Blessing of the Ancients.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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