Balance Druid DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (MoP 5.4)

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Balance Druid Art Image
General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Balance Druids in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs 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 Pacteh, one of the best Balance Druids in the world, who raids in Method. You can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Feline Swiftness Displacer Beast Wild Charge
30 Ysera's Gift Renewal Cenarion Ward
45 Faerie Swarm Mass Entanglement Typhoon
60 Soul of the Forest Incarnation Force of Nature
75 Disorienting Roar Ursol's Vortex Mighty Bash
90 Heart of the Wild Dream of Cenarius Nature's Vigil
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents are now viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance Icon Dust of Disappearance (and Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90). You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents offer a choice between 3 means of increasing your movement abilities.

  • Feline Swiftness Icon Feline Swiftness is a passive ability that increases your movement speed by 15% at all times.
  • 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 differs based on the shapeshift form you are in, as follows:
    • No shapeshift 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, immobilizing them for 4 seconds.
    • Cat Form Icon Cat Form: you leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds.
    • Travel Form Icon Travel Form: you leap forward 20 yards.
    • Aquatic Form Icon Aquatic Form: your swim speed is increased by 150% for 5 seconds.

The choice here will come down to either Feline Swiftness Icon Feline Swiftness or Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast. Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge is generally not very useful.

Feline Swiftness will be your default choice for most fights, with Displacer Beast being useful situationally.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents offer a choice between 3 healing spells.

  • Ysera's Gift Icon Ysera's Gift is a passive spell that heals you for 5% of your maximum health every 5 seconds. If you are at maximum health, then it heals the most injured party or raid member within 100 yards.
  • Renewal Icon Renewal is a self-heal for 30% of your maximum health with a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward is a buff that you can place on a friendly player, lasting up to 30 seconds. When the player takes damage, Cenarion Ward activates a 6-second HoT on the player, consuming Cenarion Ward in the process.

Ysera's Gift Icon Ysera's Gift is very nice because it is entirely passive, and therefore very comfortable to use.

Renewal Icon Renewal provides a very reliable self-heal that may be preferable in some situations, or if you simply prefer to have more control over your abilities.

Cenarion Ward Icon Cenarion Ward is the weakest of the three talents.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents offer a choice between 3 crowd control spells.

  • Faerie Swarm Icon Faerie Swarm is a spell that replaces Faerie Fire Icon Faerie Fire, upgrading the latter spell to also slow the target's movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds.
  • Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement roots all enemies in an area around the target for up to 20 seconds.
  • Typhoon Icon Typhoon is a spell that affects enemies in a cone in front of you, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 seconds.

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.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 offers a choice between 3 performance-enhancing talents.

  • Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest passively makes your Wrath Icon Wrath, Starfire Icon Starfire, and Starsurge Icon Starsurge casts have an 8% chance to cause Astral Communion Icon Astral Communion to grant 100 Lunar or Solar Power instead of activating the next Eclipse.
  • Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune increases your Arcane and Nature damage done by 25% for 30 seconds. This ability has a 3-minute cooldown.
  • Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature is an active ability that summons a treant which casts Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots on your current target, and then spams Wrath Icon Wrath on it for 15 seconds. Force of Nature has a maximum of 3 charges, and a new a charge is added every 20 seconds. Otherwise, it has no cooldown.

Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune and Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature are roughly equal in terms of value, and the choice is up to you.

Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest is not really able to compete with the other two talents, currently.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents offer a choice between 3 crowd control spells.

  • Disorienting Roar Icon Disorienting Roar is an AoE disorient that lasts for 3 seconds and affects all enemies in a 10 yard radius.
  • Ursol's Vortex Icon Ursol's Vortex is a targeted AoE slow. When enemies first try to leave the slowing area, they are pulled back in.
  • Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash is a single target 5-second stun.

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.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents offer a choice between 3 talents that affect your gameplay.

  • Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild increases your Stamina, Agility, and Intellect by 6% at all times. Additionally, with a 6-minute cooldown, it allows you to viably perform roles outside of your specialisation, for 45 seconds.
    • allows you to tank in Bear Form Icon Bear Form, by increasing your Agility, Expertise, Hit Chance, and armor, making you immune to critical hits and granting you the Vengeance Icon Vengeance ability;
    • allows you to heal efficiently, by increasing the healing of your spells by 100% and reducing the mana cost of your healing spells by 100% (when used with Tranquility Icon Tranquility, it provides an extremely good raid cooldown);
    • allows you to DPS in Cat Form Icon Cat Form, by increasing your Agility, Expertise, and Hit Chance.
  • Dream of Cenarius Icon Dream of Cenarius is a passive ability that increases the healing done by Healing Touch Icon Healing Touch by 20%, and causes each Healing Touch to increase the damage bonus of your next Eclipse by 25%.
  • Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil is a 90-second cooldown that increases all healing and damage done by 12% for 30 seconds. While Nature's Vigil is active, all single target healing spells also damage a nearby enemy for 25% of the healing done, and all damaging spells heal nearby allies for 25% of the damage done.

The decision you will need to make here is between Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild and Dream of Cenarius Icon Dream of Cenarius, as Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil is not good enough at the moment. Heart of the Wild is probably the better choice, since it provides your raid with more utility and survivability. Dream of Cenarius provides marginally more DPS, but it has a much larger room for error, and it requires a lot higher level of play to be efficient.

8. Major Glyphs↑top

No Major Glyphs improve your DPS performance, but a few of them are still worth mentioning for the other benefits that they offer. Minor Glyphs are entirely cosmetic and do not affect your gameplay at all.

  • Glyph of Stampede Icon Glyph of Stampede removes any form requirements from Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar, making it easy to use in Moonkin Form Icon Moonkin Form. As with the above-mentioned glyph, this can save you from a loss of DPS caused by switching out of Moonkin Form.
  • Glyph of Rebirth Icon Glyph of Rebirth is very useful if you ever intend to use your Rebirth Icon Rebirth, since it allows the target of your Rebirth to come back to life with full health, meaning that they do not risk instantly dying again to environmental damage.
  • Glyph of Innervate Icon Glyph of Innervate grants you 10% of your maximum mana when you use Innervate Icon Innervate on other players.
  • Glyph of Stampeding Roar Icon Glyph of Stampeding Roar increases the range of Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar by 30 yards. If using this ability is vital to your raid's strategy, this glyph is excellent.

9. Changelog↑top

  • 18 Oct. 2013: Improved the Tier 4 and 6 talent discussions.
  • 12 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update.
  • 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: updated Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature description and the relevant discussion about that tier's talents.
  • 16 Apr. 2013: Made several updates.
    • Reworked Tier 1, 2, 4, and 6 talent sections to better reflect the relative value of the talents in each tier. Also added some clarifications for choosing between Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild and Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil.
    • Emphasised that Glyph of Stampede Icon Glyph of Stampede and Glyph of the Moonbeast allow you to avoid losing DPS when having to use the respective abilities.
  • 07 Mar. 2013: Patch 5.2 update.
    • Updated Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast explanation to mention the movement speed buff that it provides.
    • Updated Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest explanation to reflect the fact that you now gain 40 Solar/Lunar Energy upon leaving an eclipse state, up from 20.
    • Updated Nature's Vigil Icon Nature's Vigil explanation to reflect the new cooldown and the fact that the damage and healing bonus is now 10% instead of 20%.