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[Balance] Why does Soul of the Forest sim ahead of Incarnation

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Hello all! 


Statistics show that the vast majority of balance druids are using Incarnation rather than SoTF or FoN. FoN is obviously pretty bad (unless you need to instantly root something, for some reason), but in every sim I've tested, SotF comes out slightly ahead of Incarnation.


The difference is not massive (usually slightly above 1%) but it seems odd that, with these talents being so close and Inc allegedly being slightly lower, Incarnation is still vastly more popular (


Is there something I'm missing? I imagine SotF is even more valuable with with the 4 piece because it would make CA stronger. Why does almost everyone use Incarnation?

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Simulation of what? You forget to mention in which scenario you've been comparing the two talents. Fight length, variation, amount of targets and movement matters. 


Fight length especially matters, because it determines how many casts you can get off. On average you can get 0.33 Incarnation casts off per minute (1 every 3 minutes). However, if the fight lasts for example 4 minutes, then you can get 2 casts off total, which is 0.50 casts of Incarnation per minute. Incarnation is very strong on fights that last 3:26, 6:26 or 9:26 minutes, while being weakest on fights that last 2:56, 5:56 or 8:56 (assuming you precast Incarnation around -4 in your opener). 


Therefore, if you're simulating for a fight length of for example 6:00 minutes where Incarnation is relatively weak, you can expect to see really good performance from SotF as well. Incarnation is the most popular choice for many reasons


- Most fights are multi-target where Incarnation outperforms

- Incarnation is a cooldown you can control in order to get burst at the right times (Flamebender wolves, Phase 3 on Iron Maidens)

- As Incarnation is usually the better choice in most situations, people prefer to stick with the talent even when SotF is competitive

- Incarnation becomes very strong when farming bosses, where kill timers are reduced significantly (thus making your opener have a larger impact on your overall dps).


The only fight where you can consider SotF is Gruul if you're seeing kill timers around 6:00 minutes (enrage). 

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The only fight where you can consider SotF is Gruul if you're seeing kill timers around 6:00 minutes (enrage). 

and if this is happening, then your group has much bigger problems than you worrying about what talent to use.


If you're killing it in less than 3m, then SotF might come out slightly ahead

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I used SotF on our Gruul mythic kill, right after HFC was released. Back then enrage was a thing. 


If you're killing it in less than 3m, then SotF might come out slightly ahead


If the kill timer is less than 3m then Incarnation has a really great value as the opener has a bigger impact. 

I would only use SotF on single target fights with a kill time of ~6:00 or ~9:00 without any requirements for burst at specific times. 

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Back then is not now, I would not have mentioned it if BFR had just come out.

And you're right. I haven't looked at this since BRF came out and remember saying what you're saying for Butcher where the shortness of it makes the burst better.

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