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Are balance druids (boomkins) good in raiding

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I don't really like my class changes to my mains. I've decided that I am going to do a last minute re roll as a caster / rdps and get into the raiding scene in Legion. I initially thought about a hunter or a mage, but there are already a million of those out there, which means it may be harder to get into a guild as a hunter or a mage because most guilds likely already have a few on there raid teams. After a little bit of reading about Legion class changes and looking at a few different class/spec rotations on Icy Veins, the balance druid started to peak my interest. Which brings me to my question: Are balance druids (boomkins) good in raiding? Are they sought after (are guilds always recruiting them)? Or are there a million of them so there will never be openings for that class in most guilds. Basically are they a viable raiding spec. What is their role in a raid? Are they a pretty simple class to learn or is there a high learning curve? 

Anyone who has raided around balance/boomkin druids or even has or does raid as one, could you please give me some info. Thank you!

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There is a lot of points in your original post that I want to go into...

You say that you don't wan to go to either Mage or Hunter because there are already raiding guilds that have these already. the honest answer any guild leader will tell you is: a good mage/hunter/shaman/druid/anyotherclass is better then the one you currently have. If you can play insert random spec here to the maximum potential then you will be picked up by a guild. I'd rather have a 15th Balance Druid if they can produce an amazing result every time. 

Balance Druids have been amazing on some fights due to the use of Starfall although it has been changed for Leigion to no longer offer you the same gimic that was used on blackhand. That being said it is very rare to see no boomkin in a raid.

You seem to be looking for that class/spec that is wanted by a every guild..... that's something called Flavor of the month. Something that I'd highly recommend steering  away from.  

If you want to be something extremely sort after then do pay attention to Realm Pop (https://realmpop.com/eu.html). This website tracks the Armory data for characters. It can't show you who has what alt but it does give for some amazing reading. For example 11.3% of all max characters in the EU are druids. (note: Not players). This means that there are a lot of druids out there. The only one that beats it is the Hunters.

If you want to play something sought after prehapse think'; hey there are currently monks as the least played class. Prehapse I should play one of those.

My main advice for someone wanting to become a druid? You should never consider being just one spec. With the change of no longer having just dual spec you should consider joining druids for the fact that you can become anything. 

  • Need more melee? Kitty!
  • Need a tank? Bear!
  • Need a healer? TREE!

If you honestly want to be a DPSer and never tank or heal; Cosider a Warlock, Mage, Rouge or Hunter. Not something that can be 4 different specs during one raid.

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Balance has been viable at essentially all times since TLK (they had handicaps that kept them from being an optimal DPS class in TBC). It can deal with multiple mobs that are either spread out or stacked together, unlike say, Fire Mage. It has amazing mobility and survivability. It has a cooldown that benefits healers, a battle raise, and the flexibility to be able to change spec to suit encounters.

But Balance off-healing got essentially done away with, now that we are forced to choose between the 10% damage reduction and the Ysera's Gift passive - plus the entire tier that included Nature's Vigil and DoC has been replaced. We are definitely not to be considered healer hybrids any longer. Also, other casters, Elemental Shamans in particular, bring utility abilities to the raid that we simply can't hold a candle to. But are we going to be viable for raiding? Hell yeah. There is nothing to be concerned about there.

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I'll just add to what Flickle said - you should pick a class that suits you most. I've played mage at some point, and was good at it, but felt like I was missing something. And I found that in druid. As Flickle said - druid is not one spec, since WoTLK (don't know about TBC/Vanilla) it has been 4 specs in one class. Cant speak about legion, but MoP/WoD druid was very flexible class. Back in MoP I've saved my raid quite a few times as offhealer if our healers messed up. Back in Spoils of Pandaria encounter I even finished half of the fight as boomkin healer for other side (fight required group to split into two, so we had 2x5 man groups). And I really liked it. Yeah, it was a shame I couldn't blow up meters, but I saved the raid, we got the kill - it was nice :) Druid is love, druid is life :D

As for the balance raiding specifically - I got into it at MoP SoO raid. I really loved the playstyle of balance, it was really awesome. It took me lots of time to master, but the knowing that I still have ton of room for improvement was driving me forward. And then WoD hit. After playing two years as WoD Boomkin main I can say that WoD Boomkin was a joke. If we could cast while running we would be worse than hunters (no offense). It required almost no skill, just following moving bar and casting according to it... it was stupid. BRF tier has given a bit of "something" for balance and.... HFC took it to RNG and pasives again. Despite of that - I still loved my boomie, got used to my toolkit, helped a bit with pasive healing, roaring and such. Even though my rotation was crap, I still enjoyed being a druid. I even got a Guardian OS as my group needed it at one time. And needless to say - after a while I started enjoying playing that as well. 

Looking forward Legion raiding - balance seems to be back somewhere to MoP level of interest again. I've tried out it in HFC myth and it's requiring all of my atention and planning and such - I like it already. We will see what lvl 110 + artifact gives us, but I feel that balance will be great (again). And by saying "great" I mean gameplay, not numbers. Back in MoP as a dps I felt inferior to "pure dps" classes, I could not pull even close numbers to warlocks (he he) but I liked it more than WoD where in most fights I top the meters, but feel like doing nothing fantastic rattion-wise.

As for "how hard balance druid is" - MoP for me it was easy to learn, hard to master. WoD it was a bit harder to learn, and like nothing to master. Can't tell about Legion. It all depends on what you are used to. 

So all in all - play what you like, learn, master - be the best you can with it, and you will be desired for raiding. Numbers change every month or so, sometimes even faster, so find what suits you and stick to it :) 

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