Balance Druid Level 58 Boost Guide
This guide was designed to help new and returning Balance Druids with getting up to speed on how their class plays at Level 58 with the TBC talents and spells.
It is also an excellent first-read for players using the new TBCC Dark Portal Boost!
TBC Classic Balance Druid Overview
The purpose of this guide is to help you decide on whether you want to boost a Balance Druid to Level 58, and to give a quick rundown on talents, important spells, and stats so that you can start playing right away!
Balance Druids are one of the key caster support roles in TBC Classic, with their defining characteristic being their Moonkin Form, which grants their party 5% Spell Critical Strike, as well as looking very cool!
They also bring the unique Improved Faerie Fire debuff and Improved Mark of the Wild buff, both of which are must-haves on a min-maxing raid setup.
This means that, while their damage is not amazing, they can boost the damage of the other players in the raid by much more than their DPS difference with, say, a Warlock would be!
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Excellent caster support with Moonkin Form;
- Provides Improved Faerie Fire for the physical DPS in the group;
- Useful raid and group buffs, especially if you lack someone with Improved Mark of the Wild.
- Poor scaling with gear when compared to other casters;
- Struggles with sustaining Mana in longer fights, especially when undergeared;
- Making full use of the utility kit requires dedicating many GCDs to low / no damage abilities.
Best Races for TBC Classic Alliance Balance Druids
NightElf is the only race available. They have some defensive benefits with Quickness, as well as Shadowmeld, which is of limited usefulness for Balance Druids due to their cat form stealth.
Best Races for TBC Classic Horde Balance Druids
Tauren is the only option and is, fortunately, an excellent race. War Stomp is very reliable and can usually be used for an emergency Regrowth in most types of content. The 5% increased health from Endurance is great, especially when under pressure.
While it would usually not be mentioned, Cultivation deserves a special mention here because Druids are the best gatherers in TBC Classic, now that they can interact with most objects without needing to leave form. This includes the new flight form variant, making Tauren Druids very good for gathering duties!
Finally, Tauren have a larger hitbox — especially male Tauren — which grants them slightly increased range, but also allows them to be hit by enemy attacks and abilities more easily.
TBC Classic Balance Druid Talents for Level 58 Boosts
The talent build listed below skips Improved Faerie Fire, which you might want to pick up if you plan on doing any raiding in the pre-patch.
The most important new TBC Classic talent is Moonkin Form, which allows Balance Druids to be much tougher targets and grants a strong Spell Critical Strike boost to the Druid and everyone in his party.
Most of the tree was also made stronger, often by combining several talents into one that has multiple useful benefits, such as Starlight Wrath.
While the tree above is already great for leveling, if you are interested in understanding how to place the rest of the talent points on your way to Level 70, we would recommend reading our Balance leveling guide below.
Stats for Balance Druids in TBC Classic
The list below compares the relative value of 1 point of the stat, or rating in the case of Spell Hit Rating, for example.
- Spell Hit up to the 16% cap vs bosses, 3% in PvP;
- Spell Damage;
- Spell Haste;
- Spell Critical Strike;
- Spell Penetration.
This is the stat priority that will generally result in higher DPS. Although Stamina does not give damage it does help you stay alive, especially against unavoidable damage; make sure to not neglect it!
Mana stats (Intellect / Spirit / Mp5) are also very useful to keep you active through long fights, as Balance Mana sustainability is one of its weak points!
Balance Druid Rotation / Spell Priority in TBC Classic
It should be noted that Insect Swarm has very weak damage, overall, and is mostly used for its -2% hit debuff, on dangerous mobs to the tank.
In single-target you will look towards the following priority:
- Keep Faerie Fire (if raiding, for the Improved Faerie Fire debuff) and both Insect Swarm and Moonfire on your targets.
- Spam Starfire until the target dies or you need to refresh your debuffs.
For area-of-effect damage you will slightly adjust your spells:
- Keep Faerie Fire (if raiding, for the Improved Faerie Fire debuff) and both Insect Swarm and Moonfire on your targets.
- Channel Hurricane if it will hit 3 targets or more for its whole duration.
- Spam Starfire until your target dies or you need to refresh your debuffs.
Best Professions for Balance Druids in TBC Classic
Tailoring is the best profession early on due to the sheer power of the Wrath of Spellfire and Spellstrike Infusion sets, which provide massive Arcane Spell Damage, perfect for Moonfire and Starfire.
You can also get strong healing gear from Tailoring (Whitemend Wisdom and Primal Mooncloth) in case you ever want to swap to Restoration, and Tailoring is a solid gold maker with its periodic cloth transmutes.
Leatherworking is a great alternative to Tailoring, providing the Windhawk Armor set which doubles as healing and DPS gear, and could also provide the Primal Intent set if you ever decide to reroll Feral. You will also get Drums of Battle, which are an important consumable only brought by Leatherworkers.
Engineering gives multiple useful bonuses for Balance, such as the extra damage from Super Sapper Charge and Gnomish Flame Turret, as well as powerful stamina trinkets Goblin Rocket Launcher and Gnomish Poultryizer for early PvP or the occasional off-spec tanking.
Enchanting also has significant personal benefits due to exclusive ring enchants which will increase your throughput for all of TBC.
Finally, Alchemy is an excellent gold maker with its transmute recipes and the new elixir, potion, and transmute masteries making it a strong support profession for your alts.
TBC Classic Balance Druid Abilities
While not all abilities in your spellbook have the same degree of importance, they all have their uses, which we will try to quickly explain in the following sections.
Balance Druid Rotational Spells
- Starfire is a casted ability that will deal a higher burst of Arcane damage. This is the ability you will be using the most, and the largest part of your DPS in any fight.
- Moonfire is an instant cast, damage over time effect.
- Insect Swarm is an instant cast, damage over time effect. It deals less damage than Moonfire, but reduces the chance to hit of its target by 2%.
- Wrath is a casted ability that will deal some Nature damage. Use this if cast pushback is a problem.
- Hurricane deals damage to targets in an area for every second while you channel. This ability has a 1-minute cooldown.
- Faerie Fire creates a magic debuff on its target, lowering their armor and making them unable to turn invisible or stealth while active. It will also increase the physical hit chance of attacks against the target by 3% when the Druid has Improved Faerie Fire.
Cat Form Abilities
While in Cat Form, you will have two resources to deal with: combo points and Energy. Energy automatically regenerates over time and is used for abilities such as Mangle, which generate combo points.
Combo points can be accumulated up to 5 and are spent on finisher abilities that use all combo points at once for an especially powerful effect (such as Rip).
Powershifting is the act of using Furor and Wolfshead Helm to gain a lot of Energy each time you shapeshift into cat form. Because you can shapeshift from cat into cat for the cost of Mana, you can continually repeat this when at 0 Energy to gain free Energy, allowing you to use your abilities continuously!
These abilities use Energy and generate combo points:
- Claw uses Energy to generate a combo point and deal extra damage. It is a weak ability, but due to its lack of positional requirements and caveats, also one of the most used abilities until Mangle replaces it down the line.
- Rake is similar to Claw but deals less upfront damage while bleeding your target to deal some extra damage over time. Because the bleed cannot crit, this is generally weaker than Claw.
- Mangle (Cat) is also very similar to Claw but deals a lot more damage and leaves a debuff increasing bleed damage taken by 30% on the target, which is helpful for your follow up abilities.
- Shred is your strongest attack once you have its support talents, but can only be used from behind the target, which prevents it from being used much while soloing.
- Ravage can only be used while stealthed and behind the target and deals a lot of damage to the target, as well as generating a combo point. This is the favored way to open until Pounce is unlocked.
- Pounce is also only usable from stealth but stuns the target and deals bleed damage instead of doing direct damage. This is the favored way to open on most targets due to the lack of positional requirements and the stun can help mitigate damage taken.
Combo Point Abilities
These abilities use combo points for a powerful attack:
- Rip is a powerful bleed that consumes combo points and Energy to put a damage over time effect on your target. Against targets that will live through its full duration, this is one of your main damage dealers.
- Ferocious Bite is similar to Rip but deals its damage instantly. However, it generally does lower damage than the bleed over its full duration, especially when heavily reduced by target armor.
Utility Feral Cat Abilities
These are other utility abilities that are only usable while in Cat Form.
- Prowl allows you to go into stealth. This drastically lowers the range at which enemies can see and attack you, and gives you access to some abilities that can only be used while in stealth. You can only go into stealth while not in combat, and being attacked or using any ability while stealthed will bring you out of it.
- Tiger's Fury consumes some Energy to give you a 6-second buff that increases your damage done. This is not particularly strong and is mostly used for extra burst on the opening, as it is one of the few abilities that does not bring you out of stealth when used.
- Dash increases your movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds on a 3-minute cooldown. A useful mobility cooldown.
- Cower lowers your threat against your current target.
- Feline Grace is a passive that makes you take less fall damage.
Bear Form Abilities
While in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form you will use Rage instead of Mana or Energy. When you deal auto attack damage or take damage you will generate Rage, which can then be spent on attacks.
- Bear Form and Dire Bear Form turn you into a bear, drastically increasing your armor and health. This is the form you will want to assume when under heavy pressure, as well as while tanking.
- Growl taunts the target to attack you. This is a critical tanking ability, which can save the lives of your teammates.
- Challenging Roar growls every nearby target to attack you for 6 seconds. While it has a large cooldown, this is invaluable for AoE tanking in emergencies.
- Mangle (Bear) is a strong attack that costs Rage and has a small cooldown. It also debuffs the target with 30% increased bleed damage taken. Use it whenever available.
- Maul a strong attack that empowers your next auto attack but makes it cost Rage instead of granting Rage, so should only be used when you have excess Rage.
- Swipe swipes in front of you, dealing damage to all targets. This is meant to be used against 3 or more targets.
- Demoralizing Roar decreases the attack power of all enemies around you.
- Bash stuns your target for a few seconds.
- Frenzied Regeneration is a cooldown that converts Rage into health, healing you over a few seconds.
- Feral Charge charges your target, rooting them for 4 seconds and interrupting any spell cast.
- Enrage generates Rage but also lowers your armor for a short time.
Druid Caster Form Utility Abilities
These are other abilities that all Druids possess and which are part of your utility package. We will list the most important ones at the top, but you can read about all of them if you want to learn more about being a Druid.
Every ability below will take you out of form when used, making them very dangerous to use while actively tanking anything in bear form!
- Mark of the Wild is a unique Druid buff that increases your target's stats, armor, and resistances while active for 30 minutes. Keep this up on everyone in your group.
- Thorns buffs the target for 10 minutes, causing enemies who attack the target to take a small amount of Nature damage for each attack. You should always have this active on the tanks.
- Omen of Clarity is a 10-minute buff that causes your melee attacks to have a chance to make your next ability free. If you can stand in melee, this is a good way to convert downtime into Mana-free DPS!
- Barkskin is a defensive cooldown that reduces your physical damage taken by 20% for 15 seconds on a 1-minute cooldown. This is usable while stunned.
- Innervate greatly increases the target's Mana regeneration for a short time, making it especially good when used on targets with high Spirit.
- Rebirth allows you to resurrect a group member while in combat.
- Remove Curse removes a curse from your target.
- Abolish Poison removes a poison from your target every 2 seconds, for 8 seconds.
- Hibernate is a crowd control ability that puts a beast to sleep for 30 seconds. This is usable on enemy Druids while they are in animal forms.
- Entangling Roots is a crowd control ability that roots the target in place for up to 27 seconds depending on the rank.
- Nature's Grasp is a low-level talent in the Balance tree that puts a 45 second buff on you. While active, the next target to damage you will have Entangling Roots cast on them. This is a great ability to use when trying to run away!
- Rejuvenation is a heal over time effect you can cast on yourself or allies to heal them every few seconds for a while.
- Regrowth is a heal with a shorter cast time that does a burst of healing and puts a healing over time effect on the target.
- Healing Touch is a powerful heal with a longer cast.
- Tranquility is a powerful healing cooldown that, while channeled, heals party members every 2 seconds for 10 seconds on a 5-minute cooldown.
- Soothe Animal reduces the range at which a beast will attack you.
- Track Humanoids allows you to track nearby humanoids, including players, on your mini-map.
- 22 May 2021: Guide added.
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