Balance Druid Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.1 changes for Balance Druid affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.
Balance Druid Patch 9.1 Changes Overview
On this page we will dig into the changes to Balance Druid, as well as additions to the game that could have an impact on how we currently play this specialization. This is a tentative first look, as changes are still on-going and very likely to continue given the current state. This page will be updated with new information as it is discovered or released.
For a specific list of changes for the entire patch you can check out the Patch 9.1 overview page.
How Does Balance Druid Look Going into Patch 9.1?
Balance Druid is in a rather precarious spot. Our current playstyle has gotten a few significant nerfs, which largely lie in the Balance of All Things nerf which we discuss below. This possibly opens the door to a Covenant swap to Venthyr if things continue on their current trajectory. There is still hope for Night Fae fans, so hold out until patch 9.1
Balance Druid as a class is looking alright so far in spite of the nerfs we are facing. Balance Druid generally finds its footing in Raids and current testing is looking alright for both Covenants being tested (Night Fae and Venthyr) but there are better ranged classes. On the Mythic+ front, Night Fae is looking much worse, but Venthyr would have already been better without the heavy single target focus Prideful put on each dungeon. Balance should still be good in Mythic+, but we need to keep an eye on any additional Stellar Drift changes as that talent could make or break things.
Now let us dive into all the Patch 9.1 changes below.
Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1
There are no changes to the actual specialization itself slated for Patch 9.1
Talent Changes for Patch 9.1
Several Talents have seen huge sweeping changes, most notably Stellar Drift.
- Stellar Drift now increases damage by 50% but also puts a 12-second cooldown on Starfall, which only lasts 8-seconds.
- New Moon had a damage buff to the first two portions in New and Half Moon, but did not buff the damage of Full Moon. In addition, the recharge rate was lowered to 20 seconds, down from 25.
- Solstice had its proc rate lowered from 300% to 250%.
What These Talent Changes Mean
Stellar Drift has had the largest changes made to it. In an attempt to nerf the power of 100% uptime cast-while-moving on multi-target, Blizzard has heavily nerfed this talent. This is an overall nerf to our multi-target potential with the 33% downtime on Starfall, but it should still be better than Twin Moons in most cases. Losing cast-while-moving uptime is an unquantifiable nerf, as there are fights where utility like that is invaluable.
As for the level 60 talent row, Fury of Elune is looking to come out on top here followed by New Moon. Fury of Elune is looking to be the best multi-target talent for all Covenants, but New Moon can be used in single-target with Night Fae. Solstice could see use on heavily spread multi-target where you can not make use of Fury of Elune.
Legendary Changes for Patch 9.1
In Patch 9.1, we are getting four new Legendary Powers, one for each Covenant, as well as receiving a nerf to our most used Legendary.
- Balance of All Things now grants 24% Critical Strike Chance upon entering an Eclipse, which decays by 3% every 1-second for 8-seconds.
- Night Fae: Celestial Spirits halves every aspect of Convoke the Spirits. It now is a 2-second cast that casts 8 spells, on a 1-minute cooldown. This new Convoke also has a significantly higher chance to cast a Full Moon.
- Kyrian: Kindred Affinity gives you and your partner a stat bonus based on their Covenant. This bonus doubles when you activate your Covenant ability. Grants 100 Mastery for Kyrian, 5% Haste for Night Fae, 5% Critical Strike Chance for Venthyr, and 5% Versatility for Necrolord.
- Necrolord: Unbridled Swarm gives Adaptive Swarm a 60% chance to split into two swarms each time it jumps to another target.
- Venthyr: Sinful Hysteria increases the duration of Ravenous Frenzy by .2-seconds each time it gains a stack. When Ravenous Frenzy expires, you gain stacks of Sinful Hysteria equal to the lost Ravenous Frenzy stacks for 5-seconds. Each stack of Sinful Hysteria increase damage and healing by 2% and Haste by 1%.
What These Legendary Changes Mean
The power of Balance of All Things was in the strong injection of Critical Strike Chance in a short window. While the change maths out to a similar average amount of stats over the new 8-second duration, your 3- Starsurge pump at the beginning of each Eclipse is much worse. Balance of All Things is one of the best Legendary Powers for every single Covenant, but hurts Night Fae the most as the Convoke the Spirits window is less powerful.
With the nerf of Balance of All Things, one of these four new Covenant-specific Legendary powers is actually powerful enough to challenge the reigning champion. Sinful Hysteria is looking like an incredibly powerful Legendary going into Patch 9.1, powerful enough even to result in a Covenant swap mid expansion.
There are still some things we do not know about this Legendary and there are still some bugs that remain unfixed with Ravenous Frenzy, most of which result from the Potency Conduit Endless Thirst which could tack a large Critical Strike Chance boost onto the lingering Sinful Hysteria effect.
Celestial Spirits has potential to be good, but it is currently underwhelming. The Full Moon proc chance is a deck of cards system. You will always get one Full Moon by the third cast and then your chances to get one reset. If fights are long enough you can abuse that part of the buff but on some fights it just will not pay out. In addition to this, there is more volatility in the spells that are cast than in the 16-spell version.
Conduit and Soulbind Changes for Patch 9.1
All Soulbind Trees for all Covenants will be getting new tiers added with new Soulbind abilities. These can have a significant impact on the best Soulbind.
We have listed all of the abilities with a DPS impact below.
- Niya — Bonded Hearts — Causes your constantly-generated Grove Invigoration stacks to grant 50% increased Mastery if you are close to non-Night Fae allies when they are generated.
- Dreamweaver — Dream Delver — This is a 3% damage increase on your current target. Will reset if you swap targets.
- Korayn — Wild Hunt Strategem — When you hit a target above 75% health, you gain a 1-minute buff. If you then attack an enemy below 35% health, this buff will be consumed and increase your damage to sub-35% targets by 5% for 10 seconds.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Soulglow Spectrometer — You debuff a target increasing your damage to it by 1%. This effect lasts 15 seconds and can stack up to 5-times, once per 3-seconds.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Effusive Anima Accelerator — When you activate your Covenant ability you deal additional damage around your target. For every target hit, the cooldown of Kindred Empowerment is reduced by 4-seconds, up to a maximum of 20 seconds at 5 or more targets hit.
- Pelagos — Better Together — Gives you a 52 Mastery buff for 1 minute when you move close to an ally. You can only be affected by one buff at a time. This will pretty much be up all of the time.
- Pelagos — Newfound Resolve — Occasionally spawns a unit nearby you while in combat which you must face. Facing it grants you 12% increased primary stats for 15-seconds. Can be difficult to utilize as a caster.
- Kleia — Light the Path — Causes your Valiant Strikes Soulbind ability buff to also grant 0.25% Critical Strike per stack. It also causes its heal effect to grant you 5% Critical Strike for 12 seconds. Given the 1-minute limit on Valiant Strikes, this is a bit weak.
- Emeni — Pustule Eruption — Causes Fleshcraft to grant you 9 pustule stacks. Pustules explode when damaged, dealing damage to enemies and healing allies.
- Bonesmith Heirmir — Carver's Eye — You gain a Mastery stack when damaging enemies over 90% health. You can gain up to 5-stacks and it takes 50-seconds to fully stack this buff.
- Bonesmith Heirmir — Mnemonic Equipment — Causes your attacks on targets below 35% health to deal 3% extra damage over 5 seconds.
- Plague Deviser Marileth — Kevin's Oozeling — Casting Adaptive Swarm spawns a slime companion for 20-seconds. Targets damaged by the slime's attacks increase your damage by 2%.
- Nadjia the Mistblade — Fatal Flaw — When Thrill Seeker expires, you gain either 20% increased Critical Strike Chance or Versatility for ten additional seconds.
- Theotar the Mad Duke — Party Favors — Gives you a 3% primary or secondary stat buff for 1-hour each day.
- General Draven — Battlefield Presence — Increases your damage done and reduces damage taken by 1% for every enemy within 5-yards of you, up to 3%.
What These Soulbind Changes Mean
Bonded Hearts and Fatal Flaw are the two Soulbinds to watch. Bonded Hearts almost seems to offset the Balance of All Things as far as it affects Convoke the Spirits. The massive Mastery stacking during your Cooldown windows is a sizeable damage increase. Fatal Flaw is just another chunk of stats but not timed like Bonded Hearts so a little weaker.
Another honorable mention is Pelagos' Newfound Resolve, but there were already enough problems with collecting his orbs easily as a relatively locked-in caster. To add a facing requirement to a turret class like Balance Druid can be a little tricky so just try to weave in a quick mouse turn between hard casts.
- 17 May 2021: Page created.
- How to Get Actual Mangos via Battleground Chat. Wait, What?
- Burning Crusade Classic Hotfixes: June 14th
- Blizzard Working on Protection Paladin's Threat Issue Bug
- Official Preview of Mythic Rating in Patch 9.1
- Class Tier List for Mythic+ in Shadowlands Season 1 (Week of June 15)
- Reduced Amount of BoE Gear from Sanctum of Domination
- Official Preview of Maw Updates in Patch 9.1
- Mawsworn Charger's Reins - New Torghast Mount in Patch 9.1