Balance Druid DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
Choose the best Azerite gear for your Balance Druid in World of Warcraft's 8.1 Patch for Battle for Azeroth. This page will also tell you everything you need to know about the Balance Druid traits, and you can use our Heart of Azeroth guide to find out more about the Heart of Azeroth, which is an integral part to the Azerite system.
1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Balance Druid
In this section we will list recommended primary traits for each type of combat. For a comprehensive list of all Azerite Traits, you can head to the Balance Druid resource Chicken.db.
The first thing to consider when assessing your Azerite pieces is item level. Generally, most traits will be beaten out by a 15 item level increase on an piece of gear. The Intellect alone provides a substantial damage boost. For some traits, either very bad ( High Noon) or very good ( Streaking Stars) it is best to simulate your options using Top Gear on Raidbots as the trait may be worth far less or more than 15 item levels.
2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Balance Druid
In this section we will list recommended primary traits for each type of combat.
2.1. Outer Ring
The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are by far the most important from a DPS perspective. You can check the comparative simulations for Outer Ring traits below.
Streaking Stars is a single target trait with moderate burst potential. We would recommend this trait, as it is burst damage as opposed to sustained damage. Being able to burn down a priority target or take advantage of damage increasing boss mechanics is too good to pass up. Streaking Stars does have a modifier when taking the Incarnation: Chosen of Elune talent to reduce the damage it deals by 33%. This keeps it in-line with the cooldown duration increase you get from taking the Incarnation talent.
Streaking Stars now deals damage on spell impact not spell cast. This means spells with travel time such as Solar Wrath and Starsurge can sometimes deal damage to the target after the following ability deals damage. Avoid buffering casts with Solar Wrath as this will generally cause you to lose procs. This effect can be negated by standing close in the enemies hit-box.
Arcanic Pulsar is a new value trait for Balance Druids meaning after the first trait, the value of this effect diminishes drastically. This trait increases the damage dealt by Starsurge by a small amount. Additionally, after 8 Starsurges, your next Starsurge cast will proc Incarnation: Chosen of Elune or Celestial Alignment for 6-seconds. This brings our overall cooldown uptimes up and also increases the value of effects such as Streaking Stars.
Laser Matrix and Archive of the Titans are the raid traits that are easily available at high item levels via raiding. You will need at least one of these traits to activate Reorigination Array which provides a secondary stat boost to your character. Laser Matrix sims higher on single target however, Archive of the Titans is stronger for hybrid encounters as Laser Matrix loses effectiveness with additional targets. These traits alone are middle-upper pack traits and only become "BiS" with Reorigination Array.
Power of the Moon and High Noon were both changed in Patch 8.1. The ticking damage of the DoTs is increased, as opposed to the direct damage which used to be increased. Both of these can be strong choices in extended multi-target situations and the Lunar Empowerment portion of the Power of the Moon trait gives this some single-target potential, as well as multi-target potential, as it procs 2.5 times per minute (increased by Haste), regardless of targets afflicted.
Lively Spirit is a Restoration Druid specific trait that can also be taken by Balance Druids. Lively Spirit grants additional Intellect to the player based on the amount of healing spells their target cast during the duration of the Innervate buff.
While Innervate is a valuable tool for healers in a raid environment, in dungeons, there is much more downtime to drink and regain Mana. If you are in a coordinated dungeon group and have Lively Spirit, you can work alongside your healer to turn your Innervate into a damage cooldown on dangerous packs and bosses.
Most of the generic Azerite traits are mediocre at best. Some of the high stat proc or single target damage procs can be useful, but at this time, aiming for traits such as Lively Spirit, Arcanic Pulsar, Archive of the Titans, and Streaking Stars will be the most beneficial improvements for your character.
2.2. Middle Ring
The Middle Ring traits are all relatively close together in strength and will normally not affect your choice significantly. Balance Druids share Azerite Gear with the other three specializations so they normally only get one viable damage choice out of their Azerite Gear.
Gutripper is one of the better single target traits for our class. It does have an execute portion which increases its proc rate while the target is below the Health percentage threshold. Gutripper gains very little from increased targets.
Overwhelming Power is a Haste stat proc Azerite Trait which is beneficial on single and multi-target. This trait is not limited to clumped multi-target as it is not an on-hit effect. This is the highest-simming trait on single target for Balance Druids however you lose effectiveness from this trait when you take damage making it less appealing than shown in sims in certain scenarios.
2.3. Inner Ring
The Inner Ring on your Azerite Gear provides no direct damage increase and only improves your defensive and utility options.
Ursoc's Endurance is the strongest defensive trait choice out of the minimal pool of Inner Ring traits. Whenever you cast Barkskin, you also receive a shield that is roughly 10% of your maximum standard Health pool. Having your on demand defensive strengthened is a very valuable addition to the spell.
Longstrider increases your speed by an amount proportional to your highest secondary stat. This can arguably be called a minor DPS increase as reaching your destination faster allows you to cast more spells.
Switch Hitter is a strong trait that gives additional effects based on spells you use in different affinity forms. For Balance Druid this would primarily be Swiftmend which applies an absorb to your character and Frenzied Regeneration which gives your character Avoidanace rating.
Resounding Protection and Impassive Visage are both decent defensive choices as well. Resounding Protection prevents damage and Impassive Visage heals damage taken. Generally, prevented damage is always better than taking damage and healing it after the fact but there are some encounters with constant damage that will make the ability to heal every 6-seconds more valuable than preventing damage every 30.
3. DPS Azerite Trait Ranking for Balance Druid
These simulations are meant to be taken with a grain of salt and are a loose guideline of what to aim for. Stat distribution, trinkets, and item level can all affect the outcome of your simulation.
3.1. Single Target Outer Ring
3.2. Single Target Outer Ring with one Arcanic Pulsar Trait
4. Azerite Traits Details and Rotation Changes for Balance Druid
Balance Druids have rotational altering Azerite Traits when you equip more than one at a time. If you only have one trait, your rotation remains the same in both single and multi-target situations for almost all traits.
- Streaking Stars:
- 1-3x:Attempt to stand in melee range of the boss to minimize lost procs and do not cast the same spell twice. If at range, do not buffer spells with Solar Wrath to avoid lost procs. When you are about to cast Starsurge, cast two Solar Wraths followed by the Starsurge. This will grant all Streaking procs.
- Dawning Sun:
5. Stacking Traits
Azerite Traits stack. Equipping more than one will increase the effectiveness of the damage dealt by the Azerite Trait. However, it will not increase random secondary effects. For example, if you have two High Noon, your Sunfire will deal additional damage but its radius will still only be increased by 3 yards.
6. Azerite Traits for Balance Druid
- Dawning Sun grants a buff that increases the damage dealt by your Solar Wrath by a flat amount every time you cast Lunar Strike. The buff lasts 8-seconds and is not consumed on Solar Wrath cast.
- Streaking Stars adds an additional effect to your Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune. When you cast a spell different from your previous spell, you deal additional flat damage on spell impact.
- High Noon increases the damage dealt by the DoT portion of Sunfire and also increases its splash radius by an additional 3-yards.
- Power of the Moon increases the damage dealt by the DoT portion of Moonfire by a flat amount. Every Moonfire tick also has a 5% chance to proc a Lunar Empowerment up to about 2.5 ppm (increased by Haste).
- Lunar Shrapnel deals additional damage to every target afflicted by Moonfire and Starfall simultaneously. This effect is not limited to one Starfall.
- Arcanic Pulsar makes it so that every 9 Starsurges, you gain Incarnation: Chosen of Elune or Celestial Alignment for 6-seconds.
7. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power
In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Balance Druid. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).
If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.
- 13 Jan. 2019: Updated Streaking Stars and some rankings.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated page for Patch 8.1.
- 12 Oct. 2018: Updated mentions on raid Azerite.
- 30 Sep. 2018: Updated sims.
- 24 Sep. 2018: Reformatted page.
- 29 Aug. 2018: Added Lively Spirit section and Laser Matrix.
- 27 Aug. 2018: Updated Streaking Stars.
- 25 Aug. 2018: Removed mentions of High Noon in rotation section.
- 20 Aug. 2018: Azerite recommendations added.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 11 Aug. 2018: Updated Power of the Moon.
- 31 Jul. 2018: Page added.
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