Balance Druid DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Jan 13, 2019 at 02:15 by Bora 40 comments

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 Icon 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 Icon High Noon) or very good (Streaking Stars Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Streaking Stars now deals damage on spell impact not spell cast. This means spells with travel time such as Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath and Starsurge Icon Starsurge can sometimes deal damage to the target after the following ability deals damage. Avoid buffering casts with Solar Wrath Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Starsurge by a small amount. Additionally, after 8 Starsurges, your next Starsurge cast will proc Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune or Celestial Alignment Icon Celestial Alignment for 6-seconds. This brings our overall cooldown uptimes up and also increases the value of effects such as Streaking Stars Icon Streaking Stars.

Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix and Archive of the Titans Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Power of the Moon and High Noon Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Innervate buff.

While Innervate Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Lively Spirit, Arcanic Pulsar Icon Arcanic Pulsar, Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans, and Streaking Stars Icon 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 Icon 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.

Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call is ranked similarly to Gutripper Icon Gutripper and it also has a cleave portion to attached to the spell effect making it a very good overall choice when considering your trait options.

Overwhelming Power Icon 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 Icon Ursoc's Endurance is the strongest defensive trait choice out of the minimal pool of Inner Ring traits. Whenever you cast Barkskin Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Swiftmend which applies an absorb to your character and Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration which gives your character Avoidanace rating.

Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection and Impassive Visage Icon 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

arcanic_pulsar18817+5.78%
dagger_in_the_back_back18370+3.27%
blightborne_infusion18354+3.18%
tradewinds18338+3.09%
battlefield_focus18300+2.88%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

3.2. Single Target Outer Ring with one Arcanic Pulsar Trait

streaking_stars19094+4.51%
dagger_in_the_back_back18857+3.21%
blightborne_infusion18852+3.19%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

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 Icon 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 Icon Solar Wrath to avoid lost procs. When you are about to cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge, cast two Solar Wraths followed by the Starsurge. This will grant all Streaking procs.
  • Dawning Sun Icon Dawning Sun:
  • Sunblaze Icon Sunblaze:
    • 2-3x: If the buff is down and you have the Astral Power to cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge, cast an unempowered Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath to regain the buff.

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 Icon High Noon, your Sunfire Icon Sunfire will deal additional damage but its radius will still only be increased by 3 yards.

6. Azerite Traits for Balance Druid

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.

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Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

8. Changelog

  • 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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