Balance Druid Essences — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on Jan 20, 2020 at 17:48 by Bora 57 comments
General Information

On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Balance Druid, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.


Azerite Essences for Balance Druids

Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.

For more information about essences, please check out the following:

What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.


Ranking DPS Essences for Balance Druid

In this section, we will talk about each the strength of each Essence. We will list their offensive capabilities on a scale of 1-11, as there are 11 options that Balance Druids can chose from.

All Essence considerations assume rank 3 of each essence and a level 80 neck. Lower ranks can and will influence Essence choice. The simulations below are ordered in descending order by single target.


Minor and Major Power Simulations



Major Power Sims


Minor Power Sims

Vision of Perfection

Vision of Perfection (Vision of Perfection Icon Vision of Perfection + Strive for Perfection Icon Strive for Perfection) is a strong all-round Essence that is not limited by target number and can find much of its use in hybrid encounters that require both single and multi-target.

Rank 2 is mainly what is required for this relic to excel, as it bumps the cooldown duration to 35%, up from 25%. You should be able to pick up Rank 2 on the second clear of Operation: Mechagon.

The minor ability has varying strength depending on fight length. If you do not get an additional use out of the minor or it lines up better with a fight mechanic, it is not particularly useful.


Does this alter my rotation?

You can not play around this Essence like you can Arcanic Pulsar Icon Arcanic Pulsar to maximize the usage. Just perform your normal rotation optimally and when you do get a proc, make sure you alternate your casts to proc Streaking Stars Icon Streaking Stars. Fit as many Starsurge Icon Starsurges as you can inside this window and remember to cap off the buff with your lowest duration instant DoT application.

The minor ability can be used creatively to either get additional uses or help cooldowns line up better with a fight.


Condensed Life Force

Condensed Life-Force (Guardian of Azeroth Icon Guardian of Azeroth + Condensed Life-Force Icon Condensed Life-Force) is an enormously strong raid Essence obtained by looting Aqueous Reliquary Icon Aqueous Reliquary from three of the bosses in the new raid. This provides a ridiculous amount of burst at Rank 3.

At Rank 3, this provides a large amount of Haste, a slight damage boost, as well as a pet that deals a non-negligible amount of damage.

When playing with this Essence, Rank 1 and Rank 2 are considerably worse than Rank 3, as it provides all of the stat bonuses.


Does this alter my rotation?

No not really. This is a hit it and forget it Essence. Use this before you cast your cooldown. On the opener, use it directly following your precast Starsurge Icon Starsurge and before you apply your DoTs to stack up the buff quickly.

If using Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, use this after your DoT applications instead.


Essence of the Focusing Iris

Due to the increase in the value of Haste over the past raid tiers, Essence of the Focusing Iris (Focused Azerite Beam Icon Focused Azerite Beam + Focused Energy Icon Focused Energy) has a particularly strong single-target minor. The good thing about this minor for Balance Druids is it is very easy to keep up during cleave. Direct damage cleaves from both Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike and Empowered Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath refresh the buff if the cleave hit the main target. As does any other direct damaging ability. This includes a lucky Shooting Stars Icon Shooting Stars hit,trinket hits, Sunfire Icon Sunfire splash, and more.

This major does have strong burst multi-target capabilities, but its single target effectiveness is a bit less than other Essences. This also requires the user to be closer to melee range when activating the major and all units it hits to be within range of the small active.


Does this alter my rotation?

Make sure you fire off the Major effect either on cooldown or during moments that require heavy burst multi-target. Try not to use usages over a dungeon/fight to get "better" usages, as this will generally result in a net loss.


Worldvein Resonance

Worldvein Resonance (Worldvein Resonance Icon Worldvein Resonance + Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood) is a strong minor and a lackluster major Essence. This requires you to run with other players also using this relic and maintain relatively close distance to the other players running the minor. If you are spread or not enough people are using the minor, there are better choices.


Does this alter my rotation?

The short answer is no. Be close to other people using it, but the ranged on the crystals is very forgiving.


Conflict and Strife

Conflict and Strife (Conflict Icon Conflict + Strife Icon Strife) is surprisingly powerful for the effect given. Simming well on single and multi-target, this major effect seems rather strong but looking at only the above simulations can be misleading. Thorns Icon Thorns procs when an enemy unit successfully hits a target. Dodges and Parries do not proc the effect and the effect has a 0.5 second internal cooldown. This means that, if a target attacks too fast or too slow, or if the enemy is casting the effectiveness of this Essence goes down dramatically. Beware of putting this on high Dodge tanks such as Brewmasters.

The minor effect is strong with the priority Versatility is given on the generic stat scale. Spell casts proc the Versatility and it has a very high uptime.


Does this alter my rotation?

If using the major ability, use it well before any crowd control spells or within a Solar Beam Icon Solar Beam to maximize successful hits on the target you apply this to.


Blood of the Enemy

Another melee-use Essence, Blood of the Enemy (Blood of the Enemy Icon Blood of the Enemy + Blood-Soaked Icon Blood-Soaked) provides not only a burst of multi-target damage, but also stat benefits and debuffs that increase your damage to targets hit by the damage.

When using this major, get in close to your targets and pool resources or have cooldowns available to make use of the increased chance to Critical Strike debuff. If you have the Rank 3, use the 5-seconds of increased Critical Strike damage effectively with your pooled resource.

The minor slot is very strong on mulit-target fights. This can also be a way to funnel single-target damage by having your DoTs applied to other targets.


Does this alter my rotation?

Much like the other major damaging effects, use this on cooldown and before any cooldowns you have as the damage increase auras given by your cooldowns do not affect the damage dealt by an Essence.


Breath of the Dying

Breath of the Dying (Reaping Flames Icon Reaping Flames + Lethal Strikes Icon Lethal Strikes) has a strong single-target minor, which also grants corruption resistance. This is the only new trait worth much of anything and only the minor has merit. The new traits grant corruption resistance and could be necessary to facilitate certain corrupted pieces, regardless of trait ability. This trait is only powerful at rank 3.


Does this alter my rotation?

If you do decide to use the major essence, using it to snipe low Health mobs would result in the highest amount of DPS.


Memory of Lucid Dreams

Memory of Lucid Dreams (Memory of Lucid Dreams Icon Memory of Lucid Dreams + Lucid Dreams Icon Lucid Dreams) is another pretty mediocre essence. The major increases all Astral Power generation by 100% for 12-15 seconds, depending on rank. This increases the Astral Power generation of not only Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike, but of spells, such as Celestial Alignment Icon Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, Shooting Stars Icon Shooting Stars, and many more.

The minor of this Essence can sometimes lead to some tricky situations where you cap multiple resources (Astral Power / Empowerments).


Does this alter my rotation?

Generally, this Essence can be tricky to use. Before using it, you want to have your Astral Power as low as possible to make the most use of your increased generation. If using it before your cooldown, make sure that you have below 20 Astral Power.

You will unavoidably overcap during this if you get any minor procs. Remember to prioritize spending Astral Power before your Empowerments if this problem does arise.


Crucible of Flame

The Crucible of Flame (Concentrated Flame Icon Concentrated Flame + Ancient Flame Icon Ancient Flame) is the first Essence obtained by all players. It does a moderate amount of damage and can also be used to heal. There is not much to be said about this trait other than it is middle of the pack as a major on single-target. The minor is pretty good at the max rank and is comparable to other top of the chart essences. However, both the major and minor gain no benefit from additional targets..


Does this alter my rotation?

Use this on cooldown like all of the other damage use Essences. Try to fit this into an empty global such as movement or replace an unempowered Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath with this.


Purification Protocol

Purification Protocol (Purifying Blast Icon Purifying Blast + Purification Protocol Icon Purification Protocol) is a fully multi-target focused Essence. It is very one-dimensional in its effect, as both the major and minor only work on stacked groups of targets. The minor portion is very good on multiple-targets and on abberation based fights.


Does this alter my rotation?

Use this on cooldown and outside of your cooldowns like all of the other damage use Essences.


The Unbound Force

The Unbound Force (The Unbound Force Icon The Unbound Force + Reckless Force Icon Reckless Force) is one of the more poorly scaling Essences for the Balance Druid class. The major is a single-target attack which can cleave at later ranks. This attack scales well with Critical Strike, but that is a stat we do not heavily prioritize and Balance Druids do not have abilities that increase that stat heavily, as some other classes do.

The minor works at roughly one proc per minute. The stacks you gain happen at random and it is hard to prepare for the short duration buff, as you can sit on 19-stacks of the buff for a decent amount of time.


Does this alter my rotation?

Use the major during periods of additional Critical Strike but do not lose a use over a fight or encounter. If using the minor trait, you can pool Astral Power at 18 and 19 stacks and ignore empowerments to get three high Critical Strike percentage Starsurge Icon Starsurges.


The Formless Void

The Formless Void (Replica of Knowledge Icon Replica of Knowledge + Symbiotic Presence Icon Symbiotic Presence) is not a good DPS major. There could be some niche situations where you need a tank essence, but the chances of a situation such as that occurring is slim to none. The minor is a small boost of Intellect when others activate their essences.


Does this alter my rotation?

There is limited to no interactivity from a DPS standpoint on this Essence.


Spark of Inspiration

Spark of Inspiration (Moment of Glory Icon Moment of Glory + Unified Strength Icon Unified Strength) is a support class Essence. The major serves to buff others and the minor is more or less useless for Balance Druid as our major Essence is a passive. It also grants some Haste but not enough to be worth taking.


Does this alter my rotation?

There is limited to no interactivity from a DPS standpoint on this Essence.


Ripple in Space

Ripple in Space (Ripple in Space Icon Ripple in Space + Reality Shift Icon Reality Shift) is a utility Essence that would help with fights that heavily rely on blinks or help low mobility classes with displacement fights. Boomkin has Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge to help with displacement and blink requirements are too far and few between for this to be a useful relic.


Does this alter my rotation?




  • 20 Jan. 2020: Updated essences and The Unbound Force.
  • 14 Jan. 2020: Updated for Patch 8.3.
  • 06 Nov. 2019: Updated Essence simulations.
  • 29 Jul. 2019: Added Rotational Adjustment section as well as some Essence Ranking changes.
  • 22 Jul. 2019: Updated Essence simulations.
  • 20 Jul. 2019: Updated Essence simulations.
  • 16 Jul. 2019: Minor updates to some Essences.
  • 08 Jul. 2019: Adjusted some simulations and Essence sections.
  • 07 Jul. 2019: Fully overhauled page for The Eternal Palace release.
  • 24 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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