Balance Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.2.5
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Balance Druid in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.2.5.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Balance Druid rotation.
Balance Druid Rotation Introduction
Balance Druid gameplay is a standard build and spend class with a predictable cadence to their rotation.
At the start of combat or with each use or proc of Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, you choose between either Solar or Lunar Eclipse. To enter Solar Eclipse, you must cast two Starfires and to enter Lunar Eclipse, you need to cast two Wrath.
From there on, you build Astral Power using the appropriate filler. In Solar Eclipse, you cast Wrath to gain Astral Power and, in Lunar Eclipse, you cast Starfire. Each Eclipse lasts 15 seconds and you will then be forced to swap to the opposite Eclipse. Eclipse uptime is incredibly important and you should aim to be inside Eclipse as often as you can.
On single-target, you will use Starsurge, which costs 30 Astral Power. Since Starsurge buffs your fillers, you normally want to cast this at the start of an Eclipse. On single-target, you will often find yourself pooling to 90 Astral Power then casting three Starsurges in a row.
In this guide, when we refer to our standard rotation or priority list, the priority below is what is being referred back to.
Use the button below to select your Covenant to see how that changes the basic rotation:
- Enter Eclipse
- Apply or maintain your Moonfire, Sunfire, and Stellar Flare (if talented)
- Keep Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune (if talented) on cooldown
- Spend your Astral Power on Starsurge or Starfall on multi-target.
- Do not overcap on charges of New Moon
- Do not lose uses of Warrior of Elune, Force of Nature, or Fury of Elune (if talented).
- Cast Wrath in Solar Eclipse.
- Cast Starfire in Lunar Eclipse.
Balance Druid Venthyr Rotation
Venthyr uses Primordial Arcanic Pulsar and Sinful Hysteria when the Memory of Unity becomes available. If you are playing Venthyr without the set and only a single Legendary, you will still play using Sinful Hysteria but will swap once you get your Balance Druid 2-Piece bonus.
Venthyr is more of a timing-oriented Covenant relying on landing high damage cooldowns on your target. If you know the fight has some sort of add phase or high damage requirement phase that you can line up with Ravenous Frenzy, Venthyr will be a great tool to have for that kind of fight.
Venthyr Opener Rotation
The following is the opener rotation for Venthyr Balance Druid assuming you have 50 Astral Power from Nature's Balance. Disclaimer with the Balance Druid 2-Piece set bonus you will pull the boss immediately after your second Wrath precombat.
- Cast two Wrath 1 second before combat and enter Eclipse. Cast an additional Wrath if necessary.
- Cast Starfire.
- Apply Moonfire, Sunfire, and Stellar Flare (if talented).
- Cast Ravenous Frenzy.
- Cast Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
- Cast Starsurge.
- Cast three Wrath.
- Follow the cooldown priority list.
Venthyr Cooldown Priority
When playing Venthyr, you want to maximize the damage inside this cooldown window. Before entering cooldowns you want to make sure you have Trinkets and cooldowns ready, about 90 Astral Power, and 30+ seconds to freely deal damage.
- Cast Starsurge to avoid capping Astral Power.
- Refresh Moonfire, Sunfire, and Stellar Flare; (if talented) once on single-target.
- Cast Wrath (when below 150% Haste).
- Cast Starfire (when over 150% Haste).
During Ravenous Frenzy, you constantly want to be fluctuating between 60 to 90 Astral Power. Cast additional Starsurges as necessary. If you have Stellar Drift, you can cast Starfall for minimal loss to facilitate movement.
Venthyr Multi-target Cooldown Priority
Venthyr multi-target requires the player to balance a multitude of factors: Ravenous Frenzy stacks, number of targets, and how long they will live. Since Ravenous Frenzy does the majority of its damage toward the tail end, the choice of filler will depend on these circumstances.
A good way to view it is: if the bulk of the adds will die before the end of the burst window, fill with Starfires. If they will die close to or inside the burst window, build as many stacks as possible with Wrath.
You will normally get two full Starfall cooldowns inside Ravenous Frenzy, so if possible, use one earlier in the rotation for any movement and damage and then line one up with the majority of the final window. Try to cast it a few seconds before the Sinful Hysteria effect begins to rebuild your Astral Power before that window starts.
Sinful Hysteria Optimization
Sinful Hysteria is the new Venthyr-specific Legendary that puts even more power into the Ravenous Frenzy cooldown. You generally pair this with Endless Thirst and Incarnation: Chosen of Elune on single-target. The goal is to have a massively stacked Frenzy and try to cast 4-buffed Starsurges with the 3-second Hysteria buff. Here are some optimizations to add to your playstyle:
- If you are not running Precise Alignment or Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, offset your cooldown to line up with the estimated Ravenous Frenzy duration.
- Always end the 5 seconds of Ravenous Frenzy with 90 Astral Power.
- Your last global before entering Sinful Hysteria should be Starsurge for the last stack. Always have enough Astral Power during the final 3 seconds to only cast Starsurges. Wrath only if you have to.
- Cast Fury of Elune with 5 seconds on Ravenous Frenzy.
- Shadowed Orb of Torment should be channeled before starting cooldowns. Save this trinket for each cooldown.
- Potion can be used with 19 seconds remaining on Ravenous Frenzy.
- Berserking can be used at immediately with Bloodlust and with 9 seconds remaining on Ravenous Frenzy without Bloodlust.
Additionally you can also use The First Sigil as a standard on-use from the raid or as a Mythic double on-use option for Venthyr. With two Legendaries, four piece set bonus, and some higher end Mythic gear, this will begin to pull ahead of a Inscrutable Quantum Device and a standard passive trinket.
When using this 5-minute cooldown trinket, use it immediately and with your six- and twelve-minute cooldown timings if applicable. If you would otherwise lose a use in the one minute it is off cooldown, use it there instead.
On multi-target, Sinful Hysteria can be optimized further as well:
- Refresh Moonfire and Sunfire before entering cooldowns.
- Always keep Starfall on cooldown. Try to make your last Starfall line up with the 3-second Sinful Hysteria window.
- Inside cooldowns refresh Sunfire once during pandemic, and refresh Moonfire only if the target will live another 20 seconds (up to 6 targets).
- Still pool 90 Astral Power for the Sinful Hysteria window.
Balance Druid Night Fae Rotation
Night Fae Opener Rotation
The following is the opener rotation for Night Fae Balance Druid assuming you have 50 Astral Power from Nature's Balance. Disclaimer with the Balance Druid 2-Piece set bonus you will pull the boss immediately after your second Wrath precombat.
- Cast two Wrath 1 second before combat and enter Eclipse. Cast an additional Wrath if necessary.
- Cast New Moon or Starfire to avoid pre-pulling.
- Apply Moonfire, Sunfire, and Stellar Flare (if talented).
- Cast Warrior of Elune, Force of Nature, or Fury of Elune (if talented).
- Cast Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, your potions, and any trinket.
- Cast two Starsurges.
- Cast Convoke the Spirits.
- Spend the rest of your Astral Power on Starsurge.
- Build Astral Power for next Eclipse using Wrath.
Night Fae Rotation Optimization
Night Fae is a rather straightforward rotation following the priority list at the top of this page. There are some things that Night Fae players can do to help improve their DPS.
New Moon is the single-target Night Fae talent and follows a few basic rules. Do not cap charges of New Moon, try to get the Half and Full Moon portions inside Incarnation: Chosen of Elune or Celestial Alignment, and if you cannot, use them in Eclipse (Lunar) where possible.
While not as important with tier and double Legendary, plan out your fight cooldown usage. When you have cooldowns that are offset, you can sometimes lose uses lining them up. Know beforehand when you are going to use your cooldowns and if you will pair it with a Convoke the Spirits or use it on a previous Primordial Arcanic Pulsar proc. You want to always try to pair as many Convokes with as many buffs as possible like potions and trinkets so if you can use all of these together you should.
Convoke the Spirits Optimization
Before casting Convoke the Spirits, you will want to make sure your targets are fully DoTed up with Moonfire. Moonfire can and will eat up Balance spells, which could otherwise be Wrath for better Astral Power generation, Starsurge, or even Starfall. This is most important on multi-target.
When using Convoke the Spirits with Primordial Arcanic Pulsar, still use Convoke immediately for the Astral Power gain during the Pulsar window. Do not focus on layering Starfalls together unless in scenarios of short-lived, high-target-count encounters.
Primordial Arcanic Pulsar Optimization
Primordial Arcanic Pulsar is going to be our main Legendary Power in Patch 9.2. It interacts with our tier set but not in a way that would affect our rotation. If you would like more details on those interaction, the link below will direct you to the appropriate page:
Additionally, you want to enter every Primordial Arcanic Pulsar with Starfall (if Stellar Drift is talented). You can overcap your Pulsar stacks as they carry over to the next buff but it is important to Starfall. The reason being is that Starsurge can proc Pulsar but will not benefit from it while Starfall will.
Once you aquire two and four set, you will be constantly shifting in and out off Incarnation: Chosen of Elune which will reset your Eclipse state allowing you to choose which state to enter. When you are under 210 Astral Power, you should enter Solar Eclipse, and when you have 210 Astral Power or more, you should enter Lunar Eclipse. The purpose is to try to extend the Celestial Infusion two piece bonus into your Primordial Arcanic Pulsar for the bonus Astral Power.
Multi-target Rotation for Balance Druids
Lunar is the preferred multi-target and cleave Eclipse state. You can use your cooldown when it feels optimal, but beware of losing uses especially in dungeons.
- Apply Sunfire if you can optimally cleave multiple-targets
- Maintain Starfall to consume Astral Power.
- Cast two unempowered fillers ( Wrath or Starfire) to enter the appropriate Eclipse state. Prioritize Lunar Eclipse for multi-target.
- Keep Fury of Elune and Warrior of Elune (if talented) on cooldown.
- When in Solar Eclipse, cast Moonfire on all targets that will live through the next Lunar cycle.
- Cast Starsurge when available. Always keep enough Astral Power for Starfall when its low duration.
- Cast the Eclipse appropriate filler to try to fill up your Astral Power for the next Eclipse.
Multi-target and cleave work a little differently than the normal rotation as seen above. Here are a few rules about Starfall.
- When there are three targets, always cast Starfall.
- When you are talented into Soul of the Forest or Stellar Drift, you can cast Starfall on two targets.
- Starfall has an average pandemic refresh timer of about three seconds but no longer stacks.
Our DoT application rules have also changed:
- Try to have Sunfire applied as soon as possible to maximize your bonus from Solstice
- When there are 4 or more targets stacked, and you have Soul of the Forest, only apply Moonfire in Solar Eclipse.
There are some situations that change which spells we prioritize in an Eclipse:
- With 5 stacked targets in Solar Eclipse, cast Starfire over Wrath. This is increased by 1-target per 20% Mastery rating
Cooldown Usage for Balance Druids
As a Balance Druid, you only have one DPS cooldown, by default: Celestial Alignment. You should use this during periods of increased damage to the boss. In any case, it should be used as many times as possible during the encounter.
Celestial Alignment also fits into the Eclipse theme. When this cooldown ( Incarnation: Chosen of Elune as well) ends, your Eclipses reset allowing you to choose the next Eclipse. Use this to set your own path down in an encounter. If you notice on one pull you would have rather been in Lunar Eclipse but you were in Solar Eclipse at that time, think to see if it would be worth swapping which Eclipse state you started on or reset to.
Recommended Read: Mastering Your Balance Druid
While the rotations we gave in the previous sections will yield good results, there are a few subtleties that you should understand in order to truly excel at your role.
Be it your Astral Power generation is not high enough or you got messed up on mechanics, managing Eclipse buffs is not always as easy as just pooling at the end and spending at the start. Additionally, using Starsurge at the end of an Eclipse or between Eclipses is a big mistake and should always be avoided.
On single-target you want to prioritize Solar Eclipse. This means that you may need to go through you Lunar cycle with maybe only one or two Starsurges instead of the optimal three. The goal needs to be getting the triple Starsurge in your optimal Eclipse state every time.
The goal on multi-target is to maximize Starfall uptime while empowering Lunar Eclipse as much as possible. Much like how you want to be fully optimzing Solar Eclipse for single-target, this means you may have to sacrifice damage in Solar so you can get some beefy Starfire cleaves.
Mitigating Movement DPS
If you know there is movement coming in the coming seconds, do your best to hold 30 Astral Power so you can move and cast a Starsurge. Depending on the distance being traveled, you can instead Dash, Wild Charge, or Tiger Dash to reach your destination more quickly. If you cannot reach your destination within two or three globals cooldowns, it is best to use a movement ability.
For single-target, you should practice what is called "Astral Power pooling" or "Astral Power floating". This is where you purposefully do not use Starsurge until you have a large amount of Astral Power saved up. This way, when you need to move, you have enough Astral Power to cast at least two Starsurges, giving you about 2 seconds of movement without any penalty to your DPS.
- 31 Jul. 2022: Updated for Shadowlands Season 4.
- 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 19 Mar. 2022: Added double on-use and additional Pulsar notes.
- 21 Feb. 2022: Page reviewed and approved for Patch 9.2.
- 01 Nov. 2021: Minor Sinful Hysteria Multi-target adjustments.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 18 Apr. 2021: Elaborated on the opening sequence of spell casts.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 31 Jan. 2021: Updated Rotation section.
- 12 Dec. 2020: Updated for Covenants and Legendaries.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
- 16 Nov. 2020: Updated multi-target rotation.
- 09 Nov. 2020: Updated multi-target rotation.
- 17 Oct. 2020: Updated opener.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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