Balance Druid DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on Jun 28, 2021 at 18:41 by Bora 65 comments
General Information

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 9.1.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Balance Druid rotation.

ATTENTION

As of Patch 9.1 the recommended Covenant for Balance Druid HAS CHANGED. Please check out the Covenant page of this guide for more information.

1.

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 Icon Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, you choose between either Solar or Lunar Eclipse Icon Eclipse. To enter Solar Eclipse, you must cast two Starfire Icon Starfires and to enter Lunar Eclipse, you need to cast two Wrath Icon Wrath.

From there on, you build Astral Power using the appropriate filler. In Solar Eclipse Icon Eclipse, you cast Wrath Icon Wrath to gain Astral Power and, in Lunar Eclipse, you cast Starfire Icon 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 Icon Starsurge, which costs 30 Astral Power. Since Starsurge buffs your fillers, you normally want to cast this at the start of an Eclipse Icon Eclipse. On single-target, you will often find yourself pooling to 90 Astral Power then casting three Starsurges in a row.

On multi-target, you want to be maintaining Starfall Icon Starfall and casting Starsurge Icon Starsurge when you can, assuming you can fully maintain Starfall.

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:

  1. Enter Eclipse Icon Eclipse
  2. Apply or maintain your Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Sunfire Icon Sunfire, and Stellar Flare Icon Stellar Flare (if talented)
  3. Keep Celestial Alignment Icon Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune (if talented) on cooldown
  4. Spend your Astral Power on Starsurge Icon Starsurge or Starfall Icon Starfall on multi-target.
  5. Do not overcap on charges of New Moon Icon New Moon
  6. Do not lose uses of Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune, Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature, or Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune (if talented).
  7. Cast Wrath Icon Wrath in Solar Eclipse.
  8. Cast Starfire Icon Starfire in Lunar Eclipse.
2.

Balance Druid Venthyr Rotation

Venthyr is the most powerful Covenant choice in Patch 9.1, especially when paired with Sinful Hysteria Icon Sinful Hysteria. Balance Druid has a basic opener rotation, an inside cooldown priority list, and an outside cooldown priority list.

While the overall is repetitive and basic, the difficulty in the Covenant playstyle is more so in the preparation to utilize your cooldown fully. While often times you can easily go over 30 seconds without having to handle mechanics or moving, there are some fights which will prove significantly more difficult to excel on when the movement is heavy and the mechanics come fast.

2.1.

Venthyr Opener Rotation

Please note that Wrath Icon Wrath has a 4-second travel time from max range, allowing you to cast two in a row before they hit and pull the boss. Starsurge Icon Starsurge has a 1-second travel time from max range.

To avoid pre-pulling or to avoid not being in Eclipse Icon Eclipse because someone else pulled early and reset you (combat will reset your Eclipse count if you do not finish both Wraths before pull), we recommend queueing up a Starfire Icon Starfire which will never pull early and is a minor inconvenience if someone else pulls early instead of a Starsurge which is really bad to cast outside of Eclipse.

The following is the opener rotation for Venthyr Balance Druid assuming you have 50 Astral Power from Nature's Balance Icon Nature's Balance:

  1. Cast two Wrath Icon Wrath 4 seconds before combat and enter Eclipse Icon Eclipse. Cast an additional Wrath if necessary.
  2. Cast Starfire Icon Starfire.
  3. Apply Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Sunfire Icon Sunfire, and Stellar Flare Icon Stellar Flare (if talented).
  4. Cast Ravenous Frenzy Icon Ravenous Frenzy.
  5. Cast Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
  6. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  7. Cast three Wrath Icon Wrath.
  8. Follow the cooldown priority list.
2.2.

Venthyr Cooldown Priority

When playing Venthyr, you really 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 35+ seconds to freely deal damage.

  1. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge to avoid capping Astral Power.
  2. Refresh Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Sunfire Icon Sunfire, and Stellar Flare Icon Stellar Flare; (if talented) once on single-target.
  3. Cast Wrath Icon Wrath (when below 150% Haste).
  4. Cast Starfire Icon Starfire (when over 150% Haste).

During Ravenous Frenzy Icon Ravenous Frenzy, you constantly want to be fluctuating between 60 to 90 Astral Power. Cast additional Starsurge Icon Starsurges as necessary. If you have Stellar Drift Icon Stellar Drift, you can cast Starfall Icon Starfall for minimal loss to facilitate movement.

2.2.1.

Venthyr Multi-target Cooldown Priority

Venthyr multi-target requires the player to balance a multitude of factors: Ravenous Frenzy Icon Ravenous Frenzy stacks, number of targets, and how long they will live. If you can be fully optimal, follow this Weakaura for the appropriate casted filler. That weakaura will have you:

  1. Build stacks of Ravenous Frenzy Icon Ravenous Frenzy using Wrath Icon Wrath and Starfall Icon Starfall (Starsurge Icon Starsurge if you will overcap Astral Power).
  2. Then, depending on your stacks and your target count, will swap over to Starfire Icon Starfire.

You should still keep 90 Astral Power for the Starsurge Icon Starsurges at the end. Timings like when to use Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune stay the same as well. However, if targets are going to die earilier than a full cooldown duration, it will be more beneficial to swap over to Starfire Icon Starfire early when using Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest.

2.2.2.

Sinful Hysteria Optimization

Sinful Hysteria Icon Sinful Hysteria is the new Venthyr-specific Legendary that puts even more power into the Ravenous Frenzy Icon Ravenous Frenzy cooldown. You generally pair this with Precise Alignment Icon Precise Alignment and Endless Thirst Icon Endless Thirst and even Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune on single-target. The goal is to have a massively stacked Frenzy and try to cast 4 massively-buffed Starsurge Icon Starsurges with the 5-second Hysteria buff. Here are some optimizations to add to your playstyle:

On multi-target, Sinful Hysteria Icon Sinful Hysteria can be optimized further as well:

  • Refresh Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire before entering cooldowns.
  • Always keep Starfall Icon Starfall on cooldown. Try to make your last Starfall line up with the 5-second Sinful Hysteria Icon Sinful Hysteria window.
  • Inside cooldowns refresh Sunfire Icon Sunfire once during pandemic, and refresh Moonfire Icon Moonfire only if the target will live another 20-seconds (up to 6 targets).
  • Still pool 90 Astral Power for the Sinful Hysteria Icon Sinful Hysteria window.
3.

Balance Druid Night Fae Rotation

The Night Fae class Covenant no longer uses Balance of All Things Icon Balance of All Things as its primary Legendary but now uses Primordial Arcanic Pulsar Icon Primordial Arcanic Pulsar which is more of a passive playstyle. Since we are no longer mandated to cast our Starsurge Icon Starsurges at the start of every Eclipse, you can pool Astral Power for movement more often.

There are two basic optimizations for playing Primordial Arcanic Pulsar Icon Primordial Arcanic Pulsar. The first is to pool Astral Power for before entering each Pulsar window and save Convoke the Spirits Icon Convoke the Spirits for Pulsar windows if they would happen before your cooldowns.

Other than this you follow the basic Balance Druid Rotation above.

3.1.

Night Fae Opener Rotation

Please note that Wrath Icon Wrath has a 4-second travel time from max range, allowing you to cast two in a row before they hit and pull the boss. Starsurge Icon Starsurge has a 1-second travel time from max range.

To avoid pre-pulling or to avoid not being in Eclipse Icon Eclipse because someone else pulled early and reset you (combat will reset your Eclipse count if you do not finish both Wraths before pull), we recommend queueing up a Starfire Icon Starfire which will never pull early and is a minor inconvenience if someone else pulls early instead of a Starsurge which is really bad to cast outside of Eclipse.

  1. Cast two Wrath Icon Wrath 4-seconds before combat and enter Eclipse Icon Eclipse. Cast an additional Wrath if necessary.
  2. Cast Starfire Icon Starfire to avoid pre-pulling.
  3. Apply Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Sunfire Icon Sunfire, and Stellar Flare Icon Stellar Flare (if talented).
  4. Cast Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune, Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature, or Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune (if talented).
  5. Cast Celestial Alignment Icon Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, your potions, and any trinket.
  6. Cast two Starsurge Icon Starsurges.
  7. Cast Convoke the Spirits Icon Convoke the Spirits.
  8. Spend the rest of your Astral Power on Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  9. Build Astral Power for next Eclipse Icon Eclipse using Wrath Icon Wrath.

During Cooldowns, cast the appropriate filler for the moment. If you can cleave, use Starfire Icon Starfire as a filler and if you can only hit one target cast Wrath Icon Wrath.

3.2.

Convoke the Spirits Optimization

Before casting Convoke the Spirits Icon Convoke the Spirits, you will want to make sure your targets are fully DoTed up with Moonfire Icon Moonfire. Moonfire can and will eat up Balance spells, which could otherwise be Wrath Icon Wrath for better Astral Power generation, Starsurge Icon Starsurge, or even Starfall Icon Starfall. This is most important on multi-target.

4.

Multi-target Rotation for Balance Druids

Lunar is the preferred multi-target and cleave Eclipse Icon Eclipse state. You can use your cooldown when it feels optimal, but beware of losing uses especially in dungeons.

  1. Apply Sunfire Icon Sunfire if you can optimally cleave multiple-targets
  2. Maintain Starfall Icon Starfall to consume Astral Power.
  3. Cast two unempowered fillers (Wrath Icon Wrath or Starfire Icon Starfire) to enter the appropriate Eclipse Icon Eclipse state. Prioritize Lunar Eclipse for multi-target.
  4. Keep Fury of Elune Icon Fury of Elune and Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune (if talented) on cooldown.
  5. When in Solar Eclipse, cast Moonfire Icon Moonfire on all targets that will live through the next Lunar cycle.
  6. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge when available. Always keep enough Astral Power for Starfall Icon Starfall when its low duration.
  7. Cast the Eclipse Icon Eclipse appropriate filler to try to fill up your Astral Power for the next Eclipse Icon Eclipse.
4.1.

Optimizing Multi-target

Multi-target and cleave work a little differently than the normal rotation as seen above. Here are a few rules about Starfall Icon Starfall.

Our DoT application rules have also changed:

There are some situations that change which spells we prioritize in an Eclipse:

  • With 5 stacked targets in Lunar Eclipse Icon Eclipse, maintain Starfall Icon Starfall and only cast Starfire Icon Starfire even when capped on Astral Power
  • With 5 stacked targets in Solar Eclipse Icon Eclipse, cast Starfire Icon Starfire over Wrath Icon Wrath. This is increased by 1-target per 20% Mastery rating
5.

Cooldown Usage for Balance Druids

As a Balance Druid, you only have one DPS cooldown, by default: Celestial Alignment Icon 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 Icon Celestial Alignment also fits into the Eclipse theme. When this cooldown (Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon 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.

6.

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.

6.1.

Eclipse Tips

Be it your Astral Power generation is not high enough or you got messed up on mechanics, managing Eclipse Icon Eclipse buffs is not always as easy as just pooling at the end and spending at the start. Additionally, using Starsurge Icon 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 Starsurge Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Starfire cleaves.

6.2.

Mitigating Movement DPS

Try to line up windows of movement with instant cast spells like Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Sunfire Icon Sunfire, and Starsurge Icon Starsurge. Additionally you can delay using Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune and save any amount of charges for movement.

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 Icon Starsurge. Depending on the distance being traveled, you can instead Dash Icon Dash, Wild Charge Icon Wild Charge, or Tiger Dash Icon 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 Icon 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.

This method is not as optimal for DPS anymore but can still be used to mitigate DPS loss as doing a slightly delayed Eclipse Icon Eclipse cycle with late Starsurge Icon Starsurge is more beneficial than doing nothing.

7.

Changelog

  • 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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