Balance Druid DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Balance Druid in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.
1. Talent Choices for Balance Druid
|15||✓ Nature's Balance||? Warrior of Elune||✓ Force of Nature|
|30||✗ Tiger Dash||? Renewal||✓ Wild Charge|
|45||? Feral Affinity||? Guardian Affinity||✓ Restoration Affinity|
|60||? Mighty Bash||? Mass Entanglement||✓ Typhoon|
|75||? Soul of the Forest||✓ Starlord||✓ Incarnation: Chosen of Elune|
|90||✗ Stellar Drift||✓ Twin Moons||✓ Stellar Flare|
|100||✓ Shooting Stars||✓ Fury of Elune||? New Moon|
Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.
2. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Balance Druids
|✔ Nature's Balance||? Warrior of Elune||✔ Force of Nature|
- Nature's Balance is a passive talent that generates 2 Astral Power every 3-seconds. Out of combat, your Astral Power climbs until it reaches 50.
- Warrior of Elune is an active ability with a 45-second cooldown which causes your next 3 Lunar Strikes to be instant cast and generate 40% additional Astral Power.
- Force of Nature is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown that summons 3 treants for 10 seconds and generates 20 Astral Power. Force of Nature is targeted in an area, and the treants will taunt and attack targets in that area while they are alive.
Warrior of Elune is a good choice for stacked burst multi-target situations. Depending on the timings of the fight, and how often you can make full use of this ability, will determine if you should pick this talent or not.
Force of Nature can be a viable choice in Mythic+ to deal with Necrotic and Skittish affixes as well as open world content. It is a good choice for burst single target in raids as well, or when paired with Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
Nature's Balance was given indirect buffs via the Mastery change. Our spells do more damage and those spells need Astral Power. Nature's Balance is best paired with Starlord and is an all around decent choice for any situation. The only time this talent would not be desirable, is when you require burst DPS.
3. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Balance Druids
|✘ Tiger Dash||? Renewal||✔ Wild Charge|
- Renewal is an active ability with a 90-second cooldown. It heals you for 30% of your maximum health, it is usable in all shapeshift forms, and it is off the global cooldown.
- Tiger Dash replaces Dash with a 45-second cooldown, 200% movement speed sprint that decays over 5 seconds when activated.
- Wild Charge is an active ability that is off the global cooldown
and which differs based on the
shapeshift form you are in, as follows:
- No shapeshift form: you fly to an ally's location.
- Travel Form: you leap forward.
- Moonkin Form: you leap backwards.
- Bear Form: you charge an enemy, immobilising them for 4 seconds.
- Cat Form: you leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds.
- Aquatic Form: your swim speed is increased by 150% for 5 seconds.
Typically it is more beneficial to have an ability to help with movement than a self-heal, so Renewal should not be taken. On fights with low movement, or in PVP, Renewal can be a niche choice.
With Wild Charge of of the global cooldown, this talent has become drastically better than its counterpart in Tiger Dash. Tiger Dash can be taken in niche situations where you can make use of the distance traveled over the 4-second duration.
4. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Balance Druids
|? Feral Affinity||? Guardian Affinity||✔ Restoration Affinity|
- Feral Affinity grants you the Feline Swiftness passive ability, which increases your movement speed by 15%. Additionally, you gain access to the Feral-spec abilities Rake, Rip, Ferocious Bite, Swipe, and your energy regeneration is increased by 35%.
- Guardian Affinity grants you the Thick Hide passive ability, which reduces all your damage taken by 6%. Additionally, you gain access to the Guardian-spec abilities Thrash, Ironfur, and Frenzied Regeneration.
- Restoration Affinity grants you the Ysera's Gift passive ability, which heals you (or a nearby ally, if you are at full health yourself) for 3% of your maximum health every 5 seconds. Additionally, you gain access to the Restoration-spec abilities Rejuvenation, Wild Growth, and Swiftmend.
We now recommend Restoration Affinity for Balance Druids. The healing provided by Swiftmend is a valuable 30-second cooldown version of Coastal Healing Potion that requires you to shift out of form to cast. Wild Growth provides moderate party healing, which can be used during periods of high damage taken that do not require you to deal any damage back to the target.
Guardian Affinity is still a decent pick for survivability, as the passive damage reduction it provides through Thick Hide is more beneficial than the passive healing provided by Restoration Affinity. Take Guardian Affinity when you will be taking large amounts of damage quickly and often.
Feral Affinity can be used whenever you can make sure survivability will not be a problem, as it provides you with a small movement buff that is, in the long run, beneficial to damage. Being non-defensive, it is not advised in high damage progression encounters.
5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Balance Druids
|? Mighty Bash||? Mass Entanglement||✔ Typhoon|
- Mighty Bash is an active ability with a 50-second cooldown, which stuns the target for 5 seconds. It is usable in all shapeshift forms.
- Mass Entanglement is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown, which roots the target and all enemies within 15 yards of them in place for 30 seconds. Damage done to rooted targets may break the effect. Mass Entanglement is usable in all shapeshift forms.
- Typhoon is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown. It knocks back all targets within 15-yards in a cone in front of you, dazing them for 6 seconds. It is usable in all shapeshift forms.
The choice in this tier is largely irrelevant in terms of DPS performance. You will simply choose the one which you prefer most, or which best suits the encounter mechanics. That said, Typhoon will probably be the most useful talent in the majority of fights.
6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Balance Druids
|? Soul of the Forest||✔ Starlord||✔ Incarnation: Chosen of Elune|
- Soul of the Forest increases the damage bonus from Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment by 30%, and reduces the cost of Starfall by 10 Astral Power.
- Starlord grants 3% Haste for 20 seconds which stacks up to 3 times whenever you cast Starsurge or Starfall.
- Incarnation: Chosen of Elune replaces Celestial Alignment. It lasts for 30 seconds (up from Celestial Alignment's 20), during which time it increases all your damage by 25% (up from 15%) and increases Haste by 15% (the same as Celestial Alignment).
For extended multi-target fights, talenting Soul of the Forest and Stellar Drift becomes best at around 3 or 4-targets. Talenting this brings a drastic decrease in our single-target potential so it is not normally recommended in any current content.
Incarnation: Chosen of Elune is a strong burst damage option for Balance Druid. While not as strong as Starlord in most situations, this can end up being the more practical and easy-to-use option. If not played well, Starlord can result in a damage loss while there is no moderately complicated rotation to manage while playing Incarnation.
7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Balance Druids
|✘ Stellar Drift||✔ Twin Moons||✔ Stellar Flare|
- Stellar Drift increases Starfall's radius by 20%, its damage by 25%, and allows the caster to continue moving while casting within the Starfall's area.
- Twin Moons increases the damage done of Moonfire by 10% and allows it to spread onto one additional target.
- Stellar Flare is an additional DoT that generates 8 Astral Power and does a minor amount of Astral damage over 24 seconds.
Stellar Drift is currently a niche talent only taken when in need of either the increased radius or the mobility portion of the effect. Starfall just does not deal enough damage or have any modifiers that makes it a strong spell in and of itself. If you talent this, you can also use Starfall on 3-targets if you do not have Arcanic Pulsar.
You can talent and use Stellar Flare for up to two sustained targets with even some sporadic 3-target cleave. Twin Moons is still best for multi-target situations when you can make good use out of the globals you save when talenting this ability.
8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Balance Druids
|✔ Shooting Stars||✔ Fury of Elune||? New Moon|
- Shooting Stars is a passive ability that has a 10% chance to proc a falling star every time your Moonfire or Sunfire does damage. When you proc a falling star, you generate 4 Astral Power and deal a minor amount of damage.
- Fury of Elune is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown that deals damage to the target as well as all enemies within 8 yards of that target for 8 seconds. Over the duration of the ability, you generate 40 Astral Power.
- New Moon is a 3 charge spell on a 25-second recharge rate. The first charge does a minor amount of damage, generates a small amount of Astral Power, and has a very short cast time. The other two spells ramp up in cast time, Astral Power generation, and damage.
The proc rate of Shooting Stars has diminishing returns; on one target, the full 10% proc rate per DoT is accurate, but as you DoT more targets, the proc rate gets heavily reduced. This talent is best used on one to two targets, or 3 targets if they are all spread. Fury of Elune will be used on 2+ stacked targets as it deals more damage and will generate more Astral Power than Shooting Stars will.
9. PvP Talents (War Mode)
In Battle for Azeroth, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:
- PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
- 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
- 10% more experience gained while leveling.
- Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.
With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be killed while leveling or doing World Quests exists.
9.1. Balance Druid War Mode Talents
In this section we will list the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Note that these may not be optimal in actual PvP situations.
- Ironfeather Armor will increase your survivability when fighting melee attackers in the open world. This will add 25% additional armor on top of the 150% provided by Moonkin Form. This can be taken in all situations.
- Moonkin Aura is amazing for group combat and strong for solo content as well. This can buff all members in your party and help finish quests and rares faster. We would recommend this for all group content.
- Deep Roots will help you get the upper hand on dangerous foes by increasing the damage threshold of your Entangling Roots. If you are undergeared, we would recommend using this talent until you are more comfortable fighting enemies solo.
- Prickling Thorns adds an offensive component to Entangling Roots. The damage dealt by breaking your roots is roughly equivalent to casting an extra Solar Wrath at the target. You can even pair this ability with Deep Roots in solo content for greater combat effectiveness.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated talent recommendations for Patch 8.1.
- 04 Oct. 2018: Updated talent recommendations.
- 03 Sep. 2018: Updated Incarnation.
- 22 Aug. 2018: Added tip for increasing Haste during Incarnation (removed).
- 21 Aug. 2018: Updated level 45 and 75 talent recommendations.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 01 Aug. 2018: Updated level 100 talent recommendations.
- 20 Jul. 2018: Updated level 75 and 90 talent recommendations.
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