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Balance Druid PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.0.1)

Last updated on Sep 10, 2018 at 06:12 by Mysticall 1 comment

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Balance Druid in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Balance Druids

Balance Druids are known for strong spread pressure and securing a kill with a strong burst of single-target pressure. However, this has changed significantly. Balance Druids do use DoTs, but they are now known for their strong single-target damage and can easily kill an enemy in a stun.

1.1. Strengths of Balance Druids

  • Strong control
  • Multiple mobility spells
  • Strong burst damage

1.2. Weaknesses of Balance Druids

  • Cannot do damage when forced into Bear Form Icon Bear Form
  • Little consistent damage
  • Long burst cooldown

1.3. Stat Priority for Balance Druids in PvP

The stat priority for Balance Druid in PvP is as follows:

  1. Intellect;
  2. Haste;
  3. Critical Strike;
  4. Versatility.
  5. Mastery;

Intellect is the best stat in all situations. Haste is the strongest secondary stat at all times due to it reducing the Global Cooldown on abilities and reducing your cast time. Critical Strike will increase the chance your spells will deal additional damage.

2. Talent Choices for Balance Druids

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, PvP talents (which we talk about later on in the guide) are inactive outside of a PvP environment, unless you have enabled War Mode.

3. Regular Talents for Balance Druids

3.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

If you are playing against a team with two melee on it, Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune is the best choice in this tier. This will allow you to apply pressure even if you are the focus. Against any other team, Nature's Balance Icon Nature's Balance is the better choice. This talent gives you a passive way to generate Astral Power, which results in an increase to your sustained damage.

3.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Renewal Icon Renewal is the best choice in this tier. With how much damage classes can do it is crucial to have a strong self-heal. It is important to note that you can use Renewal Icon Renewal while in Bear Form Icon Bear Form.

3.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Guardian Affinity Icon Guardian Affinity is the best choice in this tier. Reducing overall damage dealt to you and having access to abilities like Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration greatly increases your survivability.

3.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash is the best choice in this tier. This is best because you will usually be on only one target. This will help when you are using your burst cooldowns to get a kill, or as extra crowd control on the enemy team.

If you have reliable stuns on your team already or you are playing against a team with multiple interrupts/melee, Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement is the best choice in this tier. This will allow you to either peel for teammates or use it on a healer with Solar Beam Icon Solar Beam.

3.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune is the best choice in this tier. This talent will give you the strongest single-target damage for killing an enemy. Although this has a long cooldown, you will normally get a kill while your Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune is active.

3.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Twin Moons Icon Twin Moons is the best choice in this tier. This talent increases your overall sustained damage and can also help with killing an enemy at low health.

3.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

If you are playing against a team with multiple interrupts, Shooting Stars Icon Shooting Stars is the best choice in this tier. This increases your sustained damage while generating Astral Power without having to cast.

If you are playing against a team where you can cast frequently, New Moon Icon New Moon is the best choice in this tier. This gives you an extra way to potentially get a kill when you do not have Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune active.

4. PvP Talents for Balance Druids

PvP talents are typically only available in PvP content, but War Mode (explained below) allows you to also benefit from them in the open world.

As you will see below, the PvP talents are very flexible. Depending on what classes you are playing with and against, you can adjust your talents to better suit your team's goal. You must choose:

  • 1 trinket talent, out of 3 possible choices;
  • 3 PvP talents, out of a pool of about a dozen possible choices.

4.1. War Mode

War Mode is a new PvP system added in Battle for Azeroth. War Mode can be toggled on and off in any major city. When it is enabled, you are able to use your PvP talents in the open world, and because you will be fighting enemies of the other faction, you also get an experience bonus while leveling. Do note that this makes you vulnerable to being killed by players of the other faction.

4.1.1. Bonuses of War Mode

Enabling War Mode provides the following perks.

  • The ability to use all PvP talents in the outdoor world. You do not need to be in PvP combat to use them.
  • You can earn Conquest Points.
  • You gain +10% experience while leveling.
  • There are PvP achievements you can earn.
  • At maximum level, you get a +10% World Quest reward bonus.

4.1.2. War Mode Bounties

If you kill too many players in a single zone, there will be a bounty put on you. Everyone in that zone will know your exact location. You can see the location of players with a bounty by checking your map. Killing players with a bounty on them rewards Conquest Points and is part of an achievement called Bounty Hunting Icon Bounty Hunting. Bounty Hunting is part of a meta achievement called Conqueror of Azeroth Icon Conqueror of Azeroth / Conqueror of Azeorth Icon Conqueror of Azeroth that rewards the title Conqueror of Azeroth.

4.1.3. Air Drops

From time to time, a flying machine will make its way across the sky. The rumble of its engine is a clear indicator that something is afoot. You'll want to keep an eagle eye on the sky and watch for a War Supply Crate to drop somewhere in the zone. Similar to the chest in Gurubashi Arena, players can fight over the crate and claim it for their faction. Once a faction has gained control of the crate, anyone of that faction who is within the area will have a short period to open it and collect a piece of personal loot.

As long as you have War Mode on, an air supply drop will be dropped every 20 minutes. Once it has landed, it will stay on the ground until it is looted. The crate will contain Azerite Power, Gold, and Conquest Points.

4.2. Trinket Talent

The first PvP talent tier will give you a choice between Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion, Relentless Icon Relentless, and Adaptation Icon Adaptation. Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is great for removing crowd control on you that your healer cannot dispel. You will normally trinket a stun to enter Bear Form Icon Bear Form and use Renewal Icon Renewal.

4.3. PvP Talents

You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents, depending on your team's goal.

Cyclone Icon Cyclone is a powerful crowd control that can be used to control the enemy team. Use this ability on healers if you are trying to secure a kill or on DPS if your teammates are being focused. Important note: you can also use Cyclone if an enemy player is low and your teammates cannot secure a kill. This will prevent all healing and damage done to that enemy.

If you are playing against a team with two melee on it, you can use either of the following two talents.

Ironfeather Armor Icon Ironfeather Armor increases your armor when you are in Moonkin Form Icon Moonkin Form. Against most melee teams, you will be their focus. This talent will allow you to take less damage and still maximize yours.

Thorns Icon Thorns should be placed on you or a teammate and any melee strikes will deal Nature damage to the attacker. This will deal a large amount of damage if the melee DPS do not swap off of you.

Against any other team, you should use one of the abilities below.

Moonkin Aura Icon Moonkin Aura affects Starsurge Icon Starsurge so that when you use it, your teammates have their spell Critical Strike chance increased. This is perfect for increasing you and your teammates' sustained damage.

Celestial Guardian Icon Celestial Guardian reduces spell damage you take and increases healing received while in Bear Form Icon Bear Form. This talent is crucial versus teams with heavy spell damage. While enemy casters are using burst cooldowns, you can stay in Bear Form and drastically reduce the amount of spell damage you are taking.

Faerie Swarm Icon Faerie Swarm disarms your target and reduces their speed. This is best used when an enemy melee DPS is using their burst cooldowns. It is important to note that this ability can be dispelled. You should put the enemy healer in crowd control then use Faerie Swarm Icon Faerie Swarm on your target so it cannot be dispelled. You can replace Moonkin Aura Icon Moonkin Aura with this PvP talent.

4.4. PvP Gear

Gear is what determines how strong a player is in PvP. The better gear you have, the stronger your abilities are. There are several ways to receive gear from PvP. One important way to get gear is by completing the weekly Conquest Point cap. You will receive gear at the end of the week based on your rating. For example, if you played and won at Rival in 3v3, you will receive a reward with an item level based on your ranking at the end of the week. It is important to note that, if you are rated at a Rival level in 3v3, but only do 2v2 that week, you will not receive a piece of gear unless you won a game in the 3v3 bracket. The following are the names and ratings of all of the brackets:

  • Combatant: 1400-1599;
  • Challenger: 1600-1799;
  • Rival: 1800-2099;
  • Duelist: 2100-2399;
  • Gladiator: 2400+.

4.4.1. Conquest Points

Every week, there will be an empty bar in your PvP queue tab. If you earn enough Conquest Points to fill it, you will receive a piece of gear. When you complete a set, you can receive higher tiers of gear. Conquest Points can be earned by doing the following:

  • Rated Arenas;
  • Rated Battlegrounds;
  • Normal Battlegrounds;
  • Epic Battlegrounds;
  • World PvP.

4.4.2. Obtaining Gear

You will obtain gear by earning Conquest Points. The following are the three ways to receive loot in PvP.

  • At the end of an Arena match, there is a chance to receive a piece of gear. This gear is based on your Arena Rating.
  • After you win a Rated Battleground or win your first Battleground of the day, you will get a piece of gear and earn Conquest Points.
  • Once you earned enough Conquest Points for the week, you will unlock a new weekly reward. This gear is based on your rating.

It is important to note that the gear you get from capping your Conquest Points is predetermined in a specific order. There are mechanics for players to get gear quicker if they have not played a character for a while.

5. Racial Bonuses for Balance Druids

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

5.1. Horde

Troll is the best race for Balance Druids, thanks to the ability (Berserking Icon Berserking) that gives you an on-demand Haste increase.

Tauren is the alternative race for Balance Druids, thanks to the passive increased Critical Strike (Brawn Icon Brawn) and the AoE stun (War Stomp Icon War Stomp), which are very strong.

5.2. Alliance

The Night Elf bonus (Shadowmeld Icon Shadowmeld) is a great way to avoid incoming crowd control. This racial has a high skill cap, but using Shadowmeld to avoid crowd control can be very powerful. For example, if a Warlock is casting Fear Icon Fear on you, use Shadowmeld to avoid it. If you use Shadowmeld at the same time that a Priest uses their Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream, you will not be feared.

6. Playstyle for Balance Druids

Balance Druids have two roles when in an Arena match: use your strong single target damage to pressure the enemies and use your mobility/crowd control to set-up kills. Balance Druids have access to Cyclone Icon Cyclone, which is arguably the strongest crowd control in the game. An addition to Cyclone, there is Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots and Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash. Ideally, you will want to Cyclone the enemy healer and Mighty Bash your kill target.

6.1. Before Gates Open

Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Balance Druids have two powerful crowd control abilities in the form of Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash and Cyclone Icon Cyclone that can be used on kill targets or the enemy healer. You can also use Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots with Solar Beam Icon Solar Beam to keep the healer silenced. They also have Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots, which is great when used against melee classes.

Balance Druids do have access to some utility spells for their teammates: Hibernate Icon Hibernate, Remove Corruption Icon Remove Corruption and Soothe Icon Soothe. Hibernate can be used on Druids that are in animal form or Hunter pets to stop their damage. Remove Corruption can be used to dispel curse spells like Hex Icon Hex or Agony Icon Agony. You can use Soothe to dispel Fury Warrior enrage effects.

Use Prowl Icon Prowl so you will not be focused immediately or so you can get an early Cyclone Icon Cyclone on the enemy healer.

6.2. Offensive Rotation

One unique thing about Balance Druids is that they have two schools of spells. Keep this in mind and try to use it to your advantage; for example, if you are interrupted while casting Full Moon Icon Full Moon, you can still cast Cyclone Icon Cyclone on an enemy. This is very important to maximizing your win potential.

6.2.1. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns.

As a Balance Druid you can use Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots/Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement with Solar Beam Icon Solar Beam on the enemy healer. This will either make them trinket or stay in crowd control for a long time.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Moonfire Icon Moonfire on all targets.
  2. Use Sunfire Icon Sunfire on all targets.
  3. If you are talented into New Moon Icon New Moon, you will want to start using it to generate Astral Power and to build up your burst damage.

  4. Use Starsurge Icon Starsurge to consume Astral Power.
  5. Cast Half Moon Icon Half Moon on your main target to generate Astral Power and to gain access to Full Moon Icon Full Moon.
  6. Cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath to generate Astral Power.
  7. Cast Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike to generate Astral Power.
  8. Cast Starfall Icon Starfall to spend Astral Power if the enemy team is stacked.

6.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

  1. If you are a Troll, use Berserking Icon Berserking.
  2. Use Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
  3. Use Moonfire Icon Moonfire on all targets.
  4. Use Sunfire Icon Sunfire on all targets.
  5. Cast Full Moon Icon Full Moon.
  6. Use Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  7. If you are talented into Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune:
  8. Cast Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath.
  9. If you get interrupted while casting Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath, you should immediately start casting Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike.
  10. For the remainder of Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune:
    1. Maintain Moonfire Icon Moonfire and Sunfire Icon Sunfire.
    2. Generate Astral Power with New Moon Icon New Moon (and its other versions).
    3. Generate Astral Power with Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath or Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike.
    4. Spend Astral Power on Starsurge Icon Starsurges.
    5. Land a kill with a Full Moon Icon Full Moon.

6.2.3. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Maintain Moonfire Icon Moonfire on all targets.
  2. Maintain Sunfire Icon Sunfire on all targets.
  3. Use Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike to generate Astral Power.
  4. Use Starsurge Icon Starsurge to consume Astral Power.
  5. Cast New Moon Icon New Moon and Half Moon Icon Half Moon to generate Astral Power and gain access to Full Moon Icon Full Moon.
  6. Use Starfall Icon Starfall if the enemy team is stacked.

6.3. Defensive Techniques

Bear Form Icon Bear Form is your primary defensive ability Druids have. When you see incoming damage on you, it is a good idea to use Bear Form Icon Bear Form. When using the Guardian Affinity Icon Guardian Affinity talent, you get great defensive abilities such as Frenzied Regeneration Icon Frenzied Regeneration. This is best used when the enemy has used their cooldowns and your team is trying to stabilize your health.

Barkskin Icon Barkskin reduces all damage dealt to you by 20%. It is important to note that this can be used while stunned and in any of your forms. This should primarily be used if you are stuck in a stun and are not in Bear Form Icon Bear Form.

Renewal Icon Renewal is a great instant heal that can be used in any form. Use this if you are being focused and you cannot cast. This is a talent and you will not have access to it every arena match.

Regrowth Icon Regrowth is a strong heal that should be used when your healer is stuck in crowd control. This is strong if the enemy team is focusing your teammate and you can cast without being interrupted.

Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots is a great ability when playing against melee. You can use this to help you or your teammates get distance between them and an enemy.

Balance Druid mobility also helps with survivability. Dash Icon Dash can be used when running after enemies or when you are in trouble. If you are not slowed or rooted, this is effective for kiting enemies.

7. Best Team Compositions for Balance Druids

Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the arena with your team. With spells like Full Moon Icon Full Moon and great mobility, Balance Druids can play aggressively with their damage and defensively with Bear Form Icon Bear Form.

7.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena, you should be playing with a healer that has a reliable stun. Start the game by building up damage to reach your Full Moon Icon Full Moon. When you are ready to use your burst rotation, your healer should stun the kill target. At the same time, use Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots and Solar Beam Icon Solar Beam on the enemy healer. After you are done using your burst rotation, you can use Cyclone Icon Cyclone on the enemy healer and continue doing consistent damage. When you are done using Cyclone Icon Cyclone or get interrupted, use Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:

  • Balance Druid + Holy Paladin;
  • Balance Druid + Restoration Shaman;
  • Balance Druid + Discipline Priest;
  • Balance Druid + Holy Priest.

7.2. 3v3 Arena

Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. You want to build up your damage to get a Full Moon Icon Full Moon as fast as possible. When you and your partner are ready to use your burst rotation, you should use Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots and Solar Beam Icon Solar Beam on the enemy healer. Your healer or DPS partner should then stun your kill target. After your Solar Beam Icon Solar Beam fades, use Cyclone Icon Cyclone and Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash on the enemy healer.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:

  • Balance Druid + Havoc Demon Hunter + Holy Paladin;
  • Balance Druid + Windwalker Monk + Discipline Priest/Restoration Druid;
  • Balance Druid + Affliction/Destruction Warlock + Restoration Shaman/Holy Paladin;
  • Balance Druid + Elemental Shaman + Holy Paladin.

8. Useful Macros for Balance Druids

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Balance Druids can benefit from.

8.1. Cyclone 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Cyclone
  • /cast [target=arena1] Cyclone

Using this macro will cast Cyclone Icon Cyclone on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to crowd control an enemy while staying focused on your target. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

8.2. Entangling Roots Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Entangling Roots
  • /cast [target=focus] Entangling Roots

If you find that you do not have much room on your action bars, you can use a focus macro. This is much simpler to use than the arena123 macro. Put an enemy on focus and this macro will cast Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots on that player while you are still focused on your target.

8.3. Mighty Bash Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Mighty Bash
  • /cast [target=focus] Mighty Bash

This macro will use Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash on whichever enemy you have on focus. Because you will be primarily using Mighty Bash on the enemy healer, you should only need this focus macro.

8.4. Remove Corruption Macro

  • #showtooltip Remove Corruption
  • /cast [@PlayerNameHere, exists] Remove Corruption

This macro will use Remove Corruption Icon Remove Corruption on whichever teammate you put into the macro. It is recommended that you make a macro for both of your teammates.

8.5. Mass Entanglement, Solar Beam Macro arena 123

  • #showtooltip Solar Beam
  • /cast [target=arena1] Mass Entanglement
  • /cast [target=arena1] Solar Beam

Using this macro will use Mass Entanglement Icon Mass Entanglement and Solar Beam Icon Solar Beam on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to crowd control an enemy while staying focused on your target. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

9. ChangeLog

  • 10 Sep. 2018: Updated guide for patch 8.0.1.
    • Updated Introduction and spec overview.
    • Added Stat priority.
    • Updated all regular talents.
    • Added PvP (War Mode) talents and gear sections for the new BfA system.
    • Updated Racial Bonuses section.
    • Updated Burst Damage and Sustained Damage sections.
    • Updated Defensive section.
    • Updated Macros section.
    • Removed Gear section.
    • Removed Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
  • 05 Jun. 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 04 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
  • 24 Jan. 2018: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.5.
  • 12 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2, so only updated "About The Author" section.
  • 09 Sep. 2017: Removed Artifact Trait descriptions, updated the opening rotation, and changed the recommended Tier 4 regular talents.
  • 12 Jul. 2017: Changed recommended talent for Tier 2 regular talents.
  • 04 May 2017: Guide was created.
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