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

Last updated on Oct 08, 2018 at 05:37 by Mysticall 2 comments

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

2. 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.

3. Azerite Traits for Balance Druids

Azerite traits are unlocked in your helm, shoulders and chest. With each Azerite level in your neck, you get closer to unlocking the center trait in your gear. These traits vary from increasing damage or healing of certain abilities to helping increase your survivability. Depending on what traits you use, it can completely alter your playstyle and what talents you should be using.

3.1. Outer Ring

Below are the best Outer Ring traits.

  1. Streaking Stars Icon Streaking Stars
  2. Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans
  3. Lunar Shrapnel Icon Lunar Shrapnel
  4. Anduin's Dedication Icon Anduin's Dedication

If your goal is to deal spread damage, the most important trait to have in all pieces of your gear is Lunar Shrapnel Icon Lunar Shrapnel. This trait is crucial to maintain spread pressure versus enemy teams. If you want to increase your burst damage, The trait is Streaking Stars Icon Streaking Stars. This makes your Celestial Alignment Icon Celestial Alignment an even more powerful cooldown. The other traits also help increase your sustained damage.

3.2. Middle Ring

Below are the best Middle Ring traits.

  1. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl
  2. Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power
  3. Earthlink Icon Earthlink
  4. Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames

The Middle and Inner rings are important for additional damage. Balance Druids have multiple defensive spells, so maximizing your damage is crucial for securing kills on enemy players. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl and Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power increase both your burst and sustained damage. Earthlink Icon Earthlink gives you a small stat boost to your Mastery and Leech.

3.3. Inner Ring

Below are the best Inner Ring traits.

  1. Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection
  2. Ursoc's Endurance Icon Ursoc's Endurance
  3. Gemhide Icon Gemhide
  4. Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification

All of these traits give you additional ways of surviving. These are all passive, but are crucial to have.

4. Talent Choices for Balance Druids

Level Choices
15 Nature's Balance Nature's Balance Warrior of Elune Warrior of Elune Force of Nature Force of Nature
30 Tiger Dash Tiger Dash Renewal Renewal Wild Charge Wild Charge
45 Feral Affinity Feral Affinity Guardian Affinity Guardian Affinity Restoration Affinity Restoration Affinity
60 Mighty Bash Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement Mass Entanglement Typhoon Typhoon
75 Soul of the Forest Soul of the Forest Starlord Starlord Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Incarnation: Chosen of Elune
90 Stellar Drift Stellar Drift Twin Moons Twin Moons Stellar Flare Stellar Flare
100 Shooting Stars Shooting Stars Fury of Elune Fury of Elune New Moon New Moon

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.

4.1. 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.

4.2. 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.

4.3. 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.

4.4. 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.

4.5. 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.

4.6. 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.

4.7. 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.

5. PvP Talents for Balance Druids

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.

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.

6. Racial Bonuses for Balance Druids

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

6.1. 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.

6.2. 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.

7. 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.

7.1. 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.

7.2. 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.

7.2.1. 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.

7.2.2. 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.

7.2.3. 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.

7.3. 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.

8. 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.

8.1. 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.

8.2. 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.

9. 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.

9.1. 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.

9.2. 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.

9.3. 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.

9.4. 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.

9.5. 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.

10. Changelog

  • 08 Oct. 2018: Added talent table.
  • 02 Oct. 2018: Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
  • 27 Sep. 2018: Added Azerite Traits section.
  • 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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