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Balance Druid PvP Guide (Legion 7.3)

Last updated on Sep 10, 2017 at 07:08 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, artifacts, 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 2300 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

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.

2. Gear

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

3. Artifact Traits

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you have suddenly decided that you want to turn to PvP, the best thing to do in your artifact progression is continue to your closest Golden trait, and then follow the recommendations below. Picking up the most useful traits ( Icon Bladed Feathers,  Icon Touch of the Moon, and  Icon Light of the Sun) along the way is a great way to boost your potential.

3.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you should go for is  Icon Power of Goldrinn.

  1. Take  Icon Skywrath.
  2. Take  Icon Falling Star.
  3. Take  Icon Light of the Sun.
  4. Take  Icon Touch of the Moon.
  5. Take  Icon Power of Goldrinn.

3.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to take is  Icon Moon and Stars.

  1. Take  Icon Dark Side of the Moon.
  2. Take  Icon Twilight Glow.
  3. Take  Icon Sunfire Burns.
  4. Take  Icon Empowerment.
  5. Take  Icon Moon and Stars.

3.3. Remaining Traits

After this, you should head for your last Golden Trait,  Icon Echoing Stars, picking up any remaining traits after that. Although there is no particular order needed, we would recommend you backtrack and take  Icon Scythe of the Stars,  Icon Sunblind, and  Icon Bladed Feathers.

4. Relics

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

5. Talent Choices

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, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

5.1. Regular Talents

5.1.1. 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. If you are playing against a caster, Starlord Icon Starlord is the best choice in this tier.

5.1.2. 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. However, if you want to have extra mobility against melee or blink away from spells, Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast is the best choice in this tier. This gives you extra mobility to get away from enemies or avoid incoming damage.

5.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Guardian Affinity Icon Guardian Affinity is the best choice in this tier. This is a great talent when you are the focus for the enemy team. This greatly improves your survivability.

5.1.4. 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.

5.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

If the goal for your team is to apply spread pressure during the match, Soul of the Forest Icon Soul of the Forest is the best choice in this tier. This will allow you to Starfall Icon Starfall more frequently and is an increase to your overall spread pressure.

If the goal for your team is to have strong single-target pressure, 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.

5.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Astral Communion Icon Astral Communion is the best choice in this tier. This gives you on-demand damage. If you do not think the enemy team will focus you, Blessing of the Ancients Icon Blessing of the Ancients is great for single target damage.

5.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Stellar Drift Icon Stellar Drift is the best choice in this tier. The important part of this talent, is that you can cast while in the radius of Starfall Icon Starfall. This will allow you to get more crowd control on the enemy team or do more damage.

5.2. Honor Talents

5.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

The best talent in this tier is Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion, which provides a standard PvP trinket effect.

5.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

Mind Quickness Icon Mind Quickness is the best choice in this tier. Haste is an important stat for Balance Druids and this will directly increase your damage output.

5.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

If you are playing against at least one caster, Celestial Guardian Icon Celestial Guardian is the best choice in this tier. This is improve your survivability against a caster that is focusing you.

If you are playing against two melee classes, Ironfeather Armor Icon Ironfeather Armor is the best choice in this tier. Against most melee teams, you will be their focus. This talent will allow you to take less damage and still maximize yours.

5.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

Eclipse Icon Eclipse is the best choice in this tier. This lets you use your major offensive cooldown more frequently.

5.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

Moonkin Aura Icon Moonkin Aura is the best choice in this tier. This talent will give your team more consistent pressure.

5.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

Cyclone Icon Cyclone is the best choice in this tier. This is your primary crowd control ability.

6. Racial Bonuses

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.

7. Playstyle

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 Icon 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. They also have Entangling Roots Icon Entangling Roots, which is great when used against melee classes.

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. Use Starsurge Icon Starsurge to consume Astral Power.
  4. Cast  Icon New Moon on your main target to generate Astral Power.
  5. Cast Half Moon Icon Half Moon on your main target to generate Astral Power.
  6. Use Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath to generate Astral Power.
  7. Cast Starfall Icon Starfall to spend Astral Power and allow you to cast while moving.

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. Use Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
  2. If you are a Troll, use Berserking Icon Berserking.
  3. Cast Full Moon Icon Full Moon.
  4. Cast Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  5. Use Astral Communion Icon Astral Communion.
  6. Use Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  7. Use Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  8. Use Warrior of Elune Icon Warrior of Elune.
  9. Use Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike.
  10. Use Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike.
  11. Use Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike.
  12. Use Starsurge Icon Starsurge.
  13. 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  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 Starsurge Icon Starsurge to consume Astral Power.
  4. Alternate between Solar Wrath Icon Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike Icon Lunar Strike to generate Astral Power.
  5. Cast  Icon New Moon and Half Moon Icon Half Moon.
  6. Use Starfall Icon Starfall.

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.

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.

Displacer Beast Icon Displacer Beast will help you avoid any incoming damage that the enemy team could be casting or to create a gap between you and a melee player.

8. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 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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