How To Improve As Balance Druid — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Balance Druid in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.
1. Not Capping Your Resources
Balance Druid operates on a dual resource system. The first resource being Astral Power, and the second resource being empowerment charges. With changes to how we generate both of these resources, it is much easier to "cap" on them.
Astral Power generation was changed significantly with the pre-patch; you now receive much more Astral Power from talents such as Fury of Elune, Warrior of Elune, and Force of Nature. While the overall resource generation of the class has been reduced, these talents give bursts of Astral Power which can sometimes be difficult to manage in the midst of combat.
As for our empowerments, the new Eclipse passive adds a little RNG and reaction to the rotation. Whereas in Legion you could cast almost anything in any order, in Battle for Azeroth you need to be more mindful of your Solar Empowerment and Lunar Empowerment charges. Avoid pooling Astral Power for Starsurges and spend as frequently as possible. If you get a good string of procs, that RNG could lead to a possible damage loss if you cannot spend them quickly enough. Obvious exceptions to the rule would be incoming movement or priority damage. On top of that, if you have one empowerment stacked up to 3, do not cast the opposing spell or you will be at risk of wasting a proc.
2. Minimizing Movement and Cast Optimization
Nearly every Dungeon and Raid encounter requires players to take certain action to avoid mechanics that would otherwise damage or kill your character. Normally, moving to a safer location is the best way to handle these mechanics.
Boomkins have several abilties they can use to handle movement. They have instant casts in Starsurge, Moonfire, and Sunfire, as well as mobility spells like Wild Charge and Dash. Knowing what to use, how to change your rotation, and how to combo these abilities can lead to maintaining your rotation seamlessly through short and medium distances of movement.
Generally, you want to predict mechanics and pool movement to the best of your ability; a dungeon or raid addon will help highlight mechanics you need to watch out for. Before movement, spend as many empowerments as possible. When beginning to move, you can follow this priority list:
- If your DoTs are about to fall off, refresh them.
- Spend Astral Power on Starsurge.
- If Force of Nature, Fury of Elune, or Warrior of Elune are talented and available, use them to generate more Astral Power.
- Reapply your lowest duration DoTs.
- If nothing else, spam Sunfire.
When moving, you have to judge the distance of your movement. More often than not, you want to travel the shortest distance possible. If you have to move a few steps, one or two globals can fill the gap and get you where you need to go.
If you need to move a medium distance, combining Wild Charge and one or two instant globals will still create a smoothed out rotation with minimal gaps. However, if you have to travel a large distance, getting there quickly will normally be a larger damage increase than slowly waddling over. In this event, casting Dash is optimal if you either have to get somewhere very quickly OR have to travel an obscenely long distance.
3. Have the Right Multi-Target Cast Sequence
This change allows players to approached their multi-target rotation in a variety of different ways. When you are about to start your multi-target rotation, you need to take into consideration several factors first.
- How far apart are the targets?
- How much Health do the targets have? Will they die quickly?
- How many targets are there?
So, now we have to look at what to do when taking into account all of that information. If the targets have very low Health Pools, you should prioritize instant damage. Starfall should come first, if you have the Astral Power, followed by Sunfire, when you can hit the majority of the targets. If they are going to die extremely quickly and are close together, you can cast Lunar Strike. If they are still spread out, you can cast Solar Wrath to build more Astral Power, or even apply Moonfire to the high Health targets.
If the targets are very spread, you can lead with a Starfall and apply Moonfire, while they clump up, and then apply a Sunfire on all the enemies that are close enough to be afflicted by the DoT. If you need to build Astral Power on spread targets, apply Moonfires first, then Solar Wrath until they are close enough for Sunfire and Lunar Strike cleave.
- 13 Jan. 2019: Added a Mobility section.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated for Patch 8.1.
- 04 Oct. 2018: Updated the multi-target section.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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