Hello and welcome to my in-depth guide on how to play Balance Druid to its maximum potential in Mythic+. This guide will go over how to play Balance Druid in M+ and assumes that you have a basic understanding of the class. If you want to learn more about the basics I recommend Gebuz’ Raiding Guide. You can find a link in the resources section.
My Name is Guti and I’ve been playing Balance ever since The Burning Crusade. In the third Season of Mythic+ my team and I were the highest ranked players in the world and I did over 1000 Mythic+ dungeons, the vast majority of which were on high levels when they were completed. I’ve done multiple world firsts including the first +24 intime in season three as well as getting world first placement in the MDI qualifier, in which we also secured the title of European Champions and won third place in the Global Championships.
If you have any questions feel free to ask me during my stream at twitch.tv/gutidruid. Currently playing the highest ranked WW Monk in the world. Any feedback is highly appreciated. Have fun reading.
Talents and Builds
Sephuz/SotF Build (recommended)
For a more sustain oriented build pick Soul of the Forest as your level 75 talent with Sephuz instead of Soul of the Archdruid for trash fights. This build is better when you can’t get good use out of Incarnation either because of your composition such as warrior/rogue/moonkin being to bursty or trash packs not living longer than 30 seconds in general. Using this build lowers the value of IFE and your already lackluster single target DPS, but brings the massive advantage of you not being as reliant on a 30+ second long pull for your Incarnation to become effective.
The Incarnation/SotA build provides the option to switch between our single target and AoE talent setup by equipping SotA for trash packs aside from Shooting Stars. Having Incarnation makes our mediocre single target DPS decently competitive, but requires you to be reliant on a 30 second cooldown. While still strong, with the introduction of the ‘Dad’ build on single target, this setup is not nearly as impactful as running the above build.
Level 30 - Wild Charge
Lowest Cooldown movement spell which lets you dodge various lethal mechanics (such as Skovald’s charge in HoV) the easiest. Displacer Beast isn’t a terrible choice if you are not comfortable with Disengage, but falls short on every aspect against Wild Charge especially because you need a second global cooldown to get into Moonkin Form again.
Level 45 - Guardian Affinity
6% less overall damage taken + the ability to heal yourself with Frenzied Regeneration after taking a big hit is very strong on high keys, making you almost unkillable by mechanics like Advisor Melandrus AoE in Court of Stars.
Level 75 - Soul of Forest
This is your main AoE Talent, increasing the number of Starfalls throughout each trash pack by a lot. You need to spec into this if you don’t have the Soul of the Archdruid legendary otherwise you would lose out on a majority of your overall damage.
Level 75 - Incarnation: Chosen of Elune
Incarnation is your largest dps cooldown which increases your damage by 35% as well as providing 50% more the astral power gain of your filler spells allowing you to use even more Starfalls or Starsurges during a certain encounter. You mainly want to use it on big pulls or bosses, because you want to make sure that you either make full use of the 30 second duration during a single fight or have so many targets that it is worth using anyway.
Level 90 - Shooting Stars
Shooting Stars beats Blessing of the Ancients on 2+ targets in astral power regeneration so it’s preferred in M+ because most fights have more than 2 targets. If you are doing extremely big pulls the astral power gain from this talent is sometimes enough to let you spam starfall which results in insane numbers.
Level 100 - Stellar Drift
Starfall is your main damage source on overall DPS so increasing it by 50% is a nobrainer. The increased radius is great for more cleave range but also makes you unable to use starfall in some situations such as the beginning of Court of Stars.
The stat weights for MOST players will be:
To get a rough estimate on how trinkets or gear pieces will perform I’m using:
Keep in mind that item level and sockets may change these rankings. These are only the best performing trinkets assuming equal item level etc.
The second Pantheon trinket might sim higher than Aman’Thul’s Vision depending on the itemlevel and your stats on single target encounters. Unlike Aman’Thul’s Vision, Norgannon’s Prowess does not have any defensive components, which could be huge on some boss fights.
Tarnished Sentinel Medallion
The Tarnished Sentinel Medallion is still a great trinket, especially on bursty single target fights but falls short after around ~75 seconds until 2 minutes where Acrid Catalyst Injector becomes a better choice.
Area of Effect
The 2.0 Arcanocrystal of this expansion does not only grant you a crazy amount of stats, the tertiary stat proc has a high uptime on consecutive trash pulls, which increases your survivability greatly. Undoubtedly the #1 trinket to have for M+ Trash/AoE.
Acrid Catalyst Injector
The great number of stats this trinket provides makes it one of the best in the current tier. Using it on both ST and AoE reduces the ramp up time, which is still its biggest downside, greatly as you carry the stacks throughout multiple fights. Make sure to not drop any high stacked buff to get the triple stat proc by engaging combat as soon as possible.
Terminus Signaling Beacon
This trinket probably has the biggest AoE burst potentials in the game while also having our best AoE stat mastery making it the best trinket in the game for short fights with a lot of targets. You can buff this trinket by using it during Incarnation to increase its damage by 35%. Whenever the beacon is on cooldown for more than 30 seconds you want to use a stat stick or any other of the recommended trinkets instead.
Oneths Intuition (OI)
One of our Go-To single target legendaries. Reasons for that are the pure single target damage increase, the cleave potential with Starfall procs as well as that is has room for errors unlike The Emerald Dreamcatcher and the fact that you can hold on to procs until they are optimal to use.
Radiant Moonlight (RM)
A strong single target legendary when used in conjunction with with OI to play the “Dad” build, RM can also be used on AoE bosses where you can’t proc Sephuz’s Secret.
Lady and the Child (LatC)
By far our strongest AoE legendary to date. Not only does LatC provide the most DPS in AoE scenarios it also cuts our global cooldowns needed to spread Moonfire by half, shortening your ramp up time by a lot.
Using this legendary provides the player a strong cooldown to build resource and place additional starfalls on every trash pack and sometimes can be proc’d multiple times per trash pack. The best ways to proc this legendary is through casting Entangling Root or landing a silence. You normally try to lead by applying your dots and getting a starfall down before you want to proc the haste buff.
Prydaz Xavaric’s Magnum Opus
The main use for this legendary is to survive unavoidable one-shot mechanics that would kill you even through Bear Form+Barkskin. Going into Bear Form right before the effect applies grants you an even bigger shield as this legendary snapshots your current HP when the shield applies. There are only a handful of situations where this legendary is needed as Bear Form+Barkskin+Prolonged Power Potion+external cooldowns like Hand of Sacrifice give you an active health pool of almost 15mil. HP.
The bosses I suggest using Prydaz on high levels are the following. Keep in mind that without stats like Avoidance or defensive cooldown chaining with externals you maybe need to use Prydaz on other bosses or at lower levels.
BRH - Amalgam, Lord Kur’talos Ravencrest
DHT - Dresaron, Shade of Xavius
EOA - Lady Hatecoil
HOV - Hyrja
Impeccable Fel Essence (IFE)
IFE simply lowers the cooldown of Incarnation whenever you have a longer duration fight like a boss fight so you can continuously spend astral power. This either results in multiple Incarnations during a single boss fight or you having it ready earlier for the next big pull.
Soul of the Archdruid (SotA)
Using this legendary allows you to choose Incarnation as your level 60 talent, which is needed to make Moonkins competitive in single target DPS. Equipping SotA in multi target scenarios will let you switch between the single target and AoE raiding builds at will aside from shooting stars, which is only a minor loss in low movement single target fights.
Promise of Elune (POE)
A great defensive/utility legendary with good stats. The main purpose of the stacking effect is to burst heal allies on bosses like Shade of Xavius, that deal a large amount of damage to a single player that isn’t a one-shot.
Tertiary Stats can provide you an ridiculous improvement on your gear, that most people underestimate by far more than they should.
In this section I’m going over Avoidance and Leech and how these stats will increase your survivability in dungeons.
Avoidance is a stat that lowers the damage you take from AoE effects by a maximum of 20% at 2200 rating. As most attacks that you as a DPS get hit by are considered AoE abilities, you can basically consider having 20% avoidance as having Barkskin up at all times.
Leech as a stat lets you heal yourself for a percentage of your damage done. This will give your healer a lot more time to work with and becomes especially good on really big and dangerous pulls, where your DPS is the highest.
As an example I have a ring with 603 leech rating or 2.62% leech. In a big pull with every cooldown Moonkins are able to deal more than 10 mil. DPS.
With only a single gear piece that has leech you will heal yourself for 262,000HPS during the most dangerous pulls of the dungeon.
In conclusion tertiary stats are far better than people think and you should without a doubt drop a few item level on some pieces to get these benefits.
In this section I’m going to describe only my most used gearsets throughout all dungeons and levels in the current game. I highly suggest the Addon “Opie” for switching gearsets as fast as possible.
This part focuses less on legendaries as I have covered those in-depth in the Legendary section.
Update Tier 21 4p
The new tier 21 4p brings a sizable increase to our potential AoE DPS and slightly changes our priority list. As your DoT’s are now a much bigger part of your overall damage, focusing on getting them out is more important than ever, while still keeping 100% Starfall uptime for the entire fight. Your priorities shift the moment you have all of your DoT’s running to gain as close to 100% uptime of the tier 21 4p as possible. This will drain your Astral Power much faster, as you want to press Starfall every 6 seconds now instead of at least every 8 seconds. Therefore you should only place multiple Starfalls if you will still be able to sustain 100% uptime of the tier 21 4p. Pooling Astral Power for the next trash pack becomes a higher priority than maintaining a high uptime of your 4p as you don’t want to resource starve yourself.
Before the dungeon even starts you want to get a Starfall proc from Oneths Intuition by duelling your healer outside the dungeon. Next you want to get to max. astral power by farming it on the mobs in M+0. Make sure that the person with the key has it ready to start the dungeon. Kill the mobs in M+0 and use Incarnation 1 second before the dungeon gets started. The cooldown of your Incarnation will reset, but will still have the buff from using it before you started the key. Keep in mind that you can’t start the dungeon if any player in the group is in combat.
From now on your first global cooldown should always be Starfall on every trash pack and you want to keep at least one Starfall up 100% of the time, as your Stellar Empowerment increases the damage of your DoT’s by a lot. Next step is to DoT every target with Moon/Sunfire. The idea is that you only want to use sunfire a single time and hit every enemy with it. So start applying Moonfires until all mobs are gathered enough so that Sunfire hits every target. You still want to maintain 100% Starfall uptime even while you are putting out your DoT’s.
When the mobs are close to dying your highest priority becomes pooling to as much astral power as possible again, while trying to still have 100% starfall uptime at the current fight. After the mobs are dead you want to engage combat as fast as possible again, so you don’t lose astral power by not being in combat for too long. This will most likely annoy your group and especially your tank, but is crucial to keep up high DPS throughout the dungeon. Entering a boss fight with high astral power is far less important as a starsurge deals far less damage than one starfall on multiple targets. So you can go all out on trash packs right before boss fights.
Make sure to save as much Astral Power as possible after a boss for the next trash pull. Continue this pattern throughout the entire dungeon and you will see a great increase in your overall DPS.
Crowd Control (CC)
A big difference in Mythic+ aside from raiding is that in order for you to be able to deal with a lot of mobs at the same time on high level you need to either interrupt or stun specific casts or abilities to survive. The balance druid has multiple tools to help the group with CC.
The best AoE blanket silence in the game. You should aim to use Solar Beam as often as possible on as many caster mobs as possible. As the radius isn’t very big, using it after a DK’s mass grip (Gorefiend’s Grasp) helps with silencing all targets. Our artifact trait Light of the Sun lowers the cooldown of Solar Beam if you interrupt your primary target by 15 seconds. Try to always interrupt your primary target to get a lowered cooldown. Do NOT try this if you won’t silence all casting targets though, as the payoff isn’t worth the lowered cooldown.
A great tool to help your tank kite mobs when he is in danger as well as to move mobs out of sanguine or other buffs they would otherwise receive. As a lot of classes rely on all mobs being stacked very close together, you shouldn’t use Typhoon carelessly. Even if you as a Moonkin don’t need your targets to be stacked, you can lower your entire groups DPS by pushing mobs out of important AoE abilities like Ravager.
Entangling Roots sees usage whenever you want to keep a melee mob away from the group or to proc Sephuz without aggroing the mob you cast it on. It can also be used to stop patrols by rooting the patrol leader to stop them from running into your current fight.
Force of Nature
FoN finds some rare usage as a short cooldown mass taunt that is very helpful to your tank on affixes like Necrotic to lose the stacking debuff. Personally I’m not a big fan of FoN, as you can’t pick Starlord for your level 15 talent, which makes you pretty weak on single target fights and most tanks have some way of dealing with the debuff in their toolkit.
In this last section I want to go over frequently asked questions. I will update this part of the guide if a specific question comes up regularly.
Q: What is the best composition for balance druid to push high keys?
A: Moonkin is technically a DoT based AoE class which naturally comes with ramp up time until you are able to put out big numbers. Luckily we can become pretty bursty by playing how I described in the rotation section. This means that Moonkins can fit into almost every composition. My favorites are Warrior/Rogue/Balance, Warrior/Warlock/Boomie and Rogue/Warlock/Boomie mostly depended on affixes, the dungeon and the keystone level.
Q: On which affixes are Moonkins exceptionally good?
A: Moonkins get a lot of damage if either the fight length increases, targets are very separated from each other or simply by having more targets to damage. So Fortified and Teeming are naturally good affixes for balance druids.
Balance Druid Resources
Balance Druid Raid Guide by Gebuz
Guti#5927 - Author
Feel free to contact me with any in-depth question I haven’t covered.
For valued feedback.