Dreamgrove

Balance Prepatch Guide

Introduction

With the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch coming, Moonkin has received some pretty extensive changes affecting our playstyle, talents, and legendary choices. This is a guide in regards to what is currently known about Battle for Azeroth Moonkin. Our focus is to build off the knowledge of the systems in Legion as opposed to a complete new player guide. A new player friendly guide will be created in the launch of BFA. We hope this helps, and if you have any questions in regards to this guide feel free to hit us up in the Dreamgrove!

What is Changing?

How the class functions has changed a bit. Due to the new Eclipse system and the changing of our Mastery, the Spenders of Starsurge and Starfall have seen a decrease in power, while the builders of Lunar Strike and Solar Wraith with their associated Empowerments have seen increases in power by comparison.

Added Removed
Soothe Blessing of the Ancients
Hibernate Displacer Beast
Tiger Dash Stellar Empowerment
Twin Moons Astral Communion
Eclipse

Removed Abilities:

The abilities getting removed are largely shifting power away from certain spells. Removing Stellar Empowerment takes power away from our Starfall in favor of the base damage from Sunfire and Moonfire. The loss of Displacer Beast negatively affects our ability to cheese movement during certain encounters. The theme of these changes seemed to be to even out the power stuffed into certain abilities and talents and spread it out to the rest of the toolkit.

Added Abilities:

Tiger Dash will be the new form of long distance travel in both instanced and uninstanced content. While it is weaker than the now removed Displacer Beast, with the global cooldown attached to Wild Charge, there is no other strong choice on the row to compete for a spot. Twin Moons and Eclipse are the most rotationally impactful changes. Twin Moons has been a staple of our multi-target in Legion in the form of Lady and the Child, so this returning as a talent is always a welcome change. The addition of Eclipse allows our single target rotation to have more complexity and changes the rotation.

Reworked Abilities:

Nature’s Balance - Nature’s Balance has been reworked to give 2 Astral Power per 3 seconds. Astral Power levels to 50 instead of 0 out of combat as well.

Starlord - Starlord is now a throwback to the Balance Tier 20 4-piece buff. It allows Starsurge and Starfall to grant you 3% Haste for 20 seconds stacking up to 3 times.

Fury of Elune - Calls down a beam of energy on the target which will hit all additional targets within 8 yards and generates 40 Astral Power over the duration of the spell.

New Moon - New Moon is a 3 charge spell on a 25-second recharge rate. The first charge does a minor amount of damage, generates a small amount of Astral Power, and has a very short cast time. The other two spells ramp up in cast time, Astral Power generation, and damage. This is now a talent on the Tier 100 row.

Stellar Flare - Generates 8 Astral Power and has Mastery scaling. The damage done by Stellar Flare has been decreased to deal slightly less damage than both Moonfire and Sunfire.

Empowerments - Now have a 15% reduced cast time and Solar Empowerment now cleaves multi-target.

Strengths and Weaknesses?

Strengths:

Priority Target Damage - Balance Druid can handle target swapping very well when properly prepared for the target swap. Pooling Astral Power, Empowerment charges, Force of Nature, and even Warrior of Elune, the Balance toolkit is exceptional at burning down high-priority targets.

Sustained Multi-Target - Balance’s multi-target damage is one of the highest sustained multi-target damage due to very little fall-off outside of our cooldowns. With the removal of Stellar Empowerment, there is no longer a restriction on the distance our targets are apart to do max damage with Sunfire and Moonfire.

Defensives - Barkskin and Bear Form when used in conjunction give us huge boost to our survivability, but when used as singular cooldowns (IE: Bear Form without Barkskin or Barkskin without Bear form) then they are both pretty lackluster as a whole. Thankfully, with Guardian Affinity providing a flat 6% damage reduction, Balance Druids can still be tanky without cooldowns.

Utility - Balance has a large amount of utility in form of Typhoon, Mass Entanglement, Mighty Bash and Entangling Roots, Treants, Innervate, and now Soothe and Hibernate.

Weaknesses:

Long Ramp up Time - Balance Druid is a class that can take a while to come online. In multi-target encounters, players still need to get their DoTs on all targets and on single target encounters, building your initial Astral Power pool can take almost 10 seconds limiting how long it takes you to get started.

Low Mobility While Casting - In Legion, Moonkin had access to a large amount of mobility through Starsurge, Stellar Drift, and Dad Build. In Battle for Azeroth, there is a lot more casting involved in our rotation and a lot less instant casts / bouts of free movement available.

Weak Cooldowns - Celestial Alignment being a 3-minute cooldown is not nearly strong enough for our only base offensive cooldown. While giving it Haste is a better multi-target solution, it does not validate the cooldown.

Cleave Limitations - While our cleave as a whole was buffed with the coming of Battle for Azeroth, much of our cleave is limited to an 8 yard radius.

Legendaries

Legendaries as a whole vary depending on your gear. As always you should sim yourself for accuracy. This however is a good indication of where legendaries showed up on our sims.

We recommend Sephuz’s Secret and Lady and the Child due to its power on hybrid fights, while being really close on Patchwerk. Impeccable Fel Essence is also really good depending on kill time as is Promises of Elune. Kil’Jaeden’s Burning wish is very strong on mass multi-target, but generally you can proc Sephuz on multi-target making it better.

Sephuz’s Secret - Regardless of whether you can proc Sephuz or not, this Legendary is very good for single target due to the 2% Haste passive and the large amount of useful secondary stats.

Lady and the Child - LATC is incredibly powerful due to the intellect associated with Shoulder pieces and the increase in power of our Moonfire damage. This is going to be the go-to on hybrid fights and sustained multi-target with the addition of being competitive on single target.

Impeccable Fel Essence - This legendary is very good when paired with Incarnation: Chosen of Elune and is also very good depending on fight kill time.

Oneth’s Intuition - Oneth’s Intuition has seen a very high decrease in power moving from Legion into Battle for Azeroth. This legendary is very strong on 2 targets and can be powerful on single target if you have very high levels of mastery.

Kil’Jaeden’s Burning Wish - This trinket is a viable choice if your other slots do not have high level trinkets. With the increase of value to intellect, this item becomes the strongest stat stick in the game.

Promises of Elune, The Moon Goddess - This legendary is really strong on pure patchwerk fights due to the increase in value of our builders. This legendary will see use on fights without additional cleavable targets such as Imonar, Kingaroth, and Garothi.

Anything Else - Sim yourself, they are all awful.

Talents

Of Note: Many talents are subject to change based on tuning from Blizzard, so these will be updated in the future based on new sims. Additionally, talents have significantly less power in Battle for Azeroth than they did Legion.

Tier 15:

  • Nature’s Balance(NB): Great for sustained multi-target scenarios, as the constant generation of Astral Power is great. This will particularly be good in M+, as you have the opportunity to generate the 50 Astral Power after combat very quickly. This is most useful in open world content and dungeons such as Upper Karazhan with large downtime between trash and boss pulls.

  • Warrior of Elune(WoE): This talent is ideal for hybrid encounters as well as being useful for priority target swaps and burst cleave. The three free Lunar Strikes you still want to use back-to-back, and ideally with empowerments if possible, as it is important to keep it on cooldown. Fights that this talent would be usable are Portal Keeper, as it has small adds that need bursted and periods of single and multi-target.

  • Force of Nature(FoN/trees): Trees are ideal for pure patchwerk single target, as this talent does not scale with the number of targets. Therefore use them on cooldown on single target fights, in M+ if tanks are having issues with threat, as well as during world quests/leveling.

Tier 30:

  • Tiger Dash: Only would be used on fights like Imonar or when world questing/leveling. Good for covering large distances fast.

  • Renewal: Good on pure single target, low movement fights as movement isn’t an issue.

  • Wild Charge: Even with the 0.5 global cooldown associated with this spell, our disengage is still going to be the best talent for most all situations. Just be sure to get used to not being able to instantly use it to dodge mechanics or you might find yourself dying more often.

Tier 45:

  • Feral Affinity: Gives 15% passive movement speed and access to some feral specific abilities that you as a moonkin have no reason to use.

  • Restoration Affinity: Heals you for 3% of your maximum health every 5 seconds and gives you access to some notable restoration spells such as Wild Growth, Swift Mend, and Rejuvenation.

  • Guardian Affinity: This will be your default pick generally speaking. Gives you a passive 6% damage reduction and access to notable Guardian abilities such as Frenzied Regeneration and Ironfur.

Tier 60:

  • Mighty Bash: Mighty Bash is a single target 5 second stun. This talent sees limited use, but whenever you need a stun it is pretty powerful overall.

  • Mass Entanglement: Mass Entanglement is always strong on a few fights per tier whenever you can cheese mechanics with it. It will continue to be strong on fights like Coven and Aggramar and to lazily instant proc Sephuz.

  • Typhoon: This is your default talent for this row. The displacement on the knockback is very powerful for many situations such as Aggramar add management or questing. Typhoon also knocks back 10 yards further than it used to.

Tier 75:

  • Soul of the Forest(Sotf): This talent is ideal for sustained multi-target fights with 4+ targets, or when there is sporadic heavy AOE.

  • Starlord(SL): Reiteration of our T20 as previously stated. This is best for Single Target and up to 3 Target encounters. You want to play it similar how we did in Tomb of Sargeras, which is when you are getting close to the last 4 seconds of the buff try to not spend astral power so as to get the new buff right when the previous one ends.

  • Incarnation: Chosen of Elune(Incarn): This replaces Celestial Alignment as our primary dps cooldown still. This talent will be used only when the need for 30 seconds worth of burst comes out.

Tier 90:

  • Stellar Drift(SD): Needs to be paired with Lady and the Child legendary, and is better with 3+ sustained targets, so Eonar/High Command.

  • Twin Moons( TM): Acts like Lady, and stacks the damage from Lady. Use it on hybrid style fights with single and multi-target periods (Portal Keeper), or any fight with 2 targets (Dogs/Coven). Of note: this talent is not far behind Stellar Flare on single target (0.5% or so), so if you don’t want the hassle of managing Stellar Flare it is also currently a good option on pure single target.

  • Stellar Flare(StFl): Patchwerk single target option, as it is weak when any target is added in its current state. Stellar Flare is now a generator as opposed to a spender. Make sure you keep it up 100% of the time.

Tier 100:

  • Shooting Stars(ShS): Recently Shooting Stars got changes making it the best option on single target, but giving diminishing returns on every additional target. Currently, this talent is good on 1-2 targets, then pretty bad beyond that. You should talent Fury of Elune for most other situations.

  • Fury of Elune(FoE): Fury of Elune is a very powerful talent for burst. You should take Fury of Elune whenever you need burst Single Target on a target that has increased damage taken, sporadic Multi-Target in which you can get benefit from Fury of Elune, or sustained 3+ targets. Make sure when you use FoE you are low on astral power (less than 50) so as to avoid overcapping astral power while it completes the damage and astral power cycle.

  • New Moon(Moons): Moons have seen slight nerfs by comparison to the Legion variant in the form of increased cooldown and less damage. Currently, they are outclassed in most situations compared to the other T100 options. They are close on Single Target if you care about playing with moons!

Rotation for Pre-Patch

The rotation priority has changed slightly coming into BFA with the removal of moons from our base kit. As always, the balance rotation is more of a priority list to follow as opposed to a strict order of spells. A higher priority is on empowerments (to not overcap) than it was in Legion.

Opener

Begin pre-casting Solar Wrath 2.5 seconds prior to the encounter starting while standing away from the boss. Then as soon as that Solar Wrath is completed begin pre-casting a second one. As soon as the timer on the pull hits 0, apply your dots Sunfire, Moonfire, and Stellar Flare. Spend Solar Wrath to get above 40 Astral Power then use the cooldown, Celestial Alignment / Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.

*Wrath > Wrath > Dot > Dot > (Stellar Flare*) > Wrath to 40 > CA/Incarn* > (FOE* and Trees*) > Rotation

*=if talented

Single Target and Two Targets

1. Capping Astral Power: One of the quickest ways to do significantly less damage is to exceed the 100 Astral Power cap. This is mitigated by using Starsurge when available.

2. Maintain 100% uptime on your DoTs: Moonfire, Sunfire, and Stellar Flare. In addition make sure you do not over DoT. Pay attention to the pandemic window (the mark in which dots have 30% of their duration left remaining and you are able to refresh the dot without any loss), which is 6.6s for Moonfire, 5.4s for Sunfire, and 7.2s for Stellar Flare.

3. Spend your Lunar and Solar Empowerments: From Legion to BFA, there is a large increase in priority in Empowerment spending. Make sure to not cast Solar Wrath when your Lunar Strike is at 3 stacks and vice versa due to the Eclipse mechanic for potential overcapping.

4. Use your cooldowns effectively: Saving cooldowns for burst windows is incredibly smart, but losing a usage is not always worth. Try to see the fight length and weigh how you should be using your Celestial Alignment, Fury of Elune, Force of Nature, Warrior of Elune.

5. Fill with Solar Wrath: Whenever you have nothing else to do, fill with Solar Wrath. If you can hit one additional target with it, begin casting Lunar Strike as a filler instead.

Multi-Target

1. Maintain 100% uptime on your DoTs: Take Twin Moons to help cut down on the GCD’s required to maintain Moonfires on all targets.

2. Spend Astral Power on Starfall: You begin Starfalling on 3 targets. If it is 2 targets, you still cast Starsurge as your primary spender.

3. Spend Lunar Empowerments: If you have a Lunar Empowerment off your Solar Wrath cast, it is beneficial to spend this before your Solar Empowerments.

4. Spend Solar Empowerments: Whenever you get an Eclipse proc off your Lunar Strike it is beneficial to spend your Solar Empowerment first.

5. Fill with Solar Wrath: Whenever you have nothing else to do, fill with Solar Wrath. If you can hit one additional target with it, begin casting Lunar Strike as a filler instead.

Gearing

In general you should sim yourself prior to listening to any guide or person giving sweeping advice about gear.

With that said, Intellect is now a much more important stat in the pre-patch and moving into BFA. It will be one of your top stats almost unanimously. A rough approximation of secondary priority will be Haste > Crit = Vers > Mastery.

For pure single target, you should always keep a variation of 4pc T21 or 2pc T20 + 2pc T21 equipped. Sim yourself for accuracy as to which to wear on Single Target. On Multi-Target the 4pc T21 will always outperform 2pc T21 + 2pc T20.

Notable trinkets for single target that you should look at / sim yourself are Norgannon’s Prowess, Prototype Personnel Decimator, Tarnished Sentinel Medallion, Terror From Below, and Acrid Catalyst Injector. These trinkets have all been performing well on Single Target, but checking your own personal ilvl of these trinkets for accuracy is the only real way to gauge what is better for you.

Notable trinkets for multi-target are Prototype Personnel Decimator, Terminus Signaling Beacon, Norgannon’s Prowess, and Acrid Catalyst Injector. The same as above, always sim for accuracy because these are just general trends that we have seen from sims.

TLDR:

Legendaries are Sephuz, Lady and the Child or Promise of Elune(if low movement and only on single target).

Talents Single Target use WoE, SL, TM, SHS in most situations. If the encounter requires burst Multi-Target or Single Target, then Fury of Elune could potentially be a viable option. If the encounter is a pure patchwerk encounter, then Stellar Flare and Force of Nature are pretty good.

Talents Multi Target use WoE, SOTF, SD, ShS.

Talents leveling use Trees, Soul, TM, FoE. If you pull very heavy using Incarn can be more beneficial.

Rotation wise play like Legion just focus more on never overcapping empowerments and on hardcasting more.

Gearing wise keep what you have, and swap out higher item level pieces if they sim better because of Intellect being more valuable. Swapping gear to lower your mastery would be valuable as well.

Glossary

Base Abilities

Talents