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World of Warcraft: Legion: Balance Druid guide (7.1)

Our regularly updated guide to playing the Balance Druid in WOW Legion.

The Balance Druid is one of World of Warcraft’s most resilient casters, boasting high survivability alongside the ability to dish out considerable punishment from a distance. Our complete Balance Druid guide will help you settle comfortably into the specialisation.

In Legion, Balance Druids had their play style reworked altogether, moving from a rhythm based rotation to one that revolves around building up a new resource - Astral Power - via base spells, before using it to unleash Astral spells that deal increased damage and boost the next base spell’s damage.

In this Balance Druid guide, we’re going take you through building and playing a levelling build that will help you conquer the new areas at a comfortable pace. While the Feral Combat and Balance specialisations are equally viable for leveling - and choosing between them is mostly a matter of personal preference - we think Balance is a particularly good option, as the vast changes in Legion made it much more user-friendly and a very fun way to play the class.

The build and rotation we present below can easily be tweaked to perform well in the multiple end-game activities you'll have at your disposal once you reach the level cap too. Even then the growth of your character will be a long way from over, as you will still have to continuously upgrade your Artifact weapon the Scythe of Elune - we’ll guide you through that process as well.

As the expansion progresses, we’ll update this guide with the latest information concerning Balance Druids, and add some gearing, PVP and specific endgame advice, along with other topics that will help your Balance Druid reach its full potential.

Editor's note: Update #1 - In the first revision of our Druid guide, we’ve added info on our recommended choices for upgrading the Balance Artifact Weapon, as well as our advice on those Relics you should slap into it.

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Balance Druid talents

Here's every talent you have access to if you choose to play as a Balance Druid in the Legion expansion.

LevelOption 1Option 2Option 3
15Force of Nature - This ability summons 3 Treants for 10 seconds, on a 1-minute cooldown. The treants will taunt and attack targets.Warrior of Elune - This 45-second cooldown causes the next 2 Lunar Strikes to be instant casts.Starlord - This upgrades your Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment temporary buffs, making them reduce the cast time of their affected spells Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath by 8%.
30Renewal - Heals you for 30% of your maximum health and it is usable in all shapeshift forms.Displacer Beast - Teleports you forward, activating Cat Form while granting you a 50% increase in movement speed for 4 seconds.Wild Charge - This differs based on the shapeshift form you are in. Directly related to our spec is Moonkin Form, in which activating this ability will make you leap backwards.
45Feral Affinity - Increases your movement speed and grants you access to key Feral Combat abilities while in Cat form, as well as increases Energy regeneration to best make use of them.Rune of Power - Places a Rune on the ground for 10 seconds. All damage you deal while standing inside is increased by 50%. Two charges.Restoration Affinity - Has you regenerate 3% of your health every 5 seconds, passing on this benefit to a party member if you’re at full health. Additionally, grants you free access to several Restoration healing spells.
60Mighty Bash - Is a 5-second stun.Mass Entanglement - Is an AoE root effect that lasts 20 seconds and can be broken by damage.Typhoon - A conical AoE knockback attached to a 6-second daze effect.
75Soul of the Forest - Offers a passive 15% increase to the damage bonus from Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment, while reducing the cost of Starfall by 10 Astral Power.Incarnation: Chosen of Elune - Is an upgrade to Celestial Alignment, doubling its duration and further increasing its spell damage bonus by 5%.Stellar Flare - Adds a new Astral damage DoT to your spell repertoire, one that behaves as your other DoTs and that can be stacked with them.
90Shooting Stars - Gives your DoT spells Moonfire and Starfire a 10% chance to strike its targets with a falling star each time they deal damage. This star deals Astral damage to the target and generates 4 Astral Power.Astral Communion - Instantly grants you 75 Astral Power.Blessing of the Ancients - Grants you one of two passive buffs: Blessing of Elune, which increases the Astral Power generated by Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike by 25%, and Blessing of An'she, which grants you 2 Astral Power every 3 seconds. You can switch between these passives on a 15-second cooldown.
100Fury of Elune - This active ability deals Astral damage in a small radius every second, costing 6 Astral Power to cast and 12 Astral Power per second to maintain. It has a 1-minute cooldown and can be recast for free to reposition while active.Stellar Drift - Upgrades your Starfall, increasing its radius by 30%, its damage by 20%, and allowing you to cast while moving as long as you are inside its radius.Nature's Balance - Upgrades your Wrath spells (Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike) making them prolong the duration of your DoT spells.

Balance Druid talent build

For the purposes of levelling up quickly, these are the talents we reckon you're best off picking. We've also provided a little insight into why we've made each choice.

LevelTalentReason
15Starlord - This upgrades your Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment temporary buffs, making them reduce the cast time of their affected spells Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath by 8%.This is a nice improvement to your overall rotation, making it more smooth overall. If you have problems with survivability, consider picking Force of Nature instead.
30Displacer Beast - Teleports you forward, activating Cat Form while granting you a 50% increase in movement speed for 4 seconds.This is mostly a quality-of-life improvement that lets you jump quickly between targets, or run away and gain some distance before resuming your spell casting.
45Restoration Affinity - Has you regenerate 3% of your health every 5 seconds, passing on this benefit to a party member if you’re at full health. Additionally, grants you access to several Restoration healing spells.Playing as Balance, you will very rarely feel the need to shapeshift, making the active abilities granted by the other talents in this tier useless. Restoration doesn’t have the best passive but you can make full use of the active healing spells it provides for extra survivability and reduced downtime. Do note that casting them will still remove you from Moonkin form, so remember to shift back into it.
60Typhoon - A conical AoE knockback attached to a 6-second daze effect.This ability is great to shove targets away from you and gain a couple extra seconds of unimpeded casting.
75Soul of the Forest - Offers a passive 15% increase to the damage bonus from Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment, while reducing the cost of Starfall by 10 Astral Power.This is a nice passive boost to your rotation, while the other talents in this tier are hard to benefit from on the shorter fights that make up most of the questing process.
90Blessing of the Ancients - Grants you one of two passive buffs: Blessing of Elune, which increases the Astral Power generated by Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike by 25%, and Blessing of An'she, which grants you 2 Astral Power every 3 seconds. You can switch between these passives on a 15-second cooldown.Another excellent passive that you should switch according to your needs. In practice, Blessing of Elune should be the most adequate to keep up when questing, as the passive generation from An’she is too slow and quickly decays once out of combat.
100Stellar Drift - Upgrades your Starfall, increasing its radius by 30%, its damage by 20%, and allowing you to cast while moving as long as you are inside its radius.A great upgrade to your main tool against packs of targets. Fury of Elune is theoretically better but it's harder to target as the targets need to be very close to one another. Nature’s Balance is a bit useless for questing as most quest mobs will require minimal DoT refreshing.

Balance Druid rotation

Balance received a massive makeover in Legion and is now a much more straightforward specialisation to play. Your main focus here is on generating resources and spending them before they can reach their cap.

There are two main resources for your consideration. First, there's Astral Power, which you can accumulate up to 100, and is slowly replenished by casting your Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike spells. Next up are Empowerment Buffs, which you generate by spending Astral Power in order to cast Starsurge, and which you spend by casting your Astral Power generators (which are then further Empowered). So, as you can see, the gameplay fits neatly into the whole “Balance / Cycle of Sun and Moon / Circle of Life” Druidic theme rather pleasingly.

Your Artifact Weapon feeds into this playstyle by providing you with a powerful 3-charge spell that's on a 15 second cooldown and grants you a great amount of Astral Power while cycling between 3 different power states as you cast it. While this may sound complex, the only thing you really need to be aware of is that you should never let it stay at 3 charges, as that would be a waste. Nor should you spam it when you’re near max Astral Power though, as you'll waste the resource that's generated.

Finally, your other priority should be keeping your Damage-Over-Time (DoT) spells, Moonfire and Sunfire, active on your target at all times - the damage they deal over time is considerable.

Balance Druid - Single target rotation

Treat this more as a priority list than a strict rotation. You will often have to go back to previous steps in order to balance out your resources as detailed above.

ActionConditions / Further Instructions
1.Solar Wrath
2.MoonfireIf target has no Moonfire debuff, or it has 5 seconds or less remaining.
3.SunfireIf target has no Sunfire debuff, or it has 5 seconds or less remaining.
4.New Moon (if available - ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)If at or under 90 Astral Power or at 2+ charges.
5.Celestial AlignmentIf the fight will last at least 30 seconds.
6.Half Moon (if available - ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)If at or under 80 Astral Power or at 2+ charges.
7.New Moon (if available - ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)If at or under 60 Astral Power or at 2+ charges.
8.Solar WrathIf you have a Solar Empowerment Buff or are under 40 Astral Power (cast until you are up to 40).
9.Lunar StrikeIf you have a Lunar Empowerment Buff.
10.StarsurgeIf you have 40 or more Astral Power.
11.Repeat from Step 2

Balance Druid - Multiple target rotation

This rotation is ideal if you're facing three or more targets. For two targets, revert to the single target rotation.

ActionConditions / Further Instructions
1.Solar Wrath
2.SunfireIf target has no Sunfire debuff, or it has 5 seconds or less remaining.
3.MoonfireIf target has no Moonfire debuff, or it has 5 seconds or less remaining.
4.New Moon (if available - ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)If at or under 90 Astral Power or at 2+ charges.
5.Celestial AlignmentIf the fight will last at least 30 seconds.
6.Half Moon (if available - ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)If at or under 80 Astral Power or at 2+ charges.
7.New Moon (if available - ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)If at or under 60 Astral Power or at 2+ charges.
8.Lunar Strike If you have a Lunar Empowerment Buff, or are under 60 Astral Power (cast until you are up to 60) and there are 4 or more enemies.
9.Solar Strike If you have a Solar Empowerment Buff, or are under 60 Astral Power (cast until you are up to 60) and there are 3 or fewer enemies.
10.StarfallIf you have 60 or more Astral Power.
11.Repeat from Step 2

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Balance Druid Artifact and Relics

The Scythe of Elune is the Balance Druid's Artifact, and it grants the player the New Moon / Half Moon / Full Moon abilities, which rotate amongst themselves, growing in power, and are a central part of the Balance rotation.

Below you will find our recommendations for how best to progress along your Artifact Trait tree. We will prioritise upgrading your most often-used spells, even to the expense of delaying the purchase of some major traits, because we believe that in some cases investing in the minor traits gives you more consistent results.

We'll also assume that you are using our previously recommended spec. Your second Major Trait selection should be different if you have taken the "Incarnation: Chosen of Elune" talent, as opposed to the "Soul of the Forest" we advised. If you went with Incarnation instead, you should skip steps 6 through 8, as getting the Moon and Stars major trait should be your priority.

It's important that you follow a good order when picking your traits, because the price of each trait increases exponentially. Once you reach Level 110 you will have the chance to reset your Artifact Power and start over, but you should avoid doing so, as the cost increases with the amount of Artifact Power you have already invested.

Once you reach that level - and especially once you start investing resources in your Order Hall to research the history of your Artifact - Artifact Points will become more plentiful and will be awarded by almost all activities you undertake. As a result, it will be much easier to push through the higher cost of the traits later on.

Once you get to the eighth step of our recommended order, consider investing your next wave of Artifact points in an Artifact Weapon for any different spec you'd like to play, as once you buy your second major trait the cost of the remaining traits will shoot up. Min/maxing your Balance spec to the detriment of others is only really useful if you plan on raiding or doing Mythic + runs. For the rest of the content, having a balanced off-spec could prove more useful.

When choosing Relics, your priority should be on increasing your Artifact’s item level, rather than getting extra traits. If two relics have the same item level, or are less than 3 item levels apart, you’ll want to prioritise the one whose trait offers a greater ability damage increase, in this order:

  • Scythe of the Stars
  • Sunfire Burns
  • Twilight Glow
  • Falling Star
  • Solar Stabbing
  • Dark Side of the Moon
  • Empowerment
Recommended Order Trait Reason
1 Falling Star Our first choice will only meaningfully increase your damage done to large groups of enemies, as it increases the bonus your Starfall grants to your DoTs. It's useful for running dungeons, but our main reason for picking it is that it puts us on the path to the Power of Goldrinn major trait.
2 Light of the Sun A reduced interrupt cooldown period is useful in nearly all longer fights, and again we're on the path to a major trait.
3 Touch of the Moon This average, automatic self-heal represents a decent increase to your survival capabilities, but it's really just a cost you should eat up in order to get to your first major trait.
4 Power of Goldrinn This gives you a chance to get a big damage increase on each cast of Starsurge, your main damage-dealing ability for single-target fights.
5 Scythe of the Stars Yet another boost to your Starsurge.
6 Sunblind A slight improvement to one of the regular spells in your rotation, we're mostly taking this to reach your second major trait faster. Skip if you're specced into Incarnation: Chosen of Elune (see the beginning of this section for more on this).
7 Bladed Feathers A rather lacklustre talent, it does increase your survivability although in a rather costly manner. Still, it's the fastest path to Echoing Stars. Skip if you're specced into Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
8 Echoing Stars Yet another upgrade to Starfall, further solidifying your AoE effectiveness against multiple enemies. Again, skip if you're specced into Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
9 Dark Side of the Moon A straightforward critical damage increase to one of your most used spells.
10 Empowerment Yet more bonus damage. Balance traits can feel boring at times, but they are practical!
11 Moon and Stars Your final major trait (or second, if you've decided to spec into Incarnation and skipped the previous as we've advised) is quite a nice upgrade to your main damage cooldown, Celestial Alignment, and a huge upgrade if you are specced into Incarnation: Chosen of Elune.
12 Sunfire Burns A nice, flat damage increase to your DoT.
13 Twilight Glow A nice, flat damage increase to your other DoT.
14 Rapid Innervation Take this one in the spirit of giving. Your party's healers will love the extra haste it provides. Even if you are more of a lone wolf, this is on the way to the next trait you want.
15 Solar Stabbing Yet more extra damage for one of your main rotation spells.

This wraps up the second version of our Balance Druid guide. We’ll soon follow up with advice on how to choose the best gear for your Druid.

What else would you like to see in future updates of our Balance Druid guide? Let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to fit your suggestions in next time!

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