PVE Balance Druid DPS Guide WotLK 3.3.5a

Druids have long been considered a jack of all trades, master of none. Balance in particularly used to be considered a complete meme, having terrible mana issues, low damage, and an incredibly simple rotation in Classic. These issues were slightly improved in TBC, but the spec was ultimately slightly on the weaker side, and didn’t pick up steam.

Thankfully, WotLK pushes us a few steps further away from the meme direction: Balance Druids do very solid damage now, thanks to the new Eclipse mechanic and several other buffs. Our new capstone talent meanwhile, Starfall, does some truly absurd damage on a very low 1-minute cooldown, and as a result, our AoE damage is actually incredibly competitive — it won’t be uncommon to see Boomkins on the top 5-10 spots of the DPS meters on more AoE-centric fights. Coupled with our staple Druid utility that got us spots even when we were weaker, nobody’s going to be laughing at our damage anymore!

This guide will detail everything you need to know about playing your Boomkin at its full potential. We will go over every aspect of the spec, from best in slot gear, to rotations and stat priorities. By the time you’re done with this guide, you’ll know everything there is to know about Boomkins!

Balance Druid Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Top-tier AoE damage
    Despite being casters, Boomkins were never really known for their incredible AoE damage, as our only AoE came in the form of Hurricane, formerly on a 1-minute cooldown. WotLK removes its cooldown, and more importantly, adds 2 more spells to our AoE arsenal: Starfall and Typhoon, the former of which is incredibly powerful and single-handedly propels our AoE to the upper tiers.
  • Low loot competition
    Warlocks, Mages and Shadowpriests are all incredibly powerful in WotLK — it won’t be rare to see raids that have 5-7 of those classes in total. While they’re murdering each other for the cloth caster DPS drops, you’re off in your own little corner, the only person who needs leather caster DPS items. As a result, you’ll find yourself getting kitted up very quickly, relative to other casters.
  • Unmatched utility
    Our utility has always been top-tier, even though our damage was historically lacking. In Wrath, our utility gets turbo-charged: we still have access to Druid staples, like Innervate and Rebirth, and Boomkin-only goodies like Moonkin Aura. Some of our utility is nerfed, as it is no longer unique, but on the flipside we actually get even more utility than we had before — Boomkins are truly monsters of utility in Wrath.

Weaknesses

  • Poor single target damage
    Our AoE damage is top-tier, but our single target unfortunately is not. On fights with just 1 target for your raid to attack, you will typically be around the middle of the DPS meters, and sometimes slightly below the middle too.
  • Highly reliant on gear
    Boomkins really need a good amount of haste and crit before they can “pop off”. This is made easier by the fact that we have relatively low loot competition as explained in the Strengths section, but if you get unlucky with drops, it might be a while before you can really reach your damage potential.
  • Simple rotation, difficult to master
    Boomkins experience a bit of an odd transformation, going from a 1-button spec to having a far more complex rotation in Wrath. As a Boomkin, to master your single target dps, you have to constantly manage your Eclipse procs, as well as 2 DoT spells and a multitude of other procs. The baseline skills are, however, far easier to learn but if you want to parse, you need to be on point with your procs and watch your offensive CDs and time them right to maximize your damage and top the meters.

Balance Druid Utility

Besides their damage, Balance Druids bring the following raid buffs & debuffs to a raid:

  • Gift of the Wild
    Completely unique utility that only Druids bring. You only need 1 Druid for it, but every raid will want at least 1 Druid just for this. Balance Druids may occasionally skip the Improved Mark of the Wild talent, but usually you’ll be taking that talent and thus buffing the raid.
  • Innervate
    Also completely unique Druid utility. The more Innervates you have, the easier some of the more mana-demanding fights will be for your raid. There’s a good amount of different mana regen mechanics in Wrath, so you won’t need it for yourself as much anymore as a Boomkin, meaning it’ll be more common for you to help a healer out.
  • Combat ResurrectionRebirth
    Druids are 1 of the 2 classes that possess the ability to resurrect someone in combat, which is always going to be a massive boon for your raid. Every expansion there are more and more methods of wipe prevention, but Rebirth will always be the best among them!
  • 5% spell crit (does not stack)Moonkin Aura
    Disaster has struck — Blizzard has made this must-bring raid buff not exclusive to us Boomies anymore, as Elemental Shamans provide it with their Elemental Oath now as well. Many raids will elect not to bring an Elemental Shaman, in which case it’ll be up to you to buff your raid with this very important buff, but this is a nerf that stung a little.
  • 5% armor reduction (does not stack)Faerie Fire
    Every raid will want to bring this debuff. Feral Druids have a really easy time applying it, and Warlocks can now offer it too with their Curse of Weakness. However, as the Improved Faerie Fire debuff increases your damage, you’ll always be casting Faerie Fire, even if you don’t strictly speaking need to be the one to reduce the target’s armor.
  • 3% increased spell hit debuff (does not stack)Improved Faerie Fire
    Our bread-and-butter debuff is reworked, now benefiting our fellow casters rather than the stinky melee. Shadow Priests can also offer it with their Misery, but even so, the fact that having the debuff up increases your own damage means you’ll always be casting it — even if you don’t absolutely need to be the one to bring this debuff.
  • 13% increased spell damage debuff (does not stack)Earth and Moon
    Blizzard decided that we needed even more utility, giving us access to the must-have 13% spell damage debuff. Previously exclusive to Warlocks (Curse of the Elements) and now offered by Unholy Death Knights (Ebon Plaguebringer) as well. The good news is that we’re amazing at applying it, as we do so automatically as part of our DPS rotation. DKs are better at applying it in AoE thanks to their Pestilence, but it’ll very often be your responsibility — specially in 10-man raids.
  • 3% haste (does not stack)Improved Moonkin Aura
    Apparently Blizzard thought our utility still wasn’t enough! Boomkins are 1 of 2 specs in the game that can provide this brand-new haste buff to your raid, the other being Ret Paladins with Swift Retribution. Our version however is flat out better, as the talent boosts our individual damage as well, while it does absolutely nothing for Rets — meaning that this incredible buff is your domain!
  • 20% attack speed slow debuff (does not stack)Hurricane
    Back when Hurricane had a 1-minute cooldown, its attack speed reduction component was more or less a meme — nobody in their right mind would mention it as a serious upside. However, now that its cooldown is gone and you can spam it to your heart’s content, the fact that it applies this handy little debuff is actually a great boon for us, as you can passively help your tank survive dangerous AoE situations.

Conclusion

Hopefully this guide gave you a general understanding of what playing Boomkin in Wrath is like! It is definitely one of the most rewarding specs to play out there, so we hope you check out the rest of the guide and can finally make a decision on whether a Boomie is the thing for you!

 

About the Author

bobodingo

Sup yall! My name is Bobodingo and I've been playing wow since its release. I'm an avid player trying to make some good, quality content and share my ideas with the rest of the WoW community. I'm always down to have a conversation and bounce ideas off each other!
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dinesh
dinesh
2 years ago

What abt the profession??

Last edited by dinesh
Peter Adler
Peter Adler
Reply to  dinesh
2 years ago

You mention to add DoTs if down at different times. So you would potentially not have BOTH up at the same time and always?

Last edited by Peter Adler
Blightbane
Blightbane
Reply to  dinesh
7 months ago

Jc+eng bis

deez nutz
deez nutz
9 months ago

this is cool and all but where the items at :O

amir
amir
9 months ago

tnx it was helpful

durid user man
durid user man
8 months ago

what amour should you get

Blightbane
Blightbane
8 months ago

I would like to take typhoon what do you think can I sacrefice 1 point from improved insect swarm or is that a bad idea?

boomie
boomie
Reply to  bobodingo
3 months ago

you need an unglyphed typhoon to knock bloodbeasts away against saurfang the fourth boss in icc. it works in 3.3.5 and is necessary for smooth run

Abcderg
Abcderg
1 year ago

Omfg they rly removed typhoon and owk frenzy I can’t believe how every single build of gnarly guides is terrible wrong

Last edited by Abcderg
Kreature
Kreature
Reply to  Abcderg
1 year ago

Owlkin Frenzy seems like it would be a great talent for fights during which there is a lot of AoE damage, but it is actually a really terrible PvE talent. Almost all boss AoE damage will not trigger Owlkin Frenzy, and the proc chance is too low to make it worth having for the boss abilities that do.

Last edited by Kreature
Some randon angry druid
Some randon angry druid
Reply to  Kreature
1 year ago

That is actully so not true, applying debuffs is a general loss in dps in itself. If you compare fairy fire with a normal wrath hit for the same gcd. You actully loose damage, and with icc gear you really dont need the improved fairy farm either. So in this case taking owlkin frenzy is a huge damage boost, since so many fights got damage in one way or another buffing your damage troughout the fight.
Next is the typhoon, why the hell are you not having such a crucial spell on the talent tree. Its an interrupt, critical in DBS. Even on LK/LOD with the minor glyph for the slow.
Last is your haste rating, what actully happened here. Starfire after a certain amount of gear, is your biggest damage dealing spell. So why limit the amount of starfires you can get off by saying its a waste of stats. It is the complete opposite here. Overall the talent guide here is utterly garbage for the 2nd tree, and no testing was done here. Or taking fights into consideration.

Swamp
Swamp
Reply to  Some randon angry druid
11 months ago

“Attacks done to you” triggers it. Spells don’t. Most of the time you are hit by spells not by attacks. If you are hit by attacks a lot of times, something must be seriously wrong with you or your tank.

Survival Superstar
Survival Superstar
Reply to  Swamp
6 months ago

Spells are attacks too, numbnut
Infest, Bone Storm, BQL Blood bolts, Sindy unchained magic explosion (basically anything that gives you pushback) trigger both warrior’s enrage and owlkin frenzy.
Infest, Bone Storm, BQL Blood bolts, Sindy unchained magic explosion (basically anything that gives you pushback) trigger both warrior’s enrage and owlkin frenzy.

Last edited 6 months ago by Survival Superstar
Swamp
Swamp
Reply to  Some randon angry druid
11 months ago

Saying a waste of stats means only a portion of it are effective, not means completely useless. It’s better off taking crit over haste after haste reaches soft cap.

Survival Superstar
Survival Superstar
Reply to  Some randon angry druid
6 months ago

You realize that imp FF is most free damage talent in the world, since you usually got a feral in 25 man to use FF? Braindead.

Also on LoD mages usually pump damage on LK during transistion and not having 3% hit on boss, because you’re too lazy to press one button is absolute peak comedy. Instant gkick if you were in my raid.

velko
velko
Reply to  Abcderg
1 year ago

Owlkin Frenzy is basicly 3 tallents points and you can’t even proc the tallent in PVE. Not getting typhoon is a whole different story

thadudmaster
thadudmaster
1 year ago

This guide is drunk.

What’s left is to get 10% (or 263 rating)

263 is not even close to 10% its more like 8-8.5%

Harle
Harle
Reply to  thadudmaster
8 months ago

I think you are confusing Spell Hit Rating with Physical Hit Rating

Lockles
Lockles
10 months ago

Your gem recommendations are wrong.

Runed Cardinal Ruby gives 23 Spell Power.
Brilliant King’s Amber gives 20 Intellect.

That 20 intellect improves your Spell Power by 20. But it becomes more after buffs and talents.

Dreamstate: Increases your Spell Power by 12% of your Intellect.
Furor: … increases your total intellect while in Moonkin form by 10%.
Improved Mark of the Wild: … increases all of your total attributes by 2%.
Blessing of Kings: Increases all stats by 10%. (Applies after all other modifiers have been added. So it’s an exponential increase.)

All these percentages together means 20 Intellect gives us:
(20+24%)+10%
=27.28 spell power
Also this gives us ((20*15)+12%)+10% = 369.6 Mana
And 0.148% crit chance.

Thanks to Dreamstate we also get 12% of our intellect as MP5.
So that’s 24.64 mp5.

Ergo, a 20 int gem gives us much more DPS and sustain than a 23 Spell power gem would.

McDungus
McDungus(@mcdungus)
Reply to  Lockles
10 months ago

I don’t think they added spellpower from INT until the Cata pre-patch. Until then, that 20 INT (24.64 with talents/BoK) works out to ~3 spellpower. It also only adds ~2.5 mp5 through dreamstate, you might have misplaced a decimal there…

I am confusion
I am confusion
Reply to  Lockles
8 months ago

What are you smoking? Int does not give spellpower in Wotlk, that’s in Cataclysm.

noob
noob
Reply to  I am confusion
4 months ago

You’re an idiot, yes it does

takamga
takamga
1 year ago

using starfall dont you aggro alot

Last edited by takamga
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