- Author: bobodingo
- Date: July 20, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Balance Druids have an incredibly simple stat priority, similar to other casters: focus on your hit cap, then followed by haste being slightly better than crit as far as secondary stats go. However, there’s one thing about Balance Druids that makes them unique: haste rating and crit rating have a “soft cap” for us, that we don’t want to go over!
- Hit rating
- Cap: 263 rating / 237 if there’s a Draenei in your party
- Haste rating
- Soft cap: 585 rating
- Crit rating
- Soft cap: 45% crit chance (before talents!)
- Spell power
Hit rating is your most important stat. If you can’t hit your targets, you’re not dealing damage. You gain a 1% increased chance to hit with your spells for every 26.232 hit rating that you have. In WotLK, you have a 17% chance to miss bosses (level 83 targets) with spells, meaning you need 446 hit rating in order to never miss. That’s a lot of hit rating, but thankfully, there are ways to reduce the amount of hit you actually need — as Balance Druids, we are blessed with 2 different talent that increases our chance to hit.
The first talent is Balance of Power, which increases our chance to hit by 4%. On top of that, as a Balance Druid you can apply the Improved Faerie Fire debuff (or if there’s a Shadow Priest in your raid, they’ll be automatically applying Misery which does the same thing) which increases your hit chance by a further 3%.
This means that you only need 10% increased hit chance, or 263 hit rating. Furthermore, if you have a Draenei player in your party, you’ll get their Heroic Presence aura, which offers another 1% hit chance, meaning you only need 9% increased hit chance, or 237 hit rating.
After spell power, haste rating will be our strongest stat as Balance Druids. Haste increases your casting speed. You gain 1% increased cast speed for every 32.79 haste rating you have.
For Balance Druids, haste has a “soft cap” at 585 rating, unbuffed. The reason for this is that adding more haste would cause your Nature’s Grace procs to push your Wrath to less than 1 second cast time, which is faster than the global cooldown — you cannot cast faster than the global cooldown, thus this means you any haste rating past 585 is wasted. After you have reached the soft cap, you should focus on other stats — mainly crit and spell power.
Crit rating is an incredibly straight-forward stat, increasing your chance to get a critical strike with your spells by 1% for each 45.91 crit rating you have.
Crit rating also has a “soft cap” for Balance Druids; specifically, at 45% crit chance, without talents. When you factor in all of our various crit talents (Moonkin Aura, Improved Insect Swarm, Improved Faerie Fire, Nature’s Majesty) then an Eclipse (Lunar) proc would push your Starfire to over 100% crit chance, which wastes some crit rating.
The drop-off after the soft cap isn’t as big as it is for haste, so you don’t have to actively avoid getting more crit — but in general it’s recommended that you focus on other stats, like spell power, after you reach the soft cap.
Spell power is the most straightforward stat, as it simply increases the damage of your spells. Each spell gains a different amount of bonus damage based on your spell power stat. This will be your go-to stat after you have reached your hit cap.
Intellect increases your maximum mana, and more importantly for us, your spell critical strike chance. You gain 1% increased spell critical strike chance for every 166.67 Intellect you have. Greater Blessing of Kings increases this by a further 10%, giving you 1.1% spell crit chance for the same amount of Intellect.
This conversion rate might not seem great, but a lot of items have upwards of 100+ Intellect, meaning they end up giving you a very nice amount of crit, on top of the crit rating they already have. However, it’s significantly worse than raw crit rating’s 45.91:1 ratio, meaning you will almost never want to socket or enchant this over pure crit rating, when they come at comparable rates.
As Moonkins, we have the Lunar Guidance talent, which converts 12% of our Intellect into bonus spell power. Coupled with the fact that as Moonkins we can definitely use that extra mana, this makes Intellect a very decent stat, overall.
Spirit increases your mana regeneration when not casting. On its own, that’s pretty bad — but thankfully, our Improved Moonkin Form talent causes 30% of our spirit to be converted into spell power. This is by no means a massive amount, which is why Spirit is so low on our priority list, but it’s certainly something — you shouldn’t intentionally stack Spirit through gems or anything like that, but you shouldn’t avoid it either.