Season of Discovery Phase 2 Caster Druid DPS Build Guide & Best Runes

season of discovery druid caster dps build guide featured image

When I played WoW for the first time, close to 20 years ago, I made a Night Elf Male Druid. I loved the goofy Wrath cast animation, holding a green glow up to my forehead and gritting my teeth before aggressively pushing it into an enemy. Unfortunately, I only got to see that animation now and then for 10 levels, before never seeing it again once I unlocked Bear Form.

Season of Discovery brings the ability to play a Balance Druid by entirely removing the Mana cost of Wrath, allowing us to once again grit our teeth and stare into the mystifying green glow.

Build Summary

Balance druids have an engaging, but simple rotation to follow in Phase 2 of Season of Discovery.

  1. Begin by casting Starsurge. We’ll want to use this off-cooldown to maximize the amount of buffed Starfire‘s we can get in an encounter.
  2. Apply Sunfire to the target. This may seem counterintuitive as we have a buffed Starfire ready to rock, but so long as you use it before your next Starsurge, it won’t go to waste.
  3. Apply Moonfire to the target. Now that we have our DoTs up, it’s time to start cookin’.
  4. Cast Starfire. This will do 80% increased damage due to the Starsurge we cast in step 1.
  5. At this point Starsurge will be off-cooldown. Cast it again.
  6. Cast Starfire. This will do 80% increased damage due to the Starsurge we cast in step 5.
  7. Cast 2x Wraths. If you were fortunate enough to get a Nature’s Grace proc, cast a 3rd Wrath.
  8. Repeat.

Runes

Chest

Fury of Stormrage

Reduces the mana cost of Wrath by 100% and each time you deal damage with Wrath you have a 12% chance for your next cast of Healing Touch within 15 sec to be instant.

This is the bread and butter for this build and the only reason this build is at all functional. Balance Druids have always struggled with Mana in Classic, and this simply removes the Mana cost of Wrath. Spam Wrath all day and night, become one with the beloved green glow.

The only downside of this is that Nature immunity is very much a thing in Classic. On any boss or enemy that is immune to Wrath, I recommend assuming the fetal position in between your 3.5-second Starfire casts.

This Rune also comes with a bit of an odd benefit. Every time Wrath deals damage, there is a 1/8ish~ chance of your next Healing Touch being instant. This effectively turns us into a Wrath machine gun that occasionally throws a hefty single-target heal, just to prove our divine benevolence. Unfortunately, the Healing Touch may be instant but it sure isn’t free, and on any fight that requires us to regularly heal, we will likely need to use our Mana exclusively for healing.

Gloves

Sunfire

Burns the enemy for 55 to 65 Nature damage and then an additional 110 Nature damage over 12 sec. This spell benefits from and triggers all effects associated with Moonfire.

Gee, how come Elune lets you have two DoTs? Sunfire is the Nature equivalent of Moonfire, functioning identically but dealing Nature damage instead of Arcane damage. In Phase 1 this looks to deal significantly more damage than Moonfire, but time will tell. When Mana permits you will want to keep both of these running at all times.

Expect to use this similarly to Moonfire, prioritizing Sunfire when possible.

Legs

Starsurge

Launch surging stellar energies that causes 57 to 70 Arcane damage. Starsurge benefits from and triggers most talents and effects that trigger or benefit from Wrath or Starfire.

This is a bit of an odd one, but a nice spell to have. Starsurge is an instant-cast Arcane spell that costs very, very little mana to use. This also benefits from talents that effect Wrath or Starfire, such as Vengeance and Improved Starfire. This is worth weaving between Wrath casts whenever available.

Waist

Eclipse

Starfire increases the critical strike chance of your next two Wraths by 30%, and Wrath reduces the cast time of your next Starfire by 1.0 sec, both effects stacking up to 4 charges. Both spells also gain 70% chance at all times to not lose casting time when you take damage.

The Eclipse Rune enhances the synergy between Starfire and Wrath spells, introducing a dynamic interplay rewards alternating the two abilities.

Feet

Dreamstate

Your damaging spell critical strikes grant you 50% of your mana regeneration while casting for 8 sec and increase Nature damage dealt to the target by 20% for 12 sec.

Dreamstate provides you with some much needed mana regeneration. It also cranks up the Nature damage on your target, making your spells pack an extra punch.

Talent Build

sod balance p2

There are some choices to be made with your talent tree, but in the end, I opted for full Balance. The main reasons for this are Improved Wrath, Vengeance & Moonkin Form. Improved Wrath is mandatory, reducing the cast time of your green machine gun to a GCD matching 1.5 seconds. Vengeance is optional, but even one point is enough to be a decent damage boost. Even if we decide to skip it, there just aren’t that many good talents available.

Improved Moonfire is not going to be a game-changer for us, but it is still one of the few DPS increases available in the tree at this point. It is also required to reach Vengeance, so you couldn’t skip it even if you wanted to. Nature’s Reach is a nice boost to have and there aren’t any useful alternatives.

Key Spells and Abilities

Wrath

This is why we’re here. Combining Talents and Runes gives us a 1.5-second cast that costs no Mana. The damage may not be spectacular, but no other class can boast the longevity “free” brings to the table. Wrath may fall off later in the Season, but for Phase 1 it is almost on par with Warlock Shadow Bolts at almost half the cast time.

Spam this, become a lean green Wrath machine.

Starfire

Unfortunately, I have to include this spell. We want to avoid using this whenever possible. It is a slow, expensive, mediocre damage nuke, and at level 25 we are one level away from the next rank. Starfire finds its niche against the many Nature immune enemies in Classic. During those fights, you will have almost 4 seconds to contemplate your life decisions or yell at clouds on the Classic Druid Discord.

Moonfire

Historically Moonfire has had some serious issues holding it back. The first of those is the debuff slot it takes. Fortunately, in a 10-man raid, this is not a large concern, meaning we can debuff to our heart’s content. The second issue is the Mana cost. Rank 4 Moonfire costs a hefty 105 Mana, more than even Starfire. This used to be unsustainable, and a Balance Druid trying to keep Moonfire up was unlikely to last the entire fight.

Fortunately, we have all of this Mana and nothing to spend it on. Who cares if we run out of mana, that won’t stop our Wrath anyway. This is also our only reliable “AoE” by default. On any multi-target fight, we want to blanket everything with Moonfire to make sure we have damage rolling on all targets.

Faerie Fire

Without Faerie Fire (Feral) available, keeping this debuff up falls to us. Reducing the targets Armor by 175 can be a significant DPS increase for all Physical DPS, as well as a Threat boost for your tank. With a duration of 40 seconds, this only requires a few casts per fight to maintain. For most solo content this spell has no use for us, but if you ever find a Rogue in Ashenvale, make sure to get this running on them ASAP.

Healing Touch

Our one and only healing spell if you squint. While this build focuses primarily on DPS, the Fury of the Stormrage Rune gives us instant cast Healing Touches fairly regularly. This is a fairly big cast heal, for an equally big Mana cost. Having this available allows us to be a powerful flex healer or off-healer, but it can very quickly turn into an empty Mana bar.

Example Best-in-Slot

BiS lists can vary drastically from fight to fight, even more so as a Tank. There is rarely a one-size fits all solution for any given dungeon or raid, so you will need to find what suits your needs best.

Below is an example of an all-round Best-in-Slot list that you can tweak to fit your individual needs.

Armor

Weapons

Jewelry

Noteworthy Items

Heavy Dynamite

Dynamite is an iconic tool for Classic WoW, and Season of Discovery is no different. Make sure you stock up, at this level the damage is higher than any of your spells.

Armor of Arcane Wrath

Check your servers auction house for items ending with the suffix of Arcane Wrath. These green pieces of gear can be insanely overpowered as they boost the damage of all of our arcane spells, although these pieces are usually lacking in secondary stats.

Race Choice

Druids don’t have the luxury of choosing a race, we simply choose our faction and get what we’re given.

Night Elf

The four racials here are all negligible, but they’re nice to have. Nature Resistance is likely to be useful in at least some situations, even if that ends up being against a different Balance Druid blasting you with Wrath. Quickness is likely the least useful of the bunch. 1% Dodge chance is great, but you can’t Dodge while casting, and your hands will rarely not be glowing green. Shadowmeld is a neat little out-of-combat stealth, but unless you plan on ambushing players on the roads, you will struggle to find a time to use it. Finally, Wisp Spirit is (unfortunately) the most useful. We move 50% faster while dead, making corpse runs that much faster.

Tauren

These four racials are the stronger of the two races. Nature Resistance is identical to Night Elves, likely useful in a few niche scenarios. Endurance gives 5% more total Health, which while not a massive boost, still sees some value. Cultivation gives a flat 15-skill boost to Herbalism, allowing us to pick later flowers earlier. Of course, that is only useful if you decide to go with Herbalism. Finally, War Stomp is a Melee range AoE stun. This is still fairly niche, but can see regular use for larger trash packs, or while soloing.

 

About the Author

lettara

World of Warcraft veteran of 18 years. Ex world first raider and rank 1 healer. Slayer of dragons. Lover of cats.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

5 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bingo-Berra
Bingo-Berra
6 months ago

I think the importance of talents like Vengeance are vastly overstated and/or misunderstood. They read so much better than they are.

20% increased critical strike damage bonus. This is multiplicative, not additive.
The base critical strike damage bonus for spells is 50%, meaning a crit deals 150% damage of a normal spell.

20% (multiplicative) bonus of this 50% number is thus 10% in additive bonus.

Your critical strikes thus deal 160% of normal spell damage. This is an increase of 160/150 = 6.66(…)% compared to not having the talent. But only on critical strikes.

I don’t remember what the crit% of spells are at level 25 with level 25 gear is, but we assume a generous(?) 15% spell critical strike chance, each point in Vengeance adds 1% to overall DPS (.15*.0666…).
I am not impressed.

Still, not like there are lots of better options – but it’s a lot of point investments to get to that (assumed) 1% increase. 🙂

Passion
Passion(@passion)
Editor
Reply to  Bingo-Berra
6 months ago

One point in Vengeance isn’t going to make or break the build for sure, but as you said, there really aren’t that many other options anyway.

Additionally, the previous Crit chance isn’t super important, as Blackfathom Deeps will add new gear, and that could very well be Crit chance gear.

If that investment could get us anything else valuable, we would absolutely take it.

boofkin
boofkin
5 months ago

for anyone planning on farming the plans for spell power gogs, keep in mind that the lowest level mob that is confirmed to drop them is lvl 34 in SM.

Passion
Passion(@passion)
Editor
Reply to  boofkin
5 months ago

While that is accurate, the goggles themselves are Bind on Equip, meaning they can be sold similarly to other Classic Era crafts like Nightfall.

boofkin
boofkin
Reply to  Passion
5 months ago

I’m sure there will be groups forming to try and farm the plans since they will be BiS. just dont want to get the average player hyped to get them as it will be difficult or expensive. Appreciate all the guides! <3

Scroll to Top