Overall, after the patch hits you want to unlock your artifact knowledge by doing the Armies of the Legionfall quest chain (complete this before doing world quests or anything else, as the increased artifact knowledge is important. Make sure you start learning your new AK ranks as fast as you can). You also then want to complete the Defending Broken Isles chain that unlocks the new artifact weapon paths.
There is also a bunch of other world content, leading up to things like being able to fly and completing quests that allow you to unlock your new druid class “mount” (owl bird shapeshift form).
At 35 traits, you unlock “Goldrinn’s Fury” to get access to the new traits & ranks. You will want to fill out your whole new mini-tree from Radiance thru the gold trait (Circadian Invocation).
Wax & Wane is a trait where moonfire/sunfire has increasing stacking damage. This doesn’t dramatically change your rotation, as moonfire spam is not intended to be a viable single-target strategy. This has undergone some tuning such that it’s an okay DPS increase during times you might want to spam moonfire (e.g, cleave or heavy movement fights where you might end up needing filler).
Circadian Invocation is the gold bordered trait. It gives 6% to arcane, 6% to nature and 12% to Astral (e.g., starsurge, starfall). This is a pretty big buff to our single-target damage.
After that, you can go back and fill out other ranks in your existing traits (e.g., scythe of the starts, sunfire burns, etc).
balance spell changes:
We didn’t have any major spell changes for PVE.
The starfall change isn’t a nerf. The patch notes only list one change that isn’t really something most people will even notice. While the haste scaling change for starfall seems like a nerf, keep in mind that haste only ever reduced the duration without adding extra ticks. Basically, starfall will now stay active longer but have a slower tick rate. You will get the same number of total ticks, with a slightly longer damage buffs on your DOTs or longer to cast while moving (the starfall circle stays up longer). In exchange, starfall is not really so great on things that die fast (and because it was never burst damage in the first place, that’s always held true). On mobs that died in a few seconds, you never got the full starfall/DOT ticks off in the first place, which has always been a glaring weakness for balance. In conclusion, the starfall change isn’t a nerf.
Promise of Elune (balance boots) got a buff that makes them better than they were (at least a small DPS upgrade now over equipping no legendary at all). Sephuz also now gives a 2% haste bonus passive. Ekowraith also got a haste stat bonus. Overall, I don’t think these changes impact the BIS list for balance legendaries (the strong ones are still really strong), but if you got stuck with crappy ones before, they are at least closer in their DPS increase.
Overall, resto druids don’t have a ton of changes, so the main thing will be how to advance your weapon with the new traits.
After 35 traits, you can put a point into G’hanir’s bloom to unlock your new traits. You should work towards your gold-bordered trait (deep rooted) first.
After you unlock deep rooted, you can go back in and fill out your ranks in other traits, starting with the really good ones (e.g., persistence, grovewalker, knowledge of the ancients, essence of nordrasil, etc.).
Drape of Shame got nerfed, but is still a great cloak at this point unless you need the set cloak for your set bonus.
The resto druid shoulder legendary got buffed but it is currently unclear where it falls in the list of legendary items, but should be better in cases where people are likely to hover at 100% long enough to accumulate extra HOT ticks.
Sephuz’s secret got the 2% baseline haste that makes it better, especially on fights where you can use the proc.
Tearstone was nerfed, but still a strong legendary.
Several other legendaries got slight buffs that make them somewhat better but not really change in their priority at the moment.
Happy patch day! Once we see how all the changes shake out, I’ll do another round of edits on the resto druid healing guide sometime next week with updated info.
The 7.1.5 patch had substantial changes to moonkin’s AOE damage, and the nerf to Emerald Dreamcatcher caused the ED single-target build to feel more clunky. So, what does this mean for DPS rotations? One strategy has been bouncing around the druid discord that I’ll briefly describe below (the primary focus being AOE cleave padding). As this rotation has existed for 1 whole day (after Gebuz did great damage with it in a TOV run this week), this is still not very well fleshed out. This post as a result will be updated as needed. This is based on the work by Gebuz & the writeup on Discord by Eratsu. Also special thanks to Velerion for being awesome.
The new AOE balance druid rotation is called Memekin! Or, if you don’t like the name memekin, you can call it Turkeyo Drift. Yeah, that name isn’t much better. 😉
The goal of memekin is to spend your astral power on Starfall (keeping up Sellar Empowement buffs). You can gain the damage benefit of more than 1 Starfall on the same target but Stellar Empowerment does NOT stack bonuses. You also maximize your DOT up-time on anything you can DOT.
Yes, that’s right. Starfall is back!
What talents do you take for Memekin?
Force of Nature (this got a pretty heafty buff and Starlord is useless if you never get empowerments).
Soul of the Forest (reduce starfall’s cooldown).
What is the Memekin “rotation” for AOE damage?
Keep up DoTs (sunfire/moonfire). Stack them as fast as you can on targets.
Try to keep up at least one Starfall at all times, in order to constantly benefit from Stellar Empowerment. You can stack multiple starfalls on the same spot on the ground, since Damage stacks now, so use it as your astral power spender to not overcap on Astral Power.
Use Moon spells accordingly (Just make sure to not overcap on Astral Power)
Use Solar Wrath to Generate Astral Power when you have nothing else to cast.
Use Force of Nature on Cooldown
Use Celestial Alignment as usual.
You don’t use starsurge at all? That’s right. No starsurge!
What does a “memekin” do for single-target damage?
This rotation does not really change for Single Target.
You can theoretically change to Starsurge During Celestial Alignment, if you are going for a pure Single Target Fight.
Not likely to be the best single-target damage, since it’s super cleave focused, but this is an option in things like Mythic+ where you don’t get to swap around talents to Single-Target builds for bosses. For actual single-target raid bosses, you are probably better off sticking with true single-target builds.
How do Legendary items interact with “memekin?”
If you have Oneth’s Intuition (OI), only cast Starsurge if you have free Oneth’s Intuition procs, and only use Lunar Strike when Empowered (so, rarely).
If you have been using Emerald Dreamcatcher (ED), unequip it if you have any other legendaries for Memekin AOE. Otherwise, ignore the Equip effect & use it as a high ilevel stat stick. You should still use can still use ED/Fell Essence build for single-target with regular single-target talents. Just make sure you don’t use OI & ED together in the same single-target focused build, since the effects don’t play nice together.
The Fell Essence ring is based on astral power you spend, so it works in Memekin builds just as well as ED builds.
What is my stat priority?
Use your highest ilevel stuff, prioritizing Haste > Mastery > crit > versatility. This is subject to change with more testing, so hold onto gear pieces you can swap around.
The patch doesn’t have major game play changes for balance & restoration druids, but there still are some changes to be aware of with the 7.1.5 patch. There are lots of small changes and talent revisions. There are also some general secondary stat changes & artifact changes that somewhat impact gearing. If your stats change after the patch, it’s due to general gearing changes. I’ll work on updating this as this week goes on and more of the changes get solidified.
Slight balancing changes were made to Dispalcer Beast (reduced speed duration), Mass Intenglement (reduced root duration) & Renewal (reduced cooldown, which is a buff to the talent). For resto & balance druids, the usefulness of these utility talents don’t change all that much for PVE, so keep using what you find the most helpful.
Restoration Druid Summary
There wasn’t any huge changes for resto druids. We were in a pretty good place before the patch. There are some minor things:
Moment of Clarity changed to also increase the healing done by the regrowths in addition to not costing mana; I still think its not really worth taking in most situations. Flourish’s AOE healing is just too useful for raiding.
Power of the Archdruid radius increased to 20 yards (so it’ll hopefully hit more people who are spread out).
New legendary: X’oni’s Caress When ironbark is on a target, that target also receives 75% of the healing from each of your active Rejuvenations. Other general changes to legendaries may impact what you have, but not necessarily enough to swap to different legendaries.
Balance Druids General
Our mastery specialization damage was increased, from a baseline of 16% to 18% for starfall/starsurge/empowerments. Mastery on gear will be slightly more potent, too.
The Emerald Dreamcatcher (helm) & Fel Essence (ring) legendaries were nerfed in their potency. To compensate for this, the baseline damage of balance druid spells was increased. So, if you were super unlucky and didn’t have these legendaries, your damage should go up.
New legendary: Lady and the child – When you moonfire, a second moonfire is cast on another injured enemy.
Buffed legendaries: many legendaries that gave utility have received some buffs to help them be more competitive.
Overall, balance druids will be better off in the next patch than we were before, with some potential new talent build options to help in some situations. The main weakness will only matter at the high end of raiding where lack of burst AOE damage will hurt – for everyone else, we should be in an okay place.
Balance Talent Changes (based on PTR test data). A lot of balance druid talents were buffed, which aren’t in the main patch notes. In general, a lot of these are targeted at AOE damage which was lacking especially in places like mythic+. However, as our damage is more sustained in terms of DOTs and starfall, without a ton of actual burst damage based on the spell design.
Level 15: Force of Nautre’s damage was buffed by ~30 or 40% (not included in the patch notes). Warrior of Elune buffed to make 3 Lunar Strikes instant (up from 2). Overall, this makes WOE and FON slightly better.
Level 75: Soul of the Forest’s damage for Empowerments in our single-target rotation was increased to 20% (up from 10%) and it also now reduces starfall’s astral power cost by 20 (up from 10). Stellar Flare’s damage was increased, in addition to reducing the astral power cost to 10. This makes the other two talents more competitive versus Incarnation, although situational.
Level 90: Shooting Stars had the damage component increased, making it more useful for AOE DOT spreading. Shooting Stars is definitely viable for AOE/Cleave fights.
Level 100: Stellar Drift now increases Starfall’s damage by 60% (up from 20%), making Starfall much more potent on AOE fights (especially when combined with SOTF’s cost reduction). Fury of Elune also received a DPS increase, also making it a potentially more attractive/viable talent.
Balance Artifact traits:
Echoing stars slightly buffed for increased Starfall splash damage.
Rapid innervation reduced; our target only gets 10% haste (down from 20) during the effect.
In general, the balance changes buff Starfall a lot (but mostly via talents), so in situations where Starfall was good it has the potential to be more potent. In general, there is still a lot of work to do with balance. Most of these changes are superficial number changes as a band-aid while we wait for potentially greater mechanic changes in 7.2. The sky definitely isn’t falling, so hang in there!
Blizzard has a fairly large content release happening with patch 7.1. While it feels too soon to be launching this much content, there are some changes worth noting.
First, remember that you can turn Blood of Sargeras into a trader and get fun things like more Starlight Rose for your flask/potion needs, or other crafting materials.
Second, remember that some of the functionality of raiding addons was broken (I’m pretty sure they didn’t reverse this decision they announced several months ago). The UI can’t tell positional space of where people are in the room. That makes things like “Spread out 5 yards” much more difficult to coordinate. There isn’t any way to do range frames, radars, nearby warnings, or arrows pointing you to another person. So, good luck with that. 😉
Restoration changes in 7.1
When you use frenzied Regen (FR) in bear form, you get a benefit from your Harmony mastery. If you sometimes use guardian affinity and pop FR in bear form, you will heal slightly more over the duration.
Ysera’s Gift sticks to party & raid members, so now you will be less likely to randomly heal people when you are standing in town.
Some of living seed’s effect was ‘nerfed’, although Living Seed didn’t contribute much to our total healing done in the first place. The artifact trait listed in the patch notes is also one of the last traits we suggest picking up, so the change to that trait doesn’t matter much. At this point in artifact progression, it will end up being less overall living seed healing done, but it did maybe 1% of anyone’s total healing in the first place.
Regrowth & healing touch baseline healing was buffed, but this isn’t documented in the patch notes (though it should go live). Regrowth crits less, but does more immediate healing. So, think of the package of changes as being a buff to the direct healing portion of regrowth rather than anything else. This might also impact the value of crit and other stats after all is said and done, but only slightly.
Swiftmend’s healing was increased slightly, likely in part due to the living seed nerf. This means that when you use swiftmend as a burst heal, it’s a tiny bit more potent. When you use swiftmend to get the Soul of the Forest (SOTF) buff, try to make sure you get a benefit from that burst heal (otherwise, the change results in even more overhealing).
They nerfed the prosperity talent, reducing the cooldown by 3 seconds instead of 5. This makes it more annoying to line up SOTF with wild growths, but still leaves the combo fairly potent.
They buffed the cultivation talent by 20%. On fights where cultivation was good, it’s now even better. This makes cultivation somewhat more helpful on raid encounters where you might have people sit at or below 60% health enough to proc cultivation. While we call the SOTF build the ‘raid’ build, there are certainly plenty of raid fights where cultivation shines.
Incarnation is off the GCD, but you still will likely value SOTF or Cultivation more.
TLDR for resto: Not much really changed in terms of how you heal. Cultivation’s value definitely increased. Most of the changes come out to a net neutral impact overall, depending on what talents you take. The living seed nerf offsets some of the buffs to the direct healing portion of spells. We’ll have a more solid idea of the impact of these changes once it hits the live servers and we know the final numbers.
Balance changes in 7.1
Not much changed for balance, just some minor tweaks.
Owlkin Frenzy now only makes Lunar Strike instant, rather than being consumed by Wrath or Lunar Flare. This is good in some ways in that you can’t accidentally ‘waste’ it now, but also gives you less flexibility in its use.
You now have regrowth instead of healing touch baseline & can cast regrowth in moonkin form. This has a faster cast time, but a pretty small initial heal. If you happened to be unlucky and got the legendary that impacted healing touch, it now impacts regrowth instead.
Incarnation no longer triggers the global cooldown and they fixed the graphical bug (big armored super moonkin Incarnation form is back!). I find myself using this some, so that’s nice.