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!