Balance Abilities & rotation advice
You have access to moonkin form at a lower level now (16) and being in moonkin increases the damage done by your spells. You can use glyph of stars to turn into Astral form instead.
Balance key lower level abilities:
- Level 1: Wrath: Direct damage nature spell with a short cast time. This is a nature spell.
- 3: Moonfire: Instant-cast spell that does a small initial direct damage and has a damage over time (DOT) effect.
- 10: Starfire: Direct damage arcane spell with a longer cast time than wrath. This is an arcane spell.
- 10: Eclipse (passive bonus that increases damage done – see below “How Eclipse Works”). When you are in Solar Eclipse, your moonfire turns into sunfire, and your wrath does more damage. When you are in Lunar eclipse, your moonfire and starfire do more damage.
- 10: Entangling roots: crowd control ability that holds things in place so they can’t melee you.
- 12: Starsurge: a 2 second cast time spell that does a high amount of damage. You should try to cast this in single-target fights when you have charges available. Counts as both nature & arcane magic. Provides a Lunar/Solar empowerment buff that increases damage done by starfire/wrath (so, you should try to follow a starsurge by the appropriate starfire/wrath casts, rather than casting multiple starsurges in a row).
- 16: Moonkin form: A shapeshift that increases your damage and survivability.
- 20: Astral communion: Moves your Eclipse bar faster. You don’t typically need this for leveling.
- 42: Hurricane: An AOE spell doing nature damage. Channeled for up to 10 seconds.
- 68: Celestial Alignment: Activates both Eclipse states for 15 seconds. Don’t use this when Eclipse is already active.
- 76: Starfall: AOE damage with a large radius centered around you. Starfall tends to pull unintended targets around you. So, use this instead of starsurge (they share charges).
Rotation 1 thru 9: Mostly spamming wrath as you level up to 10. Use moonfire early, so that the damage can tick over time. After you get cat form at 6, you can shift into cat and use shred some to help with early leveling (since shred will out-damage casting from 6 to 9, and cat form makes you move 30% faster), until you unlock the Balance specializations at level 10.
How Eclipse Works (level 10 and beyond)
Eclipse is the most difficult mechanic to learn as a moonkin. Eclipse puts a bar under your name-plate (if you are using the default User Interface, without any addons). You get Eclipse at level 10, so you can start learning the mechanic early. Do not ignore Eclipse! There is a new Eclipse version again this expansion.
When you start combat, the WOD version of Eclipse makes the bar automatically swing back and forth, even if you aren’t casting anything. The closer you are to the moon (Lunar Eclipse), the more damage your Arcane spells (e.g., Starfire and Moonfire) do. When Eclipse crosses into the yellow Sun side (Solar Eclipse), your moonfire turns into Sunfire. Sunfire does nature damage (instead of arcane damage). Both moonfire and sunfire DOT can be on the same target, if the fight lasts long enough for both DOTs to be available.
WHAT DO YOU CAST IN LUNAR PHASE AS A NEW DRUID?
- Moonfire: This is a Damage over Time spell. You want this DOT on your target to tick over time. In the most simple rotation, you can always just cast this once every time you enter a new Lunar Eclipse phase (or refresh it at any point during the lunar phase).
- Starsurge (after level 12): This is spell has three charges. The simplest time to cast this is at the start of a new Lunar phase. When you cast starsurge, it buffs the damage of your next two Starfire spells. Avoid casting starsurge when you are about to leave the Lunar Phase.
- Starfire is the main ‘filler’ spell you cast during Lunar Phase.
- Beginner Lunar rotation Summary: Moonfire -> Starsurge -> Cast a bunch of starfires -> Swap to Solar phase at the zero midpoint.
WHAT DO YOU CAST IN SOLAR PHASE AS A NEW DRUID?
- Sunfire: This is another DOT. You want this DOT on your target to tick over time. In the most simple rotation, you can always just cast this once every time you enter a new Solar Eclipse phase (or refresh it at any point in the solar phase).
- Starsurge (after level 12): The simplest time to cast this is at the start of a new Solar phase. When you cast starsurge, it now buffs your next three wrath spells in this phase. Avoid casting starsurge when you are about to leave the Solar Phase.
- Wrath is your main ‘filler’ spell you cast during Solar Phase.
- Beginner Solar rotation Summary: Sunfire -> Starsurge -> Cast a bunch of wraths-> Swap to Solar Phase at the zero midpoint.
CAN I JUST SPAM MOONFIRE ALL THE TIME?
No, learning at least the very basic lunar vs solar distinction is helpful for building the foundation for learning the rotation. Also, now that moonfire turns into sunfire, you only have access to moonfire half the time, anyway. So, everyone who just spammed moonfire should learn the basic rotation described above for alternating lunar and solar phases.
Blizzard’s crash course for balance druids, explaining how Eclipse works: