Balance Druid PvP Guide for Mists of Pandaria
Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.3
Balance can be an effective spec for Druids in all forms of PvP, though it may be more of a challenge than Feral or Resto. (If you’re looking for info on raiding or leveling then see our Balance PvE and Druid Leveling pages.)
No real changes came to the Balance Druid with the 5.3 patch. The changes that effect everyone are the massive PvP Power nerf and the changes to resilience.
Balance PvP Stats
- Intellect > 6% Spell Hit > Haste/Critical > Mastery
- Spell Hit over 6%, for PvP, is useless. (For PvE raiding, you will want 15%)
The value of PvP power was cut by a third in 5.3 and the value of both PvP power and Resilience gems was cut by half.
Int is now your best damage stat in 5.3 and you should stack it.
PvP Power is of lower value than Int, especially with patch 5.3. It’s not bad, but Int is better. (See here for how PvP Power and Resilience work.)
Resilience was greatly changed in 5.3. Walk into the battlefield naked and you still have 65% Resilience. It’s also been removed from most gear, though you can gem and enchant for it. Doing so will mean that you do less damage, which will make you less able to punch through the other’s guy’s 65%. Still, if you’re feeling squishy then go for it.
Hit and Spirit (Balance of Power) and Expertise add into your Spell Hit. If your Spell Hit is low and you have a piece of Hit/Crit gear you can reforge the Crit to Expertise and see the increase in your Spell Hit. Getting the 6% Hit should be trivial, you’ll probably want to reforge some of it away. Total Spell Hit over 6% is useless.
Spirit how much you need depends on how happy you are with your mana regen. It also adds to your Spell Hit rating. It’s completely your call on how much you will need. If your Out Of Mana (OOM) all the time, then get more. If you’re at full (or nearly) all the time then drop some for other stats. Keep an eye on that Hit rating, though.
Crit becomes very strong when you have many targets, they’re all DOTed, and you’re getting the procs.
Haste speeds everything up, including DOT ticks and your mana usage (more spells in less time.)
Mastery, while nice, isn’t as nice as the other stats.
- You shouldn’t need Hit (see above)
- Do you need Spirit, due to low mana recovery? Reforge your weakest stats to Spirit.
- Are you mostly in one on one fights? (Eg: Duels, Arena 2×2?) Then reforge to Haste.
- Are you mostly in BGs and large groups? Reforge to Crit to get more of those procs.
Roatations – while PvP doesn’t have rotations you can get some idea of how to generate maximum damage on our Balance for raids page. Just adapt those routines appropriately.
Also check out the video, below, for BG tips.
You can see much more about Druid PvP on Skill-Capped. Not free, but a very low-price.
Talents can be changed, one at a time, on the fly, just like glyphs. Need to change for a particular fight? Moving from Altarac Valley to 2s? All you need is one Tome of the Clear Mind, from your reagents or Inscription Supplies vendor, per talent change. (Naturally your trainer can clear the whole list, for just a few gold.)
See below for talent explanations.
Why These Talents?
The above picks are checkmarked below.
Tier 1 Talents
- Feline Swiftness - This is a nice all-purpose movement increase, but doesn’t add any form of charge or burst.
- Displacer Beast - Blink forward, take cat form, and have a brief movement boost. Nice for getting out of trouble or generally adding to movement.
- Wild Charge - In Moonkin Form, WC acts like the Hunter’s Disengage and has a 15 second cooldown. You jump backwards up to 20 yards, to continue blasting from a safer distance. Usable only during combat. This might be a tossup with Displacer beast, just for this one feature. It does different things in your other forms, such as leap behind and daze your opponent in cat form, so it looks like a winner for versatility.
Tier 2 Talents
- Nature’s Swiftness - Various useful spells become free to cast, with increased effect and duration, from any form. Once every minute. This provides a great deal of flexibility.
- Renewal - Insta-heal usable in any form. Nice for those situations, but not as versatile as Nature’s Swiftness. Not as useful as the other two.
- Cenarion Ward - Protect someone else? What? Who would ever do that??? PvP is about being the solo hero, right? A decent talent, but Nature’s swiftness is much more versatile.
Tier 3 Talents
- Faerie Swarm - Adds a snare to Faerie Fire. Damages armor, slows, and prevents restealth for the duration. Great for one on one fights, though the other two have definite use in crowd situations, eg: Battlegrounds or World PvP.
- Mass Entanglement - The good ol’ entanglement spell, now usable on the masses. Also usable in any form. Great for those time when you’re dealing with runners, or need to get away, but has a 2 min cooldown. Only lasts a few seconds in PvP, not 20.
- Typhoon - Great for a boomkin, not only because it’s sweet for knocking people off boats or cliffs. It keeps them away from you. That knockdown also interrupts spells and effectively silences them while they stand up. A 20 second cooldown makes this a sweet talent.
Tier 4 Talents
- Soul of the Forest - Faster energy return is always nice, but Incarnation is more generally useful.
- Incarnation - Versatility and greater potential for slaughter. What’s not to like?
- Force of Nature - Summon a tree to fight ineffectively for you, much like the Mage’s Mirror Image, except that this is a talent. Incarnation is more useful and has the potential for greater burst.
Tier 5 Talents
- Disorienting Roar - Nice for crowds, especially when you find yourself in the middle of one or you need to stop a charge. Rogue/feral pops in, roar, escape, nuke. Keep in mind that damage will break the effect.
- Ursol’s Vortex - Basically a group Slow that keeps people from escaping the area or getting close to you. Great for crowds. Slow ‘em and nuke ‘em. Can be used to keep someone pinned to an area. More useful in BGs than elsewhere.
- Mighty Bash - Stuns are sweet and this one certainly has its uses, but this is a melee range stun and melee isn’t where you want to be. Certainly has its uses, though. Stun > Disp. Beast > escape or burn.
Tier 6 Talents
- Heart of the Wild - 6% increased Int isn’t bad at all. This is the one to pick if you shapeshift a lot.
- Dream of Cenarius - Not worth taking unless you’re mixing enough healing and damage to be worthwhile.
- Nature’s Vigil - Straight-up damage and healing increase for 30 seconds every 1.5 minutes is the best choice here, for most situations. Your damage will also heal (for a small amount) your nearby ally.
Balance PvP Glyphs
One of the Developer goals in M of P was to make a variety of glyphs useful, instead of just a couple. They’re succeeded. Depending on your situation different glyphs will be better than at other times. Fortunately they can be easily changed, one at a time, just like talents, with a Tome of the Clear Mind.
More or less in order of interest:
- Glyph of the Moonbeast - cast various spells while remaining in form.
- Glyph of Barkskin - Reduce your chances to be critically hit.
- Glyph of Solar Beam - increases the radius by 100%, which is great for those crowded situations.
- Glyph of Stampeding Roar - Your whole (within 40 yards) group moves faster and loses roots and snares.
- Glyph of Entangling Roots - Reduced cast time of 0.2 seconds doesn’t sound like much, and it isn’t.
- Glyph of Cyclone - Increased range of one of your favorite spells.
- Glyph of Nature’s Grasp - reduces cooldown by 30 seconds.
- Glyph of Innervate – Depending on how your mana regen is, and your chosen role, this might be a decent choice.
These are all of non-combat utility or simply cosmetic.
- Glyph of Grace - This one is as close to required as any minor glyph as it reduces falling damage in all forms. Now you can leap off high places and blast away on the way down, without taking major damage.
- Glyph of the Stag – Carry a buddy from place to place, which is nice if it’s your healer…
- Glyph of Stars – Changes your form, for the one or two who might not be fans of the Boomkin form.
- Glyph of Charm Woodland Creature – you can charm one of the critters running around in the BGs and just maybe save it from a horrible death!
- Glyph of Aquatic Form – Faster swim speed is occasionally quite nice.
- Glyph of the Cheetah – if you don’t like the Stag form, can’t take a buddy with you, though.
Gems for the Balance Druid
In M of P, the gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats, so your Haste gems are 320 points and your Int gems are 160. This gives reason to match socket bonuses, esp. since they are all for Int, PvP Power, or Resilience. Go here if you need gold for gems.
With the 5.3 nerf to PvP Power you will probably want to gem for Int and use hybrid Int gems for the yellow and blue sockets.
- Meta: Burning gem is best, unless you have the points to buy the Tyrannical gem. (You have to have earned 25k Conquest Points to access the vendor, 27k to actually buy the gem.)
- Red: Brilliant Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Reckless Vermilion Onyx
- Blue: Mysterious Imperial Amethyst
- Belt buckle or Blacksmithing slot: Brilliant Primordial Ruby
Remember that your Leather Specialization adds to any Int gem (and other Int) bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int. That bonus does not add to other stats.
|Meta||Courageous Primal Diamond: +324 Intellect and chance on beneficial spell to make your spells cost no mana for 4 sec. (Requires a legendary quest line.)
Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Tyrannical Primal Diamond: +665 PVP Power and +775 Resilience, requires 27k earned conquest points and iLevel 476, cost 1k conquest points.
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Mystic Sun’s Radiance: 160 Resilience
Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +320 Crit
|Blue||Stormy River’s Heart: +160 PvP power
Sparkling River’s Heart: +320 Spirit
Rigid River’s Heart: +320 Hit
|Orange||Willful Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +80 Resilience
Potent Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +160 Crit
Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 80 Int, 160 Haste
|Green||Turbid Adventurine: +200 Spirit and +100 PvP Resilience
Vivid Adventurine: +100 PvP Power and +100 PvP Resilience
Vivid Wild Jade: +80 Res, +80 PvP Power
Energized Wild Jade: +160 Haste, +160 Spirit
Zen Wild Jade: +160 Mastery, +160 Spirit
|Purple||Mysterious Imperial Amethyst: +80 Int, +80 PvP Power
Purified Imperial Amethyst: +80 Int, +160 Spirit
|Prismatic||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int|
|Cogwheel||Sparkling Tinker’s Gear: 600 Spirit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Balance Druid Enchantments
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession. The only Resilience enchant is the chest piece, there are no PvP Power enchants other than the Glorious weapon enchant (You need to have earned 27k Conquest points, for the season, to be able to buy it, though you only have to pay 1k.)
Keep in mind that an Expertise enchant will add to your Spell Hit rating, if you need to top off you Spell Hit.
|Balance Druid Enchantments|
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Glorious Tyranny: 600 PvP Power, 50% Disarm reduction, cost is 1,000 Conquest points.
Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit: Sometimes increases Int by 1650, might increase Spirit by 750 if mana is low.
|Shoulders||Secret Crane Wing Inscription: – 520 Int and 100 Crit rating, Requires Inscription 550.
Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +200 Int and 100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect: +180 Int
Lightweave Embroidery – attacks have chance to increase Int by 2k for 15 sec, requires tailoring
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Super Resilience: +200 Resilience
Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all stats – With the 5.3 resilience change this one in now a viable option.
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +170 Int
Fur Lining increases Int by 500, requires leatherworking.
Socket Bracer – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170-Haste
Socket Gloves – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Belt||Ebonsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Pearlescent Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Spirit
Greater Cerulean Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Crit
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Greater Precison: +175 Hit rating
Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery, slight run speed increase.
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Intellect: +160 Int, Requires Enchanting 550|
Professions for Balanced
All of the professions provide some benefit for any class/spec, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, though you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash.
Most of the professions add an average of about 320 Int. Since gems with secondary stats are twice the value of those with primary stats (320 Haste Vs 160 Int, for example) Blacksmithing might be the most valuable profession if you’re just looking for the buffs. You’ll be able to slot the two additional gems.
Jewelcrafting provides only 320 in any stat over non JC gems.
Note the killer Haste cooldown for Herbalism. Mining and skinning aren’t worth much, unless you just want them for the gold.
|Tailoring||Cloak enchant sometimes adds 2k Int for 15 seconds.|
|Leatherworking||Bracer enchant adds 500 Int.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make nicer gems for your own use.|
|Enchanting||Enchant both rings, for a total 320 Int gain.|
|Inscription||Shoulder enchant adds 520 Int and 100 crit.|
|Alchemy||More effect from your own potions. Adds 320 Int and an extra hour to your main flask.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Int by 1940 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.|
|Blacksmithing||gives two extra gems slots. Since gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats Blacksmithing might be a very valuable profession. For example, you’ll be able to socket the two gems for 640 Haste or Crit instead of 320 Int.|
|Skinning||provides 480 crit rating|
|Herbalism||Small heal and 2880 Haste for 20 seconds. You can also find spirits that will heal or restore mana.|
If Pandarens could be Druids they’d get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour.
Alchemists get about 30% more effect and an extra hour from Flasks and Elixirs.
- Flask of the Warm Sun: 1,000 Int for an hour.
- Go with the flasks, they’re better.
- Potion of the Jade Serpent: 4k Int for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 120k HP
- Master Mana Potion: About 30k Mana
- Crystal of Insanity – this is an uncommon (under 10%) drop from a rare Elite in the valley of four winds. It increases all stats by 500 for an hour. Since Druids, in one form or another, have use for Int, Stam, Ag, and Spirit that’s 2k points of stats and it’s not used up.
Druid Races for Balance
Cataclysm allowed the Worgen and Trolls to become Druids. Mists of Pandaria made no changes to races or racial abilities and there are no Pandaren Druids.
The difference between races is largely visual as opposed to bringing any real advantage to any particular race. Trolls might be the most generally useful, but pick the race that works best for you. But, if you want to be “efficient,” then here are the details for each race:
- War Stomp stuns nearby opponents, allowing for more nuking or an escape. Stomp, Wild Charge or Displacer Beast away, start nuking.
- Increased health doesn’t seem to scale well at very high levels, but is still a plus.5% of 300k Health is 15k that the Night Elf doesn’t have.
- Good with Herbalism
- Resistant to Nature damage.
- Can periodically move quickly, which is always useful.
- Increased crit chance is nice, since Crit is a good stat for you.
- Increased skinning speed and skill, but you can’t skin Tauren.
- Berserking increases attack and casting speed. Stick it in a macro for those bursty times.
- Damage increased Vs beasts, all 5 million of them, which is nice while leveling and will have some use Vs beast mobs in dungeons and raids,but is pretty useless in PvP since it doesn’t count Vs Worgen.
- Ranged weapon Expertise is not useful to you.
- Reduced duration of movement imparing effects, useful for most, but your shapeshift is a far superior “break free” ability.
- Night Elf
- Shadowmeld has situational use. It can break incoming spells if you time it just right. You can also ‘meld while in combat and then prowl away to get better positioning. This works better in chaotic groups than situations where you’re being the focus of attention.
- 2% dodge is a nice ability for bear tanks and cats, you have will have little use for it.
- Faster movement while stealthed is nice when prowling, but you waddle and usually don’t prowl.
- Resistance to Nature damage
Balance tips for Battleground PvP
Now Get Your Druid Leveled Faster
Now that you’re on the way to becoming a lean, mean, killing machine you should grab a full blown leveling guide for your blast to the top levels. Why? It will save you many days of in-game time and a good deal of frustration, even if you already know many or most of the quests. You’ll never again wonder about where to go, what to do, or where to find that thing you’re looking for.
Our recommended leveling guide is Dugi’s Guide. Dugi’s nearly automates the whole leveling path (automatically updating as you complete tasks and quests) and is like having an expert helping you every step of the way.
Pick your starting point and the guide automatically updates and advances as you complete quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically, and includes all the important quest info.
If you gain a few levels in the dungeons or in PvP, then come back to the guide, you’re still covered. It’ll figure out where you are and adjust accordingly, allowing you to ignore obsolete quests. Whether you’re brand new to WoW or decked head to toe in heirlooms Dugi will get you to the level cap faster than anything else out there. Grab your copy of Dugi’s Leveling Guide, here.
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