Saturday, August 14, 2010

Best Balance Spec in Cataclysm

UPDATE:  A new Guide to Balance Druids for 4.0.1 has been posted

Over the past two days, I have laid out the ideal raid specs for Feral DPS and Bear Tanks in Catalysm.  Today, I turn my attention to our feathery Moonkin friends.  The Cataclysm Balance tree contains tons of interesting and entertaining talents, but in terms of maximizing your general raid performance there seems to be only one way to go.  Check it out after the bump.

Best Cataclysm Balance Spec

Balance Tier One
Nature's Grace (3/3):  Moonkin crit fairly often and this talent helps turn your Moonkin into a 20 second Wrath machine gun.
Starlight Wrath (3/3):  Shorter cast times means more casts and more casts equals more damage, so this talent is a must.
Nature's Majesty (2/2):  Critical strikes are always a good thing and this talent hands out enough of them to justify the points.

Balance Tier Two
Genesis (3/3):  Moonfire's DoT and Insect Swarm make up an appreciable portion of Balance dps, so take this talent.
Moonglow (3/3):  A Moonkin without mana is a poor Moonkin indeed.  Mana efficiency will help you stay in the game and should not be overlooked.
Balance of Power (2/2):  This talent allows Balance Druids and Restoration Druids to share gear.  You need your Moonkin to be hit capped and, unless you can somehow cap without this talent, pick it up.

Balance Tier Three
Lunar Guidance (3/3):  The extra Solar/Lunar Energy is a nice bonus and the increased radius for Solar Beam is situationally useful.  Primarily though, you need this talent to open up Euphoria.
Moonkin Form (1/1):  I hope I don't need to tell you to take this one...
Typhoon (1/1):  This ability is situationally useful in its own right and it is a prerequisite for Gale Winds.  It is well worth a point.

Balance Tier Four
Owlkin Frenzy (0/3):  A flat 10% extra damage is amazing, however, you should not be getting attacked while raiding often enough to consistently proc it.  Avoid this talent unless you plan to PvP or do a ton of soloing.
Gale Winds (2/2):  Though AoE oppertunities are fewer and farther between in Cataclysm, a 30% buff to Hurricane's damage is still nothing to scoff at.
Solar Beam (1/1):  This is a fun new ability that gives Moonkins additional raid utility and is a worthwhile use of a talent point.

Balance Tier Five
Euphoria (2/2):  Extra Solar/Lunar power is a great boost to Balance dps and this talent delivers tons of personal mana replenishment.  It is an easy use of two points.
Force of Nature (1/1):  Could you even call yourself a Boomkin without your three tree buddies?  I think not!
Earth and Moon (1/1):  Trading one point for 2% increased personal damage and 2% raid wide spell damage is a great deal.

Balance Tier Six
Fungal Growth (0/2):  I love this talent, just not for my raiding build.  It is tons of fun, but it's raiding uses are too limited to justify putting points here.  Though it saddens me, I recommend you skip it.
Lunar Shower (3/3):  This talent makes Moonfire spam a viable dps option for Moonkin on the move.  Blizzard expects you to take this talent and so do I.

Balance Tier Seven
Starfall (1/1): Starfall is a great ability that no Moonkin should be without.  Just please try not to break crowd control or pull extra adds with it.

Restoration Tier One
Blessing of the Grove (2/2):  An extra 6% damage to Moonfire's initial blast isn't anything to write home about on the live realms.  In Cataclysm, however, Lunar Shower transforms this into an amazing use of 2 talent points.
Natural Shapeshifter (3/3):  Odds are you can easily afford to shapeshift at full cost, however, we need to spend 3 points here to get to Master Shapeshifter's 2% damage boost.  If you would prefer to make things a bit more fun, you can always sack both Shapeshifter talents in exchange for Fungal Growth and Owlkin Frenzy, though numerically it is a less powerful choice.
Furor (3/3):  The 6% Intellect you get with three points in this talent could also be picked up in the Feral Tree with Heart of the Wild.  Heart's benefit is that your intellect bonus also applies in caster form, which is nice.  I chose Furor, however, as it lets you shift into Bear or Cat Form and immediately stun or Skull Bash.  Obviously this bonus is situational, but then again, so is 6% extra intellect in caster form.
Restoration Tier Two
Perseverance (0/3):  Your job is doling out spell damage, not mitigating it.
Master Shapeshifter (1/1):  2% damage is a nice bonus that will always enhance your performance.  As discussed for Natural Shapeshifter, however, you will need to flex this point out as a matter of personal preference if you choose not to take Natural Shapeshifter.
Improved Rejuvenation (0/3):  Save the healing for the healers.
Feel free to check out the whole Balance spec on the MMO Champion Cataclysm Talent Calculator.
Unlike some of the Feral tweaks, Cataclysm's revamp of the Balance tree is 100% amazing.  Nearly every talent point you spend has an appreciable effect on your character's capabilities and performance.  There are also a number of fun talents that really make Moonkin a joy to play in Cataclysm.
Do you demand Owlkin Frenzy and/or Fungal Growth be in your Cataclysm build?  Are you as in love with the new Balance tree as I am?  Would you have spent your points differently?  Let me know in the comments!  Also, be sure to check in tomorrow when I tackle the Cataclysm Restoration talent tree.


  1. I have been reading many posts concerning Moonkin DPS. I disagree with your view on "Fungal Growth (0/2):" Fungal growth is very useful on many bosses that have adds that need to be slowed down. For example in BWD the 2nd fight (4 golums) has a poison boss which spawns 3 goo's which if they hit the player they are targeting is almost always an insta death. By placing a mushroom on the ground at the base of the poin golum you can proc it as soon as they come out and drasticly slow them down allowing them to be killed more easily before they can take out one of your raid members.
    In addition, you can use a mushroom on the run to drop it, thus making what ever is following you to get slowed down and a better possibility of getting away.

  2. I think your build is fucking are a fucking dumbass

  3. I just started playing again and found this guide quite helpful, I went with 1 in fungal growth as I tend to solo a lot as well as do dungeons/raids, but as to the anonymous coward above, go crawl in a hole fool.

  4. thanks for the build really helpfull but does any body have a nice healing set