I was surprised not to find any comprehensive explanation how Balance Druid now works in 9.0. pre-patch and on – not even Icy Veins or Wowhead were able to help me! Half an hour of reading abilities explanation, whatever “guides” were available and trying it on a dummy resulted in an understanding. I’m saving you from my pain now.
The new mastery – Eclipse – is a new mechanic to build your rotation about. It means that while you’re playing, you will eventually enter a powerful either Moon or Sun Eclipse state – doing so in turns. To trigger the eclipse you want to go first, cast the opposite spell: 2 Starfires to enter Sun Eclipse, or 2 Wraths to enter Moon Eclipse. Starfire and Wrath buttons will have numbers on them, indicating how many casts you need to enter the eclipse.
Whatever you cast in Eclipse, the Eclipse will hold for a while, then you lose it and you will enter another Eclipse state in a while. For example: Moon -> nothing -> Sun -> nothing -> Moon again -> nothing -> Sun again etc.
In standard Blizzard user interface Eclipses will be signified by 4 marks:
1. The mark above will appear for few seconds as you enter Eclipse and vanish. It’s not too informative and can be ignored.
2. The mark on the left side (see pic above) means Moon Eclipse, the similar mark on right side will mean Sun Eclipse. It will also vanish and also serves as an alarm signal.
3. The mark under your character is more useful and shows the remaining Eclipse time.
4. The highlighted spell button on your action bar – Wrath or Starfire – tells you what spell you must be spamming at the moment during the current Eclipse.
Balance Druid Basic Rotation
The basics of Moonkin gameplay are as follows:
- Apply and maintain Moonfire/Sunfire DoTs;
- “Nothing”-phase: Cast Starfire for multiple targets or Wrath into one target;
- Enter Eclipse: forget about targets, you will be using 2 spells: the highlighted filler and Starsurge;
- If in Sun Eclipse, use only Starsurge when it’s available and spam Wrath;
- If in Moon Eclipse, use only Starsurge when it’s available and spam Starfire;
- Enter “nothing”-phase: see which of the spells (Starfire of Wrath) has numbers on it, cast it twice to enter another Eclipse.
- Rinse, repeat.
Now that you have basics you can proceed to “guides” and min-max your damage output :)