How to Play Balance Druid in Shadowlands: You Basic Rotation Guide

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.

Eclipse Explained

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 :)

Maylune out!

12 thoughts on “How to Play Balance Druid in Shadowlands: You Basic Rotation Guide

  1. Excellently done. Nice and succinct. Blizz is having some issues though. I frequently find myself in double eclipse. It’s an odd situation, but same thing applies as you said (if 1 target focus on the wrath spam, if multiple then focus on starfire spam).

    Liked by 2 people

      • Entirely possible that I’m using an essence/trinket/trait/talent that’s doing something odd. I’ll normalize my setup and start adding things and see if I can figure out what the culprit is.


        • I definitely had a lot of double eclipses too, so it’s not just you. Usually it would happen if I fired off a sequence of Starsurges, like 3 back to back. I’ve only been goofing around in old content so I haven’t paid much attention to an actual rotation short of trying to bolster DPS for some Nighthold Mythic bosses!

          Liked by 2 people

        • Heh… if I’d have bothered reading tooltips, it would not have been a mystery to me. The spell Celestial Alignment says “Celestial bodies align, maintaining _BOTH_ eclipses and granting % haste for 20 seconds” … I’m also using Vision of Perfection Major essence which causes my spells to have a chance to proc celestial alignment for 35% of it’s base duration.

          So, basically, as a burst cooldown Celestial Alignment is whichever Eclipse you need at the moment on demand. Multi-target spam Starfire, single target spam Wrath.

          Thank you for bearing with me. I wouldn’t have thought to try and figure out the double eclipse thing without your post. If we are ever in the same pub at the same time, first round is my treat (hoping maybe to meet you in person at a future Blizzard event after this Covid thing isn’t a concern and after my government isn’t an embarrassment to world at-large).

          Liked by 1 person

        • Ha-ha, it’s my dream to meet all the blogging community in person :) I don’t think Blizzcon is such an attraction to visit it live for me. If I eventually get to America, me & my wife have settled on New York, Chicago and New Orleans as primary targets to see and admire.

          As for you and everybody else: if you ever visit the 2nd capital of Russia, Saint-Petersburg, everybody’s welcome to crush at my place and have a free guided tour around its UNESCO legacy sites from yours truly with a follow up true-Russian home party :)

          Liked by 1 person

    • Blizzwatch is better, but confusing too :)

      Yes, the idea is pre-Legion (or even pre-WoD?) rolling scale, except that there’s no rolling scale now. It’s somehow simpler and more straightforward now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is literally the best description of eclipse I have found. I tried wowhead, icy veins, etc. I was still confused about eclipse. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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