With the launch of World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, the community is delving into their classes, picking them apart, and determining the cream of the crop. While some are riding high, Balance Druids are in dire straights with many jumping ship to other specs.
Taking a trip to Dreamgrove, the most popular World of Warcraft Druid Discord channel where players exchange tips around their chosen class, channels are packed with discussion on the latest developments. While dedicated pages for Restoration, Guardian or Feral Druids are living large, the Balance Druid page is filled with confusion, frustration, and doomer conclusions.
“It does no damage, a bug loses you 20% damage in AOE, it dies to a light breeze, your damage requires the longest ramp in the game and still does 30% less damage compared to the worst melee in the game even if you didn't count the ramp!” writes Chickenxd via Discord DMs. As an expert on the class who has been raiding since the Legion expansion, they’ve been explaining the situation to players since the expansion’s launch, and have even written up a “Balance Refugee guide” for players looking to delve into difficult dungeon content.
That bug is the real killer, among a cavalcade of other troublesome problems. Balance Druids should be able to spread a powerful ability called Sunfire across multiple enemies, increasing their damage taken. However, the bug removes Mastery stat scaling when this ability is applied, which drastically reduces the among of damage you can deal to multiple enemies at once. Since clearing out large packs is the bread and butter of Mythic + dungeon content, this leaves Balance Druids in the mud.
As such, Balance Druids are opting to jump over to different specs for this Mythic+ content, an especially tempting proposition thanks to how good Restoration Druids and Feral Druids are right now. Why struggle in the chicken coop, when you can plant your roots as a healer?
There is a silver lining though. While Balance Druids are awful in Mythic dungeon content, they may still have a place in raids. They are by no means top tier, but Chickenxd believes a place for them: This is thanks to world first raiders, with teams like Echo having Balance players who can make it work thanks to personal skill. The raid compositions of the best teams often trickle down to average groups, so you may still see a few places for Balance Druids.
All in all, it’s a numbers problem. The class was far better in the beta for Dragonflight, and appears to have been slapped down a few notches. That plus the bug leaves Balance Druid scattering to greener pastures. Here’s hoping that with a few updates and some tweaks in key areas, we’ll see these chickens come home to roost.