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Decreases the casting time of Wrath by .1 seconds per point. 5 point limit.
A balance druid who plans to invest heavily in the balance tree will find this useful, as talents further down the tree make wrath hit for more damage and potentially cast even faster. If you intend to go heavily into the balance tree and cast ranged damage spells primarily, this is a very useful talent. For druids with little interest in balance, its not particularly useful.
While active, any enemy that strikes the caster has a 35% chance of being afflicted by entangling roots. 1 talent point.
Improved Nature’s Grasp
Increases the chance of Nature’s Grasp activating by 15/30/45/65%. 4 talent points total.
Investing one point in this ability grants you a new spell called nature’s grasp, which can be cast once a minute. Once cast, for the next 45 seconds anything that strikes you in melee combat has a chance to be rooted just as if you cast entangling roots on them. This root will consume the spell, so anyone striking you after the first attacker is rooted suffers no ill effects. Placing 5 points in it means that 100% of the time, the first thing to strike you will be rooted.
This spell is only marginally useful in PvE…it only works outdoors so its useless in most dungeons, and in any group situation if you are doing things correctly you as a druid will never be getting hit. The spell really shines in PvP, where it provides an effective way for a druid to get some distance between himself and an enemy that’s attacking him. Rooting an enemy can, if you’re lucky and the root doesn’t break early, give you enough time to heal and then either escape or get some distance and start up a nice slow casting damaging spell. In group PvP, rooting a warrior or rogue can render them largely ineffective, as they are left to plink away with their ranged weapons and can’t close with the enemy. When you’re jumped by a warrior or especially a rogue you’ll almost never be able to get off a root spell w/ him beating on you, but casting this is instant and let’s his attacks do the rooting for you.
If you are speccing primarily in restoration or feral, but want this ability, anymore than 2 points isn’t really necessary. At the speed a rogue, warrior, or hunter pet is hitting you, a 50% chance to root them means they will almost certainly be rooted after 2 or 3 swings anyway. A feral druid aiming for the feral abilities in the next level of the balance tree will probably find putting the necessary 5 points into this more valuable than going into improved wrath.
Improved Entangling Roots – Requires 5 points in Balance Tree
Gives you a 40/70/100% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage when casting entangling roots. 3 point limit.
If you choose improved wrath over Nature’s grasp this can be a useful ability. If you have nature’s grasp, however, it is somewhat superfluous, as instead of casting entangling roots, which, even with this spell can still be stopped by a counterspell, kick, stun, gouge, etc, you can cast the instant nature’s grasp spell and let your opponent’s attacks trigger the root while you do something else. There are generally better choices for your talent points than this ability, although a pure balance druid would get more use out of it than most.
Improved Moonfire – Requires 5 points in Balance Tree
Increases the damage and critical strike chance of your moonfire spell by 2/4/6/8/10%. 5 talent point limit. Prerequisite for vengeance.
This spell makes one of your primary damaging spells, moonfire, significantly better. It is also a prerequisite for the Vengeance ability, which is a necessity if you are speccing as a ranged damage dealing balance druid. This talent is almost a requirement for a balance druid, but there are better places for a feral or restoration druid to spend their points.
Natural Weapons – Requires 5 points in Balance Tree
Increases melee damage in all forms by 2/4/6/8/10%. 5 point limit. Prerequisite for Omen of Clarity.
In and of itself, this ability is primarily aimed at feral druids, as at high levels a 10% damage increase is very significant. Druids interested primarily in focusing purely on feral will spec far enough into balance to get this ability, while balance and restoration druids will only likely be interested in it because it leads to Omen of Clarity. In their caster form, a druid’s melee attack doesn’t do enough damage to make this worthwile.
Natural Shapeshifter – Requires 5 points in Balance Tree
Decreases the cost of shapeshifting spells by 10/20/30%. 3 point limit.
A very useful ability for feral druids who want to be able to shapeshift a lot, as the nature of their gear means they have far smaller mana pools than balance or restoration druids. Balance druids who spec very far into the tree to get Moonkin form will also find this ability useful, although it is not a necessity for them.
Improved Thorns – Requires 10 points in Balance Tree
Increases the damage caused by your thorns by 25/50/75%. 3 point limit.
Not particularly useful in most situations. Ideally, a druid is never being hit anyway, if they are playing well, except during solo content, where the extra damage isn’t that great anyway. Can be useful to feral druids to help them hold aggro better, but there are more valuable abilities to spend points on. There are certainly places and situations this talent could be useful, but they are few and far between.
Omen of Clarity – Requires 10 points in Balance Tree, and 5 in Natural Weapons.
When active, any melee attack has a chance to cause the caster to enter a clearcasting state, decreasing the mana/rage/energy of your next damage or healing spell or ability by 100%. Last 5 minutes when cast. 1 talent point.
In simple terms, this gives you a new spell that you can cast on yourself. While the spell is active (5 minutes), every time you swing your weapon or attack in feral forms you have a chance to activate (proc) a clearcasting state. When you are in this state, your next spell or ability will be free.
This spell is incredibly useful when you are leveling up your druid. Being able to throw down a free heal during a fight or a free moonfire greatly decreases the amount of time you need to spend regenerating mana and health while you are grinding for xp, leading directly for leveling faster. In feral forms, this can let you put out even more damage, as it can proc and let you use an ability that would normally cost energy or rage for free. The energy and rage you save can then immediately be used to activate the ability again, effectively doubling the damage.
In the end game, this ability is slightly less effective. In PvE, any monster you are fighting where mana conservation is a real concern means you, in general, aren’t going to be meleeing it. In PvP, for most druids, meleeing a target isn’t the best strategy, and some classes (priests and shamans) will use their abilities to remove the omen from you anyway. It can be very useful in feral forms, but it doesn’t proc nearly as often in cat form as you would like, so the damage increase isn’t that significant. It can be a very useful ability, but it definitely is not required to be an effective druid. Balance and Restoration druids should keep in mind that, while this ability only costs 1 talent point, it effectively costs 6, as you are forced to put 5 points into natural weapons, which isn’t really useful for a balance or restoration druid.
Nature’s Reach – Requires 10 points in Balance tree.
Increases the range of your wrath, starfire, hurricane, moonfire, faerie fire, and entangling roots spells by 10/20%. 2 point limit.
Very useful for PvP for any druid, and especially useful for a balance druid in both PvE and PvP. A good choice for any druid who wants to use ranged magic primarily.
Vengeance – Requires 15 points in Balance tree and 5 points in improved moonfire.
Increases the critical strike damage of your Starfire, moonfire, and wrath spells by 20% per point. 5 point limit.
Makes a druid’s ranged damage spells deal significantly more damage when they crit. Almost a required talent for a balance specced druid, too high in the tree to be attainable for anyone else. If you are speccing balance, get this.
Improved Starfire – Requires 15 points in Balance tree.
Reduces the casting time of starfire by .1 sec per point and gives a 3% chance to stun for 3 seconds per point. 5 point limit.
2 nice effects for Starfire, a primary casting spell for a balance specced druid, and, again, too high in the tree for a non balanced specced druid to get. If you’re speccing up balance, get it.
Moonglow – Requires 20 points in Balance tree.
Reduces the mana cost of your moonfire, starfire, wrath, healing touch, regrowth, and rejuvenation spells by 3% per talent point. 3 point limit.
Balance druids don’t have innervate, so they tend to have mana issues. This talent helps alleviate them, although it is a trade off between getting it and some other nice abilities. Not a necessity for a balance druid, but nice to have if you have the room for it.
Nature’s Grace – Requires 20 points in Balance Tree.
All spell criticals grant you a blessing of nature, reducing the casting time of your next spell by .5 seconds. Prerequisite for Moonfury.
If you have specced this high into balance, get this. With this many points in balance you will crit relatively often, and the reduced casting time for the next spell just increases your dps even more. Combined with improved wrath, a couple lucky wrath crits can allow you to machine gun out wrath spells at a rate of 1/second, causing a surprising amount of damage.
Moonfury – Requires 25 points in Balance Tree, 1 point in Nature’s Grace.
Increases the damage of your wrath, moonfire, and starfire spells by 2% per point. 5 point limit.
If you have specced this high into the balance tree, you are focusing primarily on magic damage, so this is a good place to drop any points necessary to get to 30 and get moonkin form. The damage bonus isn’t spectacular, but since you are primarily focusing on damage by this point you may as well augment your strength.
Moonkin Form – Requires 30 points in Balance Tree.
Transforms the Druid into Moonkin form. While in this form all party members have their spell critical chance increased by 3%, and the druid’s armor is increased by 360%. Cannot cast balance spells in this form.
This talent gives you a new form to transform into along with all the other forms available to druids. The moonkin can soak up physical damage as well as a bear, and can cast ranged damage spells that crit often, as well as provide a very nice buff to party members. Moonkin are susceptible to running out of mana, but they can soak up a lot of punishment and do a respectable amount of damage while they do have mana available. While you’ll hear many mages and warlocks argue that moonkin are a waste because they can’t deal ranged damage as well as those classes, Moonkin druids still have all the versatility of a standard druid as long as you realize you don’t have to play the entire game in moonkin form. Currently, moonkin is probably the least popular way to spec a druid, so be prepared for people who don’t understand your class to question your decision to spec moonkin and get angry with you if you choose to go moonkin over heal in a group situation.