Flap – The Number One Reason to Play Druid

If you play Balance Druid and have not heard of Flap, you are missing out. It is our version of Slow Fall, usable only in Moonkin Form (you can use it in other specs with Balance Affinity). You learn the spell from a Tome that you can pick up in Moonglade or the Dreamgrove.

This makes traveling around the broken isles much more quick, and, dare I say, fun. You cannot change directions while flapping, but with good aim, you can run off a cliff on your mount, start flapping, and float gracefully (or not-so-gracefully depending on how you view fat chickens frantically flapping their arms) to your destination.

I think this goes against the spirit of flap, but in patch 7.1.5, you can now use flap with glyph of the stars. You look like you are levitating, not flapping, but the effect is the same.

With this macro:

#showtooltip Flap
/stopcasting [mod:alt]
/use [nomod:alt]Flap

Flap gets even more powerful. You can cancel flap with alt + the key you bind flap to, then recast it before you hit the ground.

Flap gets supercharged when used with The Emerald Winds. With Flap and Winds, you can gain altitude slightly while flapping around, and you can change direction! Take a flight point to somewhere high, and Winds + Flap to your destination. Flap – never leave home without it.

Image: Check out the Majesty of Flap + Winds.

Balance Druid: My Trinket and Gear Sims Start of Nighthold

As a follow up to my sims at the end of 7.1, I updated Simcraft and am updating my simulations as of the start of Nighthold.

I simulated using my current best gear. Single target used Starlord, Incarnation, Blessing of the Ancients, and Stellar Drift, and 3-target used Force of Nature, Soul of the Forest, Shooting Stars, and Stellar Drift.

Trinkets

The nerfs to AOE trinkets/buffs to stat-based trinkets going into Nighthold are remarkable.

My 895 Whispers in the Dark (bonus roll first week, don’t hate me) and my 860 Unstable Arcanocrystal (I guess it’s OK to hate me a little) are my best trinkets in all situations.

A 885 Erratic Metronome, which I do not yet have, might be slightly better than the Arcanocrystal at AOE, but it’s basically a wash. Swapping to Aran’s Relaxing Ruby and Unstable Horrorslime for AOE was a short-lived experience.

My trinket results overall match up well with the Balance Druid Trinket Spreadsheet (Whispers is still best, though not quite as best since it was nerfed slightly this week).

Gear

I swapped around my rings, since AOE is a lot more prevalent in Nighthold and Haste is just bonkers on AOE fights.

The buff to Prydaz makes it simulate only 0.5% worse than Cinidaria at DPS, and the survivability bonus of Prydaz argues for using it on high-damage progression fights over the belt.

Gebuz’s recommended pawn string “(Pawn: v1: “Balance Druid”: Intellect=1, CritRating=0.8, HasteRating=1.2, MasteryRating=1, Versatility=0.8 )” is just about right for my character. I value Mastery at 1.05 since it is simulating a bit better than intellect, and Versatility at 0.85 since it offers survivability while Critical Strike doesn’t. Either way, those stat weights are solid.

For pure AOE, haste is simulating as more than twice as good as intellect. However, pure AOE with no priority target is rare in a raid setting. For large packs in dungeons, you might value haste more highly than in a raid.

Balance Druid Encounter Notes for Heroic Nighthold: Talents and Trinkets

Gebuz’s Guide, linked from the Class Guides Page, outlines several talent combinations for Nighthold. Many more combinations are possible after patch 7.1.5, as several talent options have been buffed to be more competitive. I tried out a few things the first week, and also looked at top logs. What follows are my plans for this week in Nighthold.

Ideas

My talents selections are in shorthand and refer to each talent’s position in the Nth row. For example, “1233112” would be a standard frequent-AOE build, with Force of Nature, Displacer Beast, Restoration Affinity, Typhoon, Soul of the Forest, Shooting Stars, and Stellar Drift.

It may be easier to follow along with the Balance Druid Talent Calculator open in game or in another window.

I favor Stellar Drift for all fights as ads are usually high priority, and my Oneth’s Intuition legendary gives free Starfalls to boot.

I dislike Displacer Beast and try to use Wild Charge or Renewal when possible to save GCDs. If you are worried about reacting slowly or need to move far distances, Displacer Beast is the safer bet.

I like Starlord with Incarnation builds and Force of Nature or Warrior of Elune with Soul of the Forest builds. Taking Starlord when you intend to be casting Starfall with most of your Astral Power seems very unintuitive to me.

Fight-Specific Plans

Skorpyron: 2332112. AOE trinkets. Sephuz. Heavy AOE fight; Force of Nature or Starlord could be justified, all three talents are close with AOE. Sephuz can be reliably proc’d on cooldown by Mass Entanglement.

Chronomatic Anomaly: 1333112. ST (single target) trinkets. The ads are up enough to make AOE worth it, but my AOE trinkets require stacked ads.

Trilliax: 3333232. ST trinkets. Heavy movement negates Nature’s Balance value, even on a single target fight, and Stellar Drift allows movement while casting during beam.

Spelldblade Aluriel: 1333112. AOE trinkets. The multi-ad phases make AOE a priority.

Tichondrius: 3333232. ST trinkets. Demon Ring for 2-set (the neck is my non-legendary BiS neck already). You can rank with Soul of the Forest and Shooting Stars on intermission, but I don’t see that as the important part of the fight.

Krosus: 3231232. ST trinkets. Demon Ring for 2-set. Classic ST fight if your fellow raiders have perfect execution of mechanics. Stellar Drift is nice if people miss soaking pools and spawn adds; Nature’s Balance is likely better if few adds spawn.

Botanist: 1333112. AOE Trinkets. Constant cleave fight after 75%.

Star Augur: 3123232. ST trinkets. Little movement, but my legendary and the ads in the last third make Stellar Drift worth it.

Elisande: 1223112. ST trinkets. Somewhat similar to Anomaly, the ads are up just enough to make AOE worth it.

Gul’dan: 1223112. ST trinkets. Frequent AOE burst, but not up enough to make AOE trinkets worth it.

Trinket Spoilers

For Balance, you actually don’t want to swap out trinkets in Nighthold much, as the same trinkets tend to do well on both AOE and single target. Look for a post tomorrow to see my simulation results.

 

 

 

Preparing for Nighthold

I realized I did not make a preparing for Nighthold post like my Preparing for the Emerald Nightmare post. The reason? I didn’t have to.

I actually read that prior post and followed its advice in preparing for Nighthold. Many of the links now lead to Nighthold information, and the same principles for preparation that applied then apply now.

And the preparation worked out pretty well – I did well both as Balance and offhealing (considering my gear and Artifact Power) as Restoration. We cleared 9/10H during our seven hours of raid, and many of us got together and managed to down Heroic Gul’dan (after 10/10 normal) on our optional Sunday run. I am excited for Mythic progression, which for me is “the real challenge.”

At some point I may rewrite that article generalizing for all raids. For now, if you are wondering what more you can do to prepare for Nighthold, check out that post.

I have pre-written a few posts about Balance Druid and Nighthold that you can expect to see this coming week, if you are focused on Balance Druid preparation in particular.

Balance Druid Gear Spreadsheets for Nighthold

Unlike my Emerald Nightmare Balance Druid Spreadsheet, I did not make these two google docs. However, they are great baseline comparison tools for Balance Druid gear from the Nighthold:

Trinket Comparison Spreadsheet; Gear Comparison Spreadhseet.

Both were sticky posts in the Druid Discord channel. Check out your class and spec at the Useful Discord Channel List I compiled. More and more, the class Discord channels are becoming the go-to place for up-to-the-minute information about your class.

Sensibly, Aran’s Relaxing Ruby has been nerfed. It is still okay-ish for AOE, but it is no longer the best single target trinket (combined with the Nightbane chest) as it was when I simmed a few weeks ago.

On top for single target are Whispers in the Dark and Erratic Metronome. I did not score the Metronome when we went 7/10H in the first night of Nighthold, but my Unstable Arcanocrystal and 880 Ethereal Urn are about as good as you can get outside those two.