Elemental or Balance

As I’m newly back to playing I’m trying to settle in on a one or the other. Any input pros or cons would be helpful? Thank you in advance

Elemental.

Shaman DF talent tree is kinda the Gold Standard for trees atm. It’s really good. The Druid tree is ah, um… Well…

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it keeps getting nerfed. another batch of them today. 50% effectiveness to some of the ele talents. its getting old quick.

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Basically let’s put it like this:

Do you like massive lightning bolts and earthquakes

or

Do you like being a fat chicken? I think the choice is fairly obvious.

Idk the fat chicken is pretty tempting! :chicken:

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Elemental has a more efficient kit than balance druid, especially since Blizzard has decimated multi-dot specs to the point where dots are just proc hooks that barely do any damage.

Ele doesn’t need to pay a GCD to enter a useless form to access a niche utility to then pay another GCD to enter its useful form.

Druid has to exit moonkin, lose a truckload of armor and Owlkin Frenzy procs, and yet to cast their weak Regrowth+Rejuv it still does less healing than lesser healing wave, especially if you’re spamming it during periods of burst damage intake or Grievous to take the debuff off if you’ve got a struggling healer.

Shaman has an aoe stun, a 13 sec cd interrupt that’s vastly preferable to a terrible 1 min cd aoe interrupt. Ancestral Guidance will be better group offhealing than Nature’s Vigil.

Thunderstorm is better than Typhoon.

You’ll bring either earthgrab or windrush totem for an aoe snare or stampeding roar that costs a single GCD instead of 2.

While you use druid utility you often can’t use your DPS form, so utility has a far greater opportunity cost on druid than shaman for PvE.

You’ll have Spiritwalker’s Grace and Lava Surges to deal with movement. Druid’s terrible eclipse and empowerment mechanic actively punishes holding starsurge for movement, and at best you get 1-2 starsurges per movement where shaman gets to cast for 10+ secs while moving.

Shaman will get Gust of Wind. Druid’s Wild Rush requires you shift out of moonkin form into travel form, press wild rush for the pseudo blink, and back into moonkin form. 3 GCD’s for what shaman’s gust achieves in 1. Don’t even bring up Moonkin’s wild rush, it’s a severely gimped disengage in distance.

Druid brings MoTW and brez alongside ursol’s vortex and solar beam at the expense of having no practical spell interrupt and shoving all responsibility for lethal interrupts to the tank and melee.

Shaman brings heroism, one of the most important raid and M+ cd’s, especially since they nerfed drums. It brings an aoe physical damage reduction totem for your tank in M+, brings plenty of CC, including Earthquake knockdowns.

Oh, and to top it off, since Fearie Fire snare is a pvp talent only, druids have no access to snares in case your tank needs to kite. This is obvious in Fatescribe.

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First, unless you’re pushing +30 keys or world first, either is fine. That out of the way, balance has consistently been better than elemental over time. Do not listen to people telling you to roll ele based on a class and spec tree that (1) hasn’t been finalized, and (2) has received zero tuning. Those people will just turn around and whine when things change a month from now.

The best advice you’ll receive from anyone is to play the one you want to stare at for hours on end. The more you play it, the more comfortable you’ll get, and the better you’ll perform. If you’re chasing dps you will always be rerolling.

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I’m just a casual player id like to do a little raiding but nothing serious but thank you. I’m currently working on my Druid I have a free level up so ill prob spend it on shaman

I had a lot more fun playing Elemental than when I tried Balance, I just can’t really mesh with the eclipse system they use for Balance.

Not only that but chain lightning with cooldowns is probably one of the best feeling skills in the game.

Ele has some of the best animations in the game. Personally I prefer the playstyle of boomy and I actually like owl form.

Also, only one has flap.

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Just one thing. We do have snares because of one thing. Typhoon vs thunderstorm is kind of an opinion tbh. Thunderstorm has a stronger pushback but it also has lower range and its more predictable. ( Always around the shaman in 360.) typhoon has a longer range and a more cone shape with a snare on it Also a lower cd. Just wanted to clear that up. Also balance druids can also get ursol’s vortex which does have a 50% slow in the vortex. :+1:

Agreed: play what you enjoy is absolutely the way to go.

With that said, Tinieblas’s points are very important and don’t revolve around tuning. The GCD economy of druid is the worst in the game. The current eclipse system is painful–subjective overall, but I can still point to things like lack of agency, lack of impact, and lack of visual flare around the system.
The talent rework, while not finished in DF, is hittig druid disproportionately hard because druid utility value was more about kit size than individual skills.

This is a bit dramatic.

You can Regrowth in Moonkin without shifting.

Rejuvenation will cause a free shift and cast the heal without waiting a GCD. There is only a GCD cost when you try to return to Moonkin. This is typically a non-issue because Rejuve+Swiftmend+Moonkin are all instant casts so the regular use case is to do this to get a powerful Swiftmend off while repositioning. If you’re going to stand still and heal, Regrowth is probably the better option.

Elemental Shaman aren’t healing on the move unless they commit a 2 minute cooldown.

Shaman has an AOE stun, Moonkin will be able to take an AOE disorient.

Wind Shear is better than any interrupt in the game, big true. There are plenty of scenarios in M+ where Solar Beam is pretty strong utility though.

Ancestral Guidance does heal 3 targets, but it only lasts 10 seconds. Nature’s Vigil lasts 30 seconds and has a 30 second shorter cooldown. I think the big difference here is that Ancestral Guidance works with aoe damage, but both of these are pretty niche abilities. No one is out there saying “lets grab the Elemental Shaman, Balance Druid or Shadowpriest for the offheals”. No one cares, its just a nice-to-have.

Windrush and Earthgrab are mutually exclusive. Stampeding Roar is much stronger than Windrush and is not mutually exclusive with Ursoc’s or Mass Entangle, and given the placement of Improved Stampede probably almost every Moonkin is going to have this on a mere 1 minute CD. Mass Roots and Ursocs can be used in Moonkin form. Stampede only costs a GCD when you go back to Moonkin, but it’s a movement ability, so you’re going to be moving anyway.

Typhoon is far easier to control than Thunderstorm, and the knock being less dramatic makes Typhoon the much safer choice in M+. People want mobs moved out of sanguine not moved to the other side of the map.

The argument that Shaman are noticeably better at casting on the move seems kind of preposterous when Moonkin can freely cast while moving during Starfall and dot refreshes and can take Warrior of Elune for a single point.

Wild Charge may cost a global on each side, but again, its a used-while-moving ability, and it can do things like skip the ZM jumping puzzles, skip the stairs on Spires, skip the pipe on DoS, skip the conveyer belt on Workshop, as long as you have a friendly target. It also has half the CD of gust of wind and no shaman is seriously going to choose gust of wind over Spirit Walk.

Battle Rez and Heroism are of relatively equal importance, any group is going to want both. From a 5 man perspective it’s probably better to be the Druid competing against DK’s and Warlocks then it is to be an Elemental competing against Mages and Hunters. Heroism has far less group redundancy value and Mages / Hunters are historically much stronger most seasons than Warlocks or DK’s (obviously SL S3 and S4 are quite the outliers).

Moonkin also brings Force of Nature which is arguably the single strongest utility spell outside of Battle Res or Heroism that any range DPS have for M+.

Saying Moonkin have no access to snares when they have access to instant AOE roots and Ursol’s seems dubious.