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Pimp My Profile: Elasmind, balance druid


Welcome to Pimp My Profile, the column in which the WoW.com staff turns zeroes into heroes. Don't think you're performing where you should be? Not sure how your class/spec is supposed to be gearing up? E-mail us with your Armory link, and you might be next to receive our help!
Please pimp my druid. I can put out decent DPS in 5 mans if the conditions are right but I want to do more. I'm unsure about some of my talent choices and hope you can put me on the right track to ICC.

- Elasmind
Like a genie in a bottle, your wish is my command. With minimal tweaks, we can certainly get your toon ready to raid in style. When I say style, I mean style, you'll be the talk of Fountain Square. Get your whisper blocking add-on ready, because after we turn you from a moonkin to a doomkin, every balance druid in Dalaran is going to want to know your secret.


Gems


You fell for Blizzard's trap card! Your Dark Magician of Chaos is slain!

In all seriousness, you did happen to fall for a very common, and easy, pitfall with the way Blizzard designs gem slots. Luckily, most of your gear is from the newer dungeons which, for the most part, avoids this issues. It is important to keep in mind for the future though. Whenever you are selecting to gem a piece, make sure that the bonus is actually a bonus. It isn't always worth it to sacrifice 8-ish spell power to get a +5 spell power bonus. It may seem like a minor nit-pick, but it all starts to add up, and soon or later you're missing out on 20 or more spell power just due to gem choices.

As to the gems you choose, there are some other guidelines to follow when gemming for a balance druid. First and foremost, you should never be using more than two purple gems, and never any blue gems. You need to use two Purified Dreadstones in order to activate the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond, no more, no less. For your current gear, I would use those two purple gems in your chest and in your boots as those two pieces have a +7 bonus to spell power while the others have a +5. All of your other blue sockets should be filled with Runed Cardinal Rubies. For your yellow sockets, you are heading in the right direction by gemming for crit, but you've gone a little bit too far. Crit is certainly more valuable to you than haste is, but neither are as valuable as spell power. Your yellow sockets should all be filled with Potent Ametrines. Gemming for hit is certainly acceptable if you need it, however, you do not need any more hit. In fact, you need to drop some hit, so losing those hit gems is going to help. The colorless socket in your belt should always be gemmed with a Runed Cardinal Ruby.

Enchants


You already have everything enchanted, and most of them are correct, which is an awesome start. There are a few hiccups here and there though.

To start with, you'll need to change the enchant on your gloves from hit to spell power. Even if you need the hit, the difference between the hit enchant and the spell power enchant for gloves is far too great to give up. Plus, as I mentioned, you are over the hit cap and can stand to drop some anyway.

Second, there's the pants. Using Sapphire Spellthread is a great start, but it isn't the best choice that you can make. Stamina is useful if it helps you survive, however, you should get enough of it from your standard gear without the need to gem or enchant for any more. In this case, you'll want to be using Brilliant Spellthread instead. Spirit is not our best DPS stat, but it does add to our damage some, while stamina adds nothing.

Last is the boots. Vitality was passable during The Burning Crusade, but Greater Vitality simply hasn't lived up to the same standard in this expansion. Although it does not directly increase your DPS, Tuskarr's Vitality is currently the boot enchant of choice for raiding balance druids. The additional speed increase is very beneficial for getting out of fires, dodge goos, and getting back in range of the boss as fast as possible.

Talents and Glyphs

Phenomenal, really. Your talent spec and Glyphs are all spot on for a raiding balance druid. The only suggestion I would make would be to change up the point you have in Dreamstate and Intensity in favor of something such as Gale Winds or Typhoon. It isn't important, and you don't have to do it, just something to keep note of. As you start to get better and better gear, you really won't need the mana regeneration from any talents other than Moonkin Form, but there really isn't anywhere you can put those points in order to get a sizable DPS benefit.

I will say that you should drop two points from Moonglow and put them into Improved Moonfire, especially for as long as you are running 2 T9. While the damage increase on the talent doesn't play very well with the Glyph of Moonfire, the additional critical strike chance is very nice to have.

Gearing

You've done an excellent job of gearing out your toon from what I can tell. You've kept yourself aware of the haste soft cap, the value of specific stats, and gotten what, I imagine, RNG has afforded you. Right now, the only upgrades you can get are going to drops from the newest 5-mans and from Frost Emblems. There is one exception, however.

Talisman of Resurgence is not a very good trinket choice for a balance druid. While an arcane mage might love it, we have little use for it. It isn't a complete waste, but there is far better. Try getting the Abyssal Rune from out of the regular ToC 5 man. It isn't the best choice for balance druids either, but it is better than what you have and isn't restricted by a once-a-day lockout.

Beyond that, keep running the newest Heroic 5 mans every day to get whatever upgrades you can. There are a lot of good items to get from there, and you may get lucky enough to snag a Battered Hilt.

I hope this helps to improve your DPS. Keep us posted on how your newest adventures.


Every week, Shifting Perspectives treks across Azeroth in pursuit of truth, beauty, and insight concerning the druid class. Sometimes it finds the latter, or something good enough for government work. Whether you're a Bear, Cat, Moonkin, Tree, or stuck in caster form, we've got the skinny on druid changes in patch 3.3, a look at the disappearance of the bear tank, and thoughts on why you should be playing the class (or why not).

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