After the debacle of my last dungeon run I decided to revisit Icy Veins to try & get to grips with my Balance Druid. While I know the last run was particularly bad because of the individuals involved I am still uncomfortable with my reliance on Bitten’s Druid Spellflash to play my Druid. I want to better understand the rotation.
So fortified with a strong coffee & a sugary pop tart I earlier sat down to study the Icy Veins guide – specifically the rotation page that can be found here:-
It all started well enough. The intro reads:-
This guide has been reviewed and approved by Gapezilla, one of the best Balance Druids in the world, who raids in Encore, and whose stream you can watch on Twitch, and by Cyous, a high-end Balance Druid theorycrafter and retired raider, who raided in Promethean. You can follow him on Twitter.”
Well these guys must know what they’re doing. I’m clearly in safe paws here.
The guide begins:
Apply and maintain Moonfire and Sunfire on the target.
You should try to apply and refresh both DoTs when you are [at] their respective Peaks (Lunar Peak for Moonfire and Solar Peak for Sunfire), but this is not essential.
This end bit immediately troubles me. When job applications say something is desirable but not essential you know they’re using it to sort the wheat from the chaff. I don’t want to make the wrong call here. But on the whole it seems ok. I mean I know what a DoT is (and that group on Monday called me useless. Bah. Piffle.) Ok add me to the wheat pile sir.
Since Sunfire lasts considerably less than Moonfire and since it is only available when you are in a Solar Eclipse, you will have to refresh it before leaving Solar Eclipse (or right after entering it) in order to maintain full uptime on it.
Whoa there! You told me to apply & maintain both but are now telling me Sunfire isn’t available until I am in Solar Eclipse. This implies Moonfire is always available. But later on you say you can only apply each DoT when you are in its respective eclipse. So why are you singling out Sunfire here and giving me pause for thought (or is it Paws for though – heh heh)?
I digress. It goes onto say:-
You should cast Starsurge often enough to make sure that its charges are always rolling.
Rolling? Is this a technical term? I’m assuming it means always building up new charges rather than letting Starsurge sit back all maxed up with unspent charges? If so please say that. What’s with all this faddy “rolling” talk. I was born in the 70s. The only roll I know is Rock’n’Roll and even that was old school in my day.
Casting Starsurge in Lunar Eclipse will grant Lunar Empowerment, and casting it in Solar Eclipse will grant Solar Empowerment (both buffs last 30 seconds).
30 seconds. Awesome. Note to self: must not waste it by dancing, however tempted.
You should always use up the charges provided by these buffs before re-casting Starsurge, so as not to waste any charges.”
Sorry I was dancing. What charges would that be then? Not Starsurge charges as you’ve said not to use Starsurge. Do you mean Lunar/Solar Peak charges? Is that even a thing?
Later on it says:
…you will have to make sure to use up all the charges of the current buff before re-casting Starsurge in the same eclipse. For example, if you have 2 stacks of Solar Empowerment, you should not cast Starsurge again in Solar Eclipse, because the stacks will be overwritten. We cannot stress enough how vital it is never to overwrite an Empowerment buff.
Oh god I’m shaking. I never realised how dangerous this is. I might OVERWRITE AN EMPOWERMENT BUFF. Do you know what that means? No? Thank God. Not just me then. But it’s serious stuff. It’s in bold & everything.
You should cast Starsurge as you are approaching a Lunar or Solar Peak so that you can cast the buffed spells at (or close to) the Peak.
More bold. My nerves can’t take this. Even “Peak” is capitalised. Perhaps they’re over egging it though – like when they tell you not to use a mobile phone in intensive care (a bit of texting by the bedside never did anyone any harm my grandmother used to say – in fact she said it while she was in intensive care as it happens, but then her machine went all funny and they took away my phone).
Thanks to Shooting Stars, you will sometimes get a free charge of Starsurge
Awww thanks Shooting Stars. You shouldn’t have. Really you shouldn’t have. Take it back. I don’t know what to do with the ones I already have.
Cast Wrath while you are in a Solar Eclipse
Cast Starfire while you are in a Lunar Eclipse.
Simple dimple. Even I can do this bit. On a good day. Perhaps I’ll just ignore the earlier stuff & spam these ones. Just kidding. I know I have to apply DoTs when available, use Starsurge to keep it rolling, don’t use Starsurge when Lunar & Solar empowerment buffs give me some other charge (I trust some icon will flash at this point), but do use it just before/after entering eclipse to get said buffs. And of course don’t stand in fire, try to be a bit social by typing in chat, grow 8 more hands and another pair of eyes. Easy peasy.
But then just as I’m getting confident Icy Veins blows it all by saying:
This is the basic rotation cycle. There are certain subtleties with regards to eclipses that you will need to understand. This is a very important aspect, which we discuss in our detailed rotation section.
Oh god. I need more cofffee. That was the simple stuff?
I look at their advice for the opening rotation:
The ideal opening rotation at the start of the fight is as follows:
Cast Incarnation: Chosen of Elune 3 seconds before the pull.
Note to self: tell PUG tank I need to be alerted 3 seconds before every boss pull. That’ll go down well.
Prepot and cast Starsurge 1.5 seconds before the pull.
Prepot? I’m assuming this is tech talk for swig a potion. I’ll stick to my coffee thanks. And 1.5 seconds – crikey that’s precise. Even heart surgeons allow for some flex in their timings (or Granny’s did – another reason for the intensive care machine mishap perhaps – so can I have my phone back now please? I have a funeral to arrange.)
Back to Ivy Veins:-
In case you are closer to the boss than maximum range when you begin the fight, use Starsurge 1 second before the pull, instead.
Whaa? Firstly comma overload. Secondly I never stand anywhere other than max range. Often in fact I’m out of range checking Recount & wondering why my DpS is so low. Thirdly – 1 second? Where did my 0.5 go? I’m just going to ignore this bit. This is balance rotation at a quantum level.
I skim further down.
Astral Communion spell … accelerates your Balance Energy cycle by 300% for 4 seconds. This ability is channeled, and it makes it easy to quickly get into a desired Eclipse, if for some reason you want to do this.
That last bit is vague isn’t it? Why would I want to pick one over the other? Until I’m advised differently my decision will be based on where I am in my monthly cycle (fits with the overall theme I think).
In order to keep up Sunfire, you need [to] refresh it shortly before leaving Solar Eclipse, or … sometimes you will need to refresh it immediately on re-entering Solar Eclipse to prevent it from dropping off. This is acceptable.
Thank god. I thought I’d made a major faux pas the last time I did that (like the time I ate my soup with a fish knife)
There no longer is any real restriction about when it is too soon to refresh a DoT.
Good stuff. Those restrictions were onerous. I’ll just spam away. I think I’m getting the hang of this balance stuff.
If you are using Euphoria as your Tier 7 talent, then there is a slight change in how your DoTs should be refreshed. Namely, Moonfire only needs to be refreshed every other Lunar Peak, and Sunfire only needs to be refreshed every Solar Peak (instead of casting it twice per cycle).
What? No! Just shut up, shut up, shut up. That’s it. It’s over. I’m out. I’ll never get the hang of this and I’m never looking at the sun or moon again. Cat form here I come. Clawing, ripping & shredding. I can do that (you should see me eat chicken). Just nobody mention combo points. I really don’t want to know.