Thursday, July 26, 2007

Synergy


So, I figured today I'd talk about synergy: in other words, how you fit in well with other classes as a Balance Druid. Now, we all know what we bring to the party - Crit aura, awesome buff, innervate, off-heals. Let's see what we can take advantage of based on who we group with.

1) Other Druids

Ironically, there's not a whole lot of synergy going on here. Sure, healing druids can benefit from your moonkin aura, and having more innervates to shuffle around is always nice, but there's not much more going on. If there's another balance druid in your group, it's usually best if one of you goes moonkin and the other one stays out just in case off-heals are needed: moonkin aura doesn't stack, so one of you in it works just fine.

2) Rogues

Again, not a whole lot going on. Your faerie fire/insect swarm can help a Rogue out, but no more so than any other melee class. Similarly, there's not a lot a rogue can do that directly helps you other than helping to down the mobs quicker.

3) Warrior

Apart from the warrior holding aggro if he's tanking, there's not a lot going on here either.

4) Priests

Now we get into some interesting stuff. Discipline and Holy priests (or rather, the discipline/holy hybrid that passes for a holy priest with the sucky talents they gave late holy) often have Improved Divine spirit. Each rank of this 2pt talent adds 5% of your spirit to spell damage and healing. Given the multiple boosts balance druids get to spell damage, this is great. Plus, the spell drops an extra 50 spirit on you as well, which helps for both mana regen and yet more spell damage. If you end up with a pure Discipline priest, they may have mana infusion too, which adds 20% to spell damage and healing for 15 seconds. On a side note, priests are normally your best target for an innervate, as they will get the most benefit.

Shadow priests have the lovely, wonderful ability to give their party back mana. If you are lucky enough to be in a party with one, love them, hug them, and call them George. Over a long fight, this can mean the difference between going OOM and plowing through the enemy.

5) Hunters

Not a whole lot here, but there's a BM Hunter ability that increases party damage of all types by 10% after a pet critical hit. The name escapes me right now, unfortunately.

6) Paladins

First off, Blessings rule. My personal preference for blessings is Salvation > Kings > Wisdom. Salvation first, because at least with me, it often means the difference between riding the edge with my aggro and just being able to full-out unleash everything I've got. Kings, because it translates into additional mana, hp, spell damage, and combat mana regen. Wisdom is just the mana regen, but it's still quite nice. Auras, while nice, don't particularly benefit us more than any other class.

If your pally friend is healing, your extra crit % = more Illumination procs for him = greater mana efficiency. Yay!

7) Shamans

Depending on the spec of the Shammy, you've got a couple different things going on.

First off, regardless of spec, Heroism/Bloodlust is great. Make sure that when you get the 30% speed increase, you start using your higher-cast time Starfire, as Wrath cannot benefit from it completely due to the global cooldown, especially if your nature's grace starts proccing too. Wrath of Air totem adds about 100 spell damage, which is great once again because of our added bonuses to received spell damage.

Elemental Shamans can provide the quite nice Totem of Wrath - +3% Spell Hit & Crit. Never something to sneeze at.

Enhancement Shamans have an interesting ability - Stormstrike. This increases the next 2 sources of nature damage dealt to the target by 20%. If there's a shaman thwacking the enemy with this, take advantage of it and start using Wrath more than Starfire if possible.

Resto shamans are great. The best thing about them is Mana tide. This totem is on a 5 minute cooldown and regenerates 24% of the affected party members' mana over 12 seconds. A great save, and in long boss fights it's sometimes possible to pull it out twice, if it is used early and then saved for the very end.

8) Mages

Mages have probably the single best buff for us - Arcane Brilliance. There isn't a whole lot of synergy otherwise, but that more than makes up for it.

9) Warlocks

Not a whole lot here, but watch for Curse of Shadow. This increases Shadow and Arcane damage dealt to the target by 10%, so start using Starfire/Moonfire more.

I'm sure I've probably missed a couple things. Anyone have anything to add?

10 comments:

Michael said...

Hey there,

(WARNING: LONG POST AHEAD - summary at bottom!)

I think you're looking at it a bit too narrowly. Balance druids (though mine is still a baby) seem like they "pitch in" to buff a group/raid in a lot of different ways (that ferals/tree-restos don't).

Fury Warrior/Rogue/Enhancement Shaman:
- Improved Faerie Fire is amazing. +3% to hit for any DW-ing class is a giant buff to their DPS (5%, at least). My ENH shaman goes through a lot of effort to get +hit gear, and if I can shed that for AP/crit gear because of IFF...

Tank:
- 2% pure avoidance (Insect Swarm) is not to be trifled with.
- +25% armor is a lot of armor for a warrior or paladin tank. Your crit aura in a group with a holy priest or resto shaman will keep Inspiration/Ancestral Spirit up on the MT whole bunch from crit heals. Do not underestimate this - it is a very powerful effect.

ELE Shaman: Mana returned from crit spells is kinda nice for them (same as paladins).

Warlock: The Improved Shadowbolt debuff is one of the best in the game - it's an extra TWENTY percent damage for warlocks and shadowpriests while it's up. What activates it? Shadowbolt crits. Think you help much with that? :)

Shadowpriests: Their mana return helps you obviously, but your crit aura doesn't really help them all that much. They're better off in a group with hunters and ENH shaman, and you'll buff them better being in the warlock group for ISB.

TL;DR Summary:
- You get the "best" synergies from grouping with Resto Shaman (Mana Tide, Ancestral Spirit) and Warlocks (Imp Shadowbolt debuff uptime).
- You get "good" synergies from grouping with anything else that can use the spell crit (do NOT forget holy paladins/priests).
- Not so much for Shadowpriests, as much as you would like the mana - don't be greedy.
- Keep IFF and IS up at all times for giant raid benefits :)

Mera said...

Paladinss - if you were off tanking (it happens) Conc. Aura & Imp Conc. Aura are nice.

Hunters - BM gives Ferocious Inspiration, which gives your party a *9* % buff to all damage done.
For Panzerkins : Survival Hunter's expose weakness increases attack power against a target - more mana regen from touch of elune.
Trueshot Aura provides a similair, if less useful(depending on the AGI of the SV hunter) effect.

Warlocks Curse of Shadows (which is MINT for balance druids - that starfire now hits even harder xD - also lowers enemy resistances by 70 so thats free spell penetration as well. Their Curse of Agony will do more damage, BUT (big but) if they are affliction the gain from 10% offsets the loss of CoA, and makes the shadow priest more efficient, as well as those HUGE starfire crits.
Destro locks get increased shadow damage when shadowbolt crits

Shamans - when a resto shaman crits, they increase the targets armour by 25% for 15 seconds. Try that on a 20k armour bear tank - so +crit aura ftw.
When an elemental shaman crits with a damage spell, they get their next spell 60% cheaper. They also increase the melee crit chance when they crit.

Resto druids love innervates as well - they also rely on a high spirit.

Mage water FTW! Fire mages also DoT a mob when they crit, and fire mages +others who spec for it get mana back when they crit

Paladins - if they spec for it retrib palas increase crit chance by 3% against their target when they use judgement of the crusader

Priests - if they talent for it, holy priest also increase the targets armour when they crit. Holy dps spec with surge of light get a free smite when they crit.

PS On other druids - they enjoy reading balance blogs =p

Mera said...

hehe, two huge posts at the same time

Fiordhraoi said...

@Michael -

All very true, but I was more referring to what we can benefit from that other classes have, as opposed to the other way around. :)

@Mera -

I forgot about Conc. aura, good point. And while I won't clamour to always get a shadow priest in my group, I'm certainly not going to look a gift horse in the mouth if I get one. :)

While Mage water certainly saves you money, it's not irreplacable as you can buy equally good water from a vendor.

Michael said...

@ fio:

*nod*, but you don't really get much help from group buffs other than shaman totems. Everything else is raid buffs (Misery, CoShadows, SStrike, AB, DS, etc).

The group is really built around fitting people into YOUR aura, instead of trying to fit you into someone else's group. Similar to shadowpriests that way.

Fiordhraoi said...

@Michael -
True in some regard, however, the intention of the post was more "hey, look what can happen here." For example, if you've never played a Warlock or Enhancement Shaman or looked into them, you might not even be aware of Curse of Shadows or Stormstrike. Knowing that these things are there so that you can take advantage of them is more the theme I intended.

Chris said...

Don't let BRK see this, but Ferocious Inspiration is only 3% increased damage after a Pet crit.

9 or 10% would be awesome, though. :P

BRK said...

BRK sees all!

Ferocious Inspiration: When your pet scores a critical hit, all party members have all damage increased by 3% for 10 sec.

http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=34460

Only available to BM hunters, so be sure to kick those MM and SV hunters outta your raid!

Mera said...

Lol yea 3% it is - I was thinkin of the time there were 3 BM hunters in the group - hot damn that was fun

Fiordhraoi said...

Ahhh, my mistake. I confuzzled the duration with the damage on Ferocious Inspiration. My bad! :)