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WOTLK: Understanding the Druid Balance Abilities

Ever since the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out, several Druid players have been loving life. Many of the updates revolve around the Druid race and can give those who have been playing for years a chance to bring back some of the oldies but goodies. Since you can find Balance, Feral Combat, and Restoration abilities within this race, there is tons of information available. In fact there is a little too much, so today we are just going to cover the Balance Abilities.

Barkskin

Increased armor is always a great thing to have while playing the WOLTK with your Death Knight. If you are a Druid, then take advantage of this when you take on tougher opponents. The name of this ability derives from being able to make your skin “as tough as bark.” This allows you to take more hits and receive less damage from your enemies. One thing to note about the Barkskin ability is that you won’t have any problems using it even if you are under a spell. Well, certain spells like being Asleep, Feared, Frozen, and a couple others.

Cyclone

If you ever come across a bunch of enemies simultaneously, you will want to take advantage of the Cyclone ability. This allows you to throw enemies up in the air and keep them from striking for a few seconds. Unfortunately you can’t use it for everyone you are fighting. You’ll understand a little more the first time you use it, but in short you can only have the Cyclone ability on one target at any given time. Hopefully you won’t need this too much, but if you do it will definitely be an ability that comes in handy.

Entangling Roots

This is one of those abilities that have had a little overhaul for Druid fans. In the older versions you were only allowed to use the Entangling Roots outdoors, but now you can actually use them indoors. If by chance you have never experienced the Entangling Roots with your Druid player you will love this if there are multiple enemies. It gives you the chance to keep enemies cemented into place while you thrust your attacks upon them. Since you will be heading into caves and other new areas with your Death Knight, the Entangling Roots will surely come in handy.

Faerie Fire

One thing you will notice when fighting other opponents is their ability to use invisibility against you. Others will try to break out some stealth methods as well, which means you could be in trouble. However, if you use the Faerie Fire this will have a couple benefits that your opponents will not be expecting. First of all they will not be able to turn invisible or stealth while affected by the Faerie Fire. Also, you actually lower their armor rating and create an open area to attack them. So keep this handy, you will need it soon.

Hibernate

Well, the Hibernate ability is one that you wish could do more. The basics of it is that you will be able to put your target to sleep. This gives you the chance to strike while they are sleeping and make a critical strike count when necessary. However, the first time they feel the affects of your Wrath they will wake up and continue the battle. We would like to see this be able to put multiple people to sleep for several turns, but it probably will never happen. In the meantime we’ll take what we can get.

Hurricane

As you build your Death Knight you will notice the various strengths each one of your Balance abilities possess. The Hurricane ability is a great example of this because you can cast the spell and create an enormous storm that delivers massive damage to its enemies. In the good old days you would find this to have a large cool down period that would keep you from using it several times. However, Blizzard Entertainment updated this and made it so you can use it as many times as you want during battle.

Innervate

This is an ability that will help members in your guild or group, as well as yourself. Innervate gives all targets you click on an increased mana regeneration. So if there are others low on mana make sure to give them a little help. They may reward you for doing so and even join the group for the next mission. As a Death Knight an ability like this will be extremely important when facing those enemies that you need ten, twenty or twenty-five people to beat. The Lich King is a great example of this scenario.

Moonfire

The Moonfire ability sort of has a love/hate relationship attached to it. When you use it, enemies will burn with Arcane damage for a short duration. In the meantime this takes tons of mana away from your bar so after using it you could find yourself running out fast. To counteract this we always recommend adding the Innervate to your repertoire to boost it up quicker. So even though it’s a great ability to have, you need a combination to help with the loss of mana over time.

Nature’s Grasp

We absolutely love this ability because it basically punishes those who attack you. The Nature’s Grasp is intertwined with the Entangling Roots ability. When you spell this over your enemies and they try to attack you, ET will come up from the ground and stop them in their tracks. Then you will be able to attack while they are motionless and give out some lethal damage to them. Keep in mind this is a trainable ability for your Death Knight as opposed to a Talent Tree benefit like in games past.

Soothe Animal

There is nothing worse then having to worry about a pet attacking you when taking on some enemies. So in order to help against this battle, bring out the Soothe Animal ability. This calms down their pet and will give them a shorter range then what you were previously dealing with against them. While this is a great advantage during battle it doesn’t work on all animals. The opponent must have a beast or Dragonkin in order for this to work. Just try it out when you are walking through a land with beasts and see what happens.

Starfire

We really weren’t even going to put this on the list of Balance abilities simply because there isn’t much to the Starfire ability. All it does is cause Arcane damage to the enemy you have targeted. While this is true, when you actually see this in action the graphics are pretty cool. However, we don’t believe you will be using it too much although in future expansions will probably have some updates available. As for now though just use it when you want to have a different ability handy.

Teleport: Moonglade

There really isn’t much to the Teleport: Moonglade ability either. We will say it’s awesome watching this in action for the first time, but once you use it over and over it is like everything else. Basically you open up a portal right in front of you and then simply walk through it. So any time you need to head over to Moonglade with your Death Knight be sure to break out this Balance ability.

Thorns

This is probably one of the most interesting abilities associated with the Balance category. The way it works is you will cast the Thorns ability on someone in your group. Thorns will begin to sprout out from them and will actually cause Nature Damage on the target they are facing. The look of it all is well worth watching, but it is not an ability that we know too many people using very often. So you really don’t have to use it in your action bar unless you want to see it work. In the meantime leave it in your spell book.

Wrath

When you see this name you would think that there is a huge story behind it. Unfortunately there isn’t and all it does is cause extra Nature Damage to your enemy. When we first saw this we were thinking it would be huge considering the name of the expansion. This being said, you might as well stick it up there with your Thorns ability until it is absolutely needed. Don’t worry though, you will definitely use it at some point in time. It will just be a necessary moment where nothing else seems to be working.

Do a Little Studying

If there is anything you can learn from this article, we suggest you study each one of the Balance abilities. The more you know about them, the better you will be able to use them at the appropriate times. This will make it easier to beat stronger enemies that your Death Knight will eventually face. Granted, you may come across someone that beats you to a pulp, but if you work things right you won’t have any problems. Just keep this handy for when you aren’t sure how something works or what it does to enemies. In the end it will be all you and your Death Knight needs regarding the Balance abilities.

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