BEHOLD THE TWILIGHT DREAM! A Full-Guide to DPS Malfurion by hawkray

BEHOLD THE TWILIGHT DREAM! A Full-Guide to DPS Malfurion

By: hawkray
Last Updated: Oct 27, 2016
11 Votes
Build 1 of 1

Malfurion

Build: HEALING? NOT MY JOB! (ok just not now)

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Table of Contents! Top

Introduction Top



Hello everyone and welcome!
My name is Hawkray and this is my in-depth guide to Balance Druid Malfurion!

For those who are not really into WoW terminology, Balance Druid is the specific branch of Druids that focus on dealing damage through the power of the balance between Sun and Moon. Usually, these Druids take the form of Moonkins, but since Malfurion is the GREAT ARCHDRUID, he doesn't need to. He can tap into the power of all forms in his default form (which to be fair, has moonkin feathers, antlers, feral claws and some mantle thing I think may represent bear form.)

I love theorycrafting and taking these crazy ideas into play, and I must admit, Blizzard severely limited the possibility to go crazy with our Hero Builds without including items in the game, but talents can be worked to become something fun even if it's a preset range of buffs.
So here it is, my homemade, recently out of the oven (been cooking for quite some time though), nice and steamy Balance Malfurion Build.


20th November 2016:
http://www.heroesfire.com/hots/forum/news/guide-of-the-week-behold-the-twilight-dream-a-full-guide-to-dps-malfurion-12330
This guide was featured on the frontpage of this community! Thank you so much :')


When to Use Top


When to go Balance?
Let's just call this build Balance Malfurion. It has a ring to it.

Balance Malfurion is great when playing with friends, specially when you have a primary healer, and you can be the secondary healing source. Your Regrowth still packs quite a good amount of healing over time, and if things go South you can always switch to a more healing oriented build that relies on Twilight Dream to silence the enemy team when they dive in.

Against dive heavy teams, Twilight Dream silences those pesky flankers in your backlines.
Within dive heavy teams, your level 20 combo can set a nice teamfight or a wombo so your team can clean up afterwards.

Overall, again, a very versatile build mainly because of how you can switch between other talents if you need more healing, and still do awesome work. Your talents are pretty much "one hit wonders", and don't require like 3 talents in a row to make some crazy synergy in order to be good.
 
 

Pros and Cons? Top


Pros
Good sustained damage during fights with Moonfire.
Still has crazy heals with Regrowth, and Innervate is still Innervate.
Surprise burst with Twilight Dream can catch the entire team offguard and set the team up for combos.
Far less mana problems when compared to full healer Malfurion.
Great against dive heavy comp.
Very all-around and balanced. Happy accident with the name "Balance Druid".
Extremely fun, and not as bad as people would think.
Insane shoulder muscles for being over 15,000 years old.
Awesome fashion sense.
Cons
Starts out slow and feels like the usual healbot during the first levels.
People could potentially start to play worse just because you are a "troll". (Not true. Vol'Jin is a troll. You are a Night Elf.)
Twilight Dream requires you to be in the middle of the enemy team, which is never safe.
Damage spikes around mid-late game, but as heroes continue to level your talents shine a little less. Still solid utility and healing though!
Pretty much needs you to have either a team that is lighthearted, or friends in the group so randoms don't rage when they see Twilight Dream not doing so hot. (This is not the next op meta build, like anything else, it can go wrong :P Surprise surprise to them.)


Basic 'Furion Mechanics Top


Innervate
This is the reason why people like you...
Nah, just kidding, but this is a big reason why Malfurion is so pleasant to be around. This ability is like a heal, except it heals MANA! The only bad thing is that you can't cast it on yourself... Boring :(
Innervate is a great tool to increase your team's ability to do stuff in fights. It grants % max mana instead of a set amount, so it's always a good thing to cast on your allies. Just keep an eye out on who needs it the most. Usually spammy mages will hug your leg so you Innervate them often--it is for good reason though.
!! As of 27th of September (2016), Innervate now grants 50% Cooldown Reduction to the target. Meaning? The target recovering mana recharges their abilities 50% faster. That's INSANE! Use this on heroes with long cooldowns to make their life awesome. Use this on heroes with short CDs to make the enemy's life hell. USE THIS!
 

Regrowth
This is usually your bread and butter. Regrowth is an amazing healing ability that pretty much is a click and forget. You see someone with low health? Boop them with Nature's grace and leave them to regrowth back to their healthy selves. The healing amount is insane at higher levels and frankly, it's the main reason why Balance Malfurion is not useless for the first minutes of the game. Just because of this ability you can be both useful in the healing department and damage department--just to give an idea about how powerful this heal is.
Keep in mind that since it's a Healing Over Time effect, you can cast it if you know an ally is going to be suffering a great deal of damage, and as they take it, they restore it. It's a good call if you trust your instincts or know that no one is going to need that clutch heal any time soon.
!! As of 27th of September (2016), Regrowth now recharges faster, and costs A LOT less. Use it more often!
 

Moonfire
This is your other bread and butter. Malfurion loves breakfast. This ability may seem like the weakest piece of fertilizer ever, but bear with it for some time and you'll see how much damage you rack up over the course of a skirmish as you choose the right talents. If you keep casting this thing on your enemies, you will constantly rain down a blast of moonlight every couple seconds, annoying them to no end and actually getting quite a good amount of damage overall. The "burst" damage isn't spectacular, but it's very cheap, very spammable, is an instant cast, has decent range and the area of effect is easy to hit with since it's so, so fast. I've grown to really love this ability even though it's underwhelming at first, and I hope so do you as well after playing around with Balance Druid.
 

Entangling Roots
This is your utility skill. This is an amazing ability once you master it, but if you just started it's really wonky to land. This is how it works: The moment you cast it, there's a small delay before leaves start to spread out. The wave of leaves root your enemies, meaning that obviously you will want to place it so your target is in the center. If other enemies step into the circle of leaves after it has spread out, they are also rooted, which also means that this is an amazing zoning tool to keep enemies away from your squishies. The main reason why the spread is relatively slow and the root works that way it's because it was designed as a counter ability. You are supposed to place it under a harassed targets and as they run away, their pursuer is rooted. BUT! Balance Druids don't counter fights--we seek fights. Learn to land this ability, and you will love it with your heart and soul.
!! As of 27th of September (2016), Entangling Roots now is pretty much instant. This just means the leaning curve for this skill is relatively gone, so fire away! Rooting enemies has never been easier :D Same tips, all apply, but now the root starts almost on-cast.
 
Twilight Dream
Now, this... NOW, THIS--is an AMAZING ability.
People always write it off because Malfurion is a healbot in this game. Well guess what? The ARCHDRUID is no longer a healbot. PREPARE FOR YOUR DOOM. YOU SHALL BE DESTROYED BY THE MIGHT OF THE TWILIGHT DREAM! This skill is just bonkers in terms of sheer damage and utility. It silences your enemies for THREE SECONDS. THREEEE SECONDS. This means that for 3 entire seconds, those who were unfortunate enough to be caught within your power will not be able to fight properly. Yes, there are auto-attack oriented heroes, but every one loves their abilities and not be able to cast them is always hurtful. See how League of Legends tries so hard to remove Silence? Yup, it's THAT strong of a debuff. Oh, and the damage ain't anything to scoff at. You can easily chunk all enemy squishies for about a third of their maximum health in an INSTANT EXPLOSION. There is no counterplay from this ability since to the eyes of the enemy there is no cue, and once the damage is done, it's done. They are silenced, you are slamming their faces with Moonfires, and it's all beautiful.
Oh and it also increases mana regen. Who doesn't love mana regen?
 

Tranquility
This is the Heroic you did not choose. If you chose this... Then what are you doing here? :O
For new people this is an aoe heal that lasts for a couple seconds. It's ok I guess, but it's no Twilight Dream!
... Ok, this is actually this is an insane heroic, just not for this playstyle.

Cool 'Furion Mechanics Top


...

This is what people think you will be doing with this build since the beginning of the match.
Incorrect. You do this, and you run out of mana faster than say Illidan.
Balance Malfurion is all about working with your team. Sure, you could instagib someone if your team is far ahead, but those cases are not the usual thing.



-> -> ->
The Early Punisher

Now, keep in mind that this "skill line" (rotation, skill order, whatever) is very vague. All I'm trying to say it's that during the early game, you will be looking to capitalize on enemy mistakes and try to root key targets for your other members to take down.

Remember, right now, with those few talent choices you are no different than "healbot" Malfurion. You still haven't ascended into the superior Balance Druid. So work with your team, don't solo lane if you can avoid it, and try to pick up overextended enemies that thought you were just a harmless old man with a stick. The moment you land your root on an enemy it's a big signal beam for your assassin to dive in, and some times, those assassins are not paying attention--so don't randomly place Entangling Roots. This ability is your key during the early game, and you never know if you may need it. Don't use it just for poke and fun!

The rotation includes a Moonfire at the beginning because due to its instant nature, if you can land one the split second before you land your root, you essentially doubled your DPS since Moonfire's cooldown is so short. Keep in mind that if you are not certain you will be able to land the root, just cast Entangling Roots. This is extreme "min-maxing" and really it's not that big of a deal. I just threw it out there as a neat idea, no need to stress over a single Moonfire if it's going to cost you the root.

"... Why is Regrowth part of the Rotation?"
Because it's the most potent heal you can ask for, and it never hurts to make your team stay alive longer. What's beautiful about Healing Over Time effects is that it gets the best of both "worlds"--these two worlds being heals and shields. See, shields are best to prevent damage while heals are best to mend damage done. Healing Over Time, on the other hand, slowly heals up the target, and even if they are full health, they are still being healed. If you think someone is starting to take heavy damage, drop Regrowth on them and watch as the damage they take gets negated as time passes.



-> -> -> -> ...
The Teamfight Rotation

This is your "standard" teamfight combo. It's a pretty obvious one, of course.

Yet again, this is just a suggestion just like all the rotations above, and usually it all depends on your current cooldowns and what is happening around you. No tunnel vision here! You are a team player! A good Malfurion takes care of his bois, healbot and Balance Druid.

So back to the rotation, this is the aggressive one. If you are looking to follow up the tank's initiation (or if for some weird reason you are the one initiating the fight), you will have to land the root as the enemies are clumped up. The best case scenario is when enemies are all gathered nice and neat so you can land your big ability. That ability of course, is Twilight Dream. The damage and big howl that this skill produces is extremely satisfying to watch, yes, but remember that you should not be saving this to finish of enemies. I repeat, do not think of this as a "wombo finisher". It's a wombo starter, that I can assure you, or even a "linker" as you can keep the combo going with your Silence, but it's not a finisher at core. You can get kills of course, but your main goal is to silence everyone and lay down some heavy damage for your assassins to clean up. This is the reason why I did not stop the rotation at Twilight Dream. Your job is most likely unfinished after dropping the Dream.

BUT! This is the fun part. Teamfights, some people just keep on reserving that mana. Forget it. You now NEED to spam that Moonfire as long as you have more than 25 or 30% of your mana, because you can. Your talents let you spam those Moonfires at a low cost and the damage just racks up from there. Keep around a third or a fourth of your mana for the clutch heals, but remember that you shouldn't really be the only healer anyways. So yeah, fire away! All the Moonfire talents really shine when you can just spam nonstop, and I assure you it's extremely fun to watch your enemies wither away as you land one blast of moonlight after the other without catching a breath.



-> -> -> -> ...
Drop the Dream

This is the ultimate combo if you choose Bolt of the Storm at Tier 7, level 20. The moment you jump into the enemy team with this blink and slam down the power of the Twilight Dream, you can start spamming away as enemies fumble under your imposing presence only fitting of the true Archdruid. I absolutely love doing this if I am sure that the enemy team cannot burst me down during this time, and that's why I pick Bolt of the Storm. But beware that you may still be in trouble after the dream is dropped, that's why you will most likely want a tank to either follow up or for you to follow into the fray. It's not easy to find a good moment to blink in and drop the Dream, but as you become more and more experienced and learn how much Malfurion can do or can't do, you begin to see possibilities that will mark the difference between a win-ensuring engagement and a bad one. I myself still have some work to do regarding this, but I am sure that in the future I will be able to make full use of this combo's potential.


Keep in mind:

Now, please keep in mind none of these rotations are truly the word of Cenarius himself, and thus should not be the only way you use your abilities. Obvious, I know, but yeah keep in mind that just like a root can be a good setup for Twilight Dream, the Dream can also be a setup for a good Entangling Roots to secure a great combo initiator.

Standard Talent Choices Top

This could arguably be the to-go ability. Before, I saw this as a big mana sink since it encourages non-heroic damage, but really in the later phase of the match the difference it makes is huge as the damage ramps up. 100% damage increase is literally doubled the damage! That plus the increased area of effect we're getting just makes Malfurion an insane pushing machine. Twilight Dream really amps up the mana regen so mana becomes a small problem as soon as level 10 is hit. I would say pick this 49 out of 50 times.

This little treant does far more than people realize. It increases your overall damage, creates a body for enemies to missclick in the heat of battle, and soaks a neat amount of turret ammo / merc damage if that's something you need after the teamfight is won and pushing is the main goal. Thing is the others don't really have much synergy with our playstyle. Rampant Growth is for mainly healers, Versatile is for Innervate mana-battery builds, and Elune's Grace, albeit nice, is something I never really liked. But I want to mention that I do not choose Elune's Grace for personal taste. I like being in the fray and Regrowth usually keeps me alive. Not to mention, Twilight Dream requires us to be in the middle of the enemy team anyways, and our "combo" makes the extra range not as useful as it is for other Malfurion builds. Take it if you really like it, but I just love the increased damage of Vengeful Roots and feel it's a core part of this build. further and further.

This is an amazing talent for our damage. Malfurion can use every single boost in overall damage from his rather passive talent tree, and this one comes in very, very handy. Yes, it's pretty much just pure damage, but a 100% increase to the already half-decent root damage will make your DPS jump up when you catch enemies with your Entangling Roots. Now, why didn't I choose the others when this talent is so one-sided (only focuses on damage and nothing else)? The other talents are all too focused on supporting. We don't need increased Regrowth duration because we are not healers; we don't need the MULE because, well, it's not really picked anyways and the treant is more useful for actual fights; and we don't need the Cleanse as much in this build because we appreciate damage more, and you cannot cast Cleanse on yourself. You should have another support doing that job, so you should be free to push the boundaries of your teamfight damage

Yeah. Alright, I'll use this opportunity to say more stuff about this ability. Use it to negate enemy flankers, use it to negate their backlines from fighting back, use it because it's an awesome and strong ability. It has silence which is an awesome crowd control and the damage scales nicely throughout the game. Core of this build, no "situational picks" in this tier! :P

This is the second core part of the build. You will not believe how helpful the mana reduction is. The increased radius however, is what makes this talent a must pick. It makes Moonfire a large area of effect instead of the puny little blast that we had to play with the entire game, and landing some heavy poke becomes so much easier with the skill becoming both cheaper and more mana efficient. Overall, this talent makes the build twice as fun, and it's a must pick.

Tier 6 Talent Choice (aka. Level 16 Talents) Top

DISCLAIMER!
This is a separate section, but the reason is because while we already picked Lunar Shower as the to-go talent, the other ones are also very useful and strong when used right. All other talents in this tier are great, so I feel like it's a must to explain a little bit (And well, offer situational picks since they are all so strong).

This is an amazing talent, period. People love this talent for a reason, and it's because it ain't that hard to keep yourself topped off, and more often than not you will be able to recover all your health (and your teammates') with a Tranquility pop in the middle of a teamfight. But why is this not the to-go talent choice when it's pretty much a 50% cooldown reduction? Well... you will be hanging around with the enemy team a lot. Twilight Dream requires you to be in the middle of the enemy team, and I'm not kidding, the MIDDLE, you won't really be able to be topped off as often, and the main skill you want off cooldown, Moonfire, can be cast quicker with a talent below.
But again, this talent is amazing. You can still keep yourself topped off with a Regrowth, and more roots and Regrowth means more utility for the team, but at this point your Moonfire suddenly is literally twice as spammable and twice as effective, so yeah.

This is the least powerful in this tier, but it's good regardless. It increases your utility by a great margin, and we know how well damage and utility work together. Increased root and area of effect just makes your job easier to do, and that is to disrupt and destroy your opponent's plans through damage and crowd control...
But there's just another talent that is too sweet in most cases. However do take note this could still be a superior pick in situations where for some reason you don't have the time to spam as much Moonfire and need desperate rooting.

Utility! Combine the enlarged area of effect from Full Moonfire and just how spammable the skill becomes, the enemy team will be constantly slowed as you rain down pain from the moon and blast their faces off with an easier to setup Twilight Dream. Amazing tool when you need slows for some reason, though keep in mind even though immobile heroes are doomed as you slow them constantly, some mobile heroes won't care about the slows. Very situational, just like Tenacious Roots above.

Now this is the stuff. This is the good stuff. Last talent made Moonfire more mana efficent by increasing the size of the blast, and even cheaper. Now what do we need? Yes. DAMAGE. More damage. What else? REDUCED COOLDOWN. Lunar Shower does exactly what its name suggests. You will start raining down the real pain once you pick this talent, and remember when I said that your damage peaks in a mid-length fight? Well that is no longer true as your damage ramps up incredibly fast with how much faster you can cast Moonfire. You will go insane with this choice, so keep in mind your mana. Yes, you will be able to cast like twice as fast for the same mana price, but remember that you still have to manage your mana.
This talent is a big one for this build, but the other tier 6 talents are incredibly strong in their right situations. If you feel like you have been doing your job just fine, or you know that with this boost you may be able to complete your Balance Druid feel, then don't even hesitate, just do it!

Tier 7 Talent Choice (aka. Level 20 Talents) Top

This is it. The final talent. Every single hero in the game achieved their peak in power level and now it's time for you to choose your final weapon. Again, there is a to-go talent, but the others are pretty good, so I feel compelled to explain.

Nah.

This is a great talent for this build. The moment you feel like the enemy team is shrugging off the silence easily, pick Nightmare. There you go, they will be absolutely CRIPPLED when they are hit by Twilight Dream because not only is the silence FOUR seconds long, there will be a 50% slow applied, which literally halves their movement speed for the duration. It pretty much prevents them from doing useful things for 4 seconds, and that is huge. Unlike most Upgraded Heroic talents, you do not get increased damage, and that may sound unappealing, but the increased silence and slow are worth it without a doubt.

Not as bad of a talent as it could seem, but it's just overshadowed by the others. However, keep in mind it's an extremely strong, burst of survability for your entire team if you are close to them. What is a little counter-intuitive is the fact that instead of being in the middle of the enemy team, Storm Shield requires you to be in the middle of your own team. Plus the fact that you should have a support anyways, makes this talent not as appealing even though it's very strong.

Well, this does not do much for you besides resetting your Entangling Roots cooldown and Regrowth. It's not useful for Malfurion overall and I say skip it.

Again, this is the GOOD STUFF. This talent is an instant blink that helps you reposition yourself. You may ask, why would I need to dash to places? Well, remember how you had to land a root or follow up a combo if you wanted a safe Twilight Dream cast? Well, this lets you instantly appear in the middle of the enemy team and pop the Dream, sabotaging and crippling the entire enemy team before they can even react. This is the great combo I was talking about. This is both extremely fun and a huge surprise when the enemy gets caught offguard, and I say that it's good enough to pretty much be the to-go. Yes, Nightmare is a good competitor, but this one could be picked a slight bit more often. I would say probably it's a 55/45 between this and Nightmare.

Mindset of a Balance Druid Top

How the Furion Rolls 


Now, this build is not focused on healing, but you do like your Regrowths. It is not focused on pure damage, but you love the Moonfire spam. So, how do you go about playing Balance Druid Malfurion? Well, it's actually quite simple once you get the hang of it.

Like every other hero, Malfurion requires a different kind of mindset when played in an "off-meta" way. You are no longer as worried about your teammates, but remember that you DO have an amazing healing ability on your Q, one of the best if not the best basic healing in the game, so make use of that. Don't use one more Moonfire just because you think a Twilight Dream Malfurion is all about that sweet dps. Yes, it's all about that damage and surprise factor, but you need living teammates to win. However, early game you are still going to be relying on your teammates to do most of the work since before hitting the late key talents, your damage output and spamming ability is still not as good as you would want them to be.

I keep saying this build is a versatile one, but maybe that is not quite hitting the spot. I want to say that this build makes Malfurion an "all-arounder" of sorts. You deal insane AoE damage with your ult Twilight Dream, you heal a lot with Regrowth, you deal decent and constant dps with Moonfire, and you bring great utility in terms of roots with Entangling Roots and silence from the Dream itself. Oh, and did I mention that you have a mana battery as your trait? Yup, Balance Druid Malfurion does it all! With style.
You have to do it all when playing this build, and it's actually a little bit more complicated when compared to healbot Malfurion. You have to both keep an eye out on teammates and also keep an eye out for opportunities to drop down the bass with Twilight Dream and turn a teamfight around. Now, keep in mind something. A single Twilight Dream cannot win you the fight. Yes, you can drop it and let your teammates capitalize on its surprise factor and crowd control assuming you also dropped the root, but if you are alone or your teammates are too low to do anything, it's not gonna end well. That's why I said Malfurion is a teamplayer. You do the plays, but this is a team game.

Get to know your team, know which ones love to dive and drop some regen on them. Know which ones are really good at dodging and use that spare mana to make more Moonfire rain. Know which enemies love to sneak behind your squishies and snare that flanker the moment you see that weird warping thingy stealth heroes do. You pretty much have to keep an eye out on everything since you are supposed to help in every aspect. Healing, damage and utility, you gotta cover it all, because you have the potential.

Last Disclaimer Top

Well, this build isn't the next META BREAKING REVOLUTIONARY BUILD... (yet)
It's just something for fun that should be kept as such. Of course, if you and your friends want to make a playstyle and strategy plan around this, go ahead, all the power to y'all :D
Just don't expect to be instagibbing the entire enemy team or topping the damage charts if there's an actual assassin in the team. It's sort of a hybrid as we have seen and expectations often corrupt our perception of subjects. Walk into the match with a calm mind, and you shall be rewarded with a fun experience!

Conclusion and a couple Words Top


I am an avid theorycrafter (is that even a word) and I just loved this build the moment I realized that I just HAD to play Malfurion as something besides a healbot.
The Archdruid is a big character in Warcraft lore and wherever Malfurion goes, something big happens. I really do not approve that Blizzard made him the default healbot for the game at launch, but I guess this ain't so bad! I say Balance Druid build is pretty cool. It's decently hard hitting, it's well-rounded, it's surprising, it's fun.

Any comments are appreciated and I'm eager to hear what you guys think about this build. Took me some time to make it look nice and stuff, so I hope it's also pleasant to read overall :D
I will continue to add stuff into the guide as I find even more stuff to say (always happens), so that's something y'all can expect.

Hope to see you in the Nexus!
Good luck, and most importantly, HAVE FUN! Woo!
Hawkray out.

Changelog Top

10/27/16 - v 1.6 Some simple formatting, found hidden wording errors, but not much. Malf still a little op from the buff tho. I think it's the 50% CDR.
09/27/16 - v 1.5 Malfurion rework tips added to "Basic Furion Mechanics". FURION LOVE FROM PAPA BLIZZ!
09/21/16 - v 1.4 More text on talent choices, fixed so some ideas are clearer, tweaked pros and cons!
09/20/16 - FEATURED ON THE FRONT PAGE!
08/13/16 - v 1.3 Better layout, changed description of some talent choices, more colors.
07/27/16 - v 1.2 Grammar errors and wording as well as some icons!
07/19/16 - v 1.1 Changed name from "A Balance Druid Malfurion Playguide" to "BEHOLD THE TWILIGHT DREAM! A Full-Guide to DPS Malfurion" as well as fixing some grammar, colors and wording.
07/18/16 - v 1.01 Removed discussion about tier 1 talents, opted for Moonburn as the go-to!
07/18/16 - v 1.0 Released!

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