So you can cast this skill while blocking and it wont drop your block – and when you cast it you sacrifice some health and in return you gain Magicka. If you go with the Balance morph which is the one I advise for most situation then you’ll also gain the longest source of Major Resolve in the game which gives you nearly 6k resistances. Sometimes its not 100% necessary to use this morph if you are in an organised group with a good Warden support who is capable of maintaining Frost Cloak 100% then your don’t need Balance and you can use the other morph.
Then we have the other morph spell symmetry which is good for classes who already have Major Resolve but need sustain – so the Nightblade has built in Major Resolve to their passives so Balance is not needed and Spell Symmetry would be better. Spell Symmetry reduces the cost of your next magicka ability which means even better sustain but you don’t get the major resolve.
When is this skill useful?
If you struggle for Magicka sustain then you need to use this, if you are in an organised team and you are trying to push higher skill uptimes then this will help you be able to cast more frequently and its also great in-between fights to regen Magicka as you make your way into the next fight.
Now some people are put off by the health cost and are a bit afraid that using this will basically cause you to die and that can sometimes be the case if you use this skill carelessly. So when the skill is maxed levelled and you have the Mage Adept passive Balance will cost 4800 Health to cast. If you think about this patch and how people have easily over 40k health with pretty much every heavy armor build, losing 4.8k health is not that big of an issue.
That doesn’t mean you should just cast it whenever you want, you always want to cast it leading into a fight and if you are using it during a fight just make sure you use it in a point of combat with low damage so don’t use it while a boss is charging a heavy attack or mechanic, don’t use it while you are standing in an AoE or you are currently being damage by a DoT attack – every fight has quiet points and you just time it during those. If you have a reliable healer in your group then casting it anytime outside of a heavy attack or mechanic will be no problem at all and you basically regain the heath back instantly
When you use Balance – if you try to healing yourself back to full after casting it you’ll need to watch out of the debuff you get for 4 seconds after casting Balance. So your healing and damage shields are reduced by 50% for 4 seconds after casting and again, this is all about timing. If you have a healer then its not a problem. If you are in a particularly difficult situation then what you can do it cast a damage shield prior to using Balance and that will not be diminished afterwards, its only new damage shields cast during the 4s debuff that are lower. So effectively you can precast Igneous Shield, use Balance and that will protect you enough for that debuff period.
The 4s debuff ends a lot faster than it seems as its already counted down 1 second when you’ve cast it – its all about timing, if you times the cast so that it wasn’t during a heavy attack, then you wont even need to worry about it. If you have Health Recovery this isn’t effected by the debuff also, so you should have 2 health recovery ticks over those 4 seconds which is potentially going to heal 1.5k Health per tick/3k total which is almost the full amount you lost via using balance.
There are just some really important ways to use this skills – vHoF 1st boss springs to mind as an essential place for this, especially the Spell Symmetry morph as a Tank you will be expected to be spamming purges for your group and to do this you cast Spell Sym/Purge/Spell Sym/Purge as much as you can.
In dungeons I use it a lot so I have Balance and Unrelenting Grip on the same bar as a DK, when I go into an add pull I precast balance, I run in and I chain/talons the enemies, when I am almost out of Magicka I Igneous Shield, Balance, and then carry on chaining & talons and with my Dungeon setup of Yolnahkriin and Drakes Rush I have like 47k Health so its not even noticeable that I lost 4.8k and I just wait for my health to drop under 30% before I cast my Dragon Blood heal to maximise the benefit.
Places like Cloudrest portals where you are essentially on your own, its still safe to use balance but you always use it before you enter, when in the portal its safe to recast when the boss moves and its underground or just before you jump up onto the wall, then you have the healing debuff while on the wall not taking damage, then you jump down, healing debuff is gone and you have magicka.
If you have any questions or queries about this skill please let us know in The Tank Club Discord