Balance | Madness
Balance is the DoT spread spec for the sage. Like Telekinetics, its rotation is very static and offers a tremendous amount of self-healing (nerfed in 7.3) with additional options in the skill tree to increase this even more, making balance a very survivable and straight forward class. They offer a degree of utility by providing teams the Internal/Elemental debuff (must choose passive) as well as an option for a raid buff. As stated, the self-healing can help lessen the demand on healers who may need to focus more on tanks in a fight. There are many skill point options to increase Damage Reduction, but at the cost of DPS. These should be chosen carefully. Your movement becomes much more static vs. the Telekinetic Sage. During an entire block of this spec's rotation, you cannot move.
Gearing up for Balance
Below are the gear selections, legendary implants, tactical and skill point choices I recommend for this class.
The following is an entry level rotation for this spec. Using the utility point "Teaching of Rajivari" / "Plague Master". I will be adding a Pattern for Rajivari/Plague Master soon.
The opener for Balance is essentially a Buff Block. We fire off all of our offensive cool downs as we prepare for our first block.
Balance is rotation, alternate between Block 1 and Block 2 as you fight.
Block 1 - Main Abilities
Block 2 - TK Throw Spam Block
Vanquish will proc during the TK throw Spam Block and for the rest of your rotations it will be an instant cast. Force in Balance is our DoT spread but is hard to time as it's fairly fixed in the rotation, making it difficult to time DoT spreads onto low Hp adds.
Using Your Offensive Ability Buffs
You can use this to reset Force Speed for More Damage if you do not need it as a defensive cool down.
Use force speed as it comes off of cool down to buff your next ability.
Use Force Potency on cool down, it will buff your next two force abilities.
After the initial use of Mental Alacrity, use it on Cool Down. Force Speed will reduce its C.D. by 5 seconds.
This is a raid wide buff and should be used on the call of the raid leader. If you are in a PuG or the raider leader is not calling them, use in your opener and again on cool down. It boosts your Mastery and Endurance by 10% for 10". If there are multiple sages in the group, it is helpful to discuss who is taking that skill point, as it goes on a shared cool down when any one player in the operations group uses it.
Quick Reference Guide
Balance's Defensive Abilities
Force Armor is a pretty strong defensive on a very short cool down. It is very useful in an op if you know a big burst hit is coming. It absorbs 26k damage and reduces damage taken by 5%. It is on the GCD, so using it is a DPS loss (as you are not using a damage dealing ability
Another Very short cool down solid Defensive Cool down, Cloud mind both lowers your threat, but more importantly provides you a 25% damage reduction.
This is our Self heal and is OFF the GCD, use it often as you take damage to help out the healers. You can buff this with mysteries of the force at level 23, but you are giving up power of the force, making it a dps loss.
This is perhaps the most powerful defensive in the game. For 8" you are 100% invincible (note, some damage in the game will still kill you. When the game wants you dead, you die.) As it channels, you gain stacks of enduring bastion. For every stack, you absorb 25k damage while the buff is active. You become immune to interrupts for 5" after it ends, and you can use it as a C.C. Breaker. Moving ends the channel.