Welcome to my beginners guide for playing a balance druid in pvp. I'm not an expert in any kind of pvp so like I say its really for people new to the spec and are just looking for some tips and pointers, people playing 2.2k plus probably aint gonna get much from this . I'm gonna try and cover everything, key stats, gear, spec etc. This is also specifically from this patch (4.3) onwards, but I may update it later. Anyway I'll start with your first choice, race.
What race do I pick for Moonkin pvp?
Well honestly, I'm pretty casual, the race choice wont make or break you in a pvp scenario so just pick your favourite Moonkin, your gonna spec a lot of time in this form so its important to pick one you like. Specifically you have:
-Night elf: Shadowmeld is amazing for a druid since it can work as a vanish if you dont have Dots, or its great for dodging incoming CC or big bursts. And the random 2% chance to miss is potentially awsome. In my opinion the strongest Moonkin race. Also the nature resistance is a +
-Tauren: War Stomp is great if your getting trained by 2 melees, and a warstomp is a good way to get a cyclone off in an emergency. Also the stamina boost is nice, who doesnt want more health? Again nature resistance is a +. And the faster herbalism is great due to the fact you wont have to change from flight form . Second best in my books.
-Worgen: Darkflight is great for any moonkin for a quick escape, like an extra stampeding roar. Also the reduced duration of curses isnt bad with all the warlocks about. Number 3 in my books
-Troll: And we have my race, Troll . Definately the most funky Moonkin form, we get Berserking. Like a mini bloodlust, doesnt look like much but it has its uses, blowing it and getting a full row of Hots on yourself is good, or if you hit an eclipse, you can get some big damage out fast. Voodoo shuffle is wasted, since we break roots auto. Regeneration is nice to have, similar to Taurens. But these go number 4 in my books.
But like I said, choose your favourite, above is just an opinion
So what kind of stats am I looking for as a Moonkin?
Stats are simple, it goes
Haste > Resilience > Mastery > Crit
-Haste: Is the most important stat you could want. We're a class that relies heavily on casting, so getting those fast casts is important. Also more haste means faster Dot tics, and faster Dot tics means more instant starsurges, which are amazing. Also our talent 'Natures Grace' Increases Haste by 15%. As you can see its all tied in with talents, which I'll go into in a second.
-Resilience: You need lots of this because due to the Moonkin damage your often targeted. Also our defensive ability isnt amazing, we are quite squishy, so more resilience helps.
-Mastery: Boosted damage during eclipse, its not amazing, but it helps when your lining up kills.
-Crit: Is just RNG. And I prefer less than more
Your probably asking yourself where spirit fits into all of this ? Dont get any. Simple as, theres better talents/stats to pick up and you only need 5% hit, which is easily done. Plus if you hit cap this way your bear bashes will hit too . This cripples you if your looking at a resto OS, but this is a Moonkin guide
Ok, what about my talent tree?
This is gonna vary. You need to ask yourself what kind of pvp am I into? Casual battlegrounds? Arena? RBG's? I've organised a spec I normally use which fits into any kind of pvp scenario.
This really is the failsafe Moonkin spec, you wont run out of mana, you'll have energy or rage for your bear and cat form abilities.
I'll go into other talents you might want to pick up though:
-Perserverence: 6% less spell damage can be a godsend, and I used to take it all the time. Very good if your fighting lots of spell cleaves, especially playing a spec as squishy as ours.
-Blessing of the grove: Increased direct damage of moonfire by 6%. I'd only take it in an RBG situatuon, where I'm tab targeting spreading death everywhere. Even then its debatable, I think there are better talents.
-Balance of Power: Even though I said dont pick up spirit, theres still 2% damage there, if I was looking into maximising my damage I may pick it up.
Prime: Take insect swarm, Moonfire and Starsurge. First two for damage and the last for more starfalls
Major: Lots of choice here I take starfall becuase I like its damage, Barkskin for the added protection and Typhoon for more typhoons!
But other choices are:
Roots - for faster roots
Thorns - Good when fighting melees. Thorns does competetive damage because it scales with our spellpower, just another instant when casting isnt an option
Solar beam - I often take this in place of typhoon, just makes it last longer, really good depending on the situation.
As usual minor glyphs are generally obviouse/players choice.
A closer look at important talents
Shooting stars and Natures grace. These are what make haste huge for us. Shooting stars gives us a random chance per dot tick to reset the CD on our starsurge and make it instant cast. Now the more dot ticks (haste) we have, the more chance we have and more often we get starsurges. And starsurge is an amazing spell because its damage is buffed by any eclipse state and it helps us hit eclipses fast. And Natures grace buffs our current haste by 15%. See how it all starts to work together?
Faster Dots > Faster starsurges (which means more starfalls due to the glyph!) > Faster eclipses > More DPS!
Unfortunately with this design, in my opinion it makes Moonkins very gear dependent, your gonna struggle at the start but once your fully geared there is no class that will out dps you. Not even warlocks.
Moonkin form! An obviouse one but I just want to talk about it. Provides a static haste buff, awsome. 15% damage reduction and a 10% damage buff. It makes sence that you never want to leave this form. The only time you want to leave it is if you want to take another form, bear for bash or stampeding roar, or cat for skull bash. Or your humanoid self, for some clutch heals. It is very Important you dont get caught in cat or humanoid form for too long, so generally dont use these forms if theres a class near you with a big stun like a paladin or a warrior, you open yourself to a big switch and an easy kill. A final note is Moonkin form breaks roots, so its usefull against warriors and mages, less usefull when fighting anything with an auto snare.
Typhoon! Always a fun spell. Knocks back your enemies, its best used against melees, so use your surroundings, try and make sure a melee uses his gap closer first, or he'll just run strait back at you. What it also does provide 6 second daze, which cant be dispelled. Use this to your advantage when escaping or going for kills.
Solar Beam. Game breaking stuff, best used against healers by rooting them into a full solar beam. A massive CC which can be lined up with cyclones or other classes CC's into massive chains. It also has its uses if you are being trained, hitting a pillar and putting a solar beam down is a good way to stop damage done, especially against casters, death knights and paladins.
Fungal Growth. Big debates over this, I take it for battlegrounds, I find its more usefull if you get into a tight situation, you can time them and have your own little desecration kiting ground. I have less use for them in arenas. Some people say they have time to get them off, I find my time is better spent doing damage and cycloning. They actually do good damage when exploding with a solar eclipse, just a thought for big aoe situations.
Euphoria. Helps hitting eclipses and getting mana back. Standard.
Dreamstate. Innervate gives more mana back when used on yourself. I take this because I hate going oom. But its potentially droppable depending on your playstyle.
All the others generally just help out with damage.
Ok, so I know what to use. How do I use it?
What does it take to be a balance druid? Theres a few things I'll say now. With the right gear, you will do the most damage of anyone in the game. Thats where our strengths lie. If left to freecast eventually its unhealable. Unfortunately we pay for this by being typically squishy, when trained without help we generally fall over and die. As you can see, we generally excell in a BG/RBG situation. Our damage is spread out, most of our abilities are aoe related. But moonkins perform well in arena aswell with the right partners.
So I'm going to talk about what were good at and what were bad at. Doing damage and surviving to do that damage.
Our class revolves around this little eclipse bar, casting on spell moves it closer to one side, the other spell moves it closer to the other. We do the most damage when in either a solar or lunar eclipse. So its very important we hit these as quickly and efficiently as possible. Which means priorities are dotting, starsurging and casting our burst spells. The good news is Moonkins are hard to close down, since we have lots of instants and procs we can use whilst being trained, so try not to get locked out.
Once your Dots are up you need to focus on casting. Do not spam moonfire/sunfire, its bad play and generally doesnt work anymore. You'll find it far more rewarding casting your big spells because you hit more eclipses and do more damage, once your dots are up leave them alone, till you hit an eclipse
Its gonna happen, two melees on you, wrecking your face, generally without a healer you'll die and casting often isnt an option. But theres a few things you can do. Once your DOT's are up, you can cast thorns, doing more damage to your attackers (casting in a solar eclipse will buff the damage done) Natures grasp is a good annoyance tool if they dont have dispellers, can make them blow CD's. Stampeding roar combined with moonkin root remover makes you hard to catch. Bear bash > cyclone, gets a melee off you instantly. Try and make sure you are behind your target or you will find it will be dodged a lot. If a frost mage counter spells you dont just stand there taking frostbolts to the face, hit bear/cat form and skull bash him, generally they wont see this coming. Hitting barkskin when they blow trinkets/big dps CD's will help yourself a lot, try not to use it until then unless its an emergency. If your healer eats a massive CC then its a good idea to bearform>frenzied regen. It seems hopeless at the time but you have lots of tools at your arsenal, use them well and it becomes a nightmare to try and fight you.
Everything I'm saying is pretty situational, but thats all pvp is. Using the right tools at the right times will help you get through.
Love this one, pressing normally cyclones my target, shift and press cyclones my focus. I also use it combined with roots and solar beam, just replace cyclone with the relevent spell names and it works with everything