Table of contents
1.0 Disclaimer – The Cataclysm moonkin guide
2.0 How to get help
3.0 Choosing a race
4.0 Stats n’ caps
13.0 Tips and tricks
14.0 Useful addons
15.0 Other moonkin guides
1.0 Disclaimer – The 4.0.6 moonkin guide
Welcome to the Cataclysm moonkin guide. Before proceeding to read this guide, I need you to read this paragraph very carefully. There are two things that you must keep in mind:
- This guide has been updated to match the situation at level 85 in Cataclysm. What this means is that this guide is current for what is on the live servers, but assumes level 85. As new patches are released, the guide will be updated.
- Information changes all the time, and we are still working hard on figuring out the finer points. Some of the information in this guide will be based on the research of others, while other parts are merely my own interpretation. I strongly encourage everybody to discuss and give feedback in this thread.
2.0 How to get help
If you have a moonkin related question, feel free to post a reply to this topic, and the community will attack it like hungry piranhas. However, to make it easier on yourself – and on everybody else – follow these tips first:
- Read the guide. Most basics are covered here.
- Identify your problem. Are you asking about gearing up, gems, enchants, rotation, addons, how to get girls or something else?
- Check the guide again – maybe you missed something that answered your question!
- Post as much detailed, relevant information as you can; Armory link, maybe a raid log, and an explanation of what your issue is.
- Are you sure it’s not in the guide? It goes a lot faster if you just read the guide, rather than you waiting for us to repeat what is written here.
We love to help, but many times the information is readily available, and you can save a lot of time by scrolling down to whatever area might give you problems. If that doesn’t help, or something in this guide isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to post in this topic, and we’ll help you out!
3.0 Choosing a race
With the release of Cataclysm, we are no longer restricted to being either night elves or tauren. Whether you are creating a new druid, or looking to race change, you can pick up some handy bonuses depending on your race.
I feel that I must stress that this choice should really only be dictated by how you wish to play. While some races has obvious DPS benefits, it really doesn’t bring any value to you if you can’t stand to look at your character.
Night elves has no racials that directly benefit DPS, but they do have a handy Shadowmeld ability, which lets you drop out of combat and equally drop all your threat. From here, you can swap into flight form if you are outside, or simply give your tank a chance to get a mob under control that was running to you. When you leave Shadowmeld, you regain any threat you had on monsters.
Worgen has an innate +1% chance to score a critical strike, which is a pretty straight forward DPS increase. Darkflight, which increases your movement speed by 40% for 10 seconds, is a handy tool to get around fast – if you need to get from A to B before you can start DPS’ing, or even if you have to get out of some nasty AOE damage fast, it can have an indirect effect on your DPS – or your survival.
Tauren has no DPS increasing racials, but gain a slight increase in their base health, and are able to War Stomp to stun enemies for two seconds.
Trolls offer the strongest DPS increase from their racials. Berserking allows you to gain 20% haste for 10 seconds, every three minutes. This mini-bloodlust can be quite a nice increase to your DPS. It is best used right as your proc an eclipse, before you cast your DOTs, and preferably during solar eclipse. Trolls also gain a 5% damage to beasts, and minor regeneration during combat.
Again, I feel that I must stress that the racial traits should not be the deciding factor when picking a race. If you enjoy being a night elf or tauren, then by all means, you can enjoy these races as well.
4.0 Stats n’ caps
You should always attempt to only use leather gear. Wearing only leather items will increase your intellect by 5%. Equipping just a single piece of cloth gear will remove this bonus, and that is a massive hit to your intellect, and thus spell power and critical strike chance. There is generally no gain from wearing a cloth piece that can outweigh the loss of the leather specialization bonus.
To best equip your moonkin for what’s ahead, you must have a basic knowledge of how each stat affects it. Here is a rundown of the stats and their caps, listed by their importance:
Hit rating: Hit is an important stat for every single class. Thankfully, it is fairly easy for us to attain hit, so this should always be your first priority. Each ~102,47 hit rating gives you 1% chance to hit. Additionally, each point of spirit gives you 1 point of hit rating, meaning that 102,47 spirit increases your chance to hit by 1%. Because of this, we can simply assume that spirit = hit, and treat them both as the same.
You will need 17% hit (1742 hit rating) to never miss a spell. You can also hover your mouse over your spell hit rating to see your chance to miss against mobs of equal level, or boss level monsters.
Intellect: Intellect is our strongest stat after hit rating. This is obviously something you want a whole lot of. Intellect gives you the following:
- More mana
- Additional spell power. One point of intellect gives you 1 spell power.
- Higher chance to score a critical strike with spells. One point of intellect gives you 0,006% crit chance. In other words, you need 555 intellect for 1% chance to crit.
Haste rating: Haste is a very powerful stat for us, as a lot of our spells have been changed in 4.0 to benefit greatly from it. Haste will affect the following:
- Reduces the global cooldown of your spells.
- Reduces cast time of your starfire, wrath and starsurge.
- Increases the frequency of your moonfire, sunfire, insect swarm and hurricane ticks.
Mastery: Mastery is a new stat introduced for patch 4.0 and Cataclysm. Once learned from your trainer, mastery will increase the potency of our “Mastery: Total Eclipse”, which is visible under the summary of our talent trees.
Total eclipse initially increases the bonus from Eclipse by 12%. Each point of mastery increases this bonus by 2%. In other words, a point of mastery increases Total Eclipse to 14%, making your Eclipse increase the damage of your spells by up to 39%.
Crit: We are no longer as addicted to crit as we have previously been. The most noticeable change to crit is that we are no longer dependant on it to proc Eclipse or Nature’s Grace, and crit has become more easy to understand. Crit will affect the following:
- Increases your chance to do double damage with direct nukes.
- Increases the chance that each tick of your DOTs will do double damage.
Please note that critical strikes from hurricane only do 50% more damage.
Crit versus mastery: Preliminary theorycrafting show that crit and mastery rating, at level 85, are fairly close to each other, but not as strong as haste is. With the recent buff to mastery, it will be slightly stronger than crit. This should by no means be translated to “crit is bad”. In fact, crit is as good as it was before the mastery change, and it is certainly not as bad as, say, agility, but you should keep the stat weighs in mind when reforging your gear.
Reforging allows you to change 40% of one stat on an item into another. You can only swap between spirit, haste, crit and mastery, and you can only change one stat into another stat that isn’t already on the item. This means that if you have an item with haste and crit, you cannot turn 40% of the crit into more haste, but you can turn it into mastery rating if you are so inclined.
When reforging, you should work from these principles:
- If you are below the hit cap, convert some crit or mastery into spirit or hit. Either stat is fine, although spirit would give you a bit more mana regen outside of combat. On the other hand, hit will trickle down to your treants. If you are above the hit cap, try and reforge some spirit into more useful stats. Just make sure that you stay above your hit cap, rather than below it.
- If your items has no haste on it, you could reforge some crit or mastery into haste, as haste is generally stronger than crit and mastery.
- As crit and mastery are generally very close at the moment, either one is fine. If you want to play around with a lot of mastery or a lot of crit, then knock yourself out.
Gemming is fairly straight forward for moonkins.
Meta: Always use the Burning Shadowspirit Diamond.
Blue: You should be using Purified Demonseye‘s in blue slots. Should you gain excess hit, feel free to reforge that. If the socket bonus is particularly bad, feel free to treat it as a red socket.
Red: Red slots should always, always, always be filled with Brilliant Inferno Ruby‘s.
Yellow: Reckless Ember Topaz‘s will be your preference, but if you are lacking hit, you can use Lightning Dream Emerald‘s.
Your talent spec should largely be decided by one factor: Your mana. If you do a lot of damage, but run out of mana after 2 minutes, then your overall damage is going to suffer. On the other hand, if you can keep casting forever and never run out of mana, you can probably spare a few points in damage talents.
We are no longer the manakins we were in Wrath of the Lich King, but at level 80 in patch 4.0 you should still be fine. You will need to find a balance between damage and mana talents, though. At best you should be able to end a boss fight with 10% mana. If you have less, you will run out of mana, and if you have more, then you can try reducing your mana regen through talents.
From the talents currently available to us, we can produce two talent specs: Focus on mana and focus on damage.
As you will notice, these specs are very similar. The only real difference between the two is that you are moving points from Moonglow and Furor into Owlkin Frenzy and Blessing of the Grove. The impact of mana-to-damage changes will be a lot more significant at level 85 where you will be able to grab Master Shapeshifter and ditch talents like Dreamstate in favor for Gale Winds. Even so, apart from Master Shapeshifter, the other damage choices are fairly slim.
You can freely choose to spend extra points in these talent specs as you desire.
Glyphs are fairly straight forward. With the addition of Prime Glyphs, it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Some combinations are slightly stronger than others, however.
For Prime Glyphs, you have the choice between two sets:
The safe bet – Insect Swarm/Starsurge/Moonfire:
This combination of glyphs generally gives you the strongest damage increase for the least amount of trouble. It leaves you with a simple rotation, and is generally decent damage. Your get a steady damage increase to your DOTs, and through Glyph of Starsurge, you will be able to cast Starfall during every lunar eclipse. While it is not as powerful as the combination below, it does offer a good starter setup.
The wild choice – Moonfire/Starsurge/Starfire:
Tests show that this setup can provide a substantial DPS increase compared to the combination above, but it does require you to alter your rotation a bit. If you want to squeeze out the most DPS possible, you should generally see better results with this setup. The general idea of this is to allow moonfire to be extended by starfires, and this, coupled with a lot of haste will provide you a constant uptime of moonfire and sunfire. There is some uncertainty on whether or not Glyph of Starsurge should be replaced by Glyph of Insect Swarm. My personal preference has me sticking to Starsurge.
Please refer to the Rotation section below on the specifics of this glyph setup.
For major glyphs, Glyph of Starfall is the obvious choice. The remaining two glyphs is a free choice. You can go for Glyph of Focus, but then you have to be aware of your range. The limitations on your movement might be too much to sacrifice – I would personally not give up half of my range on spells, just for a 10% increase to starfall.
All other glyphs can be chosen based on your preferences and the encounter you are doing.
Enchants are usually pretty straight forward. Here is what you should generally go for:
Head: 60 intellect/35 crit rating – obtained from Guardians of Hyjal at revered reputation
Shoulders: 50 intellect/25 haste obtained from the Therazane faction at exalted reputation
Back: 50 intellect
Chest: 20 stats
Wrists: 65 haste rating
Gloves: 50 haste rating
Leggings – 95 intellect/55 Spirit from a Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Boots: Run speed/35 mastery – the poor man’s version is 50 haste rating.
Weapon: Power Torrent – the poor man’s version of this is Hurricane.
Off-hand: 40 intellect
The short answer to which profession you should choose is “Whatever you like”. Professions generally give you roughly the same bonus. Two crafting professions will give you double the bonus, but is obviously more costly. The general difference between most professions turn out to be nothing more than a slight difference. If you want the highest bonus possible, go for Engineering and Leatherworking.
From each profession, you can expect to gain:
- Alchemy: Mixology will give you another 80 intellect when using a Flask of the Draconic Mind
- Blacksmithing: Allows you to put a socket on your wrists and gloves, which leaves room for two more Brilliant Inferno Rubies for an additional 80 intellect.
- Engineering: Synapse Springs * gives your gloves a +480 intellect bonus for 12 seconds every minute. Engineering also offers Nitro Boots for a quick get-away, a High-Powered Bolt Gun which does damage and interrupts casting, and a few other fun bits and bobs in general engineering-style.
- Enchanting: 40 intellect on each ring for a total of 80 intellect.
- Inscription: 130 intellect/25 haste on your shoulders.
- Jewelcrafting: Lets you use 3 Brilliant Chimera’s Eye’s instead of Inferno Eyes for an additional 81 intellect.
- Leatherworking: 130 intellect on your bracers instead of 65 haste, which gives you the DPS gain of around 100 intellect.
- Tailoring: Lightweave Embroidery gives 580 spellpower for 15 seconds every minute. This gives you around an average of 140 spell power.
- Herbalism: Lifeblood is a smaller haste cooldown, giving you 240 haste rating for 20 seconds every 2 minutes. It is not as potent as a crafting profession, but if you are picking flowers anyways, it will still be a decent buff.
- Skinning: 80 crit rating
* You can use the following macro to automaticly cast your Synapse Springs whenever they are ready, and you are casting an Insect Swarm:
10.0 ConsumablesCode:#show Insect Swarm /script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent(“UI_ERROR_MESSAGE”); /use 10 /script UIErrorsFrame:RegisterEvent(“UI_ERROR_MESSAGE”); /use Insect Swarm
Use a Flask of the Draconic Mind for an intellect boost. For food, chuck down some 90 intellect food like Severed Sagefish Head or a Feast.
For drinks, wash it down with a Volcanic Potion for a DPS boost, preferably during bloodlust. If you are running low on mana, you might want to use a Mana Potion instead.
Our rotation is fairly simple on paper. Getting used to it is a whole different matter. I suggest that you spend a while on target dummies to get used to your new rotation. It is one thing to do a rotation as you are standing still, hurting a poor dummy, but it’s entirely different once you are in a PvE setting. Practice is key.
Our rotation works from four principles:
- Cast wrath until you proc lunar eclipse. Cast starfire until you proc solar eclipse.
- Keep both DOTs up and cast them when you have just procced eclipse. Cast Insect Swarm before sunfire/moonfire, to allow your moonfire time to morph into sunfire before you cast it.
- Refresh DOTs whenever they fall off, unless you are very close to an eclipse. If you are almost leaving an eclipse, but have uneclipsed DOTs up, which are about to run out, it will be worthwhile to refresh them.
- Use starsurge whenever it is off cooldown, and always when Shooting Stars proc.
If you can anticipate it, try to be inside an eclipse when you have to move. Throw up both of your DOTs and spam your moonfire/sunfire. The damage from Lunar Shower, and eclipse if you have it up, will provide a decent amount of damage even while moving. Make sure that your Insect Swarm is up as well, for a higher chance of proccing Shooting Stars on the run.
Rotation changes with the Moonfire/Starsurge/Starfire glyph setup:
Using this setup allows you to keep a near constant uptime of either moonfire or sunfire. With the added ticks from haste, this can generate quite a lot of extra DPS. This setup allows you to extend your moonfires from the beginning of lunar eclipse, and all the way to halfway out of your solar eclipse. When moonfire runs out, you will most likely be at 50 energy, going back towards lunar, and at this point you can cast your sunfire, which will then usually last you until you reach lunar eclipse. In this setup, simply refresh Insect Swarm whenever it falls off.
You do not use this setup to extend sunfire’s, because in order to do that, you would have to be casting starfire while sunfire is up, and you will never do that. However, the damage increase from moonfire generally makes this setup work better than the safe choice.
Cooldowns: Cooldowns are great for burst, and your benefit from them is increased depending on when you use them. We only have three spells with a noticable cooldowns, so there are just a few pointers to remember.
- Starfall is the most powerful spell in our arsenal. Against single targets, you can get 10 stars off at your target. If you know that more targets will spawn soon, you can hold it off as long as you are not in danger of pulling aggro, which will allow for all 20 stars to fall. Don’t hold back too much though, as you would want to cast starfall as much throughout a fight as you can.
- Treants is a lot of damage in one global cooldown, if they can stay alive for the duration. Usually you can cast these as you run in, and then 3 minutes later when they are off cooldown. If you know that a bloodlust is coming, try to spawn them just before the bloodlust to give them the haste benefit as well.
- Typhoon is fairly decent to use if there is more than a handful of targets. You can glyph it to remove the knockback, and cause a lot of damage to trash packs or during encounters that spawn adds that needs to die. Typhoon is particularly strong if you are under the effects of solar eclipse, and have a handful of mobs to fire at.
Eclipse benefits almost all of our spells. Keeping this in mind allows you to gain a higher benefit from some spells. Don’t go out of your way to delay a spell on a cooldown, but if you are 3 seconds away from a lunar eclipse when starfall is ready, you might want to hold back a bit.
Lunar eclipse increases the damage of:
Solar eclipse increases the damage of:
- Insect Swarm
- Wild Mushroom: Detonate
Please note that our two AOE spells, starfall and hurricane, are arcane and nature damage respectively. If you are doing AOE damage, a solar eclipse would be a bigger increase, but if you are caught in lunar eclipse for an AOE pack, it is not the end of the world.
If you are in solar eclipse, and your starfall is ready, you should still cast it, even if it doesn’t gain the bonus from eclipse. Delaying it for too long would, at best, make you come out even, but it will delay your cooldown significantly.
Eclipse doesn’t decay. Because of this, you can stay in an eclipse indefinately. So if you are eating through those Bastion trash packs, put yourself under a solar eclipse and fire away that hurricane.
13.0 Tips and tricks
Practice, practice, practice. Target Dummies are generally not that great for comparing damage, but spending some time there to get really comfortable with your rotation is golden. Focus on being able to cast your rotation perfectly. Then try to distract yourself by moving around, looking at something off screen or drop hot tea down into your lap.
The aim is to teach your rotation to your muscles. Thats right, this is a full-blown finger workout! Your hands need to be able to click starfire without you really thinking of where the button is, and your brain must be used to adapt itself as you go through your eclipses.
The purpose of this is to prepare you for high paced raid encounters. Once you are so adapt to your rotation that you can follow it with little thought, it frees up your eyes to look away from your action bars. Instead, you can be staring at the damage meter, your character sheet or – if you are so inclined – look out for any hazardous events happening in the fight. Tunnel vision is not very good for your health, and if you are able to do the damage you have to do, while looking out for fire on the ground, you will increase your survival rate, and thus your contribution to the raid.
You can use your Thorns as a mini-misdirection. On a boss swinging at your tank every two seconds, the base damage adds around 21.000 damage. The damage scales with your targets spell power or AP, whichever is highest. The damage done by your thorns will be credited to your target. Thorns is very powerful on AOE packs, if you want to give your tank a bit of a boost. You can have your tank as a focus target, and use the macro “/cast [@focus] Thorns” to quickly cast thorns on him or her.
If you are casting your starfall inside a lunar eclipse, cast it before you cast any DOTs. It doesn’t benefit from haste, so if you cast your DOTs before starfall, you lose a GCD on a non-hasted spell.
If you want to have Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Detonate on the same keybinding, try out the following macro: /castsequence reset=60, Wild Mushroom, Wild Mushroom, Wild Mushroom, Wild Mushroom: Detonate
This will let you cast three Wild Mushroom and then detonate them. You must still place them manually, but you free up a spell slot. This macro resets itself after 60 seconds, or when you detonate the Wild Mushroom.
14.0 Useful addons
There are plenty of addons to choose from, and most are merely a question of preference. You don’t need all of these, but here is a list of common addons you could and should consider using:
- Balance Power Tracker: A highly configurable mod designed to track Lunar and Solar energy for Balance Druids in 4.0.
- Squawk and Awe: Useful for tracking eclipse, eclipse cooldowns, DOTs, trinkets and the like.
- ClassTimer and ClassTimer Eclipse: Offers the same as Squawk and Awe, in a different layout.
- Power Aura’s: My personal favorite, Power Aura’s allows you to add visual notifications to practically everything. Eclipse procs, DOTs with timers, debuffs on a specific fight and so on. It does take a bit of time to set up, but it is an awesome addon that allows for much customization. Big visual effects when eclipse procs allow you to notice an eclipse out of the corner of your eye, and helps you get an overview of your buffs. If you need suggestions for customizing Power Aura’s, check out Jamara’s post here.
General raid addons:
- Omen Threat Meter: Nearly invaluable in a raid setting, allows you to avoid pulling aggro.
- Deadly Boss Mods: Adds alerts and countdown bars to literally every encounter in the game, from 5 mans to raid bosses. This is such an old, stable addon, and is so useful in any raid setting. DBM has been around the block for a long, long time.
- Recount or Skada: Damage meters. Recount is the most popular, but I prefer Skada as it requires a lot less system memory. It doesn’t have fancy graphs, but it does include a lot of interesting features, such as segment saving and looking up raid members damage to a specific target.
- Unit frames such as Grid, VuhDo and the like, gives a great overview of your raid allows for quick decurses, innervates, rebirths and so on.
- Gearscore/Playerscore: lol
- Quartz: A well used cast bar for tracking casts, cast times, DOTs and HOTs on various targets and so on.
- ForteXorcist: A fun little addon that adds a bar showing you the time before your cooldowns are ready to use. This addon is very customizable and gives you a good overview of cooldowns, debuffs and so forth.
- Rebirther: Very useful for raiding moonkins – or raid leaders – to track available Rebirths and Innervates in the group.
15.0 Other moonkin guides
Graylo’s Moonkin guide for 4.0.1
Elitist Jerks moonkin guide