Friday, January 16, 2009

Moonkin Mana Regen

If you played a Balance Druid in Vanilla WoW you are very familiar with the term "Oomkin." Our mana issues were so pervasive that this term survived through most of the Burning Crusade, even after most of our mana issues were fixed. In Wrath of the Lich King, our "Oomkin" days are far behind us, and anyone that uses the term is either uninformed or joking.

However, I still regularly receive question asking: How much mana regen do I need? Which talents are best? Can I give up Talent X to get more DPS talents?

With that in mind I wanted to provide this little guide for Moonkin mana regen.


Moonglow - This talent reduces the mana cost of your primary DPS spells. Due to how it works it does not scale well relative to the other talents available. It does improve with haste, because more casting means you will be saving more mana, but the affect is small. This talent is best for people with an entry level of gear (i.e. Leveling gear , preraiding gear), but it quickly gets out classed by Dreamstate and Intensity as your Spirit and Intellegence levels increase. Moonglow is also best in fights with near constant DPS casting.

Note: You will see most Moonkin with at least one point in this talent because it is needed to get to the higher tiers of the Balance tree.

Dreamstate - This talent increases your Mp5 by 10% of your Intellegence. Dreamstate scales very well with gear since almost all Moonkin gear will have Intellegence on it and we have other talents like Furor that increase our intellegence level. This talent continues to regenerate mana until your mana is full and shines in choppy fights that don't allow for constant casting.

Intensity - This talent allows 30% of your out of combat mana regen to continue while in combat. Intensity also scales very well with gear since your out of combat mana regen is based upon Spirit and Intellegence. This talent shines in fights where there is near constant casting and few breaks where you will exit the 5 second rule.

Omen of Clarity - With this talent each of your spells has a chance to reduce the mana cost of your next spell by 100%. I haven't been able to find a definative discription of how this talent works, but most sources agree on a few points. The proc rate is normalized based upon the casting speed of spells. Therefore it doesn't favor faster spells like Wrath. The proc rate seems to be about 2 procs per minute.

Like Moonglow this talent doesn't scale well relative to the other talents, since the mana of each spell does not change. Some people suggest that you switch to a high mana spell when it does proc to maximize the benefit, but I recommend against it because you will loose DPS looking for the proc.

Omen of Clarity is best in fights where there is near constant casting because it can proc off of any ability (including making bandages). What makes this talent really nice though is that it costs just 1 talent point.

Moonkin Form - I don't really think about this as a mana regen talent but it should be listied. While in Moonkin form a druid has a chance to return 2% of their total mana when the crit with a single target spell. Amazingly I tended to get a majority of my mana regen from this talent even when I had all 4 of the other regen talents. The affect is huge especially when you have crit enhancing buffs like Improved Scorch.

From here on out I am going to ignore Moonkin form because I assume that you have it. If there is such a thing as a balance druid without it then they are probably beyond help.

How much regen do I need?

This depend a lot on your group make up, but as a general rule your going to need more regen as your group gets smaller and the fights get longer.

In 25mans I have absolutely no mana issues, and I have seen some high end raiding mookin drop all of their mana regen talents without issue. In 10mans, I have issues on the longer fights like Sarth2D because my group doesn't have mage, Shadow Priest or Ret pally. In 5mans I don't have any issues because the fights are to short, but my experiance may not be relevant to you. My gear level makes up for my low mana regen.

If your play style focus on 5mans and you don't have a lot of gear then your probably going to want as much regen as you can get. If you raid 10man's regularly then its going to depend on your group compition. If you regularly raid 25mans then you probably have most of the buffs covered and can sacrifice some mana regen for some DPS talents. However, the best way to tell if you need more regen is if your consistantly running out of mana on boss fights.

Ok, I need some regen, but which talents to I choose?

If you've looked around the various moonkin forums then you have probably seen this equation.

Omen of Clarity > Intensity > Dreamstate > Moonglow
This equation was written with well geared raiders in mind, but it is a pretty good guideline and fairly vague. Lets see if I can put some numbers to it to explain it better.

The Numbers:

Omen of Clarity - Numerically, this is a hard ability to nail down. It's very random, you may get it but not use it, and its hard to determane which spell consumes it. To calculate its value I looked at several old WWS reports. Look at a couple of high casting fights like Patchwerk and Razuvious the proc rate does indeed seem to be about 2 times per minute but highly variable.

Next I tried to figure out what is the average mana cost of the spells I cast during a boss fight. Looking at the WWS report from the raid where I got the Undying acheavement, I got at my total spell casts for a naxx clear. (I know this is a 10man instead of a 25man. However, I don't think my casting habits change much if at all from 10mans to 25mans.) I won't give you the boring details but I cast a total of 1,326 during boss fights at an average mana cost of 458 per spell with one point in Moonglow.

Now, even though Omen of Clarity procs twice per minute on average, not all of those procs will be used and it is highly variable. So, to try and get a minimum value lets assume that you only use Omen of Clarity one and a half times per minute.

We can get a Mp5 equivalent by dividing the mana saved per minute by 12. Therefore the equivalent Mp5 is equal to:

(458*1.5)/12 = 57.40 Mp5 Equivalent - Assuming you have one point in Moonglow

This may not seem like much, but since it costs only one talent point it is far ahead of what you would get by investing that point in Dreamstate or Intensity. Just for reference, if you invest a full 3 points into Moonglow, Omen of Clarity would be worth 54.10 Mp5 Equivalent.

- This talent was much easier to quantify, but it is very easy to present misleading information. If you look around the web, you may find a person or two that will indicate one point in Moonglow is equivalent to 45 - 50 Mp5. Their numbers may be theoretically accurate, but here not practial because they are evaluating the talent under ideal circumstances. For Moonglow to reach those levels of mana saving you have to be constantly casting with no brakes and no latency. In real life that isn't going to happen.

So to accurately quantify the value of Moonglow, I will have to look at WWS reports again.

Looking at just the boss fights in my latest Naxx run I cast Starfire 488 times, Wrath 525 times, Moonfire 113 times, and Starfall ~10 times. All 15 boss fights took a total of 46 minutes and 6 seconds (2766 total seconds).

For each spell cast I saved the following amount of mana:

Starfire: (3496 * 0.16) * 0.03 = 16.78
Wrath: (3496 * 0.11) * 0.03 = 11.54
Moonfire: (3496 * 0.24) * 0.03 = 25.17
Starfall: (3496 * 0.35) * 0.03 = 36.71
So, to get Mp5 equivalent for the raid, you take the total mana saved and divide it by the time spent in combat times five.

Mp5 Equivalent = (((488 * 16.78) + (525 * 11.54) + (113 + 25.17) + (10 * 36.71)) / 2766) * 5
Mp5 Equivalent = ((8,189.03 + 6056.82 + 2844.35 + 367.08) / 2766) * 5
Mp5 Equivalent = (17457.28 / 2766) * 5
Mp5 Equivalent = 6.31 * 5 = 31.56 Mp5

These numbers will vary from person to person and night to night, but I doubt it will vary much. In fact I think my estimation of Moonglows value is a little high because I used Wrath a little to much.

Dreamstate - This one is really easy to quantify. All you need is your total Intellegence fully raid buffed. To calculate it look at your armory and get your unbuffed Int. Then add 60 for Arcane Intellect and 51 for Improved Mark of the Wild. Then multiply that value by 1.1 for Blessing of Kings, and by 1.1 again for Furor. For me the equation works out like this:

Total Int = (889 + 60 + 51) * 1.1 * 1.1 = 1210 Int.

When you have your fully raid buff Int you multiply that value by 0.04 to find the value of the first point, and 0.03 to find the value of the second and third point. So, for me Dreamstate is worth:

Dreamstate(1pt) = 1210 * 0.04 = 48.4 Mp5
Dreamstate(pt 2 & 3) = 1210 * 0.03 = 36.3 Mp5

Intensity - This one is a little more complecated to calculate. First we need to find our Out of Combat mana regen. To do that we use this formula at level 80:

MP5 = 5 * (0.001 + sqrt(Int) * Spirit * 0.005575 )
I've already showed you how to find your raid buffed total Intellect. Finding your raid buffed Spirit is very similar. Look at your armory and get your unbuffed Spirit. Then add 80 for Divine Spirit and 51 for Improved Mark of the Wild. Then multiply that value by 1.1 for Blessing of Kings. For me the equation works out like this:

Tot Spirit = (371 + 80 + 51) * 1.1 = 552 Spirit
So my Out of Combat mana regen is:

MP5 = 5 * (0.001 + sqrt(1210) * 552 * 0.005575 )
MP5 = 5 * (0.001 + 34.79 * 552 * 0.005575 )
MP5 = 5 * (0.001 + 34.79 * 552 * 0.005575 ) = 535 Mp5
Therefore, to get the value of each talent point is just multiply t his by 10%. So for me, each point I put in Intensity is worth:

Intensity(1pt) = 535 * 0.10 = 53.5 Mp5

The TL:DR Version:

As a general rule you can currently use this priority when evaluating mana regen talents:

Omen of Clarity > Intensity > Dreamstate > Moonglow
Please remember though that Omen of Clarity and Moonglow are very static since they are based primarily upon the spells mana cost. This means that they favor relatively low levels of gear, but will be out paced by Intensity and Dreamstate as your gear improves.

That said, Omen of Clarity is still the best mana regen talent currently because it only costs one talent point. I do not expect this to persist until the end of Wrath of the Lich King because Intensity and Dreamstate will Improve significantly in Teir 8 and Teir 9.

Note: Thanks are owed to Phae at Resto4Life for cross posting this article with me.


Phil Jackson said...

Nice right up. Very well put and great info.

Anonymous said...

Nice article :)

I have to say I was playing around with several builts these days mostly taking points from mana regen talents to dps talents. In 25 mans with BoW, a survival hunter, mage buff and an spriest I had 0 problems even without mana regen talents (well you have to take some to go further down the tree)

However, in 10 mans it happened that one day neither, BoW, survival hunter, mage buff and spriest was in the raid. Bad setup you will say and bad setup it was, but its not like bad setups dont happen. Oom Oom Oom, respecing now taking all mana regen talents again, not because such a bad setup is likely to happen oftenly but just made me think that if survival hunter dies and there's lack of palys online that day my dps will be miserable.

Halon said...

Thanks! Clearly the no.1 moonkin blog :-)

Tilion said...

Thanks for another great article.

I've found the same issue with 10-mans on the longer fights. Our small guild only does 10s and unfortunately doesn't have a Replenishment class/spec. I've found that even with all the regen talents I'm struggling on Sapphiron and Sartharion+1. It doesn't help that my innervate goes to the healers in most situations, but their output is usually more important.

Given the recent posts about the necessity for IFF I'm trying to work it into my spec, but I'm not sure where I can get the points. I'm starting with this build, and I have 4 points to spend. I don't know what's best between Eclipse, IFF and Celestial Focus.

I'd appreciate any tips. Thanks!

beachbunnydesigns said...

Thank you for your site! I was resto in BC and since WoTLK I've been all this info has been helping me immensely. :)

Pucc said...

No fair Gray! You posted this on Phae's blog!

Good write up. Thanks for the numbers and what not. It sick how much you seem to understand it.

Beefkin said...

Ive started playing alot of arena lately, and ive been checking out the armory of the top dogs in the ladder, and i witnessed that most of them preferred Moonglow and Dreamstate before Intensity.

Does these mana regen talent work better in an arena setting than Intensity? I can understand Dreamstate since you arent always in combat, but Moonglow is harder to understand. What do you think?

Myth said...

One thing to keep in mind is that Dreamstate is the only mana regen mechanic that Balance Druids have that increases mana regen regardless of whether you're casting or not. As such, it is the best mana regen talent in situations where you have enough dps downtime to get out of the 5-second rule.

Since the first point in Dreamstate gives you 133% the effectiveness of points 2 and 3, I often take the first point of Dreamstate quite early in my builds. Sometimes even ahead of any points in Intensity.

Cdin said...

Yea, my 10man has no mana regen it in either and I have some trouble on the longer fights.


If your having to give your innervate to healers I would suggest getting the Innervate glyph. That way you both benifit.

As far as your build goes i would drop Imp MF and Imp IS. This would give you a total of 9 points to play with. I would put 3 of them into Imp FF, 3 in CF, and 3 in Eclipse.


I am not a big PvP person but this is my guess.

1. PvP gear tends to have very little spirit. Combine that with the fact that they may not have Kings or Divine Spirit and Intensity becomes a poor talent.

2. PvP gear tends to have a lot of Int making Dreamstate a better talent.

3. I've heard a few PvP moonkins say that they don't like to use MF in arena, because it is easily dispelled. If that is true then Imp MF is not a great talent. Therefore, they may be picking up Moonglow to get to the next tier.


Yea, Alluded to the fact that DS is better if your dropping out of the 5 second rule a lot, but didn't state it explictly.

I dont' think the 5 second rule is a big issue though. Gothik, Haigan & Sapphiron are the only fights with significant down time, but there are a couple of other bosses that you may fall out every so often.

Anonymous said...

In most 25 content, mana regen is no longer a huge issue for boomkins. Even 10 and 5 mans pose little issue. I try not to care about regeneration gear and leave it for the healers. Keep the healers regen high and you can save your innervate for yourself (most times).

Dreamstate and intellect are your best friends.

Ebonhorn said...

Hello Graylo. This comment is not related to the post, but I just noticed an unannounced change and I wanted to hear your opinion. The Idol of the Raven Goddess has been changed (I presume in 3.0.8 since I didn't notice the change before): It now gives 40 spell crit rating *only to the moonkin* and not anymore to the raid. With this change I guess that the current best idol becomes the starfire one, isn't it? I know you used this idol to buff the raid, so I thought to point you to the (ninja) change.
Ebonhorn of Argent Dawn EU

Anonymous said...

I have a major issue with the way you dismiss Moonglow in this article. The fact of the matter is that moonglow scales with haste AND crit(through natures grace procs). Since Haste is the only stat of the three that you should be stacking (spirit and Int being the prime stats for intensity and dreamstate), Moonglow should scale BETTER as your gear gets better.

When you add in the fact that Imp Moonfire is roughly 0.01% dps increase... moonglow becomes your best option for mana regen as it gets you into tier 3 and reduces your need to put points into intensity which means you have to put 14-16 points into the resto tree.

I just wanted to throw that out there since I have had some wanna be moonkin trying to tell me that Moonglow is useless based on your blog, when it actually scales better than intensity or dreamstate if you are stacking your stats properly.

Cdin said...


1. I never said Moonglow didn't scale. I said it doesn't scale well relative to Intensity and Dreamstate, and it doesn't.

Lets use me as an example. Fully raid buffed i have about 50% crit, 26% haste, 1230 Int, and 596 Spirit.

So in an ideal situation 1 point of moonglow is worth 38.44 Mp5 Savings for Starfire ((3465 * 0.16)*0.03 = 16.78 mana saved, (3-(0.5*0.5))/1.26 = 2.18 seconds Cast time, (5/2.18)*16.78 = 38.44 Mp5)

Now what happens if I increase my stats by 10%. In this ideal situation 1 point in moonglow is worth 39.59 Mp5.

So a 10% increase in my haste and Crit results in just a 3% increase in mana savings from Moonglow.

Now lets look at Dreamstate and Intensity.

Currently 1 point in Dreamstate will return 49.2 Mp5 (1230*0.04). If I increase my Int by 10% dream state returns 54.12 Mp5 ((1230*1.1)*0.04). This is a 10% increase in Mp5 returned.

For Intensity the math is a little complicated but I did it and a 10% increase in Int and Spirit results in a 15.3% increase in Mp5 from Intensity.

To sum up, a 10% increase in stats improves Moonglow by 3%, Dreamstate by 10%, and intensity by 15.3%. Clearly Moonglow does not scale well relative to Dreamstate and Intensity.

2. Moonglow is a 0.8% to 1% increase in DPS not a 0.01% increase to DPS. I know that isn't huge but It isn't horrible either.

3. Finally I don't have a problem with readers disagreeing with me. In fact there are several times when someone has suggested something I haven't thought of and proven to be correct.

However, in this case I think I have provided fairly extensive and accurate numbers. Plus they agree with the conventional wisdom and numbers provided by other Theorycrafters.

Therefore, if you disagree it would be best if you provided evidience of why you disagreed instead of insulting people. Otherwise your showing who the real "wanna bee moonkin" is.